The City of Greeley is an interesting juxtaposition between an urban environment and one that supports both its rural history and current farming community. Farmers can still easily find agricultural supplies and equipment repair items and local businesses know how to cater to the particular needs of a farm and the farming community.
Greeley got its start in 1870 as an agricultural colony and flourished after implementing irrigation ditches, growing potatoes, and sugar beets. Today, farmers around Greeley grow baby carrots, onions, sugar beets, potatoes, alfalfa, feed corn, wheat, barley, dry beans, oats, and take care of livestock.
Tigges Farm is a part of that agricultural history. The multigenerational family-owned farm has been in operation since 1934 started by Phillip and Lucy Tigges and then purchased by their son Robert and his wife Mary in 1963. In 1987 the farm grew to include a produce stand and first opened to the public, giving Greeley residents and visitors a chance to enjoy fresh local produce and see farming life up close. The farm has continued to expand its offerings since then with community events, free venues, and historical displays available for everyone’s enjoyment.
Today, Tigges Farm is a free, family-friendly farm that opens each year in mid-August, offering both a produce stand that features fresh produce, jams, jellies, roasted green chiles, and a gift shop with handmade items and fall decor. Since 2008 the farm has been run by Mary’s children Kathy Rickart, Ken Tigges, and Gale Loeffler, and fifth-generation family members assist in running it during the fall when it’s open to the public.
The farm is committed to being affordable to all families and will never charge an admission fee or for activities. The owners are dedicated to the Greeley community and give back through food donations to the Weld County Food Bank.
“Each week we donate extra produce to Weld County Food Bank, amounting to thousands of pounds each month,” Kathy Rickart said. “It’s important for us to donate this important resource to the people of Greeley that need food.”
In conjunction with its robust pumpkin patch, Tigges Farm also makes an annual donation to the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation, a Colorado-based nonprofit that supports organizations involved in breast cancer research. Visitors that purchase pink pumpkins support that donation.
Those that visit the farm are able to experience agriculture in a new way and connect with people from urban, suburban and rural backgrounds. Kathy remembers growing up on the farm and considered Greeley as a “big trip into town.”
“When I was growing up it was as much of an experience for rural kids to go to Greeley as it is for city kids to visit the farm today,” Kathy said.
Visitors will find something for everyone to enjoy, such as a pumpkin patch, fresh onions, garlic, squash, tomatoes, and sweet corn, homemade gifts, fall decor, and of course, fresh chiles. Any produce that isn’t grown on the farm is purchased from local farmers. There’s also a collection of antique farm equipment on display and a barn quilt gallery that shares more about the farm’s history.
Each weekend in October there are free activities for the community to enjoy, such as craft days, wagon rides and photo opportunities. You can find details at www.TiggesFarm.com and by following @Tigges Farm on Facebook. When you visit, be sure to tag #MyGreeley in your posts.
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