Yampa Valley Farms’ Josh Kilbane is feeling a little last minute pressure. Today he will deliver 600lbs of his pasture raised pork shoulder to Steamboat’s base area, the main ingredient for the town’s first ever Savor Steamboat chefs’ cook off.
A new venture, Yampa Valley Farms is the partnership between a land owner and a visionary with a passion for sustainable farming. Raised on a ranch in Montrose Kilbane spent his 20’s back packing around the US, Canada and Mexico working on farms in exchange for lodging and knowledge.
In 2010 Josh, English born wife Kristy and daughter Esme found themselves in Steamboat and decided to stay. Fast forward to December 2012 and Yampa Valley Farms began, on a diversely vegetated ranch at the foot of Sleeping Giant.
Timing is everything for any business, and for the Kilbane’s theirs’ is perfect. Around the country consumers are far more conscious about the source of the food they buy. Steamboat is no exception, with a surge of local producers popping up all over the valley. Farming at altitude with a growing season of 59 days is no easy task.
Luckily there are a handful of hardy souls on a mission to fill our fridges with locally grown delights. If you are here visiting sourcing such delectable bounty is relatively simple. Every Saturday through summer, the courthouse lawn (off Lincoln Ave), houses the Farmers Market where you can find everything from fresh bread to jerky and homemade BBQ sauce. Sweet Pea on Yampa carries a great selection of local meats and veggies open 7 days a week. Bamboo Market and Natural Grocers, both downtown boast a wide selection of Colorado products. Visit Bamboo Market on certain Monday mornings (every alternate), and you may be lucky enough to pick up fresh eggs and raw milk brought in from Fort Collins.
If you’d rather skip cooking, head to Creekside Café for breakfast and order the Local Yokel – everything from the bread to the sausage came to the plate within 15 miles. At the end of the day spend an evening by the river sampling local fare at Sweet Pea, where everything you eat comes with an address, (literally).
This weekend has a little something extra. Kicking off the summer for the first time on the culinary calendar is Savor Steamboat. Nine local chefs will work their magic using Josh’s pork in a cook off. Kids have the chance to pet everything from a Llama to a lamb, grown-ups get a vodka bar, and everyone can boogie to the live music. Saturday June 15, 3-6pm. Free to visit, $20 for BBQ pork tasting and $40 for vodka and BBQ.