In July 2021, while returning from our "Balloons" trip, Ulrich told me that he wanted to take a detour and visit Knapp Ranch, a foundation, ranch, and agricultural center located at altitude. At first, I didn't fully understand what he meant and was unsure of what to expect. However, I agreed to visit the ranch since the morning was already magical with the hot air balloon festival. We left I-70 and drove towards the town of Eagle, CO, where the ranch is located..
As I gazed around, I was drawn to a beautiful wooden storefront that read 'Knapp Harvest'. I was confused about why we were not in the middle of a ranch, but Ulrich explained everything in detail, and it all made sense.
Knapp was originally a ranch associated with a foundation whose objective was to research and develop sustainable agriculture at high altitudes of about 8,200 feet. While growing crops in the valleys of Colorado may be relatively common, it is quite a challenge to grow vegetables or an orchard at this altitude due to low humidity, harsh sunlight, and extreme weather conditions.
After purchasing the land and starting the ranch in the 1990s, the owners - Betsy and Bud Knapp - opened a small shop in the city. The shop offers products from the farm, including vegetables, honey, and flowers perfectly adapted to Colorado's soil and climate. They also sell quality local products from the surrounding area, ranging from fresh organic produce to gift ideas from small designers.
This is far from the image of intensive American agriculture. I love sharing stories of courageous personal initiatives that demonstrate how productivity, quality, and respect for nature can create a profitable model for the future.
But I'm sure you'd prefer to see it yourself. So let's get out of the car and explore together!
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