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to market to market

I shuffled through a half inch of snow this morning on my way out the door. I told you the weather in April is psycho around here. Halfway down the canyon to Boulder, the sun was shining as tiny grauple pelted the windshield. Yay spring! I met with Beth for brekkie at the South Side Walnut Café. The menu is très Boulder with plenty of veggie, vegan, and omnivore eats on the menu. I chose the quiche. I chose poorly. The quiche was fine, but my digestive system can’t handle green chiles quite as well as it does when healthy. Okay, but it’s the company that matters most.

Just a few days ago, Boulder was full of nearly naked people sauntering about the downtown pedestrian mall because of the warm temperatures. Today, folks donned hats and down jackets to ward off the cold, wind, and light snow. It looked like a typical day in January at the Boulder Farmers’ Market – except the market isn’t open in January…

love the cello

My first exposure to a farmers’ market was in Pasadena, California at PHS. Boat loads of produce, fresh fish, breads and baked goods, honey, plants, tamales (oh, the tamales!). One of my favorite things to buy was a 10 lb. bag of oranges for $2. These oranges were green-skinned from the San Joaquin Valley, but when you sliced them open you were treated to jewel orange flesh that was as sweet as sugar and juicy beyond imagination. Perfect for those weekend grass double volleyball tourneys.

a splash of floral color

When we moved to Ithaca, New York, I was surprised to learn that the farmers’ market (like most) is seasonal. That is, it isn’t open year-round. I guess living in Southern California warps your perspective on the seasons seeing as there are only two: pleasant and bloody hot – and things grow year round. I have to say I was rather disappointed in the Ithaca Farmers’ Market. It was heavily weighted in the arts and crafts vendors than people selling actual food. Well, people sold prepared food, but the presence of farmed produce was paltry in comparison to the bounty of So Cal.

the market was busy considering the unseasonable cold

And then we find ourselves in Boulder with a farmers’ market that appears to be an integration of the Pasadena and Ithaca markets with a healthy dose of Boulder activism and weirdness tossed in for good measure. Boulder is also a seasonal market, having just opened a few weeks ago it closes in the fall. Organic is big here. You can buy grass-fed bison and elk meat. One of the booths sells microbe brew – for plants! There is a gluten-free bakery stand as well.

a local csa

Beth and I decided to mosey on through the market after brekkie. One of the reasons Jeremy and I rarely make it to the Boulder Farmers’ Market is because we’re usually hoofing it in the mountains before the Crack Ass of Dawn on Saturdays. But Jeremy’s off mentoring one of his grad students and an undergrad on a giant radio dish across the country this weekend. So it was a nice chance to chill with Beth, who is one of the more mellow people I know.

she is also a little crazy

We wandered through the prepared food vendors’ section and sort of wished we hadn’t eaten breakfast. Each booth elicited a “mmmmmm… hot dogs” or “mmmmmm… dumplings” or “mmmmmm… falafel” or “mmmmmm… tamales” from one or both of us. Beth hovered around the Haystack Mountain tent as did everyone else for samples of their fantastic goat cheese. Good stuff. Local.

beth samples at one of the cheese tents

I’m looking forward to the market as the season matures and brings those lovely stone fruits from the western slope, melons, Asian greens, and I’ll be all over the heirloom tomatoes. It was snowing back home as I topped the canyon and got a splendid view of our beloved (but closed) local ski hill.

it looks skiable to me

18 nibbles at “to market to market”

  1. zoe / puku says:

    lots of talk about markets around the blogosphere at the moment – must be the spring you northern hemispheries are just experiencing… the ghosts of markets past = I miss the produce markets in North Queensland so much! mangoes… but on the other hand… hello temperate climate, hello cheese….

  2. Laura @ HungryAndFrozen says:

    All that cheese! Yum! Your farmer’s market looks a whole lot more elegant than my local. (Which doesn’t sell elk meat, for one thing!!) It is on a Sunday morning, so inevitably I end up missing it due to the night before…I love buying fruit and veg from it though, so much cheaper and usually tastes much better too. That last photo is stunning. I’m an awful skier so I’d appreciate it better from afar than up close I think… :)

  3. manggy says:

    AWW! String duet with oversized (and one checkered) jackets! I’m not beyond calling it adorable, heh heh :) I didn’t know what a grauple was (er, I do now, hee), so I thought you said guapple (guava-apple cross). It would have been doubly (triply?) bizarre to see one hitting your windshield in Colorado! On the subject of apples, those are insane! I won’t believe they’re not made of wax or wood.

    There’s also a farmer’s market near here, open only on Saturdays. I really ought to go and take pictures but somehow I dread the thought of those frou-frou types rolling their eyes at me… (Oh, a food blogger! How quaint! Me: “F– you!”) If you’re interested, though, someone took pictures from 2 years ago, it’s pretty much the same :) (1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)

  4. Nicisme says:

    What a great market, looks so much bigger than our little one. Nice cheese, never seen an apple gourd before, what is it?

  5. susan says:

    i’m so jealous of all of you out there with a farmers market close by. i think my town has one for one month during the summer!

  6. diva@theSugarBar says:

    those apple gourds are insane! :) love the pictures..really like farmers markets. the experience is always so nice and tickly inside hee hee x

  7. Mrs Ergül says:

    You know here in Singapore, we mostly have only Wet Market which isn’t all that pleasant smelling! I wish we have markets like the ones you have in Boulder which makes it all pleasant to walk through ;)

  8. LINA says:

    looks like a great farmers market! :) Ive never seen an apple gourd before…. Oh my!

  9. Kitt says:

    I’m jealous! The farmers market near me (Pearl Street) doesn’t start until June. But I did get a good shopping trip in yesterday to H-Mart. No water spinach, alas, but lots of other good things. Boy, that place is huge!

  10. jenyu says:

    Zoe – I’ve been to the markets in Sydney and nearly sat down and wept that I couldn’t live near them. I always feel envious when I start seeing NZ and Aussie posts on summer goodies when we’re nose diving into winter.

    Laura – Sadly, the farmers’ market here is not necessarily cheaper than our grocery stores, but I do believe they are better. I just don’t get down to it often enough :(

    Mark – aren’t they cute? Real troopers as it was fairly chilly. I think they *might* be in high school (or younger) because their mom came to pick them up shortly after I took the shot (or perhaps she didn’t want some crazy chick photographing her boys?). Yes, a guava-apple would have been strange, hitting my windshield, although I tell you I’ve hit stranger… I hit a FISH with my windshield one day last year driving down the same canyon. Turns out some moron was fishing on the side of the road (where it drops abruptly down to Boulder Creek) and had a fish on his line. He obviously didn’t know what he was doing because he swung the fish on the line from his rod, out into the road… into oncoming traffic… into MY WINDSHIELD. Idiot. You know, folks seemed to like having their photos taken. I don’t think there is a huge population of food bloggers here!

    Nicisme – ha ha! We were all abuzz when we saw the apple gourd too! It’s made of wood? a gourd? I’m not sure. It’s hollow and feels like wood, but is incredibly lightweight. Totally cute fake giant fruit :)

    Susan – that’s a bummer, but at least you have one for a month. I hope it’s a nice one :)

    Diva – ha ha, that’s a good way to put it. Ours is quite the place for activism and community too. Love it.

    Mrs. Ergul – ummmm, what I wouldn’t give for a wet market here! My dear friend took me to the Sydney fish markets last spring and I discovered what nirvana was…

    Lina – yeah, it’s not real food. It’s a fake giant apple, but I love them :)

    Kitt – I wonder why they start so late?! That’s strange. I think water-spinach comes out in summer. At least that’s what I’m guessing. H-Mart is pretty huge, but the one in Atlanta is way better and if you go to California, the Asian grocers put everything in our state to shame :(

  11. White On Rice Couple says:

    This market reminds me of the Port Angeles, WA market I went to years ago. Everyone is dressed warmly , I love it. I miss the colder weather and wearing jackets to go outside. And ….look at that cheese! Wow, we don’t have cheese tents like that down here!
    Whimper…I wish I could get up at the crack of dawn to go to the mountains……

  12. Mrs Ergül says:

    Oh yeah! I usually breathe through my mouth every weekend morning when I’m there…

  13. Sharona May says:

    From your photos it looks like you live in heaven. It is absolutely beautiful.
    Sharona May

  14. Katie says:

    Dude, TOTALLY skiable.

    Boulder Farmer’s Market = one of my favorite things ever.

    Hope you’re feeling well. I have to say, though, if you’re well enough to make those difficult and beautiful cheesecake pops, you’re doing better than 99% of the population…..

  15. Christine says:

    Jen – Boulder puts AA to shame. Look at that cheese stand! And a cellist too? I loved the photo of the apple gourds too :)

  16. jenyu says:

    WoRC – Hey, I’ve been to Port Angeles several times! I love that area, it’s beautiful :) If you woke up early enough, you guys could hit the San Gabriel Mountains north of Pasadena. Very nice this time of year.

    Mrs Ergul – ha ha!

    Sharona May – thank you :)

    Katie – aw, you’re very sweet. I have to focus on the good things when I’m not feeling crappy or else the whole chemo thing is a bust for me!

    Christine – seriously? I would AA would have a great market. Michigan is like the second most diverse state for agricultural produce (or so my friend told me!)

  17. Ann says:

    Jen – I used to live in Boulder and Denver…and this post just made me so Colorado-sick, in a lovely way! Man, I miss it – and always will! All the hiking, the people, Pearl St., Nederland and on and on, sigh. Thanks for the memories, GREAT blog. :)

  18. jenyu says:

    Ann – thanks!

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