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Activities / Children / Colorado Livin' / Events

The Gardening Mama Visits Miller Farms!

If your garden has met the end of its season or if you just can’t get enough of the sweet, succulent, goodness that is Colorado-grown produce (garden or no garden) then take a trip to Miller Farms and harvest a crop of nutrient-dense and ready-to-eat fruits and veggies. The annual Miller Farms Fall Festival is in full swing! Head on up to Platteville and be ready to work. The reward is a bounty of fresh food to gobble up or put up for the winter!

From its early beginnings in 1949 as a dairy farm and harvesting such crops as alfalfa, corn, beans and beets the Miller family has grown their 900 acres of land North of Denver into a farm-attraction destination with over 40 different crops that provides for an on-farm market stand, a CSA, and stands at 40 farmers markets throughout Colorado and even one in Wyoming.

Years ago I was introduced to Miller Farms through my son’s school field trip. We took a hay ride out to the fields and picked our own bags of gorgeous vegetables – beets, onions, carrots and potatoes – and a jack-o-lantern pumpkin for each member of the family. All the crops at Miller Farms are free of pesticides or herbicides.

After the harvest the kids climbed onto antique tractors, raced pedal cars around the tire track and climbed the enormous hay bales tower for a day filled with a little work, a lot of fresh veggies and a ton of fun!

Every year the folks at Miller Farms add a little more wonder and excitement to the mix. This year is no exception.

The petting zoo is filled with friendly farm animals including a Chester the duck who thinks he is a chicken.

“New” antique tractors have been added to the line up that greets you as you pull into the farm. The oldest tractor is a red 1923 McCormick Deering. Sitting on the big red machine with massive steel wheels on either side of the drivers seat makes you feel like a real farmer who can take on even the biggest field of the juiciest corn!

There’s a real bi-plane to climb into along with a big red fire engine and mammoth a sized beetle! All the machines and sculptures have been searched out and brought to Miller Farms to provide hands on play for the thousands of visitors received each year. Even the most run-down of tractors is restored to full operation before being placed on display.

During the winter months when the farm is tucked in for the season, the crew will search the internet for unusual and eye-catching cars and tractors to enhance their collection and, I think, fulfill their love to tinkering with machines! Can you find Mator?

The annual Miller Farm corn maze is open and ready to put your navigation skills to the test. A random path is this years’ chosen design that will run you in circles and befuddle even the most cunning of adventurers before you get to the end.

October 10 – 31 the corn maze turns becomes haunted at night! The staff will be decked out in costumes and weaving their best haunted tales setting the stage for a spooky night-time enchanted walk through the corn.

Miller Farms Fall Festival

September 5 – November 15. Hours: Daily 9am – 6pm

Fall Festival–Pricing for 2011 (Prices are for the Fall Festival only)
Individuals $15.00 per person
Family of 4 $50.00 ($12.00 per additional person)
Groups of 10 or more $12.00 per person
Public School Tours (10 student minimum) $8.00 per person (Teachers and bus drivers free)
Home Schools, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts – $10.00 per person
Active Military, Policemen and Firefighters $12.00 per person (Proper ID required *rate good for all members in group)

I had to ask the question, why is the rate higher for home schoolers and scouts compared to public school students? Miller Farms has found over the years that the home school and scout kids tend to work harder and fill their harvest bags to capacity!

What happens to the crops after November 15? The farm opens up for a gleening day where local church groups, charity organizations, and families in need harvest everything that is left over so that every last veggie is put to good use feeding those who need it most.

For ideas on what to do with your bountiful harvest there is a list of recipes on http://www.millerfarms.net/.

Bring water, sturdy shoes and gloves and be ready to harvest!

Each day the produce picking line up changes. There are a lot of repeat visitors to Miller Farms throughout the harvest season. Many folks are able to preserve all that they harvest and make the goodness last all winter!

As the Gardening Mama I have tucked away my own garden for the season but will return in October in my latest role as The Home Schooling Mama! I’m hoping that beets will be on the harvest list during our visit to Miller Farms so I can put up a batch for holiday gifts and delicious canned beets to last until spring while I plan my garden layout for 2012!

What will you make with your harvest?  See you at Miller Farms!

Heather Ruch
Author: Heather Ruch

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1 Comment

  1. This looks like SUCH a blast! Definitely need to go check it out this fall season.

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