Page 1



A contemporary boutique for women offering sizes XS-2X, plus children's apparel, gifts, and toys.

309 E. Water Street Decorah, IA 52101 563-382-4424

Pilot Odyssey CR-V


Fit Civic


Crosstour Insight CR-Z

Fuel Efficient. Environmentally Sensible. You’ll Love More Miles Per Dollar! Check us out! Phone: 877-751-0179

Downtown La Crosse, WI at 4th and Cameron Streets

FALL 2013 contents WISCO POP!




ARTist tonya balik


what we’re loving right now


THE tour “arts” here!




paper project: pumpkin favor boxes!


Ring of fire q&a




four daughters chef erik kleven


Boxed (IN): wisconsin great river road




Probit: norma wangsness




...and more! ON THE COVER:


Danielle Ameling of Iron Leaf Press printed this awesome Trust Your Crazy Ideas print - we saw it and knew immediately it was perfect for this issue. Check out more of Danielle’s work at, and read about her on page 26! \ Fall 2013


Big Ideas, Big Names, Big Emotions

World Class music, theatre, and dance ignite the stage in this year’s Center Stage Series.

Center Stage Series 2013-14 SaturDay, September 14 Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash tickets on sale august 26. FriDay, September 27 Weiss Kaplan Newman Trio tickets on sale Sept 5. tueSDay, OCtOber 15 Tango Fire tickets on sale Sept 26. FriDay, NOvember 1 Masters of the Fiddle: Natalie McMaster and Donnell Leahy tickets on sale October 10. SaturDay, NOvember 16 Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain tickets on sale October 17. Get your tickets!

School Performances Sponsor

(563) 387-1357

2013–14 Center Stage Sponsors Luther College Diversity Council


The Decorah Newspapers

Media Supporters The

Decorah Newspapers

From the Editor

Inspire magazine


have always been one to trust my crazy ideas. If I didn’t, we may never have started this magazine, and now look where we are! Six years later (Oct. 4 is our busiversary – totally a word), I have the privilege of writing to you all every quarter. I am a lucky gal! It turns out, there are lots of people out there trusting their crazy ideas and jumping with both feet into new business ventures, new (old) places to call home, or just saying, “Yes!” when a friend shouts ROAD TRIP! This issue of Inspire(d) is dedicated to these people (that’s YOU!) who know an idea is only crazy if you make it so. And really: let’s define crazy anyway… It was Ossian, Iowa, native Danielle Ameling who created the cover art that represents this theme. We love it. And we love everything else that Danielle is doing too. She just won Project Bright Idea in Lisbon, Iowa, and thus free rent for two years for her business Iron Leaf Press (learn more on page 26). Danielle not only made the awesome Trust Your Crazy Ideas print, she also guest-designed the paper project on page 33: Pumpkin Favor Boxes. They’re the cutest! Really. Even if you don’t ever say the word cute. (You can make a hundred of ‘em if you go to and download the template – I might!) But I digress, as Jim McCaffrey is known to say. (Check out his Mississippi Mirth column all about CHEESE! Was there ever a better subject?) This issue, I had a ton of fun heading to Viroqua, Wisconsin to interview the folks from Wisco Pop! These soda makers are doing amazing work developing a product that isn’t just pop – it’s craft brewed soda. And it is DELICIOUS! (Can you tell I’m excited? I don’t think I’ve ever used so many caps – ever – in an editor’s letter!) All that soda tasting made us wonder about carbonation for the Science, You’re Super, too – learn more on page 14. Benji and I were the ones shouting road trip when we put together this Boxed (IN). It takes you up the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River from Alma to Bay City on one of the most scenic drives in the country. Sometimes a little drive is all you need to right your day. If you don’t want to go that far, you could instead head up to check out Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery near Spring Valley, Minnesota. We interviewed their head chef, Erik Kleven, for this Chef on the Block. Looking for an even closer yet roadtrip? Head out on the first-ever Farm Crawl between Waukon and Decorah – map on page 37. Or take in one of the many artists’ studio tours in the region – you can check out the work of our featured artist, Tonya Balik, while you’re out! Nope, it’s never a crazy idea to discover inspiring and interesting people and things in the Driftless Region. It’s the best idea we’ve ever had. Happy fall, friends. Looking forward,

Who are we? Co-founders: Aryn Henning Nichols / editor & designer Benji Nichols / writer & advertising sales (& husband, support team, dinner-maker)

We couldn’t do it without: Kristine Kopperud Jepsen/ contributor Sara Friedl-Putnam/ contributor Danielle Ameling / cover art + paper project Jim McCaffrey/ Mississippi Mirth

Inspire(d) Magazine is published quarterly by Inspire(d) Media, LLC, 412 Oak Street, Decorah, Iowa, 52101. This issue is dated Fall 2013, issue 35, volume 6, Copyright 2013 by Inspire(d) Magazine.

support inspire(d) Although Inspire(d) is free on the newsstands, you can have it sent to your door for only $25/year. Email for a membership or visit for more info.

Write inspire(d) Want to make a comment about something you read in the magazine? Email Interested in advertising? Contact Benji at or call 563-379-6315.

Visit our website: Aryn Henning Nichols

“Like” Inspire(d) Media on Facebook! 05

Looking for more details about events on the calendars?

Fun for everyone!

CLASSES EVENTS & WORKSHOPS inspire & create 508 W. Water St. Decorah, 563.382.5440

To be well, you have to Discover Decorah area holistic health services & events on one easy-to-use site.


FANCY PANTS -from silly to frilly-

411 W. Water St. | Decorah |

MON - THURS: 11- 9 • FRI - SAT 11-10 • SUN: 11-8

Homemade goodness.


dine in • carry out • catering 563.382.6208 06 /OldArmoryBBQ

Fall 2013 /

Check out these fantastic fall activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

1. Sept. 6: ArtHaus First Friday: The Roe Family Singers in the ArtHaus Studio Courtyard, $8/$6 students, no reservations needed, BYOB. Gate opens 7:30, show at 8. 2. Sept. 7: On The Water w/Foot-Notes Water Street Music Series 7pm, dance instruction @ 6:30 Trout Run Trailhead (west end of Main St) Decorah 3. Sept. 14: Holistic Mom’s Network Decorah Chapter reviews Car Seat Safety Checks & Requirements with Trish Johnson, Stop by Discover Happy (222 E. Water St) and get yours checked! 10 am. 4. Sept. 21: Pumpkin Patch Opening Weekend at Pinter’s Gardens and Pumpkins. Fri & Sat 9 - 5, Sun 9 - 4 through Oct. 27th. Fun activities including corn maze, jumping pillow and wagon rides! 5. Sept. 21: Support 17 Fantastic Local Non-Profit Agencies by buying fabulous and super inexpensive used books! 8 am-12 pm Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 701 Iowa Ave, Decorah. 6. Sept. 26: Taste the Local Harvest at the Oneota Co-op. Meet local producers and sample their local products from 4:30 to 6:30 pm.

25W/ $25B

7. Sept. 27: ArtHaus Poetry Slam at the Elks Lodge, $5/$3. Call to sign up to perform or just come to enjoy! Doors at 7:30, show at 8. 8. Sept. 29: Rock out to popular and classical music from 1973, performed by Absolute Hoot and Luther music faculty. 4 pm at Luther College. 9. Sept. 26-29: Boats and Bluegrass Festival! Three days of music, camping, canoeing, and festival fun on Prairie Island in Winona. Family friendly, fantastic line up! More at 10. Oct. 4: ArtHaus First Friday: Artist’s Reception and New Work by Preston Lawing. Sponsored by Oneota Co-op who will offer wine tasting. 7-9pm, Free! ArtHaus & ArtHaus Studio. 11. Oct. 5: Rusty Olde Crows Craft & Junk Show. A craft show the way a craft show should be. Quality crafts, antiques, & junk. Central Park, Charles City 12. Oct. 11: Bach, Beethoven, and Beer Water Street Music Series 7:30pm, doors open at 6:30pm T-bocks 2nd Floor Decorah, 13. Oct. 11-13: The New Albin Public Library is sponsoring a quilt show October 11-13. Over 200 quilted items, vendors, raffles and refreshments. Call Lisa 563-544-4325 for more information.

fun stuff to do





Opening reception “Four From North”, Vesterheim

William Kent Krueger, Dragonfly Books, Decorah, 7pm



Will 11 Shortz, Englert, Iowa City

John Scofield Uberjam Band, Englert, Iowa City




La Crosse Children’s Museum TriQuest Run Bike Golf fundraiser



‘1973’ performance with Absolute Hoot & Luther Faculty, Luther College, 4pm


Sept. 29: T-Bock’s Open Stage Night w/ Monsoor, Decorah

SEPT. 21: • Contra dance with Western Home String Band, Highlandville, IA 7:30pm • Trevor McSpadden, Haymarket, Decorah


Corpse Reviver w/ Charlie Parr, Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis



The Fab Four, Englert, Iowa City


Sept. 20 – Oct. 3: Friday Films, “Energy”, St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro, 7:30pm 9

Sept. 24-28: Landfall Festival of World Music, CSPS, Cedar Rapids



7 2 WSM ‘On The Water’ w/ Foot-Notes, Trout Run Trailhead, Decorah, 6:30pm



Pinter’s Pumpkin 4 Patch Opening Weekend! 9am-5pm


Sept. 28-29: Ft. Atkinson Rendezvous Days


United Way Used Book Sale! Good Shepherd Lutheran, Decorah 8am-12pm 27 Loop 28 7 26 6 de Loop Half ArtHaus Taste the marathon Poetry Slam, and 5k, Trout Local Elk’s Lodge, Run Trail, Harvest, Decorah, Decorah Oneota Coop, 7:30pm Decorah 4:30Anne Lamott, Luther 6:30pm College Distinguished Lecture, CFL, 7:30pm Sept. 27: Weiss Kaplan Newman Trio, Sept. 28: Seed Savers Squash Luther CSS, Festival, Decorah 7:30pm Sept 26-29: Boats and Bluegrass Festival! Prairie Island Campground, Winona


Benjamin Percy, Dragonfly Books, Decorah, 7pm


13 3 14 Kickapoo Valley Reserve Decorah Astronomy Holistic night! 7-9pm, Mom’s Car La Farge, WI Seat Check, Over The Back Discover Fence radio show, Happy, 10am St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro, 7:30pm

ArtHaus First Friday, Roe Family Singers 7:30 pm



Sept. 21-22: NE Iowa Antique Show & Flea Market, Winn. Co Fairgrounds, Decorah Sept. 19-21: Tremtoberfest, Trempealeau Hotel


5 Free First Thursday, Vesterheim, Decorah


SEPTEMBER 14: : Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, Luther, 7:30pm Thankful Dirt, Haymarket, Decorah “Taste of the Trail”, Whalan, Preston, and Lanesboro MN 10am-3pm

Sept. 6-8: Steam Engine Days, Mabel MN

Sound Music Festival, La Crosse

Sept. 1: 2 Lanesboro Live!, St. Mane, 7pm




September 7

Oct. 5-6, 12-13: McGregor Arts & Crafts Festival

27 NE IA Montessori’s Around the World in Five Plates, Steyer Opera House







Author and Illustrator Jan Brett, Vesterheim, Decorah, 10am


Oct. 4-6: Fresh Art Tour, Pierce and Pepin (WI) Counties





ArtHaus First Friday, New work by Preston Lawing, Decorah, 7-9pm




General B12 & The Wiz, Ed’s, Winona

Rusty Olde Crows Craft & Junk Show, Charles City



OCT. 5: • Paul Brokken reception, Lanesboro Arts Center, 6-8pm • Gypsy Lumberjacks, Haymarket, • Dam Challenge Triathlon, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, La Farge, WI



Tango Fire, Luther Center Stage Series 7:30pm


Loretta Lynn, Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids



Oct. 15-20: Big Muddy River Rendezvous, Prairie Island Campground, Winona


25 Count This Penny, ArtHaus, 8pm


The Bitterroot Band, T-Bock’s Upstairs, 8pm


Diet Folk, Haymarket, Decorah


Seed Savers Dinner & Lecture with Winona LaDuke, Decorah


Macklemore & Lewis, Talib Kweli, Luther College, Decorah



Oct. 25-26: La Crosse Children’s Museum Boo-Seum Party!


Oct. 17-20: Flyway Film Festival, Stockholm & Pepin, WI


WSM Bach, Beethoven, & Beer! T-Bock’s 14 Holistic 2nd Floor, Mom’s Network, 7:30pm Birthing Options, Discover Happy, 13 Oct. 11-13: New Albin Public Library Quilt Show 10am

Oct. 11: • General B and The Wiz, Haymarket, Decorah • Night (out) at The La Crosse Children’s Museum! 5:30-8pm

Oct. 27: • The Delta Routine, Toppling Goliath, 4-8pm • T-Bock’s Open Stage Night w/ Michelle Lynn, Decorah


Oct. 12-13: Voices from the Past Cemetery Walk, Woodlawn Cemetery, Winona


Oct. 11-13: NE Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour, 10am-5pm



Oct. 4-5: Festival of Quilts, Spring Grove, MN

13 15 14 Todd Snider, Winneshiek Co. Celebration of Englert Life, Decorah Elk’s Lodge, 5-8pm

Mary Chapin Carpenter & Shawn Colvin, Englert

Polish 6 Apple Day, Polish Museum, Winona

Dawes, Englert, Iowa City


Oct. 3-5: Proof, Luther College Theatre and Dance, CFA

October 14 – January 5, 2014 “The World of Jan Brett” Vesterheim




fun stuff to do




Oneota Coop ‘Taste of the Holidays’ fundraiser


Masters of the Fiddle, Natalia MacMaster & Donnell Leahy, LC CSS, CFL, 7:30pm

Thursday Saturday

13 23


ArtHaus Poetry Slam, Elk’s Lodge, Decorah, 7:30pm

People Brothers Band, T-Bock’s Upstairs, 8pm











Nov. 30: Happy The Dead Thanksgiving! Pigeons, T-Bock’s Upstairs, HSNEIA Holiday 8pm Lights, Magical Nights opens!


HSNEIA Run/ Walk

Marti & Co. Open House! 930 Division St, Cresco, 9-5


NOV. 16: Joe & Vicki Saint Built To • Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, LC Price with Anyway, Spill, Charlie Parr Center Stage Series, CFL, 7:30pm Haymarket, Blue and Greg Hall, Moose • Rebecca Davis, Lanesboro Arts Center Decorah Muse Theatre, Member Concert, St. Mane, 7:30pm Tap La Crosse House, Nov 22-23: Deck the Tables, Holiday Open Iowa 24 House & Celebration, Hotel Winneshiek City



Nov. 15-16, 21-23: Cabaret, Luther College Theatre and Dance, CFA



1 19 WSM 2 18 ArtHaus Shakespeare in Song and First Friday, Sound, UCC TalkStory, Decorah, Decorah, 8pm 7:30pm 20 Lanesboro Arts Center’s SWINGSATION Benefit Gala, 6pm Night 8 Brett 9 (out!) at the Dennen, La Crosse Cedar Cultural Children’s Center, Museum Minneapolis 5:30-8pm


Reuben, Haymarket, Decorah

Over the Back Fence Vesterheim Free radio show, St. Mane, First Thursday Lanesboro, 7:30pm


Dom Jake Flemens, Shimabukuro, CSPS, Cedar Englert, Iowa Rapids City


Nov. 7: Glenn Borreson, “From Telemark to Tamarack: Ski Jumping in Western WI”, Vesterheim 1:30 pm



Give thanks this month!


T-Bock’s Open Stage Night w/ Gaelstorm, Decorah


Nov. 2-3, 8-9: Ye Olde Opera House presents “Escanaba in da Moonlight”, Spring Grove


Harmony, MN, Empty Bowls, 11am1:30pm



Nov. 1-3: Downtown Charles City Holiday Open House!




fun stuff to do

25W/ $25B












Inspire(d) World’s Greatest Party


Date (not included in word count): Worlds Greatest Party! 7-10 pm. Inspire(d) invites you to the greatest party ever! We’ll have amazing amounts of fun! See you there!



Questions? Email

(Direct link:

See - we told you about our amazing fictional party in less than 25 words! On the visual calendar (like the one at left), your event will be listed along with a number that corresponds. People can just scan on over to the following pages to get the details!


Simple! We get an email with all your details exactly as you’d like to see them in the listing, and then we add it to the calendar!

It works like this: 1. Go to and click on the 25W/$25B link 2. Enter your information in our online form 3. Click through to PayPal to complete the transaction

Thus we’ve implemented a simple, expandable list of events for the pages following our regular calendars. Those who are planning “fun stuff to do” get a guaranteed spot on the calendar and in that event listing by purchasing “25 Words/$25 Bucks.”

We know it’s a tough racket to put on live music, activities, and special events, so we want to give you a chance to get the word out without breaking the bank.

Calendar time is always an exciting time at Inspire(d) Headquarters. “Just how much can we fit on there this month?!?” Up until 2012, what we’ve chosen for these lovely pages has been entirely editorial and subjective. We figure, hey, you like our magazine, so you’ll probably like the fun stuff to do that we pick out from around our region. But we’re running out of space and want you, our lovely readers, friends, and fellow event planners, to be able to tell us a little more about your fun.

25 Words/$25 Bucks


Looking for more details about events on the calendars? Check out these fantastic fall activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

14. Oct. 12: Holistic Mom’s Network Decorah Chapter discusses Birthing Options, What you’ll want to know! @ Discover Happy with guest speaker. Expecting/parents and grandparents welcome. 10 am. 15. Oct. 14: Join Winneshiek County Celebration of Life (WCCOL) at the 15th Annual Fundraiser and Thank You Event from 5-8 pm at Elks Lodge in Decorah. 16. Oct. 25: ArtHaus and KWLC present Count This Penny, $10/$6, Reservations recommended for this fantastic “Appalachian Pop” duo at ArtHaus. Doors 7:30, Show at 8. Call 563-382-5440. 17. Oct. 27: Around the World in 5 Plates:  Northeast Iowa Montessori School celebrates United Nations Day! International cuisine, spirits, live entertainment, Steyer Opera House $50/$85-couple 516-672-7306 18. Nov. 1: ArtHaus First Friday: TalkStory Decorah. 8pm at ArtHaus. Come to tell your story inspired by this month’s theme, “Travel” - or just listen! BYOB. $5/$3 19. Nov. 2: Shakespeare in Song and Sound Water Street Music Series 7:30pm Congregational Church (209 W Broadway) Decorah facebook. com/WaterStreetMusicSeries

Purl Up & Knit for a Spell Yarn, Knitting & Fiber Art Supplies, Classes, & More! Tues-Fri: 11 am – 5 pm, Sat: 10 am – 4 pm Monday: Drop In & Knit Night 6-8 pm 563-517-1059 •

It’s like coming home..

...for a quick homemade lunch or breakfast, long coffee, you can even host your parties here – during business or after hours! • Free wi-fi throughout • Indoor/Outdoor seating • From scratch pastries

400 W. Water St., Decorah • 563-382-5690 • See website for hours and daily specials

25W/ $25B

20. Nov. 2: Lanesboro (MN) Arts Center’s SWINGSATION Benefit Gala, 6pm. Live music, fine food & drink, silent & live auctions, dancing. Supports Arts programming. www.

Personal service for a perfect look.

21. Nov. 7: Taste of the Holidays - food pantry fundraiser at the Oneota Co-op. Register for your meal by calling 563-382-4666. $20 suggested donation per person.

130 W. Water St. Decorah, Iowa 563.382.5761

Mon - Fri 9-5 Thursday 9-8 Saturday 9-5

22. Nov. 10: Harmony Empty Bowls – A Project To Fight Hunger. $20 donation includes a unique bowl to keep, delicious soups, & bread. 11am to 1:30pm. Harmony Community Center, 225 3rd Ave S.W.

Jo Iverson | 563-382-4445

23. Nov. 15: ArtHaus Poetry Slam at the Elks Lodge, $5/$3. Call to sign up to perform or just come to enjoy! Doors at 7:30, show at 8. 24. Nov. 22-23: Deck the Tables Open House! Beautifully decorated tables, raffle, door prizes, treats, & business showcase. At the Hotel Winneshiek. Friday 5-9 & Saturday 9-2, $10. 25. Nov. 30: Small Business Saturday Open House! 9-5. Come start your Holiday shopping at Marti & Co. Refreshments, Specials, Free Gift Wrap, & Sparkle! 930 Division St, Cresco

Decorah, Iowa

Special Orders Available • Try us at the Oneota Food Co-op! \ Fall 2013


All photos by Ray Pfeiffer – Komifoto


315 5th Ave. S • La Crosse

keepin’ it

By Aryn Henning Nichols

FM 100.5 .

Listen. Better.


t’s no big surprise that it was a bit of a treasure hunt to find great soda with all-natural ingredients. “If you think you’re in the wrong place, you’re probably in the right place,” says Hallie Ashley, one of the three founders of Wisco Pop!, Wisconsin’s Holy Grail of soda. Wisco Pop kitchen headquarters can be found in a non-descript, former cash register factory on the north side of Viroqua, Wisconsin. From the outside, it appears that there’s very little happening there... but things are really – and literally – cooking inside. The Vernon Economic Development Association (VEDA) has turned this 100,000 square foot building – with the help of a $2 million grant – into a Food Enterprise Center. It’s an incubator for businesses that are involved in local food production, processing, marketing, and distribution, and the just-added element: exercise and movement. Keewaydin Farms, Just Local Foods, LuSa Organics, Fifth Season Cooperative, Sole Expressions Dance Studio Cooperative, Kickapoo Coffee, and – of course – Wisco Pop! all currently or will soon utilize the space in one way or another. The day Inspire(d) made the trip to Viroqua, Wisco Pop’s Austin Ashley (married to Hallie) and Zac Mathes were in the center’s commercial kitchen cooking up a 60-gallon steam kettle of ginger for their popular ginger soda. Bits of ginger peel and spent lemons, juiced one-at-a-time, marked the start of their 125-gallon Monday production. The two self-proclaimed “cosmic brothers” obviously work well together, as conversation easily flows from the Food Enterprise Center to Viroqua to the Driftless Region and even pizza farms. A reporter could easily get off track! “Let me get out my list of questions so I don’t forget anything,” I say, pulling my notebook out of my bag just as Hallie arrives. “That’s funny,” Austin says. “We have a list of questions for you too! Is your first one, ‘Why are we so good looking?’ ‘Cause we just can’t explain it.” Jokes aside (even though they are a dapper crew), what they can explain is their quest for really delicious soda. It all started with Austin. He was making ginger beer and kombucha at home, and thinking there should be more options for natural or even local and organic sodas.

Mumford and Sons Vampire Weekend Daft Punk First Aid Kit My Morning Jacket Phoenix Avett Brothers Brandi Carlile Atlas Genius Alabama Shakes Amos Lee Kings of Leon Bastille Patti Griffin Josh Ritter it up! Turn Dinosaur Jr. Walk the Moon Florence & the Machine Mayer Hawthorne The Lumineers \ Fall 2013


“I was sitting on the idea for a long time,” he says. “Hallie kept saying to me, ‘Just start it. Just do it.’” And so they did. Wisco Pop! launched just over a year ago at the Kickapoo Country Fair in Viroqua. The response has been amazing, and rightly so. “People at first are all, ‘Craft brewed soda?’,” Austin says. “But then they taste it and are like, ‘Oh! We get it now! Craft brewed soda!’” “This is what soda is supposed to be. It’s the way it used to be,” Zac continues. “No chemicals, just good ingredients.” They stand by their motto: “Keepin’ it real. No processed corn, no artificial flavors. Just fresh fruit juice, pure honey, genuine spices and herbs for a real brew.” From left: Zac Mathes, Austin Ashley, and Hallie Ashley. Photos by Ray Pfeiffer – Komifoto Take their Cherry Bomb soda, for example. They “What’s in there?” whisked me across the kitchen to get a whiff of the kettle brewing “Comparing it to craft beer is a good analogy,” Zac says. “We for this batch. spend a lot of time making sure it’s just right.” “You really have to get your face in there,” Austin says as I lean in The root beer was recently released and is Austin’s Sistine for a sniff. “Can you guess what’s in it?” Chapel, although like an artist, he’s his own biggest critic. “Hmmm…something I cook with,” I muse. “Ask Austin how long it took him to ‘perfect’ the root beer,” Zac “You’re on the right track,” sings Hallie. says with a smile. “I can’t quite place it…” “A while,” Austin replies. “I don’t know if it will ever be perfect.” “It’s probably the vanilla.” Zac interjects. It’s pretty darn delicious though. Not too sweet, with hints of “No, that’s not it…” maple syrup – local – that will keep the root beer subtly different “Cinnamon?” with each batch. If the syrup’s different, so’s the soda. Same goes “Yes!” for the local honey in the oh-so-delicious ginger brew. Following that Each flavor – they currently have three: ginger, cherry bomb, and ever-changing notion, in the future Wisco Pop hopes to release root beer – is filled with complex flavors that keep you guessing, special seasonal brews that will highlight special flavors or fruits

Downtown Decorah

Two bedrooms Full kitchen 563.265.1955 Large living space

Plus 2 car garage • Laundry • Internet • TV • 2 night minimum 12

Fall 2013 /

such as cranberry or maybe even apple. Even though they’re obviously a happy little Wisco Pop family, they’re happy business partners as well. Austin is the head crafter and develops those new brews – they’re working on a cola recipe now! – then Zac and Austin head up production together. Zac follows through on details such as ordering supplies and “building useful things” like shelves for their kegs. “He’s our mathematician,” Austin jokes. And Hallie is the manager, bookkeeper, and customer contact person. All three work together on sales. On top of that, Hallie works at Kickapoo Coffee and Zac runs Heartbeet Family Farm – along with a brick-oven-on-wheels pizza business called Homegrown Pizza – with his wife, Sara, and threeyear-old daughter, Noa. Austin holds down the Wisco Pop and



LET’S MAKE A CHANGE! Do you want to make a positive impact on the world around you? Do you want to bring prosperity to your friends and neighbors? If so, apply for the Herald’s Advertising Sales Manager position today!

There is no doubt that our local economies need stimulus. Marketing a local business or organization spreads their message to the public. Increased exposure aids in increased revenues. When these revenues are reinvested locally, they stimulate local economic growth!

HELP US MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT If you’re ready to make a change – if you’re organized, pleasant and approachable – if you have the basics of e-mail, the Internet, and Office applications mastered – apply today. SEND YOUR RESUMÉ TO THE POSTVILLE HERALD PO BOX 100 POSTVILLE, IA 52162

daddy front – he and Hallie have two kids: 10-year-old Alden and 17-month-old Fern. It’s this combination of family, business, community and good taste that brings it all together. In a time when soda gets a bad rap, Wisco Pop is out to bring back the charm and integrity of what was once a very real craft. As they like to say: “Wisco Pop makes it okay to drink soda again. So welcome back old friend, welcome to...craft brewed soda.”

Aryn Henning Nichols is amazed she failed to use any bubble puns in this story! Sigh. She’d love to be a member of the Wisco Pop! family ‘cause they’re so fun, and also because she’d like to have a lifetime supply of ginger soda. That’s gotta be part of the family agreement, right? Yum.

a journey to the maghreb in the heartland

• amazing food • signature cocktails • connoisseur selection of beers Elkader, Iowa • 563-245-1992 •

Luckily, Wisco Pop! is making the great soda search a whole lot easier for the rest of us. You can find it in the Driftless Region here: Driftless Cafe Organic Valley Rooted Spoon Root Note (La Crosse) Viroqua Food Co-op Plus multiple locations in Madison and Milwaukee. See or like Wisco Pop! on Facebook for details. \ Fall 2013


Your path to

Fall Family


Sept 21 - Oct. 27

Fri & Sat 9-5 Sun 9-4

wagon rides to pumpkin patch corn maze • corn box haunted attractions big slides • tetherball farm animals goat walk giant jumping pillow


You're super! Carbonation!

pedal carts with track pumpkin blaster

The Bakery

serving daily lunches 11-2 plus homemade fudge, cupcakes and seasonal treats

4.5 miles west of Decorah, IA

563-382-0010 • 2475 State Hwy 9 for seasonal hours

Photo by Aryn Henning Nichols


Fall 2013 /

c hi


Do n’t be a

to the re

Sources: 1. 2. 3.



izz – it’s the stuff of magic. Just think about where our refreshments would be without all those bubbles! Whether it’s a craft brewed soda, sparkling water, refreshing beer, or even champagne, carbonation is something we probably take for granted. Maybe that’s because man-made forced carbonation, as we know it, has been around for about 250 years. In 1767, British chemist (and theologian/inventor) Joseph Priestly was credited with discovering a method of pressurizing water with carbon dioxide. By suspending a bowl of water above a brewery vat of beer, the offshoot ‘fixed air’ (full of CO2) infused the water with carbon dioxide bubbles. Of course, naturally fermenting substances have been fizzing since well before written records – giving off their own carbon dioxide as yeasts metabolize sugars, and if kept under pressure, naturally producing carbonation as well. But most sparkling beverages that we are familiar with in today’s world are supplemented with man-made carbonation. Gasses can dissolve in liquid, and carbonation is created when carbon dioxide (CO2) does just that. The process of dissolving carbon dioxide in water is done under pressure, in which the CO2 gas will dissolve until the amount of CO2 in the air and in the water are equal. Excess CO2 can be added when under pressure – which is why when we open a canned or bottled beverage we hear a small ‘whoosh’ of pressurized CO2 exiting the vessel. As long as the container is sealed again, the CO2 will not entirely leave the liquid, but as everyone knows, if you leave a carbonated beverage sitting out for too long, it goes flat. (Sad panda…) Large industrial bottlers have the ability to add much more pressure in the process, thus providing an even more intensely carbonated beverage than say an ‘at-home’ carbonation kit or soda fountain, but technology and commercialization have made even small scale counter top units quite inexpensive. So why do we like the bubbles? First, the bubbles are pressurized bits of carbon dioxide surrounded by water molecules – and when the pressure of a bottle or can is released, the bubbles seek to create an equal force between the liquid and the air that is around it – thus, rising to the surface in beautiful little pearls and fizz! It has also been found that CO2 bubbles actually hit the ‘sour’ sensory area of the human tongue, making them have some sense of ‘taste’ that we generally enjoy. If you’ve ever taken a drink of flat soda water or similar, then you know that the taste is not particularly pleasant. There are different types and sizes of CO2 bubble as well, and the taste and mouth feel of something that is naturally carbonated (fermented), versus that of something that is pressurized can be noticeable. For instance, some sparkling wine and champagnes have extremely fine bubbles that continue rising to the surface for some time, while soda generally has larger bubbles that don’t last as long. Another amazing figure is that a glass of soda basically holds roughly one glass of water and what would equate to 5 glasses of CO2 as bubbles! Any way you experience it, carbonation adds a joy to beverages that is truly delightful – and a little magical! Cheers!

c ke



By Benji Nichols

Gear up. Be active. Patagonia • Buff • Marmot Smart Wool • Exofficio Darn Tough • prAna • Vasque 406 West Water St Downtown Decorah

Home of the ‘Quality

Chick’ T-SHIRT


s e l c y c i B y t i l a u Q E LE GEAB D E L KNOW



M-W & F 9AM-7PM THURSDAY 9AM-6PM SAT 10AM-2PM \ Fall 2013


Fall 1

Proof by David Auburn, directed by Jeff Dintaman October 3 & 4 @ 7:30 • Oct 5 @ 1:30 and 7:30


Cabaret, directed by Bobby Vrtis & Jane Hawley music by John Kander & lyrics by Fred Ebb November 15, 21, & 22 @ 7:30 • Nov 16 @ 9:30 • Nov 23 @ 1:30 & 7:30

spring 2 spring 1

Photos by Kristine Kopperud Jepsen and Aryn Henning Nichols

La Dispute by Marivaux, Adapted by Bobby Vrtis and students March 12 & 13 @ 7:30 • March 14 @ 9:30 • March 15 @ 1:30 & 7:30 Highway 57, An original dance work by Blake Nellis May 2, 3, 8, & 9 @ 7:30 • May 10 @ 1:30

2013-14 season

Theatre & Dance


Fall 2013 /




Revisited An interview with Northeast Iowa artist Tonya Balik


Home By Kristine Kopperud Jepsen


tepping into Tonya Balik’s newly claimed art studio at 403 West Dayspring Street in Decorah (that short, little street south of the post office, behind Java John’s), feels a little like what must happen when a non-believer stumbles into Santa’s mystical workshop – a certain crazy craftiness hangs in the air – but the artisans are nowhere to be seen. Poof! Vanished, before the paint even dried. There’s a desk in the corner, every inch scattered with bits of material, screen-printed images, wood scraps, tape, markers, glue. On the floor lay several paper doilies and stencils on a sheet of scrap wood, all recently spritzed with Crayola-bright spray paint, their patterns layering upon layer into intricate designs. At a workbench, several pieces of reclaimed wood lie half-built into wooden frames. Where did all this come from? There’s an expectant hush. And then....

211 West Water Street Decorah, Iowa M.T.W.Fr.Sat 9-5 Thurs. 9-8 563.382.8940 \ Fall 2013


Around a corner, Tonya Balik peeks, a little flustered by the attention, it seems. As an artistic moonlighter – she works at Decorah’s Opportunity Homes during the day – she’s still learning the self-promotion part of ‘being an artist’, she says, adjusting her thick black-framed glasses and waiting patiently for the next question. Part of her hesitation is plain ol’ Scandi-Midwestern reserve. A Decorah native and photographer from the age of eight, Tonya spent 20 years in Minneapolis working in various parts of the photography industry, while eventually earning an MFA from the University of Minnesota. Her thesis exhibition was an installation of more than a year’s full-time work of crochet – literally tens of thousands of stitches – that represented a period of intense introspection. “I literally needed those zillions of hours of mindless, repetitive action – with single crochet, you don’t even have to look down – to get at a different perspective, with everything going through my mind, compressing, decompressing, reflecting on where I’ve been and where I want to be.” As stated in her artist statement, “The making of these forms [became] meditative: the physical rhythm and repetition of crocheting is way to both collect and release secrets, thoughts and fears.”

With supportive family and a chance to focus more on time in the studio, Tonya decided in 2011 to come back home, starting first with access to a woodworking shop, then her larger space on West Dayspring. She hosts other artists’ work for public art sales there, too, as during Decorah’s Nordic Fest. A short tour of Tonya’s current collection – abstract oil paintings, colorized scenic snapshots taken with her iPhone, and multimedia collage, including silkscreened prints and fabric – reveals her preferred process: multi-tasking. “I’m really good at starting things and not so good at finishing them right away,” she says, “but I think going back and forth and incorporating techniques and styles from one piece to another gets me closer to what I intended with each one.” Many pieces – displayed in hand-built frames made from reclaimed cupboards, furniture or siding – feature prints of knitting (she’ll knit something, scan it, then screen print), laser etchings of vintage clothing patterns, and floral designs stenciled from paper doilies. Several incorporate stripes – the visual representation of following a linear pattern or example – all of it hinting at handicraft Tonya cherished in her childhood, learning from her grandmothers and

It’s a touch of the big city in a rural Iowa town. Two stories comfortably stocked with new, vintage and hand-crafted merchandise worked into inspiring and beautiful displays. A full line of arts and crafting supplies are always on hand in case you feel inspired to make your own creative magic. The Rustic Corner - It’s worth the trip every time!

her mother. “They taught me to crochet a chain by age five, along with sewing, needlepoint, wreath-making – little crafty things that can turn into artistic finished work.” Her choice of colors, too, is very much intended to reflect on youth and ‘growing up.’ “I like the bright colors of childhood,” she says, “I think bold colors, for me, are actually a good contrast to the personal, private process. My work comes out of reflection, of wanting to remember things, and wanting to forget things.” Also, wanting to capture things that might never be that way again, she says, delicately thumbing through some 80-yearold correspondence she salvaged from her grandfather and greatgrandfather’s things before their loose effects were relegated to the woodstove. She’s currently enthralled with a book of cancellations stamps she recovered from her grandfather Balik’s career as postmaster in Spillville, Iowa. “I don’t really go looking for things to ‘create’,” she says. “I usually am just struck by something that really needs to be captured – a look, a feel, a time, place, person – something about ‘remembering.’” So, she’ll pull over on the bike trail to take pictures with her phone. Or, she’ll buy doilies at The Depot for 50 cents, knowing they were likely painstakingly made as gifts. Her West Dayspring location is part of the Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Art Tour October 11-13, 2013, and she looks forward to doing more sculptural installation work in the space – gallery-type exhibits that are as much about the viewers’ multidimensional experience – sight, sound, and feel – as they are about the presentation of two- or three-dimensional art. “Whether it is a specific color or composition, a fabric pattern or perhaps even a mundane detail of my life, through photographs and drawing, I document my surroundings,” she writes. “The images I capture are important narrative elements. They become a kind of map – visual references to times and places.” For more information, please visit or Kristine Jepsen writes about interesting people, places and businesses for magazines and the Web –when not engaged in businessbuilding of her own at Grass Run Farms, a grass-fed beef company she owns and manages with her husband. She also defaults to Scandi-Midwestern reserve when asked to write bio script to accompany her work.

Celebrating over 50 years in business!

People you can trust. Quality you can depend on. 3 Goldsmiths, a Graduate Gemologist, and a Watchmaker on staff!

Mon: 9 am - 8 pm . Tues - Fri: 9 am - 5 pm . Sat: 9 am - 3 pm

31 West Main Street . Waukon, Iowa

800.932-7028 . 563-568-3661 .

Make Holiday Traditions in Vesterheim classes! November 1-3 Holiday Food Traditions: Remembering, Writing, Tasting, Sharing Kathleen Ernst and Darlene Fossum-Martin Creative ways to preserve your family recipes and memories!

December 15 Jan Brett’s Gingerbread Friends and Gingerbread House

Register today!

Lea Lovelace and Darlene Fossum-Martin For the whole family!

Visit for more class info and the complete fall 2013 schedule. 502 W. Water St., Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-9681 • \ Fall 2013


What We’re


right now

A LITTLE LIST OF WHAT WE AT INSPIRE(D) THINK IS THE CURRENT BEE’S KNEES IN THE DRIFTLESS REGION Oneota Coop Cheese Club Do we detect an “I heart cheese” theme in the issue, perhaps? What’s not to love? Join the club! The co-op cheese club, that is. Each month, cheese lovers receive delightful and rare cheeses with pairing accompaniments and suggestions, and it’s so fun to put together fancy cheese boards for a date-athome meal or a cocktail party offering. $30/month or $150 for 6 months – this is an awesome way to try great cheeses that are not normally found at the coop (and a great gift too)! Sign up by calling 563-382-4666 Little Free Libraries You may have noticed “little free libraries” popping up around Decorah – the Campground, Mound Street, Water Street Park – and beyond (we saw one in Stockholm too). Anyone can take, leave, and read these free books! The project has roots back to the turn of the century when Lutie Stearns traveled via a horse drawn wagon dropping little free libraries across the country. That mission has started anew now, with the goal of to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide. All for books and books for all!

1st Annual Farm Crawl: Taste of Northeast Iowa Sunday September 22 from 11-5pm, make five different stops – including Kymar Acres, Green Thumb Produce, Empty Nest Winery, Peake Orchards, and WW Homestead Creamery – as part of the first annual Farm Crawl: Taste of Northeast Iowa. Family friendly activities will show more about how local food and products get from field to table! Map on page 37 and lots more info at Tacos Tacos Everywhere! Decorah is rich in tacos, and we’re lovin’ it. In fact, Inspire(d) HQ has barely missed a taco Tuesday at the Old Armory BBQ since Chef Matt Henning opened up. You can grab $2 BBQ tacos (brisket, chicken, or pork served with coleslaw, green onions, and cilantro – yummm!). It’s a killer deal – and if it’s afternoon, you can grab a beer outside at The Courtyard! In other exciting news, our fair city has a new mobile food cart: Taqualiscious! Authentic street tacos are served up most weekend nights from the Fareway parking lot location from 9 pm until close – late night bites are all the rage! 2013 Land Fall Festival of World Music Legion Arts in Cedar Rapids has once again dug deep into the world music scene to curate a festival that encompasses some of the hottest world roots artists anywhere. From September 24-28, downtown Cedar Rapids will host the 6th annual Landfall Festival of World Music, turning both public spaces and performance venues into windows of world culture and music. From groups like Norway’s fiddle power-house Frigg, and Kardemimmit (Finland), to Janka Nabay (Sierra Leone), Ethiopian party group Debo Band, and the Ghanaian drum and dance force African Showboyz – this festival presents music that is rare enough to find anywhere in the US, nonetheless in Eastern Iowa, AND all at the same time! Keep your eyes peeled to for more information on Landfall and all else happening at the CSPS Hall.

WHERE HEALTH BEGINS.... FOR YOUR WHOLE FAMILY ary care. And isn’t Good health begins with great prim We think so. We’re s? erve that just what your family des ms, immunizations exa s the place you go for your wellnes conditions. nic chro and treatment for illnesses and re health begins Gundersen Health System is whe ily. and where we care for you like fam ah cor /de org gundersenhealth.

Brent & Anne Berns Family, Decorah 20

Fall 2013 /


g e o t t a n w o s a a y e s ! t c e f r e p the 2 Bike the Trout Run Trail or the area singletrack

t h g i e Take five


1 Take a class at ArtHaus or the Clay Studio

this fall in

Plan your trip at

7 Catch the Winneshiek Farmers Market Wednesdays & Saturdays


3 Take a stroll through Phelps Park

4 Pick a pumpkin at Pinter’s

or call 800.463.4692

Take a float down the 6 Upper Iowa River

5 Take the NE Iowa Studio Artists’ Tour October 11-13

No matter where you go, enjoy the leaves! Peak viewing is late September, early October!




GALLERIES: Exhibition & Juried Sales

St. Mane THEATRE 507.467.2446 | Year-round

I ART! 2nd Fridays Feb-Nov 7:30pm $7/$4

New Paintings


by Sarah Wieben Aug 17 - Oct 13






90+ Artists .

Juried Sales Gallery .

1st Annual



MAKE SURE TO ADD THESE fun fall events to add to your plans! Driftless Area Art Festival Where: Beauford T. Anderson Park, Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin When: September 14–15, 2013 For more information: visit

Art Lofts Lodging

downtown • spacious • sleeps 6

Lanesboro MN Galleries 103 Parkway N St. Mane 206 Parkway N


“Celebrating the visual, performing, and culinary arts of the Driftless Area” – yes, the tagline says it all. Now in its ninth year, this event features artists of all ilks – from painters and potters to musicians and brewmasters – in a setting replete with the hills and valleys that define the Driftless Region.

Fall 2013 /

Farm Crawl – Taste of Northeast Iowa Where: Waukon and Decorah (and Fredricksburg, Iowa / September 8) When: September 22, 2013 For more information: v isit How do local farmers successfully grow fruits and vegetables, produce flowers and herbs, make ice cream and butter, and even bottle wine? Find out during this inaugural event, which offers a glimpse of the day-to-day workings of seven Northeast Iowa farms.

Vesterheim Museum Welcomes You To

The World Of Jan Brett October 14, 2013 - January 5, 2014

A funtastic exhibition adventure that brings your favorite stories to life with interactive reading environments, original artwork, and a super-size Hedgie!

By Sara Friedl-Putnam

Ahh…fall! For some it means once again watching football Friday nights and sending kids off to school in the mornings…seeing leaves change color on the trees and pumpkins ripen on the vine. But the season also signals the start of a whole OTHER season – art tour season! Area residents and visitors alike get the opportunity to experience behind-the-scenes magic of many talented artists in the Driftless Region. “It’s fun to see how artists work,” says Darla Ellickson, an accomplished Decorah-based jewelry-maker and the cofounder of the Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour (NIAST), the largest and longest-running artist studio tour in the state. “NIAST and other area studio tours present great opportunities to see not only what’s involved in the creative process but also how accessible making art really is.” Curious how Ellickson crafts her stylish, metal, no-piercingsrequired “ear loops”? Wondering what constitutes a “fiber farm”? Seeking to purchase a one-of-a-kind gift for a family member or friend – or treat yourself to something funky and fun? Or perhaps just itching to take in the natural beauty that defines fall in the Driftless Region while traversing roads less traveled? Then you’re in luck. October – which just happens to be national arts and humanities month – kicks off three straight weekends of Driftless Region art tours. Artists open their studio doors to visitors just for these events. (Cameras strongly recommended – all tours showcase some of the most stunningly scenic areas the region has to offer!) “One of the great things about NIAST and other studio tours is that they feature artists in their working environments,” says Ellickson, herself one of the 51 artists who will take part in NIAST 2013. “There’s really no substitute for that.”

With a special visit to Decorah from Jan Brett on Nov.10

More info at

Visit Vesterheim’s Museum Store for everything Jan Brett— classic favorites, new releases, even Hedgie!

Curiosity piqued? Then plan for a peek into area artists’ creative worlds during these fall art tours. (Continued on next page)

Coming up this spring: Bluff Country Studio Art Tour Where: Winona, Minnesota, extending into Northeast Iowa and Southwest Wisconsin When: April 25–27, 2014 For more information: visit Usher in springtime in the Midwest with a weekend spent touring the galleries and studios of dozens of painters, potters, woodworkers, glassmakers, and other artists who call the Bluff Country home.

Norwegian- American Museum

Decorah, Iowa • • 563-382-9681

Fresh Art Tour Where: Lake Pepin and the Chippewa Valley of Wisconsin When: October 4–6, 2013 For more information: visit Never heard of “fresh art”? Broaden your artistic boundaries as you learn why Wisconsin has much more to offer than dairy farms, cheese curds, and Badgers and Packers games. Witness art-in-themaking during discussions and demonstrations by the varied artists (more than two dozen in all) taking part in this year’s Fresh Art Tour, a unique opportunity to experience the eclectic galleries and studios sprawled throughout the Mississippi River town of Pepin and its surrounds. Marvel at the rich colors of autumn in Wisconsin (not to mention the Chippewa Valley’s rolling hills) while witnessing the diverse talents of painters, potters, sculptors, and other skilled artists at work.

Fresh Art Tour, Maiden Rock Inn

This year will mark NIAST’s 16th tour. Sculptors? Yep. Oil painters? They’re on the tour too. So are jewelry-makers, ceramicists, potters, fiber artists, wood-workers, basket-makers, silk painters, photographers, quilters, and, yes, even kaleidoscopemakers. Where will you find them all come the second weekend of October? Nestled in and around the lush hills and vales of Decorah and its environs, of course! Sheep and Fiber Farm Tour Where: Southeast Minnesota When: October 11–13 2013 For more information: visit What’s a “fiber farm”? Find out as you spend a weekend exploring four scenic farms in Southeast Minnesota. All are dedicated to promoting the fiber arts and raising animals that produce yarn

NE IA Studio Tour, Tonya Balik

Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour Where: Decorah, Iowa, and 35-mile surrounding region When: October 11–13, 2013 For more information: visit They may be conveniently clustered within a 35-mile radius of small-town Decorah, but many of the dozens of artists taking part in the 2013 Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour (NIAST) have long traveled throughout (and well beyond) the United States to exhibit their works. “There were so many artists doing high-caliber shows throughout the country, but people in and around Decorah didn’t know that they were here,” says Ellickson of the main reason she and Margaret Davis of the Decorah Regional Arts Council (now Driftless Art Collective) decided to launch the first Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour in 1998. “We honestly didn’t know how that first tour was going to turn out, but it was well enough attended that we decided to keep on going.” And going. And going.

Sheep and Fiber Farm Tour

(think yaks, alpacas, and Shetland sheep) and other materials used in fiber-art products. The tour, now in its third year, kicks off Friday evening, October 11, in the gardens of the historic Berwood Hill Inn in Lanesboro, Minnesota, with a “Sheep, Cheese, and Wine” event featuring Catherine Friend, sheep farmer and author of the Minnesota Book Award-winning publication The Compassionate Carnivore. Discover what’s involved in raising “fiber” animals. View the fibermilling process in action. Be inspired by the softness and intricate textures of homespun yarn and other items crafted by local artists. “Visitors will gain a better understanding of how ‘fiber’ animals – including wool-breed sheep, yaks, and alpacas – are raised and why natural fiber is good for ourselves, our children, and the world we want to leave behind,” promises Jean Mueller, tour director. “They will also see firsthand how fiber is transformed into a medium artists have used for centuries to make blankets, throws, and various other items.” Cool! Er…warm!

Driftless Area Art Festival Celebrating the Visual, Performing, and Culinary Arts of the Driftless Area 80 Visual Artists Live Music Local Foods

Saturday, September 14 10:00—5:00 Sunday, September 15 10:00—4:00 Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin

Free Admission and Parking


Fall 2013 /

Fall Art Tour Where: Southwest Wisconsin (Baraboo, Dodgeville, Mineral Point, and Spring Green) When: October 18–20, 2013 For more information: visit More than 50 artist studios in unique locations ranging from restored breweries to one-room brick schoolhouses. Rolling hills spruced with trees in vibrant fall foliage. And the distinct friendly flavor of small-town Wisconsin. There’s a reason (actually many) that this event will celebrate its 20th anniversary this October. Once again this fall, painters, sculptors, potters, weavers, jewelers, woodworkers, and mixed-media artists in four small Wisconsin towns will open their studios to offer a behind-thescenes look at how (and why) they create their art. “The Fall Art Tour reveals one of the dairy land’s richest harvests,” Wisconsin

Fall Art Tour, Scott Allen

250 artists. 7 days a week. 1 gallery.

NEIAST,Elisabeth Maurland

Trails Magazine recently noted. “It’s a veritable bumper crop of galleries and studios sandwiched between the family farms or just off small-town main streets in southern Wisconsin.” And the artists aren’t the only draw of this popular tour. Visitors also have the opportunity to soak in the sites of Mineral Point, the first Wisconsin city placed on the National Register of Historic Places; visit Taliesin, the Spring Green-area home and studio of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright; and experience the dramatic natural beauty (500-foot cliffs, anyone?) of the Barabooarea Devil’s Lake State Park.

You and up to 35 n of your friends ca travel in style on Holly the Trolley!

Sara Friedl-Putnam has thoroughly enjoyed learning about the artistic endeavors of some of the region’s most talented individuals during past NIAST events and looks forward to experiencing even more tour stops this fall.

Perfect for s, weddings, partie e! or m & parades, en seats • Antique wood & rails s as gl e ag • Vint closed en or • Open-air ar with front & re . em st sy PA & heat


Christmas the Trolley! Meet Holly

563-419-8902 •

Travel by Trolley – Travel in Style \ Fall 2013



Fall 2013 /

BRIGHT IDEAS. BIG PLANS. Ossian, Iowa, native Danielle Ameling trusted her crazy idea and started her letterpress and design business, Iron Leaf Press. Turns out, it’s a winner! By Aryn Henning Nichols

Photo by Jen Madigan Photography \ Fall 2013



verybody knows we love a good entrepreneur around Leaf Press provides graphic design and branding services. It’s a here. Starting a business is… dare we say… inspiring! business that’s been a long time in the making for Danielle. It’s damn hard too. After graduating from South Winn High School in 2005 and in The first step is, obviously, a really great idea. The 2009 from Grand View University in Des Moines with a degree next? A really great plan. in graphic design, Danielle worked at Main Street Iowa, then as a So to help build a fire under everyone’s collective bums, many graphic designer at Cedar Rapids-based RuffaloCODY. But she had cities and states are hosting business plan contests. To enter, you other ideas in the works. Really great ideas. (Remember: That’s the submit your great idea, all laid out and ready to go in a plan that first step.) says “I could start this tomorrow”. Winnings range from hundreds “I’ve always been crafting, painting, and drawing since I was a of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars to more abstract – but kid,” she writes. “I really enjoyed drawing lettering in particular and equally helpful – booty like free rent and business consulting. that eventually led me to graphic design.” Which eventually led Such was the case for Ossian native her to printmaking which then led her to Danielle Ameling. Her business, Iron Leaf letterpress and finally to Iron Leaf Press. Press, won free rent for two years – plus support services and a utility stipend – We caught up with Danielle via email this through the Project Bright Idea Business summer. In between runs on the press and Plan Contest. helping run her boyfriend’s farmers market Project Bright Idea was created by a beignet stand, Sweet Dee’s (for which she group of volunteers partnering with Lisbondeveloped the branding), she managed to based Moon Eye Ventures. It was created share some of what’s inspiring her now plus to encourage regional entrepreneurs to some strategies for starting a new business take the leap and get their plans on paper, and entering a business plan contest with a goal of luring new startups to fill yourself. in vacant downtown buildings in Mount Interested in doing just that? Check out Vernon and Lisbon. the sidebar on page 32 for some business Iron Leaf Press, a custom design plan contests in the tri-state area. and letterpress studio – in business since 2011(although Danielle started Q&A with Danielle Ameling, printmaking in 2007) – has now set up founder of Iron Leaf Press shop in the grand prize: a completely What’s inspiring you right now? renovated, 1,000-square-foot historical Everything and anything really. I building in downtown Lisbon, Iowa. Danielle particularly enjoy vintage typography and has moved in her three presses – the illustrations, especially vintage packaging. I Nolan proof press, a Kelsey 6”x10” usually get inspired by my surroundings and tabletop platen press, and a Chandler and friends. At one point I decided I was going Price 10”x15” platen press – and has to host a show called “Fun with Paper” (a la been busy making all sorts of cool stuff Sheldon Cooper) after trying to describe the from invitations to posters to packaging Photo by Michael Wagler difference between text and cover weight to business cards. The only real printing paper to a group of friends (paper nerd!). A stipulation: It should be flat. In addition, Iron

Northeast Iowa’s premier wedding destination venue!

Spend your special day in a casual, elegant setting overlooking the Oneota Valley and the Upper Iowa River. Enjoy the Amish-built post and beam barn and restored one room school house – along with outdoor patios and beautiful garden spaces – located just outside Decorah, Iowa.

Visit us at or call 563-419-8902 28

Fall 2013 /

lot of the greeting cards come about from off the cuff comments in these discussions. (ed. note: one of her cards reads: “sh*t happens when you party naked”.) I also am a member of both the Ladies of Letterpress and the Amalgamated Printer’s Association. Both groups have some amazing printers and I continually am inspired by the work that they put together. Why letterpress? Letterpress, for me, is a way to be creative not only in the design, but in the production. I like being able to work with clients on special projects – those that have a very personal impact. I also really enjoy the challenges of working through production. Using antique printing presses can create their own challenges, but I like being able to have that control over the end product. I create the majority of my greeting cards using hand-set type, which is a challenge in itself. Each letter is a separate piece of metal or wood type and must be locked in place or the type will be “pied,” meaning the type will fall and have to be re-set. It really makes me appreciate how much skill and craftsmanship went Photo by Jen Madigan Photography into printing in the past. Beyond all of that, the machinery related to the printing field (especially those in the late 19th century) are amazing feats of engineering and technology. It’s amazing to know that I can produce these items with this antique machinery, and currently all of my equipment runs on NO electricity (other than my computer). Everything is human powered.  Men’s • Women’s • Kid’s | Clarks • Merrell • Keen • Rockport • Haflinger • Dansko • Naturalizer • Life Stride • Wolky • New Balance • & More!

Fact 1: Shoes from The Good Foot make people happy.

Fact 2: Happiness is often contagious.

So really, we’re

Heeling the world. One customer at a time. (Get it?) 128 W Water St, Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-9829 • M, Tues, W, F, Sat: 9-5 Thurs: 9-8 •

You’re kind of a jack-of-all trades, design-wise. What else do you do? (Or should we ask what DON’T you do?!) :) I do work on a lot of different projects. The main projects I focus on are commercial and social stationery including invitations, notecards, business cards, packaging, posters, and greeting cards. I also do logos and branding. I can print on most things, as long as they are flat, so there are many options out there – I’ve even printed on boxes and gift bags before. In addition to the custom and commercial work I do, I have a line of greeting cards and paper goods that I sell online, at art/craft shows, and in select retailers. I have some experience doing email and web design (I take care of those for Iron Leaf Press) but that’s really the only design area that I don’t do a ton of work in –I’ve always been more of a print designer. Photo by Jen Madigan Photography Out of all that, what’s your favorite? I think my favorite projects are the ones where I get a chance to really connect with the recipient. Hearing the story on how a couple met for a wedding invite or how someone is looking for a gift to celebrate a promotion, etc. – the stories behind the pieces are always fun for me. Tell us about the business plan contest process. I had participated in the Dream Big, Grow Here regional contest back in the fall (run by University of Northern Iowa’s MyEntre.Net). I didn’t end up winning, but that helped propel me forward into


pursuing Iron Leaf Press more full time. I had been on the lookout for a larger studio space to add some larger equipment and heard about Project Bright Idea in Lisbon. Each applicant had to provide a detailed business plan (prior to winning this space, everything was in a small room in my second-floor apartment). The committee met and reviewed the applicants (I wasn’t privy to this part of the process so I’m not sure all of what happened behind the scenes). Eventually Moon Eye Ventures wanted to meet with me and discuss my business plan and goals. I met with them a few additional times and they ended up choosing me for this space. 


work & play.

wake up at the winneshiek | breakfast • happy hour • dinner


Life is

delicious at

Winneshiek NEW!

Tap Room

Happy Hour 4 - 6 pm Wednesday Free Apps! Sun-Thurs 4 pm - closing Fri-Sat 4 pm - closing

Breakfast Daily!


with Chef Tom Skold

Mon-Fri: 7 am - 10 am Sat-Sun: 8 am - 12 noon Sun-Thurs 5 pm - closing Fri-Sat: 5 pm - closing

Call about our event spaces! The historic Steyer Opera House can accommodate up to 250 people for conferences, weddings, performances – smaller venues are available for more intimate groups. Exceptional full-service catering.

Explore our great package, mid-week, & extended stays online! • • 104 E. Water St. Decorah, IA • 1.800.998.4164

Taking local to a whole new level.

Photo by Studio eM Photography Advice to others who want to start their own business? How about others who want to enter a business plan contest? Keep your chin up and keep moving forward. Throughout this process I kept asking myself if I was crazy – especially once I bought my largest press that weighs in at over 1500 lbs – but I bought it anyway. If you believe in your business and it is a passion, you will find ways to make it work. Also be sure to surround yourself with people that love and support you with your crazy ideas. My family and boyfriend and friends have been extremely supportive and that makes a huge difference. Meeting with other business owners is a great resource as well. They know the type of things you are working through and often have ways to help you grow. Specifically with business plan contests, plan your business like you are going to win. Make your plan show exactly how you are going to use the winnings and how it fits into your overall goals. Be confidant, but humble. For someone to “buy into” your business, they are just as much buying into your personality and demeanor. 

Aryn Henning Nichols is also a paper and print nerd. Wouldn’t it be fun to print Inspire(d) all old-school? Okay, maybe just one. Okay, maybe just one cover. Oh wait! No need; it’s already done. You can buy those at! Seriously, folks: trust your crazy ideas!

• • • •

Local Bookstore Local/Regional Authors Great Local Place for Gifts Plus book signings & readings too! 563-382-4275 • 112 West Water Street Decorah • M-Tu-W 10-5:30 | Th 10-8 | Fri-Sat 10-5 | Sun 12-4

Got a great business plan?

Enter the Biz Booster Contest You could win BIG! Nov. 1, 2013



Toppling Goliath Backpocket Tallgrass & More

563-538-4228 • 359 Main St. Lansing, Iowa


Winn.Co. Development, Inc.




ss Your New 00Busine 100 ten thousand and 1

Deadline: October 11 Business must be located in Winneshiek County More info: 563-382-6061 or \ Fall 2013


The mission of the Governor’s Business Plan Contest is to encourage entrepreneurs in the creation, startup and early-growth stages of high-tech businesses in Wisconsin. Finalists will share in more than $100,000 in seed capital and in-kind services. Since its inception in 2004, nearly 2,300 entries have been received and about $1.5 million in cash and services have been awarded.

Got a Great Idea? Make a Plan. And WIN! Dream Big, Grow Here / NE Iowa Business Network

Deadline: September 27, 2013 This is a grant contest open only to legal residents of the State of Iowa, of the The John Pappajohn Counties of Allamakee, Clayton, Entrepreneurial Centers
Iowa Delaware, Fayette, Howard, and Business Plan Competition Winneshiek. Dreamers compete Deadline: April 30, 2014 Photo by Studio eM Photography online for votes and a shot at a $5,000 regional grant, and The plan must be an original idea for then become eligible to further a business in operation for four years compete in a “pitch off” for a $10,000 grand prize announced at or less or have not yet reached cash flow positive financial status. EntreFest! 2014. The principal business operations of the business must be located in

Winneshiek County Biz Booster Challenge Deadline October 11, 2013 The Biz Booster Challenge is open to anyone who has a business or plans to start a new business in Winneshiek County. Total grant money available in 2013 is more than $10,000. Main criteria for the Biz Booster Challenge is the amount of economic impact the new or expanding business will have in Winneshiek County.

Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest Deadline: January 31, 2014

Iowa. One Grand Prize Winner will receive $25,000 and, in addition, recognition of their work on the website for the competition. ($15,000 for Second Prize and
$10,000 for Third Prize.)

The Minnesota Cup Deadline: May 17, 2014 Since 2005, the Minnesota Cup has attracted over 7,000 entries and is now the largest new venture competition in the country. This program is for Minnesota’s entrepreneurs, inventors and small business people. It is for those individuals or early stage businesses that are pursuing their dreams and working on their breakthrough business idea. Prizes range from $5,000 to $40,000.

Bittersweet Boutique in Picturesque Lanesboro

“An imaginative, eclectic store whose treasures fill the nooks and crannies of its warm, inviting walls.”

In back: Great selection of

antiques – furniture, porch

beams, trunks. In front: Fe aturing Baggallini, Smart Wool,

Bittersweet is an intimate boutique with a great selection of natural fiber clothing for

women. Expressive, unique, yet simple & classic. Something for everyone. Browse the sassy socks, flip-flops, handbags, vintage hats & unique harness bracelets. Create your own kind of style!

and much more!

117 Parkway Ave N, Lanesboro, MN 507-467-2292 •

Paper Project! step-by-step instructions at

Thanks to our friend Danielle Ameling at Iron Leaf Press for the guest paper project! We love it and think it would be so fun for Halloween or even at each seat at Thanksgiving! Check out Danielle’s cool website (above) for detailed photos and instructions (and another color pumpkin too!), and read more about her letterpress and design business on page 26 of this issue!

RING OF FIRE: Q&A with Producer/Director Curt Wollan By Benji Nichols



t’s hard to hear the name “Johnny Cash” and not start in on Folsom Prison Blues or, more likely, with the lyric “I fell in to a burning ring of fire…”. His name and his songs are household standards, but not everyone knows the details behind Johnny Cash’s tumultuous life. It was one of struggle and success, love and pain. The public will have a chance to learn more about Cash’s iconic life in the musical “Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash”. Performed by Minneapolis-based Troupe America on September 14 at Luther College as part of the Center Stage Series, this unique show celebrates the ups and downs and, of course, the music of Cash’s history. Curt Wollan, the President and Executive Producer/Director for Troupe America, is an alumni of Luther College and the University of Iowa. He has called Minneapolis home for some 30 years, which is where he was when Inspire(d) caught up him via email to ask a handful of burning questions (harhar) covering everything from Decorah memories and the upcoming show to an imaginary Johnny Cash faux pas.

Nothing but the best for our patients. • Same day crowns, veneers, & bridges with CEREC CAD technology • Less radiation & better diagnostics through digital x rays & records • Soft tissue laser to help heal canker sores & cold sores without a scalpel, drastically reducing healing time • New “wand anesthesia systems” that allow us to numb your teeth without a shot • State of the art building & equipment, with Wi-Fi in the waiting room • Wide range of all white & ceramic filling options • Now offering Invisalign

We’re here to make you smile.

Dr. Peter J. Blodgett • Dr. John E. Wilmes • Dr. Lana W. McDermott 108 Fifth Avenue, Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-3657 • • Find us on 34

Fall 2013 /

Five questions with Curt Wollan

1. Best memory of 1973 at Luther College? Performing the Musical “Carnival” in a circus tent out in front of the Preus Library. The stage was in the round as if it was a center ring. I played Paul Berthelet, the injured exdancer, now puppeteer with a chip on his shoulder. I weighed 50 pounds more then, and I must have looked like eating was my only outlet now that my dance career was over.

“Thank You!” from Project Care!

On behalf of First Lutheran Church of Decorah & the Project Care Committee, we would like to extend our heart-felt thanks to all of the individuals, businesses, & families who made Project Care Possible! The goal & mission of Project Care is to recognize area students who are not only graduating from high school, but also “aging out” of the foster care system. This dedicated effort raised money to help equip 8 area young people in the next phase of life, that of independent living as well as host a wonderful graduation celebration on May 30. They have endured much, persevered, & we wish them all the best! We also hope that this project brings to light the need of all the children in the foster care system! This INSPIRING endeavor would not have been possible without the kindness & generosity of those in our community listed below!

3. What’s the most inspiring thing that’s happened to you while running your own theatrical production company for the past 30 years? That we’ve stayed alive and prospered in a really tough business. It seems we’re working all the time, but it doesn’t feel like work. And that my kids, Chet and Lexie, have embraced the business and are both really good at what they do. 4. What do you enjoy most about visiting Decorah now? The memories. What a beautiful place... and Mabe’s Pizza. Can’t wait to get there and have some. 5. Johnny Cash walks into the coffee shop and stands behind you in line – what do you say? As I try to gain my composure, I would probably spill something on him. (I’ve spilled on Fran Tarkington, Gavin MacLeod and Cesar Romero). I guess I would say, “Mr Cash! I’m so sorry!” 563 382 6245 DECORAH

We thank you for your support & care!

2. What is your favorite Johnny Cash song from “Ring of Fire”? That’s tough. He wrote so many great songs and covered many more so well. I guess “Jackson”, ‘cause it rocks, or “Straight ‘A’s In Love” because my son, Chet, who is in the show, really sells it, or maybe Chet’s girlfriend, Candice – also in the show – who does an amazing rendition of “All Over Again”. Tough question.

Walmart, Mitch Link & Staff Dan Huebner Ace Hardware, Julie Spilde Bank of the West, Cindy Simpson & Employees Beta Sigma Phi Laureate Alpha Gamma, Cindy Simpson & Lorraine Rear Beta Tau Chapter of Beta Signma Phi, Peggy Beatty Caseys, Dawn Casey’s General Stores Contribution Committee, Ankeny, IA Culvers, Bruce & Sue Anderson, Lisa Roberson, Decorah Bank & Trust, Ben Grimstad Decorah Lutheran Church, Ruth Circle Decorah Newspapers Dough & Joe, Molly Pedretti Family Care Clinic, David Heine Farmers & Merchants Savings Bank, Maureen Duncklee First Lutheran Sunday School Students Friest & Associates, Jim & DJ Friest Gundersen Health System, Angie McConnell Inspired Media, Benji & Aryn Nichols Iowa Xi Zeta Omicron Sorority, Heidi Olinger JC Penney, Ranae Snyder Jaycees, Susan Nelson KDEC Kwik Star, Sharon Luther College McDonalds, Scott Clemens NICC, Dr. Wee Once Upon a Time, Marlys Lien Pizza Hut, John Pizza Ranch, John Dambek Rockweiler Appliance, Dean & Heidi Rockweiler, Jason Zuck Sports Shop, Paul Wanless Story People, Annette Laitenen Subway (College Dr.), Kim Zweibommer Subway (Short St.), Robin Pride Whippy Dip, Rosie Carolan Winnesheik Medical Center, Mary Marx Alison Dwyer Ann & John Glesne Ann & Corey Landstrom Bekah & Joe Krueger Ben & Padrin Grimstad Betty Hoff Betty Nelson Bev & ElliottChristen Bob & Darlene Jones Carol Birkland & Tom Woxland Carolyn & Herman Flaskerud Chad & Cheryl Huebner Family Claire & MattThompson Family Dan & Carol Edmondson Dan & Jenny Werner Darrel & Mary Pat Jensen Darryl & Beth Landas Dave & Brenda Carlson David & Kirsten Heine Family Dawn Deines-Christensen Denise & Kent Lee Dennis & Paula Olejniczak Diane Sadler Diann Marten Jon & Mary Hart Elise Nelson Elwin & Helen Farwell Georgiann & Doug Eckheart Gerry & Gary Lee Gloria Carpenter Harley & Norma Refsal Hazel Amundson Helen James Helen & Jim Meehan Heather Armstrong Irene Lovstuen Jacqueline Wilkie Jane Tollefson Jayme & Dan Nelson Jeff & Susan Johnson Jenine Jordahl Jenna & Ryan Gjerde Jim & Marge Iversen Jim & Rita Friest Jim & Sandy Hoeg Jim & Sue Haemker Joan Rulon

JoAn Stevenson John & Amy Noel John & Arlene Nelson Jud & Connie Barclay Kevin Rockwell Larry & Diane Grimstad Laurie Worcester Linda Bakken Luann Smith Lyn & Ron Lysne Marcia & Rik Engebretson Miriam Bakken Marilyn & Jeff Roverud Marilyn & Tony Larson Marilyn Wahlberg Marion & Peggy Beatty Mark & Mary Johns Matt & Amy Larson Mildred & Jack Meyer Muriel Bakken Marilyn & Francis Peterson Margaret Steffen Brenda Rix Otter Dreaming Owen & Linda Christianson Pat & Karen Trewin Family Paul & Norma Dirks Paula Hove Rich & Babs Amundson Rich & Linda Svenson Rita Tejada & family Robin & Jack Hines Roger & Jane Kolarich Roger & Vicky Jaeger Ron & Linda Hougen Ruby Helgerson Ruth Caldwell & Uwe Rudolf Ruth & Ken Nessett Sharon & Bob Lillie Shirley & Al Ludeking Steve & Jennifer Larson Family Susan & Don Nelson Terri Brooks Tiphanie & Dennis Keefe Tracy & John Hjelle Family Will & Ruth Bunge William & Kathryn Fuqua Family Anonymous

“Be not Forgetful to Entertain Strangers: For Thereby some have Entertained Angles Unawares” Hebrews 13:2

small appliances . pots & pans . kitchen tools . glassware . dishes . accessories . gift registry . & more!

Holidates! Fall is the time filled with giving back, giving thanks, and celebrating life with the ones you love. It’s also the time that the holiday season begins! When you’re looking for something fun to do with your sweetie, best friend, mom, or neighbor in the coming months, try one of these awesome area “Holidates”!

106 E. Water St Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-3544 Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm | Thursday 9am - 8pm


115 Winnebago Street | Decorah, Iowa | 563.382.3600

“Delicious food + great atmosphere = fun!” 117 W. WATER ST., DECORAH, IA • 563.382.WINE DINNER: WED-SAT – OPEN AT 5 SUNDAY BRUNCH: 9-1 bar menu also available RESERVATIONS APPRECIATED


Check in!

Read reviews!

Visit our 160-year-old Norwegian-built log house & working farm with heritage cattle, sheep, & chickens. Come take in the stunning landscape & explore Trout River, one of the best trout fishing streams in the Midwest.

Around the World in Five Plates, Sunday, October 27, 5-9 pm, Hotel Winneshiek, Decorah The Northeast Iowa Montessori School presents a dinner of world culinary delights! Regional chefs lend their talents to create spectacular dishes in an effort to raise funds for the NE Iowa Montessori. Tickets and info 516-672-7306 or Oneota Co-op Taste of the Holidays benefit meal, Thursday, November 7, 4:30-8:15 pm (multiple seatings), Oneota Co-op, Decorah This annual feast raises money for local food pantries. Enjoy a multi-course feast around the Co-op while spreading holiday cheer! Also plan ahead to enjoy Vesterheim’s Free First Thursday before or after your dinner – with free admission all day! Tickets and information for the Coop dinner 563-382-4666 or Deck the Tables, November 22-23, Friday 5-9 pm and Saturday 9 am-2 pm, Hotel Winneshiek, Decorah The Steyer Opera House comes alive with the Holiday spirit as local groups decorate formal holiday tables. Admission includes refreshments and special opportunities to both bid on and win unique items. All proceeds benefit Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum. More information available from Stephanie Johnson – or 563-382-9681 Lanesboro Christmas Inn Tour, Sunday, December 8, 2-6 pm, Lanesboro Tour eight Lanesboro B&Bs decked out for the holidays. Holiday refreshments are served along the way – make it a weekend and see “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” at Commonweal or the Lanesboro Dinner Dance Saturday evening. Guests staying overnight at participating inns receive half price tickets!



Decorah, Iowa | 563.419.5634 36

Fall 2013 /


Lunch & dinner Monday - Saturday • 563-382-3067

Sponsored by NE Iowa Food and Farm Coalition and NE Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative •

FARM CRAWL! Sunday, September 22, 2013

1st Annual

Prairie Dr


Rossville Rd




IOWA 310th St

Ridgeway Ave

290th St

Quinlan Ave

September 8


Stanley Ave

Picnic Woods Dr


Roanoake Ave


Pembroke Ave

Taste of Northeast Iowa

9th St SW

Teeple Creek Rd

9 Pole Line Rd

2 mi

9 N Line Dr.

W Ridge Rd

N Line Dr.





Old Hwy 9/ A52

Old Hwy 9/ A52

Empire Dr

Winnmakee Rd

Old Hwy 9/ A52

Glenville Rd



Old Stage Rd

Pontioppidan Rd


Ludlow Rd

Old Stage Rd

300th St

Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch

Green Thumb Produce 2322 Glenville Road | Decorah, IA 52101 See a three-acre market garden where they grow fruits and vegetables for sale, as well as for the local food pantries. See their new high tunnel and how they are using it to extend the growing season. Fresh baked goods, cookies, breads, cinnamon rolls and pies available for purchase.

Peake Orchards 323 N. Line Dr. | Waukon, IA 52172 Peake Orchards planted their first trees in the early 1980's and began selling fruit in 1989. With approx. 1,000 trees and about ten varieties to choose from, they have something for everyone. Visit the farm stand, view the packingshed and take a wagon ride to the orchard between 2-4 pm that day.

Kymar Acres 2168 Winnmakee Road | Waukon, IA 52172 A family owned, sustainable farm since 1998. Kymar Acres offers fresh produce, herbs, flowers and eggs sold directly to you at local farmers markets and at their on farm stand. Visit the production fields and farm stand and tour their newly, renovated commercial kitchen where they will host cooking and canning classes and process food from their farm.

WW Homestead Dairy 850 Rossville Road | Waukon, IA 52172 Two local dairy farm families from northeast Iowa are proud to introduce a full dairy product line including; cream-line milk, cheese curds, block cheeses, butter, and premium ice cream. Their products are made with all natural ingredients that are locally produced and processed. Sample their amazing cheese curds and cream-line milk! Even though the processing room is quiet on Sundays, you can still get a tour of how the milk travels from the farm to your refrigerator.

Empty Nest Winery 1352 Apple Road | Waukon, IA 52172 Family owned and operated. Handcrafted wines made in small batches from grapes and many varieties of berries handpicked mainly on their farm and Northeast Iowa. Sample from six grape wines and 12 berry wines in their tasting room.

For detailed descriptions & directions: Go to & click on “Farm Crawl” on the front page.



The First Annual Farm Crawl will be held in Northeast Iowa area on Sunday, September 22 from 1 to 5 pm. Learn how local farmers grow your food and manage their farms on this self-guided tour. You might even find fun kids' activities and local foods to buy and cook up for dinner! Visit the NE Iowa Food & Farm Coalition’s home page ( for a map and details about each participating farm. Plus: Buy a VIP Pass for bonus savings at each stop! JUST CAN’T WAIT TO FARM CRAWL? Check out the September 8th, 1-5 pm Northern Iowa Food and Farm Partnership Farm Crawl Engelbrecht Family Winery 2866 270th Street | Fredericksburg, IA 50630 10-acre vineyard growing grapes, raspberries, and rhubarb to make into wine. Wine varieties include three white wines, five red wines, and a blush wine. In addition to berry bushes and fruit trees, the farm features dairy cattle, goats, chickens, peacocks, llamas, Jacob sheep, cats, and a dog named HJ. Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch 3034 Pembroke Ave. | Fredericksburg, IA 50630 A heritage family farm (150 years) raising a herd of grass-fed and hormone free buffalo. Tours last one hour beginning with a Lakota Sioux smudge ceremony and end after a trip into the pasture to hand-feed the buffalo.

AND DON’T MISS: Driftless Farm Crawl and Farm to Table Dinner September 21, 1-5 pm



BLOCK We get a little excited about good food.

Erik Kleven of Four Daughters Vineyard and WinerY Intro by Aryn Henning Nichols


etween Stewartville and Spring Valley, Minnesota, just off the intersection of Highways 16 and 63, there sits a beautiful, modern, barn-red building. You might wonder what crops they grow…that is until you notice the grapevines rolling out past the patio situated under a giant, gorgeous pergola. Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery combines what they call “Minnesota-nice and casual elegance” to create a unique dining – and, of course, wining – destination.

grocery • bulk • produce café • meat • cheese bakery • wine/beer supplements body care Water Street Caf é f r e s h .

Summer Hours (Apr-Oct) Monday-Saturday 8:00 am - 8:30 pm Sunday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Winter Hours (Nov-Mar) Monday-Saturday 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Sunday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

o r g a n i c .

l o c a l .

312 West Water Street Decorah, Iowa 52101 563.382.4666


Fall 2013 /

Inside, the tasting room/restaurant is well designed and fun. Big chalkboards announce the wines to taste ($5 for a flight!), and they are indeed tasty – not just by Midwestern standards. Also tasty? The food. Open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, the menus (which change frequently) feature plates ranging from bacon jam potato skins to burgers hand ground (with bacon!) fresh in the Four Daughters kitchen. You can also get duck confit pasta or crispy crab cakes or even brie and artichoke pizza. At brunch order up the yummy apple-stuffed French toast or try the sausage bread dumplings with poached eggs (just to name a couple). If you’re lucky, you might even catch the Four Daughters’ father cheerfully walking around the tables, greeting guests like a host in his home, making it feel even more of a family affair. And while Four Daughters’ head chef, Erik Kleven, creates delicious plates off his regular menus, he really gets into his groove at the Dine in the Vines events. This special full moon dinner series only happens four times a year. It’s served up – you guessed it – right in the vineyard, under a full moon to boot. There is one left this fall – a lobster boil September 19th (reservations required). Another special dinner series at the vineyard is Thursday night gourmet dinners. These are weekly affairs, all year long, and each meal – ranging from five to six courses – is literally never the same. As the Four Daughters family is known to say, this place isn’t just a restaurant; it’s an experience. Name: Erik Kleven Age: 42 Restaurant: Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery Number of Years Cooking: 20 Formal training or live-andlearn? I choose the formal training route and attended the Western Culinary Institute in Portland Oregon. Culinary school teaches you the passion and professionalism, but learning on the job gives you the skills for the day to day work.

Join us for these great fall events • Squash Festival September 28

Learn about the diversity of this remarkable vegetable from experts around the country.

• Seed Saving Workshop* September 29 Learn seed

saving basics with a focus on harvesting seed from dry & wet-seeded crops.

• 3-Day Seed Workshop* October 11-13

Learn skills like hand-pollination and seed processing, as well as the biological and ecological concepts of seed saving.

• Dinner & Lecture* October 19

Join SSE and Winona LaDuke (Executive Director, Honor the Earth) for an evening of fresh food and learning.

*(Registration required)

Seed SaverS exchange

3094 North Winn Road, Decorah, IA• • 563-382-5990

Host your events at Upstairs or Underground! Now booking parties from small & intimate to 200+. 206 W. Water St. •563-382-5970 • \ Fall 2013


What’s your earliest or most significant memory of cooking or being cooked for? I grew up in the restaurant business and my best memory is of my dad teaching me to make meatloaf when I was young.

that we do every summer are my favorite. We do multiple course dinners down the middle of the vineyard under the full moon. We create fun dishes for these and the Lobster boil that we do at the end of the summer is a blast. Do you have any monumental food fails you’d like to share with us? Probably my most frequent fail is putting things in the oven and forgetting about them…I do this more often than should. My great kitchen staff usually saves me so that it is not always lost.

Why did you decide to become a chef? I have always liked the restaurant business and had many front of the house jobs. When I graduated high school I tried college for a couple of years and that didn’t hold my attention enough, because I always found things to do that were more fun than classes. So I decided that pursuing a career in the restaurant business would offer a bit more excitement and I have loved it ever since.

How about secret food indulgences you don’t normally talk about? Will you tell us? I will eat anything in the refrigerator wrapped in a tortilla, like most leftovers, leftover spaghetti is my favorite.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever made? I think that my best things have come in some of the specialized dinners that we do at Four Daughters. The Dine in the Vines dinners

What’s your favorite… Ingredient: Duck or Bacon Fat Dish: pan fried sunnys at the lake Cookbook: All of Charlie Trotter’s books – interesting ingredients and awesome pictures Random (or not so random) kitchen tool: Hand blender Vegetable: Potato Fruit: Tomato

Experience 50+ documentaries that engage and activate

January 22 – 26, 2014 Winona State University Winona, MN 55987

Mention this ad at the festival info booth for a chance to win a free membership to Inspire[d] WWW.FROZENRIVER.ORG

Photo by Jay Olson

BOXED (IN): By Benji Nichols Photos by Inspire(d) unless otherwise noted

Great River Road of Wisconsin: Alma • Nelson Pepin • Stockholm • Maiden Rock • Bay City

Getting to Alma, WI: 88 miles from Decorah 60 miles from La Crosse 54 miles from Rochester 119 miles from McGregor


For over 250 miles of Wisconsin’s “West Coast”, a ribbon of road flows next to the train tracks right along the Mighty Mississippi. The Wisconsin Great River Road is one of the Midwest’s most scenic road trips – it was even voted prettiest drive in the nation by the Huffington Post last year! Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, the drive in its entirety spans from Minnesota to Louisiana. Wisconsin’s section winds through 33 towns and countless sights. This edition of Boxed (IN) takes it in a little closer to cover the popular 30mile stretch from Alma to Maiden Rock – just north of Trempealeau and the La Crosse area. Home to Lake Pepin – a popular 26-mile-long sailing area of the Mississippi River – this little slice of river is known for kitschy stops, artist studios, galleries, shops, and down-home charm. Alma itself is an adorable little river town tucked in and on 12 Mile Bluff – there are even 10 staircases (with over 750 steps total!) that connect the two main streets throughout the town. Lock and Dam #4 – including a great viewing platform – is also located here, and the lodging and dining options are fun and unique since over 200 structures are on the National Register of Historic Places. As you wind up the river through Nelson, Pepin, Stockholm, Maiden Rock, and Bay City take time to seek out the many treasures and destinations tucked along the way. The terrain is beautiful – and the locals friendly. Follow our notes carefully, and call ahead if you are making the drive (or boat!) as many of the best spots we found are seasonal and only open certain days of the week. (Like A to Z’s Pizza on the farm!). That said, there’s more than enough to keep you busy – and plenty of relaxing to be had as you watch all that is the mighty Mississippi float by. \ Fall 2013



Why won’t my computer print?

Maiden Rock Apples


What kind of Internet do I need to stream movies on my TV?

How do I turn this thing on? At Sims, real people get you real answers. And remember: there’s no such thing as a dumb question!

A to Z Pizza


My cell phone is dead!!! Can you help?

VIlla Bellezza Lake Pepin

Cell Phones Computers High Speed Internet HDTV Digital Cameras

Satellite TV Direct TV Installation Satellite Radio Security Systems Repairs

Kiehl’s Bakery

NOW 3 LOCATIONS! 112 Winnebago St, Decorah 1014 S. Mill St, Decorah • 121 N Vine St, West Union 563-382-CELL (2355) • Mon - Fri 8 am - 6 pm • Sat 8 am - 5 pm • Thurs ‘til 8 pm

Book Reading



Lock & Dam #4, Alma, WI – Built in 1935, this structure is an attraction in its own right and the southern border of “Lake” Pepin. Watch barges and river traffic lock through from the viewing platform or from local establishments, while trains ramble by right underneath the pedestrian bridge.


Lake Pepin is a 26-mile-long section of the widest, naturally occurring part of the Mississippi River that stretches from Bay City on the north end to Alma and Lock & Dam #4 in the south. It is extremely popular for sailing, boating, and fishing, as well as bird and wildlife watching. Coffee & Tea & Treats Served

Lanesboro MN

Artistry in Cabinetry since 1983

Kitchens Home offices Bars Entertainment centers Fireplace mantles Cabinets & shelving Remodeling Finished carpentry

Visit my new website! 563-382-4750

Great Alma Fishing Float • Park and walk to the dock where a shuttle boat will pick you up and deliver you to the float! For over 25 years this has been a local favorite – Float Café open 7am-3pm, and bunk lodging is even available on the float. Minnesota or Wisconsin Fishing license is required. Buena Vista Park, Overlook, and Trail – Alma Just above Lock & Dam #4 in Alma (500 ft. above to be exact), is one of the best views of the Mississippi River, anywhere. Better Homes & Gardens called it “one of the river valley’s finest natural balconies.” The view down the road at Danzinger Winery isn’t too bad either! Mossy Hollow Trails – Alma In 1997 Dairyland Power Cooperative transferred 102 acres just south of Alma to the City. This property extends 12 miles up the bluff and provides hiking/walking trails along with some great views.

Eat. Drink. Alma:


Fall 2013 /

Kiehl’s Bakery • 105 South Main Street, Alma Step through the screen door and be transported to the bakery you


OCT 4-5

Alma photo by Kathy Goodman


remember from childhood. Donuts, scones, rolls, breads, cookies, and all very reasonably priced! Grab a cup of coffee and a delicious caramel roll and plan your day one of the vintage counter stools. Pier 4 Café & Smokehouse • 600 Main St, Alma • (Closed Tuesdays) open Wednesday - Monday 6 am to 1 pm Best BBQ by a Dam Site! Great breakfasts and lunch including lots of house made BBQ goodness. The German potato pancakes are a local favorite, as is the house made “Tangy” sauce! Views from the café are of Lock & Dam #4, and the back patio is a great place to take it all in.

Nelson: The Original Nelson Cheese Factory • S237 St Rd 35 S, Nelson Although cheese is no longer actually made at this facility, the selection of fine cheese, wine, prepared foods, and sweets is stunning. So is the interior of the facility – stop by to pick up supplies for a picnic or grab sandwiches and sit on the patio.

Pepin: Villa Bellezza • 1420 3rd St., Pepin • Inspired by the beauty of the Pepin area and several classic Italian influences, Villa Bellezza was opened to the public by the Dahlen family in 2012. The first grape vines at Villa Bellezza were planted a decade previous, and their wines are pushing the typical boundaries and quality of Midwestern viticulture. The Cotes du Pepin is a highlight, as are the event facilities. 11 am – 5 pm Harbor View Café • 314 First St, Pepin • This much-celebrated local café has a focus on local and sustainable ingredients. As comfy a spot as you’ll find, with fantastic people, great daily specials, and amazing deserts. No reservations, but the Adirondack chairs out front have a spectacular view and there’s New Glarus on tap if you have to wait! Closed Tuesday – Wednesday



details on, or sponsored in part by a grant from Southeastern Minnesota Initiative Foundation




in Spring Grove Dollars!

GRAND PRIZE Drawing held October 5 PLUS: WEEKLY Drawings too!


springgter rules online at: ovemn.c om

Register Weekly for Your Chance to Win! \ Fall 2013




restoration & weatherization

Residential & light commercial construction David J. Wadsworth • 563.419.0390 •

SALES SERVICE PARTS We service all brands.

302 College Drive, Decorah, IA 563-382-4856 • M-F 8-5 • Sat 8-3

NOW is always the right time to tune up or upgrade your mower or blower! TOP-OF-THE-LINE BRANDS – TORO • CUB CADET

Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, Chain Saws, & More!

Depot Outlet Monday-Friday 9-5 • Saturday 9-3 The

Reusable clothing, books, & household goods.

Save the earth AND get a great deal! or find us on Facebook

563-382-2700•105 Railroad Ave•Decorah, Iowa Gently used donations accepted at the back of the building

Stockholm Pie Company • Closed Wednesdays! Thursday-Monday 10 am – 5 pm Tuesdays 10 am – 5:30 pm– so you can get pie before A to Z!) The Stockholm Pie Company sits unassumingly in a tiny corner space (next door to the beautiful Abode Gallery and below Wide Spot Performing Arts Center.) The pie is the real deal and you won’t be sorry with the selection, which rotates daily. In fact, plan ahead to grab breakfast or lunch and take an extra slice along for your trip to A to Z later in the day (see below)! YES – Pie isn’t just for breakfast anymore! A to Z Produce and Bakery • N2945 Anker Lane, Stockholm • TUESDAYS ONLY 4:30 – 8 pm So here’s the idea: Vegetable and CSA farmers A to Z build a brick oven (actually two) and make pizza one night a week on their farm. People come from all around, bring blankets and supplies, Events this fall: and make a night of it! What Lake Pepin Food, Wine, & Cider Festival happens? Wild success – and September 21, 12-6 pm long lines of pizza lovers! We Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery can’t stress a few things enough though – really. Go Fresh Art Tour • October 4-6, 2013 early, write down directions Lake Pepin and Chipewa Valley Region (phones/GPS sketchy), bring games or good friends (or make friends with your Flyway Film Festival • October 17-20 neighbors), extra snacks, Pepin and Stockholm pie from the Stockholm Pie Company, and beverages Great River Road Wine Trail (but the state of WI “does Holiday Harvest Wine & Food Festival not allow carry in alcoholic November 9-10, 11am-6pm beverages”... beer and wine for sale on site). Some people even set up tables and chairs, but you decide just how far you want to take it. Also important: it’s CASH ONLY (bring extra – there’s often bread for sale!). The results of all this? Stunning pizza in a lovely rural setting that makes for an incredible evening. Plan to go here if you’re in town on a Tuesday evening – you will not be disappointed (unless you don’t take our tips from above!). Serving through November – bundle up and enjoy! Maiden Rock Apples / Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery W12266 King Lane, Stockholm • April – Dec: Tues 4 –7 pm (for a quick stop before pizza night, right?) Wednesday - Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm • Check for Jan-March hours Since 2000 Herdie Baisden and Carol Wiersma have been growing apples on their 80-acre farm. From Honeycrisp to Pomme Gris, the varieties are wide and interesting – you can pick right from the fields in the fall. But the real draw may be the cider – both still and sparkling. Give yourself some time for a tasting, and savor the local bounty!

Maiden Rock:

Movement for Health & Well-Being Change your life today! Contact Diane Sondrol for more information. 563.419.5420 or Small group and private lessons available, all are welcome! 44

Fall 2013 /

Maiden Rock Creamery/McNays Wine and Coffee Bar W3487 State Road 35 • This remodeled, once-upon-a-time creamery now features two incredible lofts (available by the night) and a Coffee/Wine Bar. Smiling Pelican Bake Shop • W3556 Hwy. 35, Maiden Rock Weekends ONLY (April-December) This little bakery is one of the best you’ll find. Yep, that was a period. House made Panna Cotta, amazing pies, cakes, cookies, breads – and only on the weekends, April through December.

Bay City: Flat Pennies Ice Cream • Drive in and grab a quick coffee – or perhaps a dog and an ice cream sandwich! This Bay City favorite is a roadside oasis from yesteryear. Chat with the friendly owner – he might talk you into trying a Ramblin’ Rudy or the Flat Cow!

Chef Shack • • Weekends only Award-winning Minneapolis Food-Truckers opened this amazing spot in 2012. It’s only open Friday-Saturday nights and Sundays for Brunch, but worth every second it takes to make your way there. Creative, delicious, ever-changing cuisine, plus a brick oven in the back yard. It’s pretty much the restaurant you’ve always wanted to stumble upon.


Snooz e:

It is worth noting that the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River is heavily traveled by freight trains – both day and night. Any lodging anywhere near the river will give you grand vistas of river life, as well as of the working trains. Some folks love the steady, majestic, rumble and horns of a train – while others may find it hard to block out. So pack an extra pair of earplugs and your sense of adventure – this is river life. Doris Pfister Thompson, LMT, Owner

563-379-9700 •105 N Maryville St (Hwy 52) Calmar, Iowa

Buena Vista Park

Maiden Rock Inn

Blue Door Inn • 331 S Main St, Alma • This 150-year-old renovated stone building features tastefully modern suites in historic spaces. The Inn can accommodate single rooms for a night, or combined suites for larger groups. The upper deck has fun views of Main Street and the Mississippi, while the garden level is a lovely escape full of well-tended flowers. There’s even Kiehl’s Bakery breakfast treats outside your door to accompany your in-room Keurig! Hotel de Ville • 305 North Main Street, Alma • 612-423-3653 Do check out this unique European-influenced getaway with Italianate secret garden and Mississippi River views. With three buildings and a gypsy wagon making up the property, it’s shy of words to say the de Ville is wonderfully unique. The on-site café and ice cream shop is just the beginning of wonderment that leads to the secret gardens out back. Maiden Rock Inn • N531 County Rd S • Gary and Jennifer Peterson started renovating this century old schoolhouse in 1995 and have never stopped. The attention to detail in woodwork, renovation, and hospitality is hard to match. With over 16,000 square feet of skillfully, artistically renovated spaces, including four guest suites with 12-foot vintage tin ceilings, an outdoor grotto, rooftop deck, and original gymnasium, this is a show stopper of an Inn.

Come home to Decorah!


103 Ranchview Court, Decorah Energy Certified Home Eligible for 10K FED TAX CREDIT! 2100 finished Square Feet 6.5 KW Solar System 563.380.8911


Solar means free electricity!

orking with Tom Massman Construction was the best decision we made in building our new home. From start to finish,they were skilled, professional, creative & kind. We are thrilled, & are thankful to TMC for their excellent work.” - Pat & Karen Trewin Sustainable Builders/PV Solar Tom: 563.380.6712 Travis: 563.380.7912

Cheese, GLORIOUS Cheese! By Jim McCaffrey Photos by Aryn Henning Nichols


Fall 2013 /

Specializing in wood-fired pizza & International Cuisine! Evening Specials!


o let’s talk about the product that made Wisconsin famous. (No, not beer.) Cheese! I have been blessed in this life to be lactose tolerant. Good thing, too, because I am woefully enamored by the astounding number cheese varieties produced in the world. And what is more astonishing is that they all are created from a single source: Milk. Cow’s milk is the most common, but let us not forget sheep, goats, water buffalo, and not to be left out, yaks. According to Wikipedia, the earliest archeological recording of cheese making dates back to 5500 BC in Kujawy, Poland, where strainers with milk fats have been found. Now that’s some well-aged cheese! Theory has it that cheese was probably created by accident. The idea is that when sheep were first domesticated approximately 8000 BC, their stomachs were used to store milk. The milk mixed with rennet contained in the stomach and turned into cheese curds. To this day, all of us lovers of fermented milk have a few nomad shepherds to thank for their culinary contribution to world society. Who’d a thunk? I decided to put together a lunch, a cheesy lunch at that. Any excuse for a staff meeting. I brought to the table a motley crew of rogue cooks and bakers, including this shanty Irishman, to construct a four-course meal starring cheese. Lets start with an appetizer! I have a good friend, Greg Eaton, who was a former chef at the Spring Green Restaurant just outside Spring Green, Wisconsin. I was at a party at a rural farmstead near Waukon some years ago and in walks Greg. He’s carrying a big cast iron skillet and a large bulging paper grocery sack. He starts pulling out quart mason jars of peanut oil and I knew that something good was about to happen. “Whatcha making?” I queried. “Oh, I got some jack cheese and green chili that I’m going to fry up in wonton wrappers.” He did not disappoint. I took it a step further and made up a simple dipping sauce in my rendition of this tasty appetizer. Second course was just a simple salad served with strawberries, grapes and McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita bleu cheese dressing. At the restaurant we make all of our salad dressings from scratch. I’m a firm believer in transparency, so I decided to share how we make our bleu cheese with you. We have a customer who comes in and always orders it for his salad. He thinks we should give up the restaurant business and concentrate on marketing this dressing. Some days you have to wonder! Our next course is courtesy of the man Jacques Pepin has described in the following manner: “Mitch Omer makes Anthony Bourdain look like an altar boy.” Mitch, along with his wife, Cynthia, and with Mitch’s sous chef, Steve Meyer and wife, Kim, are founders of Hell’s Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis. Currently, it is an 8000 square foot area located in the basement of 80 South 9th Street just off of Nicollet Ave. Open 16+ hours a day, it is manic, wild, and absolutely delightful. Oh, did I mention the same applies to Mitch? His food is eclectic, with dishes such as Bison Sausage Bread, Mahnomin Porridge, and the best peanut butter I have ever tasted. Like me, Mitch is also a big believer in transparency. So much so, he, along with Ann Bauer, conspired on a cookbook named, appropriately, Damned Good Food. It is a collection of great life stories (believe me, it’s a wild ride) and 157 recipes from Hell’s Kitchen. All pretty much from scratch – my kind of chef. I contacted Mitch to get permission to reprint his recipe for Macaroni and Cheese. He grew up on it and “Never realized until he went to college that Kraft made an unremarkable product libelously bearing the same name.” Original recipe follows. I changed it up a little for our lunch, though. I used RP’s gluten-free fresh fusilli pasta. Pretty much my first foray into the world of gluten free, this pasta

Wednesday: Spaghetti & meatballs / kids pizzas Thursday: Chef’s Choice Check Friday: Blackened Salmon for special daily dishes! Saturday: Steak of the Week Pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, soups, appetizers, homemade cheesecake & more! NAMED BEST PIZZA IN IOWA BY USA TODAY! Gift certificates available!


2149 Twin Springs Road, Decorah, Iowa 4-9 pm Wed – Fri | 11-9 pm Sat | 11-8 pm Sun

Bruening Rock Products

ROCK SOLID Laying the groundwork for your family & community for four generations.

CRUSHED STONE PRODUCTS • SAND • GRAVEL AG LIME SPREAD • CONSTRUCTION SERVICES Serving communities in Iowa, Minnesota, & Missouri 900 Montgomery St. Decorah, Iowa 563-382-2933 \ Fall 2013


produced in Madison Wisconsin is remarkable. It is also available at the Oneota Co-op in Decorah. To top the mac off, I sautéed some oyster mushrooms from Back Forty Farms and the last of our fresh asparagus. Delightful. Thanks, Mitch. Dessert came in the form of Turtle Cheesecake. Not long after we opened the restaurant, we decided to make our own cheesecakes. So I went to the Internet and typed in Best Cheesecake Ever. There were several. I picked one out and tried it. Pretty good. In walks Tanya O’Connor, former head of wait staff and baker at the once-famousin-Decorah Café Deluxe. With a mischievous grin, she said “Not bad, Jim. But I think we should tweak it a bit and add some ricotta cheese.” We did and came up with this light and fluffy cake that we think is outrageously good. The following recipe is our head chef, Brock Dansdill’s version. See what you think. Time for lunch. Staff lunch that is. Aryn and Benji from Inspire(d) were there with their newly turned one-year-old daughter, Roxie. Adorable and couldn’t get enough mac and cheese. I’m on their staff. Jim Ronan came as well. He’s on our staff helping out with all of the music venues. Our staff as Dolce Vita owners included myself, Brenda, Shanon, Fawn, Conor, and Sara, as well as our newly born member of the family: Rowen Ash McCaffrey. He joined our staff, er…family on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 6:54 am. Not quite ready to devour a fourcourse meal, he was content to look around, sleep, and pass gas. Aw, the sweet life! Jim McCaffrey is a chef, author, and co-owner with his family of McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita restaurant and Twin Springs Bakery just outside Decorah. He is author of humorous cookbooks “Midwest Cornfusion” and “Mississippi Mirth”. He has been in the food industry in one way or another for more than 40 years.

GREEN CHILI & JACK CHEESE WONTONS Peanut oil 40 wonton skins 8 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese (Cut into 40 pieces)                         2 (two) 40 oz. cans diced green chilis 2 cloves garlic, minced fine

Dipping Sauce 1 C sour cream 1/4 C spicy brown mustard Assemble! Place a piece of cheese just over center on a wonton skin. Add a little green chili. Wet the two sides of the wonton skin the cheese is on and press top edges to bottom edges into a triangle. Using a candy thermometer, heat about an inch of oil in a heavy skillet to 350 degrees. Check with a candy thermometer – hotter and it might burn. Slip wontons in one by one. Cook for 15 seconds and turn. When golden brown, drain on paper. Whisk dipping sauce ingredients ahead of time and chill. Enjoy!

BLEU CHEESE DRESSING 1 C Bleu cheese crumbles   4 turns fresh ground black pepper 4 C mayonnaise 1 Tbl. lemon juice 1 cup +/- heavy cream 1 Tbl. white vinegar 3 cloves minced garlic Pinch of Kosher salt Whisk all ingredients together and chill.

Mitch’s Macaroni & Cheese 7 qts water 1 stick unsalted butter, divided 1 lb. penne pasta 5 Tbl. all purpose flour 1 1/2 tsp dry mustard 1/4 tsp cayenne 1/4 tsp garlic powder 2 C rich chicken broth 1 C whole milk 1 C heavy cream 1 C shredded fontina cheese 1 C shredded Vermont white 1 C shredded Swiss cheese 1/2 C shredded Wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese 1/2 C crumbled Maytag blue cheese 2 Tbl. Kosher salt 1 C Seasoned Bread Crumbs Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat water, salt, and 2 Tbl butter in a large pot to a rolling boil. Add pasta, cook for two minutes and remove from heat. Cover with a lid or a kitchen towel and let rest six minutes. Remove the cover and drain pasta into a colander. Melt 6 Tbl of the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour, dry mustard, cayenne, and garlic powder and whisk vigorously with a wire whip until flour mixture begins to bubble. Slowly add chicken broth, milk, and cream. Cook and whisk continually about five minutes, or until sauce begins to thicken. Add all cheeses, cook and whisk continually until completely incorporated and sauce thickens. Remove cheese sauce from heat. Butter four ovenproof ramekins or one large baking dish. Divide pasta among the ramekins, or pour into the baking dish. Pour sauce evenly over the pasta, and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Place on center rack of the oven, and bake for 29 to33 minutes, or until top(s) have just begun to brown.

Turtle Cheesecake 1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs      5 eggs 2 egg yolks 1/2 C white sugar 1 3/4 C white sugar 2 oz. butter, melted 2 Tbl all purpose flour 6 (six) 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened 16 oz ricotta cheese 1/4 C heavy whipping cream 3 oz pecans Caramel and chocolate syrup

Fine Casual Decorah Dining

GREAT GREAT PIZZA! DINNERS! Celebrating our 60th anniversary!

Banquet facilities - weddings, conferences, meetings, & more!

1101 Highway 9 563-387-0300

110 East Water St 563-382-4297


Folkedahel Servic


We’ll take care of it! Pick up & delivery available

563-382-4010 • 563-380-5851

Luxury salon & day spa Cuts • Perms • Up styles • Color • Highlights • Facials • Manicure & Pedicures • 60-minute massages • Makeup Consultation & application

303 W. Water Street Decorah, Iowa 563.382.4941

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Mix graham cracker crumbs, white sugar, and melted butter together. Press mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch spring form pan. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, eggs, and egg yolks. Mix until smooth. Add the remaining sugar, flour, and heavy cream. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Spread pecans over the top and drizzle heavily with the caramel one way and chocolate the other way creating a grid pattern. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn temperature down to 300 degrees and bake for one hour or until batter is set. Knife the outside edge all around so cake does not adhere to sides. Let it cool on a perforated rack, 2-3 hours. Release spring form. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3-4 hours. Divide the cake into equal slices and dish it up. We top it with homemade whipped cream. No cholesterol or calories here! Have fun with this, Mitch.

Protection is a family tradition. Since 1927, families like yours have trusted our Family to protect them from unexpected losses. Call me today to discuss your needs.

American Family Mutual Insurance Company and its Subsidiaries American Family Insurance Company Home Office – Madison, WI 53783 © 2011

Kerbie Engel Agency 401 W Water St Decorah, IA 52101 (563) 382-8006

002139 – Rev. 6/11 \ Fall 2013



Norma Wangsness enjoys a life of love, art, & a little red lipstick Interviewed by daughter Le Bahr

Norma Wangsness was born in Ossian, Iowa, as a third generation American Norwegian. She studied drawing and painting at Luther College under Orville Running and then rosemaling at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah with Sigmund Aarseth. In 2011, Wangsness was commissioned by the museum to create a plate in honor of Norway’s King Harald V and Queen Sonja’s most recent visit to Decorah. She painted a portrait of the Royal Couple and bordered it with rosemaling that matched the pattern of the Queen’s bunad. Wangsness and her husband, Willis, operated Wangsness Photography Studio in Decorah for many years, becoming regional and national leaders in photographic excellence. What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Mother and Dad were good examples of advice. They were hardworking, honest, Christian, and loving. Also mother always said, “Make one test cookie first.” “Don’t put it down, put it away.” And “If it’s flat, dust it!” What did you want to be when you grew up?

My Senior High School annual said I wanted to study voice and opera. I love to sing. In Girl Scouts at age 14 my leader gave me her set of photographic oils, two 11x4 photographs, and encouraged me to paint. Little did I know it would lead to my profession and a love of cameras led to our future to have a professional photographic career. What do/did you do?

At age 10, I started working as a waitress in my parents McCandy Café in Ossian, Iowa. I married my roller skating partner and best friend at 17. We had two daughters – Linda Christine and Le Ann. Willis and I also owned McCandy Café for six years but our photography love led us to purchase the Henning Photographic Studio in Decorah. My Norwegian roots and love of painting became the fun career of rosemaling and also portraits and landscapes. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?

My bible, a paint brush, and paints.

Try to describe yourself in one sentence.

I’m third generation, 100 percent American Norwegian, love to keep busy, and a perfectionist. Name one thing you could not live without.

Do you know someone you’d love to interview for this page? Let us know!

Family, friends, and my red lipstick! Tell us about your favorite memory.

My favorite memory would be my first dozen red roses from Willis for Easter. From that first Easter, he always bought Linda, Le Ann, and I a corsage for Easter – even his last Easter with us. I’m also a “depression kid” and they were hard times, but we made do with what we had and yet my growing up was a happy time.

Vennehjem Decorah’s Active 55+ Community

1102 Nordic Drive, Decorah IA email:



Fall 2013 /

A Lifestyle Worth Living!

Vennehjem is an easy living community for today’s active, healthy seniors—enjoy a life of freedom, security and convenience!

Private, stacked ranch homes, 1 low monthly fee!

There’s no need to travel to get great eyesight

Dr. Baratz

You can have cataract surgery right in Decorah!

Dr. Khanna

Two cataract surgeons, Dr. Baratz & Dr. Khanna, from the world-famous Mayo Clinic, regularly travel to Decorah to partner with Dr. Schwartz & Dr. Klocke. Pre-op & post-op care, surgical evaluations, & minor procedures take place right at Oneota Valley Family Eye Care !



HOURS: 7:30-5:30 M, W, F 7:30-7:00 TUES & THURS 8:00-3:00 SATURDAY Dr. Bradley E. Schwartz

Dr. Ashley K.Klocke

Your secret is safe with us. Urinary incontinence (leaking urine) is something you may not want to talk about, but you don’t have to suffer in silence. Make an appointment with our specialized women’s health providers today. 563-382-2911

We understand how urinary incontinence can affect your quality of life and we have solutions that range from simple therapy with our certified therapist to surgical options that can be safely performed right here in Decorah. 901 Montgomery, Decorah


Physician services by

Brad Orvis, M.D. Urologist at WMC

Randall Bremner, M.D. Gynecologist at WMC

Ode to Fall


Autumn is a lovely season...


up It’s perfect for...

To jump in leaves & burn candles.

fresh notebooks & crayons & a new pair of shoes. For baking & having a mug of tea with just a touch of honey.

But ultimately, fall is a time to get together with friends. & to always, always be sure you live it up!

To Say

200 W Water St Decorah, Iowa 563.382.5742

Fall 13 inspiredbook web  

Iron Leaf Press: Danielle Ameling / Business Plan Contest, WiscoPop!, Take the (art & farm) Tours, interview with artist Tonya Balik • Boxed...