Have you ever wondered…“What’s up on Redlands Mesa?” Well, here’s your chance to find out!

A group of artists, gardeners and farmers on Redlands Mesa, near Hotchkiss, Colorado, have collaborated to offer a self-guided tour of their studios, farms and gardens on Saturday, September 10, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The tour includes five farms and gardens, and three artist studios. There will be demonstrations offered throughout the day including: cheese making, blacksmith forging, seed saving, kombucha making, potter’s wheel techniques and 3-dimensional embroidery.

Tour participants will be able to tour elk, bison and alpaca ranches, see artists at work in their studios and take in the stunning views that Redlands Mesa is famous for. The Redlands Mesa Grange will be hosting a Farmers Market featuring locally grown produce from 9am to 1pm and the fabulous cooks at the Redlands Mesa Grange will be serving up a Farm to Table Lunch from 11:30-1:30. The lunch will feature a choice of elk, buffalo, alpaca, or vegetarian chili, cornbread, salad and dessert. After the tour, relax and enjoy “Happy Hour” from 4 to 7pm at Jack Rabbit Hill Winery with wine, cocktails and appetizers prepared by Chef Bill Frantz of Gunnison River Farm. Live music will be provided by The Solar Brothers.

Come spend the day, or just a couple of hours, it’s up to you. Begin the tour at the Redlands Mesa Grange, located at 27953 Redlands Mesa Road, Hotchkiss, CO 81419. Here you will register and pick up your map which will list the complete schedule of all events and demonstrations as well as descriptions of the studios and farms featured on the tour. Map pick up will be between the hours of 9am and 2pm on the day of the event. Tour tickets are $5 per person, Lunch is $10 per person, and Happy Hour which includes 2 glasses of wine or 2 cocktails plus appetizers is $15 per person.

Redlands Mesa has a history of creative residents. This collaborative event is a natural outcome of neighbors sharing their creativity with the community. Here are the places you will be able to explore during your self-guided tour:

  • Doug and Debbie Christner’s Akuna Matada Suri Alpacas: where luxurious fiber becomes sustainable fashion. Come meet the alpacas and all the items they provide: knit and woven items, socks, rugs, &  leather, meat (low fat, high in protein), and manure for your garden.
  • Gini McNai’s Pottery Studio: will have a large variety of pottery, fused glass jewelry and slumped bottles on display. Don’t miss the “fence people” and be sure and take a stroll through the garden. Gini will also be giving kombucha making and wheel throwing demonstrations.
  • Doug Fritz – Blacksmith:  Since 1977, Doug has created custom railings, gates and fireplace furnishings for homes throughout the Western Slope utilizing old-time methods, often combined with state-of- the-art technology.  His demonstrations of forging techniques throughout the day will be a unique opportunity to see an amazing artist at work.
  • Pat and Paul Frazier’s Peace and Plenty Farm: is an off-grid, diversified farm, perennial nursery, and micro-dairy homestead, which uses biodynamic and permaculture practices. A variety of tough, drought resistant nursery stock will be available for purchase. Plus, Pat will be giving a cheese making demonstration.
  • Lance Swigart’s Garden: is one of the most amazing gardens in the North Fork Valley. Lance grows all his own grains, dry beans, fruits, veggies and seeds at 6000’ elevation without a greenhouse. He is also one of the featured experts on KVNF Public Radio’s weekly garden show:”As the Worm Turns”; Lance will be offering tips on seed saving throughout the day.
  • Colwell Cedars Retreat: blends art and nature. You’re sure to enjoy Katherine and Joe Colwell’s art studio and gallery, where you can learn about Nature and Art Journeys for families and small groups, reserve the guest house, and marvel at views large and small during a hike through diverse ecosystems.
  • High Wire Elk and Buffalo Ranch: Dave and Sue Whittlesey have been raising farm-to-plate, grass-fed bison and elk for over thirty years. Their meat products are non-GMO and gluten free, USDA inspected, with no antibiotics, hormones, nitrates or MSG.
  • Lance and Anna Hanson’s Jack Rabbit Hill Winery and Peak Spirits Distillery: takes you back in time as you sample tasty Jack Rabbit Hill Wines, New Avalon Hard Ciders, Caprock Gin, Vodka, Brandy, and more. They will also host a happy hour following the tour; offering wine and cocktails, appetizers, and live music from 4 to 7pm.

Tickets are available online at www.redlandsmesagrange.weebly.com or in Hotchkiss at the Creamery Arts Center. Purchase your tour ticket by September 5th to be automatically entered in a drawing to win one of the door prizes that have been donated by the tour artists, gardeners and farmers. Proceeds will benefit the Redlands Mesa Grange.

You can also follow the What’s Up On Redlands Mesa? Facebook page. For more information contact Gini McNair at 970-589- 3331 or ginimcnair@gmail.com

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