We are delighted to announce the return of our ANNUAL FREE FARM TOUR!
Come enjoy the spring or start of summer on the farm. We’re going to keep it in the open air this year, so if you’d like to visit our neighboring wineries, art centers, local bakeries or cheese makers please follow the schedule that suits you best. As a larger group on the farm, we will ask that you maintain spacing to walk with those you drive with. Dependent on COVID 19 transmission levels at the time, participants may be asked to mask up while we amble through the fields. Though we regret that we will not hold our orchard dinner during the pandemic, we invite you to come outdoors and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in small groups among the fruit trees following the Sunday morning tour.
- Sunday May 29th 10am-12pm. – no reservations required.
- Please leave your furry friends at home. We cannot allow dogs on the tour.
- Bring a picnic lunch and a blanket and eat out in the orchard – open invitation.
- There may even be an option to see a newly planted orchard block.
- Camping will be available in the orchard the night before. – please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Once a year we roll out the red carpet and give our customers and friends the grand tour of our orchard.
Our 2022 Free Ela Farm Tour is Sunday, May 29th. Curiosity is the word of the day! Starting the tour at 10 a.m., we walk, talk, and explore all aspects of our farm. We’ll see newly growing baby fruits, wind machines and sustainable practices, plus demonstrations of grafting and farm operations. The best part of the tour? It’s free! Come see how we grow!
What does it take to grow fruit in Colorado? Steve is a soil scientist and forward thinking grower. Committed to growing fruit with outstanding flavor while using sustainable organic growing practices, Steve Ela guides a passionate tour showcasing the accumulated wisdom of 4 generations in the Rocky Mountain West. Experience where your food comes from first-hand!
Directions from Denver to Ela Family Farms
Approximate driving time from Denver to Hotchkis is 4.5 – 5 hours. We recommend planning for time to enjoy the waterfalls, rivers, and mountain passes along the way!
From Denver, take I-70 west to Glenwood Springs. At Glenwood, take Hwy 82 south to Carbondale (about 15 miles). At Carbondale, take Hwy 133 to Paonia. This will take you past Redstone, past Hay’s Creek Falls which is literally next to the highway with a widened shoulder to park on, over McClure Pass, through Somerset (a coal mining town), and down through Paonia. The drive from Carbondale to Paonia is a beautiful part of the West Elk Scenic Byway. Hotchkiss is 10 minutes past Paonia, and Ela Family Farms is another 10 minutes from there. We are surrounded by recreation areas, national forest, BLM, and national parks.
Other nearby locavore / local artistic / local adventure attractions:
LOCALLY GROWN, VINTED, DISTILLED:
Stone Cottage Cellars Winery
A local winery favorite – they host amazing dinners and have a tasting room.
Peak Spirits/Jack Rabbit Hill Distillery & Winery
We often work together, they make gin and other spirits from Ela Family Farms’ fruit! Tastings on site. They are a Demeter Biodynamic vineyard.
Mesa Winds Farm and Winery
Our neighbors just down the country lane provide intimate outdoor dining from their own farm-raised menu along with their own wines.
See how and where the wine is made, along with a striking wine cellar.
A tasting room where you can sit overlooking the vineyards alongside a cafe. Their winery is onsite.
Western Slop SUP
Short, guided, local on-water adventures and rentals
Eagle Rock Shelter Site
LOCALLY SOURCED EATS:
Mountain Oven Organic Bakery
These folks have been instrumental in creating a local, heritage grain economy. They have two millstones on site.
Farm Runners Station
Local Food from Family Farms (shop & deli)
Small town bakery using locally sourced ingredients
Western Culture Farmstead Creamery
Local cheesemaker – fabulous quality and get to see the goats!
Desert Weyr Black Welsh Mountain Sheep
Visit sustainably raised sheep, try their wool & mutton
Creamery Art Center
A Gallery of High Quality local fine arts and education too.
An artist-in-residence program, often with works on display.
Blue Sage Center for the Arts
Fine arts gallery (local artists) and performing arts space. Check for events.