There is just something about a farmers’ market — strangers smile and wave, and everyone is happy to be enjoying a day in the sun. I am not sure if it’s the delicious treats, precious pink flowers or the abundance of pups, but a farmers’ market is a hard place for me to resist. As a Colorado girl, I love being outdoors as much as possible and exploring my neighborhood.

Earlier this summer, one of my favorite stops for dining and drinks, Union Station, added a farmers’ market in collaboration with Boulder County Farmers’ Markets. As one of my favorite weekly pastimes, combined with one the best locations in Denver, I couldn’t be more excited about the addition to the city.

There are a few staples I am always sure to pick up on a visit to the market: 1) A fresh bouquet of flowers; 2) as many tomatoes as possible; 3) fresh bread; 4) something new that I haven’t brought home before.

Growing up, our house was always filled with fresh flowers — I can almost smell the lilies right now. To this day, my favorite way to spruce up my house is adding fresh blooms. I find myself drawn to The Fresh Herb Company at the Union Station Farmers’ Market, and it’s easy to see why. Their blooms are like works of art and the owners, Kristy and Chet Anderson, truly have a passion for growing beautiful flowers. They even host a field-to-vase, four-course dinner each year for a one-of-a-kind dinner experience, among their thriving flower farm. Find more information and reserve your space

As Coloradoans we are so lucky to be surrounded by nature and some wonderful farms. The Union Station Farmers’ Market is overflowing with produce from local growers. I always snag the big and beautiful heirloom tomatoes from Rocky Mountains Fresh — I am pretty certain there was one the size of my head. I also fill a bag with as many cherry tomatoes as possible. They are so sweet, and I love snacking on them throughout the week.

I love the pride each vendor takes in their stand — and Black Cat Farms truly does. Their vegetables are gorgeous, and I always enjoy chatting with Owner and Chef Eric Skokan. Chef Skokan uses his farm as a source of creativity and attends the Union Station Farmers’ Market weekly with his freshly harvested veggies. The new recipe card they provide each week is such a nice bonus (see pg. 32).

Baked goods at a farmers’ market are a thing of beauty. I love stopping at Raleigh Street Bakery because their beauty is also behind their bread in supporting the community. Their community bread share program is a great way to get weekly bread service. Also, the Denver Skyline on a loaf of bread is a pretty fun hostess gift.

The best thing about visiting a farmers’ market is sampling local things that you may not know are in your own backyard. I always do my best to bring something home that I haven’t before. Fruition Farms provides cheese to many local restaurants including one of my favorites, Mercantile. The combinations they come up with are absolutely heavenly.

A tote like mine is perfect for the farmers’ market, for any day actually. During the summer months, I often carry a large tote around with me, like this one from H&M ($34), because we are always out and about running from activity to activity, and I need something that will carry farmers’ market finds, towels for the lake, picnic treats and even my laptop when we are traveling.  My favorite monogrammed clutch lives inside just in case I need to run to a more formal occasion.

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