Farm stand fresh 


Some of us mark the arrival of summer by Memorial Day barbecues or music festivals or simply when the pool opens for the season. Diehard fresh-produce fanatics are a different breed. Their planning calendars are filled with fruits, vegetables and exclamation marks!

“The crops that get our customers most excited — and us, too — are the May radishes, June carrots, July peaches, August tomatoes, September peppers and October pumpkins,” says Mark Guttridge, co-owner of Longmont’s Ollin Farms.

Farmers markets are wonderful, but sometimes you don’t want to deal with the crowds, the parking and the time investment. The supermarkets advertise the Big Three: Palisade peaches, Olathe sweet corn and Rocky Ford melons, but that’s usually it for “local.” A few Boulder bistros feature local farmers’ crops, but if you really want to get up close and personal with the freshest stuff, you have to visit Boulder County’s roadside farm stands tucked away on rural backroads. They range from well-known, long-serving spots like Munson Farms — famous for sweet corn — to the pop-up places with hand-painted signs offering eggs and honey and vegetables. No two farm stands are alike and these farmers grow varieties of vegetables and herbs that are hard to find at markets or grocery stores. That’s why setting out to visit a few of them on a Saturday morning is a good way to discover sources of big flavor for the summer cooking to come.

Courtesy Aspen Moon Courtesy Aspen Moon

If you drive or bike to the following stands in Boulder, Longmont and Hygiene, you can talk to the farmers and their families, get cooking advice and see the fields where the food came from. Shopping at farm stands tends to be a quirky personal experience, so we offer a few tips for getting the most out of visiting Boulder County’s farm stands:

• Follow farms’ social media to know which crops they will be harvesting any given week.

• Arrive early in the day when the best selection is available. Translation: Get there before somebody else cleans out those tiny sugary cherry tomatoes you love.

• Bring your own bags. Also, some stands are self-service so bring cash. Many also accept Venmo payments.

• Buy vegetables. Pick up honey and flowers. Bring your empty egg cartons and pick up a dozen because they taste better than store-bought eggs. Spend your money here and it builds local food security and sustainability.

• Visit often. Stand-visiting is a habit, not a one-and-done experience. The stands feature a constantly changing cast of seasonal treats.

Boulder County Roadside Farm Stands

Courtesy Aspen Moon Courtesy Aspen Moon

Aspen Moon Farm

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 7927 Hygiene Road, Hygiene. Additional days may be added later in the season, 

Erin Dreistadt and Jason Griffith operate Hygiene’s Aspen Moon Farm. The produce fills CSA orders and a quaint roadside stand with certified organic onions, popcorn, raspberries, diverse greens and vegetables. They also offer local foods and lots of organically grown flowers.

“You can usually get a glimpse of the farm work being done when you visit,” Dreistadt says. “What we will have for sale is what’s in season to eat right now. We are known for our greens like spinach, salad mix, arugula, baby kale, mizuna, mustard greens and butterhead lettuce.”

Black Cat farm stand; photo by John Lehndorff

Black Cat Farm

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, 4975 Jay Road, Boulder. Black Cat Farm also operates a stand at the Boulder Farmers Market,

Black Cat Farm is the epitome of farm-to-table fare since the produce grown by Erik Skokan and his family fills plates at Boulder’s Bramble & Hare restaurant. The Black Cat Farm Store is a year-round bodega offering vegetables from fava beans to artichokes, lamb and pork, prepared frozen foods and freshly baked bread from Skokan’s kitchens, as well as other locally produced foods.

According to Eric Skokan, the summer is a succession of pleasures.

“July rocks for fennel, summer squash, cherry and pear tomatoes. August crushes for tomato, pepper, eggplant, cucumber, corn. And September for winter squash,” he says.

Black Cat Farm inaugurated late-summer “u-pick” events out  of necessity during the pandemic, which have now become a tradition. “Our u-pick events at the farm for tomatoes, basil, peppers and eggplant have become lively and convivial community events,” he says.

John Lehndorff Jim Smailer and Anne Cure (with Katelynn Regan behind them) at the Cure Organic Farm roadside stand (Valmont Road and 75th Street).

Cure Organic Farm

Noon-5 p.m. daily, 7450 Valmont Road, Boulder,  

The bustling Cure stand is packed with an expanding selection of certified organic vegetables ranging from purple string beans to potatoes and 40 varieties of tomatoes. The stand features herbs, flowers, eggs, and prepared foods from former Boulder Cork chef Jim Smailer. 

Owner/farmer Anne Cure says she loves using her stand to make a home for other local producers: “We have four types of meat from local ranches. Daily Grains is here with sourdough bread and cookies. The stand offers locally grown and milled flour and honey from local bees. We love late summer and fall when the melons and Western Slope fruit arrives.”

Mark Guttridge of Ollin Farms; photo by Susan France

Ollin Farms

11 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, 8627 N. 95th St., Longmont,

Ollin Farms in Longmont is the local standard bearer for sustainability and regenerative agriculture, not to mention tasty produce and farm fun. The stand offers vegetables, prepared foods, baked goods and other local food products. 

“Our farmstand has become a food hub where you can get produce from our own farm, as well as [produce from] 15 other Colorado family farms,” says Mark Guttridge, who owns the farm with his wife, Kena. “It’s a community gathering spot where families can connect directly to where their food comes from. The first Saturday of each month is Kids Day, with hayrides to see the sheep and chickens.”  

John Lehndorff has hosted Radio Nibbles on KGNU for more than 25 years. Podcasts: