The highway cut right along the bottom of the foothills. And then suddenly, the car took a sharp turn onto an empty road to the east. Another surprising, desolate turn south. Although only a few minutes from Boulder, I was instantly disoriented. Nothing but open fields and farmland. The tires slowly crackled through an archway of trees and wound onto a dirt driveway.
That’s when I began to wonder if the other writer I was traveling with was going to murder me and wear my skull as a hat. Either that, or we’d just stumbled across another hidden gem in Boulder County.
As I’m still wearing my skull as my own hat, obviously it was the latter. And a gem we did find.
As a native to these parts, it always amazes me when I find yet another undiscovered pocket of adventure to explore. I’d never been here, and as soon as I stepped out of my car and stopped thinking creepy thoughts, I was swept away by the serenity and slow beauty of the farmland. We were visiting the Lone Hawk Farm, technically in Longmont but realistically in the middle of, well, somewhere stunning.
My colleague had been here for a wedding before, and I could instantly see how the green lawn, gardens and perfect mountain views would set a mystical backdrop for a farm-inspired wedding.
We wandered through the acreage, peeking in barns at the animals, musing at an old shack that I swear must house a real-life magical troll and crossing a tiny creek on a handmade wooden bridge to get a closer view of the garden.
Just down the street, at 10790 N. 49th St., there was a farm stand, open daily during the growing season, selling fresh, organic veggies, honor-system style. Find the prices on a blackboard and slip your payment in the little red box. Something about that felt old-fashioned and neighborly, reminding me of the days when people actually weren’t afraid to trust.
Or you can also pick out your own veggies, flowers and fresh chicken eggs right from the fields. Visitors are welcome to the gardens any time of day. Even without booking a wedding, you’re invited to pack a lunch and enjoy it on the barn balcony.
We felt welcomed as we explored, with no agenda, no itinerary, just fueled by curiosity and playfulness, snapping photos of the scenery as we walked. It made me want to step outside of the city more often, to make a point to visit this softer and slower side of Boulder, where magical trolls may or may not live, neighbors share their bounty and the flowers seem to bloom just a little bit brighter.
Looking for other ways to explore Boulder County’s farm and agricultural scene?
The Lyons Farmette, 4121 Ute Highway in Lyons, is hosting a Sugar Pine Farm Dinner 6-9 p.m. tonight (Aug. 30). Produce is grown along the perimeter here and hand-selected for a freshly harvested meal on the farm. The meal is $100 per person. Learn more at The Lyons Farmette.
The 63rd Street Farm, 3796 N. 63rd St. in Boulder, is having a Wine and Wood-Fired Pizza event 3-7 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 31). The event features pizza from Laudisio’s, with farm-fresh toppings, along with wine from Settembre Cellars. You can also tour the winery and tasting room 1-6 p.m. For more info, visit Wine and Wood-Fired Pizza.
Erie Farmer’s Market, on Briggs Street between Wells and Moffatt streets, runs 5-8 p.m. on Thursday (Aug. 31). This free, family-friendly, pet-friendly community gathering is a great place to pick up locally grown produce, meat, bread, wine, cheese and more. Bonus: You can catch live music and there’s free parking.
Louisville Farmers Market is also this week at the Steinbaugh Pavilion, 824 Front St., Louisville. This market, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, also features booths of local vendors and farmers.
The Agricultural Heritage Center, 8348 Ute Highway, Longmont, is one way to learn about Boulder County’s agricultural history. Swing by the big red barn this Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and walk around the farm, check out old farm equipment, play on interactive exhibits and say hello to animals like horses, pigs and goats.