The Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Larkspur is planning at least five gourmet dinners from Memorial Day weekend through late September.
LARKSPUR, Colo. – The nights are still chilly on the east slope of the Rockies. But that’s not stopping Matt Fredell at Jellystone Park campground in Larkspur from planting his first boxes of produce. Fredell, an organic farmer, is building planter boxes with lids that can be closed overnight, protecting newly planted vegetables from frost. “We can extend the growing season to as much as nine months by doing this,” Fredell explained, adding that he expects the first seedlings to be sprouting by Earth Day.
And by the time summer is here, Fredell expects to have a garden full of spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and herbs, which campground owner Ian Steyn hopes will inspire his guests to take an interest in organic farming, while learning more about how we grow our food. “We want to start teaching our guests about the principals of good stewardship, of taking care of yourself and the things around you,” Steyn said.
But Steyn’s efforts aren’t limited to the park’s organic garden. Steyn has also hired award-winning chefs Tom and Shari Fritz-Scholten, who will offer classes and prepare gourmet meals and wine pairing events throughout the summer months. The Scholtens, who previously owned and operated Fritz Alpine Bistro in Keystone, won Wine Spectator magazine’s “Award of Excellence” four years in a row, from 2004 to 2007.
“We want people to come to our events and enjoy wine pairings that match our sustainable food,” Tom Scholten said. “We also want to promote the fact that Colorado is becoming an incredible wine destination.”
The Scholtens’ summer schedule at Jellystone at Larkspur includes:
- An outdoor food and wine pairing class on Memorial Day weekend
- A gourmet barbecue class on June 16th in celebration of Father’s Day and to help guests prepare for their own July 4th celebrations
- A “farm to table” gourmet weekend on July 21st, celebrating Colorado’s history and agricultural heritage
- A wine pairing class on August 18th, which will help guests prepare for Labor Day weekend activities
- A fall farm to table celebration on Sept. 21st.
But while the Scholtens’ food will be top notch, don’t expect it to be served on silver platters or bone china. “We plan to serve the food on recycled paper plates, which will then be fed to 10,000 earthworms that will consume the paper and any leftovers. We will then use the casings from the worms as fertilizer for our organic gardens. So everything will go full circle,” Steyn said. Steyn said his park is the first in the Jellystone chain of resorts to feature gourmet food with organic garden. “We want this to be a unique, informative and entertaining experience,” he said.