We are in full summer swing around these parts and it is time to start thinking about enjoying time on your favorite trail in town...taking in a picnic or some reading at a local park...spending time in the mountains...catching up on some DIY projects around the house...and yes, finding your way to your local Colorado Springs Farmers Markets.
Whatever you plan to tackle this summer, make sure you find ways to enjoy... ALL THINGS SUMMER! Can I get a big shout out!?!
Summer in Colorado Springs is grand. I’m not one to have a favorite season. I love them all for the wonderful and distinct features they each offer. In summer, I love getting outside as much as possible. I crave time in the mountains and on lakes throughout the state. The long days and cool nights are the best! I’m sure you have your favorite things too.
And one of the VERY best parts of summer is access to local produce and other Colorado local products available at Farmers Markets all around the Colorado Springs area. We have some fantastic markets in nearly every corner of the Pikes Peak Region. You could hit up a different market every day and get a tour of the town. How fun!?
Make it a fun summer bucket list - visit all of the available farmer's markets in town!
Why not just hit up your local grocery store? Besides getting a chance to combine being outside and visiting different parts of town, it’s also incredibly valuable to support local farmers and other local merchants! Did you know that your dollars go further in our community’s economy when you shop and eat at locally owned business?
Another enjoyable part of the Colorado Springs Farmers Markets is the chance to meet friends and neighbors. Whether it’s just you or you bring the whole family. What a fantastic activity on a Saturday morning or since the kids are out of school...any ‘ole day of the week. You can hang out in your own neighborhood in town. Or enjoy visiting another area and its local parks, restaurants, and coffee shops before or after your time at the market.
A trekkie fav as well as book worms all across the land, LeVar Burton over at Reading Rainbow would say, “You don’t have to take my word for it!” So here are some thoughts from folks around the community about why farmers markets are a valuable part of our community. And why making time this summer to visit your local farmer can be not only fun but incredibly important.
“Farmers markets help to connect rural and urban communities and thus are an invaluable piece of civic architecture. They are a vibrant spot for our neighborhoods, they signal the value that Coloradoans put on local food, help to keep these dollars in our state, and preserve our precious farmland. Moreover, having these markets helps community members who may have difficulty accessing fresh fruits and vegetables through programs like Double-UP food bucks, where every dollar becomes 2 when spent on meat, produce, etc. at these markets -- this is not available at grocery stores.” Michelle Larkins, Ph.D., Food & Environmental Sustainability Researcher, Colorado Springs Food Rescue
“I like spending Saturday mornings at the market with my kids. They gain a better understanding of where our food comes from and why it's valuable. Meeting farmers and planning our meals based on what's available keeps us grounded and in touch with the realities of our sustaining resources. It's real life, real food and real people. We need bits of that in our modern world. The farmers markets are gifts all over our city each summer for those who will go out and enjoy all offer!” Niki Parks, Local Colorado Springs Resident, Gleneagle
"Farmers market season is exciting because we get to experience the bounty of our local region. From the Pueblo chile to Rocky Ford melons, we have rich and diverse agriculture in southern Colorado. By buying local produce, you are supporting family farms and strengthening our community. Palmer Land Trust partners with farmers to ensure our region has a vibrant local food base, resilient farming communities, and protected land and water resources." Rebecca Jewett, Executive Director, Palmer Land Trust
"Shopping at markets that sell locally sourced food provides a valuable outlet for farmers who are mostly small, family operations. Their fruits, vegetable, cheeses and other products retain the flavor and nutritional value that is lacking in supermarket products. Do something good for yourself, your family and your community and buy locally produced foods." Matt Heimerich, Lower Arkansas Valley Conservation Director, Palmer Land Trust
So, get outside this summer (and into the fall at some markets!) and meet a farmer. Enjoy a slow Saturday morning picking out some Palisade peaches or finding that perfect Pueblo chile or scoop up some local honey. Yum!! And at every market, you’ll find local and regional vendors offering other creative, unique products for your kitchen as well as your home in general. Right in your own neighborhood!
Here’s a rundown of the markets offered throughout the Pikes Peak Region. Some markets open around Memorial Day weekend. while others will be opening throughout June. Some only go through the summer, while others will run through the fall. So, make sure to check the links, if provided, to get more details on dates and to stay in touch as markets will make last minute changes for holidays, weather, etc. Hope you find your local, neighborhood market! And enjoy the adventure of another neighborhood’s market features.
And when you make some fresh salsa with all local ingredients you grab!
Other helpful links to get information on farmers markets in the Pikes Peak region as well as around the state.
Hope to see you out choosing tomatoes or picking up farm fresh eggs or whatever you need to make a great summer meal. Happy shopping!