Seasonality in Colorado
The ‘growing season’ is considered to be the period between the last frost of the winter and the first frost of the fall. In Colorado, it varies depending on which region you are in, but generally it runs May to October. During the growing season, we enjoy a wide variety of produce, which grows well in our state because of plentiful sunshine and warm temperatures. In the ‘off-season, ‘ November through April, the variety of crop production in Colorado is much more limited. We may not be able to enjoy quite as many locally-grown crops, but there are still plenty of ways to eat local during the off-season!
Even though Colorado sees snowfall as early as October, and temperatures can be harsh throughout the winter, Colorado farmers manage to produce a surprising amount of food during the off-season. Hardier vegetables like root veggies (carrots, beets, turnips), hardy brassicas (kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts), and some alliums (garlic, onions, leeks), have the ability to stick it out (and thrive!) through the winter. Not only can we take advantage of hardy outdoor crops, but protected agriculture (indoor growing) helps farmers extend the season and grow throughout winter. Here are some ways to source Colorado grown food, and continue to support our local farmers during the off-season:
Directly from Farmers
LocalHarvest.org is a great resource for sourcing locally-grown food. Check out farms in your area!
Colorado Proud, an initiative developed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, has a comprehensive database of Colorado grown, raised, and made products.
Emerald Gardens Microgreens. Delicious, nutritious microgreens year-round. Free delivery to Denver or Boulder area.
Infinite Harvest. Delicious, nutritious microgreens and lettuce year-round.
Meat, Eggs, and Dairy
Haystack Mountain Creamery (Boulder) produces hand-made cheese free of preservatives and artificial flavors. You can find it in many local grocery stores.
Royal Crest Dairy offers a variety of Colorado dairy products and much more. The family owned business has been delivering milk to Colorado families for over 100 years.
Next Year's CSAs
Another thing to note is that spring and summer CSA shares can sell out early (What is a CSA?). There are many local farms that offer CSAs, or you can take a look at GoFarm’s Local Food Share, which is like a CSA, but food is sourced from 30+ local farms, including veggies, mushrooms, microgreens, eggs, fruit, flowers, and more. When you sign up for a GoFarm Local Food Share, you make a commitment to your local farmers by paying upfront for a full season of local food. Join our mailing list to be notified about 2023 Local Food Share signups and more!