The ABCs of Mesa Verde Country’s Farm-to-Table Movement
Mesa Verde Country has a strong agricultural tradition. The Ancestral Puebloans were the first agriculturalists in the area. They farmed the valleys and the mesas of Montezuma County, including Mesa Verde National Park, until around 1300 A.D.
Agriculture continues to be an important part of the culture in Mesa Verde Country. A visit to the area is simply not complete without experiencing the bounty of the local agriculture scene – through farmers markets, u-pick it orchards, pumpkin patches, wine tasting and microbrew tours. There is also a cornucopia of culinary delights to be had at the area restaurants, many of which serve local, sustainable and always creative cuisine.
Mesa Verde Country’s agricultural acumen is something that starts at a young age! The Montezuma School to Farm Project connects the area’s farming heritage with the growing future. The Montezuma School to Farm Project (MSTFP) has been transforming the way students empower themselves and their communities around food and local agriculture since 2009. The program unites local agricultural heritage with the future of the area by engaging students with sustainable agriculture, resource conservation, health, and economics through educational experiences through outdoor school garden classes, farm field trips, and summer farm camps.
Last spring, students from Kemper Elementary School in Cortez were invited to Washington, DC, to help plant the White House Kitchen Garden with First Lady Michelle Obama. In June, they were invited back to the nation’s capital to help the First Lady cook up a meal with the produce they harvested from the White House Kitchen Garden.
Fall is a great time to experience the bounty of Mesa Verde Country for yourself. The restaurants are serving up fall fare. There’s the Harvest Beer Festival on Sept. 10, featuring regional brews and ales served up alongside live music.
Learn more about agritourism adventures in Mesa Verde Country.