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, especially starting over Labor Day weekend and peaking in September.
There are a number of small farms and orchards near the Denver metro area (or at least within an hour’s drive). Here’s a list of those we found. Some offer a wide variety of product, others stick to one or two items such as pumpkins.
Be sure to check each farm’s website for current availability, hours and days of operation, as well as special events, facilities and fees.
Berry Patch Farms — The 40-acre farm is Certified Organic. Pick-your-own is limited to strawberries, raspberries, currants, pie cherries, plums, basil, flowers and pickling cucumbers from June through September. All other produce they pick is available in the Barn Store. 13785 Potomac St., Brighton, 303-659-5050.
Nelms Farm — Apples are back this year. There are also potatoes, pumpkins and honey. Farm is open over Labor Day weekend, September 1 to 3, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 5305 Orchard St., Golden.
Ya Ya Farm & Orchard — Pick your own Apples, Pears, Cherries, Pumpkins, Veggies and Flowers. This is a seasonal activity and Mother Nature dependent. Reservations are required (and go fast) for fruit picking only. Find the form here.
Pick your own veggies and flowers require no reservation and are open during farm stand hours July through November. You’ll find mint, oregano, basil, lemon balm, dill, cucumbers, squash, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, carrots, horseradish, turnips, peas, beans, kale, arugula and more. Pumpkin Patch will open the first weekend in October. You will pick your pumpkin off the vines.
Open Thursday to Sunday in August, Tuesday to Sunday in September and October. Check website for hours. 6914 Ute Hwy., Longmont, 303-485-5585.
Hill’s Harvest/Jake Hill Farm — U-pick pumpkin patch opens last week in September. Free hay rides on weekends. Open through October 31. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 3225 E. 124th Ave., Thornton, 303-451-5637.
Rock Creek Farm — U-pick pumpkins, squash, gourds. Open September 30 to November 1 from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 2005 S. 112th St., Broomfield, 303-465-9565.
Miller Farms — MHOTC Readers Favorite! Wide variety of vegetables including potatoes, carrots, onions, beets, Indian corn, squash, peppers, pumpkins and more. Open Labor Day through mid-November from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Adults (13+) are $20. Children (4-12) are $15.
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, hay pyramid, plus the hayride that takes you to the fields to harvest. 13912 CR 19, Platteville, 970-785-6133.
Bartels Land and Livestock — The farm grows corn, hay, wheat and barley, but is known for its beautiful pumpkin patch and vegetable garden. Pick sweet corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, spinach, beets, eggplant and more. You may pick straight from the garden by making an appointment with Nancy. Open mid-June to November. 4400 Giddings Rd., Fort Collins, 970-493-3853.
Masonville Orchards — More than 200 varieties of apples and pears. U-Pick Apple, Pear, and Plum Orchard in Ault is open weekends from early September through early November. Call ahead for dates and hours. 42135 County Road 43, Ault, 80610; 970-231-6399.