Fruits of fields --- Growing their businesses

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Buying fresh and local produce is becoming more and more popular in Colorado.

For Westminster residents, three different farmers markets in the city are providing the community opportunities to not only buy organic fruits and vegetables, but also buy other products made and produced locally.

Nathan Mudd runs the Arvada/Westminster farmers market at O’Toole’s Garden Center, 9400 Wadsworth Parkway in Westminster.

The market is an extension of the Arvada Farmers Market and happens 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoons. Mudd said the location is great right off Wadsworth Boulevard and every week the number of people attending seems to be growing as well as the number of vendors.

“What’s amazing about this market is it is a growing market. We have about 25 steady vendors each week but our goal is to have more than 40 this year,” he said. “Our passion is localism and we believe growing the local economy is the key to happier, healthier people who have a sense of community and sense of a better environment.”

To help out the farmers market vendors even more, Mudd is launching a website called LocalRadius.net, which gives merchants the opportunity to sell their items through an online outlet. He said people can go on the website and order their produce or other items and then pick up the items at either an upcoming farmers’ market or make arrangements with the merchant to pick up the items on a certain date.

Mudd’s passion for helping out local farms isn’t just something he’s dedicated to during the summer and fall months. Beginning this winter he will provide farmers markets in Westminster and other metro Denver area giving farmers and other local vendors an opportunity to sell their goods during the cold months.

“During the winter months the vendors and the buyers can continue to use Local Radius to purchase produce and other things,” he said. “It’s just such a great opportunity for farmers to grow their business and a great opportunity for people to continue to buy and enjoy local organic produce.”

Cindy Goodall manager of the Westminster

Solaire Shoppes farmers market on Saturdays at 88th Avenue and Harlan Street doesn’t just keep herself busy with the one market, she’s also works for Millers Farms, out of Platteville, and is busy at multiple markets selling produce from the farm. One can find Millers Farm produce a the O’Toole’s Garden Center market and the Orchard Farmers Market at Orchard Town Center in northern Westminster, which runs on Sundays. Goodall said this is the third year for the 88th and Harlan market and she has over 40 vendors each week.

“We have a big variety of booths at the market, so many things for people to choose from,” she said. “I encourage people to come out, explore and ask questions. Learn about where fruits and veggies really come from.”

Jen Wilson has been selling her eco-friendly totes at the Solaire Shoppes market for two years.

Wanting something to do, the Edgewater resident decided to start making totes out of post-consumer recycled plastic a few years ago. Since then she travels to multiple markets selling her unique bags.

“The market at 88th and Harlan is my favorite,” she said. “I seem to do pretty good and everyone here is so nice.”

All of the farmers markets run through October and feature a variety of items and produced for sale.