Send your knives out to get sharpened, it is almost tomato season! The rich agricultural offerings of the Roaring Fork Valley and the region extend beyond the start of a caprese salad or a BLT sandwich.
Ranchers and farmers raise the cattle and produce that make its way to local restaurants and home kitchens. Locals and tourists alike enjoy the bounty throughout the summer at the farmers markets and through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs throughout the valley.
Those who are not so much of a home cook, fear not! In addition to the farm and ranch offerings, markets in the valley feature the work of local artisans — goods like honey, jewelry, and soaps.
“Dining out, food festivals, farm-to-table dinners and experiences — all of these are such an important part of travel,” said Snowmass Tourism Director Rose Abello. “These experiences and the richness and variety of these offerings that are available in Snowmass and throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, gives visitors and locals plenty to choose from.”
And the markets provide an accessible entry point for enthusiastic cooks and eaters interested in the farm-to-table and “eat local” movements.
For a comprehensive map of agriculture, pick up a Roaring Fork & Farm Map — which illustrates the valley’s agricultural history and local food culture — from a local tourism organization.
As the locals say, you come for the winter, but you stay for the summer.
FARMERS’ MARKET ROUNDUP
Aspen Saturday Market: Every Saturday, June 10 through Oct. 7, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Starting Sept. 9, hours are 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Aspen Core
At the Aspen Saturday Market, shoppers will find only Colorado–sourced goods from artisans and agriculture vendors. The stalls line multiple blocks of Aspen’s core, swinging from the Galena Street to Hyman Avenue intersection to Hunter Street and back to the intersection of Hyman Avenue and Galena Street.
Summer Saturdays in Aspen have featured a line of local goods stalls since 1998, when Aspen City Council first approved the market. Since then, locals and tourists alike peruse the booths weekly for gifts or featured ingredients in their upcoming meals.
Basalt Sunday Market: Every Sunday, June 18-Sept. 24, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Midland Spur in Historic Downtown Basalt
Sundays in Basalt revolve around the farmer’s market. And with the newly revitalized Basalt River Park to enjoy, visitors will be able to bring the fresh fruit and other market goods just a few steps away to a show at the bandshell in the park.
In addition to local art and food, the market is a great place for a friendly lawn game or a tarot card reading. It is a gathering place for the whole family, as town of Basalt senior planner Sara Nadolny said. Her daughter has grown up spending Sundays at the market.
“She always wants to enjoy a mango-on-a-stick and sit and listen to the musicians, run around on the grassy lawn with her friends, and create masterpieces at the Art Base’s Crafternoons setup. The market offers such a wonderful opportunity to connect with and celebrate the community,” Nadolny said.
Carbondale Farmers’ Market: Every Wednesday, June 7-Sept. 27, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at 4th Street and Main Street in downtown Carbondale
Downvalley from Aspen and Basalt in Carbondale, passing a number of ranches and farms along Highway 82, shoppers looking to “buy local” can find Colorado goods on Wednesdays in downtown Carbondale.
Sustainability and accessibility are top priorities for the market, as all of the vendors participate in Evergreen Zero Waste practices, using only compostable materials to serve food. And since 2019, the market has worked in partnership with the USDA-SNAP program to provide equitable access to local food.
Be sure to stop by on the second or last Wednesday of the month, when the market features live music from Roaring Fork Valley musicians.
Two Roots Farm Stand: Every Friday, June-October, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the farm in Basalt, 100 Sopris Creek Road
For an opportunity to meet your farmer and get closer to the action than possible at a Farmers’ Market, check out the Two Roots Farm Stand in Basalt.
Two Roots Farm is a fruit, vegetable, herb and flower farm that has used regenerative methods of farming since 2016. Their CSA program boasts 250 members and is currently on a waitlist but offers a membership program to their farm stand for 10% off purchases.
In the ecological wealth of the Colorado high country, consumers are tuning in more and more to the nutritional and environmental benefits of buying local meats and produce. One of the most popular ways to connect local farmers with local eaters is through CSAs, which make it easy for subscribers to eat seasonal offerings from local farms and ranches — cutting out long commutes for foods from faraway regions.
Nearly all CSAs in the valley sell out by the summer — a testament to the local dedication to supporting the region’s farmers and ranchers. But a few spots stay available throughout the season as different products come into season or subscribers opt out as summer progresses.
Here is a list of some Roaring Fork and regional CSAs, plus farms that sell directly to consumers, that are open as of May:
- Desert Weyr, Paonia, on-farm pickup: Mutton cuts
- Dooley Creek Farm, Carbondale, on-farm pickup or delivery: Meats (beef cuts, ground beef, pork cuts, and chicken cuts) with optional egg add-on
- The Farm Collaborative, Aspen, on-farm or off-farm pickup: Eggs
- Highwater Farm, Silt, on-farm or off-farm pickup: Vegetables
- The Living Farm, Paonia, on-farm pickup: Meats
- Mountain Freshies, North Fork Valley, delivery: Fruits and vegetables, plus a fall/winter box
- Here is a list of some Roaring Fork CSAs that have a waitlist:
- Two Roots Farm: Fruits, eggs, and (bi)weekly shares
- Juniper Flowers: Flowers/floral arrangements
*Both Two Roots Farm and Juniper Flowers sell their yields at the Two Roots Farm Stand all season long.