Where to find peaches, berries, apples and more Palisade



Elias Lehnert, co-owner of the Colorado Cherry Company, is baking pies with several of his bakers on July 18 in Denver. Lehnert offers a special peach pie recipe, perfect for the start of the Colorado peach season. (Photo by Kathryn Scott, Denver Post special)

A century ago, the Montmorency cherry tree was a cash crop in Loveland, Colorado. Today, Colorado Cherry Company co-owner Elias Lehnert says the name of his fourth-generation family business can be confusing.

“(Cherries) aren’t really grown in Colorado on a large scale anymore,” Lehnert lamented.

In the height of each fruit pie season, Lehnert and his family search the state for locally grown cherries, but they often end up sourcing primarily from Utah and all the way to Michigan.

“When you find good Colorado cherries, buy them and get them fast,†agreed Amy Kafka, owner of Garden Sweet in Fort Collins.

At Kafka’s 10-acre farm, fruits from strawberries and raspberries to melons and apples are nearing harvest from August through September. She and her family invite visitors each summer and fall to choose their own selection, whether it’s for making pies at home or just for snacking.

Pans of sour cherries are ready as bakers Lauren Howell, right, and Sarah Banks bake strawberry and rhubarb pies on July 18 in Denver. (Photo by Kathryn Scott, Denver Post special)

“Strawberries and raspberries grow very well here; the bright sunshine and cool nights contribute to their amazing flavor, â€Kafka said, adding:“ Our season is a bit later than many people expect… strawberries kind of take a vacation in July, because they don’t like heat. ”

While the berries are on a summer break, the Colorado peaches hang heavily from their branches, ready for harvest. Picking and shipping is already underway from the West Slope to places like Palisade and Hotchkiss.

And even though Delta County was hit by a sudden frost last October, “as an industry we are probably looking at around 70-80% of our normal crop yield,†Harrison Topp of Topp Fruits told Hotchkiss. .

“This is a situation where we are not going to have a hard time selling what we have, fortunately,” he added.

The Colorado Cherry Company Tennyson Street store has large windows with a view of the kitchen so customers can see the bakers at work. (Photo by Kathryn Scott, Denver Post special)

Topp Fruits will ship some of its peaches to Colorado Cherry Company for pies and cobblers. Otherwise, buyers will find these peaches and apples – and in the best years, plums and cherries – in markets and in CHWs across the region.

“I think there were about two (growers) who had about 100 pounds of cherries this year,†Topp added of the cherry industry in Colorado.

But other fruits in the weeks and months to come will be available in the smallest stands on the farm but also at big box grocers.

“While I think many of us are very proud of the different unique brands of our farms, collectively, as a group, we work together to maintain a reputation for quality for all Colorado fruit,†Topp said.

Don’t be fooled by these Colorado cherries.

If you still want to taste cherry cider, jam, pie and other products made in Colorado, however, you’ll find Lehnert boutiques in Denver, Lyon, Estes Park and this original 1960s cabin along Route 34 in Loveland.

Elias and Rachel Lehnert at their Tennyson Street bakery and boutique on July 18 in Denver. (Photo by Kathryn Scott, Denver Post special)

Here’s when you’ll see some of Colorado’s best fruit in the fields, in markets, and on grocery store shelves:

Cherries – late June to July (good luck)

Peaches – from mid-July to the end

Cantaloupe (Rocky Ford) – from mid-July to the end

Strawberries – from August

Raspberries – from September

Apples – September to October

AFTER: 14 U-pick farms and orchards in Colorado

This peach pie can be cut and served hot. (Photo by Kathryn Scott, Denver Post special)

How to make a peach pie cobbler

The Lehnert family is known for cherry products, yes, but also for all kinds of pies, from salty and breakfast to sweet and seasonal stuffed with rhubarb, peaches or apples. Here’s their version of a peach pie cobbler (with a bottom crust).

Items Needed

  • 3 small bowls
  • Rolling pin
  • Spatula
  • Pie baking dish (8-10 inches)


Lower crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Peach garnish

  • 1 pound, 6 ounce peaches (5-6 good size peaches)
  • 1 pound, 6 ounce peaches (5-6 good size peaches)
  • 1/4 cup peach cider (optional)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Shoemaker’s Trim

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar for the top


Make the bottom crust

  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Mix with your hands. Add the cold butter to the mixture, mixing with your hands until the pieces of butter are the size of pecans. Add ice water to the mixture (you may need to add a little more). Mix with your hands until the dough comes together. Form a disc of dough, roll it out so that it fits into your pie pan.
  2. We love the fork crimping method for this pie. Just take a fork and press the outer edges of the pie pan. Place the dough in the pie pan and immediately refrigerate.

Make the garnish

  1. Fresh peaches are recommended. To easily peel your peaches, cut an X on the underside of your peaches. Boil some water and immerse the peaches in the water for 1 minute. Remove the peaches and immediately run them under cold water (or place them in an ice bath). The skin can now be easily removed. Slice the peaches and place them in a bowl. Add ¼ cup of peach cider.
  2. In another bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix with your hands. Mix the dry mixture with the peaches. Mix the ingredients together, with your hands or a spatula.
  3. Add the peach mixture to the crust. Keep refrigerated.

Make the top shoemaker

  1. In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Mix with your hands. Cut the butter into small pieces, mix it with the dry ingredients with your hands until the butter is the size of a pea. Add the milk and vanilla. Using a spatula, mix the ingredients until you get a paste.
  2. Using a spoon or spatula, place the cobbler on the peaches. Use a spatula to distribute the cobbler evenly over the top of the pie. Sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar Bake the pie Preheat the oven to 375. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake the pie in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until a thick peach juice is bubbling and the top of the cobbler is fully cooked.
  3. If the cobbler is cooking too quickly, add foil on top to prevent it from getting burned. Let the pie cool a bit before slicing it.

To be enjoyed warm and fashionable with vanilla ice cream.

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