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Head To The Final Market of 2017

It arrives on a Friday every year, and the profound sense of bittersweet returns the next day, too. It is the Friday and Saturday immediately prior to Thanksgiving, which always marks our last harvest for the farmers’ market in downtown Boulder as well as the final market of the year.

Harvesting greens in Boulder County, Colorado prior to the last farmers' market in downtown Boulder for 2017.
Jorge harvesting greens and listening to music, as storm clouds gather, on the last day of harvesting before the farmers’ market in downtown Boulder.

Bitter, because it is sad to say goodbye to the market and all that we do to prepare for Boulder’s weekly spectacle of local agriculture, artisanship and community. But sweet, too — the weekly market demands a lot of work. And now, just as the holiday season arrives, we can pivot to the many pleasures and demands of the season without needing to also tend to the market.

Pigs are central to the farm-to-table and biodynamic ethos of Black Cat Bistro and Bramble & Hare.
One of our Mulefoot pigs eating its way through a field that once contained lettuce and a green called Cho Kara.

It was a special season for us on the farm. The weather cooperated in the way all farmers appreciate — some days it smiled upon our farm, and other days it tested us. But it never presented us with the sorts of challenges that upend lives: no drought, no floods, no otherworldly wind events, no fires, no plague of locusts.

Farm-to-table at Black Cat Farm and Bramble & Hare involves things like digging trenches for Belgian endive.
This trench — fetching, yes? — will hold our Belgian endive. The endive is in the fields now. Soon, we will cut the endive, dig it up and deposit it in this 100-foot trench, which will be filled with potting soil. We then cover the trench with plywood, row cover and hay and later early in 2018 we will start harvesting endive from the dark trenches. It is chartreuse and delicious.

Some highlights:

  • We grew and harvested our first plot of Belgian endive.
  • Sweet potatoes thrived in our fertile soil, and we learned that their greens are fabulous.
  • Peanuts in Colorado? You bet. We did not expect this experiment to work.
  • The expansion of our irrigation efforts.
  • Artichokes truly took off this year.
  • The grain program continues to grow, and we are thrilled to offer more and more flours.
  • The construction of new shelters for our precious pigs.
  • Shishitos! They went nuts, and we are drying some of the ones that stayed on the plants long enough to turn red, and turning them into chile powder.
Farm-to-table involves more than lettuce and pigs — flowers for garnishes, too. These mustard flowers grown in Boulder, Colorado at Black Cat Farm will grace plates well into December.
Flowers just days before November? Yep. We will use these mustard flowers for garnishes in the restaurants.

We will be at tomorrow’s farmers’ market, and our harvest is bounteous. We know many of you are shopping for the Thanksgiving feast, and planning to stock-up, too, for the winter. We have much to offer!

Thank you for a fantastic season, People of Boulder! We will see you at the market again in April, but we will see you before then in our restaurants.

Mulefoot pigs sleeping at Black Cat Farm. The pigs are one of the foundations of the entire farm-to-table, biodynamic and certified organic operation.
Mulefoots snoozing after another grueling day of eating and … snoozing.

The Final Market List of 2017

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Tat soi
  • Purple tat soi
  • Spinach
  • Osaka Purple
  • Tom Thumb
  • North Pole
  • Scarlett Frill
  • Mizuna
  • Ruby Streak mizuna
  • Arugula
  • Hon tsai tai
  • Fava bean tops
  • sorrel
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Turnips: Hakurei, Magenta, Hinona Kabu, Gold Ball
  • Radishes: Hailstone, Daikon, Green Meat, Watermelon
  • Fingerling potatoes
  • Celery
  • Squash: Spaghetti, Butternut, Tromboncino, Acorn, Delicata, Kabocha
  • Dried Fava Beans
  • Dried Peas