Boulder County Farmers Markets is the brainchild of a group of local farmers, who came together with their vision of a local market in the mid-1980s. What started with a few tables of produce loaded off the backs of pickup trucks has evolved into robust destination markets in both Boulder and Longmont, and a new daily cafe at the Boulder Public Library. The handful of inspired farmers has expanded to include more than 150 local vendors, hosting the longest market season in the State of Colorado.
Alongside that growth, the markets firmly maintain the farmers’ original vision. The nonprofit Boulder County Farmers Markets are producer-only markets: Our farmers and ranchers grow what they sell. Today, the markets serve as community gathering events, provide nourishment to neighbors, boost sustainable agriculture and support the local economy. The bounty of local fruits and vegetables coexist with decorative plants and beautiful flowers. The markets feature everything from locally sourced crafts, potted seedlings for the home gardener, prepared foods from local bakeries, gourmet cheese, small-batch honey and artisan salsas.
Boulder County Farmers Markets are zero-waste events, in accordance with a county-wide resolution in 2005.
The Boulder Farmers Market opened downtown at the Courthouse in 1987, and shortly after, moved to its current home on 13th Street between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue. It is a major attraction for both residents and visitors to the City of Boulder. Today, the market season in that very spot runs from the first Saturday in April through the Saturday preceding Thanksgiving, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. In 1992, a Wednesday market opened. Today, that Wednesday night market runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. the first Wednesday in May the first Wednesday in October.
The Boulder market was named one of the Top 50 in the country by Cooking Light Magazine in May 2015 and Vegetarian Times in June 2015.
The market grew rapidly — as did the community of Longmont and its near neighbors. In 1989, a weekend Longmont Farmers Market was launched. Boulder County Farmers Markets began managing it in 2003. That market at the Boulder County Fairgrounds blossomed into a destination market as well, with ample free parking and a pavilion that features family-friendly music events. The market runs from the first Saturday in April through the Saturday preceding Thanksgiving, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Seeds Library Cafe
In 2015, Boulder County Farmers Markets opened Seeds Library Cafe at the Boulder Public Library. The eatery features fresh pastries, salads and sandwiches along with coffee and espresso, with a 75% commitment to local food. It is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Learn more at seedsboulder.com.
In addition, the Boulder County Farmers Markets give back to the community in many ways. Through a unique partnership with the City of Boulder and Boulder County, the markets help Boulder County residents using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) to double the value of their dollars — Harvest Bucks — when shopping for fruits and vegetables at the markets. BCFM actively participates with other community organizations to support local farmers, advocate for local agriculture, and raise awareness of other community initiatives. This includes organizations such as YMCA of Longmont, City of Boulder, Boulder County Parks and Open Space, Longmont Downtown Development Authority, WIC Nutritional Program, CSU Extension, CU Boulder, Eco-Cycle, Downtown Boulder Inc, Boulder County Public Health, and The Shed Boulder County.