By Pat Jarvis
The setting for this year’s Horse Lovers’ Fling is classically romantic. We arrive at Lone Hawk Farm via a country road with views of the Front Range, an expansive 360 degree view of Potato Hill, and the nearby foothills. The topography drops away southward below the barn, giving a feeling of having lots of room to roam. There is a wonderful drive-through barn, which adds to the charm and stately appearance of the farm.
“How long have you been at Lone Hawk Farm?” I ask the delightful owners, Tom and Kristin Lopez. “I’ve been here since 1975, and Kristin since 1980,” Tom replies. “In the beginning many people asked to have events here. They wanted a place where they could enjoy an indoor/outdoor setting in a country atmosphere. The owners of the West End Tavern were the first people to get married at the farm. We’ve been doing weddings here for more than 18 years now.”
We enter the main venue for the Fling festivities via a pair of large wooden doors, into a world that reminds me of the Italian countryside. The structure consists of unique “arch ribs” of curved laminated beams, with a stage inside at one end. Tom explains that when the indoor arena at Autumn Hill was being built, a strong wind knocked the partially-erected beams over and some of them splintered. The owners of Autumn Hill started over and put the salvageable beams up for sale. Tom bought them and used them to construct the event center at Lone Hawk Farm. He brought the stage and posts up from Santa Fe where Tom used to live. Local artist Roxanna des Jardins painted the interior walls to emphasize that Old World Country style.
“Please tell me about your gardens,” I ask. Tom replies that they have “his” and “hers” gardens; Kristin’s is a kitchen garden near the house and is about 450 square feet, while Tom’s garden out back is about 25,000 square feet, or half an acre. Both are organic, and are managed with the help of some summer interns and a young farmer who participates in a crop share program. He adds, “We have sold our produce at the Boulder, Longmont, and Lyons Farmers’ Markets, but this year we are going to focus on our roadside farm stand. We send our customers an email alerting them to the produce that is ready to be picked at any particular time. We also supply organic greens, produce and eggs to caterers of events right here at the farm.”
I ask Tom to elaborate on a recent Times-Call article featuring the solar farm equipment he invented. “Well, let’s see. I developed a solar powered walking tractor and mower, and I am working on a riding mower and a rototiller. We use all of these in our gardens. I am a proponent of using alternative energy for vehicles, and I use a solar powered truck and an electric bicycle that are great for getting around the property.”
“It even appears that you have horses on the farm!” I exclaim. “How many do you have and what do you do with them?” “Our daughter Jessica has a mare and her two year old offspring. The eight others are boarders. We believe that horses like to run and not be confined, so they live out in the pastures most of the time,” replies Kristin.
Does either Tom or Kristin have anything else they would like others to know about Lone Hawk Farm? “We have “pick your own” vegetables. Salads will be ready soon. Send us your email address to get on our list for fresh produce. Kristin is planning on doing a series of farm dinners this summer, including the annual Lone Hawk Harvest Party, featuring her World class home grown / home cooked specialties. The farm is always open to visitors – walkers, birders, artists, school groups – anyone who wants to experience a slice of rural Boulder County. And we are really looking forward to hosting the BCHA Horse Lovers’ Fling!”
For more information on Lone Hawk Farm see their website at http://www.lonehawkfarms.com.