Take the opportunity to enjoy local farm-fresh food during your stay at a chalet or cabin complete with a fully equipped kitchen at Creekside Chalets. You can purchase food directly from farms or at farmers’ markets in the Salida and Buena Vista communities to prepare in your chalet. Alternatively, local food stores and restaurants also source many of their local food from Colorado, including fresh produce from local farms, high-altitude honey, and meat from free-range grass-fed cattle.
Local Colorado Food Guide for Visitors
Greens, Vegetables and Organics
If you are a salad eater, you will want to try lettuce and tomatoes from Erin’s Geothermal Greenhouse. Located in the Upper Arkansas River Valley, this farm produces exceptional greens grown in a climate-controlled greenhouse that uses thermal energy. Erin’s Greenhouse partners with the Lettucehead Food Company in Buena Vista, where their products can be purchased.
Poncha Creek Gardens specializes in microgreens for salads and other dishes. Varietals include sunflower shoots, pea shoots, kale micros, broccoli micros, red cabbage, kohlrabi, and mustard microgreens. High in B vitamins and minerals, these small shoots and pods are found at Salida and Buena Vista’s markets and restaurants.
Trout Creek Farm in Buena Vista provides carrots, radishes, kale, cucumbers, beets, and broccoli grown at 8,000-foot elevation. The farm is also known for locally-grown cut flowers. The growing season is short and intense, producing beautiful organic vegetables and flowers. Solar power provides the energy needed for heating and lighting.
Sweet Pea Farm is another high-altitude farm in the Poncha Springs area that specializes in alfalfa-clover wildflower honey. This farm cultivates bees that pollinate clover and native wildflowers at 8,000 to 10,000 feet high in the Rockies. The taste is unique.
The Triangle Oasis is another small-scale farm that grows vegetables in the Upper Arkansas River Valley near Salida. This farm specializes in roasted chilies sold in local grocery stores in the area.
Goat cheese products come from the Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy and County Store, where artisan cheeses are hand-crafted using traditional cheese-making methods. The dairy offers tours to demonstrate the processes. Find their products at the Jumpin’ Good Country Store in Salida and local fairs.
Rocky Mountain Garlic grows in Chaffee County, with the farm producing about 10,000 heads of garlic on a quarter acre. The farm follows organic and biodynamics to deliver the best garlic in the region. Local restaurants and farm stores carry the garlic regularly for customers to enjoy.
Meadows Edge Farm is a small farm that grows organic, pesticide-free vegetables found at the farmer’s markets in Salida and Buena Vista. Pre-packed boxes of produce are also offered weekly for pick-up in surrounding towns.
Bunny and Clyde’s is a local Salida restaurant and cooperative that offers healthy food from local growers. This restaurant has take-out service during the pandemic with specialties that include vegan cuisine.
Manipura Juice Company provides a variety of high-quality juices and smoothies. They use local sustainably farmed organic fruit and vegetables and are on a mission to create year-round indoor and outdoor sustainable farming.
The Beekeeper’s Honey Boutique at 209 West 3rd Street offers a wide array of pure, unfiltered local honey, honey-based lotions, potions and cosmetics, creamed honey in a variety of flavors, and yummy chunks of honeycomb.
Meat and Poultry
Several ranches and farms offer meat and poultry that ranges free with no antibiotics or hormones raised on the ground that is also free of pesticides.
The Scanga Meat Company is a local family-run wholesale and retail business that features prime beef, lamb, and poultry products. This company also specializes in smoked and cured meat products. They also sell locally made cheeses.
Arrowpoint Cattle Company in Nathrop offers grass-fed highland beef from cattle that roam the range at 8,000 feet altitude. The cattle are hearty, bred for the high altitude ranch lands. This ranch practices regenerative ranching that alternate grazing grounds. Grasslands have the opportunity to regenerate naturally before the cattle are allowed to graze again. Sustainable ranching has been part of the high mountain area since 1959.
Nola’s Naturals has non-GMO meats, fresh eggs, and poultry along with fresh herbs and medicinal teas.
Everett Ranch Beef has been in the family for five generations. All cattle are grass-fed. This ranch in the Salida area has a family store that sells other animal products.
The Hutchinson Ranch is another Salida area producer of grass-fed beef.
Freshwater fish, including mountain trout, comes from the Mt. Shavano Hatchery.
Community Supported Agriculture
Many small farms and businesses in Chaffee County, including Salida and Buena Vista, are part of the Community Supported Agriculture cooperative. These farms work together to promote sustainable living and farming. Farmers pride themselves on the sustainability of their farms and ranches, and the clean mountain air and soil are not contaminated.
Farm-to-table freshness also supports the local economy in Chaffee County and Salida. Sales from their products support the small towns that dot this scenic area of the Rockies. Check out the Guidestone Colorado for more information, including phone numbers and emails for the local enterprises.
Spend a week or even a weekend at Creekside Chalets and Cabins to experience local food and hospitality from this area.