July 17 2009, 12:38 PM
After my first review in this series of exploring Denver's farmers' markets, I set out with the goal of finding as much fresh produce as possible. I didn't need the bells and whistles, like the fried Twinkies and the street performers. I wanted organic, and I wanted local. Lucky for me, I chose just the right market. The market: Cherry Creek Fresh Market. (3000 E 1st Ave, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday through Oct. 31, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday through Sept. 30.) The scene: On a late Wednesday morning, this market is a quiet place. People peacefully ponder vegetables and don't clog the walkways. Cherry Creek's vendors are also arranged very intuitively. All of the produce is set in one area, the bakeries are together, and the specialty items---fresh mozzarella and a local tea shop---share an area as well. The vendors: This is a local-veggie heaven, with organic farm stand after organic farm stand. Instead of tables full of veggies heaped onto each other with no price tags, and tangled radishes, these vegetables are clearly separated, labeled, and priced. My favorite stands? One dedicated purely to Palisade peaches and apricots, and one that sells only fresh tomatoes. The prices: Considering that almost all of the produce is organic, the prices are quite affordable: Big bunches of lettuce and spinach run $2-$2.50, squash the size of your femur is just 50 cents. Most fruit, like those deliciously juicy Palisade peaches, runs $2/lb. The stand-out splurge: A full-service coffee cart---Free Range Coffee---waiting to make you a latte.