In the heart of Colorado’s Sawatch Range, Knapp Ranch is propelled by a vision to preserve the land, water, and wildlife in a rustic and timeless setting.
At Knapp Ranch, we recognize that what nature gives us will change. Our goal is to prepare for that change. “When we learned that early settlers grew lettuce, potatoes, and rhubarb in this valley, we became intrigued with the idea that we could do it too.
Our integrated collaborative programs increase the role of science and technology to ensure that what we learn here can be useful for others in this field. Our place-based systems allow for the development of a longer-term perspective and an ability to see how plants, animals, and even people interact with this environment over time. In essence, we are working with what nature gives us, recognizing that it will change and being nimble to keep up with it.” -Betsy and Bud Knapp
Partners in Education
Wellesley College - Edible ecosystems mimicking natural communities is a key component of the innovative research occurring on the Ranch. Currently, we are one of four institutions around the country participating in SEED - Science for Edible Ecosystem Design - an experimental program focused on the study of the biological communities required to support productive agriculture. As part of this study, we have allocated areas within the orchard and the vegetable gardens to experiments that include the incorporation of naturally-occurring nutrient elevators (such as the deep-rooted comfrey), nitrogen-fixing plants (such as Siberian pea), and aromatic pest confusers (such as non-invasive herbs and scented perennials).
Colorado State University - Microclimate Analysis - Students from CSU are analyzing weather data collected on the Ranch over a ten year period. The information gathered will help us identify areas on the Ranch that are best suited for future farming opportunities. University of Denver - Water Sustainability Professors from DU are reviewing the Ranch’s overall sustainability and giving particular attention to our long-term water management plan.