I just had no idea.

Boulder Farm Trail
Just look at this countryside! This is Boulder farm country. It’s so beautiful.

I’ve lived in Colorado all my life and have visited Boulder countless times. But I had no idea that Boulder county had mile after mile of absolutely beautiful, pastoral land. Gently undulating hills, pastures, creeks, groves of trees, farmhouses that are all so beautiful it somehow seems a surprise that it’s all right in the backyards of us front-rangers. I know it’s ungodly hard work but I am in love with the concept of farming – it’s basic, earnest, real and unites humans, animals and nature, nurturing us all. If it wasn’t for farmers, we wouldn’t have food, plain and simple. I was humbled to meet a few of the farmers and to see their operations.

Boulder Farm Tour
Aren’t they cute? Meet some of the goats of Mountain Flower Goat Dairy. The operation connects urban dwellers back to the land, to their food and to nature through education. They share land with Long’s Gardens just a stone’s throw away from the Pearl Street Mall. Be sure to watch the video below for goat-milking! 

 With the bounty of harvest season still underway and autumnal harvest festivals, corn mazes and pumpkin patches beginning, this is an excellent time to hit the road and follow the Boulder County Farm Trail. Maybe this will surprise you as much as it did me but there are more than 850 farms in Boulder County! So committed were the residents to their land that back in 1967, Boulder became the first city in the U.S. to tax itself for funds to be used for the acquisition and management of open space. Almost simultaneously, residents approved using public lands for agriculture. Currently around 25,000 acres of the county’s public lands are leased to farmers.

Boulder Farm Tour
In May and June, you can dig up your own irises for your garden from Long’s Gardens. It’s a third generation operation! We have very fond memories of digging up beautiful bearded iris from there years ago that we still enjoy in our yard.

To encourage people to revel in the beautiful countryside and engage with the farmers, the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau has put together a handy guide to the Boulder County Farm Trail, encouraging people to “Explore Boulder County’s farms, from field to fork.” The guide includes “Five things to try… On the Farm, At the Market, On Your Plate and With the Kids.” Listing five things under each category, there are suggestions like picnicking in style “On the Farm,” on the barn balcony at Lone Hawk Farm; redefine “food court” with the variety of dining options “At the Market” (the Boulder Farmers Market); visit three Colorado wineries at the Boulder Wine Studios under the “On Your Plate” category; and visit the pumpkin patch and meander hay bale and corn mazes as Rock Creek Farm for things to do “With the Kids.”

Three Leaf Farms
Beautiful microgreens growing at Three Leaf Farm, run by a husband-and-wife team of restaurateurs. Their farm provides the food for their six restaurants and catering services. They also host farm dinners for the public.

 A handy map in the guide not only shows you the Trail but identifies which farms offer a farm stand, animal interactions, skeins of wool, farm dinners, volunteer opportunities and more. The beautiful drive, with the Rockies in the background, will take you just an hour if you don’t stop anywhere. But stop you should, at as many farms as possible, meeting the farmers, buying produce, eggs and other goods from them. In that case, allow 2 -1/2 hours. Make a leisurely afternoon of it, especially now as the colors of the landscape are beginning to change. It should be just beautiful!

 

Boulder Farm Trail
Why did this chicken cross the road just moments after I took this picture? I’d like to think it was to greet me at Lone Hawk Farm.
Boulder Farm Trail
When visiting farms, people can get a real feel for, and appreciation of, farm life through the various experiences and classes the farms might offer. Three Leaf Farm, for example, uses this amazing collection of herbs to teach herbal medicine classes.
Boulder Farm Tour
A beautiful horse and her foal at Three Leaf Farms. Depending on the time of year, visitors might see any number of baby animals on the farms. 

Take a look at this wonderful goat-milking demonstration, starring Mountain Flower Goat Dairy Executive Director, Kallie, and the lovely Ruby, the goat. 

2 Comments

  1. What! I had no idea – so cool, especially the map & Farm Trail guide. Parts of the “Scenic Drive” (especially around #9 Lone Hawk Farm) make for a really amazing weekend bike ride, too!

    • In Good Taste Denver

      Excellent idea! Good info. Thanks, Sarah!