Palisade peaches, Olathe sweet corn, Rocky Ford melons — Colorado grows a bounty of produce recognized nationwide. And, as anyone who has driven on the Eastern Plains can attest, we are a state that owes its heritage, at least in part, to hardworking farmers. While you can shop “Colorado Proud” in most grocery stores, you can also pick your own fruits and veggies. Some fields are open now, others hold off until later in the season.
There are a number of small farms and orchards near the Denver metro area (or at least within an hour’s drive). U-Pick farms offer plenty of space for spreading out and you can be sure the produce you pick is as fresh as it comes with minimal handling by others.
Here’s a list of those we found. Be sure to check each farm’s website for current availability, hours and days of operation, as well as fees.
Many spots only open up reservations or have people around when the fruit is ready, so use this guide to know who to watch out for.
Adam’s Apple Orchard
Apple lovers rejoice! This Ault farm offers more than 150 varieties of apples, as well as pears and plums. The best part, you don’t need a reservation to go. Just keep in mind no dogs are allowed.
What can you pick: Apples, pears and plums
Things to know: Though the exact dates haven’t been released yet, that depends on the fruit, you can plan on visiting the farm Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in late August through October. Call 970-760-0279 for more information or email the farm at email@example.com.
Location: 42135 County Road 43, Ault.
Berry Patch Farms
Stock up your berry supply on this 40-acre, certified organic farm in Brighton. Owners Tim and Claudia Ferrell have operated the farm since 1991, and doing u-pick since 1994, so they know what’s going on.
No reservations are required to pick flowers or basil, but you do need to reserve a time for berries. Otherwise, you just need a hat, some bug spray, sunscreen and enough energy to pack the included cartons with juicy fruit.
What can you pick: Strawberries, raspberries, basil, pickling cucumbers and flowers
Things to know: No animals allowed on the farm. Check the web site for reservations to pick berries, they show up about five days before the available times to make sure customers get the best fruits.
Rates range from 85-cents per stem for flowers, $1 for sunflowers, and between $5.75 and $15 depending on if you’re picking berries, cucumbers or basil. The farm is open Tuesdays and Saturdays, times vary.
Location: 13785 Potomac St., Brighton.
The Bee Hugger
Once the sunflowers start blossoming it’s time to pick some yourself and bring home. The darling farm has animals to pet, pony’s to ride and a lot of room to run around. It’s free to enter, but there are fees for rides and the flowers.
What can you pick: Sunflowers
Things to know: Open every day at 8 a.m. until dusk. Prices are all donation based and can be made in cash or via Venmo. Make sure to check the website for hour changes and closures before visiting.
Location: 12590 Ute Highway, Longmont.
Garden Sweet Farm
Don’t worry about bringing your own basket, this quaint Fort Collins farm provides them. SAVE money on this spot by becoming a member, which includes free admission to the farm and discounts.
What can you pick: Strawberries, raspberries, flowers and sunflowers
Things to know: You must reserve a day and time online in advance in order to come pick-your-own. Each guest 2 and up must pay a $5 fee to enter the farm. Pick-your-own price depends on what you want, starting at $8 for a berry basket and up to $40 for a gallon bucket.
Open May to September, Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.. Check the website to find out what’s available for picking.
Location: 719 W. Willox Lane, Fort Collins.
Ya Ya Farm & Orchard
Visiting this Longmont farm takes a bit of an effort and planning, you can only go pick the apples and pears if you submit a request via the website. Cherries and flowers, on the other hand, can be picked any time, and the latter includes dahlias, zinnias and sunflowers.
What can you pick: Apples, pears, cherries and flowers
Things to know: Entry costs $3 per person. All bags are provided, and the farm asks that you don’t bring your own. Fill these bags for $12 per bag, which holds roughly 5 to 7 pounds of apples. Check the website for hours, they change depending on the month.
Starting in January you can email the farm to get on the list for apple and pear picking, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location: 6914 Ute Highway, Longmont.
Black Cat Farm
Each year chef Eric Skokan of Bramble & Hare in Boulder plants a lot of heirloom tomatoes. After he is done using as many as possible (canning, making sauce, eating, etc.), he opens the farm to the public so they can come and stock up.
What you can pick: So many tomatoes, all organic and all heirloom. Search among the plants and find your favorites and don’t be afraid to try something new.
Things to know: Bring your own bags for easy hauling. The u-pick option should run Saturdays and Sundays through October, depending on what’s left and the first freeze. Check the website and/or sign up for the newsletter to keep up to date with changes. Prices vary. Reserve an available time and date as they come via, black-cat-farm.square.site.
Location: 4975 Jay Road, Boulder.
MHOTC Readers Favorite! Wide variety of vegetables including potatoes, carrots, onions, beets, Indian corn, squash, peppers, pumpkins and more.
Open Labor Day, September 5, 2022 through mid-November from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Everybody (11+) are $25. Children (5-10) are $15. Group of 10+ people is $20 per person, children under 4 are free.
Cost of general admission allows each person to pick up to four (4) bags of produce each. If you pick over the 4 bag limit, each additional bag is $10 and if you don’t fill your four bags that is your decision – no refunds will be given.
Admission includes activities, antique tractors, petting zoo, corn maze, hay pyramid, pedal tractors, plus the hayride that takes you to the fields to harvest. 13912 CR 19, Platteville, 970-785-6133.