Road Food: Little Rock and Denver Farmer’s Markets

May 9, 2011 by

Mr. Green Bean greets customers at Little Rock’s River Market. He gave his number to one of my friends!

Travels have kept me away lately as you may have noticed, but I’m back and getting into the groove again. I was in Little Rock, Arkansas at the end of April dodging dangerously close tronados while attending a P. Allen Smith event which you wil read more about shortly. I just got back from Denver where I was celebrating a close friend’s monumental birthday. In both cities I made time to stop at the local farmer’s markets. Not that I can bring veggies or flowers back with me on the plane, but I love to see the local offerings, meet the people, and compare what’s freshly available and unique in the various cities.

Little Rock, Arkansas: River Market

Luscious onions at the River Market in Little Rock, Arkansas.

In two outdoor, open-air pavilions overlooking Riverfront Park and the Arkansas River, downtown Little Rock’s farmer’s market offers fresh produce, beef and poultry, and handmade crafts– and if you get there at the right time, you can be greeted by Shane, the guy dressed up as a green bean.

Local Little Rock Chefs Bring Farm to Table
Every other Saturday there is the Garden Gourmet Second Saturday chef series, a new series that focuses on bringing locally grown food to the family table by connecting local growers, chefs and food artisans.

Local strawberries at River Market.

The spelling may not be perfect, but the broccoli is pretty close.

Denver’s Cherry Creek Farmer’s Market
Named the “Cadillac of farmers markets among nearly 50 markets throughout Colorado” by Colorado Biz Magazine, this farmer’s market in Denver’s posh Cherry Creek neighborhood, tempts the palate with ready to eat offerings like paella, quesadillas, crepes and numerous fresh baked breads and cakes. The Biscuit Bus had a long line, and as I was thirsty beyond belief, I guzzled down a bottle of Colorado cherry juice then snagged some Colorado wine for later.

Fresh peppers waiting to be roasted at Denver’s Cherry Creek Farmer’s Market.

After spinning them over coals in a large wire bin, the roasted peppers are gathered up for sale.

Catering to Those Who Love Local
Pastures of Plenty, a 35-acre organic vegetable, herb and cut flower farm 49 miles from Denver, had gorgeous flowers for sale, below. Their catering company, Big Bang Catering, grows and sources its food and flowers at the farm, evidence of their belief that true commitment to great food begins with the first link in the food chain, the growers.

Pastures of Plenty offering flowers in time for Mother’s Day. Orange you happy?

More flowers from Pastures of Plenty…

Don’t Panic, It’s Organic!
Personally, I prefer to buy locally grown food than some USDA-certified “organic” product trucked in from a thousand miles away. (Did you know the average carrot travels a thousand miles to your local grocery store?) Cottonwood Creek Farm offers pastured poultry, beef, and pork, and eggs from their family farm located on the original South Platte River homestead that’s been farmed continuously since 1932. With all labor and management provided by family or relatives, Cottonwood plants, harvests and mills all the grain used for their chickens, pigs and turkeys.

Alyssa and Matt of Cottonwood Creek Farm.

Chickens raised at Cottonwood Creek Farm are fed the farm’s own grain.

I admired the colorful hats modeled by this friendly vendor at the Cherry Creek market.

Little Rock River Market
Tuesday and Saturday, 7 am-3 pm.

400 President Clinton Avenue
Little Rock, Arkansas

Cherry Creek Farmer’s Market
Wednesday, 9:00 am-1:00 pm
Saturday, 7:30 am-12:30 pm

Bed, Bath, and Beyond Parking Lot
1st Avenue and University
Cherry Creek, Colorado

All photos: Robin Plaskoff Horton, Urban Gardens.


  1. Kylee from Our Little Acre said:

    Oh, how cute is that bean guy? What beautiful blue eyes! So he gave his number to one of your FRIENDS, eh? I’ll bet he gave it to YOU! 😉

    I really love seeing such fresh veggies. They are a beautiful thing to behold and the flavor is unmatched by supermarkets, unless they buy local, too.

    — May 10, 2011 @ 07:25

  2. Annie Haven | Authentic Haven Brand said:

    Love your shares on fresh food and the families that bring it to our tables : )

    — May 10, 2011 @ 10:13

  3. vip cards said:

    “Faith Farms offers true young lamb at six months to the end user customer. The Sire is a registered Shetland and the Dams are cross bred Shetland and South Down. The lamb is sold cut, vacuum-packed and quick frozen. Lambs average about 30 to 40 pounds net weight and are shipped Fed-X or USPS Express Mail. The lambs, packaging (insulated with cardboard outer) are shipped after payment by money order or cashiers check. We are not set up yet for credit card payments.

    Faith Farms produces about 30-40 lambs a season. They nurse their mothers in some cases up to slaughter and are left with their Dam the whole spring, summer and fall season. They feed on the luxurious native wild grasses interspersed with clovers and herbaceous plants. Graze time is usually six months out of the year, but all year long they have access to willow tips and other buds and native bushes. They are fed primarily native hay baled close to the mineral rich beaches where they live their lives in a placid stress free environment.

    The meat is cut by a very experienced butcher and are dispatched quickly and humanely. We are not organically certified, but all of our land is managed with organic fertilizers (fish meal, fish bones, and crab shells produced locally). There are also green crops tilled under and and manure spread on the fields. Granulated kelp and beach peat from the sea (kelp) is also used for fertilization.”

    — March 2, 2012 @ 04:19

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