If you were lucky enough to savor a homegrown tomato this summer, you know what a difference “just-picked” can mean. It’s like biting into sunshine. Even though we’re well into October now, it’s not too late to harvest even more amazing freshness in the just-as-tasty form of apples, broccoli, beets, carrots, and more.
Make pickyourown.org your first stop. This handy website will direct you to local farms, and provide information on canning and freezing your bounty. One choice you’ll find there is YA YA Farm & Orchard, located in Boulder County. This historic century-old farm specializes in heirloom apples, organic methods, and family-friendly activities. The farm and orchard will be open to the public through a to-be-determined date in November. Reservations are required for picking, but apples, apple cider donuts, apple pies, honey, and many other apple products are available for purchase without reservations. Learn more.
More apples await you at Happy Apple Farm. The farm’s location in Penrose means that many of their apples ripen earlier, but Red and Golden Delicious apples are still available through mid-October (if not picked out). Either way, Happy Apple Farm is a great source for pumpkins, fresh cider, apple butter, jams, marinades, roasted chiles, brisket, pulled pork, and hayrides to the pumpkin patch. Learn more.
At Berry Patch Farm in Brighton, you may be stumped as to where to start. This full-scale farm should have all its fall crops still growing strong through the month, including apples, kale, beets, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, garlic, and onion. They also sell grass-fed beef, honey, freshly ground flour, and more. As with all of these weather-dependent, real-life sources, you’ll want to call first to make sure they’ll be open and have what you want. Learn more.
And if picking your own produce doesn’t work out due to weather or time constraints, keep in mind that the farmers do come to us each week. The Parker Farmer’s Market should be in business through October 26. Located on Mainstreet in downtown Parker, the market is open every Sunday from 8am to 1pm. Choose from 70 vendors, including four local vegetable growers and three Western Slope fruit growers. Learn more.