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Old 08-27-2018, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Nashville
3,534 posts, read 4,800,077 times
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I am very new to the Denver area and I am relocating from living in Oregon and Washington most my life. In Oregon, Washington and Idaho. all the cities I lied in had local food co-ops that were non-corporate and had a nice selection of local organic/biodynamic produce, locally made cultured foods, grass fed meats, eggs, raw milk and other types of products that you cannot find at the larger corporate stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Natural Grocers (at least the one in Boise I saw), etc. For example, in Eugene, we had Sundance Foods, in Portland, People's and Food Front Co-op,in Seattle they had Central Co-op and Boise had the Boise Co-op. I have been looking all over online and cannot find any type of similar type of store in the Denver area.

I see Boulder has a few non-chain health food markets , but they do not have very good reviews and don't seem to be run in a co-op type of fashion and just seem to be replicas of the corporate stores from the reviews I am reading. As well, Boulder is a bit farther away from where I will be living.

I guess I was wondering if there is any type of stores where the granola crunchy or those who like locally sourced items and other items the big corporate stores will not carry and could help a bit with supporting the local community, farmers, etc. I have lived in CHarlotte for the last month and was sad to see it is next to impossible to purchase any type of produce or products made in North Carolina. Almost all the produce and items in the store are from California and other areas far away. At least with produce, meat and milk I really rather get something from local farmers then get stuff shipped in from Australia or mono-cropped commercial low-grade produce grown in California.

Anyway, I am just wondering what options you would have in Denver or even Boulder. I was surprised to see there was no "Denver Food Co-op", but maybe this whole food co-op thing is a Pacific Northwest type of deal. I know California and Montana have some of them as well, like in Missoula. Maybe food co-ops are more of a West Coast type of deal. Even Asheville, NC doesn't have one and that shocked me based on its reputation.

Anyway. I'd appreciate people's advice. For example where I was living in South Puget Sound there was no food co-op , but there was an organic food market named Marlene's which was actually better than most of the hippie/hipster style food co-ops I would shop and carried all types of items I would never find at a Whole Foods, like raw milk and locally sourced veggies, etc.
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:38 AM
 
Location: 0.83 Atmospheres
10,830 posts, read 8,777,950 times
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A few things to consider:

-Raw milk is not legal here.
-growing produce is much harder here than in the Pac NW so the availability of good local produce is lower and very seasonal.
- there are some local organic produce companies that do boxes.
https://www.highplainsfood.org
https://www.growersorganic.com/copy-of-about-us
-Also check out Natural Grocers. They are local, but as you mentioned kind of corporate.

Last edited by SkyDog77; 08-27-2018 at 01:00 PM..
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:49 AM
 
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Apparently there's one trying to start. Not sure the current status. https://www.denverpost.com/2017/04/2...rora-colorado/
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Wheat Ridge, CO
618 posts, read 1,190,411 times
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Here are the two closest things resembling co-ops with a brick and mortar location:

-http://www.westwoodfood.coop/home-1
-https://www.thegrowhaus.org/

There are two other co-ops in the works for NE Denver/NW Aurora and the West Colfax neighborhood, but both project are going to be a long slog, if ever opened.

There are local produce shops like Heine's in Wheat Ridge, but the focus is more on local than organic.

Lucky's Market just opened in Wheat Ridge (a Boulder-based chain), which is basically a nicer version of Sprouts, but with more a local producer focus.
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Mars City
6,879 posts, read 3,422,666 times
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There was one in the Fort Collins area - Grant Farms CSA - but I believe it crumbled due to legal and management issues. I second the note about dryness here impacting conditions.

Welcome to CO
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Old 08-27-2018, 05:26 PM
 
Location: XO
2,561 posts, read 5,289,726 times
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Bring the farmers market to your own backyard with a heated greenhouse. Several years ago I had multiple full sized Washington orange, Meyer lemon in ground trees as well as Mission, Kadota Figs, Pineapple; pretty much everything. My citrus here actually produced more than any of my trees I have had outdoors in So. Cal. Winter sunshine here if harnessed right allows for much better greenhouse production than anywhere in the PNW .
Tried growing everything exotic here with ridiculous .success. Only real things that don't produce here is coconuts and some varieties of banana because of the high elevation, beautiful palms but they don't fruit here.
Also grew some Cars Cara oranges in tubs,their bounty we're nice Christmas gifts.
can you say Colorado Navel?
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Old 08-27-2018, 06:55 PM
 
Location: 0.83 Atmospheres
10,830 posts, read 8,777,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott5280 View Post
Bring the farmers market to your own backyard with a heated greenhouse. Several years ago I had multiple full sized Washington orange, Meyer lemon in ground trees as well as Mission, Kadota Figs, Pineapple; pretty much everything. My citrus here actually produced more than any of my trees I have had outdoors in So. Cal. Winter sunshine here if harnessed right allows for much better greenhouse production than anywhere in the PNW .
Tried growing everything exotic here with ridiculous .success. Only real things that don't produce here is coconuts and some varieties of banana because of the high elevation, beautiful palms but they don't fruit here.
Also grew some Cars Cara oranges in tubs,their bounty we're nice Christmas gifts.
can you say Colorado Navel?
That’s awesome. How many square feet is your greenhouse?
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:17 PM
 
Location: XO
2,561 posts, read 5,289,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDog77 View Post
That’s awesome. How many square feet is your greenhouse?
It is a 8x20 Grandio brand name with farmhouse style roof. I added an indoor koi pond and several troghs for irrigation as well as temperature stabilizations, quite a bit of flagstone for thermal mass and tons of white pea sized rock along the walkways. Pretty much Garden of Eden kind of look.
I will retrieve pics off my old phone and post in the next day or so.
At the moment I just have an 8x6 plastic greenhouse full of gardening equipment. My Grandio was destroyed on Christmas day 2017 (out of town) some jackholes demolished it after breaking in looking for pot.
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Nashville
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I appreciate people explaining the situation here. I understood coming to Colorado there would be some limitations compared to ORegon and Washington in regards to local produce, growing season, etc. I am in North Carolina right now (broke my lease after just a month of living there), a place you could literally grow almost anything on Earth and yet I find the main thing grown throughout North Carolina is grass. Of course, they have tobacco and cotton in the Northern part of the state, but I cannot eat either of those. It seems so wasteful that people have these giant estates and properties and just grow huge lawns which they spend all day on their riding mowers to cut. Just think of how many wondeful crops they could have grown with an almost year long growing season and some pretty lush soils.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott5280 View Post
Bring the farmers market to your own backyard with a heated greenhouse. Several years ago I had multiple full sized Washington orange, Meyer lemon in ground trees as well as Mission, Kadota Figs, Pineapple; pretty much everything. My citrus here actually produced more than any of my trees I have had outdoors in So. Cal. Winter sunshine here if harnessed right allows for much better greenhouse production than anywhere in the PNW .
Tried growing everything exotic here with ridiculous .success. Only real things that don't produce here is coconuts and some varieties of banana because of the high elevation, beautiful palms but they don't fruit here.
Also grew some Cars Cara oranges in tubs,their bounty we're nice Christmas gifts.
can you say Colorado Navel?
Wow Scott, you are living the dream. Sadly, I doubt I could either fit or that my HOA would allow me to build a greenhouse in my tiny 8 x 8 (or however big it is) backyard of my condo. I would hope one day I could grow my own crops, raise my own cattle, chickens and even elk (if I am so fortunate). I dream of having land somewhere out in the mountains where I Can be self-sufficient and just wait to the end of the Earth (or my life).

Anyhow, for now , I guess I will have to resort to mail order. I actually am part of an Amish food buyers club that ships all types of good stuff all over the country. I get raw milk, barrel aged sauerkraut, grass fed meats, butter, buffalo butter, cheeses, etc. However, I would always try to find whatever local stuff I could first, before resorting to going the mail order route4. I have been ordering grass fed bison and beef for a long time , as the quality is much better and price is lower than going to Whole Foods or wherver and paying more money for lower grade imported grass fed beef that usually costs more. E.g. Earth Fare (local Asheville chain)ships in its grass fed beef rom Australia. Seriously, there is no where to raise cows in North Carolina that a local health food chain needs to resort to importing Australian meat?


The co-ops I shopped at in Boise, Seattle and vairous ones in Oregon carried locally raised grass fed meat.

Anyway, it's no deal breaker. I guess I was a bit surprised, especially with reptutations of places like Boulder that there was not dozens of cool, hippie style stores , co-ops and markets. Even Boise, a place that is hardly considered earthy or hippie had a hippie-style co-op that has been around for a long time and even has expanded to its second store, the Boise Co-op. Just was shocked there was no Denver Co-op or Boulder Co-op.

I am thinking co-ops are probably mostly a Northwest thing. Even hippie-skippie Asheville, NC doesn't have any community type co-op.
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:50 AM
 
Location: 0.83 Atmospheres
10,830 posts, read 8,777,950 times
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There are local grass fed meat sellers at the farmers markets every weekend.
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