Quality Control

Roaring Fork Valley Farmers Markets and Local Growers

Where to shop and what to expect this summer, plus who's growing what here and in the North Fork Valley

By Amanda M. Faison Photography by Olive & West Photography July 19, 2020 Published in the Summer/Fall 2020 issue of Aspen Sojourner


With social distancing measures in place, farmers markets look a little different this year, but as generators of community, they’re more important than ever. “People are seeing local food as more than simply a nice thing to support and instead an absolute necessity,” says Rosalind May, executive director of the Colorado Farmers Market Association. To streamline the shopping process, many vendors have also created online platforms to make call-ahead orders with curbside pickup easy.

The Aspen Saturday Market includes only agricultural products and food vendors (read: no artisans or live music this year). Vendors set up in two sections spread across Hyman and Hopkins avenues with one-way arrows directing traffic. With a total capacity of 100 (50 customers in each section at a time), the setting doesn’t afford the same level of socializing. And that’s the point: shop the market and move on, so others can do the same. Also note: no dogs allowed this year. Through Sept 5, 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
Don’t miss: The Farm Collaborative’s eggs, Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy’s feta, and Cap-K-Ranch’s beef

The Basalt Sunday Market opened later than usual, but the experience itself might feel the most familiar. At press time, approval was pending on a bid to include live music and artisans in addition to farmers, bakers, and producers. Look for like-minded vendors to be grouped together (properly distanced, of course) for shopping efficiency. Through Sept 27, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Don’t miss: Shepherd Bread’s sesame semolina, Il Porcellino’s rosette de Lyon salami, and Erin’s Acres’ greens

The Carbondale Farmers Market, held on Wednesdays at Fourth and Main streets, is the valley’s smallest, with about two dozen or so vendors; this year, that might be a boon. They can set up with ample space between them to allow customers—two at a time per booth—room to browse. Through Sept 30, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Don’t miss: Rancho Durazno’s ugly peaches, Borden Farms’ tomatoes, and Sopris Farm’s local rabbit and jars of pickled mushrooms

In Glenwood Springs, Glenwood’s Downtown Market runs on Tuesdays on Seventh Street between Cooper and Colorado. Look for food-specific vendors (no music or artisans) and carryout options. Through Sept 15, 4–8 p.m.
Don’t miss: Gerb’s Grub’s chicken tacos, Palisade Peach Shack’s stone fruit, and Colorado Mountain Honey’s Book Cliff blend

The Saturday Farmers Market in Glenwood Springs, co-founded by Ken and Gail Kuhns of Peach Valley CSA Farm in Silt, celebrates its 35th anniversary this year and features mostly fresh produce. Through October, 8 a.m.–3 p.m. 

Bonus: On nonmarket days, Skip’s Farm to Market, run by Skip Doty of Palisade’s Early Morning Orchard, continues the bounty. The Basalt store at 227 Midland Ave (there are also locations in Fruita and Silt) offers a range of farm-fresh goods and regional food products, as well as to-go sandwiches and salads. Look for items from vendors like Rock Bottom Ranch, Two Roots Farm, and Shepherd Breads. And Carbondale’s The Beat has transitioned from a restaurant to a grocer for the time being, offering fresh produce and dairy delivered by Farm Runners, plant starts from Wild Mountain Seeds, items from Two Roots Farm and Erin’s Acres, and a small selection of prepared foods. Outside pickup and delivery only.

Meet Your Farmer

The old adage “know your farmer, know your food” still rings true. Visit these friends at the farmers market, at their farm stands, or at the farms—their livelihood depends on it. And so does ours. Because the food systems are interlinked, we’ve included farms and ranches from both the Roaring Fork and North Fork valleys. 

Jason Smith and Alyssa Barsanti
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies’ Rock Bottom Ranch, Basalt
Vegetables, eggs, chicken, lamb, beef 

Merrill Johnson 
Cedar Ridge Ranch/Merrill’s Family Farm, Carbondale
Eggs, chicken, chicks, pork, limited beef, alpaca fiber, compost

AJ and Nicole Carrillo  
Deer Tree Farm and Agroforest, Hotchkiss
Vegetables, fruit, chicken, pork

Jake and Mollie Shipman
Dooley Creek Farm, Carbondale
Pork, beef, chicken, eggs, limited fruit and vegetables 

Erin Cuseo
Erin’s Acres Farm, Carbondale

Eden Vardy
The Farm Collaborative, Aspen
Vegetables, eggs, chicken, lamb

Joel Rayes
Fungi Institute, Marble

Jake Gray
Gray Acres Farm, Paonia
Chicken, beef, goat milk

Lynn Gillespie
The Living Farm, Paonia
Pastured meats, fruit, vegetables

John Maas
Mountain Primal Meat Co., Emma
Beef, pork

Marty and Jerilyn Nieslanik
Nieslanik Beef, Carbondale

Kate McBride
The Other Side Ranch, Old Snowmass
Dairy, pork, beef, lamb

Ted and Justina Potter
Potter Farm, Carbondale
Beef, pork, lamb, eggs

José Miranda
Rocking TT Bar Dairy, Carbondale
Water buffalo (milk, yogurt, cheese, meat)

Mike and Allison Spayd
Spradley Farms, Carbondale
Beef, chicken 

Michelle and David Livingston
Sunshine Mesa Farm, Hotchkiss
Eggs, limited chicken

Brook and Rose LeVan
Sustainable Settings, Carbondale
Vegetables, milk and cream, honey, eggs, beef, pork, lamb, hemp and CBD products

Harper Kaufman
Two Roots Farm, Basalt

Alessandro Paredes
Valley Fresh Micros, Aspen

David and Suanne Miller
Western Culture Farmstead & Creamery, Paonia
Goat cheese

Casey Piscura and Kirsten Keenan
Wild Mountain Seeds, Carbondale
Seeds and vegetables  

Don Lareau and Daphne Yannakakis
Zephyros Farm and Garden, Paonia 
Flowers and vegetables

Make It

Bryan Garneau, chef of Aspen’s beloved Meat and Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop, shares his recipe for chimichurri. This is a perfect way to use up all those CSA herbs. (Don’t have herbs? Feel free to sub in any green.)

4 oz cilantro, finely chopped
4 oz parsley, finely chopped
2 oz oregano, finely chopped
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp brunoise shallot
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Chop all herbs with a knife (do not use a food processor) and place in a medium-size bowl. Add remaining ingredients, and finish with salt and sherry vinegar to taste. (Makes 1 cup.)


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