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Community Agriculture Alliance: Buy local food, be a Yampavore

Michele Meyer
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

Buying local food is not only more important than ever, but it’s easier too.  The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a renewed interest in local food, a strange silver lining.  With a disrupted global food system and uncertainty with the food supply chain, it’s time to look closer to home and think about buying local.  Being a Yampavore, eating food from the Yampa Valley, truly does make a difference. 

Now is a great time to sample the wide range of products that are raised and grown right here in the Yampa Valley.  Area farms and backyard gardens are overflowing with fresh greens and herbs. Squash and cucumbers are starting to be harvested, with more varieties to come.  Just picked vegetables are bursting with flavor, nutrition and simply taste delicious. 

Fair warning, once you try fresh, local eggs you will be ruined and will not want to eat commercial eggs again. The bright yellow yolks and rich flavor of eggs that were laid a few days ago is hard to beat.  Local honey also has reported health benefits, with bees that pollinate plants right here in the Yampa Valley.

You can’t forget about local meat.  Beef and lamb have been historically raised in the Yampa Valley for generations. That tradition of ranching continues today with 19 different local farms and ranches selling meat via the CAA Market and many more selling direct to customers. There are also local producers raising buffalo, pork, goat and yak meat.

Community Agriculture Alliance, a local nonprofit organization working to support and promote local agriculture, has provided leadership for local food with the online, year-round farmers market at caamarket.org  

CAA moved into 743 Oak St. in mid-March.  You can still shop online from over 300 local products with ordering open Tuesday evening through midnight Saturday.  Producers deliver orders on Monday, so the CAA Market is closed to customers then.  Tuesdays are order pickup day.  You can also walk in and shop from what’s available here at the CAA offices on Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays. 

Currently hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with plans to expand hours into the early evening soon.  In lieu of a grand opening or open house to celebrate the new space, CAA invites everyone to shop local.  You can view what’s available and see pricing, read product descriptions and learn more about the producers who raise and grow local food online at caamarket.org .

Michele Meyer is the executive director of Community Agriculture Alliance.


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