A Glance Back Over A Harvest and Weanling Week

Harvest time at the Home Ranch is pretty special.

Each year, at summer’s end, when the kids have gone back to school and the garden is at its peak, we dedicate a vacation season to the glories of the harvest, and the tastes and inclinations of adults, sans children. This year was a true culinary celebration of Colorado’s rich brewing, wine, spirits and farm to table movement and, of course, a celebration of the beauty and charm of young horses. The many and varied activities of the season were applauded by guests. Here is a brief look back at the events of the season (with a few Whiskey cocktail recipes thrown in for good measure!)

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Bikes and Brews

After a full summer of construction, the farm kitchen was ready to host outdoor dinners for our Harvest Weeks – which kicked off with the “Bikes and Brews” theme. We hosted an outdoor pizza party to debut our new wood-fired oven and the pizza turned out great  – replete with fresh produce toppings plucked right from the farm’s garden beds.  We also had our first ever 5-course beer pairing dinner with O’Dell Brewing. Hosts Amanda and Ryan King shared brewing stories from this great Fort Collins brewery while our guests enjoyed a selection of Colorado craft beers.  We also created some new mountain bike trails on the ranch for future use.

Whiskey and Fishing with Stranahan’s Whiskey

photo-10We had a beautiful evening of drinks and conversation down on the farm where we offered a mixology class featuring some of Stranahan’s Whiskey signature cocktails (recipes below.) Stranahan’s head distiller, Rob Dietrich, and our dining room manager, Andy, put together an array of ingredients and created these special cocktails for our guests. Rob also taught everyone how to nose and enjoy whiskey neat, (should the thought of whiskey with anything in it but whiskey offend purists.)

Two and a half bottles into the evening there seemed to be a tie for favorite cocktail: the Colorado Mule and the Rosemary Sour both held the day. We’ve shared the cocktail ingredients below in case you want to host a Stranahan Whiskey cocktail party of your own!

Honeycomb Rosemary Sour

Sweet Tooth Apiary honeycomb infused Stranahan’s, housemade sour mix, mixed and stored for just the right amount of time of peak flavor

Colorado Mule

Stranahan’s, housemade ginger puree, lime and soda


Perfect Manhattan with Stranahan’s, sweet and dry vermouth, bitters, Luxardo cherry

Rooster Cogburn

Prickly pear cactus, lime juice, Madhava agave nectar, Stranahan’s, soda water, ancho chile rim

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Colorado Wineries and Chefs

What would a Harvest Week be without showcasing the work of Colorado’s best winemakers and food artisans? We welcomed vintner John Sutcliffe, owner of Sutcliffe Vineyards, to join us for a wine tasting dinner down at the Farm Kitchen.  Alfred Eames, owner of Alfred Eames Cellars, also brought some of his wines up for a dinner in the dining room. Former Home Ranch chefs Hunter Chamness and James Roundy are now using their culinary talents at a new restaurant in Avon. Boxcar is a chef driven restaurant that is expanding the notion of what elevated pub food can be. Hunter and James demonstrated sausage making, smoking, and fish curing with Mackerel and Yellowfin Tuna. Guests said the week was one of the finest dining experiences they’d had.

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Weanling Weeks

A look back at a special Weanling Week with Horse Breeder Gord Jessiman from Alberta, Canada.  A favorite for our guests which gives them a rare and unique opportunity to interact and work with never-handled weanlings (6 month old horses).

The guests begin the week working with horses that are very timid – and then they work beside them all week to acclimate them to humans so they can be moved to the auction sale ring at the end of the week. Every weanling week culminates with a Horse Sale. Stockman and clinician Curt Pate joined us and provided a horse work demonstration, as he has for many years. We also welcomed local horse trainer Andy Kurtz and our own Alec Nelson to share their knowledge with Home Ranch guests and folks attending the sale. To celebrate the completion of the farm kitchen and bring awareness to our farm to table efforts we invited local artisans to display crafts and had our farm team give tours of the farm, greenhouse, and gardens. We celebrated a beautiful Colorado fall day with live music, food and beer at the farm kitchen.