Market happenings: All good things must come to an end, including the Lafayette Farmers Market, which will host its final market Thursday. The market, located on the 400 block of East Simpson Street, will close out its season with a variety of family fun, including kids activities from the Arts Hub, a beer garden, live music and the market’s chalk-art competition finale. The finalists, Eric Matelski, Katie Miller and Elaine Waterman, will vie for chance to win a $700 cash prize and to have their art featured permanently on North Public Road. So along with picking up the season’s final bounty of fresh and local produce Thursday, be sure to vote for your favorite artist. As we all gather for one last time in Lafayette this season, market staff will give $5 in market bucks to the first 50 people at the market to say the code word “market magic.”
Be sure to also mark your calendars for Oct. 2 and head to the Boulder Farmers Market’s final Wednesday market of the season for its Harvest Day celebration. Activities will include pumpkin painting, doughnuts-on-a-string challenge, storytelling, apple cider tasting and caramel apple bites.
In season now: Local market stands are filled with freshly picked apples, basil, bell peppers, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, green beans, kale, lettuce, melon, mint, onions, peaches, peppers, potatoes, radicchio, raspberries, spicy greens, sweet corn, Swiss chard, summer squash and tomatoes. Also available are items like honey, baked goods, eggs, beef, lamb, goat, pork, chicken, cheeses, ferments, preserves and mushrooms.
Lots of this, please: Currently stacking produce stands are the sweet, crunchy and dependable carrots.
The farmer says: A pantry staple, carrots are a mainstay that work in just about any recipe. The vegetables are happy on Crudités platters, comfy in soup and delightful in cake. Market patrons can’t go wrong when stocking up on pounds and pounds of carrots.
From Cure’s Orange Romance carrots to Aspen Moon’s Chantenay carrots, every vegetable farmer on the block has a variety for customers to try.
How to prepare: It’s as easy as washing ’em, peeling ’em (although the skin is very nutritious) and eating ’em raw. Or you can roast them or chop them up in a stew. Try them tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin, then roasted at 400 degrees in the oven until tender and brown. See the accompanying no-waste recipe that uses leftover carrot tops.
Goes with: Carrots pair well with celery, onion, potatoes, chicken, garlic and parsley.
How to store it: In a cold-temperature and high-humidity (if possible) refrigerator, store the carrots in a tightly sealed plastic bag. Remove the greens beforehand and this will keep your carrots from drying up. If you’re planning on storing carrots for the winter months, store them unwashed and covered in sand in a cool and dark, well-vented area. Make sure to ask your farmer on their favorite storage techniques.
Good to know: This list represents a general overview of the week’s harvest, not every item that is being produced locally. Some farms do not grow, or have ready, some items on the list.
Boulder Farmers Market
13th Street and Canyon Boulevard
4-8 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 2
8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 23
Lafayette Farmers Market
400 Block of East Simpson Street
4-8 p.m. Thursday
Longmont Farmers Market
Boulder County Fairgrounds
8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 23
Union Station Farmers Market
Denver’s Union Station
9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 26
Carrot Top Gremolata
1 cup carrot tops, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped shallots or red onion, chopped
grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 jalapeño, deseeded and minced
1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
salt to taste
Note: This dish serves well over chicken, beef, roasted carrots, or a vegetarian entree.
Directions: Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and season with salt.
If stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, will last up to 5 days.
Matt Collier, chef at Seeds Library Cafe