Thomas Jefferson

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A Proud Heritage

Posted 10/29/2021 by Juanita Hurtado

The apple orchards around Denver open the doors for the first U-Pick season after the pandemic. photo courtesy of The Mother List

The U-Pick season has begun and TJ’s students are invited to participate.

Colorado is a proud state, one not lacking traits to be proud of such as the opportunity to ski every year and still bask in impossibly amazing sunshine, enjoy the perfect balance between warmth and cold, live the dream of living in the Rocky Mountains, take a short road trip to the largest mineral hot springs in the world no matter the season, or spend an unforgettable night at a concert in the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

However, the list of amazing opportunities does not end there. The pandemic that turned the world upside down also affected a cherished humbly tradition in Colorado: the U-Pick orchards and farms many families, groups of friends, and couples visited. “It is very funny, actually,” Laura Zabaleta, a senior at Thomas Jefferson, stated. “It is that sort of activity you rarely think of or rarely remember that exists in Colorado.” The sometimes-forgotten custom was put to a complete stop when COVID-19 restrictions were set in place.

Now, with many restrictions lifted, farms near the Denver metro area have started to open up again. Miller Farms, Bartels Farm, Adam’s Apple Orchard, and Berry Patch Farms, are guaranteeing a safe and open environment where guests can pick their own fruits and vegetables with minimum handling by others. With prices ranging from $25 per adult and $15 for children and variations between reservation requirements for each farm, the U-Pick season is finally open.

“Turns out to be a pretty fun experience,” Zabaleta stated. “You are there picking up your own apples and then you turn to see your bestie with no idea of how to differentiate a cherry from a cherry pepper! Imagine if she eats it!”

 These farms have also been considered a very romantic destination. Many couples have enjoyed a sweet time picking berries, strawberries, and raspberries under the beautiful Colorado sun as they watch the leaves turn from their lively green to the long-awaited orange and brown shades of fall. “It is quite a spectacular view,” Zabaleta remarked. “So beautiful and peaceful!”

The U-Pick season is finally open, offering multitudes of fun and opportunities for the creation of memories just a couple of miles down the road. Along with it come delicious fruits and vegetables that can be used in the most amusing and extravagant ways: organic smoothies, salads, snacks, and healthy alternatives to the traditional food Coloradans tend to enjoy.

Before winter arrives, it is time to try it out, TJ!