This year's growing season has nearly drawn to a close for many locations for many while others are just getting started. As we at the National Dude Ranchers' Association reminisce about the warmer, growing days of summer we would like to share a few ranches who spend their long, summer days planting and harvesting. The importance and fulfillment gained by growing your own produce is understood. At these accredited dude ranches they garden not only for themselves, but also to share what they reap with you. So, after a day of enjoying horseback riding, hiking, fishing and every other adventure imaginable, you can sit down and enjoy a family dinner, straight from the farm to the table. We hope before the winter blues sets in you will book a promising vacation to get your hands dirty in one of these dude ranch gardens.
Honey Bee's and Sweet Garden Produce
Diana Nash, Circle Z Ranch, Patagonia, Arizona
One of the stand-out traditions here at the Circle Z Ranch is our commitment to the highest standards for the food we serve our guests, and we guarantee you will be satisfied. Using only the freshest of ingredients, all of our mouthwatering buffets are created in our kitchens from scratch. In our gardens, we grow many of the vegetables served at mealtime, and our honey bees are always busy making the sweetest honeys for our use. We select the finest cuts of meats, and freshest fillets of fish we can find. Fresh baked breads, mouth-watering pastries, and a variety of cookies, all made from scratch, will greet you each day of your stay. Creative alternatives are available for those guests on strict gluten-free, vegetarian, lactose-free and vegan diets. Open October 26th - May 3rd.
Heirloom Seeds and Organic Composting
Marley & Linda Hodgson, Smith Fork Ranch, Crawford, Colorado
At Smith Fork Ranch we never lose the thrill and exhilaration that comes with each new season here in our beautiful valley in the Rocky Mountains. Several years ago, we started an organic farmstead garden, nestled in the meadow below the old Dance Barn. This garden is a living breathing reflection of our continued passion for the land and it’s seasons. As we harvest each season’s crops, we feel a stronger bond to this special place. The SFR organic garden focuses on the preservation and production of heirloom varietals that have been planted for generations in Holland, France and elsewhere in America. However, it all starts with the soil. And the soil’s need for being fed provides the perfect use for the organic waste from around our guest ranch; kitchen scraps, grass and leaf trimmings, a bit of hay from the horse barns, and of course manure rich in nitrogen. We are able to cultivate dozens of varieties of vegetables and flowers without the use of synthetic fertilizers or chemicals, even in the Rocky Mountain soil of our luxury guest ranch! Open May 22nd - November 1st.
Fresh Eggs Farm Raised Meats & Orchards
Scott Stewart, The High Lonesome Ranch, DeBeque, Colorado
Living the life of a cowboy all day can work up a powerful hunger for your family. Back at headquarters, our Chef and his crew are cooking up fresh family-style delights with a lot of culinary flare added in for a fine rustic dining experience. Your meals include high quality local meat and produce. In many instances the meat is raised on the ranch. Our eggs are fresh from our chickens and The High Lonesome’s signature Black Angus beef graces our menu when the timing and aging process is complete. Lambs and hogs are raised and delivered by neighboring 4H and FFA kids. The High Lonesome Ranch’s gardens and orchards enjoy ideal conditions for growing apricots, apples, peaches, pears and plums. We also grow an abundance of vegetables like corn, peppers, lettuces, cucumbers, squash, beans, peas, carrots, radishes, pumpkins and onions. Open year round.
As you can see the above dude ranches take meal time very seriously during your stay, so if your foodie there is no better place to get back to freshly grown organic food than a dude ranch. Click here to request more information