Quandary: How to get a veggie fix in this meat-obsessed county
June 27, 2016
With all the meat-oriented festivals, I'm wondering when is the cauliflower festival going to take place?
I know Summit can be a tough place for vegetarians in the summer. This usually granola- and hula-hoop-happy hub, turns into a meat capital with barbecue and bacon reigning supreme for at least a month every summer. But before you start calling PETA, please realize there are other options for your dietary needs.
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In case you're questioning Summit's meat craze, it stems from last week's Colorado BBQ Challenge rubbing elbows with this weekend's Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour at Keystone — the fest continues from 1-6 p.m. today with free live music, sights and smells, though the tasting will cost you. For an old goat like me, those bacon scents wafting over the mountains this weekend are almost enough to make me carnivorous, but instead of going on a gluttonous-goat rampage, it's best to appreciate the veggies we do have.
Next week will mark the first load from the Summit CSA, a community garden that allows locals to pick up a weekly supply of locally-grown, organic produce — enrollment is closed for this summer so start checking early next year to get your share of the goods.
While grasses here are in no short supply for me, the veggies can be a little limited for you bipeds, but if you go with a community garden you can get a greater variety for a lower cost. On average, the cost for a week's worth of veggies from the CSA is $15 — most can spend more than that getting a couple specialty salads from a drive thru, so it really is a good deal. You can always go try and forage for some veggies yourself, but restrictions on public land, inexperience with plant varieties and the sheer boredom of a daily dandelion salad might be good motivation to try some more conventional methods for getting your greens.
If you are a lone wolf, and can't be bothered with the idea of "community" anything, you can also always check out the local farmers' markets. While this may not be the cauliflower festival you were hoping for, as the season progresses the produce just gets better and better. It will only be a matter of weeks before you are gnawing down on Palisade peaches and Rocky Ford cantaloupes, so ignore the cured meats as best you can and dream of something greener.
Given how Summit's farmers' markets are spread out during the week and in the county, you can even replenish your stock as the days drone on. In an effort to make things easier for the veggie-needy crowd, each farmers' market in the county runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., though on different days. Start out your week hoarding huckleberries in Silverthorne with a Tuesday market at 400 Blue River Parkway. Get enough there and you can make it all the way to Friday when you stop by Dillon for your next strawberry stash, followed quickly by the lettuce loot you can make off with on Sundays in Breckenridge. Until then, can I interest you in a bacon Bloody Mary? A fine source for vegetables, I'm sure.
Quandary, an old and wise mountain goat, has been around Summit County for ages, and has the answers to any question about life, love and laws in the High Country. Have a question for Quandary? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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