Finding Farm-to-Fork in the Mountain West

Farm-to-fork is a delicious and healthy trend that’s happening across the United States. Also known as farm-to-table, the phrase refers to the local food movement that promotes eating food that was grown close to home.

In the western United States, farm-to-fork is very popular, and finding a restaurant or market applying this practice to their business model is getting easier every day.

Pictured: Farm to Table Tuesdays at Snowmass, Colorado

Snowmass has taken the farm-to-fork movement to 7,000 feet above sea level. Elk Camp Restaurant, at the top of the Elk Camp gondola, is hosting six Farm to Table Tuesdays this summer.

Starting July 19, 2016, guests will enjoy a locally sourced à-la-carte menu by Chef Bradley Murphy. Local farms whose fare will be featured include Crystal River Meats, Delicious Orchards, Farm Runners, and many more.

In addition to the dinner, there will be a fire pit and s’mores, live music, a cash bar serving up local beer and spirits, and outdoor family activities. Five percent of sales will go to the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and the Roaring Fork Conservancy.

Photo: Northstar California

When visiting North Tahoe, it’s not hard to find restaurants serving locally sourced foodthis is California, after all. However, if you’d like to load up on fresh, local, organic produce, dairy, and meat for your vacation house or camping trip, look no further than the Tahoe Central Market.

Owned by the Habeger family, they send their trucks directly to local farms throughout the week, and it doesn’t get more farm-to-fork than that. They even list the farms they work with on their website.

Whether you stop in for free-range California beef for the barbecue, or to grab a deli sandwich made on Truckee Sourdough Bread, Tahoe Central Market is the place to find healthy, local food options in North Lake Tahoe.

To taste everything this area has to offer, check out the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival taking place September 9-11, 2016.

Photo: Michelle Ellis Photography

And speaking of local food-related events, the third annual Ouray County Fork Festhappening August 19-20, 2016brings together locally-sourced food, cooking classes, chef demos, and more in Ouray and Ridgway, Colorado.

During the Fork Fest Restaurant Crawl on Friday night, participants sample dishes at 10 different restaurants who focus on local foods.

Photo: Copyright Vertical Harvest / Hannah Hardaway

In a town of refined tastes, there stands a three-story, 13,500-foot building dedicated to growing green, delicious food. Vertical Harvest in Jackson, Wyoming, is arguably one of the most unique businesses in the mountain west.

Vertical Harvest is a hydroponic greenhouse that utilizes one-tenth of an acre infill lot to grow an annual amount of produce equivalent to five acres of traditional agriculture.

They grow 100,000 pounds of produce year-round to sell to area restaurants and grocery stores, as well as through their own onsite store, MARKET. This is sweet deal for Jackson, a town with a short, four-month growing season.  

Visitors to Jackson can tour Vertical Harvest on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 1 p.m., but must call (307) 201-4452 and sign up in advance.

Categories: The Heidi Guide