The real local flavors are out there, but you have to know where to look.
The French term terroir refers to the character and taste that the particular field, farm and location imbues in wines, cheese and produce.
For the most part, you won’t taste Boulder County’s terroir at supermarkets, natural or otherwise. The best place to find the taste of this place—true “farm to table”—is on the farms. The fare you cook from these ingredients is “local.”
Farmers markets are great, but only a relative handful of farms with a limited selection sell at those weekly events. Small, hard to find, and located on rural roads, the farm stands all over Boulder County dish food on the ground where it’s grown.
Some roadside stands, like the one at Munson Farms, are well-known to generations of locals as the places to find fresh vegetables, especially tomatoes and sweet corn, and pumpkins later in the year. Other stands are tiny operations that run on a self-service, honor system; pay cash or use Venmo and take food home without any contact.
When you visit farm stands you gain rare access to distinctive varieties of radishes, spinach, tomatoes and herbs unavailable elsewhere. You meet individual farmers and can ask how to prepare various odd-looking vegetables.
Do yourself a flavor favor and buy a dozen eggs at a farm stand. They will be multi-hued in various sizes and taste so much better than store-bought eggs.
These farm stands are not full-fledged commercial operations, so hours and signage may be limited. Embrace the inherent quirkiness and arrive early for the best vegetable selection.
To taste our terroir, visit the following stands. If we missed any, email details to: email@example.com
Aspen Moon Farm
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 7927 Hygiene Road, Hygiene, aspenmoonfarm.com
Aspen Moon is a large organic farm serving a CSA and stand with a huge variety of produce including arugula, bok choy, onions, popcorn, raspberries and black raspberries, plus local foods.
The Bee Hugger
8 a.m.-8p.m. Thursday-Tuesday 12590 Ute Highway, Longmont, facebook.com/HoneyHarvestsHappiness
The self-serve stand is open daily offering farm-gathered honey including creamed honeys flavored with chocolate, cinnamon and turmeric. The farm also features a boatload of animals, U-pick sunflower and pumpkin fields, and kids’ rides on a cute white “unicorn” horse (10 a.m-2 p.m. Wednesday).
Benevolence Orchard & Gardens
Self-service 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, 6712 Jay Road, Boulder, benevolenceorchard.com
Hiding close to town is this farm and orchard with a mostly self-serve stand stocked with a changing roster of vegetables, herbs, flowers and eggs, as well as mushrooms grown in the farm barn. Because the farm also features an orchard of heritage fruit trees, Benevolence honey is especially fruity and delicious.
Black Cat Farm
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, 4975 Jay Road, Boulder, blackcatboulder.com
Chef Erik Skokan and his family operate a farm that produces meat, vegetables and grains for his restaurant, farm dinners and the stand near the Boulder Reservoir. The year-round stand offers heirloom vegetable varieties, farm-grown lamb and pork, and prepared frozen foods from Skokan’s kitchens, as well as other local foods such as Project Umami’s tempeh.
Bluebird Sky Farmstead
5977 Nelson Road, Longmont, bluebirdskyfarmstead.com
Open daily, this small, self-service farm stand is always stocked with the farm’s chicken and duck eggs. Lard and frozen pasture-raised pork cuts available for pickup by order.
Boulder Lavender Farm
Arapahoe Avenue at Willow Creek Drive east of 95th Street, Boulder
This small honor-system cart overlooking a field of lavender offers lavender products, eggs, honey, kombucha and lavender bouquets.
Cure Organic Farm
Daily, noon-5 p.m. 7450 Valmont Road, Boulder, cureorganicfarm.com
The bustling Cure stand is packed with an expanding selection of certified organic vegetables ranging from purple snap beans to potatoes. The stand features herbs, flowers, eggs, local beef, Western Slope fruit and prepared foods from chef Jim Smailer, formerly of Boulder Cork.
7th Generation Farm
Noon-5 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 1536 Courtesy Road (95th St.), Louisville
Located near downtown Louisville, this on-farm stand offers meat, produce, eggs and honey with an autumn pumpkin fest for families.
3:30- 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, 1630 Hawthorn Ave., Boulder, growinggardens.org
The stand offers lettuce mix, hakurei turnips and more, plus local mushrooms, pasta, baked goods, and meats from Longmont’s SkyPilot Farm. Growing Gardens also offers numerous family farm activities.
Let It Bee Honey & More Store
Noon-5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, 4689 Ute Highway, Longmont
It’s all about the bees and bee puns at this stand featuring honey, pollen and beeswax from local beekeepers. Bring a jar to save on bulk raw honey.
MASA Seed Foundation Farm and Gardens
Open from 9 a.m.-sunset; Live music Fridays 4-7 p.m. 1367 75th St., masaseedfoundation.org
The stand offers the region’s best selection of non-GMO seeds, a greenhouse full of plants, fresh vegetables, and advice for home gardeners.
11 a.m.- 5 p.m. daily starting in late July, 7355 Valmont Road, Boulder, munsonfarms.com
Boulder County’s longest-running farm stand is stocked with squash, flowers, tomatoes and sweet corn plus a fall pumpkin patch.
8627 N. 95th St., Longmont, ollinfarms.com
This family farm stand is stocked with a wide range of vegetables, prepared foods, baked goods and other local food products. The stand welcomes other small farms to set up booths, and offers tours of the farm’s regenerative agriculture efforts.
Red Wagon Farm
Open daily except Sunday, 1640 Baseline Road, Lafayette, redwagonfarmboulder.com
Red Wagon Farm has long supplied produce to local cooks and restaurants. In August, Red Wagon will open a new farm store at Lafayette’s Thomas Open Space, formerly run by Isabelle Farm.
1005 Cherryvale Road, Boulder, sunbeamfarm.com
The year-round self-service stand stocks eggs, greens and vegetables.
7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily (except Thursdays), 3918 N. 119th St., Lafayette
Tabor Acres devotes most of its 30-acre farm to growing an array of flowers. The stand offers blooms, farm honey and eggs.
Ya Ya Farm and Orchard
Thursdays and Saturdays in July, expands to six days a week in August, 6914 Ute Highway, Longmont, yayafarmandorchard.com
Famed for its fall U-pick apple orchard, apple cider and apple cider doughnuts, Ya Ya is a fun family place to shop for local foods and fruits and visit with the animals.
Boulder Weekly food editor John Lehndorff hosts Radio Nibbles at 8:20 a.m. Thursdays on KGNU (88.5 FM, streaming at kgnu.org.