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NO. 37 • Spring 2014


May your spring be


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SPRING 2014 contents





Choose YOUR ADVENTURE: Spring Music!


Decorah DADS .cOM


Paper project: super fly airplane


WHAT we’re loving


potter dean schwarz


chef chad elliott


tackling the invasives




mississippi mirth: brunch!


probit: Genevieve Marcella Landsom Holty


...and more!


On the cover: The original plan was to just have an awesome paper airplane on the cover, but we felt like there were so many more great things that needed to be represented...both for spring and for what we want to do with our magazine. So we split it up and ended up liking it even more. A big thanks to photographers Ellen Macdonald (flowers), Joyce Meyer (butterfly), and Harry Baumert (Schwarz pottery) for your contributions! \ Spring 2014


Stunning Music and Dance

Experience the beauty and bounty of great art this spring! SaturDay, MarCh 8 Notes from the Balcony: Boston Brass & Enso String Quartet $24, $22, $15 tickets on sale February 14. FriDay, MarCh 14 River North Dance Chicago $27, $25, $15 tickets on sale February 20. School Performance Matinees All children and parents are welcome

Center Stage Series 2013-14

Tickets just $2 FriDay, MarCh 14 11:30 A.M. river North Dance Chicago presents Street Beats: Dance through the Decades

FriDay, apriL 4 Philip Glass A rare opportunity to experience this influential composer $30, $28, $15 tickets on sale March 6. Get your tickets! (563) 387-1357 All shows start at 7:30 P.M. Center for Faith and Life Luther College, Decorah, Iowa

thurSDay, MarCh 20 10 A.M. and 12:30 P.M. Dallas Children’s theatre presents Stuart Little

Special thanks to all of our performance and media sponsors for championing the arts in NE Iowa! School Performances Sponsor

2013–14 Center Stage Sponsors Luther College Diversity Council


The Decorah Newspapers

Media Supporters The

Decorah Newspapers

From the Editor

Inspire magazine


hen I was little I used to go to work with my dad at his auto shop in Waukon. Some days I’d be entertained by the office secretary, other days I would pound on the piano – loudly – to signal the neighboring businessowner that I wanted her to bring her son in to play… immediately! But mostly, I found my own fun. That’s probably where my love of car detailing was born, and also an unabashed adoration of paper airplanes. I flew SO MANY sweet planes across that big shop! Learn how to make your own Super Fly paper airplanes on page 23 - you can even download the template at! (Sidenote: Dad used to give me a dime to walk down the street to buy a glazed donut. A dime! Ten cents! This is real life, people. And I swear I’m only 32 years old.) Spring just has this feeling around it – like it’s time to fly, to, like a butterfly, crack out of your chrysalis and spread your wings. Cheesy, yes. But true. We hope to help you in that endeavor. First, you can do a little research on butterflies. (pg. 39 – Holy moly, that Science is Super… Super crazy!) Then find yourself a little inspiration by reading about local artist Dean Schwarz and his amazing family and life story (pg. 26). We’re really excited that Kristine Jepsen sojourned out to South Bear near Decorah to learn more. Schwarz has an exhibit, “Marvin Cone On My Mind: The Ceramics of Dean Schwarz,” opening this spring at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, and it will be a fantastic opportunity to check out his latest work – he created 512 pots in this series! – and to view some of Marvin Cone’s right alongside it. Once you’re thoroughly inspire(d), make some plans to get out of the house (it’ll be warm soon, right?) and take in the beautiful Driftless Region! From Viroqua, Wisconsin (pg. 10) to tons of live music up and down the bluffs (choose your own music adventure, pg. 15) to something as simple as a hike through a Decorah park. While you’re on that hike, take note of the plants around you: On page 41 you can learn about three invasive species – garlic mustard, buckthorn, and honeysuckle – that area volunteers are working to eradicate. And they need the community’s help! Watch for early spring announcements for garlic mustard pulls, The theme of community continued to come up while putting this magazine together – not that that’s unusual – but I found myself often struck by the ways people here in the Driftless Region help each other out. Decorah couple Andrew and Eric Ellingson are hoping someone in the community, region – anywhere in the US, really – will be able to help them connect with a potential birth mother for an open adoption. They’re dreaming of becoming dads, and have launched to try to make that dream a reality. Read the story - written by Inspire(d)’s Sara Friedl-Putnam – on page 18. Finally, we suggest you invite some people over for a party! It’s time! How about brunch? Get some menu ideas from Mississippi Mirth (pg. 44), and remember what Jim says: “The possibilities are endless.” The same goes for spring. Enjoy it!

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 Joyce Meyer/ photo contributor 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 Spring 2014, issue 37, volume 6, Copyright 2014 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.

Looking forward, Visit our website: Aryn Henning Nichols

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

Perfect for weddings, showers, birthdays, graduations... or just for you!


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

1. March 7: ArtHaus First Friday: Poetry Slam, 8pm, Decorah Elks Lodge, $5/$3 students, Call ArtHaus to sign up to perform, 563.382.5440

Jennifer Sullivan . Decorah, Iowa 563.419.4016 .

2. March 9: Water Street Music Series (WSMS) Salon Concerts: Classy music brought to three cozy Decorah homes, complete with delicious food and drink. 3pm, $15/$7 students. Addresses and info at 3. March 13: The Porter House Museum Lecture Series Presents: David Faldet on historic photographs of the Upper Iowa River, 401 W. Broadway, Decorah. 563-382-8465,

25W/ $25B

4. March 14: “Off The Page series” De Temps Antan at Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona. Quebecois trio plays trad Celt & Cajun stylings,, $18/$16



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

5. March 15: Soprano Christie Hageman, accompanied by Eric McEnaney present a stunning evening of Opera. 7:30 pm, St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro. $15/$12 members. 507-467-2446 6. March 14-23: La Crosse Community Theatre: Guys on Ice. A musical about life, love, and the one that got away. March 14-23, 2014 $12-$26 608-784-9292 Theatre PG

Fun for everyone!

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

7. March 20-22: Quilter’s Fun Run hosted by Red-Roxy Quilt Co. in Decorah! Six stores in NE Iowa, chances to win, specials, & more! 415 W. Water St., Decorah, 563-382-4646, info@redroxyquiltco. com 8. March 22: BIG Mentoring Bowl-A-Thon at Oneota Lanes, Decorah. Join in and support mentoring at 10:00, 1:00 or 3:00. Register your team by March 14 at mentoring.

It’s like coming home..

9. March 27: Porter House Museum Lecture Series: Emily Mineart on 1890s - 1920s historic scrapbooks of A.F. Porter. 401 W. Broadway, Decorah. 7:30pm. 563-382-8465, www.

...for a quick homemade lunch or breakfast, long coffee, you can even host your parties here – during business or after hours!

10. April 4: A SUNRISE party at Nightfall! Dragonfly Books hosts YA author Mike Mullin (SUNRISE/ ASHFALL trilogy), 6:30pm. Taekwondo demonstrations; post-apocalyptic snacks; booksigning. All ages. FREE!

• Free wi-fi throughout • Indoor/Outdoor seating • From scratch pastries

11. April 4: ArtHaus FREE First Friday: Annual Emerging Artists’ Exhibition, ArtHaus and ArtHaus Studio, 7-9pm, Juried Exhibition featuring artwork by artists ages 18-23 from the Driftless Region.

400 W. Water St., Decorah • 563-382-5690 • See website for hours and daily specials 06

Spring 2014/

12. April 4: Women’s Weekend Out – Iowa Drag Queen Show! Prepare to be dazzled! Elk’s Lodge, Decorah, 9pm-12am. Tickets $8/ advance. $10/door. More information:

fun stuff to do


Tuesday Wednesday

Turf Club

3 Cibo Matto,4


7 6 1 Free First Thursday, ArtHaus First Vesterheim, Friday Poetry Sharon Decorah Slam, Elks, Jones & the Decorah, 8pm Dap Kings, Mike McAbee, Englert, Dick Prall, Horseshoe, Iowa City Calmar, 9pm Englert, Iowa City 5

Seed 1 Savers Exchange Visitor Center Opens for Season!


Classic Broadway Cabaret, Elkader Opera House, 4pm, Free


Luther CSS, Notes From the Balcony, 7:30pm

March 8: The Last Revel, Haymarket

March 8-9 & 14-16: On the Verge or The Geography of Yarning by Eric Overmyer, Luther Theatre & Dance



1 2




“Sunrise” party at Nightfall 10 with author Mike Mullin, Dragonfly Books, 6:30pm,Free!


Hoppy Easter!


Huun-HuurTu Tuvan Singers, CSPS, Cedar Rapids


Red Molly, CSPS, Cedar Rapids

Green’s Sugar Bush Pancake Day, rural Castalia, 10am



Porter House Museum



Clint Black, Englert Theatre, Iowa City



Earth Day Celebration w/ Absolute Hoot, Oneota Coop, 5-7pm




April 17-19: Easter EGGStravaganza, La Crosse Children’s Museum




Paula Poundstone, Englert Theatre, Iowa City


Luther College Jazz Orchestra, The Mill, Iowa City




Jeremy Kittel Band, CSPS, Cedar Rapids

19 Bo Ramsey & Highway 12, The Mill, Iowa City

Chastity Brown & Band, St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro, 7:30pm


WSMS: In Search of America, Steyer Opera House, Decorah, 7:30pm




April 26: April 25: Night (Out) T-Bock’s 20th Anniversary at the Museum! Party, Decorah Tent Show La Crosse Radio Live! Children’s Museum, Richland Center 5:30-8pm WI High School, 7:30pm

16 24 18 25 19 26 Author Nicholas World Tai Chi ArtHaus David, Ed’s Thomas Maltman, Poetry Slam, & Qigong Day, No Name, Dragonfly Books, Decorah Elks, 8-9am 7pm, Free Winona 8pm 20 Decorah Time April 24-26: Mid West Trial’s Mountain 17 Music Fest, Winona Bike Race


Fatoumata Diawara, CSPS, Cedar Rapids



April 3: Barnetimen April 11: Free First (Children’s Over The Back Fence Hour), Vester- Thursday, Radio Show, St. Mane heim, Decorah, Vesterheim, Theatre, Lanesboro Decorah 10am Night (Out) at the Museum! Juana Molina, La Crosse Children’s Mu- Cedar Cultural seum, 5:30-8pm Center, MSP


APRIL 4-5: Women’s Weekend Out! Downtown Decorah ArtHaus Decorah Free First Friday! APRIL 4: 11 Emerging Artists Exhibit, 7-9pm Phillip Glass, Luther Center Stage, 7:30pm Doghouse John & The Misbehavors, Women’s Weekend Out, Drag Show with 12 Haymarket, Decorah Iowa Queens, Elks Lodge, Decorah, 9pm

April 1-6: Mission Creek Festival, Iowa City




fun stuff to do

26 9 27 24 25 28 March 29 23 27 SFJAZZ Meklit March 28: Night (Out) at the Museum! 22: Spring Porter House Collective, Garden School Hadero, La Crosse Children’s Museum, 5:30-8pm Museum Englert, Iowa & Seed Swap, Lake Street CSPS, Cedar Lecture: City Seed Savers 31 Dive, Englert Rapids, 7pm Emily Mineart, 30 Green’s Sugar Theatre, 7:30pm Honest Bush Pancake Iowa City Monday, Ed’s, Day, rural Winona March 28: San Dimas w/ The Ultrasounds, Ed’s, Winona • Decorah, Iowa Castalia, 10am

Waukon St. Patrick’s Day Parade!


22 19 18 20 17 The 21 8 Dead Horses, March 14: March Big Mentoring Jr. Brown, T-Bock’s Luther CCSS, River North Dance 20: First Whiskey Bones Bowl-a-Thon, Chicago, 7:30pm Hero Jr, Day of Oneota Lanes, Roadhouse, Over The Back Fence Radio Show, Haymarket Decorah, 10am Spring! Rochester St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro 1pm / 3pm Mike McAbee, People Bro’s Happy St. March 20-22: NE Iowa Quilter’s Fun Run Goodfellas, Band, Ed’s, Patrick’s Day! 7 Shop Hop, Red-Roxy Quilt Co., Decorah Waukon Winona

2 9 Water St. Music Series, Salon Concerts, 3pm

11 12 3 13 4 De 14 5 15 March 9: 10 Veseterheim Temps Antan, Christie Member Charlie Parr, Barnetimen Porter House “Off the Page Hageman, Ed’s No Name, Appreciation Museum (kids hour), Series”, MN Opera, St. Night, 5-7pm, Winona Lecture: Vesterheim, Marine Art Mane Theatre, Flora MetaDecorah, 10am David Faldet, Museum, Lanesboro, morphicae 7:30pm Winona, 7:30pm 7:30pm artist presenDaylight Savings tation 7pm 6 March14-23: La Crosse Community Theatre, “Guys On Ice” - Spring Forward!

KDEC Home, Sport, and Garden Show, Decorah HS, 10am-3pm


‘Of the Earth’, ceramics by Courtney Bergey, Lanesboro Arts Center through March 29

Feb. 28 – March 2: Oneota Film Festival, Decorah



April 5: Apple Grafting Workshop, Seed Savers Phillipines Benefit Concert, Nob Hill, 7:30pm Chickfest in Chucktown! Charles City (see back cover!) Lanesboro Live with Damon Prestemon, St. Mane


4 7





2 22



15 16 25

May 9-24: La Crosse Community Theatre, “Thoroughly Modern Millie’

Over The 9 Back Fence Radio Show, St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro








Joe & Vicki Price, The Courtyard & Cellar, Decorah, 8pm


Lew Klimesh Band, McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita Nights, Decorah


May 31: Rock ‘n Blues Fest, Trempeleau Hotel “The Sound of Rhubarb” Concert, St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro, 7:30pm


Vesterheim MAY 17: Syttende Mai Celebration, Reggae Fest, Trempealeau Hotel Decorah Whalan, MN Stand Still Parade, 10am-3pm Spring Grove MN Syttende Mai


Have a safe Memorial Day weekend – Thank A Veteran!

Happy Birthday Aryn!





Free First Thursday, Vesterheim, Decorah

COMING UP IN JUNE June 5: Free First Thursday, Vesterheim June 7: Country Cousins, Dolce Vita Nights June 10–July 26: National Exhibition of Folk Art in the Norwegian Tradition, Vesterheim June 14: Bob Dorr & Jeff Peterson, Dolce Vita Nights June 21: Greg Brown benefit show at Seed Savers Exchange




May 26: Happy Birthday Benji!



Trish BruxArtHaus Art Auction, voort-Colligan, Barn Concert, Tbock’s Seed Savers, Upstairs, 5pm, $15 6:30-9pm May 3: IA Natural Heritage 23 Foundation Garlic Mustard Pull

May Day!


May 3: Lanesboro Live with Damon Prestemon, St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro



Happy Mother’s Day!



Porter House Museum opens for the season – weekends in May!

Paul Thorn Happy Cinco Band, Cedar de Mayo! Cultural Center, Minneapolis

Leon Russell, Cavalier Theatre, La Crosse


May 1-4: Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard, Luther Theatre & Dance




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?!?” In recent years, what we had chosen for these lovely pages had been entirely editorial and subjective. We figured, 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 super spring activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

13. April 5: Water Street Music Series (WSMS) - In Search of America: Author Robert Wolf, composer Jon Ailabouni and the Luther College Jazz Quintet at Steyer Opera House, 7:30pm, $10/$5 students. 14. April 12: Lanesboro Arts Center presents Chastity Brown & Band, 7:30 pm, St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro. $15/$12 members. 507-467-2446 15. April 22: Earth Day Celebration at Oneota Co-op! Featuring local burgers, brats, and veggie burgers for purchase. Live music - Absolute Hoot! 5-7 pm. FREE!

25W/ $25B

415 W Water St. Decorah, IA . 563-382-4646 .

“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

16. April 24: Dragonfly Books hosts 2014 ‘All Iowa Reads’ author Thomas Maltman (LITTLE WOLVES), 7pm. Powerful murder mystery; a page-turner. Presentation and book signing. FREE event! 17. April 24-26: Mid West Music Fest (MWMF), Winona, MN. Performances by 100+ musicians! All-ages, all-genres, volunteerdriven music festival, profits benefiting kids and the arts. www.



Check in!

Read reviews!

18. April 25: ArtHaus Poetry Slam, 8pm, Decorah Elks Lodge, $5/$3 students, A not-to-be-missed Decorah event. Call ArtHaus to sign up to perform, 563.382.5440


19. April 26: (FREE) World Tai Chi and Qigong Day, 8-9am, Luther College baseball diamond, Regent’s Center Rain location. Contact: 20. April 26: Decorah Time Trials Mountain Bike Race. Iowa’s Longest Running Mountain Biking Event - 24th Annual! 8.75 miles, minimum total cash payout of $1,000, over $1,000 in drawing prizes 21. May 2: ArtHaus Art Auction, Upstairs of T-Bock’s Sports Bar & Grill, 6:30-9pm, $20, Come to Support the ArtHaus Youth Scholarship Fund and your local art center!



1. Water Color & Ink (San Clemente, CA): Feb 8-9 2. Drawing: April 12-13 3. Watercolor – Beginner: June 14-15 4. Watercolor – Advanced: Sept 13-14 5. Watercolor & Ink: October 25-26 • 563-387-6782

22. May 3: Join Trish Bruxvoort-Colligan’s five-piece ensemble to hear her new CD “Wild Acre”, recorded at Heritage Farm last summer. Only 150 tickets available, 5-8pm. $15, 563-3825990 23. May 3: Come “Into the Wild” to help Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation remove garlic mustard, a threat to Iowa’s woodlands. All ages. Coffee/lunch provided. NE Iowa. 24. May 9: LCT: Thoroughly Modern Millie, A musical comedy about friendship, love, and everything modern. May 9-24, 2014 $12-$26 608-784-9292 Theatre PG 25. May 17: Vesterheim Syttende Mai Celebration! Bicentennial of Norway’s Constitution Day, free museum admission, children’s parade, Nordic Dancers, street dance with Foot-Notes, and more family activities. 563-382-9681

care HO L I STI C

licensed massage therapist + zone therapist & yoga instructor


Stop by & meet me! Chair massage Tuesdays, 12:30-2:30 at Oneota Co-op in Decorah \ Spring 2014



Viroqua, Wisconsin Story and photos by Inspire(d)


Full kitchen

• Full-size fridge, range, microwave, & dishwasher • Cable TV, wireless high-speed Internet, local phone & DVD player

Two bedrooms Two bathrooms

• Smoke-free building • Full-size washer & dryer • ideal for small families or couples 563.265.1955

2-night minimum

Large living space 10

Spring 2014/

Downtown Decorah

Weekly & Monthly rates available


iroqua, Wisconsin, is just one of those places – the kind you hear about and so want to visit, but getting there seems impossible – literally. We’re pretty sure it’s uphill both ways. But once you do get there, and you take in the views of valleys and bluffs, you wonder: “What took me so long?” And then, “I might never leave.” That seems to be the case for a lot of people who call Viroqua home. Folks came for a variety of reasons – like those who settled there in the mid-1800s, it might simply be the beauty of the region pulled them in. Or more recently, the surge of organic farming – not to mention the headquarters of organic-biz moguls Organic Valley nestled one town over in La Farge. It was probably the Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School that drew one family to town, and the great food coop that recruited another. Whatever brought these people together, they’re working hard – together – to make their little town of 5,000 special, sustainable, and a fun place to be. Which, in turn, makes it a fun place to visit! We made our way on a sunny weekend to check out this little community big on cooperatives. The historic downtown is easily traveled on-foot and is filled with quirky stores, handmade shops, cafes, and boutiques. And behind every counter is a person recommending the place next door or just down the street.


It’s simple. YOU ASK. WE HELP. YOU RIDE.



We’ve laid out just a few of our favorite spots to help you find your way – whether it’s packing out into the 8,000+ acre Kickapoo Valley Reserve, or hunkering down for a quiet romantic weekend, we hope you enjoy the bounty of the Driftless Region!

Start here: Driftless Wisconsin Portal | This portal is a fantastic guide to all things in the Viroqua area. Take a look and plan your own adventure! Community Powered Radio – WDRT 91.9FM | Also listen online: | Viroqua’s community powered radio station. You’ll hear an eclectic mix of music, shows, and events broadcast from their downtown studio! (Cont. next page) \ Spring 2014



April 5



Hotel Winneshiek Advance tickets only Sponsored in part by Inspire(d) Media & Hacker, Nelson & Co., P.C.

Style Show Brunch

women’s weekend out


Homemade Quiche Fresh Fruit Roasted Potatoes Coffee/Water/Juice Bloody Marys & Mimosas available for extra charge

Get tickets at Decorah Visitors Center or at participating stores listed at: 12

Get Outside: Kickapoo Valley Reserve. S3661 State Highway 131. La Farge, WI 54639. 608-625-2960. | The “KVR” (as they say…) is one of the most impressive expanses of land in the entire Driftless Area. 8,500 acres between La Farge and Ontario, Wisconsin (just a few miles from Viroqua) cradle the Kickapoo River, offering up unlimited recreational opportunities. Originally pegged for a controversial damn dam project in the early 1960s, the project failed to ever be completed, leaving this treasure to eventually become a public reserve. Bluedog Cycles & Brewdog. 210 South Main Street. 608-637-6993. bluedogcycles.blogspot. com | Pete and Alycann Taylor have been holding things down at this unique bike/coffee shop since 2005. Not only do they offer great products and service, but they are great resources on getting outdoors near Viroqua. Stop in, grab a cup of coffee, and check it out before you get outside! Check It Out: Driftless Books and Music. 518 Walnut St. 608-638-BOOK. www.driftlessbooks. com | Viroqua’s cooperative tobacco history is fascinating, especially the physical buildings. What could be more fascinating? One of these buildings full – yes, FULL – of books! Driftless Books is a massive, well-stocked, really amazing place to wander! In fact, it may very well be the largest used bookstore in Wisconsin – and the only one that happily barters produce or baked goods for books!

Spring 2014/

Design Menagerie. 207 E Jefferson Street. 608-6380638. | Just a block off of Main Street sits a gorgeous century old Victorian – finished in clean, unique colors and lines. The first floor houses an incredible designer boutique of hand crafted and selected products ranging from gourmet goods to beautiful fabrics and jewelry – “Objects of Utility and Design”. Stop by to take in this one-of-a-kind shop. Viroqua Public Market. 215 South Main Street. www. | The Viroqua Public Market is the center of many good things downtown. First, the market serves as an outlet for hundreds of vendors from across the region. The same building also houses Bramble Books and the Viva Gallery, as well as the occasional indoor farmers market. Pomegranate. 209 S. Main Street. 608-637-7638 | This postage-stamp-sized shop packs a giant amount of heart into every handmade item they offer. Their plush children’s toys are absolute gems, Roxie is even the proud owner of one of their little orange foxes! Tulips General Store. 207 S. Main Street. 608-6383838. | Part teashop, bakery, and local goods emporium, this store is a fun mix! Fresh scones (and bagels if you’re early!) on the weekend, plus a huge selection of loose leaf teas. Temple Theatre. 220 S. Main Street. 608-6637-8190. | Refurbishment was finished in 2002 on this anchor of downtown Viroqua. With nine murals, a full rehab of the 1922 Temple Theatre’s Wurlitzer organ, and the grand marquis, it’s a grand venue for events and performances.

courtesy KVR

The Ark. 401 E. Jefferson Street. 608637-7824. | Viroqua’s community and regional arts center – offering classes, space, movement, and a home for the arts in the midst of the Driftless Region. Viroqua Farmer’s Market. 116 S. Rock Avenue. 608-637-2575. Saturdays 8am12pm | Rockin’ farmers market – amazing variety of local and Driftless Region products. Traditional outside market runs spring through

fall, with winter market open many Saturdays as well – check out their Facebook page for latest updates and locations.

day’ and ‘Design your own small building,’ to ‘Fruit tree grafting’ – the possibilities are great, and ever changing. Check out the schedule online.

Driftless Folk School. 401 E. Jefferson (office based at The Ark!). www.driftlessfolkschool. org | Ever wanted to learn more about practical, sustainable, lifelong skills? Do you like to work with your hands, create objects, or learn traditional crafts? Check out all of the classes at the school – from ‘Clay in a

Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center. (Coon Valley) 608.452.3424. | Norskedalen or “Norwegian Valley” is a 400-acre site dedicated to preserving and interpreting “the natural environment and cultural heritage of the region”. Open daily for visiting, in addition to special events, a guest cabin, historical displays, and much more.

women’s weekend out | decorah, iowa

Live entertainment and parties all over town Friday and Saturday nights Classes and demonstrations

friday & saturday, april 4 & 5, 2014

Free Swag Bags Door prizes & giveaways Style shows Fantastic shopping deals all weekend!

For more information and to register, go to \ Spring 2014


Eat / Drink: Driftless Café. 118 W Court St. www. | “Seasonal menus – Locally Sourced – Written in Chalk” Seriously good local food. Really, these guys aren’t messing around. We mean it. Go now. Get a WiscoPop! with dinner, and don’t skip dessert. Rooted Spoon. 219 S. Main St. www. | Adjacent to The Viroqua Public Market, these fine folks host “219 Drinkery” every Friday, often with different themes, and an amazing brunch every Sunday. They also offer incredible monthly dinners and special events, but are not open for regular daily service. Plan ahead to hit an event!

7 Rivers Sausage | Travis Anderson may very well be the sausage king of Viroqua – we’re not sure that title has ever existed, but we are sure that there’s a whole lot of delicious charcuterie going on at 7 Rivers. Highest quality ingredients, no junk, and all natural casings equal true regional delights.

WiscoPop! | If you didn’t already know it (perhaps you read the story in our Fall issue?), we love Tangled Hickory Wine Bar. 120 S. Main WiscoPop! Three St. | Downtown Viroqua business wine bar with changing seasonal entrees, partners making a wide and affordable wine list, and nice incredible craft brewed ambiance. Happy Hour specials on wine soda from nothing but and appetizers everyday from 4-6pm. great ingredients. It’s currently available on Viroqua Coop. 609 N. Main St. tap or by special order | Cooperative mini-kegs (bottling awesomeness! Beyond the normal co-op coming soon!). You can grocery and bulk findings, offerings include find them locally in Viroqua at the a great deli/hot bar, coffee and bakery Coop, Driftless Café, and the Root counter, fun gifts, and a fantastically Note in La Crosse. And word on selected beer cooler. You can even get the street is WiscoPop! may soon Kickapoo Coffee or a WiscoPop! to go! be on tap in Decorah!

Kickapoo Coffee Roasters. 1201 N. Main Street #10. www. | Since 2005, Kickapoo has been sourcing and roasting incredible coffee beans from around the globe. We drink it here at Inspire(d) HQ every day! Co-owners TJ Semanchin and Caleb Nicholes don’t cut corners when it comes to finding the best coffee beans possible and coaxing out their incredible flavors. Check out their once-a-month coffee cupping / tastings – it’s a wildly educational (and caffeinating) experience! Stay: Heritage Inn. 220 & 217 East Jefferson St. 608-637-3306. Beautifully restored historic Inn with private baths, cable, AC, etc. Just a block off of Downtown Viroqua, leaving you easily on foot for in-town adventures! Natures Nook Retreat. S4878 Cty. Rd. S. 608-637-3928. www. | Rural Kickapoo Valley cabin rentals meant for relaxing – there’s the Little Barn, Cabin-in-a-barn, and Kinship Place gathering space. The west fork of the Kickapoo River runs through the 95-acre property, including access to brown trout, kayaking, and hiking trails. Kickapoo Valley Reserve. 608-6252960. | If you really want to get out there and enjoy the woods, this is your place to throw down a tent and watch the stars. 25 sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis with minimal fees. Remember to pack necessities as the KVR is a little ways away from civilization – which is all the more of a reason to visit!

NO STRESS. NO WORK. NO WORRIES. Just convenient, fun, & affordable NorthLand tours. Where vacation is vacation!


Hiking in Colorado: June 1 – 6 Seattle & San Juan Islands: July 21 – 26 Alaska: August 15 – 27 New York City: Sept 26 – 30 Southern California: Sept 29 – Oct 4 Rome & Greek Islands cruise: Oct 8 – 20

Celebrating 60 years of safe & enjoyable travel!


Pacific NW: July 31 – Aug 9 New England: Oct 4 – 11

Philadelphia & New York: June 22 – July 1 Colorado: August 3 – 11 New England: Sept 19 – Oct 1 Door County: Oct 12 – 17

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Details online!

877-658-6948 • DECORAH, IOWA : 563-382-5604

Text by Benji Nichols Graphic by Aryn Henning Nichols


So you want to see some music? Well you’re in luck – there’s tons of great music to see! It’s up to you to Choose Your Own Adventure! follow your little musical heart to find just the right show (or shows) for you during this magical time of year: Spring!

night out With friends

date night!




Spring Music


Wh at’s on the agenda?

i’m goin’ solo

Flip the page to start your adventure!

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Spring Music!

Star-crossed Love March 8: ‘Notes from the Balcony’ brings a powerhouse Romeo & Juliet duo to the stage of the Luther College CFL. The Boston Brass and Enso String Quartet combine to create a nine-piece ensemble, paying homage to Shakespeare's star-cross lovers with works ranging from Kabalevsky and Prokofiev, to Leonard Bernstein and Elvis Costello. Check the website for details on a special pre-show themed dinner as well – date night complete! 563-387-1357

Do Good Dancin’ Saturday April 5: The Memory Brothers “Big Band” hosts a special benefit for the Red Cross international efforts in the Philippines. Special guests will include locals the Buck Hollow Band, Jeni Holtan Grouws, Keith Lesmeister, and more. All proceeds will go to the Red Cross, designated to continuing Philippines disaster relief. Wear your dancing shoes! Nob Hill, Rural Decorah, 7:30pm LIVING ROOMS: Come on in! March 9: Water Street Music Series, Salon Concerts. WSM is thriving in its second season. Join friends to experience this unique rotating afternoon of chamber music in living rooms across Decorah! Music, food, drink, & the arts collide as everyone has a front row seat!

Monday: 9am - 8pm Tues - Fri: 9am - 5pm Saturday: 9am - 3pm 3 goldsmiths, a graduate gemologist, and a watchmaker on staff!

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Spring 2014/

ART MUSEUM: Quebecois on the Mississippi March 14: The Page Theatre series at Saint Mary’s University in Winona offers up an “Off the Page” show at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum (800 Riverview Drive, Winona) with De Temps Antan (7:30pm)! Enjoy “Celticinspired, French-steeped, and Canadian-styled” music in the midst of an incredible Marine Art collection. The show is a project of SMU’s Page Theatre Series – tickets available at SMU box office – and, added bonus: you can stop by the Winona History Center (160 Johnson St.) at 12pm the same day to hear a free talk by members of De Temps Antan about Quebecois heritage, the music it created, and how they explore the intersection of tradition and today., 507-457-1715 SEED SAVER’S HERITAGE FARM: Band in a Barn! May 3: Spring comes to the Seed Saver’s Exchange Farm with a visit from Trish Bruxvoort-Colligan’s five-piece band. Last summer, they recorded a new album “Wild Acre” in the heritage barn, and this spring they will again offer an intimate evening of music in the barn. Only 150 tickets are available, and the evening starts with nibbles from Pepperfield Farm – perfection! The evening begins at 5pm and will be finished by 8pm. Advance tickets only – $15. Visit earlier in the day for the annual ‘Rare and Unusual’ Heritage Plant sale! 563-382-5990











Piano-lovers April 4: Composer Phillip Glass appears on the stage of the Luther College CFL as the end cap to the 2014 season. Glass plays his most recent works on Luther College’s elegant nine-foot Steinway grand piano. The concert provides a glimpse into the intricacies of the great composer’s work – personally introduced from the bench. In the past 25 years, Glass has composed more than 20 operas and eight symphonies, plus numerous concertos, soundtracks, and string quartets. He has collaborated with Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Yo-Yo Ma, and Doris Lessing, to name just a few. An intimate and unique look at a visionary at work, this evening provides a fond re-acquaintance for Glass fans and a perfect introduction for new YES! audiences. 7:30pm. 563-387-1357




Get your freak on! April 1-6: Mission Creek Festival, Iowa City. Music, Lit, Film, Food, in over a dozen venues. Mission Creek was born in San Francisco, but found a second home in Iowa City! Check out an amazing curation of events as spring trickles into Eastern Iowa. The Head & the Heart, Jason Isbell, !!!, William Elliott Whitmore, The Pines, of Montreal, and so much more… MWMF April 24-26: For five years, Mid West Music Festival has been cranking things up in Winona. The 2014 version is stoked to the brim with goodies – bringing more bands than you can count to stages across the city of Winona. It all happens in the name of supporting community and youth programming. Caroline Smith will be making a big splash, as well as an entire stage curated by The People Brothers Band on Saturday. Get in on all the festival fun at!


Prepare to be dazzled!

Friday, April 4, 2014

9 pm Elk’s Lodge, Decorah

10 Iowa Queens + Women’s Weekend Out =

Extravaganza Eleganza!


Stomp the Yard! May 30: Joe & Vicki Price, The Courtyard & Cellar If there was one musician – or musicians in this case – that might sum up life in the Driftless Region, we’d be willing to go out on a limb and say it’s Joe and Vicki Price. Their brand of home grown, country delta-stomp blues, is infectious – perfect imperfection. To enjoy a beautiful early summer evening outdoor with Joe and Vicki is the kind of stuff we dream of all winter long. A perfect way to kick off your Memorial Day Weekend – and a great chance to check out The Courtyard’s new ‘Cellar’ addition! See you there! 8pm, 421 W. Water St, Decorah, $5


Photo by Fernanco Aceves



women’s weekend out | decorah, iowa


friday & saturday, april 4 & 5, 2014

For more information go to:

VIDEO WEB GRAPHIC DESIGN PHOTOGRAPHY Get in the Groove! March 28: SFJAZZ Collective, Englert Theatre, SOCIAL MARKETING Iowa City, 8pm. A project of the San Francisco Jazz Center (SFJAZZ), this group of eight musicians shows a collective force that is truly unrivalled. These are the finest players on the scene today, joining forces to swing hard, play true, and further the mission of SFJAZZ. Don’t miss your chance to take in some of the best jazz that Iowa will see for some time. 319-688-2653



Soul in the Shire April 12: Minneapolis’ own Chastity Brown brings it to little ol’ Lanesboro for a great evening of music. Described as “the inheritor of Leadbelly, Nina Simone, Bonnie Raitt and Roberta Flack,” her music is powerful and genuine. The Lanesboro Arts Center presents Brown at the St. Mane Theatre 7:30 pm, $15/$12 members. 507-467-2446 \ Spring 2014


Great expectations

Photos by Aryn Henning Nichols

Andrew & Eric Ellingson hope their website will turn a dream of growing their family into a reality.

Come home to Decorah!


18 Downtown Decorah 222 West Water Street 563.380.8911

Spring 2014/


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or Eric and me, coming out as gay men involved acknowledging early on in life that we were not going to have biological children,” says Andrew Ellingsen of Decorah, Iowa. “But there are children who need good homes, and we know in our hearts that we can offer them that.” Enter the charming, silver-blue, century-old house of Andrew and Eric Ellingsen, and what you see is exactly what you might expect in the home of two accomplished young professionals with no kids in tow. The house is cozy, warm, and inviting. And immaculate. Nothing appears out of place. But while this energetic, busy couple’s home is organized and tidy, they hope and plan for just a bit more chaos in the not-too-distant future. You see, Andrew and Eric are excited – they really (really!) are – to fold mountains of onesies and tiny socks. They yearn for crazy play dates and the unpredictability – sometime sadness, often joy – that goes hand-in-tiny-hand with raising a family. And they so look forward to experiencing those first words, first steps, and first days of school. Andrew and Eric dream of bringing a baby into their lives. But they need some help to fulfill that dream. “We love our life, and we can’t wait to share it with children,” Andrew and Eric write on their website, which they launched in the fall of 2013 after they were unable to find an Iowa adoption agency that aligned with their own adoption beliefs and goals. This informational, photo-filled website will, they hope, help them connect with a prospective birth mother. In the months since the site’s been live, Andrew and Eric have made some great connections with people around the globe hoping to help or relating an inspirational story, but they are still waiting to hear from a mother who can make their dream of being fathers a reality. It’s a dream they’ve harbored since meeting in the Twin Cities more than a decade ago. (Eric, then performing with the professional music group the Dale Warland Singers, fondly remembers spotting Andrew in the audience during a concert in spring 2003 and asking a friend, “WHO is that?”) Both Luther College alumni – Eric graduated with a degree in music in 1999, Andrew with a degree in music education in 2003 – the two never crossed paths on campus but soon learned they shared both a wide circle of friends and an intense passion for music and travel. By the fall of 2003, they were dating seriously, and in 2005, they were ready to take the next step. With same-sex marriage legalized only in Massachusetts at the time, they invited more than 250 friends and family members to a blessing ceremony held at the couple’s Twin Cities church. “It was very much like a traditional wedding ceremony – our parents walked us down the aisle,” says Andrew.

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“We were both employees of the church, and they had this special church council meeting to determine whether or not they were going to let us have the ceremony there – ultimately, they decided unanimously to let us have it,” Eric adds. “The council spent months discussing the decision because they didn’t want to make it based solely on knowing us. It really changed the perspective of the congregation, I think, on a lot of social issues.” Their vows taken, their jobs stable, they, like many committed Andrew and Eric share a moment in the “Lego Room.” couples, set about realizing their next dream: Raising a family. “Having children was something we had talked about a lot – almost from the moment we first met,” says Andrew. “By 2007, we were at a good place, and the time felt right to start exploring what options were out there to grow our family.” It’s a process they eloquently chronicle on their website. “We know there are lots of ways for families to grow,” they write. “International adoptions are currently closed to us. None of the countries that often come to mind when one thinks of international adoption (Russia, China, Guatemala, Haiti, Ethiopia…) will allow children to be placed in the home of openly gay families. Adopting through the foster system would mean needing to be okay with a high chance that the child would be reunited with the biological family – as admirable as being a foster family is, we’re not sure our hearts could handle the process. We also have friends who have worked with a surrogate and have had extremely positive experiences. For us right now, though, there are kids that need a home, and we’re a home that needs kids. We want to adopt an infant.” They did find some national adoption agencies more than willing to work with them, but many of those agencies required that the prospective parents live in the state in which the child was born for

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months prior to finalizing the adoption. “With our schedules, that really wasn’t a realistic option,” Andrew says. In Minnesota, it looked like that had found a perfect fit in Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota (LSSM), an agency that has provided adoption services since the mid-1800s. “They offered birth mothers information and support whether they chose adoption or not. They had counselors for mothers who chose abortion, assistance networking with social services to make it financially feasible for birth mothers who choose to keep the child, and a book of waiting families for mothers who chose to make an adoption plan,” they write on “In Iowa, we have struggled to find the same kind of holistic agency – by and large, the philosophy of Iowa’s adoption agencies seems to be ‘adoption or nothing.’ Adoption can be emotionally tough enough, and the last thing we want is to find ourselves in the middle of a situation charged with regret.” Through LSSM, they attended some emotionally wrenching sessions where birth mothers, biological fathers, and prospective adoptive parents shared their concerns and emotions about the process of open adoption and the nuts-and-bolts reality of what it fundamentally involved: Trusting you have made the correct choice in giving up (or welcoming) an infant and painstakingly negotiating an agreement that, in the end, best serves the needs of the birth parents, adoptive parents, and, most importantly, the adopted child. It was this process that made Andrew and Eric realize that’s how they wanted their adoption to operate. “The counselors talked at length about negotiated openness, an agreement where the birth parents describe what they would like and the potential adoptive family talks about what they would like. A counselor then finds the balance between what feels realistic for both in the long term while best benefiting the child,” says Eric. As they prepared for a home-study – the last step before being officially approved by the agency as an adoptive family – the couple encountered an unexpected twist. In 2011, while nursing a vocalchord injury that prevented Eric from singing professionally (he has since recovered), he happened across a friend’s Facebook post about a job opening at Luther. The college was seeking a coordinator for its music groups, and Eric thought he would be a good fit. Plus, Decorah felt like a community where he and Andrew could plant roots and start a family. “It was a bit of a pipe dream, but we talked often about moving back to the town where we went to college. We had always said, in a sort of joking way, ‘wouldn’t Decorah be a great place to raise kids?’” says Andrew. Serendipity soon played its part when Andrew learned about a position opening in the local elementary school for a music teacher. He did not hesitate to apply. “It all happened within a few months of reading that post on Facebook,” says Eric. “We were packing up our house, looking forward to brand-new jobs, and moving to Decorah, in good part because we always thought that Decorah Katia, one of the Ellingson’s two cats, would be a perfect place to raise checking out the legos and sun. kids. … People often ask us what we want when it comes to a child, and we always say we would love a domestic infant – a healthy baby born in the United States

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spring brings good things!



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Knowledgeable staff • Great Gifts • Book Signings

Bestsellers plus special interest: gardening, Scandinavian, cooking, poetry, children’s books & more…even e-books! 563-382-4275 • 112 West Water Street, Decorah



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To contact Eric and Andrew – or learn more about them – visit Sara Friedl-Putnam struggled with infertility issues for years before she and her husband, Dale, joyously welcomed their daughter, Maddie, in March 2002. They wish Andrew and Eric only the best of luck as they seek to grow their family.


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– because international adoption is sometimes difficult for gay couples. We both belong to extended, loving families; grasp what real ‘family life’ will look like; and would, we believe, provide a really stable, loving home. We will love whatever child comes our way.” The couple legally tied the knot at Dunning’s Springs Park in Decorah just a month after the state of Iowa legalized gay marriage in 2009, and relocated to Decorah in 2011. Now, more than two years later, they’re ready to bring home their first child. They were, unfortunately, not able to continue on with LSSM once they moved out of the state – the agency works only with Minnesota residents – and LSSM’s sister organization in Iowa (LSSI) does not currently offer open-adoption services for infants. is their way of finding the type of adoption they support while also providing a home to a baby who needs one. In addition to offering a glimpse into their adoption journey, the website contains a blog and basic biographic information about both Andrew and Eric – where each was raised, how many siblings they have, where they work – along with more fun details that provide greater insight into these dads-in-waiting. (Yes, Eric is a self-described “LEGO-lover” – with an entire room devoted to his LEGO collection – and Andrew, a voracious reader, loves novels like A Game of Thrones and just finished a nine-volume set of books in a little over a week’s time.) It also extols the family-friendly virtues of Decorah, a small town boasting a top-notch school system, a much-admired “Main Street” (well, Water Street, in fact) thriving with a healthy mix of businesses, and, of course, renowned natural beauty combining river and bluff. What else do Eric and Andrew hope that readers glean from their website? “We want people to grasp our desire to open our home and hearts to an infant in need of both,” says Andrew. “We are blessed to have an amazing and extremely supportive family and hope that someday soon our entire support network will be able to celebrate with us as we welcome a wee one into our life.”

Spring 2014/ Doris Pfister Thompson, LMT, Owner

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


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Open Decorah Coworking A good handful of folks in Decorah – and the surrounding region, for that matter, work from home these days (ourselves included!). Some (well maybe just one guy) call us lone eagles, and it’s true – it can be a lonely reality. Yes, working in pajamas can be a perk…but also a curse! coworking community Never fear: Open Decorah is here! This new co-working venture recently opened its doors (24/7), and the potential is ripe. Coworking is a style of work that involves a shared work environment, even though

open decorah

the workers are generally employed by different companies, or selfemployed. Open Decorah is a place were freelancers, entrepreneurs, telecommuters, and drop-ins work side-by-side. 1 day pass: $15. 10 day passes: $90 (valid for 60 days). Monthly membership: $100 (with added perks – more info at

Toppling Goliath We’re pretty sure we’ve mentioned that we love beer. In case we haven’t, well…we love beer. And so we’re constantly telling each other (and everyone else) how lucky Decorah – and the country, really – is to have Toppling Goliath here. has three of Toppling Goliath’s beers – Kentucky Brunch, Morning Delight, and Pseudo Sue – listed in their top 100 in the world! And we couldn’t agree more. We here at Inspire(d) have had delicious beer from many places and many top-rated breweries, and TG is consistently our number one pick. An Inspire(d) favorite is Golden Nugget. Yum. Growlers are available for filling at their Tap Room on College Drive, and they just started bottling, so all you Others are in luck! Try it. You’ll thank us some day every day.


Have a seat! Make yourself at home.

Tap Room

Open Daily at 4


Book online or call now for great spring getaway rates! • • 104 E. Water St. Decorah, IA • 1.800.998.4164

DRAGONFLY BOOKS & Kobo e-readers/apps On-screen readers rejoice! You can now enjoy the convenience of those instant-gratification e-books while also supporting your local bookshop! We love that Dragonfly Books works with Kobo e-readers (and the Kobo apps) so you can keep your dollars in the community while embracing your on-the-go-technological life (not that there isn’t immense beauty in the printed book, or, ahem, magazine). Check it out, and if you’re not a Decorah-tion, see if your local bookstore does something similar! Community Yoga We love that there are so many yoga opportunities popping up around Decorah, but if you’re thinking you don’t have time to commit to an entire session (that’s usually about six-eight weeks of classes paid for up-front), you can check out Community Yoga at The Yoga Studio. Thea Satrom teaches the $6, drop-in Iyengar-style class every Tuesday afternoon from 4 to 5:30 pm. Any level yogi is welcome – from total beginner to the been-around-the-tadasana-type.

For all your printing and promotional needs contact Steve Sokolik 800.658.9032 ext. 5079



Proud Printer of Inspire(d) Magazine

ROCKS. BUGS. BEAUTY. Open Fri/Sat/Sun in May Daily June thru August

Yah Sure You Betcha Shoppe Our friend Robin Bartell owns this great little Shoppe in Spring Grove, Minnesota (a great little town!), and has just moved into a new location on Main Street (118 East Main) with even more space for her cool designs and wares – from Naughty Nisse t-shirts to Spring Grove mugs to tasty chocolates to Doug and Melissa Toys…we could go on and on. Check it – and the amazingly happening Spring Grove – out next time you’re driving through. (And yes, that means the construction is done – you can drive through Spring Grove again!)



401 W Broadway. Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-8465 Lillian Goldman Visitors Center

OPENING MARCH 1 H : Mon-Fri 9-5 • Sat & Sun 10-5 ours

Seeds, Plants, Garden Tools, Books, Gifts, and more March 22

Driftless Stickers The folks at Viroqua Creative Workshop are making our favorite Driftless Region stickers these days – for your bumpers or computers or notebooks or whatever! We love the classic “Driftless” one, but also “Kickapoof-da,” and the most recent “supercouleedriftlessfoodieocoochomnivorous”. Check them out at


Spring Garden School* & Seed Swap

April 5 & 12:

Apple Grafting & Tree Care Workshop*

Starting May 3:

Rare and Unusual Plant Sale

Registration required*

Learn more at

Seed Savers Exchange • 3074 North Winn Road, Decorah, IA • 563-382-5990 \ Spring 2014


See Dean Schwarz’s exhibit “Marvin Cone on My Mind,” opening this spring at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. | Photo by Harry Baumert


Spring 2014/

Red Barns and White Clouds Are Not Always Stereotypes* An exhibition of life & purpose by artist Dean Schwarz

By Kristine Kopperud Jepsen


cquainting one’s self with potter Dean Schwarz isn’t as simple as looking at his finished works, neatly numbered and named. To get his particular sense of craft-as-life, you really need to hear his narrative: A looping, mingling romp through the history of functional studio pottery – and the life he and his family have built around it. Spend enough time immersed in creative expression, Dean suggests, and you’ll find that it’s not just the work that remains, but the shape of a whole life and the lives it’s touched. This degree of dedication can also, on occasion, connect the lives of two different artists in different times – such as Dean Schwarz and painter Marvin Cone – without their ever having met. Cone, a prolific life-long painter, lecturer and community advocate, studied and traveled, first as an interpreter of French in the military in World War I, but his roots were, like Dean’s, always twined in Cedar Rapids, where he was born. In all, Cone spent four decades teaching at Coe College there, founding the art department in the process. Over the past three and a half years, more than five decades into his own vocation as artist and teacher, Dean has created a distinct series of pots inspired by Marvin Cone’s paintings -- 512 pieces, to be exact.

riftless Gardens Maintenance & Design

Design Maintenance Installation Plant Sales Hardscape Consultation Education

(cont. on next page) *The title of this article is actually one of the 512 names in Dean’s Marvin Cone series.

All story photos by Kristine Jepsen unless otherwise noted.

Jeff Scott . 563-379-1101 \ Spring 2014




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The exhibition, “Marvin Cone On My Mind: The Ceramics of Dean Schwarz,” pairs many of Cone’s works with Schwarz’s pottery, creating a unique conversation between the two media and the two artists. The exhibit will be housed at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, March 15 through November 2, 2014. “Growing up in Cedar Rapids, I was aware of Marvin Cone ­– and his good friend [widely known ‘American Gothic’ painter] Grant Wood – even though I was more into athletics,” Dean says. In retrospect, Dean knew he had been introduced to art growing up, but he never planned to become an artist. Ever Photo by Harry Baumert the athlete, he went to the University of Northern Iowa – at that time Iowa State Teacher’s College – on a basketball scholarship. It was there that he first got his hands in clay. “I was required to take a class called ‘Man and Materials’ in college. And voila! To my great surprise, I found the same excitement in using my hands to make pottery as moving a basketball on the court,” he says. He also met another love in college – his wife, Geraldine (Gerry). After earning a masters degree, finishing his navy stint and teaching one year in Independence, Iowa, Dean spent his first of three Schwarz family photo - circa 1972 - by Joan Liffring Zug-Bourret. summers at pond farm in California. He was about to Aase Haugen retirement home, a 65-room facility embark on an influential alliance with mentor on a dead-end drive in a wooded valley southwest of and master potter Marguerite Wildenhain, Decorah. utilizing the functional artistry embraced The school followed the European Bauhaus model by her masters’ school, the Bauhaus of of apprenticeship, in which children serve as craft Weimar, Germany. apprentices from ages 12 to 18. The Schwarzes Following Wildenhain’s example, the raised their six children – Bill, Gunnar, Lane, Jason, Schwarzes – with fellow Luther College Sheela, and Nan – at South Bear, and each was professor and Decorah art-gallery owner required to study pottery – or another functional art Doug Eckheart – established South Bear – each summer with the older students enrolled. School in the summer of 1970. In the tiny “That’s just what we did,” says Gunnar, who threw hamlet of Highlandville, Iowa, on the banks many of the medium and large (up to 40-inch) of South Bear Creek, a 14-room former pots in the CRMA exhibition – saving Dean’s ailing hospital became the first home for South back. Gunnar and Lane have been making a living Bear’s master classes, apprenticeship in the studio, adjacent to their dad’s, since the mid program, and momentous community in ‘80s, and all the Schwarz siblings are ‘proficient’ in pottery and other arts. pottery, as Gerry says, whether they profit from it After six summers, the art outgrew the professionally or not. space, and South Bear School was moved The work ethic and immersion experience seem – with the infusion of new collaborators, to have gotten into the Schwarz DNA. Daughter Nan the John Nellermoe family – to the former studied art on scholarship at the University of Iowa

Spring 2014/

with interest in photography, and her work appears throughout South Bear School. Today, she performs acupuncture and Chinese medicine through her private practice, Nanarita, in Seattle, and says artistic value plays into her everyday activities. “It feels like everything I know about artistic flow, movement, and consideration weighs in on any diagnostic evaluations I make when considering a patient,” she writes via e-mail. “Form and function should be recognized in every aspect of your life. And there is nothing more functional than the human form.” Similarly, son Jason did some of his childhood apprenticeship in fiber arts and is now the editorial associate of South Bear Press (, a publishing company begun by Dean and Gerry as a vehicle for their research. He threw a series of bowls for a friend’s wedding reception, and though the intent was for guests to take them home, they turned out so beautifully that the bride and groom kept most of them. Daughter Sheena is the owner/ director of Squirrel’s End Gallery in Iowa City, specializing in ancient Chinese artifacts, vintage decor, jade jewelry, and American pottery, paintings, and prints. Finally, son Bill teaches and is head coach of boys cross-country and track and field at Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids. “It’s a pretty neat collaboration,” Gunnar says of working sideby-side with his dad, in his childhood home, this nexus of familial interests. He bikes to work in the summer, and cross-country skis out in winter. “There was a time when working there was more of a mentorship, but we’ve always been encouraged to grow into our own expression. So, sometimes Dad will tell me about something he wants, if it’s a specific form, but most of the time it’s more like, ‘What do you want to do right now?’” Years became decades of near-daily work in the studio, resulting in vast collections of pieces. In storage in the basement, on shelves floor-to-ceiling, this body of work is formidable as a library — but all upside down. “We store them that way to keep the bats out,” Dean explains, only half joking. “Otherwise, Gerry has to get in here with her terrific sniffer and ferret out the casualties.”

To their mutual credit and amusement, Dean and Gerry orbit each other comfortably, fact-checking each other and adding details the other skipped. They are lively bookends, as Gerry tries to keep Dean on task (such as eating lunch while it’s actually hot) and Dean pauses in his steady narrative to pull a date or name from Gerry’s encyclopedic memory.

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Since he stopped traveling to and selling at art fairs nearly a decade ago, Dean has settled into a creative hermitage at South Bear, preferring to keep the studio and apartment at 50-odd degrees in winter and wearing, almost without exception, a pair of singular blue insulated coveralls. (He still plays competitive tennis each week with former colleagues at Luther – but also in blue coveralls, cut off at the shins.) Gerry, on the other hand, stays on her family’s farm near Mason City during the week while teaching writing and literature at North Iowa Area Community College and travels home on weekends. “She has a special relationship with the thermostat around here,” Dean says mischievously. “When she’s home, it’s suddenly jumped to 65!” But beneath their banter, the Schwarzes take seriously the honest, earnest creative work that fills their days, not to mention the business of documenting it. Together they have authored and published several respected books through South Bear Press. Each title is carefully researched with first-hand access to the artists, locations, artifacts, and artistic subject matter at hand, incorporating such experiences as the family’s time spent in South Korea, where Dean studied and taught ceramics as a FulbrightHays Research Fellow, and in Israel, where he was an on-site restorer of pottery on an archaeological dig. Dean also visited Japan, where he studied traditional pottery, and he made several trips to Panama, where he researched Pre-Columbian pots. Their 770-page compilation Marguerite Wildenhain and the Bauhaus: Spring 2014/

photo by Nan Schwarz

An Eyewitness Anthology, weaves together essays, memoirs, diaries, letters, interviews and other written documents by or about Bauhaus or crafts-related professionals. The project took them more than a decade. “It makes perfect sense to me that my parents would eventually go into publishing, as they are both storytellers and believe in passing on the traditions that make them/us what we are,” Nan writes via e-mail.

Fall 1

Proof by David Auburn, directed by Jeff Dintaman October 3 @ 7:30 • Oct 4 @ 9:30 • 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

(Cont. on next page)

A trip to South Bear will present many visual delights – from beautiful pots (stored upside down to keep the bats out!) to casual collections of memories pocketed throughout the house. The white porcelain cup at the top right was designed by Dean’s mentor Marguerite Wildenhain for use on airlines. The rim prevents it from spilling in flight. The welding mask at the far left brings to mind Dean’s father, and lunch was served up in bowls made by son Jason and plates made by Franz Wildenhein, husband of Marguerite Wildenhein.

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



Gerry notes that with such creative longevity, subjects and interests have a way of cycling back into their lives, inspiring new bodies of work. “You don’t really know you’re in a series until you’re in it,” Gerry explains, “and then there it is, all its own.” Dean’s Cone series ranges from two-inch-tall ‘mini’ pots thrown by Lane, to pots so tall and heavy that Gunnar and Dean had to work together just to lever and strap them safely into the kiln. “When I got into Marvin Cone’s collections, I saw that he spent time with some of the subject matter – rural landscapes, elements of architecture – that I had been after, too,” says Dean, who, in the ‘70s, made a practice of hoisting himself – canvas and materials in tow – up any limestone outcropping to get some perspective on Northeast Iowa’s landscape. The mill stands tall over here. Expansive barns with hay lofts there. “As a person and an artist, Cone was ‘quiet,’ I think, but he was a great observer and brought out what he ‘saw’ when he looked at a bend in a river, or a homesteader’s barn. He seemed to get what was ‘going away’ and what would be lost with it. Most of all, his work was a love of place and spirit.” Dean, now in his mid 70s, is keen to the precariousness of productivity. “The most difficult thing for me is that I cannot work harder, share more spirit, and develop new ways to live and love,” he says. But, in reality, he’s still no slouch at celebrating and remixing the eclectic successes of his many friends, family, former students, and colleagues the world over. In his studio, he’s surrounded by totems – collages of artifacts, assembled like complex personas. “That’s my dad’s welding mask,” he says, pointing to the wall above a bench of pots-in-progress. It’s mounted atop a canvas stunt suit – or straight jacket? – that, fyi, once belonged to Houdiniera escape artist and Decorah local Roy Jaegerson. “Both my parents were welders, actually,” he continues. “My dad was once told that his were the only seams in the construction of the Duane Arnold [atomic] Energy Center, near Cedar Rapids, that had no bubbles in them. He was quite proud of that.” On another wall, capped by a Panamanian sun hat, hangs a tweed duffle coat wrapped in cotton fishing net and bobbers Dean painted himself. In front hangs a walking stick carved by a former student; at the head, a tin dish Gerry once used panning for gold on a short stint in Alaska. “I’ll never get over the thrill of seeing or hearing or feeling something and remembering where you were

We get a little excited about GoOD Food.

when you first encountered it,” Dean says. “We have so much to learn from where we’ve been.” After a few beats, his thoughts turn back in the direction of the exhibition and the buzz it’s generating among former colleagues and students, many of whom haven’t seen him since he largely retired from lecturing and art fairs. “I’ll be really happy if people think [CRMA] is a good place to show this series, seeing it in direct relation to Cone’s paintings,” he continues. “That’s what I want.” The exhibit commands two of the museum’s 16 galleries and involves nearly 100 of Dean’s pots, displayed in cases, with Cone’s paintings arranged on walls. The pairings were selected by CRMA interim director Sean Ulmer. “Dean’s interaction with Cone’s work isn’t replication,” he explains, “as though he could take a Cone painting and wrap it around a pot. In some cases, the relationship is a familiar form – a barn or silo or field. Sometimes, the title of Dean’s piece references one of Cone’s lectures at Coe. Or, it might be an archetype – a portrait of an older man – that shows up in both works. To me, Dean is referencing Cone as teacher, as friend to Grant Wood, as a man in the community, Cone the artist. And, the show also contains works that are outgrowths, not related to Cone – where you can see a transmutation, where Dean is now a step away, or two steps away.”

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Dean himself, however, seems never to have been far away at all, despite his pots and acclaim having reached galleries and collections all over the world. “When my mother had died, and my father was dying, I would visit Cedar Rapids, and every time I drove away, about 20 minutes down the road, a profound depression would wash over me, knowing that their end meant I wouldn’t be ‘going back,’” he says. “This exhibition feels like coming home. I’m quite honored to do it.” Jepsen loved being immersed in the Schwarz’s world of functional studio pottery while writing this story. And she’ll be over the moon if she can produce anywhere near 512 related articles, essays, and other written works in her own career. When not tap-tapping at a keyboard for magazines and the Web, she works with Grass Run Farms, a grass-fed beef company she owns and manages with her husband.

RELATED BOOKS: The Boy and the Old Dam – By Dean Schwarz. Memories of an eight-year boy living in the heart of Cedar Rapids. Available In 2014. Also available in 2014, a biography of Dean Schwarz written by South Bear School student and professional potter Brent Johnson. OTHER BOOKS: Marguerite Wildenhain and the Bauhaus: An Eyewitness Anthology ISBN 978-0-97613812-9, and Centering Bauhaus Clay: A Potter’s Perspective, ISBN 978-0-9761381-5-0, both edited by Dean and Geraldine Schwarz, (Decorah, Iowa: South Bear Press, 2007).

COLLECTIONS: Schwarz’s ceramics are owned by private collectors, museums and universities throughout the world, including, the Museum of Art and Culture (Wu Han, Hubei, China), University of Nottingham (Nottingham, England), Collection of King Olaf (Oslo, Norway), Pottery Museum (Mikawachi, Japan), Burg Giebichenstein (Halle, Germany) and the White House Collection (Washington, D.C.).




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Chad Elliott

DECorah Schools Culinary specialist Introduction by Aryn Henning Nichols


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ancy and school lunches aren’t two words we would normally put together. But after visiting Decorah High School’s kitchen, we can’t help but say it: They’re making some fancy school lunches! And breakfasts too! Of course, Chef Chad Elliott, Culinary Specialist at Decorah schools, would make nothing but wonderful food. A guy who plants seven acres of asparagus, builds his own brick oven, and tends an orchard of apples definitely knows his way around a kitchen. Lucky students get to enjoy the two decades of restaurant and kitchen experience Elliott brings – literally – to the table. The stateof-the-art facilities at Decorah High School utilize on-site gardens, local producers, and top-notch ingredients. They even make their own bread daily! We never thought we’d be jealous of lunches served up in a high school, but, well…we are! It’s a win-win for the students and the chef – Elliott calls his work at Decorah Schools a “dream job” and he surely brings that passion to his food each day. Name: Chad Elliott Age: 38 Kitchen: Presently at the Decorah High School, but will be focusing on the Decorah Middle School in the later part of the second semester. Number of Years Cooking: 20 years

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about it and if you know me, you know I love to eat! I also really love smelling, cooking, canning, serving, tasting, growing, and always learning more about food.

Formal training or live-and-learn? I completed the restaurant management program at DMACC in Ankeny, Iowa. The campus has a state of the art culinary arts facility and amazing staff. While there, I gained the fundamental knowledge needed to cook in a professional kitchen. Since then I have learned how to put those basic skills to work when working with and for some amazing chefs and cooks over the last 20 years. What’s your earliest or most significant memory of cooking or being cooked for? I have so many fond memories of growing up with food that it is hard to choose just one. In the movie Ratatouille, do you remember when the food critic Ego tasted Remy’s ratatouille? Well, I have these flashes of memories from different tastes and smells of my past. I think of my mom when I open an oven full of applecrisp, my grandma when I am canning tomatoes or my grandpa when eating a piece of crusty garlic bread. My dad makes amazing pie, so of course any pastry or pie smells wafting through the air makes me think of him. Food has always played a huge role in my life. I love everything

Why did you decide to become a chef? I was unsure of what I wanted to go to school for and I loved cooking, so I went to culinary school. Honestly, if I did it all over again I am not sure I would have chosen this as a profession. Years of long hours on evenings, weekends, and holidays can take a toll on even the most fanatic chef. After saying that, I will say that I was incredibly lucky to get a job here at the school. It is absolutely a dream job and I love working with the kids. It is so great to be back in the kitchen! What’s the best thing you’ve ever made? I have made many things that turned out well, but I am going to twist this question into what I have had the most fun making – breads and pizzas in our wood-fired oven, and fermented Tuscan salami and Soppresatta cured for months in our root cellar. I also enjoyed roasting a whole pig that was glazed with apple butter for the Fourth of July. Do you have any monumental food fails you’d like to share with us? I bet I have tried to make fresh mozzarella with grocery store milk

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BUILDING How about secret food indulgences you don’t normally talk about? Will you tell us? Taco sauce (Happy Joe’s is the best!). Some people say I have a problem… What’s your favorite: Ingredient: I could not live without flour, which makes the wonderful breads that I love so much. I built a wood-fired brick oven last summer and intend on doing some serious bread baking in the future. Dish: Does Thanksgiving dinner count as a dish? My dad’s turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy is hands-down my favorite meal! Cookbook: I have hundreds of cookbooks but my favorite has to be my grandma Hanlon’s cookbook. My grandma was an amazing cook! When she passed away my aunt went through all of her recipe cards, recipe books, scraps of paper and magazine clippings and made a book with photos of some of our most memorable feasts at the Hanlon get togethers. She put together cookbooks of all of Grandma’s favorites for each member of the family. Random (or not so random) kitchen tool: An apple peeler/slicer. I think I was speechless the first time I used one…such a time saver! Vegetable: Asparagus!! I planted over half an acre seven years ago. We grill it, boil it, pickle it, and sell some too! Fruit: I love apples. We have over 12 varieties of apples in our orchard.

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new at DHS: Viking Café! While it’s not Chef Chad Elliott’s food, it’s pretty cool that DHS teacher Elaine Lore’s Foods 2 class is running the Viking Café, a restaurant-style classroom that serves lunch to the public from 11:30 am to 1 pm several days each month. Just opened in February, Viking Café will be serving up down-home dishes featuring a main, side, and dessert. Nothing from a can makes its way to the plates here! Students handle everything from prep to clean-up. Cost is $5 and reservations are required (call 563-382-3643). The café seats between 20 and 25 people, and there is direct access to the Café from the faculty parking lot next to the building on the east side of the high school. Spring dates will be announced soon.

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Photo by Joyce Meyer


You're super!


(& other holometabolic insects…)

By Aryn Henning Nichols


any of you know the story: the one about the caterpillar that’s hungry. Very hungry. He eats and eats and eats. And he is STILL hungry. And then he becomes a butterfly! (Sigh. If only that would happen to humans…) But HOW does that chubby little guy turn into a beautiful butterfly?


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et’s learn! There are four stages of a butterfly’s life: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. (1) In the first stage, the mama butterfly lays a very small, round or oval egg (appearance depends on the type of butterfly). She picks a very specific leaf that she knows her little babe will eat once it’s hatched a few days later. If you look closely enough at the egg, you might even be able to see the tiny caterpillar growing inside! (1) Once hatched, the egg has progressed to stage two: the caterpillar, or larva. This is the part where the gluttony begins (although, unlike the book, caterpillars don’t generally eat pickles and salami and ice cream…). The caterpillar behaves like a freeliving, eating, growing-but-developmentally repressed embryo. (2) During the few days or weeks that it is active, it will devour its favorite plant to the tune of its own weight many times over. (2) They stuff their faces so they can grow quickly. And grow they do! Their exoskeleton (skin) doesn’t stretch or grow though, so they “molt” (shedding the outgrown skin) several times during this stage. (1) Once the caterpillar has reached critical mass, it’s ready to move on to stage three: The pupa or chrysalis. That hungry caterpillar finally gets full, and finds a comfy place to molt into a shiny chrysalis. That’s where the magic happens. Within its protective casing, the caterpillar radically transforms its body.
But be prepared – magic isn’t always pretty!
 First, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. It basically becomes a nutrient-rich soup, feeding the imaginal discs. These highly organized groups of cells survive the digestive process – they’ve been a part of the caterpillar it’s entire life. Before hatching, when a caterpillar is still developing inside its egg, it grows an imaginal disc for each of the adult body parts it will need – discs for its eyes, wings, legs, and so on. In some species, these imaginal discs are dormant; in other species, the discs begin to take the shape of adult body parts before the caterpillar forms a chrysalis – some caterpillars walk around with tiny rudimentary wings tucked inside their bodies.
Inside the chrysalis, once all of the tissues are digested, those discs use the protein-rich “soup” to fuel the rapid cell division required to form the butterfly body parts. One disc could begin with only 50 cells and increase to more than 50,000 cells by the end of metamorphosis. (3) This type of metamophosis is called holometaboly – a full change – and is the complete – and often dramatic – change from a worm-like larva to a large-winged adult. It’s a highly sophisticated chemical suppression of developmental processes. Though only 9 of 26 insect orders are holometabolic, this accounts for 80 percent of all insects (butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, bees, wasps and ants are majority stakeholders). (2) Once metamorphosis is complete, the caterpillar is ready to emerge in its final, adult stage: the butterfly. When it first comes out, both wings are soft and folded against its body. It rests a bit, then pumps blood into the wings in order to get them working and flapping. They’re ready to fly just a few short hours after cracking out of the chrysalis and head off in search of a mate in order to continue the cycle! Aryn Henning Nichols repeatedly said, “Whoa” while writing this Science, You’re Super. Butterflies! They’re crazy amazing! 1. 2. 3.

Photos by Ellen Macdonald (this page)

HELP Save the wildflowers (& TREES & PARKS & EVERYTHING!)

By Aryn Henning Nichols


alking through a park in Decorah, Iowa – or anywhere in the region, really – you might notice all the pretty flowers, the outcropping of limestone, maybe an algific slope* if you’re lucky. It’s like the enchanted forest up in here, am I right? But, like the enchanted forest, not everything is as it seems. There are villains near, perhaps right underfoot… literally.

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Gear up.

The villains we’re talking about are invasive plant species – specifically garlic mustard, buckthorn, and honeysuckle – the “Big Three”, dubbed so by the Friends of the Decorah Parks. Founded in 2012 in response to threat posed by invasive garlic mustard, the committee is staffed with local biologists and volunteers alike. The term invasive species applies to an introduced species, usually non-native, that harms the habitats they invade. They tend to dominate a region through lack of natural predators, crowding out flowers, new trees, and all other plant life. Garlic mustard was first seen near Decorah in late 1990s – folks in the Decorah area have been hard at work at it since, led by Friends of Decorah Parks’ Beth Lynch, Eric Baack, and Mary Lewis. Lewis has been working at Palisades Park in Decorah since 2000, and has eradicated garlic mustard from many areas there. “There are lots of ways to kill garlic mustard,” Lewis says. “Weeding, hoeing, spraying with roundup, burning, weed torching, but whatever way you do it the most important thing is to keep at it. It’s like weeding a garden. You don’t just weed it once, you have to go back to see what you missed or what germinated since you last weeded. And don’t let them go to seed because those seeds can last for years in the soil.” Lynch has worked in all of the other Decorah parks since moving to Decorah in 2001. Baack has worked on controlling invasives in the Ridge Road neighborhood where he lives. Baack and Lynch have also taken on the responsibility of controlling a large patch of garlic mustard at Malanaphy Springs State Preserve, about five miles north of Decorah. Although Friends of Decorah Parks is currently focusing on garlic mustard, the “Big Three” pose problems to habitats across our region (and across the country too). Learn how to spot them (so you can avoid spreading their seeds – this is perhaps the most important of all!) and, if you’re interested, join in the effort to take down these villains!

Adopt a Decorah Parks GARLIC MUSTARD Plot First, contact Friends of Decorah Parks – email Ellen Macdonald at Depending on the size of your group (it can even just be you!), they’ll assign you a plot to maintain. The big “push for the pull” is when the snow has melted and the ground softened – generally mid-March to mid-April. You’ll receive training on how to spot, flag, remove, and dispose of the pulled garlic mustard, but here are some tips from Lewis to get you started: Work at the edge of an infestation, and look well beyond it to get small areas that have spread from it. That way you can protect a whole new area from infestation. Early in spring it is a low lying plant called a rosette. This is the best time to weed it, by pulling it up by the roots. It sends up a stalk mid to late April, and at this stage the plant must be bagged, or it will produce seeds, up to thousands per plant, even lying on the ground with roots in the air. Even with the slightest hint of a flower, when the stalk is just beginning to grow, they need to be bagged and kept for several weeks before throwing away. Watch Decorah media outlets for volunteer opportunities for garlic mustard pulling, or check your community for other local efforts. And even if you don’t want to adopt a plot or volunteer at a larger “pull”, you can do your part by trying to avoid spreading the seeds – anyone can help by following the motto “come clean, leave clean.”


Destination Garden Center

Learn MORE ABOUT the big three Garlic Mustard: Garlic mustard was introduced in North America as a culinary herb in the 1860s and is an invasive species in much of North America. The insects and fungi that feed on it in its native habitat are not present in North America, increasing its seed productivity and allowing it to out-compete native plants. It’s a low-lying “rosette” in the spring that looks like creeping charlie but smells like garlic when crushed (this is the time to pull). Mid-to-late April, it develops a stalk along with small white flowers and pointy leaves.

EUROPEAN Buckthorn: European buckthorn was first brought to the region in the mid1800s as a very popular hedging material. The nursery industry stopped selling it in the 1930s, but it continues to out-compete native plants for nutrients, light, and moisture. It has sharp, spikelike thorns at the tips of twig and clusters of round, shiny, black, berry-like fruits,

Honeysuckle: Exotic honeysuckle replaces native forest shrubs and plants. They shade out ground cover and deplete soil moisture. Easy to identify in the fall because of its bright red berries, which are readily dispersed by birds. The leaves are opposite one another on the stem, and the stems are hollow.

Control: Pull in spring – generally mid-March to mid-April. (Learn about proper pulling technique from Friends of Decorah Parks. Unless trained, do not pull after it’s flowered to avoid additional spreading of seeds. )

Control: Small plants may be hand pulled. Larger plants can be dug or pulled using a leverage tool such as a weed wrench. Girdling trees (after training) requires stripping the bark to expose the inner hardwood at a minimum of six inches.

Control: Pull seedlings in small infestations when soil is moist. For larger bushes, cut down to stump and attempt to remove roots.

INHF GARLIC MUSTARD PULL Join Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in Northeast Iowa on May 3 for their “Into the Wild’ garlic mustard pull. All ages welcom. Coffee/lunch provided.


GET more DETAILS about invasive plant species in: Iowa: Wisconsin: Minnesota: Watch this great video on how to identify and control garlic mustard * What’s an algific slope? Read the Science, You’re Super from Inspire(d) Spring 2012 at


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Spring 2014/


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he grips of winter are behind us! Let’s party! Church lutefisk and school chili suppers are so last season (literally) – but spring is the perfect time to invite friends over for a noon gettogether of food and drink – maybe even outdoors! Middle of the day parties can be highly uplifting and delightful. The great thing is that they can be so diversified – eggs mingle on the menu with pork loin. Coffee is served alongside cocktails. We tend to say if it’s after eight and before noon, it’s brunch! The rest is up to you, and the possibilities are endless!

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We belonged to a group of five couples that used to get together every six weeks or so to have food and camaraderie. The hosts of the event would make the main dish and everyone else was assigned a side dish. Usually, there was a theme to work around. Everybody would dress up accordingly and group pictures were always on the agenda. I decided to shake it up a little and do a noon brunch. We decided to go with a Hawaiian theme – a somewhat traditional luau. And I did what any shanty Irishman would do: Armed with a mere shovel, I proceeded to the backyard and promptly dug a hole. Well, actually a pit: A firepit. It just so happened that I had a partial hog grate on hand so I dug the pit so the grate could lie on top. Next step was to procure a hog. Actually, a suckling pig. Fifty pounds of pure pork. Since banana leaves were nowhere to be found, I decided to buck tradition and cover the pig with a heavy-duty canvas tarp. On the day of the big hoopla, I was up at 6 am, filling the pit with charcoal and split hardwood firewood. In a couple of hours, we had a great pile of hot coals and it was time to let the games begin. After placing the grate over the coals, I laid the pig on top and covered

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it with a piece of canvas heavily soaked in water. Six hours later, our guests arrived and the party commenced. Things got off to a good start. A round of mojitos were in order, accompanied by an appetizer consisting of quartered red and yellow peppers topped with herbed creamed cheese and grilled chicken breast. Yummy! Next we dined on a mandarin orange and almond salad. The main course was, of course, loads of tender melt in your mouth pork, served with red potato salad and gingered carrots. Everyone was drooling. Seeing that this was a Hawaiian theme, what better finish than a pineapple upside down cake? Oh boy! A few Mai Tais were passed around and we were good to go. It doesn’t get any better than that. Most brunches that I have attended or been involved with, though, have at least some sort of egg component. So I decided for this diatribe I would focus on three different dishes that all use eggs but are totally different from each other. That is the beauty of brunch. I started out with a new salad that I recently created for our restaurant. We call it the Dolce Vita. As a base, I am using a lettuce called charita, suggested to me by a local family we work with from West Union who are year-round growers of lettuce and herbs. They know what they are talking about. It is tender, sweet, and melts in your mouth. However, if that is not available, a spring mix of lettuce would be totally acceptable. I then added one sliced hard-boiled egg per salad. Ok, ok. I will give you the secret to perfect-every-time hard-boiled eggs. Rule of thumb, the older the egg the easier it is to peel. That being said, cover your eggs in water by an inch and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute and remove from heat. Let sit for exactly twelve minutes. Then drain and run cold water over in your sink until eggs are cool. Works all of the time for me, anyway. Back to the salad. I then added some chopped bacon, onion, pecans, and avocado. Topped with an orange balsamic and ginger vinaigrette and some grated parmesan, it’s a meal in itself. Next, I have a simple recipe for potato latkes. Traditionally, they are served in the Jewish culture for Hanukkah. They are simply a hash brown and onion that is fried and then topped with sour cream and chives. You are going to love it. Finally, I’m including a recipe for a great French toast. Brenda and I spent a wonderful week camping at Cape Cod with friends a few years ago. On our way back, we stopped for breakfast at a small café. Brenda ordered a dish called French Kiss. “OMG Jim” she cried, “You just have to taste this!” It basically was French toast

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stuffed with cream cheese and strawberries. I’ve done an Irish interpretation and included it for you. We had an “Inspire(d)” brunch the other day. Aryn, Benji, and foxy Roxie were in attendance, along with James Ronan, Brenda, myself, Fawn and our lovely granddaughter, Stella. I served the following recipes and everyone was delighted. Brunch is a wonderful activity to involve your friends with. There is just a myriad of possibilities to put together. So get out there and enjoy!

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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.


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Dolce Vita Salad (serves 4) 12 oz lettuce 8 oz cooked bacon, chopped 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled 2 avocados ½ onion, sliced 24 whole pecans Fresh grated Parmesan cheese Divide lettuce into four bowls. Add chopped bacon to each. Carefully slice and add one egg to each bowl. Slice each avocado in half the long way. Remove pit. Carefully remove with a tablespoon the avocado meat from the skin and slice. Add to each salad. Place six pecans on each salad. Generously spread vinaigrette on each salad (recipe follows). Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan. Orange Balsamic Ginger Vinaigrette 4 Tbl onion, minced 2 Tbl Garlic             4 Tbl brown sugar 6 Tbl orange juice 2 Tbl ginger, minced fine 5 Tbl white balsamic vinegar  3 Tbl coarse grainy mustard 5/8 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp salt (Cont. on next page)

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(Cont. from previous page) Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend together. With the machine running, slowly add olive oil. If you can’t find white balsamic vinegar, substitute regular balsamic wine vinegar. Potato Latkes 2 cups uncooked hash browns 1 Tbl grated onion 1 egg, beaten 2 Tbl flour 1 ½ tsp salt ½ cup peanut oil Sour cream Handful of chives, chopped small Place potatoes in a strainer. With a paper towel press as much moisture out as possible. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet until hot. Use a large spoon to scoop hash browns and form four patties in skillet. Press down to 1/4 inch. Brown one side, and then the other. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot and cover tops with sour cream and chives French Kiss 8 slices of bread of your choice 3 eggs 1 Tbl sugar 1 tsp vanilla Cream cheese filling: 8 oz softened cream cheese 2 1/2 Tbl cream 3/4 cup powdered sugar 1/2 tsp vanilla 8 oz fresh strawberries, sliced and diced

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Mix cream cheese filling ingredients until smooth. Spread filling on all pieces of bread. Press two slices together to form a sandwich. Repeat. Mix eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Dip sandwiches in egg mixture and fry in butter until both sides are golden brown. Top with your favorite topping. We used real maple syrup. Yum!

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Genevieve Marcella Landsom Holty - wonderful host & grandma Interview and introduction by granddaughter Janelle (Holty) Halverson

This type of interview captures remarkable things about the subject but there are still so many things you can’t see or hear that are very much a part of the person’s life and personality. Growing up, Grandma Jenny always had an open door and a lunch for anyone who stopped by. I have treasured memories of sitting at their kitchen table listening to Grandma’s morning voice read scripture before we headed off for our days. The buckets of homemade donuts are uncountable and the list of people who would say the same thing is long. Although she isn’t cooking/baking anymore she still has treats in her room to make sure her company is welcome and well fed.

What is the best advice anyone ever gave you? It was something my dad said once, when my sister was so sick. He said “We all have to help”. It always stuck with me. We all have to help when someone has trouble like that. What is the worst advice anyone gave you? I can’t think of any dirty tricks like that. What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a missionary way back when. But that didn’t turn out. I got married. I became a farm housewife. That is a lot work, from morning ‘til night. If you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you want with you? Some shelter, some food and some family member I guess. Describe yourself in once sentence? Probably stubborn I guess. They would call me a stubborn Norwegian. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life what would it be? Oh boy, probably something we would have for Christmas like meatballs or lutefisk. (Interviewer interjects: LUTEFISK?) Oh, not lutefisk every day. That would NOT be good. Tell us about your wedding day. It was the rainiest day of the year I believe. It was in a little country church in Riceford, Minnesota. No lights or anything so we had to use candles in the windows and everybody was worried we were going to burn the church down. But it turned out I guess. We went to Grandpa and Grandma Holty’s for the reception because they didn’t have lights at the church. We celebrated there with a nice supper. I can’t remember what we had but knowing Grandma Holty she made it really good.

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

Tell us about your first job. I worked in a bakery for quite a few months (in the Twin Cities). I also helped my landlord at our residence while she was at work at the Norwegian Newspaper up there. What is your favorite memory? Loren brought me a sewing chest with spools of thread and everything in the drawers. It was storming and he carried it from his home all the way to my place. His dad was upset and wouldn’t let him have the car so he had to walk all that distance in deep snow. We found spools of thread later that had fallen out of the chest. Loren was determined to get that chest to me on Christmas Eve and he did too.

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Spring 2014/

A Lifestyle Worth Living!

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Shop all day at our local shops, eat lunch, enjoy wine & snacks with your friends. 413 N Main St, Charles City, IA 50616 641-228-2657

Mon-Fri 9-7, Sat 9-5

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Inspire(d) Spring 2014  

Potter Dean Schwarz • • Boxed (IN): Viroqua, WI • Metamorphosis • Choose Your Adventure: Spring Music! • Chef Chad Elliott •...

Inspire(d) Spring 2014  

Potter Dean Schwarz • • Boxed (IN): Viroqua, WI • Metamorphosis • Choose Your Adventure: Spring Music! • Chef Chad Elliott •...