It just became easier—and safer—to buy fresh, locally-sourced food in the Mile High City, thanks to the new expansion of the Boulder County Farmers Market curbside pickup program to Denver.
The service, now available outside Union Station on Sundays, allows Denverites to order Colorado-grown and Colorado-made goods online and pick them up in an contactless method. “We want to make sure that we are serving Denver customers and that they have access (to our products), even if they’re not comfortable going to the farmers’ markets or they don’t have a nearby farm stand,” says Brian Coppom, executive director of Boulder County Farmers Market (BCFM).
With several local producers participating in the curbside program, Denver residents will find “a good-sized sampling of what you would be able to buy at the market itself,” says Coppom. Right now, that means fresh produce including melons, peaches, tomatoes, cucumbers, and mushrooms, as well as a variety of meats, including pork and sausages. There are also flowers, along with packaged goods like breads, pies, jams, cheeses, hot sauces, and honey.
BCFM’s curbside pickup service first launched in Longmont (1811 Lefthand Circle) in April, the same weekend BCFM markets were slated to open for the season. “We wanted to develop some means for farmers to continue to be able to get their produce, or their product, to their customers,” says Coppom. The program was also designed for folks who didn’t feel comfortable visiting the markets once they were open for business, Coppom adds. Since, the pickup service has expanded to Lafayette (East Simpson St. and Michigan Ave.) and, of course, now Denver (1701 Wynkoop St.) This week, another outpost will also open in Boulder (Canyon Blvd. and 13th St.).
The program, and its expansion, isn’t just great for fresh food lovers—it also supports local agriculture during a very challenging year. Because of coronavirus public health mandates, “we can only have half as many vendors as we normally have (at the farmers’ markets), which means we have half as much income as we normally have,” explains Coppom. “But in order to meet COVID-19 standards, we actually have had to increased costs.”
This double whammy threatens the existence of farmers’ markets and hurts local producers who rely on them as a source of income. With curbside pickup, local producers have an additional platform through which they can sell their products—and thus maintain their livelihoods. So when you order your supply of romanesco zucchinis, lamb Merguez sausage, or raw wildflower honey, know that you’re doing yourself—and your community—an extra dose of good.
If you go: Online ordering is open from Tuesdays at 8 a.m. to Thursdays at noon, with pickups on Sundays at assigned times between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Union Station on the Wynkoop Plaza. Pickups can be completed on foot or on bike (no drive-thru). The program will be available weekly through early October.
Can’t make it to Union Station? Service will likely expand to at least one (maybe two) more locations in Denver in the next two weeks, says Coppom. Visit bcfm.org/curbside-pickup to learn more.