Category Archives: Farming

Boulder Farmers’ Markets to Run One at Union Station

Wynkoop Plaza a natural location for local food market.

BCFM-newlogoThere is a happy cross-fertilization between the Denver and Boulder food scenes.  Boulder-born Zoe Mama and The Kitchen have taken root in Denver (at Union Station, in fact). Now comes the announcement that the Boulder County Farmers Markets will manage the seasonal marketplace on Wynkoop Plaza on the north side of the station. It will take place every Saturday from June 4 through October 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is said to be city’s first growers-only farmers market.

With 29 years of experience in operating growers’ markets, BCFM coordinated a pilot market this past October 10 that attracted approximately 1,670 visitors to shop among 25 farm, bakery, restaurant and food-producer vendors. That tested the feasibility for the new Union Station Farmers Market, which is supported by the Union Station Alliance, RTD and the Downtown Denver Partnership. BCFM was awarded a USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant in October to assist with launching and promoting the new market.

LoDo, the Platte River Valley and LoHi are among the booming Denver neighborhoods whose residents can be expected to make the farmers’ market a Saturday morning tradition.  In addition to the big seasonal markets in Boulder and Longmont, BCFM runs a small year-round stand as part at the Boulder Public Library’s Seeds Cafe and a two-day December market at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.

Boulder County Farmers Markets are growers-only markets in Boulder and Longmont that  support local farmers, ranchers and food producers and earned recognition as the  nation’s number one farmers market by USA Today readers in August 2015.

Harvest Market at Union Station

Boulder Farmers’ Market organizes 1-day market in Denver.

FarmersMarket-logoDenver’s Union Station hosts a Harvest Market this Saturday, October 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wynkoop Plaza. Expect market 10 Colorado farms, including The Fresh Herb Co., Cure Organic Farm, Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, Jodar Farms, Oxford Gardens and Plowshares Community Farm. Union Station restaurants, including Mercantile Dining & Provision, Stoic & Genuine and Snooze, prepare foods for market day.

The exemplary Boulder County Farmers Markets, a nonprofit organization that has operated producer-only farmers markets in Boulder County since 1987, is organizing this market too. The Union Station Alliance, which BTW just won a Phoenix Award from the Society of American Travel Writers, is eager to explore “new ways to offer travelers and locals alike more quick and curated options at Denver Union Station,” said Joe Vostrejs, partner in the organization that redeveloped the historic building. A fine farmers’ market is one of those “new ways.”

Fab Fundraiser for Flatirons Food Film Fest

Wine, foodies & song in Boulder.

FlatironsFoodFilmFest-logoThree art forms were showcased at yesterday evening’s Flatirons Food Film Festival fundraiser: cinematic arts, musical arts and, of course, culinary arts. The event opened with food samples from some of the city’s finest chefs and adult beverages. Then there was a fast-moving live auction (some guests scored great deals). Then came short films on food subjects curated by James Beard Award-winner The Perennial Plate, which documents what it calls “adventures in sustainable eating.” Each chef viewed one of the films that inspired the dishes he presented, and in addition to the resulting food/film pairings, four fine singers from Opera on Tap Colorado performed operatic pairings.

Alex Krill & David Query, Jax Fish House

Query, who founded and operates the entire Big Red F Restaurant Group, of which Jax is just one concept, said that “10 Things We love About Italy” inspired him to offer fresh, simple food, preparted with “not a lot of over-thought, just thought.”

David Qurey and the shoulder of Alex Krill (sorry, Chef).
David Qurey and the right shoulder of Alex Krill (sorry, Chef).
“Crispy, creamy and cheezy” (their spelling) polenta with cured tuna, pickled mushrooms and a sauce of sweet corn, basil and olive oil.

Continue reading Fab Fundraiser for Flatirons Food Film Fest

Sustainable, Local Farming Focus of Aspen Lecture

Noted ag author coming to Aspen to give free lecture.

Joel Salatin
Joel Salatin

I am a great admirer of author Michael Pollan, who brilliantly deciphers what is wrong and what is right on the American food scene. Joel Salatin and his Polyface,  Farm (Swoope, Virginia) were featured in Pollan’s New York Times bestseller and in the award-winning documentary, “Food, Inc.” The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, the City of Aspen Parks and Recreation, and Pitkin County Open Space and Trails are bringing Salatin to Aspen to give a talk, “Local Food to the Rescue.”

Joel himself has authored nine books on the topic of farming and sustainability where he passionately defends small farms, local food systems, and the right to opt out of the conventional food paradigm.  As ACES distills this critical issue, “For local food to be a credible part of the global food system it must develop six integrated components: production, processing, marketing, accounting, distribution and patrons. In this lecture Joel will educate our community on how to build a functional local food system, including economies of scale, collaborative food shed distribution, and meaningful volume.V

The talk takes place on Friday, August 7 at 7 p.m. in the  Paepcke Auditorium (1000 North 3rd Street). Click here to RSVP.

‘The Shed’ Launches Website to Support Boulder Food Resources

DiscoverTheShedLocal foodshed becomes reality & gains momentum with online presence.

A bit over a year ago, I wrote a post called “Foodshift to Foodsheds” — a foodshed being defined as a small geographic area that includes the boundaries of where food is produced, transported and consumed. I then thought that the local foodshed comprised the Front Range, but Boulder now has an even more localized one. The Shed, as it has been named, is a new public-private coalition with a website as its first initiative to educate and build awareness about Boulder County’s local foodshed.

A good group of local officials, community leaders and food influencers were present at the Boulder Public Library's new Seed Café for the introduction of The Shed.
A good group of local officials, community leaders and food influencers were present at the Boulder Public Library’s new Seed Café for the introduction of The Shed.

Boulder City Council members Tim Plass and Suzanne Jones shepherded the initiation through the local legislative process. The Shed has emerged as a coalition of nine private and public entities that aims to increase awareness, consumption and production of local foods.  The founding entities are the City of Boulder, Boulder County, Boulder County Farmers’ Markets (Boulder and Longmont), Boulder Valley School District, Chef Ann Foundation, Local Food Shift Group, Naturally Boulder, University of Colorado and 350 Boulder County. While the City of Boulder (again) took the lead, it is a county-wide initiative with room for other communities and organizations to join.

Plass listed benefits from the local foodshed: economic (i.e., keeping more grocery dollars in the community), environmental (reducing the carbon footprint of food consumed here) and social (building community through food).  Continue reading ‘The Shed’ Launches Website to Support Boulder Food Resources

Blackbelly is Hosea Rosenberg’s Latest Hit

Boulder-based “Top Chef” champ’s restaurant also a winner.

011Hosea Rosenberg, the Taos-bred and Boulder-based chef who won Season 5 of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef,” took his time parlaying his renown and his revenues into a permanent restaurant. While he was planning his next step, he did personal appearances, took on catering gigs and became a farmer too. Hosea originally studied engineering, and that deliberate thinking came to the fore in planning this restaurant.

As he put it when he opened his East Boulder restaurant/market/butchery biz last November, “I have been conjuring up this scenario for years — a restaurant and market, with a whole animal butchery program and a kitchen ‘laboratory’ where we can experiment, tinker and dream. Blackbelly Restaurant, Bar & Butcher is “the culmination of thousands of ideas, years of brainstorming, and a whole lot of cooking.”

Rosenberg was all smiles as he was ready to launch Blackbelly in November.
Rosenberg was all smiles as he was ready to launch Blackbelly in November.

I was in Denver on the day of Blackbelly’s media preview four months ago, so I arrived late — after introductions and remarks had been made and when most of the food tastes were finished. When Hosea told me that there had been a last-minute plumbing crisis, I thought that the pressure of TV — no matter how unreal reality television actually is — must have helped him with that hurdle. I didn’t get much to eat on that first visit, but I liked what I tasted and vowed to return. I don’t know why it took so long, but my husband and I finally met two friends there last night. The earliest available reservations were for 7:45 p.m., and when we left a bit after 10, people were still ordering, eating and lingering — a testimonial to Blackbelly’s success. Continue reading Blackbelly is Hosea Rosenberg’s Latest Hit

New Mexico Ranch Earns Animal Welfare Certification

CertifedGrassFed-logoPeople become vegetarians for a variety of reasons, including concerns about the quality of life of animals before they are slaughtered. It comes as good news that the L6 Cattle Ranches in Corona, New Mexico, has become the first agricultural business in the country to earn Animal Welfare Approved Certified Grassfed designation. As consumers learn about the damaging impact that intensive farming has on our health, the environment and animal welfare, many are seeking truly sustainable alternatives, including grassfed meat., with demand for increasing by 25-30 percent every year over the last decade.

Not surprisingly, the US Department of Agriculture’s standards are fairly loose, and AWA therefore issues  the only certification and logo in the United States and Canada that guarantee food products come from animals that were fed a 100 percent grass and forage diet, raised outdoors on pasture or range for their entire lives, and managed according to the highest welfare and environmental standards on an independent family farm. While other grassfed labels exist, none has reportedly fully met consumer expectations when it comes to a grassfed and forage diet, environmental management and farm animal welfare.

Sharie and Bill Leibold, owners of the 4,000-acre L6 Cattle Ranch have been producing strictly grassfed and finished Angus-Jersey cross beef since 2006. Although the Leibolds were already certified by Animal Welfare Approved in 2009 for their high-welfare and environmental management practices, they were eager to gain Certified Grassfed by AWA status for their grassfed cattle herd when the new program was launched in January.  Congratulations to the Leibolds — and may other ranchers follow their lead.

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