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5 Spots for Sampling Colorado's Fall Harvest

Taste in-season crops from Fort Collins to Durango




Photo: Ric Stovall, courtesy of Harvest

‚Äč1. Harvest, Edwards

At her new restaurant, former Top Chef contestant Kelly Liken puts local harvest at the forefront of every bite. For autumn, try the cheese plate: Manchego, Crottin de Chavignol (a French goat cheese) and Bleu d’Auvergne (a French cow cheese) accompanied by dried fruit, nuts and roasted grapes. For the carnivores, the charcuterie plate is loaded with cured meats from vendors such as The Farm at Knapp Ranch in Edwards. Ask for a seat on the terrace that overlooks Sonnenalp Club Golf Course and the Arrowhead and Beaver Creek ski areas in the distance. harvestvail.com


Photo: Ashton Ray Hansen

2. Union Station Farmers Market, Denver

The new Saturday morning farmers market offers much to love: “Every vendor has something I want—breads made from flours ground in-house by Grateful Bread, herb blossoms from Warren Tech, jewel-sized baby carrots from Cure Organic Farm and heirloom tomatoes from Rocky Mountain Fresh,” says chef John Broening of Avelina, a new LoDo eatery serving seasonal, wood-fired dishes. bcfm.org/union-station-farmers-market


Photo courtesy of James Ranch

3. James Ranch, Durango

Set in the Animas River Valley, this 400-acre idyll just outside Durango hosts alfresco dinners and private events. Watch cattle, chickens and pigs graze the pasture before stocking up on the James Ranch Market’s supply of artisan cheeses, fresh eggs and vegetables harvested every weekday. Insider’s tip: An unadvertised cabin overlooking the ranch and river can accommodate up to four overnight guests. jamesranch.net


Photo courtesy of Smith Fork Ranch

4. Smith Fork Ranch, Crawford

Built more than a decade ago, this luxury dude ranch is set atop the ideal farmland—fertile soil, lush pastures and wide-open skies. Guests can take part in a hands-on fruit and vegetable harvest guided by the on-site gardener and kitchen staff. In October, the ranch offers bed-and-breakfast stays for weekend jaunts to romantic Delta County, an agricultural and ranching Mecca. smithforkranch.com


Photo: Richard Haro

5. Magic Bus Tour, Fort Collins

It’s a food-filled magical mystery tour. From June to October, the bus departs Old Town at 10 a.m. for a three-hour tour of all things harvest. At each 45-minute stop, meet with a local purveyor, from mushroom growers and fish farmers to ranchers and cheese makers. Sample their specialties, and snag some trivia on Colorado’s agricultural history.  themagicbustours.com

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