Let's face it: Whether it's a bum buggy wheel, long checkout lines or finding a parking spot, there's always something about your weekly grocery store run that just plain sucks. But since eating is an unavoidable act, it's inevitable that you will continue to brave the supermarkets.
One thing you can do, however, is at least cut down on your number of summer visits. Both CSAs and farmers markets will land you fresher-than-grocer produce (field to market in under 24 hours), with options to buy into egg, bread and meat shares as well. With the CSA, even having to make choices is often nixed, with pre-packaged bags ready to grab from convenient pick-up points. The farmers markets, of course, offer the extra enjoyment of nabbing some sunlight, listening to local music, viewing art, eating directly from other food vendors and the best of all: meeting the folks who grow your eats (face-to-food). Really, can you think of a more enjoyable way to shop for groceries?
Community-supported agriculture shares (CSAs) are a big part of the counterrevolution to the industrial-food system. They equate to pre-buying into a farm's seasonal crop. Though most aren't certified organic, the farms below largely practice sustainable and biodynamic agriculture practices. Weekly food shares are picked up at the respective farm or farmers market, private business or residence. Most CSAs offer up to 50 different vegetables and herbs, with options to upgrade into meats and more. Below are cursory descriptions of local programs, including cost and availability when known.
Country Roots Farm
29342 Everett Road, Pueblo, 719/948-2206 | countryrootsfarm.org
Country Roots, run by Ryan and Betsy Morris, beat everyone on the Front Range to the CSA scene: They're now in their 17th year specializing in heirloom vegetable varieties. This year, they're offering a market-share format (75 shares), allowing members to pick what they want weekly from the market table at the Wednesday CFAM farmers market or at the farm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Initial buy-in is $350 to $415, with option to add credit. Fall shares are available for $160.
Grant Family Farms
1020 WCR 72, Wellington, 970/568-7654 | grantfarms.com
Started by Colorado State University professor Lewis Grant, Grant Family Farms was the first farm to be certified organic by the state of Colorado in the mid-1970s. It represents the large-scale CSA model, having distributed more than 1,000 shares last season from Cheyenne, Wyo., to Colorado Springs. The farm offers summer veggie, fruit, egg, meat, bread and flower shares, as well as winter shares. It's a great option once our smaller Arkansas Valley growers' CSAs have filled up.
5856 County Road HH.5, Fowler, 719/263-4494 | greenhornacres.com
Located 30 minutes east of Pueblo, Greenhorn Acres, now in its third year, is run by Marcy Nameth and her four children. Full, 20-plus-week shares will run $485 this year, and half shares will run $375. (Eighty total shares are available.) Pick up Wednesdays through Saturdays at Ranch Foods Direct or at the farm on Saturdays.
Heritage Belle Farms
Calhan, 970/310-0852 | heritagebellefarms.com
Launched by Colorado College graduate and Springs native Katie Rosing, Heritage Belle has transitioned from last year's veggie CSA to a unique-to-the-area turkey CSA, called the Gobbler Program. Rosing will oversee a flock of all-natural, pasture-raised birds to provide locally grown turkeys to Front Range Thanksgiving spreads. Due May 1, deposits run $10 for Mammoth Broad Breasted Bronze breed (10 to 30 pounds, oven-ready) or $15 for Heritage Breed (seven to 15 pounds). At pickup, birds will cost $4 per pound.
Hobbs Family Farm organic garlic offering
Avondale, 719/250-9835 | coloradogarlic.com
Dan Hobbs and his family offer a total of four pounds of three different garlic varieties for $50. That includes shipping or delivery to the CFAM farmers market around early September. Only 100 shares are available this year.
Javernick Family Farms
545 S. Lincoln Ave., Cañon City, 719/371-3241 | javernickfamilyfarms.com
Javernick, a sustainable, third-generation farm slated to be certified organic this year, is operated by Beki Javernick and it distributes to Cañon City (Tuesdays), Westcliffe (Thursdays), Salida (Saturdays) and three locations in Colorado Springs: two residences on Wednesdays and the Margarita at PineCreek on Saturdays. This year, there are 90 shares available at a cost of $390 for a full share and $250 for a pint share.
5210 S. U.S. Hwy. 85, 389-1251 ext. 101 | ppcf.org/venetucci
Though best known for the generosity of the late Nick Venetucci, the farm that bears his name is now owned by the Pikes Peak Community Foundation. Managed by Susan Gordon and her husband, Patrick Hamilton, Venetucci Farm is in its third year of offering CSA shares of chemical-free, mindfully grown vegetables. This year, the farm will supply 55 standard ($520) and 20 "choice" shares ($700 includes 10 percent discount at market and fall share), essentially credit to be spent as you choose at three market locations over 19 weeks. Extended fall shares ($100) of storage crops and seasonal egg shares are also available. Pick-up at CFAM or Saturdays at the farm.
The following are farmers markets confirmed to run this summer. Last year saw the late addition of several markets closer to harvest season, so check our weekly Side Dish section and our blog at csindy.com for updates.
Colorado Farm & Art Market (CFAM)
At America the Beautiful Park, 126 Cimino Drive: June 16 through Oct. 13, Wednesdays, 3-7 p.m.
At the Margarita at PineCreek, 7350 Pine Creek Road: June 19 through Oct. 16, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Doherty High School
June 26 through Oct. 2, Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. | 4515 Barnes Road, 574-1283
Cheyenne Mountain Heritage Center
June 12 through mid Sept., Saturdays, 9-11:30 a.m.
Parking lot east of Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School, 1118 W. Cheyenne Road
June 23 through Oct. 6, Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
12105 Ambassador Drive
June 25 through Sept. 24, Fridays, 2-8 p.m.
Soda Springs Park, 1000 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 635-0944
June 17 through Oct. 7, Mondays & Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Corner of Pikes Peak Avenue and Union Boulevard 574-1283
June 26 through Oct. 9, Saturdays,8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Monument Plaza, 481 State Hwy. 105 | monumentfarmersmarket.com, 213-3323
Old Colorado City
June 12 through Oct. 30, Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
24th Street and West Colorado Avenue 574-1283
July 4 through Oct. 3, Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At the gazebo on the lake
Pikes Peak Urban Gardens (PPUG) at Harlan Wolfe Ranch
"Pick and Pay" for fresh, organic vegetables, herbs and flowers
June through September, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon
West Cheyenne Road and Ninth Street
June 11 through Sept. 24, Fridays, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The corner of Center and Henrietta streets
woodlandparkfarmersmarket.com, 687-9053 or 689-3133
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