By Tyra Sutak
The cold weather months are quickly approaching—which means the clean-eating, buy local, organic food aficionados of Boulder can kiss the coveted weekly trips to the Farmers’ Market goodbye.
But we live in a very special place, where local chefs, restaurateurs, and farmers are working overtime this time of year to make sure that locally-grown veggies and produce still find their way onto our plates and into our kitchens this fall and winter.
For Chef Bradford Heap, the mastermind behind SALT the Bistro and its sister restaurant, Colterra, sourcing food from local farms year-round embodies his hopefulness for the future of food. His menus change throughout the year to reflect what’s in season. His kitchens are sans freezers to further support his commitment to serving his customers fresh, organic, GMO-free cuisine. He’s invested money and physical labor into local farms in hopes that his efforts today will allow his 10-year old twins to enjoy healthy, tasty food in the future.
It’s about knowing what’s in your food. It’s fully appreciating everything on the animal. It’s about having a larger respect for food and farming. Organic farming isn’t just for hippies anymore.” – Chef Bradford Heap
As the fall harvest season begins, Chef Heap and his team are busy planning and stocking up for the next few months. Working closely with David Asbury of Full Circle Certified Organic Farms—the largest organic vegetable farm in Colorado, the kitchens at SALT and Colterra are filled with chefs pickling, preserving, and curing freshly harvested finds. And it’s not just the farm-to-table movement they’re perfecting. It’s the farm-to-bar movement as well. Local berries end up in simple syrups and fresh herbs create depth to the prohibition era-style cocktails served at the bar. Taste the difference that locally-grown ingredients make at one of Chef Heap’s restaurants, or visit your local farm stand to stock up on your own harvest finds.
Tips from the Local Chefs & Farmers:
- Take stock, store up! Root vegetables, apples, pears, kale, and chard and just a few items in season this time of year. Buy in bulk and store in a cool, dark place for future use.
- Think outside the can. Consider pickling and curing your freshly harvested finds. Pickled watermelon rind and cured meats make a nice addition to a charcuterie board.
- Raspberries and strawberries are still at their peak this time of year. Fresh berries are perfect for preserving into jams and jellies.
- Eating locally is more than just enjoying fresh vegetables and fruit. Locally-made meats and cheese are available all year long.
- Don’t give up on your local farm stand! The folks at Full Circle Farms are serving the public year-round. Check out the hours for their Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Ranch farm store here: http://www.rockymtnpumpkinranch.com/.