Fresh Fall Food in the Four Corners
Can you feel the air start to shift? Temperatures are dropping, coffee is about to switch from iced to hot, and the brewskis are getting darker (hello, seasonal stouts!). If you are refusing to say goodbye to summer, you might have to start embracing the “sockos” trend so as not to leave behind your Chacos. As the weather and our wardrobes shift, so does the season and the food. September is the season for Local First's Eat Local initiative which seeks to "create deeper connections with people and their food system, to support local farmers, and to better our community." We’ve gathered some of the most flavorful spots and ideas to welcome the taste of autumn in the Four Corners. Food, farms, recipes, beer, and more, all below. Ready your tummies.
If you’re in search of recipes that are the epitome of autumn flavors while adhering to local produce, Fields to Plate is your go-to. Growing vegetables that thrive in our Southwestern Colorado climate, Fields to Plate’s passion is “rooted in generating an economically viable local food system for producers and buyers.” Find them at the Durango Farmers Market every Saturday for fresh produce, and then try your hand at one of their recipes. (Our mouths are currently watering over the Pumpkin Squash Risotto.)
Photo courtesy of Fields to Plate Produce.
What better way to support local farmers and to eat freshly grown produce than to participate in this harvest share program? During the Fall Harvest, the SFFC provides salad mixes, cucumbers, sweet carrots, winter squash, apples, and more on top of options for local pastured meats, cheeses and ferments. Farmers bring their harvest over the course of seven weeks to Cortez where you’re able to pick up your fall fresh bundle and shake the hand of your local farmer. The amount of food you receive is good for two to three people, so consider grabbing a friend to split the food with! With options to participate in the Harvest Share Program and receive fresh fall food weekly or even to simply volunteer and participate in the local food scene, the Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative is one of the most well-rounded ways to get your autumn food fix.
Carver Brewing Company’s Fall Brews
Covering the bases, Carver’s fall beer line-up will have you aching for cold weather and saying a quick goodbye to summer. Ranging from German malts to classic American hops, you won’t want to miss out. The Munich Dunkel is their prize-winning amber lager, rich and full with Munich Malt, and making you ready to cozy up with the autumn temperatures. With a fall seasonal menu, Carver’s is making the switch from warm, blue skies to crisp air and colorful trees the easiest transition yet.
Keeping with the fresh and local pattern, Seasons, located in the heart of Downtown Durango, sources local produce to craft seasonal dishes. Did you catch that from their name? Look no further than their restaurant for a lovely fall dinner paired with a wine from their extensive and internationally recognized menu. They bring the smoky, wood-burned, and warm flavors out of their farm-to-table food to prepare you a locally grown and grilled dish, every time. Roast chicken, grilled bone-in ribeye, grilled double-cut pork chops, green chile cheddar sweet potatoes, and more. Keep an eye out for their new fall menu around the end of September.
Local Farmers Markets in La Plata County
The epitome of fresh and local food lies in the wonder of a farmers market. Luckily, La Plata county is home to a multitude of these to support each and every community of farmers and artisans. We compiled an expansive list so that everybody has an opportunity to support their local community:
Old Fort Farmers Market - The Old Fort also offers a CSA program!
Each market is home to their own unique bunch of produce, and each vary in time, meaning you could go to all of them! This is another great opportunity to shake a farmer’s hand and get the fresh fall food you’ve been dreaming of.