How to Get Fresh Produce Without Going to the Store

In Food & Drink, Living by Aimee Heckel1 Comment

Get fresh produce, even when the grocery stores are emptied out, when you invite the farm into your home.

With restaurants closed for dining in, local farms that provide those kitchens fresh ingredients have taken a huge hit. Plus, the Boulder County Farmers Market has pushed back its opening date. Combined, this has led to local farms with an excess of produce, meat and fresh food.

This problem is your blessing.

You can help local farms, while filling your own kitchen with healthy food — food that’s increasingly hard to find and get. (The Instacart app all but laughs out loud when we’ve tried to order zucchini and eggs for the past month.)

The easiest action to take: Sign up for a CSA, a community-supported agriculture membership.

Most CSAs are open to the public, but they can be in high demand. In past years, some sell out as soon as registration opens. But the excess of produce right now may mean more spaces — more options to bring the farm into your own home.

Travel Boulder has a full chart of all area CSAs so you can easily compare them. Here you’ll find which farms offer food shares, what they offer, when and how to register, how much it costs, when and where to pick it up and more. This info is constantly changing, but we update it as frequently as possible. It still provides an easy baseline to help you make informed choices that benefit your household, as well as local farms.

63rd Street Farm is promoting its CSA. Courtesy photo

Farmers Market

Beyond CSAs, the Boulder County Farmers Markets are still a resource.

The market pushed back its opening day to May 2, compared to April 6 last year. (This date is still subject to change.) This market of about 150 different vendors is the largest in the Denver-metro area. Learn more about the Boulder County Farmers Market here.

Until then, there are other ways to still access participating farms and vendors. The market is planning on offering online shopping mid-April with options for curbside pickup in Boulder, Longmont and Lafayette, or pickup at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont.

It began rolling out the online ordering and pickup early April with people who qualify for food assistance first. People who were qualified for programs such as SNAP, WIC and Food and Veg Boulder got free bags of produce from the market.

The Boulder County Farmers Markets distributing boxes of food early April. Courtesy photo

The unordered boxes were then made available to the public for $20. Any other leftover boxes went to the Boulder Food Rescue and Attention Homes. The market distributed 800 bags of fresh food, with safety measures in place.

The market is also looking into Get Swift, which would offer delivery options.

Stay up to date on the latest farmers market news via its Facebook posts.

Other Independent Farms

In addition, local farms are making independent efforts to reach out to the community.

Keep your eyes open for pop-up farm stands. Big Red F Restaurants held one in front of Zolo Southwestern Grill, where it sold 40 boxes of fresh produce from Oxford Gardens, Rocky Mountain Fresh and Elliott Gardens. You could order online and then pick up your box on March 28.

Black Cat Farm Provisions. Courtesy photo

Another innovative evolution comes from Black Cat Farm, which launched the new Black Cat Farm Provision to sell a wide variety of fresh goodies. In addition to farm-fresh produce, you can order sausages, house-made pasta, prepared food (like pork tamales or lamb and spinach curry), prosciutto, eggs, wheat flour and other grains and frozen foods, all made with local ingredients. Black Cat Farm Provisions is delivering orders in Boulder in a vintage farm truck (formerly an ice cream truck) named Bessie. You can sign up for a delivery — or listen for the bells ringing, ice-cream-truck style, when Bessie is cruising the streets. Except instead of ice cream, get a fresh loaf of bread, locally roasted coffee, fingerling potatoes or a pint of salsa.

If you need delivery beyond Boulder, just ask.

Black Cat also offers curbside pick-up and opened new farm stands, where you can buy all the goodies from prosciutto to produce and more. Even El Salvadoran street food, a former favorite that Black Cat has brought back.

The farm has opened up new CSA spots, too.

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