culinary / agritourism tour ideas - CO, NM, AZ
Am traveling to CO, NM, and AZ and am looking for interesting culinary / agritourism ideas. I love stopping at farms, factories, the more unusual the better.
Some ideas that I have are:
Boulder - Celestial Seasonings Tea Tour
Colorado Springs - Coffee Roasters Tour
Any other not to miss tours?
For example, in CA, I stopped at a EMU farm - which has EMU eggs, etc..then went to a goat diary farm for cheese and milking, and then also stopped at a miniature horse farm.
Haystack Mountain goat dairy (near Boulder) used to have a tour, but they recently announced that they're closing the dairy (but still making cheese) so I'm not sure what the status of that is. I've heard nothing but wonderful things from people who have visited there. http://www.haystackgoatcheese.com/
The Smith Fork Ranch in Crawford, CO is beautiful and offers exceptional food. The restaurant is only available for guests. It's a good place to anchor yourself if you want to try some of Delta County's several wineries. Stone Cottage just outside of Paonia produces a great Chardonnay and Syrah and their ice wine is on par with the best.
In western Colorado:
James Ranch (on US 550, 10 mi north of Durango) has a farm market and homestead cheesery open Mon-Fri. They also offer ranch tours (Monday and Thursday, $10) via electric tram (like an oversize golf cart). Those are also the cheesemaking days.
In downtown Grand Junction, you can see candy-making at Enstrom Candy, a third-generation family company famous for their toffee.I don't think it is a tour as such, but the operation is visible through giant plate glass windows from their retail shop. See http://www.enstrom.com/. When you are in the Grand Junction/Palisade area (just off I-70, practically in Utah), be sure to pick up a map showing which farms, orchards and vineyards are open to for public visits. Similarly, Delta County, about 45 min to the south via US 50, has an agrictourism map. Farms, wineries and orchards on that map also display eye-catching roadside banners. You can see what these banners look like at http://www.westerncolorado.org/tours.... .
If you are in Durango and are headed to James Ranch, be sure to stop at Honeyville on the way. It isn't a big tour, but they have wonderful honey and all kinds of offshoots. You can see some of the production too.
In Grand Junction area:]
Olathe for corn in August and Palisades for Peaches [also in August
Not sure when your time frame is (could affect whether or not it would be worth going to these places) but in Queen Creek, Arizona (south of metro Phoenix) you could go to the Queen Creek Olive Mill where they press their own olive oil. The tour is rather short, but they have a great shop and cafe. And a hop, skip and a jump away from that is Schnepf Farms. They have u-pick peaches and stuff in Spring and Pumpkin Patches in Fall. I think they also have a cafe and a new wine bar. Down the street a few miles from the olive mill is the Pork Shop. No tours, but you can pick up some awesome pork products like homemade snack sausages that are to die for. There is a dairy farm in Mesa called Superstition Farm that now offers dairy tours to the public on Saturday mornings. And, I have never been, but there is a shrimp farm called Desert Sweet Shrimp farm that gives tours by appointment, oddly enough. According to their website, the farm is active in summer, so if you come in winter, there won't be anything to see.
The Pork Shop
3359 E Combs Rd, Queen Creek, AZ 85242
24810 South Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek, AZ 85242
Queen Creek Olive Mill
25062 S Meridian Rd, Queen Creek, AZ 85242
3440 S Hawes Rd, Mesa, AZ
Desert Sweet Shrimp
45075 S Old Highway 80, Gila Bend, AZ
Enstrom's toffee in Grand Junction is a great idea - fun fun.
Also, you could go to the Grand Mesa area to tour the wineries and farms in the area (Paonia, Cedaredge, etc) - Stone Cottage Cellars in Paonia is awesome.
The tour at New Belgium brewery in Fort Collins is amazing - so informative and such an interesting company.
In NM, you could look into any of the chile farms in Hatch. I bet they have some cool areas to tour.
Though I have never been, there are a few u-pick-em berry/produce farms in the Brighton area...I don't know their names but I'm sure you could Google it.
Have fun - these are right up my alley too! I love factory and agritourism tours. Enjoy!