The popular produce stand that traditionally supplies Aspen residents and visitors with fruits, veggies and greens at Buttermilk is open for business in a less obvious spot this summer.
Early Morning Orchard was displaced from Buttermilk because of Aspen Skiing Co.’s construction of a new children’s center and other base facilities. Farmer Skip Doty signed a contract to open his stand at Cozy Point Ranch. It’s a relationship both parties hope extends into the future.
Monroe Summers manages the city of Aspen-owned ranch. The property has long been known for its equestrian facilities and programs. Summers said it’s his goal to expand its role into a showcase of sustainable agriculture. One component of that plan was to sign Doty as the first commercial-produce provider. Early Morning Orchard might also grow produce at Cozy Point.
Summers said he has designated eight of the ranch’s 160 acres for growing crops.
“What Monroe was talking about appealed to my sensibilities,” Doty said.
The first step in developing the new relationship is to alert people about the presence of the produce stand. It’s on the part of the ranch closest to Highway 82, yet it’s not easily visible. Early Morning Orchard has a trailer set up at the end of a driveway located between Brush Creek Road and Juniper Hill Road.
The Buttermilk produce stand has been around for about 30 years. It actually had the power to draw loyal customers from Aspen past the roundabout, said Alice Goldfarb, a longtime worker at the stand who now works for Early Morning Orchard. Doty had the lease for the produce stand for the past two years. He said the location at Cozy Point also has the potential to lure passersby coming and going to Snowmass Village.
Doty plans to lure them with as fresh of produce as possible. He delivered the first peaches of the season on Wednesday. They were picked near Palisade and brought the same day to the Roaring Fork Valley. Doty also has a stand at Eagle Crest Nursery in El Jebel, and he provides produce to Cassie’s Corner Store at the Phillips 66 Station in Basalt. Early Morning Orchard is also a regular vendor at the Basalt Sunday Market. With that presence in the Roaring Fork Valley, Doty said he regularly supplies produce within a day of when it comes out of his fields or orchards.
Doty said there are numerous varieties of peaches, including one that produces small but immensely flavorful ones early in the summer. The Cozy Point stand also will feature blood plums, beefsteak tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, cherries, beets, onions and more fruits and vegetables that will be offered as the season progresses.