Ripe season for Palisade

Agritourism program resumes

Ginger Whittington picks a ripe peach off a tree at Z’s Orchard, 315 33 3/4 Road, Palisade. Z’s is one of the businesses in Palisade who are catering to agri-tourists.

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Palisade is gearing up for prime tourism season in and around the area’s famed orchards and wineries.

Nineteen businesses will participate in this year’s agritourism campaign, sponsored by the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau and Experience Colorado Agriculture.

The campaign aims to draw urban and local visitors alike to the countryside so they can see how food gets from the dirt to the dinner plate.

Scott High, who operates High Country Orchards & Vineyards with his wife and two sons, came from Denver to grow peaches. Some of his friends back in the city are awed when they see where food is grown.

“We’ve had 5-year-olds come from the city, and their eyes light up when they see a peach growing,” High said.

Thomas Cameron of Rancho Durazno organic farm said he hopes tourists will feel like they have a stake in the eight farms and orchards that are being promoted in Palisade this year.

“Then people will really do whatever it takes to keep farms in business,” Cameron said.

Palisade’s agricultural tourism campaign also will promote an alpaca farm, a brewery, a distillery, a bicycle rental and float trip company and six wineries. The campaign began four years ago with tours once a year. Two years ago, the tours expanded to a full season with eight participants and expanded to included wineries last year.

Tours vary from 20 minutes to an hour and are free, with the exception of a $5 per person fee at Kokopelli Farm & Produce and a $7 per person fee at Rancho Durazno. More information is available at or by calling 464-7458.


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