Farmer’s Markets

Driving across the Front Range from Denver to Fort Collins, one can see many, many old farm houses. Some are dilapidated and vacant. Some are still occupied. Still others are transformed into working farms, businesses or incorporated into a new subdivision as a club or activity house. Our own subdivision, Nelson Farm, was a successful dairy farm.  As a transplant, I have this grandiose vision of how beautiful it must have been in the early 20th century for a farmer with a view of the Rocky Mountains. Although many farms are now gone or gobbled up by subdivisions, the spirit of “farm to plate” is still strong and the entrepreneurial spirit of handmade and homegrown goods from goat’s milk soaps to farm-raised tilapia under hydroponic greens brings a new century of farming to the area.

Outdoor Farmer’s Markets are available from June through at least September. 2015 was particularly mild so the markets were open through October. In the summer, there are three to choose from but the most popular is the Saturday market downtown. We tend to shop at the Sunday market that is about a mile from our house. In the winter, the market is in the Opera House. Some vendors are there only in the winter. Some sell at both.

I was pleasantly surprised with the winter market – winter vegetables, mushrooms, cheese galore, a Greek olive oil vendor, several bakers and an assortment of crafters. The winter Saturday market has a variety of vendors, from the Blue Mountain Winery in Berthoud to fresh mushrooms, pastas, breads sauces, along with the usual produce. One of my favorites was Turned Silks. The crafter repurposes sweaters into cool wearable art. An intriguing finds at the winter market was Quatrix which offers beautiful lettuce and herbs and tilapia grown in an aquaponic environment.

If you visit between June and October, summer’s bounty will be at its peak!

More information in case you were curious:

John Nelson, one of the region’s first and most successful dairy farmers, immigrated with his wife in 1871 from Ayrshire, Scotland, to the Fort Collins area. He purchased 240 acres just 3 1/2 miles southeast of town, near the present intersection of Lemay and Swallow, and built a house and planted wheat and oats. There was only prairie stretching in all directions. Some believe the grasshopper plague of 1874-1876 persuaded Nelson to switch to dairying. He brought the first herd of registered Jersey cows into Larimer County. This was the county’s first dairy business, and some historians say it was the first in the state. Building on Nelson’s success, other farmers began dairying operations as well. In the 20th century, a number of local dairies operated profitably, as milk production has remained an important industry. In addition to his dairy operation, Nelson also raised Clydesdale horses for a time. Around 1880, he built a sandstone milk house which has been preserved and is all that remains of the farm.

Baseball

Summer Baseball

Going to Coors Field may be on your itinerary, but if not, you can enjoy up close and personal baseball in Fort Collins during the summer!

The Fort Collins Foxes  are a member club of the Centennial State League, a wooden bat summer collegiate baseball league based in Northern Colorado.  The Foxes feature top collegiate baseball players from around the country, and just like Minor League Baseball, provide fun family entertainment.  A tremendous entertainment value with free parking, $6 admission, $5 Culver’s Butter Burgers (chips included), and $1 drinks or peanuts.

The summer evenings are cool and dry, the sunsets are spectacular, and you may see an eagle fly overhead! We did!

mike and butter burger
Mike won a cinnamon roll!
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Evening at the Foxes

Ice Skating, Tennis, Swimming, Horseshoes

Yes, we are three hours from Breckenridge and Steamboat for skiing. But when not skiing, what else is there to do on the Front Range! Ice skate, play tennis and swim! Along with our neighborhood pool and very nice tennis courts within a very easy walking distance, Fort Collin’s offers the following venues for skating, tennis, swimming,  and horseshoes!

Edora Park

Just about one mile north of Waterford Inn along the Power Trail, Edora Park features a wide variety of activities.

Tennis – six lighted courts plus six 12’ high cinderblock backboards to beat balls against.

Disc Golfhttp://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=6608 or http://www.pdga.com/course-directory/course/edora-park A well manicured 18 hole, 5848 foot course that is moderately hilly and lightly wooded with multiple pin placements. The creek comes into play on 5 holes.

Horseshoes – A huge facility with 32 lighted pits, Edora Park hosts organized league play plus local and state tournaments.

Edora Park Pool and Ice Center (EPIC) http://www.fcgov.com/recreation/epic.php  EPIC is the region’s premier ice and aquatics facility.  EPIC is home to the CSU Hockey and Water Polo Teams as well as the Fort Collins Area Swim Team and Fort Collins Figure Skating Club.  It features an indoor 50-meter x 25-yard pool, two 3-meter and two 1-meter diving boards, separate warm water pool and wading pool, and two indoor 200′ x 85′ ice surfaces.

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Skate Park – this 17,500-square-foot concrete facility boasts snake runs, bowls, ramps and rails. The integrated design allows for a seamless flow between park structures, while also catering to varying expertise levels.

Pond Skating – I didn’t think it would get cold enough here for pond skating but there are several ponds available for winter skating. City Park and Prospect Ponds have sections of the ponds that are scraped and prepped for outdoor hockey or casual skating.

outdoor skating pond

Golfing

Collindale  

Location. Location. Location. This course’s clubhouse and practice facility is literally walking distance from Waterford Inn.  At best, it is 1/4 of a mile from our house and is Mike’s primary course. The course features a championship length, 18-hole golf course. It is the home of local U.S. Open Qualifying and a perennial favorite for many State amateur events.

The clubhouse also is how to C.B. and Potts Restaurant and Brewery. It was our custom when visiting the area to have our last vacation dinner on the patio, watch the golfers come in, and enjoy the sunset against Horsetooth mountain. We hope you can come and enjoy it as well!

 

SouthRidge  

This 18-hole municipal course is about 2.5 miles straight south of Waterford Inn (along the Power Trail) and has the best scenic vistas of the Front Range! SouthRidge has a great mix of terrain and almost every type of feature to make a fun and challenging course.

City Park Nine  

Family fun! City Park Nine is a regulation length 9 hole municipal golf course that offers enjoyment and challenges for players of all ages and abilities. Built in 1940 and located next to historic City Park and Grandview Cemetery, the course features tight fairways, small greens, and mature trees. It is consistently recognized as the “Best Nine Hole Golf Course” in Colorado.

For those bringing families, City Park Nine is adjacent to City Park Pool and Sheldon Lake. The pool complex which has a large outdoor pool, lazy river, multiple slides, shallow water areas and geysers. Sheldon Lake has shaded picnic areas, trout fishing, and paddleboats for rent. And of course, outdoor ice skating in the winter! The golf course, lake and pool remind me of the old Landa Park in New Braunfels, Texas.  Much family fun!

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