Inspire(d) Summer 2017

Page 1


NO. 50• Summer 2017


Summer fun!


406 West Water Street . Decorah, Iowa . 563.382.4103


Fuel Efficient. Environmentally Sensible. You’ll Love More Miles Per Dollar! Downtown La Crosse, WI at 4th and Cameron Streets Phone: 877-4-A-HYBRID

SUMMER 2017 contents

what we’re loving right now


Crystal Creek MAgic


Sum of your business: impact coffee


summer fun!


local food directory


paper project: gnomebooks


csa: hooray!


lansing, iowa


ragbrai fun in northeast iowa


Probit: ernest corson




...and more!




We figured since this is our 50th Inspire(d) Magazine, G-Gnome should come back for our summer cover! He and his chipmunk friend are excited about bonfires, smores, and summer fun! Photo by Aryn Henning Nichols \ Summer 2017




DREAMS In the Driftless Area & beyond

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Muriel Lensch NMLS #762870 563.382.1549 Laura Schmauss NMLS #762872 563.203.8147


Mike Huinker NMLS #762869 563.382.1548

Mortgage Services powered by:



Arnie Larson, PT & Paul Pellett, DPT

Choose a therapy team you trust. You have the right to choose the best team for your physical therapy needs. Paul Pellett and Arnie Larson are your local choice for professional, compassionate care when your doctor orders physical therapy. Whether it’s orthopedic rehab or finding fast and effective pain management, the staff at Integrated Therapy Specialists will have you back to your normal routine as quickly and as safely as possible. Let Our Strength Help You Regain Yours!

915 SHORT STREET SUITE 155 DECORAH, IOWA . 563-382-8431

From the Editor


his is our 50th issue of Inspire(d)!!!! Can you believe it?! Every time I say the word “fifty” I think of that Saturday Night Live sketch… you know, the one where Molly Shannon says, “My name is Sally O’Malley and I’m proud to say I’m 50! And I like to kiiiick and streeeeetch, and kick! I’m 50!” And she jumps around, all spry and awesome. I’d like to think Inspire(d) is a lot like her – all spry and awesome, kicking and stretching and proud to make you smile. Oh, and ready to stick around for another 50 issues. You ready for that? We hope so. We’ll start off with Inspire(d) #50. It is full of summer awesomeness! I was so excited about all the stories in this magazine, I decided to write three of them! I had a blast chatting with Erin Dorbin and her partner Taylor Harris at Crystal Creek Canyon Lodge near Houston, Minnesota. They’re launching a citizen-artist residency this summer, and we just love their goals and ideas for the project (pg. 14). Then I got to go another scenic direction in the Driftless Region – on over to Lansing, Iowa, to interview some great folks of the historic river town for their Inspire(d) Community Feature (pg. 48). Plus, we got a sneak peek at the new Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center. It’s totally rad. I was also so excited to share ideas for something that I’m really passionate about: bulk cooking! Specifically for this issue, local bulk cooking and figuring out how to get the most out of your CSA – community supported agriculture – box each week. Anne Bohl from Low Oaks Farm in Waucoma, Iowa, worked with me to put together some great tips and recipes (pg. 38). Speaking of local food, we’re honored to yet again have the Driftless Local Food guide within our pages this summer – check it out on page 33, and then go check out some of your local farmers, producers, and restaurants. One of our favorite local places to get coffee here in Decorah is Impact Coffee Bar and Roasters. Benji interviewed owners Jeff and Anja Brown for this Sum of Your Business – it was fun to learn even more about this truly family-run business. Sara Friedl-Putnam put together an awesome guide for folks hitting up the RAGBRAI trail in Northeast Iowa (pg. 58) and Kristin Anderson brings us another amazing paper project: a notebook, er...gnomebook! It’s super cute. Check it out on page 37, and get instructions at Finally, as promised by G-Gnome (who is so happy to be back on a summer cover), we’ve got some summer fun ideas for all (pg. 30). We hope this is a great summer filled with adventure, happiness, and lots and lots of play. Thanks for reading and always being Inspire(d) – and inspiring! Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

What’s it mean?

Inspire(d) Inspire(d) – pronounced in-spy-erd... you know: inspired – stands for both inspire and inspired. The idea is that person one inspires person two. That person is now inspired. Then that person inspires person three (or person one again), who is now inspired. Then the cycle continues! That’s what those arrows around the (d) are about! And our mission is, ultimately, to change the world… starting with our own community!

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: Sara Friedl-Putnam / contributor Kristin Anderson /Paper Project Anne Bohl / Photo contributor Inspire(d) Magazine is published quarterly by Inspire(d) Media, LLC, 412 Oak Street, Decorah, Iowa, 52101. This issue is dated Summer 2017, issue 50 volume 10, Copyright 2017 by Inspire(d) Magazine.

support inspire(d) Although Inspire(d) is free on stands, you can have it sent to your door (or extended family!) for only $25/year. Email for a membership or visit for more info. Write inspire(d) Want to make a comment about something you read in the magazine? Email Interested in advertising? Contact Benji at or call 563-379-6315. Visit our website:

P.S. October 4 will be our 10-year anniversary, so get ready for some more gushy, “I love you guys” stuff from me in the next issue too! xox 05

What We’re


right now

A little list of what we think is awesome in the Drifltess Region this SUMMER... You Canoe It! Kayak it up!

Photo / Manchester Whitewater Park

Finally, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is offering an archaeology-themed float on the Upper Iowa River through Heritage Valley (rural Allamakee County) on July 8. Colin Betts, Professor of Archaeology at Luther College and Vern Fish, former director of Black Hawk County Conservation will lead the quest into the past while peeking into the diverse array of ecosystems found within this remote ecological preserve… all while learning about INHF’s role in protecting it! What a day! The event is open to the public, but space in limited. RSVP is required to or 515-288-1846 x15.

Independence Day Celebrations

The 4th of July is perhaps the grandest of American Holidays, celebrating our independence as a freestanding country from Britain in 1776. As the flags come out and the anticipation of fireworks displays heightens, we hope you find a moment to reflect and spend


It is paddling season. And boy does the Driftless offer up some great opportunities to be on the water. Our friends at Northeast Iowa RC&D have an awesome assortment of area river, stream, and fishing guides available. Many can be found at area visitors centers for free, or visit to take a look and purchase them (while also supporting a great organization!). Check out some of the cool water fun coming up: First off, Manchester, Iowa, has been getting some well-deserved attention with their newly designed White Water Park. June 3rd will mark a combining of the annual Rhubarb Fest together with Riverfest, celebrating all things rhubarb, along with demonstrations and fun opportunities on the water. A number of ongoing kayak clinics for youth and adults will be hosted in the white water park throughout the summer as well. Visit the ‘Manchester White Water Park’ Facebook page for info. Meanwhile, Mary McInnis Meyer of the Field of Yoga project (based around the Cedar Falls area) and Darrin Siefken of Crawdaddy Outdoors in Waverly have been teaming up to offer the occasional “Kayoga” Kayak / Yoga outing around Eastern Iowa. Current dates on the schedule include June 4, and September 2 for Kayoga Day Trips, but other dates and adventures may come up throughout the summer. Imagine a day paddling one of Eastern Iowa’s beautiful water trails, followed by a stop on a sand bar or landing for a yoga session. Sounds like a great way to embrace summer! Find out more, including registration info at:

Dance & Theatre





Check out the entire 2017-18 Luther Dance & Theatre season online... and mark your calendars! 06

Summer 2017 /

some time with those you love. And we’ve found a few regional places that might help you enjoy the holiday! Historic Forestville is tucked into rural Southeast Minnesota, just west of both Harmony and Preston, and adjoining Mystery Cave State Park. The Minnesota historical Society village comes alive through its volunteers making it a great summer field trip anytime, but Independence Day is celebrated in traditional 1899 style. There’s a grand ceremony including a glee club, reading of the Declaration of Independence, and an old-time 1860s baseball game featuring the Rochester Roosters and the Lanesboro Excelsiors. Guests can even enjoy pie or watermelon eating contests (and a cash only concessions stand), along with sack and three-legged races for the kids. The fun goes from 12 to 4 pm with daily $6-8 site admission (MNHS members free). It is also worth noting that GPS is not reliable to find the park. Check out the MN Historical Society Website or give them a call for full info and directions: historic-forestville • 21899 County Road 188, Preston, MN 55965 • (507) 765-2785.



You can’t plan for everything, but you can make smart financial decisions to help you prepare for the things you want in life—and for the things that could change it all. Let’s talk about how you can protect your family and prepare for the future. Call your local Thrivent Financial representative or visit

Decorah Area Team • 563-382-1801 218 E. Water Street • Decorah, IA 52101 Jeff Olinger, FIC, CLTC® Financial Representative

Happy 4th of


Once you’ve experienced all the 1800s fun you can stand, continue the Independence Day celebration in the “Biggest Little Town in Southeast Minnesota:” Harmony! Selvig Park is the center of the festivities, with games, entertainment from the Jim Busta Band featuring Mollie B from 4-7pm, food, refreshments, and fireworks at dark! The Grand Parade begins at 3 pm, and don’t miss “Art on the Green” Arts & Crafts fair at the Harmony Visitors Center from 10 am - 5 pm. More info: www. Several other Driftless Region spots offer fireworks displays too – from Spillville’s large display and festivities at the Innwood Ballroom to Marquette’s all weekend swap-meet and festivities to smaller displays in river towns like Bluffton and Harpers Ferry. However you choose to celebrate, please enjoy Independence Day safely! (continued on next page)

Karen Trewin, FIC, CCPS® Financial Associate

Thrivent Financial was named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere Institute 2012–2016. Thrivent Financial was named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by the Ethisphere Institute. We earned this distinction as a result of our leadership in promoting ethical business standards and for introducing innovative ideas to benefit the public. The Ethisphere Institute is a leading international think tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anticorruption and sustainability. “World’s Most Ethical Companies” and “Ethisphere” names and marks are registered trademarks of Ethisphere LLC. This is a solicitation for insurance. A Thrivent Financial representative may contact you. Insurance products issued or offered by Thrivent Financial, the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton, WI. Not all products are available in all states. Thrivent Financial representatives are licensed insurance agents/producers of Thrivent. For additional important information, visit Appleton, Wisconsin • Minneapolis, Minnesota • 800-847-4836

29282C N9-16

Center Stage Series

What We’re



Spanish Brass September 16 Flip FabriQue “Catch Me!” September 30

40 CSS

right now

A little list of what we think is awesome in the Drifltess Region this SUMMER...

American Rhapsody: The Gershwin Songbook Presented by The Gershwin Big Band Michael Andrew, Music Director October 20 Anat Cohen November 4 Thomanerchor Leipzig (St. Thomas Choir of Leipzig) November 18 Art of Time Ensemble: Songbook with Steven Page February 17 2017–18 CSS Major Sponsors Decorah Bank & Trust • Gundersen Health System • Luther College Diversity Council • Winneshiek Medical Center, with Physicians Services by Mayo Clinic Health System

Lamajamal February 24 Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE Dance Company March 17 L.A. Theatre Works: The Mountaintop April 6

Pick up a brochure at the Ticket Office, visit, or contact us: (563) 387-1357 or Subscriber discounts expire on August 25. Renew by July 15 to save your favorite seats!


Summer 2017 /

FWD Women’s Night at Decorah Bicycles

If you read the story all about rad mountain-biking women in the Spring issue of Inspire(d), you clearly know we’re pumped about getting #moregirlsonbikes. (And if you didn’t, now you know!) So we’re super stoked about Decorah Bicycles new Women’s Nights at the bike shop. Decorah Bicycles “first lady” Josie Smith is passionate about encouraging women to get out on mountain bike trails and gravel roads – dirt – to create a community general badassery. Thus, she created FWD – Fearless Women of Dirt At FWD Women’s Nights – held at Decorah Bicycles on College Drive – gals get together to learn about bike maintenance, riding tips, and to try out bike rental offerings in a fun, casual environment. Josie and her team will share more info about off-road trails, group rides, and bike accessories as well. On top of all that awesomeness, there are snacks, beverages (local brew, wine, sparkling water) and prizes for the attendees! Like the FWD group at for up-to-date information on Women’s Night events and women’s off-road group rides, led by Josie or FWD Ambassador Kristin Torresdal. Summer Women’s Nights on the schedule so far are June 27 and August 29, starting at 7 pm. (Ed. Note: I (Aryn) went to the inaugural Women’s Night in April, and had a blast getting to know more fun (and funny) women in the region. I can’t wait to keep connecting with folks in this group! See you there?!)


Join us!

The OVCO is located in Decorah, Iowa & serves the residents of the tri-state area. We have openings! No audition necessary. Section Violin Section Viola Section Cello Principal Bass Photos (above) courtesy Air Race Classic: ARC planes waiting for takeoff, & one doing a fly-by.. At left courtesy FWD: A Fearless Women of Dirt crew on a group ride led by FWD Ambassador Kristin Torresdal.

Section Bass Principal Percussion Percussion

Our Mission: To present live classical music to the residents of the Oneota Valley, to promote music education, and to provide the opportunity for amateur and professional musicians to continue a lifelong study and performance of classical music.

DirectTV • Dish Network • Samsung Appliances Air Race Classic – Female pilots!

Speaking of rad women (always!), we think it’s totally awesome that the Air Race Classic (ARC), an all-women U.S. air race, is heading Decorah’s way on their route this year. Pilots range in age from 17 to 90 years old, and come from a wide variety of backgrounds including students, teachers, doctors, airline pilots, business owners, professionals, and air traffic controllers. Race teams, consisting of at least two women pilots, must fly VFR – short of visual flight rules (as opposed to Instrument Flight Rules), during daylight hours only. Teams are given four days to make flybys at each en route timing point and then land at the terminus – the last airport on the route and the race’s end. The route changes each year, as do the eight or nine timing points. This year, the 41st annual ARC, pilots are flying east to west – Frederick, Maryland, to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Racers will experience changes in terrain, weather, winds, and airspace as they fly 2,600+ miles over four days: June 20th through June 23rd. Watch the sky during that time for a rad female pilot! Depending on timing, pilots may stop in Decorah for an overnight, for a quick fuel-up, or they might just head on to the next timing point. The teams race against their own handicap, so whichever team beats their handicap speed by the most, wins. After two days of inspections, debriefings, and meetings with the scorer and the judges, the winners are announced at the final banquet in Santa Fe. During the race, the ARC home page will be updated so folks can follow the racers as they make their way along the racecourse. You will be able to see where your favorite team is, and where they decide to spend the night. Just follow the links on www.

You heard right!

Now offering Appliances

2 CONVENIENT SIMS LOCATIONS 112 Winnebago St, Decorah • 121 N Vine St, West Union 563-382-2355 • Mon - Fri 8 am - 6 pm • Sat 9 am - 5 pm \ Summer 2017


adorable accessories & clothing sizes nb to 16

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

1. June 1: Driftless Safari offers free outdoor adventure and exploration in Winneshiek County all summer long! Visit or stop by any Winneshiek County library to join!

215 west

water street . decorah, iowa . 563-380-2986

2. June 1: Step back in time to 1899! Visit Historic Forestville, rural Preston. Memorial Day Weekend-Labor Day: Thur- Sun, (Saturdays only Sept/Oct) $6-$8 507-765-2785 - Where real history happened! 3. June 3: Garden Bugs Workshop: Friend or foe? Learn to identify & manage garden insects while attracting pollinators. 11am-12pm. Seed Savers Exchange. $5 registration: 563-382-5990

EVERYTHING FROM JEANS TO SUITS! Extended hours! 130 W. Water St. Decorah, Iowa 563.382.5761

M, T, W, F 9-6 Thursday 9-8 Saturday 9-5 Sunday 12-4

or come for a special event! .....

Apple Orchard .....

Scenic Trails

4. June 9: Guttenberg’s River of Music (ROM), EVERY Friday, June 2-August 11, 6-8 pm in Ingleside Park Bandstand along the Mississippi River (Rain location – City Hall) 5. June 17: Breakfast on the Farm- 8:30 am-12 pm at Iowa’s Dairy Center, Calmar, Iowa. Including: wholesome breakfast, dairy tours, and more! On-site parking available; donations are appreciated. www. 6. June 17: Art in the Park Fine Art Festival featuring 100+ artist booths, live music, craft beer & food vendors at Sylvan Park in Lanesboro. 10am-5pm

Visit us anytime Display Gardens

25W/ $25B

• July 14-16 - Conference and Campout* • Aug 26 - Cooking with Heirlooms*

7. June 17: Good Earth Village welcomes their littlest campers yet! Preschoolers, invite an adult to experience camp with you from 9am1pm! Spring Valley, MN. More at

*Registration Required

• Sept 2 - Tomato Tasting Italian Heirloom Tomato Gift and Garden Store • Open daily 10-5

We have seeds, tools, books & more

3074 North Winn Rd • Decorah, IA • 563-382-5990 •

8. June 21: FREE Summer Solstice yoga class outdoors at Reefuel! You’ll perform 108 Sun Salutations soaking up the rays to ring in summer! 6:30pm. More Information: 9. June 23-24: 60-Mile Garage Sale! Join the communities along the Root River Trail System for garage sales in nine communities! Online map and more info available at 10. July 1: Sell your art and be a part of Chatfield Center for the Arts 3rd Annual Arts & Heritage Day on September 16. Deadline to apply is July 1, $10 jury fee applies. Details at 11. July 2: Art on the Green, Harmony, MN! Celebrate local arts and crafts at the Harmony Trailhead. Musical guests to be announced. 10am-2pm, More info at



12. July 4: Harmony’s 4th of July Celebration – all day - Join us for food, games & more! Grand Parade: 3pm, Jim Busta Band featuring Mollie B: 4-7pm, fireworks at dusk. Info at 115 Winnebago Street . Decorah, Iowa 563.382.6139

Summer 2017 /

13. July 5-7: Grandparents, share a camp and faith experience across generations. Good Earth Village counselors supply energy! Enjoy our premium accommodations! Spring Valley, MN. More at

fun stuff to do


Driftless Safari free outdoor adventure - all summer, Winn. County!


2 Step back to 1899 at Historic Forestville MN, rural Preston, Where real history happened!



Night, Mark Armstrong, Decorah, 7 pm

Lawn Chair 1


Rhubarb Sisters, St. Mane, Lanesboro, 7:30pm




Driftless Discovery Trail Run, Decorah

Garden Bugs Workshop, Seed Savers, 11am-2pm




June 18 16-18: Lawler Irish Fest


JUNE 23: • Mad Science of IA Const. & Demolition Show, Decorah Library, 11am • Cara Baker w/ Auralai, Driftless Books, Viroqua, 7pm


JUNE 23-25: • NMP Presents “Spamalot”, DHS Auditorium • Cedar Basin Jazz Festival, Cedar Falls

JUNE 17: • Miles Adams Band, McCaffrey’s, Decorah, 7pm • Kasey Chambers, Englert Theatre, IA City, 8pm • Caledonia Founders Day & Children’s Funfest



Sarah Beatty, Driftless Books, Viroqua, 7pm



Kids Health & Wellness Fair, Oneota Eye Care, 10-3pm

JUNE 30:


• Them Coulee Boys, Trempealeau Hotel, 7pm DPL Family Lawn Chair • Joe & Vicki Price, Bob’s Picnic & Play, Night, North Star Bar, Prairie du Chien 8pm Decorah Comm. Choir/Decorah • Night (out) At the La Prairie, 10:30am Muni Band, 7pm Crosse Children’s Museum

Tinsley Ellis, Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids


24 8 21 23 20 22 “Surprise Michelle Lawn Chair Reefuel Free Faun Fables w/ Sculpture” Summer Solstice Night, Kindred Lynn, River of Paul Fonfara, Youth Minds & M. Music Series, Driftless Books, outdoor Yoga Program, Guttenberg, McElrath, Class, Decorah, Viroqua, 7pm St. Mane, 6pm Decorah, 7pm 6:30pm Lanesboro, June 21-25: June 23-24: 60-Mile Garage Sale! 12-2pm Spring Grove, MN, 9 Root River Trail Communities Homecoming!


DPL 14 in 17 15 Blank Park16 6 theArtPark, Family “Surprise Relay for Life Lanesboro, Picnic & Play, Zoo World Decorah, Sculpture” Dunnings Spring, 10am-5pm for Wildlife, Courthouse Youth 10:30-11am Decorah Library, Good Earth Square, 7pm Program, 2:30pm 7 Village Pat Keen w/ St. Mane, Preschool Lanesboro, Addison Israelson, 5 June 17: Breakfast on the Camp, Spring Farm, IA Dairy Center, NICC Driftless Books, Valley MN, 12-2pm / Calmar, 8:30am-12pm Viroqua, 7pm 9am-1pm

9 ArtSpire 10 4 5 Frog Walk,6 Maja Kjær 7 Lawn Chair8 June 3-4: 4 w/ Cloud Cult, Grout Museum Guttenberg KVR, La IA & WI Pumphouse, Creepy Crawlies Farge, WI, Jacobsen, Danish Night, DQYDJ River of Free Fishing Fiddler, Bethania, Big Band, La Crosse Demo, Decorah Music – Every 8:30pm Weekend! Vesterheim, Decorah, 7pm Library, 1:30pm (Tuesdays) Bread Making Friday 6-8pm, 7:30pm JUNE 9: Ingleside Park Day, Historic • Over the Back Fence, St. Mane, Lanesboro, 7:30pm Forestville June 7-11: My • The Caminos, Food Pantry Benefit, Wild Woods, Ossian 8pm June 9-11: MN Free Waterloo Days • The Sea The Sea, Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, 8pm Fishing Weekend

The National Exhibition of Folk Art in the Norwegian Tradition, through July 29, Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum, Decorah


June JUNE 3: • Ridgeway Iowa 150th Celebration! • Art By The River Festival, Ingleside Park, Guttenberg, 10am-6pm • Cajun Fest, Trempealeau Hotel • Avey Grouws Band, McCaffrey’s, Decorah, 7pm


12 4 Harmony MN 4th of July Celebration w/ Jim Busta & Mollie B!


7 July 7-9: Trempealeau Catfish Days

14 July 6-9: Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour!

6 Lawn Chair Night Decorah

1899 Independence Day Celebration, 13 July 5-7: Good Earth Village Grandparents + Family Camp! Spring Valley MN Forestville, 12-4pm



July 6 - July 23 Minnesota Beethoven Festival, Winona


“The Elephant Man” runs through September, Commonweal Theatre, Lanesboro


June 20-July 30 - Great River Shakespeare Festival, Winona State University,



Honeywise, McCaffrey’s, Decorah, 7pm

15 8 Mason Jennings w/ The Pines & Pieta Brown, Seed Savers

Chatfield Arts & Heritage Day Art Vendor Deadline!



JULY 1: • Firecracker 4 mile run, Riverside Park, La Crosse, 7:30am • Gregg Hall & The Wrecking Ball, McCaffrey’s, Decorah, 7pm • Bernie King & The Guilty Pleasures, Driftless Books, 7pm • Joe & Vicki Price, High Court Pub, Lanesboro, 9pm

WI Roots Music Co-op Bookstore Session #3, Driftless Books



Charlie Painter Trio w/ Barefoot Antennae, Driftless Books, 7pm





25 July 14-24: Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival ‘Shall We Dance?’, Cedar Falls




July 23-29: RAGBRAI

July 27-29: Nordic Fest, Decorah!


Night (out) At La Crosse Children’s Museum Mary Chapin Carpenter, Englert, IA City, 8pm


July 29-30: AAUW Art Fair on the Green, UW La Crosse


21 Ridiculous 22 20 Grout Museum Guttenberg Day, Decorah District Snakes German Mississippi Alive, Decorah Band, River of Band, Library, 1:30pm Music Series, McCaffrey’s Lawn Chair Guttenberg Howard Night Decorah Luedtke & July 20-24: Luther College Dave Rogers 19 Summer Dance Camp Trempealeau 19

DPL Family Picnic & Play, Phelps Park, 10:30am

JULY 15: Songs •The Foot-Notes Dance in the of Hope, Park, Lanesboro, 7pm, Free Chatfield CFA, • Clayton Co. Consv, “Murky 7:30pm free Turkey Floatilla” • Frankie Fontagne 18 July 16-20: Movement & The Ramble, Fundamentals Workshop, McCaffrey’s, 7pm Luther College


11 12 July 13- 13 Joseph 14 17 15 “Surprise DPL Family Huber, Driftless Good Earth 15: After Sculpture” Picnic & Play, Village Books, Viroqua The Fledge Youth Program, Decorah Preschooler Night (out) At La Weekend, St. Mane, Hatchery, Camp! Spring Decorah Crosse Children’s Lanesboro 10:30am Museum, 5:30pm Valley, MN (July 11, 18, 25) July 13-16: Ye Olde Opera July 14-16: Seed Savers Annual July 11-15: Winneshiek Co. Fair, Decorah House presents Chicago 16 Conference & Campout! 9

JULY 8: • Driftless Music Festival, Eckhart Park, Viroqua • Monarch Festival, Eagle Bluff, Lanesboro

Art on the Green, Harmony, MN Trailhead, 10am-2pm


“Rural Aesthetics” oil paintings by Patricia Canelake (sponsored by Inspire(d) Media) – Opens June 3, 6-8pm through August 6. Lanesboro Arts




fun stuff to do
















Kids 5 4 Archeology Switchback, Day, Effigy Lawn Chair McCaffrey’s, Mounds, Night Decorah, Decorah, 7pm 1-3pm Michelle Lynn, Rocktide, Courthouse, Feeding Leroy River of 7pm w/ Barbaro Q4, Music Series, Driftless Books, Guttenberg Viroqua, 7pm









August 10-20: Iowa State Fair







Lawn Chair Night (out) At Absolute Hoot, McCaffrey’s Night Decorah, the La Crosse Namoli Children’s Gran Fondo Brennet, 7pm Museum, Cedar Falls 5:30pm Chastity Brown, August 19-20: Art In the Park, Driftless Books, Viroqua, 7pm Founders Park, Elkader


AUGUST 26: • Pickling, Drying, and Sugaring Day! Historic Forestville, 10am-4pm • Rugged Toad Adventure Triathlon, Waverly • Rutabaga Brothers, McCaffrey’s, 7pm

Duo-B, Chosen Valley Chamber Music, Chatfield CFA, 4:30pm


COMING UP: 9/2: By the Light of the Lantern, Forestville 9/2: Charles Walker Band, McCaffrey’s, 7pm 9/8: Joe & Vicki Price, Riverside on the Root, Lanesboro, 8pm 9/9: ARTapalooza on Main, Cedar Falls

Mike McAbee, Hideaway, Chaseburg WI 7pm

Lawn Chair Night Decorah, Guttenberg German Band


SAVE THE DATE! Sept 27: Takkefest, Foot-Notes + Vesterheim Outdoor Festival!

National Lawn Chair 23 “Steel Magnolias” Tiffany Strande, Night Decorah, Park Service Cooking with Founders runs through October, Chosen Valley Root River Jam, Heirlooms Commonweal Theatre, Chamber Music, Courthouse, Day Program, Effigy Mounds Workshop, Lanesboro Chatfield CFA, 7pm Seed Savers 4:30pm Lowland Hum, August 25-27: Great River Driftless Books, August 20: Czech Days + Mike McAbee, Protivin Folk Festival, La Crosse Viroqua, 7pm


New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble, Chosen Valley Chamber Music, Chatfield CFA, 4:30pm



“Kodachrome Memory: Both Sides of the Mighty Mississippi, Photographs by Nathan Benn” runs through August 27, MN Marine Art Museum, Winona


August 4: Night (out) At the La Crosse Children’s Museum, 5:30pm

Over the Back Every Tuesday AUGUST 12: Pigtown Lawn Chair Fence, St. Mane, Open Mic, • “Homage to the Home Town” Lanesboro, Fling, Night Opening, Printmaking by Betsy Driftless 7:30pm McCaffrey’s, Decorah, Bowen, Lanesboro Arts, 6-8pm Books & Decorah, Uptown Jazz, • Lonesome Dan Kase w/ Pizzin’ in the Music, 7pm 7pm Boo Bradley, Driftless Books, Wind, River of Viroqua, Viroqua, 7pm Music Series, 7-9pm Guttenberg



“Spoons: Carving. Community.” Opens August 25, Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum, Decorah




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 sidebar box 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 great summer activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

14. July 6-9: Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour. A 3-day tour that meanders in and around the Root River Trail system. Riders will enjoy the local foods, history and scenery along the way. More info at 15. July 8: Mason Jennings Benefit Concert at Seed Savers Exchange with The Pines and Pieta Brown. $25/$30 at the gate. For more info, tickets, and glowin-the-dark t-shirts: 563-382-5990

25W/ $25B

16. July 14-16: Seed Savers Exchange’s annual Conference & Campout. Workshops, keynotes, seed swap, barn dance, great food, community, hayrides, garden tours, more. Register: 563-382-5990 17. July 15: Good Earth Village welcomes their littlest campers yet! Preschoolers, invite an adult to experience camp with you from 9am-1pm! Spring Valley, MN. More at preschool 18. July 16-20: Movement Fundamentals invites you to the world’s greatest moving experience in the world’s greatest venue. Move into your greatest self! Register at registration


404 West Water St, Decorah, Iowa . 563.419.4016 Mon-Fri 10am-4pm . Sat 10am-3pm . ACUPUNCTURE / TUINA / CHINESE MEDICINE / COMMUNITY CLASSES + EDUCATION / UNIQUE SMALL-BATCH HERBAL PRODUCTS

FOR EVERY BODY. Gabi Masek, Dipl.OM, L.Ac / 563-382-4312 drop-ins welcome!

19. July 20-24: Summer Dance Camp invites you to the world’s greatest moving experience in the world’s greatest venue. For ages 10-18. See you there! Register at 20. July 29-30: AAUW-Art Fair on the Green, UW-LaCrosse campus. Largest juried art fair in the LaCrosse area. Sat,10-5pm, Sun,10-4pm. $4 admission, 12 and under free. Proceeds to scholarships. Win Sweepstakes package at 21. August 13: Chosen Valley Chamber Music Series with the New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble, 4:30-5:30pm. Free and open to the public. Chatfield Center for the Arts,

Molly Gallagher, instructor

beginning, continuing, & gentle yoga 110 Washingon Street. Decorah, Iowa . 319.270.4592

22. August 20: Chosen Valley Chamber Music Series featuring Tiffany Strande, 4:30-5:30pm. Free and open to the public. Chatfield Center for the Arts, 23. August 26: Cooking with Heirlooms, Seed Savers Exchange workshop. Savor the diversity of heirloom recipes and forgotten culinary traditions with local chef, Justin Scardina. Register: 563-382-5990 24. August 27: Chosen Valley Chamber Music Series with Duo-B, featuring Luther College faculty Philip Borter and his wife Hirono Borter. 4:30-5:30pm. Free and open to the public. Chatfield Center for the Arts,


restoration & weatherization

Residential & light commercial construction David J. Wadsworth • 563.419.0390 • \ Summer 2017


magic Photo courtsey Crystal Creek Canyon Lodge



Summer 2017 /


A Minnesota couple launches a Citizen-Artist Residency program in their magical Houston, Minnesota, cabin in hopes of connecting artists and residents to create a better region‌and world. \ Summer 2017


Thousands of blooms -1854 farmstead - Plants freshly dug for you!

Oak Hill Farm DAYLILIES 3 MILES S OF PRESTON - 19579 US 52 - 507.696.3251 Open weekends in July. Check Facebook for details df

Photo by Tyler Anderson of Drifltess Visuals


M-F 10-15 • Sat 10-4 • Sun 12-4

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Purl Up & Knit for a Spell Yarn, Knitting & Fiber Art Supplies, Classes, & More! Tues – Wed & Fri: 11 am – 5 pm Sat: 10 am – 4 pm Thurs: 11 am – 8 pm Sun: 12 – 4 pm

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Featuring... fine art, estate jewelry, porcelain, crystal, silver, antiques and home furnishings

1110 North Grand Avenue Charles City, IA 50616 Phone Number 641-220-5100


Summer 2017 /



omewhere around its 100th birthday, Crystal Creek Canyon Lodge moved on up – up a bluff – to Oak Forest Lane just outside of Houston, Minnesota. There, a former owner reassembled the log cabin and built two thoughtful additions. Typical to a country cabin, there are gorgeous views for days, but untypical is that this log house also has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fairly open floor plan, and laundry on-site. Erin Dorbin and Taylor Harris bought the 1890s home in the spring of 2016. “I feel like ‘1890’ is what they say when they’re not sure exactly when a place was built,” Taylor says with a laugh, eight-monthold baby Maple in hand. “I know, right?” Erin agrees, laughing. “Sometime in the late 1800s, anyway, this cabin, we believe, was built in Viroqua, Wisconsin.” Beautiful, old, salvaged doors and windows, exposed beams, and giant porches welcome visitors. Just “cabin-y” enough, the 100-yearold logs peek out from behind the breakfast nook and next to the ladders – yes, ladders – that lead upstairs and downstairs. A love note to the former owners’ kids is etched into the mortar that literally holds the house together. Maple squeals as she plays with a tiny toy giraffe, and their sweet dog Georgia leans in for a pat as rain pitters outside and mist rises from the bluffs surrounding Crystal Creek below. It’s a little bit magic.

So it’s no surprise that finding the cabin was a like finding the proverbial pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Erin was pregnant at the time, and the couple was looking for ways to facilitate careers in two locations. Erin worked in Rochester for Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, a non-profit dedicated to preserving historic buildings and places. Her outreach took her to counties across Southeast Minnesota. Taylor is an eighth-grade social studies teacher in Northeast Minneapolis. They had planned to park their vintage Avion camper at Maple Springs Campground (which even inspired their baby name!) in Forestville, but the universe – aka their future cabin – stepped in. “I found this place and was like, ‘Oooh my gosh!’ Erin says. “I was mad,” Taylor says. “We weren’t planning to buy a house! But it was so amazing. We couldn’t pass it up.” “Seriously! One early foggy morning I took the gorgeous and tightly winding Highway 76 to Caledonia on my way to work. I saw this fox and bird playing together on the side of the road, but they probably weren’t really playing together, they were probably fighting over roadkill,” Erin says with a grin, “But it sure looked like it. And I thought to myself, ‘This is it.’” Erin grew up in Michigan, in a place rural enough to be 15 minutes from the nearest town. So Houston – population under 1000 – seemed just right. “I feel very rooted here,” she says.

Decorative, wearable & functional art

Open Friday Saturday & Sunday 1 - 5 pm

Photo courtsey Crystal Creek Canyon Lodge

gallery 110 Coffee Street Lanesboro, Minnesota . 563-419-0727

Taylor, on the other hand, hails from New York City, although he’s spent the last two decades in the Twin Cities. He feels very rooted there. So the two-home set-up made sense for the young parents, both in their mid-30s. Things went smoothly with the closing on the cabin, and shortly after, Erin and Taylor listed it on Airbnb. They had bookings immediately. “We had to turn people away, in fact,” Erin says. “People would come here to stay and be absolutely taken with the place. In Minnesota, everyone says, ‘Go North,’ but we say, ‘Go Southeast.’” Inspired by a variety of organizations – such as the Wormfarm Institute’s Artist Residency program in Reedsburg, Wisconsin; a wild McKnight grant artist named Dan Senn who produced a sound and video installation in the 90s in the “Catacombs of Yucatan” (Houston, Minnesota); and by the region itself, it didn’t take long for Erin to hatch the idea for the Crystal Creek Citizen-Artist residency program. (Continued on next page) \ Summer 2017


Photos courtesy Crystal Creek Canyon Lodge

“The phrase Citizen-Artist just came to me one day,” Erin says. “It just felt right. It described how I, and other creative professionals, were performing creative and professional community-connected work. It took off from there.” “And I just follow along on the crazy schemes,” Taylor says, laughing. “I hold the baby.” The plan is this: Erin and Taylor will host three (this year four) artists, individually, for week-long residencies during the months of July, August, and September 2017 (those months may vary in future years). Each year, they will select one local or regional artist, and two from outside regions, meaning, beyond the Driftless Region. Artists’ work will be inspired by the Driftless, though, and will help the larger community of Southeast Minnesota reimagine their locale right alongside the citizen-artists-in-residence. The Citizen-Artist program goals are twofold: 1. To introduce people to the Driftless Area of Southeast Minnesota 2. To connect with and leverage Houston County’s natural, social, and cultural assets. A big proponent of the program was that the Citizen-Artists-in-Residence (CAIRs) didn’t need to have a “traditional” fine art background. Erin and Taylor welcomed writers, chefs, social scientists, historians, podcasters, dancers, musicians – you name it – to apply. “We wanted to broaden the perception of what art means to people and institutions in Houston Co. Minnesota – it can be place-based; it can be interactive; it can influence civic matters,” Erin and Taylor say together, one idea on top of the other. “It’s not necessarily rural or urban, either; it’s art for everyone.” The amazing luck that seemed to follow Crystal Creek Canyon Lodge continued


of Bluff Country

Biking . Shopping . Theatre . Art . Food . Fun! 18

Summer 2017 /

through the CAIRs project – “Cabin Porn,” a popular cabin-living book and website, picked up Erin’s CitizenArtist Facebook post and shared it. That post got an 18,000 reach. Their first application came from Montana. So while Erin and Taylor can’t get a cell phone call out at Crystal Creek Canyon Lodge, they can get artists all the way from Victoria B.C. and New York. “There were at least nine applicants that we really would have loved to have come, but we finally settled on four,” Erin says. “One residency is being shared by two CAIRs.” The 2017 CAIRs are as follows: 1. Harry Graff Kimball, a place-based songwriter from New York 2. Melissa Wray and Todd Melby, from the Twin

507-467-2696 •

250 artists. 7 days a week. 1 gallery. celebra



Cities as the regional representation and shared residency. Both artists host podcasts and are excited to interview the people of Houston County while exploring the tension between rural and urban life. 3. Cimarron Corpé, a geographer and multimedia artist from Victoria, B.C. “I wanted to find a way to expose people to this area, and know they’ll leave with a little piece of it in their hearts. The CAIRs won’t just be tourists, they’ll hopefully become part of the place; residents (Continued on next page)





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themselves, even if for a brief amount of time,” Erin says. “After they leave, they can connect their experiences here in Southeast Minnesota with their own larger communities and global networks. Although funding wasn’t totally in place when Erin and Taylor jumped into the project, Houston Arts Resource Council (HARC) quickly came on board as an active partner. “HARC is committed to creating vibrant communities in Southeast Minnesota through promoting arts and cultural programming. I would love it if new ideas were generated in Houston County that can help pave the path for the region as a whole,” Erin says. Other area partners – local arts, history, and community organizations – are also working with Erin and Taylor to help realize their vision. To further facilitate community interaction, there will be workshops and meet-and-greet sessions in different locations – from coffee shops to visitors’ centers. Plus, next spring, a Citizen-Artist Showcase is planned to promote works created during the residency, and to hopefully inspire other rural arts activities in Houston County. “I wanted to be a conduit for connecting all these things,” Erin says. “I’ve worked in economic development, planning, education, historic preservation, and – although I’m not totally comfortable saying this – I’ve worked as an artist too. So I’ve infused everything I’ve done with this creative vision.” Her passion for the project and Houston County, as a whole, is evident. “I really want to trigger our local assets,” Erin says. “Let people come here with fresh eyes and let the people of our community look at things with fresh eyes, and together find a way to make life here in the Driftless even better.” Aryn Henning Nichols was taken, herself, with the magic of Houston County and Crystal Creek Canyon Lodge. She thinks connecting people in the region and larger world to make life better is what we should all strive to do, everyday, and this project is a great step in that direction!

learn more about the summer 2017 cairs Inspire(d) caught up with each of the 2017 Citizen-Artists in Residence via email to ask a few questions about their upcoming trips to the area, and why they applied. For full Q&A, visit, and for more details about the CAIRs project, check Residency 1: July 16-22: Harry Graff Kimball, from New York Meet & Greet: July 18 Workshop: July 20 Harry Graff Kimball is a songwriter, producer, and builderstoryteller. A classical guitarist by early training and a member of the late ‘90s, almost-almost-famous NYC indie group Ensimismada, Harry is also the bassist and co-founder of Los Chinches, the only group ever described as a “Pavement-meets-Dead Kennedys” revelation. He is “a halfway-decent carpenter, an inveterate tinkerer, and a budding amp maker. He writes speeches to pay the bills.”


Summer 2017 /

Photo by Crystal Creek Canyon Lodge

“The thought certainly crossed my mind: ‘Why should I go to rural Minnesota for a week to write songs?’ But seeing Erin and Taylor’s enthusiasm in the words they put down, and feeling the vibrancy and beauty of the region and the people that live there made it easy, even necessary. ‘Of course I should! There are a lot of songs there, and I bet people there are already writing them!’” – Harry Graff Kimball, New York Residency 2: Aug 12-18: Melissa Wray/Todd Melby, Minneapolis Meet & Greet: Aug 14 Workshop: Aug 16 ​Community and stories are at the heart of Melissa Wray’s creative work. Melissa co-founded Hazel & Wren in 2011, a community resource organization for writers. As a writer herself,

she mostly writes poetry and creative nonfiction. She is the Marketing Coordinator at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, where she produces The Loft Podcast. She grew up on a sheep farm near Caledonia, Minnesota. “I’ve constantly felt this tug between my two ideas of home. One home is this rural environment that taught me so many things about community strength, the importance of the natural world, and my roots. The other home is the vibrant urban environment in which I’ve been able to build a sustainable career working in the nonprofit arts world, grow as an individual, and meet my now-husband.

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This rural-urban divide is even more poignant now as our nation faces the reality of this same tension. I had already been developing ideas for creative projects that address this, and knew that this residency was the perfect place to start, back where it all started for me: home.” – Melissa Wray, Minneapolis





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Todd Melby is a reporter, interactive producer and filmmaker. He’s best known as lead producer of Black Gold Boom, a public media project documenting North Dakota’s oil boom – and bust. His radio stories have aired on MPR, Marketplace, and The World. He’s also a senior producer at 2 below zero, a public media nonprofit, and has created interactive and television documentaries, including one which recently aired on PBS stations. In 2013, he was awarded a McKnight Media Artist Fellowship. His newest project is the podcast The Drunk Projectionist. “I plan to wander and talk to anyone who is willing to talk with me: teens playing basketball, guys smoking outside of bars, farmers sipping coffee at the local cafe at 6 a.m., whatever. I’d also ask those connected with the residency to recommend elders or anyone else they think might have a great story to tell.” – Todd Melby, Minneapolis Residency 3: Sept 10-16: Cimarron Corpé, Victoria, B.C. Meet & Greet: Sept 12 Workshop: Sept 14 Cimarron Corpé is a human geographer whose interests focus on landscapes and the role sound and images play in our orientation and construction of place. He has lectured and presented creative works internationally, on topics such as physical and human geography, environmental science, and sustainability. Cimarron is currently Director of Policy Development with the Province of British Columbia, where he leads projects including technical building requirements, energy efficiency, accessibility, and climate leadership. “There are very few other residencies that encourage chefs, podcasters, community organizers, and artists to apply. This is a very innovative and forward thinking approach.” – Cimarron Corpé, Victoria, B.C.

Read full interviews with each CAIR at For more information about the Crystal Creek Citizen-Artist Residency, visit 22

Summer 2017 /

Only 30 minutes away from Decorah, this full service community offers a variety of great dining options, unique antique, furniture & gift shops, & exciting recreational opportunities. Explore Niagara Cave, tour the Amish countryside, & pedal your way through 60 miles of paved bike trail! Harmony also offers a wide array of services businesses ready to meet your every need.

Welcome to HARMONY, MINNESOTA MADE LOCAL • SOLD LOCAL • SHOP LOCAL /thebomboutiqueonmain 507-886-4584

Best 20 feet of bar in SE MN!


38 N Main Ave

31 Main Ave N • Harmony, MN From burgers to salads to steak dinner, served with homemade bread. Plus tasty pizzas, soups, & chili! Takeout available!



Lunch & dinner 7 days/week • Breakfast on Sat and Sun

Pizza Wraps Salads Burgers Sandwiches Soup Home of Julie’s Famous Homemade Pies


Chef/Owner Matt Brown 121 Main Avenue N 507.886.1234 Celebrating our 16th year in business! Homemade is the key to our success!

Niagara Cave & Mini Golf Nationally recognized as one of the Top Ten Caves in the United States

On our 1-hour guided tour…


Mon - Sat 10-5 Sun 11-4 We deliver anywhere!

• Hike 1 mile underground to depths of 200 ft. • Discover fossils ~450 million years old • See delicate & massive cave formations • Temperature is 48° F (9°C) • Walking shoes are recommended

Also enjoy…

• Miniature Golf • Concessions • Gemstone Mining • Picnic Grounds • Unique Gifts

Contact Us: 570 Main Ave N., Harmony, MN 55939 507-886-2777 •

507- 886 - 6606 - Road 30 29842 County

Harmony, MN 55939

\ Summer 2017 For a FREE Visitor Guide, call 1-800-288-7153 or visit us on the web



C u lt u r e

impact coffeE bar & roasters

H i sto ry Interview & Photos by Benji Nichols


co m m u n i t y 405 Main St S Chatfield, MN 5 0 7- 8 8 4 -76 76

n a world that seems to move faster with each passing day, a true attention to detail is something that stands out. A perfectly matted and framed piece of art; a beautifully honed bench in a compact space; coffee beans transported halfway across the world, to be roasted, brewed, and served to perfection. These are traits of a craftsperson – or, for this story, craftspeople: Decorah husband and wife team Jeff and Anja Brown, and their sons Sean and Kai.

c h at f i e l d c fa .c o m


Summer 2017


Kai Brown serves up a pour-over on a sunny Decorah morning. \ Summer 2017


From top left: Impact Coffee Bar offers everything from pour-overs to nitro coffee to delicious smoothies; The design of the space is filled with great details and lovely art; Jeff Brown inspects a bean at the Impact Roastery. Opposite page: Sean, Jeff, Anja, and Kai pose for a family photo.

Impact Coffee Bar and Roasters is a young business, but for almost three decades Jeff and Anja have served the community through The Perfect Edge, now in its fourth downtown location, where they offer high quality professional art framing and matting services. It makes sense that the level of skill needed to frame literal works of art would follow through to anything else the couple touches – from the careful remodeling of old buildings to the roasting of a specialty batch of Yemen

coffee beans. Arguably one of the greatest adventures of owning a small business is that inspiration (and opportunity) can strike at any moment. It was one of those chance opportunities that eventually led Anja to move the framing shop (for the third time!) to the beautiful space at 106 Washington Street, a former century-old cobbler and shoe shop (rail ladders still

custom GLAM for


& more!

930 Division St. Cresco, Iowa OPEN TUES-SAT BY APPOINTMENT OR CHANCE 563.379.7583


Summer 2017 /


intact). Meanwhile, just down the block, 118 Washington became home base for the now-expanded Impact Coffee, a “third wave” – as they say in the business – roaster and coffee bar. Much the way microbreweries have grown in recent decades, “third wave” coffee has shifted the bean business from mass commodity to a craft that honors the product’s finest nuances. From grocery store tins to the mid-century rise of Italian-influenced espresso cafes to the onset of worldwide café chains, a culture has grown, giving the utmost attention to fairly sourcing, processing, roasting, and serving single-origin coffee beans. This transformation of a rather humble agricultural product into a truly artisanal beverage is indeed an art, and Impact Coffee captures that. Beans are coaxed through the roasting process to bring out the subtle flavors of their source – from Kona, Hawaii to the Lake Kivu area of Rwanda. The differences can be immense, much like grapes to wine, and result in a truly stunning cup of coffee. Jeff Brown is the man behind (well in front of, really) the roaster at Impact’s processing facility, jumping through multiple regions and batches of beans on any given day. He’s also the preparer of beautiful amounts of cold-brewed coffee – a process that can take more than 12 hours before it is kegged. These cold brews get served over ice through a nitrogen-charged tap system at the café,

which produces a coffee with rich mouth-feel, smooth, yet exact flavors, and a great kick. The Brown’s sons, Sean and Kai, are both involved in the business, and can often be found behind the counter serving up single origin pour-overs, frothy lattes, locally baked goods, tea, and more. The Brown family has clearly found their sum in Downtown Decorah, and we’re Inspire(d) by that! 1. Tell us about your “leap” moment. When/ how did you decide to jump in and become your own boss? Our “leap” moment was a gradual one. We met our former partners through The Perfect Edge three years ago. They were selling their roasted coffee at the farmers market and we offered them a retail space so they could have a permanent outlet in Decorah. From there, the idea grew to replace the gallery space with a small coffee shop. Shortly thereafter our partners got an excellent job opportunity and sold us their roasting equipment. Impact Coffee Bar & Roasters was born. The name refers to the asteroid that hit Decorah 470 million years ago and created its distinct crater. The decision to take over a new business was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. But we could see that we had the enthusiastic backing and support of the community. When you look at the coffee bar now, it is full of pieces offered by the community and friends: the old archway, the tin ceiling pieces, the barn wood, a humungous old photograph of Decorah, etc. 2.What is the best thing about being your own boss? The best thing is that when you have a crazy idea for your business, you go ahead and do it. You own it. Making your own way, seeing it through. The

207 College Drive, Decorah 563-380-3610 Open 7 Days A Week


LIVE WHERE YOU LOVE LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE Jeff Scott . 563-379-1101 \ Summer 2017


satisfaction of knowing you did it and have sustained it, making it into a thriving business. And we are lucky that Sean and Kai joined us and are running the coffee shop. Who knows what the future holds, but for now we can say we are a familyrun business.

5. Mentors or role models?

Some days you just don’t want to be responsible for anything. You just can’t hand it off. Again, you own it. Being a small business owner means you don’t get to clock out at 5. Whatever the issue is, you need to deal with it for as long as it takes.

Anja: Watching the way of life of my grandmother and my parents. Even through difficult times, the goal is always to do your job well and with pride. Maybe that is the infamous German trait I’ve heard so much about since coming to this country... Jeff: I’d say all the entrepreneurs and small business owners were and are an inspiration. Hard work, integrity, and good customer service... the heart of any business.

4. Was there ever a hurdle where you said, “I just can’t do it!”? How did you overcome it?

6. What’s the one thing you wish you had known before you started?

3. How about the worst?

Loosing our partners shortly after opening the coffee bar was a stressful time. While we had crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s, we had not worked on an exit strategy, which is an important factor when going into business with someone. But we are so lucky to have a wonderful community and friends who gave us great advice and moral support. That gave us the energy to move forward. And we could never have made the transition without our two sons.

Sometimes it’s probably best that you don’t know! It forces you to be creative, to keep an open mind, and to trust yourself. We had been running The Perfect Edge for the last 28 years when the opportunity to get into the coffee business presented itself. This transition happened fairly quickly but things seemed to fall into place one idea at a time. We knew that running two businesses was going to change our lives, but now that we’ve settled into our separate roles, we’ve adjusted well. With Jeff running the roastery and coffee shop now, we can finally come home and say: “How was your day, honey?”

Tap Room us today a meal, drink, or a lovely stay! • • 104 E. Water St. Decorah, IA • 1.800.998.4164 Summer 2017for / 28Visit

Above: Custom-made booths to fit the space, and a “humungous” old photo of Decorah offered to the Browns from a community member. Right: Green beans before roasting

7. Tips on managing work life balance It’s good to have passion for life AND for work. The satisfaction of loving what you do carries over into life. And when things get crazy it’s the small moments of joy that carry you through: a hug, a nice walk through the woods, getting your fingers dirty in the garden soil or making dinner together with friends.




2041 State Hwy 9. Decorah, Iowa • Book your stay at • \563-382-8800 29 Summer 2017

Summ fun! Summer should be all about fun, playing outside, spending time with family, & enjoying all the good stuff that comes with longer days and these warm, magic-filled nights. Here are some things we plan to do this summer… maybe you’ll want to add them to your list too! XO

Catch fireflies!

Explore caves

(Check out our cool - pun! - reviews of local Driftless caves at

#moregirlsonbikes It doesn’t matter where you ride – we’ve got a bike for you to try! Join a FWD – Fearless Women of Dirt ride! DETAILS ONLINE!


Summer 2017 / • 101 College Dr. Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-8209

Make a wish on a shooting star

(and enjoy other stars while you wait)! Summer meteor showers for your calendar: The Delta Aquariids – July 30 The Perseids – August 12

s’More smores! It’s a simple recipe (graham crackers, roasted marshmallow, chocolate) for such a sweet summer tradition.

Knowledgeable staff • Great Gifts • Book Signings

Hooray! We’re celebrating 5 years in business! Bestsellers plus special interest: gardening, Scandinavian, cooking, poetry, children’s books & more…even e-books! 563-382-4275 • 112 West Water Street, Decorah

Looking for more ideas to keep your kids active and engaged? Check out our big list of fun kids summer activities at! (continued on next page)


Let our authentic trolleys transport you in style on your wedding day!


bar menu available + DON’T MISS OUR WINE SHOP!

117 WEST WATER STREET, DECORAH . 563.382.WINE Rubaiyat gift certificates are always a great idea!

Or around town on one of our Decorah Trolley Tours! More info: 563.419.8902 . \ Summer 2017


ACUPUNCTURE • QIGONG • HERBAL MEDICINE • 563.382.9309 • 309 W. Broadway, Decorah

Summ fun!

Daylily farm!

Join us for Qigong! Classes Wed: 5:30 pm . Tues & Thurs: 8:15 am


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118 Washington St. Decorah, Iowa

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Disc golf on a fun farm!

There’s another Southeast Minnesota farm we’ve heard has some cool offerings: Sweet 16 Farm near Houston, Minnesota – on, you guessed it, Highway 16. They not only have a Friday (6-8 pm) and Saturday (8-10 am) farm stand, but a 20-hole disc golf course too! The par 3 course features shorter distance fairways with naturally occurring hazards –tall grass prairie, ravines, a pond, through the woods… you get it! Fun adventure! Mason Jennings at Seed Savers

A summer concert under the stars is always lovely. Add to that the gardens of Seed Savers and singer-songwriter Mason Jennings joined by folk rock band The Pines plus songwriter Pieta Brown, and it’s downright magical. This benefit concert couldn’t happen last year because of flooding, so we’re excited it’s on the calendar for July 8 this year! Visitors can head out to Seed Savers early for wine or beer and a garden tour with Diane Ott Whealy at 6 pm. Doors open at 5 and the concert begins at 7 pm. Food vendors and cash bar will be offered, and primitive camping is available for $15. Tickets and details at Check out Inspire(d)’s 2016 interview with Jennings at Driftless Winery Events! 563.419.3141 Single origin pour overs. Nitro Cold Brew. Bulk Coffee. 32

An 1854 farmstead filled with daylilies?! Fun! And what a sight! More than a hundred varieties of daylilies – literally thousands of blooms – grow on Oak Hill Farm just south of Preston on Highway 52. They are open weekends when the lilies are blooming – usually the month of July until early August, or by appointment (507-696-3251). You can stop by just to see the flowers, but it might be hard to resist taking some home (in case you can’t, they dig the plants for you)!

Summer 2017 /

Cool events alert: Empty Nest in rural Waukon is hosting fun wine releases, live music on the patio, and their ever-popular murder mystery dinner theaters (advance tickets only). Check for details. And north of us at Four Daughters Winery near Spring Valley, Minnesota, they’re offering up “dine in the vines” evenings, where visitors can enjoy a 10-course meal under the full moon (advance reservations). Plus, they’re planning free outdoor movies all summer From Under the Tuscan Sun to Wanye’s World to Field of Dreams to Twister! Check for details. Movie night note: No outside food or drinks allowed, but options for a pre-order picnic basket or pizza and salad are available, plus movie snacks. Bring your own blankets or chairs.

FARMERS MARKETS ALLAMAKEE COUNTY Harpers Ferry - Church Parking Lot Friday, 5-7 pm June - October Lansing - Main Street Plaza Saturday, 9 am - noon June - mid-October Waukon - Fairgrounds Monday, 3:30-6:00 pm June - September

CHICKASAW COUNTY Fredericksburg N. Washington & E. Main Street Wednesdays, 3- 5 pm June - October New Hampton (Accepts WIC/FMNP/EBT) Car Quest Parking lot Thursdays, 4-6 pm June - September

CLAYTON COUNTY Edgewood - City Park Friday, 2-5 pm June - end September Elkader Keystone Bridge City Park Saturday, 8:30 am-noon May - October Garnavillo 201 N. Main. City Park Saturday, 8:30 - 11 am May - October Guttenberg River Park Drive - City Park Saturday, 8 am - noon End May - early October Marquette Driftless Area Wetlands Centre Friday, 4-7 pm End of May - Mid October Monona - Gateway Park Wednesday, 3 - 6 pm End May - Early October Strawberry Point (Accepts WIC/FMNP) Inger Park Wednesday, 4-6 pm End May- September Volga City Park Friday, 4-6 pm June - September

FAYETTE COUNTY Elgin Town & Country Market Elgin City Park Thursday, 5:30-7 pm May - End September Fayette Open Air Market 305 W. Water Street Shelter Wednesday, 3-5 pm Mid May - Mid October



Oelwein (Accepts WIC/FMNP/SNAP) Hwy 150 & Hwy 3 Monday, 3-6 pm Friday, 8-11 am Mid May - October



HOWARD COUNTY Chester - City Park Thursday, 1-4 pm June - October Cresco (Accepts WIC/FMNP) 2nd St & 1st Ave, Grube’s N. Lot Tuesday, 2- 5:30 pm Friday, 2-5:30 pm May - October Lime Springs - Brown Park Saturdays, 9 am-Noon Late May - October Protivin - City Park Wednesday, 2:30-5:30 pm Late May - October Riceville (Accepts WIC/FMNP) 203 Main Street (Hwy 9) Saturday, 9-11:30 am May - October

WINNESHIEK COUNTY Decorah (Winneshiek) (Accepts WIC/FMNP/EBT) City Lot behind Oneota Coop Wednesdays, 3-6 pm Saturdays, 8-11am May 1 - October 31

WISCONSIN Prairie Street Farmers Market Lucky Park, 312 W. Blackhawk Saturdays, 8 am - 1 pm Early May - Mid October Gays Mills - Lions Club Park (Accepts WIC/FMNP) Wednesday, 2-6 pm Mid May - End October Ferryville Market in the Park Saturdays, 9 am - 3 pm End May - End October Farmers Market Nutrition Programs WIC = Women, Infants, Children SN = Senior SNAP EBT (Food Assistance) can be used to buy fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, baked goods,honey, cheese, herbs, jelly and jam, etc. You may not use EBT for hot prepared foods or hot drinks.


Special Pull-Out Section - Paid Advertisement


V Vegetables, flowers, herbs F Fruit M Meat, Seafood, & Dairy

ALLAMAKEE COUNTY Empty Nest Winery - O R

Waukon, (563) 568-2758 18 Handcrafted fruit wines Rent the winery for events or parties (See Ad)

E Eggs O Other Products: Baked goods, honey, syrup FS Farmstand R Restaurant or Store

Sauser Farms - V

Hazleton, (319) 481-8737 Vegetables, melons, herbs, pumpkins Great fresh cut flowers


Peake Orchards, Inc. - V O FS

Nature Haven Farm - V F E O FS

WW Homestead Dairy - M O R


Waukon – (563) 419-0449 Great apple varieties incl. Honeycrisp Family-run orchard Farm Stand, mid Sept-Thanksgiving

Waukon, (563) 568-4950 Ice cream parlor and retail store Online store and wholesale delivery (See Ad)

BUCHANAN COUNTY Golden Valley Farm - V

Dan & Nancy Hayes Stanley - (319) 240-0257 Asparagus, Late-April to Mid-June Farmers Markets and Wholesale

Vic & Kay Vifian Garnavillo - (563) 880-6522 Chemical free produce, Eggs Farmstand featuring local products

Apples on the Avenue - V F O FS

Nashua – S. on Hwy 218. (641) 210-5506 U-Pick & Pre-picked apples, eggs, goodies Farmstand open mid-August

Low Oaks Farm - V E M

Waucoma, (563) 202-0399 Organic produce, egg, grass-fed lamb Decorah & Cedar Rapids Dtwn Mkts Traditional CSA Shares -

FAYETTE COUNTY Country View Dairy - M FS

Hawkeye, (563) 422-8633 Original & Greek Farmstead yogurt Visit our Farmstand for some frozen yogurt (See Ad)

FJM Produce - F V M

Francis Martin Wadena - (563) 774-2023 Produce, heritage turkeys

Gordon’s Gardens - Gordon Murray-John V

Maynard, (563) 637-2766 Oelwein, Independence Farmers Markets

Indulgence Pork - M

Chad Ingels Family Randalia - (563) 920-5899 Pork - whole or half hogs available Delivered to local lockers

Unionland Market - V F M E O R

West Union, (563) 422-5022 Healthy, fresh, and locally grown products Pet and animal feeds and much more! Unionland Market on Facebook (See Ad)

WINNESHIEK COUNTY Canoe Creek Produce - V M

Barbara Kraus Decorah, (563) 382-4899 Vegetables, herbs, lamb, cut flowers Winn. Farmers Mkt, Oneota Coop, & more

Iowa Food Hub - V F M E O

Driftless Hills Farm - M

Kahler’s Korner - V FS

G It’s Fresh - F V

Shrimptastic - M FS

Humble Hands Harvest - V

Timber Ridge Gardens - V O

Kymar Acres - V E O FS

West Union - (563) 422-6226 Local Food Wholesale Distributor Community Food Boxes - Delivery service (See Ad)

Phil, Deb and Tatum Kahler Elgin, (563) 426-5293 Pumpkins, gourds and more Open mid-Sept-Oct 31, daylight hours

Fayette, (563) 425-3232 Saltwater Pacific white shrimp Check out their farm store (See Ad)

Sara and Randi Vagts West Union - (563) 422-5844 Chemical-free Produce & Angelfood cakes Decorah Farmers Market

Calmar – (563) 277-2340 All natural, grass-fed lamb Restaurants and individuals

Glen & Elizabeth Elsbernd Calmar, Certified organic vegetables Custom transplants available

Hannah Breckbill & Emily Fagen Decorah, 507-513-1502 Traditional & market CSA shares available

Waukon, Winn, Waukon, Marquette, Harpers Mkts Vegetables and bedding plants Specialty baked goods and jams

local organic

Where & aren't just a corner of our store, they are the cornerstone of our cooperative business. Water Street Caf é f r e s h .

o r g a n i c .

l o c a l .


312 West Water Street • Decorah Co-op 563.382.4666 • kitchen COOPErative Monday-Saturday 8:00-8:30 • Sunday 10-7 classroom everyone can shop everyone welcome no membership required

FOOD decorah, iowa

Patchwork Green Farm Erik Sessions and Sara Peterson (563)387-0837

Find us at the Decorah Farmers' Market from June-October. CSA Market Shares now available.

Oneota Slopes Farm - M O


Andy & Emily Johnson Decorah, 563-382-0537 Grass-fed meats; Christmas trees

Patchwork Green Farm - V

Decorah, (563) 387-0837 Fresh, organic produce Farmers Market and CSA (See Ad)

River Root Farm - Decorah - V

(563) 382-6249 Certified organic seedlings & produce

Rubaiyat - R


Tom and Maren Beard Decorah, Pasture-raised lamb Wood fired pizza Fridays starting Sept 1

Oneota Co-op - V F M E O R

Decorah, (563) 382-4666 Organic, local & sustainably produced products since 1974. (See Ad)

117 West Water Street Decorah, (563) 382-WINE Bringing local producers to your table

Top of the Hollow Organic Farm - V

Decorah – (563) 380-8344 Certified organic produce, potatoes Winn Farmers Market & special order

Upper Iowa Organics, LLC

Marty Grimm Decorah – (563) 419-2222 Bulk compost & composted manure M-F, 8-5; Call on weekends

Learn more about buying local at


This directory is organized by the Northeast Iowa Food & Farm Coalition and its partners. Visit for more information on the farmers listed in the directory.

GNOMEBOOKS! \ Summer 2017




Summer 2017 /

Outdoor Benefit Concert Under The Stars

JULY 8, 2017 | 7 pm



Tickets available at | 563-382-5990

3094 North Winn Road Decorah, Iowa |

@waikebotanicals Small-batch Herbalism Hand-crafted in Decorah, Iowa

Liniments • salves • body oils • loose-herb incense blends • face + hair care products – all made with a combination of Chinese & Western herbs

Patchwork Green Farm Erik Sessions and Sara Peterson (563)387-0837

Find us at the Decorah Farmers' Market from June-October. CSA Market Shares now available.



563-382-3067 \ Summer 2017


Community Supported Agriculture is a beautiful thing. It can also be an overwhelming thing! We are here to help, with some tips, recipes, and bulk-cooking fun! By Aryn Henning Nichols Photos by Anne Bohl

Chances are, you’ve heard of Community Supported Agriculture, AKA CSA (look at all those acronyms!). If you haven’t, here’s how it works: Community members pay up front – often ahead of time in the winter – for a CSA “share”. In exchange, members get boxes of vegetables, fruit, and other lovely produce in the summer. Weekly food presents! Hooray! It’s a great way to access healthy, local produce when it’s tastiest and in season. It also brings eater and grower together: They share the risk that comes with each growing season (weather, pest damage, floods, etc) and also share the reward of a successful season. “One of my favorite things about being a farmer in Northeast Iowa is getting to connect with so many people at farmer’s market and through CSA who are really excited about locally grown food and making that connection with where their food comes from,” says Anne Bohl of Low Oaks Farm, a small, certified organic farm in Waucoma, Iowa – about 30 miles southwest of Decorah.

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Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, Inc. | Gundersen Clinic, Ltd. | 15177-3 0417


Summer 2017 /

Photo by Jessica Rilling

Anne and her partner, Lew Klimesh, grow an assortment of vegetables, flowers, and herbs, with sustainable practices always at the forefront. “We wholeheartedly believe that happy people and communities start with healthy food and an unpolluted environment,” they write on their website, Their farm “ecosystem” is comprised of one acre of vegetables, two colonies of bees, a herd of sheep, a flock of laying hens, and – recently added – a couple of goats. They sell 20 CSA shares each year, and distribute them at the Winneshiek Farmers Market in Decorah on Wednesdays, where they sell produce to regular market-goers as well. Each CSA box comes with a list of what’s inside, how to store it, and recipes and tips for getting the most out that week’s share. “There are so many things to love about Community Supported Agriculture!” Anne says. “As a farmer, it means an income stream during the winter when I am buying seeds and supplies. It also means I know a portion of what I am growing is already sold. Both things enable me to continue running Low Oaks Farm. For a shareholder, CSA allows you to truly eat seasonally and locally. In a way, I think it’s easier to plan your meals like this because you have a starting point.” She and Lew enjoy putting the CSA boxes together; it really is like packing up a present. “My favorite thing is thinking about how all the vegetables could be used together in my CSA member’s kitchens,” Anne says. “For example, adding some parsley, potatoes, and leeks to an October share surely means potato leek soup. Or, tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant most definitely screams ratatouille.” For the consumer, it’s fun to “unwrap” the CSA share each week, and an equally fun challenge to figure out ways to use the ingredients up.

A typical mid-summer Low Oaks Farm CSA box might look like this: Savoy Cabbage Beets Rainbow Chard Green Beans Broccoli Fresh, Sweet Walla Walla Onions Cucumbers Asian Eggplant Or this: Lettuce Head Carrots Kale Zucchini Celery Fresh Pearl Drop Onions Cucumbers Italian Flat Leaf Parsley Fresh Garlic Anne – and some skilled Low Oaks CSA members – helped us compile a handful of recipes and tips. It’s true: Using all the ingredients in a CSA box is a skill, and it can be learned! Don’t feel overwhelmed: A little prep and planning can lead to a satisfying week of fresh, local food, and amazing new dishes (plus delicious summer flavors in the depths of winter)! What’s that vegetable? Who can eat THAT much lettuce? Ah, the guilt! Those veggies are going bad!

Have you ever said these things when unpacking your CSA box or looking in your fridge? You are not alone. Read on, friend, and get ready to feel like one awesome local-food-eating human. (continued on next page)

Harmony . Preston . Lanesboro . Fountain . Whalan . Peterson . Rushford . Rushford Village . Houston

Adventure is closer than you think! Make it a summer for the Root River Trail Towns . SE Minnesota \ Summer 2017


1. Make room in your fridge.

Still have stuff from your last CSA? Blanch it (see a how-to below) and freeze it. Turn it into pesto. Whip up a hodgepodge pasta or cold grain salad (see recipes below) and get ready for CSA day!

2. Unpack!

Check out what’s inside this week’s box. Read what your farmer has to say about the produce, look up recipes online, and make a plan. Try to schedule CSA prep time on your calendar. It’s fun, and it will pay off big-time in terms of keeping things fresh and meal planning later in the week. Plan a few larger recipes that will have leftovers for lunches or quick meals. Tonight, though, have a simple dinner at the ready – pizza night for the win!

Nordic Fest is...


27-28-29 2017


Summer 2017 /

NoRdi 2 0 1 7 GraS julY 2 7-28-29 dECoRaH, iOwAn0

NoRdiC FeSt

Want to take this whole bulkcooking, CSA thing one more step? Check out the Oneota Community Co-op’s CSA class series this summer! Learn more at

Prep Tips:

• As a general rule, use tender greens and any fruits or veggies that look like they were picked ripeand-ready-to-go early on in the week. Roots, bulbs, and squash last a while, so save them for later. • Wash and prep all greens – salad spinners are your friends! Storing everything correctly will help it last longer. Use your salad spinner for your greens.

At Inspire(d) HQ, we use our spinner to store lettuce in the fridge. Bag what doesn’t fit in the spinner with a paper towel to absorb any extra moisture. If you have a lot of greens, think now about making pesto or blanching greens for the freezer. Remember: Cut the greens off radishes, beets, kohlrabi, carrots, etc. – they suck moisture from the veggies. Some of those greens are good to eat as well – check with your farmer or online for tips. We like to throw beet greens in our salads! (continued on next page) \ Summer 2017


3. Keep it simple. Is it good to eat raw? Chop into snack-sized bites and, well, snack! 4. Eggs go with (almost) anything! (See recipe on pg 47.) 5. The freezer is your friend “Some veggies I like to freeze: Blanched celery because it is sooooo flavorful in season and works great for soups/stews, chopped bell peppers, pesto in ice cube trays, jars of salsa or tomato sauce,” Anne says. “I like the tomato sauce to be super plain, just a little salt and pepper added. That way I can make it into anything: enchilada sauce, pizza sauce, pasta sauce.” 6. Pesto is a magical meal-maker! And you can make pesto out of so many vegetables: arugula, kale, broccoli, parsley, etc. (See recipe next pg.)

Low Oaks Farm in Waucoma, Iowa

7. Sharing is caring. Do you know you’re going to be out of town or if there’s a vegetable you’re just not going to eat? Share the bounty with a friend or neighbor!

Offering over 40,000 plants!

Iowa's #1


Garden Center Just 30 minutes south of Decorah

Decorah K&K Gardens

108 E. Wilbur St, Hawkeye, Iowa • 563.427.5373 • Open daily May - October


Quinoa – or other cooked grain – is a great starting point for a meal. Make the recipe at left, or switch it up: Add in tofu or chicken. Substitute feta for pesto. Leave out the nuts, throw in olives. Squeeze in some lemon, or chop up some fresh herbs. Be creative!

Simple Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

1. Cut in halves, toss with olive oil and salt, and roast in 400-degree oven until caramelized. Cool, then put in jars with oil from pan, and freeze. 2. These are great defrosted and tossed in pesto pasta, put on pizzas, or in cold grain salads. Quinoa Salad

1 T or so extra-virgin olive oil Salt, to taste 1 small onion, chopped 3 cups cooked quinoa (or barley, brown rice, or other favorite grain, cooked accordingly) 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen 1 1/2 cups kale, spinach or other hearty green, finely chopped 1/3 cup pesto (recipe below) 1/3 cup slivered almonds (or walnuts, cashews, or other favorite nut) 1/4 cup roasted cherry tomatoes (see recipe ^) In a large skillet or pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion with a sprinkle of salt and cook for a minute or two. Stir in the quinoa and corn and cook until sizzling. Stir in the kale, cooking until wilted. Remove from heat and stir in the pesto and nuts. Salt to taste. Pour onto serving dish or into bowls or plates, and top with roasted cherry tomatoes. Serves 4 - 6.




Shutterstock / Natalie Board

open 7 days • fresh & organic produce • grocery • in-house bakery • full-service meat & seafood • made-from-scratch deli soups &

Walnut Pesto

sandwiches • vegetarian & gluten-

1/2 C walnuts (or pine nuts if you prefer) 2 cloves garlic 3 cups packed basil leaves (or arugula, kale, broccoli, parsley) 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 freshly ground black pepper 1/3 C olive oil (or more if needed) 1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese 1-2 tsp lemon juice

free options • specialty cheeses •

Place basil (or other veg), walnuts, garlic, salt and pepper, and olive oil in food processor. Blend until thoroughly combined. Add Parmesan and blend 5-10 seconds more. Splash in lemon juice to taste. Add additional salt to taste, if needed. For storing, a layer of olive oil on top keeps the pesto from browning. It also freezes great, so double the batch to get a little summer freshness when winter hits! (continued on next page)

coffee & tea bar • cosmetics • body care • vitamins • wine & beer • local food & favorites

La Crosse 315 5th Avenue South 608-784-5798 Rochester 519 1st Avenue SW 507-289-9061

Good. Honest. Local. \ Summer 2017


m i e h r e t s e V Visit s g Connection

Creatin itions d a r T g in iv L through igrant History Art School • Imm s • Folk ld-class Exhibition


Shop for Scandinavian Gifts in Vesterheim’s

Museum Store

Sweaters, Jewelry, T-shirts, Art Supplies, Books, and more

Open all year in scenic Decorah, Iowa! Guided tours of 12 historic buildings in Open Air Division available daily from May 1 - Oct. 31.

What’s happening in the world of Norwegian-inspired folk art today? See for yourself at this exhibition of amazing work by fantastic contemporary artists!

A class is a blast at Vesterheim’s Folk Art School

Sign up today!

Classes with Norwegian master knifemaker Morten Håkonsen!

National Exhibition of Folk Art in the Norwegian Tradition

Norwegian Working Knife with Sheath

on view June 8 - July 29, 2017

July 31-Aug. 4 For Intermediate and Advanced.


The National Norwegian-American Museum & Heritage Center Decorah, Iowa • • 563-382-9681

July 22-26 For all levels.

Two Brothers Knives with Silver Banded Sheath

Find the class schedule and register online at Classes half price on stand-by for Winneshiek County residents.

How to Blanch

Anne’s Ideas:

“Here are a few great, flexible meals that can accommodate lots of veggies:”

Blanching is a great way to preserve color and texture of vegetables, and to get them really tasty for snacking or for the freezer. Quickly boiled and then “shocked” in ice water, these al dente vegetables can be used in veggie platters, salads, stirfries, sushi, and more. Pretty much any vegetable can be blanched. Here’s how:

Stir Fry Wraps/ Sandwiches Omelets Quinoa Patties Shish Kebobs Pasta Salad Cold Grain Salads Pizza Pro tips: 1. Don’t forget, breakfast is a wonderful time to eat sautéed greens like kale or chard. So good with a fried egg! 2. Use fresh herbs, like dill, parsley, and cilantro in just about everything: Scrambled eggs, salads, sandwiches, soups, stews, etc. They really liven up most everything.

Blanch it! Photo by Aryn Henning Nichols

Greens and Eggs in a Pan… (from Anne)

“One of my favorites entails frozen greens of any kind. Here’s how you do it:” Sauté the greens in a pan with a little olive oil, chopped garlic, salt and pepper. When they are wilted, add about 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream and a dash of grated nutmeg. Make five (or so) little holes in the greens mixture, and crack an egg in each hole, sprinkle some shredded parmesan on top, and bake in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

1. Have a large bowl of ice water ready, a slotted spoon, and a plate covered with a cloth or paper towel. 2. Bring a large pot of water to boil with 2 tablespoons of salt. 3. Prep the vegetables just before blanching so they don’t change color. Cut them into uniform pieces for even cooking. Arrange your batches from light to dark colored vegetables, if you’re blanching multiple types of veggies today. Darker colored vegetables will dye the water – and subsequent vegetables – slightly. 4. Add the vegetables to the pot in small batches. You want to keep the water boiling. After about 30 seconds, test for doneness. Take out one piece, dip it into the ice water, and taste. Keep doing this every 30-60 seconds until the vegetables are cooked just the way you like them. Most take 2-5 minutes. 5. When the vegetables are done, quickly take them out of the boiling water with the slotted spoon and pop them into the ice bath to stop cooking. 6. When the vegetables are completely cool, remove them from the ice water and drain on the towel-lined plate. Now they’re ready to eat, freeze, or store for use this week!

Where local & organic aren’t just a corner of our store, they are the cornerstone of our cooperative business.


FOOD COOPErative decorah, iowa




Water Street Caf é f r e s h .

o r g a n i c .

l o c a l .

312 West Water Street • Decorah 563.382.4666 • Monday-Saturday 8:00 am-8:30 pm • Sunday 10-7

everyone can shop

everyone welcome

grocery bulk produce café meat cheese bakery wine/beer supplements body care

no membership required \ Summer 2017


Lansing, Iowa By Aryn Henning Nichols



HOMES Sustainably Beautifully Efficiently

Lansing, Iowa, is a town rooted in history. The historic buildings and picturesque bluffs of the Mississippi River town have been witness to a great many adventures. “Once in a while I say, ‘Thank you, Grandpa,’” Joanne Kehr says with a little laugh. “It had to have taken a lot of guts to move all the way across the world.” Joanne is a third generation Lansing, Iowa resident. Her grandfather came from Sweden in the late 1800s, arriving to a bustling new settlement and a brand new life. Joanne was born in 1930 on North Front Street, in the very room where she still sleeps. Karen Galema, in a similar story, was born in Lansing in 1944, two blocks from the river…but on the kitchen table. Both women – members of the local historical society – are pretty serious about preserving the stories of their hometown. We met on a rainy spring day in the basement of the tidy and charming Meehan Memorial Lansing Public Library. Karen and Joanne sat next to each other and fired off historical dates as if they were family member’s birthdays or well-known holidays. Founded in 1848 by William Garrison, and named after his former hometown, Lansing, Michigan, the Northeast Iowa Lansing became a port of call for lumber mills, clammers, a button factory – which delivered pearl buttons to the east coast fashion industry – and a fish hatchery that revitalized the Mississippi River after clam beds were exhausted. A rail passenger train, dedicated in 1872, brought more business to the area. “I still remember taking the train to New Albin to play with my cousins,” Karen says. Steamboats delivered mail and passengers up and down the Mississippi as well, stopping in Lansing three to four times each week. One steamboat – in 1851 – was carrying acclaimed Massachusetts sculptor Harriet Hosmer. She challenged a young riverboat pilot to a race to the top of the bluff. She came out victorious, and named the site after herself: Mount Hosmer. These days, the 104-acre city park is a popular Mississippi River overlook for residents and tourists alike. (continued on next page)

David J. Wadsworth • 563.419.0390 • Algerian & American Appetizers & Entreés Vegetarian Options Sandwiches & Salads Delicious Desserts Signature Cocktails Connoisseur Beer Selection

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Luxury salon & day spa Hair salon + Manicures & Pedicures Facials •Massages • Makeup \ Summer 2017


Historic photos of Lansing, IA

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Summer 2017 /

Karen and Joanne continue to flip through their Rolodex of historical knowledge: In 1885, the whole south side of Main Street burned. “People worked really hard back then,” Joanne says, and it was rebuilt in an amazingly quick six months. 1910 was the date of an infamous steamboat fire – close to 1000 people were on board, and two died. Karen’s grandma, 10 years old at the time, made it to shore safely. “People were throwing kids over the side into the water to save them from the fire,” Karen says. And, of course, who could forget the Midnight Raid? There are long-time tales of a posse of men from Waukon sneaking in and stealing county records from Lansing in 1866. A group of Lansing folks rallied to get them back, and there was a showdown… but the records still ended up in Waukon. Many towns vied for the honor of Allamakee county seat – it was a disagreement that lasted almost 25 years and required ten elections – but in 1875, Waukon was officially declared the winner and county seat.

Meanwhile, life in Lansing continued on. Karen’s mother was the youngest of nine, born on a houseboat on the river. Their family ran the annual ice harvest and managed the local fish market, where they were still processing 3-5 million pounds of carp per year all the way into the 1980s. Karen was employed there for 28 years. “I did the books,” she says humbly. “And I enjoyed talking with the fishermen. They were rough, kind of coarse, weather-beaten and tough, but they could be funny, getting their digs in at each other.” There was a large community of people who relied solely on fishing for work back then. “It took a lot of discipline being a fisherman. They had to be very smart,” Karen says. “They didn’t get to go to the Internet. They had to learn how to run a business, how to read the river, predict the forecast…they even had to knit their own nets.” Joanne’s family owned the local hardware store for 50 years – from 1920 to 1970 – where they kept Lansing residents stocked with pretty much whatever they might need to fix their house, boat, yard, fishing nets, etc. The hardware store continues its much-needed offerings today under different ownership. That mighty Mississippi that first brought settlers, and provided work for so many over the years, has caused life and the industries of Lansing to ebb and flow like the river itself.

R.M. Granet & Company North Iowa’s International Gift & Antique Store

Curated Elegance

Tues-Sat 11-6pm

1110 North Grand Avenue Charles City, IA 50616 Phone Number 641-220-5100

Downtown Lansing today.

The button factory stopped using clams for buttons in the 1940s, and closed down completely just last year. The property hasn’t sat empty, though: Tumbleweed Welding, a Lansing company, purchased and used part of it last year. And, more recently, Wisconsin-based Prairie Industries has started packaging safety equipment there. (continued on next page)


Both Showrooms Located at 1813 Trout Run Road Decorah \ Summer 2017


J. David Maher, MD Dr. Maher offers a full spectrum of family medicine, including obstetrical services, as well as specializing in occupational health. For an appointment call:

563-547-2022 or toll free 888-547-5474 Cresco Medical Clinic • 321 8th Ave W, Cresco, Iowa • AFFORDABLE, SPACIOUS ROOMS ON THE BANKS OF THE MISSISSIPPI

river view inn

Lansing, Iowa

60 SOUTH FRONT STREET, LANSING, IOWA 563-537-0072 • 563-538-4231 (DAYTIME)



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The last Mississippi River ice harvest was in 1964, and the fish market closed its doors in 1989. “Fishermen always wanted something better for their kids,” Karen says. “There are so few of the next generation fishing commercially now.” Karen and Joanne counted only three. The people of Lansing, luckily, are good at going with the flow too. They aren’t just preserving the past – they’re paving the road for the future. And that road just happens to be a river. Community members understand the importance of taking care of the region’s natural habitats. A member of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, local organization Friends of Pool 9 has a goal to conserve the cultural and natural resources of the 90 square miles of the Mississippi known as Pool 9 – from Genoa, Wisconsin to Lynxville and Lock & Dam 10. This past year, 800 volunteers showed up to help with Pool 9 clean up. That’s a pretty great turnout for a town of 999.



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10 0 % E mp l oyee O w n ed • w w w. t h r i f t y w h i te. c o m


Summer 2017 /

MON-FRI 9-6 • SAT 9-3 563-382-2700 • 510 MONTGOMERY ST, DECORAH, IA or find us on Facebook

building foundations BRUENING ROCK PRODUCTS

supporting communities A view from under the Blackhawk Bridge in Lansing, Iowa.


Serving communities in Iowa, Minnesota, & Missouri

“I’m pretty sure it’s a thousand people now,” Craig White, Main Street Lansing Director, says regarding the current population. “Someone got married,” he adds with a chuckle. While river clean up volunteers came from communities all around the region, it’s a fine testament of the efforts put in to preserve the Mississippi River. Today, that river is still one of the main things that draws people to the area, but not for buttons or fishing: for tourism. “Our fortunes and lack thereof are pretty much tied to the river,” full-time Lansing “transplant” Bruce Palmborg says. “It is said that many of the businesses here need to make their sales in the six months of ‘summer’ to make it through the 12 months of the year.” Bruce and his wife, Mary – a Lansing native – are active volunteers in the community. When the couple retired in 2009, they moved from South Minneapolis to become full time residents of the historic river town. (continued on next page)

900 Montgomery St, Decorah, IA 563-382-2933 .


Folkedahel Servic


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

563-382-4010 • 563-380-5851 YOGA & CYCLING


ALL-LEVELS GREAT VARIETY OF CLASSES 7 DAYS PER WEEK YOGA TEACHER TRAININGS YOGA FOR KIDS Get started today! 2 weeks of unlimited classes for $25 \ Summer 2017


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Bruce, along with many other volunteers, got the Main Street program started in 2012 Since then, more than 7,000 volunteer hours have been logged by a good many folks to help improve the local economy. Bruce continues as the Board President and is also a School Board member, and Mary is a committee chair for Main Street Lansing. “You really can’t deny the river,” Craig says over lunch at local restaurant the Main Channel. The historic Blackhawk Bridge peaks over his shoulder. In the other direction, great shops and restaurants line Main Street and cool B&Bs, apartments, and houses wait for visitors to book their stay.

Decorah, Iowa 563.382.3627

Burgers • Sandwiches • Salads • Appetizers • Breakfast • In-House Catering Locally Sourced Menu Options • Come watch your favorite games! • 22 Beers on Tap! Two event spaces for small or large groups – up to 200 people. Contact our Event Coordinator at for details.

206 W. Water St. •563-382-5970 •

The Main Channel, and below, Horsfalls.

Come home to Decorah!


Tom 563-380-6712 Travis 563-380-7912

Artistry in Cabinetry since 1983

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

Visit my new website! 563-382-4750


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Freshly minted as a resident in 2015, Craig and his partner, Gary – a Lansing native – built a home in the Lansing countryside. Craig has dug right in to life in Northeast Iowa, mostly through his job at Main Street Lansing. The organization undertakes tasks typical for a chamber of commerce, economic development, historic preservation, and more. Craig has been really impressed with the town, its people, and their ability to work together. “The residents of Lansing are totally on board with tourism and keeping things happening here,” Craig says. “We had a town hall meeting to talk about the upcoming RAGBRAI influx. 100 people came, and there was not one negative comment.” When you roll into town, the welcome sign says, “Lansing Fish Days” and “Birthplace of Granny Basketball.” Talk about innovative attractions. Tourists can come throughout the tourism “season” for events like Taste of Lansing, Rumble on the River, Fish Days, and

more. They can visit the famous Horsfall’s Store, grab a beer at the Safe House Saloon, rent a boat to go out on the river, take a hike in the bluffs, or head out to the new, award-winning Madigan Winery. And most recently added to the must-see list is the stunning new Driftless Education and Visitor Center, set to open just south of Lansing this summer (see sidebar on next page for more info). Craig has fun ideas for drawing people in the winter too – broomball tournaments, a hunting expo, a larger promotion of ice fishing – the ideas are flowing (no pun intended) and the people of the community are evolving with it. “I can’t imagine living anywhere else,” Karen says. “Outsiders say, ‘You’re so lucky to have lived here your whole life,’ but to me, it’s just home.”

Aryn Henning Nichols loved learning more about the history of this community she’s visited since she was a little kid. Lansing is also where Benji proposed to her 11 years ago, right next to that mighty Mississippi! Special thanks to Susan Cantine-Maxson for help making interview connections for this story, and to Bev and Paul Nichols for some great photos!

Adventure in the

























Visit historic Lansing, Iowa!

July 15 - Charles City, Trinity United Methodist Church July 16 - Cedar Falls, Women’s Club July 19 - Waterloo. the Grout Museum July 22 - Marshalltown, Orpheum Theater July 23 - Cedar Falls, Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center











Design by

Inspire(d) Magazine Driftless Region

MORE INFO: Check out more Driftless Community features at

This project sponsored in part by the Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau \ Summer 2017


Opening this summer! Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center 1944 Columbus Rd. • Lansing, Iowa (off the Great River Road S. of Lansing) Allamakee County Conservation director Jim Janette has been working for more than two decades to conserve the natural habitat of the county. So it makes perfect sense that he’s incredibly excited to open the doors on the brand new Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center this summer. “We’ve been planning this for, well, a long time…since the late 90s,” he says. “We want to be a starting point for folks visiting the Driftless. People can come here and learn more about the area… maybe spend a night in Lansing, head over to Decorah for a night, on up to La Crosse. Really get to know the region as a whole, not just one town.” Even if you’re not planning to stay for the night, there’s a lot to be learned and fun to be had at the Driftless Education Center. From amazing relics that have been migrated to the Center from the former Lansing River History Museum – like an old fishing boat suspended from the ceiling – to a cool interactive geology exhibit to a taxidermied bear overlooking an actual indoor honeybee hive. There are also exhibits about American Indian culture, archaeological history, rotating local art, and giant balconies on each level with stunning views of the Mississippi River and the Blackhawk Bridge. Add to that meeting rooms, classrooms, a gift shop, and offices for the Allamakee County Conservation Board, and you’ve got one cool Driftless hub. Make sure to check it out for yourself this summer. They’re planning to open late July. Find up-to-date hours and details at or AllamakeeCountyConservation, or call 563.586.2996.

Find your

Adventure in Southeast Minnesota! . 507-765-2100

WANT MORE? 60+ Miles of Paved Bike Trails! 56

Summer 2017 /




RAGBRAI fun in Northeast Iowa! Est. 1961

By Sara Friedl-Putnam

People you can trust. Quality you can depend on.

RAGBRAI is known for its seven fun-filled days, with upwards of 9,000 riders pedaling west to east across the entire state of Iowa. The three days scheduled in Northeast Iowa this year are no exception. There’s so much fun stuff here, in fact, we thought we’d put together just a few ideas to get folks started (do adventure on your own too!). Have fun, and welcome to the Driftless! THURSDAY, JULY 27

Today’s relatively short 54.6-mile ride should give you plenty of time to explore Cresco and its surrounds before calling it a night. CRESCO (overnight) Lovely day out? Discover unique prairie wildflowers and grasses at Prairie’s Edge Nature Center – and relax beside the small waterfalls and sloping pools at Vernon Springs Ladder Dam, Iowa’s first rock-arch rapids project. Cresco Theatre and Opera House 115 Second Avenue West

Monday: 9am - 8pm Tues - Fri: 9am - 5pm Saturday: 9am - 3pm 3 goldsmiths 1 graduate gemologist 1 watchmaker 2 diamond setters

31 West Main Street Waukon, Iowa 800.932-7028 • 563.568-3661


Are you looking for someplace fun to rest those weary bones? Look no further than the cushioned seats of this architectural gem of a theatre, opened in 1915 (to a packed house) and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. Once a popular stop for vaudeville performers, today the 425-seat theatre hosts concerts, stage productions, and, of course, recently released films. The price at the door may be more than the five cents it was a century ago, but the experience is worth every (additional) penny. Dough and Joe Bakery 114 North Elm Street A full day in the saddle awaits, so why not start your ride off right with a full dose of carbs and caffeine? This family-owned bakery offers plenty of both, from the latte of the week to cookies and cake pops. It’s the heavenly cream-filled long johns that helped earn Dough and Joe the seventh spot on Travel Iowa’s list of best donut establishments in 2016, but you can’t go wrong with sprinkles either!

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What’s on tap for day six? You’ll climb 2,483 feet as you traverse just about 60 miles of scenic Northeast Iowa terrain. First stop is Decorah, where the town’s annual Nordic Fest promises to be in full swing. Then Ossian, Castalia, and Postville await before you call it a day in Allamakee’s county seat: Waukon.




DECORAH Outdoor highlights One town, three waterfalls! At 200 feet, the truly spectacular Dunnings Spring waterfall is just minutes by bike from downtown Decorah. Out of town but right off the Trout Run Trail you’ll find Siewers Spring, located just steps from a popular trout-rearing station. Further off the RAGBRAI path is Malanaphy Springs, near Bluffton but well worth the ride if you have the time and inclination to make it.


Dunnings Spring

For events & ticket information visit 207 N. Main, Elkader, IA


Nordic Fest Water Street and environs Dish up the kringla, krumkakke, lefse, and lutefisk. Cue up the Nordic Dancers and Luren Singers. Each July since 1967, smalltown Decorah has put on one big Norwegian celebration, featuring an array of entertainment and, yes, lots and lots of energy-boosting Scandinavian food, most served up by friendly locals from food booths up and down Water Street. Even if you don’t know varme polse from rømmegrøt, hop off your bike, partake in the fun, and take advantage of the opportunity to be a little bit Norwegian for the day.

Let us create an



for your business.

Oneota Community Food Co-op 312 West Water Street


Swing by and stock up on some healthy fuel for the road. Locally grown organic produce, piping-hot panini sandwiches, and fresh-baked breads and pastries – this thriving community co-op has them all, as well as shelves stocked with everything from natural peanut butter and sweet potato chips to bulk bins with nuts, dried fruits, and other nutritious treats. illustrations by aryn henning nichols (continued on next page) \ Summer 2017


New Boutique in Downtown Decorah!

College Drive Breweries: Toppling Goliath and Pulpit Rock; Small-town Decorah has some big-time beer. Poured inside the modest Toppling Goliath taproom is craft beer so remarkable it’s widely considered among the best in the world. And as locals will tell you, the outdoor patio is tailor-made for kicking back and enjoying popular tap varieties like Pseudo Sue pale ale and Dorothy’s New World Lager. Just down College Drive you’ll find Pulpit Rock, which opened its doors in a retrofitted garage in 2015 and has quickly made a name for itself as a destination taproom. Thirst-quenching pale ale…sparkling hard cider…coffee-infused pour-over porter – there truly is something to satisfy even the most discriminating of beer enthusiasts at this adventurous craft brewery.

What cyclist doesn’t crave ice cream on a hot summer day? Take your pick of softserve (Whippy Dip on College Drive) or hand-dipped (Sugar Bowl on Water Street).

Les Wigs Renee

Its nitro cold brew on tap may be perfect for a hot July day, but Impact Coffee Bar also offers a full menu of custom-roasted coffee, pour overs, espresso-based drinks, and looseleaf teas. (Read more about this popular Washington Street gathering spot on page 24.)


Need to make a quick pit stop before you hit Postville? Then be on the lookout for Shooters Bar and Grill (Main Street, Ossian) and Susie’s First Chance Saloon (Greene Street, Castalia).


Mother / Daughter Makeovers

111 E. Water St. Decorah, Iowa. 563.382.6212


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Home to one of the smallest YMCAs in the nation, the small but diverse town of Postville also boasts some memorable restaurants, including the Brick Oven Pizza and Eatery on Greene Street and the authentic (and tiny) Mexican restaurant and carniceria, El Pariente, next door. Not hungry yet? Swing by the city park and relax to the strains of live Mexican music, or check out the music and beer garden downtown. (continued on next page)

Outside & Inside seating! Great Venue for your next event!

Empty Nest Winery Upcoming Events

June 16: Release Limited Edition Dragonfly Dreams wine, 4 pm June 18: Live Music on the Patio, 1:30 pm June 30: Release Limited Edition Summer Splash wine, 4 pm July 2: Live Music on the Patio, 1:30 pm July 14: Release Limited Edition White Lace wine, 4 pm July 16: Live Music on the Patio, 1:30 pm July 28: Open for RAGBRAI serving food & drinks, 11 am – 4 pm July 28: Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, Advance tickets only July 29: Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, Advanced tickets only August 4: Release Limited Edition Love Potion wine, 4 pm August 6: Live Music on the Patio, 1:30 pm August 18: Release Limited Edition Truffle wine, 4 pm August 20: Live Music on the Patio, 1:30 pm

Save the Dates!

September 1: Release Fall Wines, 4 pm September 2-4: Open for Labor Day Weekend, 11 am – 5 pm October 13-15: “Wining with the Arts” weekend, with 10 local artists November 24 & 25: Murder Mystery Dinner Theater December 31: New Years Eve Murder Mystery Dinner Theater! Serving Wine, Fresh Sangria, Local Beers & House Ciders Summer hours: Fridays 4-9pm, Sat. 10-5 & Sun 1-5 | 563-568-2758 1253 Apple Rd. Waukon, Iowa

Like us for details!


Empty Nest Winery 1352 Apple Road

Keep pedaling! You can do it!

Want to take in the countryside without pedaling? Then check out this off-thebeaten-path winery, established in 2011 by husband and wife team Dave and Pam Kruger. Folks can sit back and relax with a glass of wine while enjoying the picturesque woods, hills, and fields of Northeast Iowa. In addition to its handcrafted pure-berry wines, the Empty Nest will be serving up beer, sangria, and slushies – plus a tasty food buffet – for RAGBRAI riders (or any visitors, really!).

The “Old” Rossville Store 851 Volney Road There’s nothing more quintessentially Midwest than the supper club. And the homespun “Old” Rossville Store has a reputation as one of Iowa’s best. Be sure to come hungry, though, as large portions of entrees like its popular prime rib come with choice of potato, steamed veggies, AND a trip to a far-from-ordinary salad bar. Be on the lookout for marinated carrot salad, cottage cheese, pea salad, macaroni salad, potato salad, tomato salad, and even chocolate pudding and strawberry ambrosia.

WAUKON (overnight)

W.W. Homestead Dairy 850 Rossville Road When nearby Luther College needed a dessert (literally) fit for a king, it was this small dairy that got the call. That’s right – in October 2011, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway capped off a luncheon at the college with a helping of W.W. Homestead Dairy’s cinnamon ice cream created just for the occasion. No doubt RAGBRAI riders will be equally pleased by the rich, flavorful ice cream – made with farm-fresh, creamline milk – served up in dishes, cones, and carryout containers. Or if ice cream’s not your jam, swing by and sample the dairy’s fresh cheese curds, just as sought after by the hometown crowd.


Photography by Brittany Todd

563-382-3657 . 108 Fifth Avenue, Decorah, Iowa . 62

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Main Feature Theater and Pizza Pub 38 West Main Street Pizza. Popcorn. Beer. And, yes, a movie. What more could you ask for after a long, hot day biking Iowa’s back roads? First opened as the Town Theatre in the 1930s, this Main Street fixture was re-invented as a dine-in theatre in 1989. Since then, it’s been welcoming hungry adults and kids for an affordable, one-of-a-kind entertainment experience. If you just want to see the show – and maybe rest up for the ride’s last day – that’s OK too: adults pay $6 for admission.


Just up the street from this mural painted in 2008 by artist Valerie Miller– is the headquarters for the well-known posse of Steel Cow “girls”...and friends! (Have you seen the unicorn named Roxie yet?!!)

Steel Cow Gallery 15 Allamakee Street Her works decorate the sides of barns and the walls of homes, businesses, and galleries throughout the Midwest and beyond. Hop off your bike and check out the bovine artistry of Valerie Miller, creator of the popular Steel Cow line of original paintings and canvas prints.

M ake plans now to join us June 16 –18, 2017

for another exciting 3-day celebration of Lawler’s rich heritage featuring events and entertainment for the entire family.

Stage Entertainment Friday, June 16-begins at 6:00 pm

• Mike McAbee (Music & Comedy) • Sweet Siren (Classic Rock, Edgy Country, Top 40)

• Nineteen Pints (Rockin’ the “Sham” out Activities of “Shamrock!”) • The Kissers (Irish Rock) Friday, June 16-beginning at 5:00 pm • Super Fly (Rock) • Sweet Siren (Special Guests appearance– • Casual Get-together; Time to Visit Old and New Friends preview of Saturday’s performance) • 4-Person Best Shot Golf Tournament (9:00 am) Saturday, June 17–begins after Parade • Introduction of Grand Marshals (6:00 pm) • 5K Run (starts @7:15 pm; reg. @ 6:15 pm) • Drouthy Duck Pipe Band (traditional • Bouncy Inflatables (all ages) bagpipers) • Historic Lawler Photo Gallery • Guilty Kilts (traditional Irish) • Teen Street Dance • Foy Irish Dancers (traditional Irish dance) Saturday, June 17 - beginning with • Shillelagh Lads (traditional Irish) volleyball tournament at 9:00 am • INTERMISSION • Volleyball Tournament (9:00 am} • Shillelagh Lads • Parade (11:00 am) • Foy Irish Dancers • Lil’ Lad & Lassie Contest (immediately • Derek Warfield & The Young Wolftones after parade)—Limerick Tent (Grove & (Ireland’s greatest ballad singer) Benz Sts.)

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Car and Tractor Show Adult Kickball Tournament Kilt Contest (Men’s Best Legs) Children’s Activities, including New Hampton FFA Pedal Pull Celtic dance lessons with Foy Irish Dancers (for children) Bouncy Inflatables (for all ages) Various games/activities for children Vendors (food/merchandise) Historic Lawler Photo Gallery Shanachie—Irish Story Telling with Mabel (Croell) Banwell Lion’s Club barbeque chicken dinner Petting Zoo

Sunday, June 18

beginning with Mass at 8:30 am • Mass – Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church • Breakfast (Mount Carmel Church) Schedule subject to change without notice.

For details on each activity, or if you’d like to help sponsor this event, visit our website at:

563-382-0700 405 College Dr. Decorah


Chiropractic At Decorah Chiropractic, we rely upon both acupuncture & chiropractic care to keep our patients healthy & happy.


Further explore the splendor of the Driftless Region as RAGBRAI ascends 3,200 feet over 44.8 miles. Wind through Waterville, then the Yellow River State Forest, with its 8,500 acres and 25 miles of trails known for rocky outcrops, stunning bluffs, and steep slopes. Gotta stop for a quick drink or bite to eat? Check out Missfitz Bar and Grill or Spillway Supper Club, both in Harpers Ferry, before finally conquering the last 13-mile leg to Lansing, the last stop on RAGBRAI XLV. LANSING

SALES SERVICE PARTS We service all brands.

Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center Great River Road

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

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

Learn more about the Driftless flora, fauna, and other natural features you’ve seen from the seat of your bike. Be among the first to experience the interpretive displays of this just-opened center, which overlooks the mighty Mississippi River and explores the mysteries of the region, including its limestone bluffs, Native American mounds, and algific talus slopes. Read more about the Center on page 56.


Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, Chain Saws, & More! MON - THURS: 11- 9 • FRI - SAT 11-10 • SUN: 11-8

Homemade goodness.


dine in • carry out • catering 563.382.6208 64 /OldArmoryBBQ

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Take in the view from Mount Hosmer! Plus, in honor of RAGBRAI and Harriet Hosmer herself, there’s a race to the top... with prizes!

Paul Horsfall (left) and Paul Nichols (Benji’s dad) have been friends since childhood!

Horsfall’s Lansing Variety Store 300 Main Street Itching to hitch up your bike and head for home? Better press that pause button because no trip to this scenic Mississippi River town is complete without at least a brush through the bargain-stacked aisles of the store known simply as Horsfall’s. Variety is the name of the game at this storied establishment, which celebrates the glory days of five-and-dimes and carries pretty much anything you can imagine. From greeting cards and sunglasses to cookbooks and cat toys, Horsfall’s has it all.

Safe House Saloon 359 Main Street Kick back, relax, and write the final chapter of your RAGBRAI adventure at this fun local eatery. As its name suggests, the Safe House Saloon offers plenty of beer, both bottled and on tap, craft and otherwise. But you’ll also find beer-battered cheese curds, wings slathered in homemade sauces, and an array of gourmet pizzas with entertaining names like the Naked Cowboy and the Bootlegger to satisfy those hunger pangs before you hit the road back home.

An avid cyclist, Sara Friedl-Putnam last took part in the RAGBRAI fun when it stopped overnight in Decorah in 1999. She hopes to ride a leg or two of RAGBRAI 2017 this July. \ Summer 2017




Ernest M. Corson

Interviewed by daughter Charlene Selbee

rnest Corson was born to Melvin and Emma Corson on May 29, 1915 on the “Skunk Farm” in Hesper, Iowa. He was joined in later years by his brothers, Norman and Manford, and it was during his youth at family get-togethers that he first met Charlotte, his wifeto-be. The couple would eventually grow their family to six kids: Denny, Lynda, Doug, Dalton, Forrest, and Charlene. Ernest graduated from Mabel High School, and attended Normal School – the only boy in his class! – in Preston, Minnesota, to become a teacher. Enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1941, he was deemed too old to fly planes at age 26, so he entered radio school and graduated two days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He served during WWII at locations throughout Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, including volunteering for the invasion of Attu. He was diverted to the nearby island of Shemya and participated in the building of a top secret Air Force base during extreme arctic conditions. After World War II, Ernest and his brother Norman opened a radio repair shop in Mable, Minnesota, before reenlisting. Charlotte and Ernest were married November 7, 1946, in Montana. Two deployments to England soon followed, family in tow – where they spent a total of six years. Retiring after 20 years of service in the USAF, they returned to the family farm near Hesper. In 1967, Ernest became the manager for the Mabel Cooperative Telephone Co. He continued to help on the family farm until the age of 93, then joined his wife Charlotte at the Aase Haugen Home in Decorah before their 66 years together came to an end in 2012 when Charlotte passed away. A life member of the Mabel Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Mabel, Ernest got to be part of the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight to Washington DC in April 2013. He just celebrated his 102nd birthday in May! 1. What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you? My dad and mom gave a lot of advice. Like: Don’t hunt anything unless you want to kill it. Mouse or rat included. Why harm it if is not harming anything. Also (on longevity): Lots of grass cutting. Don’t use a rototiller. Lots of hoeing by hand. I always had a big garden. The secret for a long marriage? Always have fun together, and take your kids with you wherever you go. 2. What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was six years old, I had a plan: I was interested in being a teacher. 3. What do/did you do? I had many odd jobs like pin setter at the Mabel bowling alley, and was a 1st – 8th grade teacher after high school. Enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 and went to radio school. After WWII we ran a radio repair shop in Mabel, was manager at the Mabel Cooperative Telephone Company, and farmer on the Young family farm outside of Hesper. 4. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you? I’ve been many places – and food and water are the most important things. 5. If you eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Good food. My Dad was a sharp shooter and hunter - we always had food on the table from the big garden and good meat!

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

6. Name one thing you could not live without. Water. Some people take it for granted but I don’t. No food or water – you won’t live very long. I’ve seen guys who were prisoners of war – in the Sahara Desert 1942, they got home and said water was most important. You can go without food for two or three days but can’t go very long without water. 7. Tell us about your first job. I taught at South Fork in Fillmore County, Minnesota. All eight grades in a one-room school house – and they didn’t complain. Kids had to walk one mile to school, but I only walked a quarter mile. I had to light a fire every morning before school at 9 am – we let out at 4 pm in time to go home and do chores. Some kids’ parents came from Norway or Germany and spoke no English, but it wasn’t hard to teach English. Spelling was a favorite – they were good at that. Memories include getting to the school in a cutter or sleigh in winter and snowball fights. The Christmas program – it was so crowded that parents who came late had to stand. Having an apple or orange for lunch, and playing pump pump pull away outside during recess.

Enjoy a life of freedom, financial security and convenience! You’ll be glad you did! 66

Summer 2017 /

Decorah’s Active 55+ Community 1102 Nordic Drive, Decorah IA 563-382-6521

Let’s protect those baby blues! We’ve got your family’s eyes covered... just don’t forget the sunblock!

NEW HOURS! 9:30-5:30 MON 7:30-7:00 TUES & THURS 7:30-5:30 WED & FRI 8:00-12:00 SATURDAY 305 East Water St. Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-4279 •

Welcome Claire Haedike, Psy.D. Mayo Clinic Health System Psychologist

Scott Bohner, D.O. Mayo Clinic Health System Family Medicine Physician

Whether you’re a growing family or an individual facing a serious health challenge, choosing Mayo Clinic Health System at Winneshiek Medical Center means choosing the best path for getting well, staying well and returning to your life and family. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Haedike or Dr. Bohner, please call


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Joint Commission. by by thetheJoint Commission

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Compared to our nation’s 1,300+ critical access hospitals, WMC is rated 2016

Top 20 Critical Access Hospital in the United States.

200 W Water St Decorah, Iowa 563.382.5742



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Summer 2017 /




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