Most people don't come to Aspen to play in mud and manure. But that's exactly what the folks at the tony Little Nell hotel are hawkingfor $2,300. And it's worth it. Go hand-to-mouth on a three-day, three-night trip that shuttles you between 400-thread-count luxury at the lodge and potato-field reality at chef Ryan Hardy's 15-acre Rendezvous Farms, in Crawford, 100 miles southwest (thelittlenell.com). Here, Hardy, 33, and co-owner Michael Waters grow heirloom crops and raise free-range, heritage-breed pigs, chickens, and lambs. You'll dig for fingerling potatoes, snip asparagus, collect eggs, and pluck wild applesthen devour them all with newfound appreciation at lavish outdoor picnics and dinners. Hardy's partner in crime, Little Nell wine director Richard Betts, also leads a chanterelle-mushroom-picking trip up nearby Independence Pass. If that's not your thing, just ask for a post-meal mountain-biking trip. Tip: Don't miss the stunning glacial-valley trails and alpine lakes of the Maroon Bells, 11 miles from Aspen.
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