Bob Munson and Sally Haines pass

by Boulder County Farmers Market
We have recently lost two wonderful people dear to our community and vital to Boulder County Farmers Markets. Friends have compiled several thoughts to share about Bob Munson, founder of Munson Farms in Boulder, and Sally Haines, former vendor, staff member and Board member of Boulder County Farmers Markets. Thank you, Bob and Sally, for all that you have done for, through and far beyond the market. You are missed. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Boulder Humane Society in Sally Haines’ honor and to The Robert E. Munson U of I Scholarship Fund in honor of Bob Munson.

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Munson Farms at the first season of the Boulder Farmers Market in 1987 c/o Boulder Public Library

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“I learned from him that, simply put, and especially from the farming background, if I don’t do it, it probably won’t get done. He wanted to make sure things always got done…We always said he had a 5-9 job and a 9-5 job. He just had a strong drive for the things life had to offer, whether it was getting up at the crack of dawn to go duck hunting or picking sweet corn in the morning and then going to enjoy his engineering career — he found it all very rewarding…He was go, go, go.” –Chris Munson

 “Lyle and I have been fortunate to know the Munson family for more than three decades. Marcy and Bob were among the very first Boulder County local farmers, and they pre-date selling local corn, squash and salad greens before Boulder County Farmers Market (BCFM) was founded. They helped to found BCFM. He raised a family with two tall sons and his strong wife Marcy keeping the farm thriving. Grandchildren work the farm stands each week. His legacy is as sweet and beloved as his legendary corn.” -Sylvia Tawse, Pastures of Plenty Farm and Fresh Ideas Group

“He is someone who inspired me when we bought the farm to go beyond home gardening, and become a local farmer myself. Bob lived a rich and fulfilled life. He lived it on his own terms. I’ll miss him tremendously.” Lyle Davis, Pastures of Plenty Farm

“Bob and his family were my neighbors at 75th and Valmont across from what is now Cure Organic farm, my parents place, since the early 1970’s. Bob first rented and then bought the Dutch Waneka farm on 75th street to grow more sweet corn and also pumpkins. As their business grew, they rented more land along 75th from other families. Both Bob and Marcy were extremely supportive when my mother passed away in 1992 and Bob would pick up my dad on Sunday mornings in the summer and they would drive around looking at the crops growing in the area, then stopping for breakfast before coming back in mid morning.  When my dad passed in 1997, Bob wrote a very touching note telling how much he enjoyed spending time with my dad.” –Farmer John Ellis

“For years, he would rise before dawn to work the fields of Munson Farms at 75th Street and Valmont Road just east of the city limits, where his sweet corn, pumpkins and squash quickly earned a stellar reputation among restaurateurs, food banks and the farmers’ market community. When the sun came up, he’d throw on a suit and head into what is now known as Ball Aerospace, where he opened the company’s antenna group, and later spearheaded one of the notable innovations in the history of miniature electronics. “From cellphones to modern televisions to WiFi,” said Munson protege Farzin Lalezari, co-founder Boulder’s First RF Corporation. “If you go back and follow the roots of all that, you run into Bob Munson at the very beginning.” –Alex Burness, Daily Camera article 

Click here to view Bob Munson’s obituary 

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“Sally was a long-time member of the market and served on the Board for several years, including being president for a couple years. Sally was instrumental in reorganizing the Colorado Farmers Market Association and talking to the right people in the state and federal government to get SNAP benefits, then known as Food Stamps, available at Farmers Markets throughout Colorado. For part of one season, she served as both the President and Market Manager/ED. When her cancer came back, she had to step away from the market and take care of her health, but even then she was available to give us great advice. Sally sold tinchers she had made using plants she grew and gathered in the west. She and her husband, Tom Levy built an off-the-grid home near Ribera, NM, where she passed away on Aug 30th. Sally was a loving person who, no matter what happened, had a positive outlook towards everyone and everything. Those of usat the BCFM fortunate enough to know her will remember her fondly.” –Farmer John Ellis

“Sally was a flower child in the 70’s, learning how to live on the land, raising goats, geese and chickens and growing all manner of things. Her love of animals led her to a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and DVM at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins. Boulder, CO became home to Sally and her long-time husband, partner and best friend of thirty-five years, Tom Levy. Sally’s talents for discovery and science led her through a very eclectic career path from a mobile veterinary practice and Boulder Spay and Neuter Clinic to becoming an herbalist and finally to heading Boulder’s Farmers Market and Colorado State Organization for Farmers Markets. Sally was an adventurer around the globe and had many raft trips through the Grand Canyon. She approached every day with intention and integrity, becoming an expert at the countless vocations and avocations she loved.” –Daily Camera

“Sally Haines first joined what is now the Boulder County Farmers’ Markets in its early years as a seller of medicinal herbs that she wildcrafted. In the years that followed, she became a board member, the president of the board, and finally, the market manager. In this interview she explores many of the seminal changes that made the market what it is today, including offering new products (such as meats, cheeses, and prepared foods), moving the Wednesdaymarket to the late afternoon and evening, opening the beer and wine garden at theWednesday market, and joining of the Boulder and Longmont farmers’ markets. She also talks about the economics of running the market and some of the governance issues that have been part of the Boulder market’s growth.” –Interview of Sally Haines with Ulla Merz for the Boulder Public Library