A historic ranch in the mountains of Colorado is using a high-tech container farm to broaden its focus on farm-to-table options for guests.
Having been in business for 102 years, C Lazy U Ranch in Granby has a storied reputation as a luxurious, year-round mountain getaway with 8,500 acres of land for a multitude of activities. The ranch’s culinary program will soon be complemented by fresh leafy greens and herbs. The produce will be grown on-site in an automated container farm, built by Colorado-based FarmBox Foods.
“We saw an opportunity with FarmBox Foods to essentially have a year-round farm-to-table option,” said Paul Klees, assistant general manager of C Lazy U Ranch. The container farm is scheduled for delivery in mid-August.
Guests and members will have the opportunity to tour the farm. C Lazy U Ranch is planning to grow lettuce and culinary herbs inside the 320-square-foot farm. The sensor-based technology and insulation in the container farm are superior to greenhouses, which are susceptible to the bitter cold of the Colorado Rockies, Klees said.
The container farm is slated to be the next hands-on attraction at the ranch, where guests and members could have the opportunity to harvest their own veggies and prepare meals with a chef. “It’s interactive, it’s educational, and it builds into our vision and mission statement of having a sustainable model,” Klees said.
Purchasing a container farm is “just another step in the ranch’s continuing effort to create authentic farm-to-table dining,” Klees said.
“There are economic aspects to it because we’re shipping in all of the food, including produce,” he said. “When guests eat at our restaurants, we want the meals to resonate with them, and what people are looking for is healthy organic fresh produce.”
Horses get their share
The 200 horses on the property already benefit from C Lazy U’s sustainable approach to food sourcing; most of the hay they eat is grown on the ranch. C Lazy U is also supplied with water by its own spring and operates its own wastewater facilities.
The exterior of the container farm will be finished with a rustic scheme so it will easily blend in with its natural surroundings, which include a creek and historic structures.
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