Last week I was invited to participate in a farm-to-table lunch made with Colorado products and to meet some of the food producers growing such products.
The event was held in one of the most Instagrammable places in Denver – Union Station. I hope you can see why in the next two pictures. The renovated train station is absolutely stunning and a cool place to hang out with restaurants, bars, stores and a hotel. Even if you are not taking a train, this place is a favorite for tourists and locals alike.
During the Colorado Proud event, I learned so much about Colorado’s agriculture, about technological advances and how that is shaping the way our food is produced and even about the challenges that farmers in Colorado face. As an avid consumer of fresh, organic products, I am always interested to know where my food comes from and who are the people getting dirty so I don’t have to.
Until I married my husband, I was pretty much a city girl, having lived most of my life in metropolitan cities. That all changed when I married into a cattle ranching family. And although we don’t live in the farm and my in-laws still consider me a city girl, I have learned quite a bit about ranching through the years. I watched births, helped tag and corral cows, witnessed pregnancy checks, petted a bull and even helped a recent-born calf latch on to her mama. I’ve come a long way from stilettos to manure covered boots!
All of this experience has given me a lot more appreciation for the work farmers do every day to feed “city folks” like me. That is one of the reasons why I was excited to participate in this event. Of course, I also love to cook and specially love to eat!
About Colorado Proud
Since moving to Colorado, I have been impressed by all the support that Colorado products enjoy from a population that is vastly not from Colorado. I kept seeing the Colorado Proud logo everywhere – in grocery stores and in restaurants, but I never gave it too much thought. Well, today I learned what these labels really mean. Not only we are buying delicious products, we are helping family farms in Colorado thrive.
Here are some stats that were surprising to me:
- 97% of food produced in the US comes from family farms, not big corporations*.
- There is an increase in minority owned farms and 25% of farms are owned by new farmers*
- Supporting family farmers doesn’t have to happen only through farmer’s markets- a lot of the produce in local grocery stores are from family farms.
- Eating seasonally is simple – the seasonal produce is cheaper and plenty. Another clue is the weather in your area. If your winters are harsh, then produce is not coming from local farms.
- Grass fed and grass finished are different things when it comes to cattle. It’s important to educate ourselves as consumers to know what we are really paying for.
*Sources: Colorado Dept of Agriculture – Colorado Proud Faces and Stories of Colorado’s Agriculture: By the Numbers
Aside from the wealth of information I learned during lunch, I want to show you the highlight of the event: the food. Because there is no better way to showcase amazing produce and meat than to make a delicious meal out of it, is there?
The first course was a fresh mixed greens salad with ripe seasonal fruit – honeydew melon, cantaloupe and pickled watermelon rind, which was absolutely delicious!
Next we were served lamb, served on top of a creamy corn risotto. The lamb was falling off the bone!
To finish things off, dessert was peachy! Peach prepared three ways – fresh, roasted and pickled, served with a lemon, lavender tart. It was a perfect way to finish a scrumptious meal and highlighted all Coloradan products so well.
I wish I could share this meal with all of you instead of sharing only pictures. But, if you want to have some of this, you will have to visit Colorado and when you are here, buy some Colorado Proud products. You will not be disappointed!
Watch the vlog here.