Harvest at the Homestead Celebrates Fall

Harvest on the Homestead at the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora, Colo., featured an apple pie contest, zuke shoot, music, fresh-pressed apple cider, and the chance to enjoy some old-timey fun.

It was great fun being one of the judges for the apple pie contest at the Plains Center on Saturday. The contest was one of the events at the Harvest on the Homestead celebration.

I had the chance to sample 14 delicious apple pies and judge each on its looks and taste. It was a tough job, but I was glad to do it.

The blue ribbon, and a copy of The Colorado Gardener’s Companion, went to Jessica Olin of Lakewood with her pie called “Lattice Drizzle.”  That pie got equally high marks on its fancy crust and delicious filling.

The apple pie contest was held inside the yurt that sits near the Plains Center’s visitor center and was just one of the many fun things to do at the event.

Modern-day pioneers enjoyed guessing the weight of three large pumpkins, seeing a great horned owl and red-tailed hawk up close, practicing ridin’ and ropin’, watching free-range Plymouth Rock chickens enjoying the day, and a whole lot more.

Kids had a blast decorating thick slices from a large zucchini and then shooting them from an oversized slingshot to try and score points at the Zuke Shoot.

In the kitchen of one of the sod houses at Wells Crossing, a volunteer stirred up batches of fragrant apple sauce on top of the wood-burning stove. The apple press was cranking out samples of apple cider, too.

Even though judging the apple pie contest was fun, the highlight of the day for me was meeting Maggie, an adorable buffalo calf. This little gal is just like a family pet and followed her owner around like a puppy. At one point she knelt down on her front legs and crawled under a table and out the other side.

Harvest on the Homestead couldn’t have picked a more perfect day to say goodbye to summer.


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Jodi, thanks so much with your help at Harvest. I just learned you generously donated 3 copies of the Colorado Gardener’s Companion to pie contest winners. That is so nice of you! I’m glad you enjoyed your day and I’ll be chatting with you soon. Tudi

Tudi, it was my pleasure to be part of such a nice event at the Plains Center–thanks again for asking for my help!


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