Page 1

[April 2013]

Mike Picard’s

Electric Adventure


April 2013 [cover] Nathrop resident Mike Picard test drives his electric Willys Jeep in the Arkansas River Valley.




4 Viewpoint

16 An Electro-Willys Adventure 22 Gardening

5 Letters 6 Calendar 7 Co-op News 12 NewsClips 14 Batteries ARE Included

20 Recipes

Should co-ops be forced to add even more renewable energy?

Willys enthusiast learns as he experiments with electric vehicle

Get creative with salad ingredients for fresh, delicious cuisine

Invest in local agriculture for whole- some fare, community spirit

24 Outdoors

Cupboard ant flies: an easy way to add to your tackle box

25 Energy Tips

Solar water heaters offer several options for heating your water

29 Funny Stories 30 Discoveries

Co-ops test ways to harness, store electricity from renewables



percent of coal consumed in the U.S. used to generate electricity


the average miles food travels from farm to table in the U.S., according to the Worldwatch Institute


the number to call before you dig to avoid electrocution

COMMUNICATIONS STAFF: Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor@303-455-4111; Donna Wallin, Associate Editor; • Amy Higgins, Editorial Assistant/Writer; ADVERTISING: Kris Wendtland@303-902-7276,; NCM@800-626-1181

The official publication of the Colorado Rural Electric Association || Volume 44, Number 04

OFFICERS: Bob Bledsoe [Tri-State] President; Bill Midcap [Fort Morgan] Vice President; Don Kaufman [Sangre de Cristo] Secretary; Jack Schneider [Poudre Valley] Treasurer; Kent Singer [CREA] Executive Director BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Bill Patterson [Delta-Montrose]; John Porter [Empire]; Don McClaskey [Grand Valley]; John Vader [Gunnison]; Jim Lueck [Highline]; Megan Gilman [Holy Cross]; Dan Mills, Tim Power [K.C.]; Tom Compton [La Plata]; Stan Cazier [Mountain Parks]; B.D. Paddock [Mountain View]; Debbie Rose [San Isabel]; Eleanor Valdez [San Luis Valley]; Dave Alexander, Kevin Ritter [San Miguel]; Randy Phillips [Southeast]; Jim Jaeger, Ron Asche [United Power]; Bill Jordan [White River]; Stuart Travis [Y-W]; Scott McGill [Yampa Valley]; Basin Electric, CoBank, Moon Lake Electric, Wheatland Electric [Associate Members]

EDITORIAL: Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216; Phone: 303-455-4111 • Email: • Website: • Facebook: • Twitter: @COCountryLife Colorado Country Life (USPS 469-400/ISSN 1090-2503) is published monthly for $9/$15 per year by Colorado Rural Electric Association, 5400 N. Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216. Periodical postage paid at Denver, Colorado. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 N. Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 Publication of an advertisement in Colorado Country Life does not imply endorsement by any Colorado rural electric cooperative or the Colorado Rural Electric Association. Editorial opinions published in Colorado Country Life magazine shall pertain to issues affecting rural electric cooperatives, rural communities and citizens. The opinion of CREA is not necessarily that of any particular cooperative or individual.


Electric Co-ops and the Renewable Portfolio Standard Should co-ops be forced to add more renewable energy, even if it’s not economical? BY KENT SINGER || CREA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR || KSINGER@COLORADOREA.ORG


In 2004, Colorado voters passed Amendment 37, a ballot initiative that required the largest electric utilities in Colorado (those with more than 40,000 consumers) to provide a portion of their power supply from renewable resources. The measure Kent Singer required Colorado’s largest utilities, including three electric co-ops, to obtain enough renewable resources like wind and solar energy to supply 10 percent of their retail sales by the year 2015. The Colorado Rural Electric Association, along with Xcel Energy and the state’s municipal utilities, opposed Amendment 37. The co-ops opposed the measure because it diminished the right of local co-op member-owners to determine the appropriate fuel supply for power generation and because it required the co-ops to use more expensive resources. Although Amendment 37 passed with a margin of 54 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed, it failed in most of the counties served by electric co-ops in Colorado. Despite our initial opposition to this mandated renewable portfolio standard in 2004, CREA and its member co-ops decided in 2007 that we would support a bill that created a 10 percent standard not only for the largest electric co-ops, but for all electric co-ops. That bill, H.B. 07-1281, increased the standard for investorowned utilities to 20 percent and set the standard for electric co-ops and the largest municipal utilities at 10 percent by 2020. Why did we at CREA decide to support a broader RPS in 2007 when we had opposed the idea in 2004? We believed that the prices of renewable energy sources were heading down, and that we could in-

tegrate a reasonable amount of these resources into our power supply mix without impacting the affordability or reliability of electric service in rural Colorado too much. We also believed that the 10 percent standard was achievable in the time allotted (by 2020), and that it made sense to diversify our power supply portfolio in a manner that was consistent with our obligation to provide low-cost power to our member-owners. Since that time, Colorado’s electric distribution co-ops and their power suppliers (Tri-State Generation and Transmission and Xcel Energy) have added power from wind farms, solar generating stations, small hydropower resources and other forms of renewable energy into our power supply mixes. The co-ops are on track to supply at least 10 percent of our power from renewable energy sources by 2020, and are considering additional purchases of these resources when they make economic sense. But now we are likely facing one or more bills in the Colorado legislature that would increase the renewable portfolio standard for electric co-ops to levels that will increase the cost of electricity for rural Colorado consumers. While the cost of renewable energy has come down in recent years, it is still considerably higher than energy from conventional, i.e., coal and natural gas, power plants. Until a more affordable battery technology comes along, renewable resources are still intermittent and power plants that can be ramped up quickly are needed to back them up. You may hear that wind and solar power are now on a par with conventional resources with respect to price, but that simply isn’t the case. (You can verify this statement at the website of

the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration at We need your help. We are facing legislation that will increase the cost of power to rural Colorado consumers, and it is being proposed by folks who do not live in rural Colorado or understand the already-high costs of services in rural Colorado. As your legislative team, CREA is at the Capitol in Denver every day advocating for affordable electricity. But the truth is that you, the co-op memberowner at the end of the line, are a much more effective advocate than CREA is. If you would like to stay informed about legislative and regulatory initiatives that impact the cost of electricity in co-op territory, you can join our Take Action Network by going to You will see a box on the home page where you can join the Take Action Network. Click on the box and sign up to receive information about the current legislative session. Once you have joined the Take Action Network, you may be asked to contact your state representative and/or state senator to ask them to oppose increased renewable portfolio standards or other legislation that will increase electricity costs to rural Colorado consumers. Colorado’s electric co-ops support renewable energy and energy efficiency, but we oppose inflexible legislative mandates that do not take into account the unique characteristics of each electric co-op system. With your help, we can continue to preserve the right for you, the memberowner of your co-op, to control your own destiny.

Kent Singer, Executive Director


[letters] No Government Interference

Question: What do you think about state government requiring less electricity use? Answer: I’m fed up with government of all kinds telling me what to do. We reduced electrical use by approximately 100 kilowatt-hours per month in 2012 — on our own. We don’t need bureaucrats telling us how to live.

Newt Burkhalter, Grand Junction

Recalling Vail

I greatly enjoyed “Vision for Vail” (February ’13). I grew up in the Midwest and visited Colorado for the first time in 1956 or ’57 on a long vacation with my parents. I remember Denver, the Great Sand Dunes, Durango and its train, Grand Junction and a narrow mountain valley with the beginnings of a ski area. We were on a two-lane highway headed east and we pulled over into a wide graveled turnout on the right that fronted a small gift shop or maybe a realtor’s office. Behind the building was a primitive ski lift, a rope tow or possibly a Poma lift or J-bar lift. Vail Valley is the only place in Colorado I have seen that fits that memory. This story says the area opened in 1962, but I wonder if what I remember was an earlier version of Vail. If it was, I regret that my father wasn’t interested in buying property there.

Jim Mulholland, Denver and Granby

With so much negative and controversial news in today’s world, this Vail story is a “feel good” story. Makes me want to go out and buy a couple of gallons of electricity.

Jim Stevens, Cotopaxi

Booking Thanks

The staff of Fort Morgan Public Library thanks you for the nice collection of books you donated to the library. The variety was well-selected, they have been cataloged and our patrons are quickly checking them out.

Claudia Nickell, Superintendent, Fort Morgan Public Library

Send your letter to the editor by mail to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver CO 80216 or email You must include your name and address, which will not be published. Letters may be edited. April 2013 5


[April] April 9-14 Aspen Aspen Shortsfest Various Aspen Locations April 11 Pagosa Springs Potluck Dinner Chimney Rock 970-883-5359 • chimney April 11-14 Palisade Peach Blossom Art Show Palisade Veterans Memorial Bldg. 970-254-9433 • palisade April 11 Pueblo Second Thursday Art Walk Pueblo Performing Arts Guild 855-543-2340 • April 12 Bayfield Winterguard Spring Showcase & Fundraiser Dinner Old BMS Gym 5:30-8 pm • 970-903-4294 April 13-14 Loveland Loveland Derby Loveland Ski Area aspx April 13 Orchard Mesa Walk from Obesity Eagle Rim Park 9:30 am • walkfromobesity. April 14 Bayfield Chili Dinner Fundraiser Pine River Senior Center 1-4 pm • 970-884-4886 April 14 Gunnison Sage-Grouse Festival Western State College of Colorado 9 am-3 pm • 970-642-4940 6 April 2013

April 14 Loveland 9Health Fair Campion Adventist Church 7 am-12 pm •

April 26-28 Karval Karval Mountain Plover Festival Town of Karval

April 16 Denver “Digging Snowmastodon” Lecture History Colorado Center 1-2 pm •

April 27 Cotopaxi Lions Club Spaghetti Supper Cotopaxi School Cafeteria 5-7 pm • 719-942-4177

April 18 Gunnison Mixed Media Art Class Gunnison Arts Center 6-9 pm • 970-641-4029

April 27 Fort Morgan International Music Fest Fort Morgan High School

April 20-21 Fort Collins Spring Contest Powwow and Indian Art Market North Aztlan Community Center NCIPA_powwow.html

April 27 Grand Junction March for Babies Lincoln Park 9 am • 970-243-0894 April 27 Littleton “Birding in the Garden” Hudson Gardens 8-11 am • 303-797-8565 x 306

April 20 Grand Junction Spring Yard Sale VA Medical Center Parking Lot April 27-June 2 9 am-3 pm • 970-242-6175 Loveland Governor’s Art Show Loveland Museum April 20 Meeker After Birth Ball Fairfield Center April 27 5:30 pm • meekerchamber. Pueblo com/community-calendar Todd Oliver and Friends Sangre de Cristo Arts Center 11 am & 2 pm • 719-295-7200 April 20-21 Monument Home Décor & Garden April 28 Show & Sale Granby Lewis-Palmer High School Camp Magic Mud Run 10 am • Camp Chief Ouray at Snow Mountain Ranch 9 am • April 20-21 Trinidad Art Garage Sale April 28 A.R. Mitchell Museum Grand Junction 719-846-4224 • “Family Palooza” Fundraiser Clarion Inn April 22 970-243-9539 • cecwecare@ Denver Free Admission Day Denver Botanic Gardens

[May] May 3-4 Cortez Four Corners Home & Garden Show Montezuma County Fairgrounds fourcornershomeandgarden May 3 Pueblo Walking, Shuttling and Boating Tour Day Pueblo Performing Arts Guild 855-543-2430 May 4 Burlington Home & Garden Show Burlington Community Center 9 am-3 pm • burlingtoncolo. com May 4 Estes Park Duck Race Fundraiser Various Estes Park Locations May 4-5 Livermore Art and Craft Show Historic Livermore Hall 970-493-9262 May 7 Cortez “Ooh, Sing it Again” Concert First United Methodist Church 7 pm • mancosvalleychorus. org May 9-11 Denver Spring Plant Sale Denver Botanic Gardens




Calendar, Colorado Country Life, 5400 N. Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; fax to 303455-2807; or email For more information on these and other events, visit September 2012 11


Electric co-op representatives work on a home in a New Orleans neighborhood as part of the national community service project.

NATIONAL CO-OP ANNUAL MEETING Community service, goodbyes, new leader, education are all part of meeting in Louisiana


Nearly 10,000 electric co-op directors, staff members, managers and employees from across the country gathered in New Orleans, Louisiana, in February for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Annual Meeting. The meeting opened with nearly 90 co-op volunteers from 30 electric cooperatives, including San Isabel Electric Association in Pueblo West, participating in the annual community service project. This year the group worked on two homes being rebuilt in a working-class New Orleans neighborhood. Following the weekend of service, meetings commenced on Monday, February 18, when NRECA CEO Glenn English adJo Ann Emerson dressed the group for his last annual meeting. Retiring February 28 after 19 years as head of the national trade association, English called on co-op leaders to continue their important work on behalf of their members. And he called on co-op leaders to get those members more involved as affordability and resources must be balanced to continue the reliability co-op members expect. New NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson, who took office March 1, was also introduced to those attending the meeting.

“By 2020, the United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer, according to the International Energy Agency. The U.S. has already overtaken Russia as the world’s leading gas producer. Fuel has become America’s largest export item. Within five years, according to a study by Citigroup, North America could be energy independent.” 12 April 2013


David Brooks, op-ed columnist, The New York Times April 2013 13

Source: XTreme Power


XTreme Power’s DPR 15-100C containerized battery energy storage unit is part of testing by electric cooperatives on the viability of harnessing and stabilizing renewable energy.


Electric cooperatives test energy storage systems to better harness renewables BY MAGEN HOWARD

One of the main obstacles to widespread use of wind and solar power production is nature itself: The wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. But electric cooperatives are on the cusp of efforts to develop technology aimed at storing excess renewable energy for when it’s needed most. 14 April 2013


Battery storage systems, first developed in the 1970s, have become more viable on a large scale thanks to recent chemistry breakthroughs that increase the longevity while lowering the cost of batteries. If battery energy storage at the utility level can be made commercially viable, it could result in a revolution for the aging American electric grid. Wind and solar energy are called “intermittent” sources of power, meaning they don’t provide a steady supply of electricity like traditional generation fuels, such as coal or natural gas. Even in the best situations, wind blows on average only about 30 to 40 percent of the time and usually not during hot, humid weekday afternoons or extremely cold mornings when electricity use spikes. Meanwhile, solar energy production can dramatically drop even when a band of fluffy clouds briefly passes over the sun. That’s where battery energy storage comes in. For example, the electricity produced when the sun shines and the wind blows at night can be used during times of peak demand when power use skyrockets, to avoid purchasing expensive supplemental power. So far, a handful of electric co-ops across the country are testing various uses of batteries.

Harnessing energy saves money Battery storage systems are a big investment for any electric cooperative. The good news: benefits exist beyond leveling out renewable energy supply. “Properly managed battery storage systems can delay the need for building expensive transmission lines that are difficult to get permits for in the first place,” says Dale Bradshaw, a senior program manager with the Cooperative Research Network, the research and development arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “It also reduces wear and tear on baseload power plants, which operate year-round to provide dependable electricity at a low cost, and can make electric distribution systems run more efficiently. All these opportunities add up to cost savings for consumers.” At present, pumped-storage hydro, a hydroelectric plant that generates power by using water previously pumped to an elevated reservoir during off-peak hours, remains the largest-capacity form of energy storage available. Compressed-air energy storage, power plants “fueled” by air pushed into an underground cavern during times of low electricity consumption, has received increased attention because it can be expanded relatively cheaply. PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, a generation and transmission cooperative based in Andalusia, Alabama, operates one of only

a handful of compressed-air energy storage facilities in the United States. “Pumped-storage hydro and compressed-air energy storage facilities generally operate when electric use soars,” says John Holt, former NRECA senior manager of generation and fuels. “But geography limits where they can be located.” That means development of better batteries could be the key to wide use of energy storage technologies. Before central station electric service came to rural America via the electric cooperative movement in the 1930s, farmers used “battery sets” that were recharged with windmills and ram pumps. Like conventional sealed lead-acid car batteries, those contraptions could go only through a limited number of discharge-charge cycles before they were exhausted. Fast-forward to 2013 and developers are aiming for batteries that can function through 80 percent discharge for 10,000 cycles, allowing for longevity of three decades or more. “If you’re supplementing wind or solar, you’re going through a complete cycle on a daily basis,” Bradshaw says. “In other words, a long cycle life remains key.”

What energy storage means for the future The U.S. Department of Energy forecasts that energy storage will significantly change the electric grid. With it, the nation could possibly create an electricity “stockpile” like the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But initially, energy storage systems will make renewable generation sources more financially feasible, a critical step as U.S. lawmakers contemplate ways to create a more diverse energy production portfolio. “Co-ops could also use battery storage systems to cut down on blinks, those momentary service interruptions that force you to reset your digital clocks,” Bradshaw says. “If enough energy is stored, power could continue to flow to homes in such an event.” “Electric cooperatives are leading the charge” he notes. “In researching and testing energy storage systems that will directly benefit consumers, from reduced operational costs and better service reliability to environmentally responsible power production.” Magen Howard writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, based in Arlington, Virginia. Additional information provided by RE Magazine. April 2013 15

Mike Picard’s

The electro-Willys and its juice box park at home in Sangre de Cristo Electric’s territory.

Electric Willys Adventure BY KRISTEN HANNUM

In 2008, Arkansas River Valley resident Mike Picard bought a gasoline-powered Willys Jeep (vintage 1952) and put electric batteries into it. He also rigged a towable generator to enable the “electro-Willys” to go long distances, a hybrid of sorts with the 300-mile or so range of a gasoline-powered car.

Mike wires the contactor that controls the high voltage power in his Jeep. 16 April 2013

Picard had hoped that his electro-Willys and its charging trailer would take part in the Military Vehicle Preservation Association’s 2012 4,000-mile Alaska convoy. But, Picard test drove them just before the convoy’s start and discovered that the Willys needed to go back in the garage for more work. Lots more work. The story of Picard’s dream and his Willys’ return trip from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to his Colorado garage is both inspiring and bittersweet; it’s about individual, backyard American ingenuity but also about the inevitable setbacks that come with new technologies. In a way, it’s surprising that Picard is tinkering with batteries at all, since his love affair with combustion engines goes so far back. When he was in high school in Rockford, Illinois, his dad helped him locate his first vehicle. They found an old Willys in a truck graveyard and towed it home. “Two friends and I stripped it down in one weekend,” Picard said. Then came the much longer job of putting it back together. Picard succeeded and still owns the Jeep. Ellen Picard, his college sweetheart and now wife, was responsible for keeping it in the family: Picard nearly traded it in for a Willys wagon. Ellen talked him out of it. Picard was commissoned into the Army at the end of college, and eventually become an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, doing design and project management. He transferred from active duty to active reserve as a captain in 1990, landing a job as a surveyor for the U.S. Forest Service. After 9/11 he was called up, serving from October 2001 until March 2004. When he returned from Iraq, his old Forest Service position in Washington state had disappeared, but he landed a new job in Salida and he and Ellen bought a home in Sangre de Cristo Electric’s territory in the Arkansas River Valley. The 40-mile

round-trip commute wasn’t too bad until the summer of 2008 when diesel fuel hit $5 a gallon. “We had talked about looking at alternative energy, wind for the house, solar for the garage,” said Ellen. “Then when fuel prices started getting high, we started talking about electric vehicles. I was a little skeptical at first, but it was also really exciting.” Picard decided to go electric — with a Willys, of course. “They’re mechanically simple,” he said. “So I thought it would make an interesting conversion.” He’s not the only person in the do-it-yourself electric car conversion universe to choose a Willys, although most people settle on something more aerodynamic. Sports cars, for instance. Porsches and Volkswagens are especially popular because there are kits. Do-it-yourselfers also hesitate at the Willys M38’s mid20th-century technology, but it’s their weight that’s the real deal breaker. None of that dissuaded Picard. “From working with heavy equipment, I knew I’d need more power,” he said. “I’d need more batteries and maybe a higher-quality electric motor to counter the design’s inefficiencies.” Picard’s collection of Willys didn’t include the right specimen for the conversion, so he went shopping. He found a 1952 Air Force Willys that needed body work. “It had all the right things wrong with it,” he said. He cleaned it up but didn’t disassemble the engine as he typically would have. Instead he decided to go with an electric car conversion outfit in Salida. A team there said it could do the conversion to lead acid batteries for just a couple thousand dollars. The complications started almost immediately. The young mechanics wanted to install a direct connection between the motor and the transmission, and they thought the transmission should have just three gears instead of four. There are a thousand feet of difference between Picard’s home and his office, so he was leery. Still, the crew had the Willys running by Thanksgiving. It topped out at an underwhelming 30 miles an hour. The crew had promised Picard he’d be able to go 50 or 60 miles on a single charge so that he wouldn’t have to plug the vehicle in at work, but it could only go 25 to 30 miles. “There were times, if I were fighting a head wind, that we’d barely make it home,” he said. By Christmas 2008, he’d pulled the plug on the Salida crew. As he became more knowledgeable about battery conversions, Picard also grew more worried about the Salida team’s lack of concern regarding electrical safety. Its design stored 23 kilowatts in a battery pack consisting of 18 eight-volt batteries, but there was no way to shut off the power except for one on-off switch. “Contactors have been known to fail,” Picard said. “They’ve been known to fail welded shut so that the power continues.” Worse, the 2008-era contactor controllers that the Salida team had used weren’t up to Picard’s safety standards. “It was the infancy of that part of the industry,” Picard said. If a controller and contactor failed, the next stop for a surge of electricity would be the motor, which would then destroy itself by spinning too fast. “What if I get into an accident?” Picard asked himself. “How can I immediately shut off the power?”

The generator feeds power to the panel box on the right, then on to the charger in the back.

Mike Picard’s electro-Willys and Juice Box are on display at the Dawson Creek, British Columbia, military vehcile show.

Picard fell back on his standard operating procedure: safety first. He disassembled everything and reassembled it. He installed a circuit breaker between the battery pack and the contactor. He jacketed all the small wires with a plastic loom to protect them from rubbing against the steel body. He used rubber grommets to keep wire from being in contact with steel. Picard entered Electric Vehicle Television’s do-it-yourself electric vehicle contest, a showcase for innovative technology. When the contest judges announced the winners in 2011, Picard won second place out of 955 entrants. His Willys’ unique conversion — with its towable generator — continued to stump Picard with a hundred puzzles. Delays in product deliveries for needed parts meant he couldn’t adequately test everything before the August 4, 2012, start date of the month-long Military Vehicle Preservation Association’s Alaska Highway convoy. The nearly 100-truck-long convoy, beginning in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, celebrated the 70th anniversary of [continued on page 18] the building of the Alaska Highway in 1942. April 2013 17

[continued from page 17]

The route also included the Top of the World Highway, the Denali Highway, the Dempster Highway (which crosses the Arctic Circle) and others. Picard was in charge of fueling logistics. That wouldn’t have been much of a job if the convoy’s route went Military vehicles ready to down the East Coast, but Alaska’s join the convoy are waiting outback is entirely different. for clearance from Canadian There are stretches with 230 miles customs. No problems! between gas stations. They would stop in eight communities over the month-long planned route that had only one fueling station. One place hadn’t sold gas for a year. Picard needed to guarantee 2,500 gallons of gasoline and 1,500 gallons of diesel at each stop. “That could wipe out a gas station if they didn’t schedule a delivery in time to support us,” he said. The logistics ate even further into Picard’s compressed time window for testing his electro-Willys and generator trailer. Like many participants, all of whom would be driving retired military vehicles in the convoy, Picard didn’t drive but rather hauled his Willys to Dawson Creek. He also transported the towable generator. He and three friends had an idyllic drive north from Nathrop up into British Columbia, the Willys and generator riding along. Then, in Dawson Creek, on August 3, the night before the convoy was set to leave, Picard took a final test drive. Two terminals on the electric motor fried themselves within a half second on that drive. There was a short circuit on one of the cables that delivers power from the controller to the motor. The terminal short-circuited against the motor housing, destroying the insulator on the terminal on the motor. At first, Picard thought he could fix the problem, but he soon realized it was a lost cause without new factory-designed terminals. “I couldn’t repair it with what I had with me,” he says. He sadly parked the Willys in a pasture and caught up with the convoy in the support truck. “The three guys who were with me worked hard to cheer me up,” Picard said. Other convoy members were supportive as well, offering Picard rides on their Willyses, a dubious gift on cold rainy days since the Willys is open with minimal suspension on rough, corduroy roads — that is, roads made of logs covered with gravel and insulation, a defense against the summer mud and road heaves from freezing. “I’ve driven a lot of that road, so I know what it’s like,” said Lorena Knapp, a medivac helicopter pilot based out of Soldotna, Alaska. “It’s not a great road.” Locals, including Knapp, cheered as the military vehicles paraded through their vast backyard. The convoy had stopped at Knapp’s sister’s lodge, parking on an old runway. “It was a wet, drippy day, but they were out there having a fantastic time,” Knapp said. “They’re piling out of their vehicles, some of them are muddy, stepping down from open Jeeps. That couldn’t have been 18 April 2013

fun, but it was fun that we were waving from the parking lot.” A couple dozen neighbors and about the same number of guests at the lodge shared cookies and coffee with the convoy participants, inspiring Knapp to blog about how passion can be infectious. “Are old military vehicles my thing?” she wrote. “Nope. But enthusiastic, passionate people living a Big Life are definitely my thing.” When he got back home, Picard repaired the broken Willys. He pulled out the motor and replaced the two fried terminals, and it’s now a good commuting vehicle. He’s still working on the charging trailer. “My own experimentation has shown that the charging trailer can work if you solve a few basic problems.” The technology is moving quickly, helping solve problems. The lithium ion batteries he’s now using, for instance, weren’t available in 2008. “It’s been an exciting process to watch,” Ellen said. “There are a lot of people out there, doing their own thing. I’ve been amazed by the forums he’s joined online. He’s learned a lot, and has been able to share what he’s done with the technology.” Ellen’s a website designer and has taken notice of the role the Internet has played, making it possible for the electric car community to help one another. “We’re working on the great transportation movement of this century, as technology grows,” Picard said. “Early in the last century, all kinds of bicycle and wagon shops began building cars. Now we’re looking at a different mode of transportation and putting it together. It’s bringing electric cars back into the forefront.” Picard is philosophical about Ellen Picard making adjustments on the Willys. the ups and downs of being a do-it-yourself inventor — his version of the Big Life. “If I knew in 2008 what I know now, the conversion of the Willys would have been significantly different. The biggest thing is I would have done it myself. But I’d do it all again.” Kisten Hannum, a Colorado native, is a freelance writer and editor living in Denver. This is her fourth story for Colorado Country Life.

Visit and see more photos of Mike Picard’s electro-Willys.

Mike washing the Willys before a car show.

More Electric Willys Pics Mike placing the controller under the drivers seat.

Mike building a battery box. 16 April 2013

Assembling the best convey crew for the long trip (left to right): Owen, Mike, Nathan and Greg.

The backside of one of the many gauge panesl that Mike uses to monitor the Willys.

Mike replaced the windshield after the glass cracked.

Installing the windshield on the electro-Willys.

Ellen Picard, spokesperson for the electro-Willys enjoying 2011 Rocky Mountain Airshow in Broomfield. April 2013 17 April 2013 23


Dishes with Garden Variety

Get creative with salad ingredients for fresh, delicious cuisine BY AMY HIGGINS || AHIGGINS@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG Keep it clean It’s important to thoroughly rinse and dry your fruits and vegetables, even if you plan to peel them. Bacteria from the produce’s skin can transfer to the inner surface once it is exposed from peeling.


With the temperature climbing its way toward summer, fresh produce options are burgeoning. This month, head to your local market, pick a peck of mouthwatering provisions and toss a delicious salad for your family. It only takes a little extra effort to turn a bowl of lettuce into a full-flavored and filling meal that’s sure to satisfy. Try one of our suggestions:

Veggie Taco Salad 2 cups soy crumbles 3/4 cup salsa 5 cups shredded lettuce 1 cup corn kernels 1 cup black beans 1/4 cup sliced green onions 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese 2 tablespoons sliced ripe olives 2 tablespoons fat free sour cream

Spinach Salad With Fresh Grapes, Plums, Peaches and Kiwis

In large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook soy crumbles and salsa over medium heat about 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently. In large bowl toss together lettuce, corn and black beans. Arrange on 4 serving plates. Top with crumbles mixture. Sprinkle with toppings.

4 cups washed baby spinach 2 plums, sliced 1 peach, sliced 1/2 cup red grapes 1/2 cup green grapes 2 kiwis, sliced 1/2 cup toasted almonds

Topping Options

Place spinach, sliced plums and sliced peach in a salad bowl and toss with kiwi vinaigrette (see recipe below). Garnish with additional fruit pieces and top with toasted almonds. Serves 6. The naked truth Don’t add dressing to your salad until you’re ready to serve. Adding dressing too early will make your greens flimsy and soggy. For more salad ideas: colorado 20 April 2013

Kiwi Vinaigrette 3 kiwis, peeled and chopped 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 3 tablespoons orange juice 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2-3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon agave or honey salt and black pepper to taste Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. April 2013 21


Local Growth Invest in agriculture next door for wholesome fare, community spirit BY EVA ROSE MONTANE || ABUNDANTEARTHGARDENS.COM || GARDENING@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG


In the United States, food travels an average of 1,500 to 2,500 miles from farm to table, according to the Worldwatch Institute. This long-distance travel comes with all kinds of repercussions. For example, tons of fossil fuels are burned during that amount of travel in refrigerated vessels. This food also lacks freshness and requires more packaging. Furthermore, it is selected because of its ability to hold up well in all that travel rather than for its flavor and nutrition. Fortunately, a movement called Community Supported Agriculture that began overseas in the 1960s was introduced in the United States in the ’80s and is now prevalent throughout the country. The concept is really quite a simple yet brilliant one: Small, diversified farms make their harvest available to the local community in regular weekly installments through the growing season. In return, recipients pay for their “share” at the beginning of the season when the farmer needs the funds the most to get everything growing. The arrangement can be likened to a magazine subscription. The idea is that the community supports its local agriculture by sharing the risk of the growing season with the farmer. If it’s a drought year or a hailstorm wipes out all the greens, for example, the community bears the brunt of the loss with the farmer and accepts that there may be no spinach that season. This gives the farmer more insurance than having to rely on selling his or her produce in other less dependable ways and ties the community more directly to the reality of its food source. Regardless, the benefits are plentiful for the community, the CSA member, the farmer and the environment. The food travels dramatically shorter distances, which is good for the people who eat it and for the environment. The community increases the strength of its local food economy. And, in addition to the above benefits for the farmer, he or she also gets to enjoy the freedom of trying out growing different crops than what is proven to be sellable in the market. On the flip side, CSA members also benefit because a greater diversity of foods can be readily available for their consumption. A CSA farm provides fresh, local, seasonal produce at its best. It makes cooking and eating more fun and interesting, 22 April 2013

and it builds community. In fact, some farms offering CSA shares have the option for members to lend a hand at the farm and get to know community residents, the farmer and the land that grows their food. It can be a beautiful and powerful experience in a day and age when too many people sincerely believe their food arrives at their grocery store from local businesses rather than from thousands of miles away. Depending on the location, many farms allow their CSA members to pick up their shares straight from the farm. Others bring it to a central location, such as a weekly farmer’s market. And some will even deliver directly to the CSA members’ door. We share our membership with a neighboring household, and it has been fun collaborating with our neighbors. We receive good food and our half memberships seem to provide just enough provisions for both of us to keep up with. I wholeheartedly believe that being a member of a CSA farm is the next best thing to growing your own food. Eva Rose Montane hosts a cutting-edge series on gardening in Colorado. Read more gardening advice at Click on Living in Colorado and then Gardening. April 2013 23


Plotting Your Patterns

Simple and intricate homemade flies can be effective BY DENNIS SMITH

L Legislative APP 99¢

AVAILABLE NOW Interactive 2013 Colorado Legislative Directory App Colorado’s elected officials at your fingertips.

or at Google Play or call 303-455-2700 for more information. 24 April 2013

Like many fly fishermen and women I know, I tie most of my own flies for a variety of reasons: it’s fun, it’s curiously fascinating and we like to believe we’re saving a few bucks. Considering the small fortune we blow on tools, classes, instructional books, videos, hooks and materials, though, that’s almost laughable. Some of us pursue the craft simply to restock our personal fly boxes and those of our friends. The more ambitious among us may tie professionally to supply contract customers or local fly shop inventories. Others tie for personal gratification and pure love of the art. They are the designers and creators of either the most gorgeous, meticulously crafted feathered exotica you can imagine or some of the most flamboyant. Regardless, one has to be impressed by their skill and creative ingenuity. A friend of mine ties imitation stone flies so realistic they look as if they could creep across your desk and fly away. Another friend, who seldom fishes, ties classic, exhibition-grade, full dress salmon flies exclusively, many of which require as many as 10 or 15 different materials and multiple intricate operations and take days to complete. You’ll find those flies in custom frames hanging on the wall of an art gallery or the gift section of a high-end fly shop, not dangling from the end of somebody’s line. I love this stuff as much as the next guy, and I like to tie some of it from time to time, but as a matter of practicality,

when it comes to tying patterns to actually fish with, I look for flies that meet three critical criteria: They must be simple, quick to tie and effective. The fewer the materials and the quicker they go on the hook, the better. And, of course, the fly should catch fish more often than not. While riffling through the fly bins at the Elkhorn fly shop recently, I spotted a pattern called the “Cupboard Ant” and was immediately intrigued. It was remarkably realistic looking (as flies go) and appeared to be made of nothing more than a small hunk of foam and a hackle feather, so it was definitely simple. And, as every fly fisherman knows, trout love to eat ants, so I knew it would be effective. But, I wondered, how did the guy make such a neat little body and those cute little antennae? The owner, Brian Chavet, explained the body was made by cutting a strip of the rubberized cloth people use to line cupboard shelves (hence the name), pulling the obviously segmented body from the strip and lashing it to the hook. “It’s stupid simple,” he said. “Even you could tie this one,” he joked. “You can add a thorax, wings, legs and a hackle feather if you like, or fish it just as it comes from the cupboard cloth strip. Either way, it works.” He was right: It’s simple, it’s quick to tie and it catches fish. What more could you ask for? I thought I’d pass it on.

Miss an issue? Catch up at Click on Outdoors.

[energy tips]



What types of solar water heater options are there? The two basic types of solar water heating systems are “active” and “passive.” Active systems require a storage tank, electric pumps, and controls to function. Sometimes 12-volt pumps can be powered by a photovoltaic solar panel located near the solar water-heating collectors on the roof. In cold climates, the system has to include some type of antifreeze working fluid and heat exchanger so it does not freeze at night during winter. Other systems that circulate the actual potable water through the collector need a A single-tank solar batch wadraining system ter heater. The angle of the to empty the coltop depends on the latitude lectors at night of your region. during winter. Passive water heating systems rely on the natural upward flow of less-dense warm water to move the water through the solar collector. In these systems, the warm water storage tank is located above the solar collector, usually on the roof or in the attic, so there are some structural considerations with these types of devices. These systems are less expensive than more sophisticated active systems, but they tend to be less efficient, especially during cold weather. There are many types of solar collector designs. The best one for your house depends on your climate, your hot water requirements and your budget. They can be as simple as black copper tubes in an insulated box with a glass top, or more sophisticated with vacuum tubes, concentrating reflectors, and heat pipe technology. Discuss the various types with your solar contractor.

Passive solar saves. Using reflective coatings on windows, roofs and exterior walls will keep your home cooler while saving energy and money.

For more information on solar water heaters, visit Click on Energy Tips. April 2013 25

INTRODUCING ENERGYWISE Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, in partnership with CREA, Tri-State and communitybased lenders, are dedicated to promoting the wise use of electric energy to reduce costs and protect our environment. ENERGYWISE WILL BE BRINGING THESE PROGRAMS TO YOU n Easy Internet access to energy saving tools n “Green Button” energy-efficiency information programs n Education for member-owners on the value of energy efficiency n Promotion of innovative energy-efficiency products n Rebates for energy-efficiency products n Partnerships with community-based lenders to finance energy efficiency projects n Partnerships with state agencies to save taxpayer dollars n Cash for clunkers to take inefficient appliances out of circulation n Weatherization programs to increase member comfort and reduce costs n Verification services to make sure energy efficiency projects are implemented appropriately n Promotion of energy-efficiency research and design through a science fair scholarship

Contact Geoff Hier at 720-407-0702 ext. 702 or email for more information. 26 April 2013

Adverti se in Colo rado Cou ntry Life !

We've got your back. Call Kris at 303-902-7276 for more information on advertising in Colorado Country Life.


Fix or replace any dripping faucets or plumbing. Hundreds of gallons can go down the drain with just one dripping hot water facet. April 2013 27

[classifieds] TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED AD Please type or print your ad on a separate paper. Indicate how many months you would like your ad to run and which month to start. There is a minimum of 12 words at $1.63 per word/month. Be sure to include your full name and address for our records. Check MUST accompany this order or call to pay by credit card. Send your ad to: mail: Colorado Country Life 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 phone: 303-902-7276 fax: 303-455-2807 email:


ANTIQUES ANTIQUE RESTORATION STUDIO – Antique conservation. Quality craftsmanship since 1974. Bayfield, CO, 970-884-1937. (988-04-13) BUY, SELL, TRADE, RESTORE antique woodstoves, cookstoves, early gas heaters. Always looking for stoves, parts. Bob 303-902-7709 (049-05-13) CHAIR CANING, hand caning, machine caning, fiber rush caning. Pueblo West, 719-547-0723. (858-04-13)

ANTLERS ANTLER CHANDELIERS made only from REAL antlers. We are the manufacturer and we sell all of our products at wholesale prices; save as much as 60% from store prices. Many other antler products and mounts, including 5’ moose mount, 56” elk mount and giant moose paddles. Showroom open May 15 through October 15 in Granby, CO. 15 years at this location, over 900 satisfied customers! Designers: We can provide you a single item or a whole houseful. Call! 970-627-3053. (085-09-13)

APPRAISALS NEED AN APPRAISAL? We specialize in ranches, agricultural lands, and commercial real estate. Located in Central Colorado. Keserich & Co Appraisals. 719-539-3548 (100-05-13)

The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year. — Mark Twain 28 April 2013

(These opportunities have not been investigated by Colorado Country Life.) BUSY, FULL SERVICE, AUTO REPAIR WORKSHOP in SW Colorado. Est. 35 yrs. Solid business, dependable staff, 6 bays, paint booth, offices. Financing options. Call Joyce, 970563-4500. (942-06-13) CAMPGROUND – MAIN HOUSE, 4 cabins, 10 RV sites. For sale on 4.81 acres. $359,000. www.nwcolorado. com/realestate/mountain-homesfor-sale/Barbara 970-482-4004. (091-05-13) LEGITIMATE WORK AT HOME opportunity. No sales, investment, risk. Training/website provided. Monthly income plus bonuses, benefits. Call Carrie 303-579-4207, ourabundance (932-06-13) LOTTERY – Guaranteed incomeproducing system. Free booklet. Call toll free 24 hrs/day 1-877-5266957 ID# S4465 (911-04-13) PIANO TUNING PAYS. Learn with American School home-study course. Tools included. Call for info. 800-497-9793. (158-01-14) REALISTIC HOME BUSINESSES – HOW TO SELECT, start, operate. Over 80 businesses detailed from actual owners. www.patsbookshop. com (075-06-13) REDUCED $50,000 -- 14 spacious motel rooms, beauty shop (rented), studio apartment, lovely owners’ quarters. Good Business. Many repeat guests. Completely remodeled. Call Betty 719-263-4773 or cell 719-251-1554 (025-06-13)




START YOUR OWN BUSINESS – home/internet. Simply the highest quality candles/beauty/fundraising. Enter free drawing. www.natures (831-07-13)

BIGGEST LITTLE CORNERSTONE CAFÉ in Eaton, Colorado. Super green chili !! 130 1st Street. (09906-13)


GRASSFED YAK AND BISON MEAT for sale. Delicious and nutritious. Delivery available. Fourth, half, or whole. 720-256-3364 (029-07-13)

SAWMILL EXCHANGE: North America’s largest source of used portable sawmills and commercial equipment for woodlot owners and sawmill operations. Over 800 listings. THE place to sell equipment. 800-459-2148 www.sawmill . (267-09-13)

50 SUBARUS! (1995-2012) Outbacks, Foresters, Imprezas, Tribecas & more! Great prices! Warranties available! Dealer: www. 719-4819900 (574-08-13)

CLOCK REPAIR & RESTORATION DURANGO AREA. CLOCKS of all kinds repaired. Antique and modern. Clocks bought and sold. Call Robert 970-247-7729, bob.scott@ (109-05-13)

COMPUTERS COMPUTER REPAIR – CALL ME FIRST! Affordable computer repair for Western Colorado. Joel, 907778-5253, (096-05-13)

EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS/ PARENTS: Looking for a different approach? Want something exceptional? Biblical perspective, wilderness adventure, college prep, close Christian community, housing provided. www.emhweb. org (035-07-13)

ENERGY SAFELY, CONVENIENTLY, BURN wood fuel pellets in potbelly stoves, fireplaces, BBQ’s, and campfires. See www.pelletlogkits. com. (098-04, 09-12-13)

FINANCIAL SERVICES FINANCIAL HELP LINES for CO families. Bankruptcy advice for free 877-933-1139. Mortgage relief help line 888-216-4173. Student loan relief line 888-694-8235. Tax relief IRS help line 877-633-4457. Debt relief non-profit line 888-779-4272. Collection agency complaints 800896-7860. Numbers provided by, a public benefit organization. (087-04-13)

FINE ART KAREN VANCE original oil of Forest Cyn in RMNP. 26”x36” image size. Custom framed size is 38”x48”. 970627-3104 — Grand Lake Art Gallery (097-04-13)


OXYGEN CONCENTRATORS - $380 with warranty. Also sell portable concentrators and oxygen supplies. Repair and service of equipment. Aspen Concentrators Repair Service 719-471-9895 (040-04-13) SONY TC-We425 double cassette player with about 150 cassettes. Collector’s item. $220 and 6 Prince Diane magazines. 719-427-0006 (101-04-13)

FREE FREE BOOKS/DVDS. Soon the “Mark of the Beast” will be enforced as Church and State unite! Let the Bible reveal. The Bible Says, POB 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771. 888-211-1715. (814-04-13) TRUSTING JESUS CHRIST versus lies of doing duties, laws, rituals, Priestcraft, idolatry. Pastor Edwin Vrell, 303-772-8825 (995-05-13)

HELP WANTED $400 WEEKLY ASSEMBLING PRODUCTS FROM HOME. For free information, send SASE: Home Assembly – CC, Box 450, New Britain, CT 06050-0450.

HOBBIES & CRAFTS BOOKS, PATTERNS, CLASSES, knitting, felting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, natural dye extracts, Jacquard and Gaywool dyes. www. Colorado Springs, 866-495-7747 (791-05-13)

HOUSEHOLD HELPS LOOKING TO REPLACE AMWAY PRODUCTS? Lose your distributor? I can ship to your home, no hassle, no salesman. Monika Cary 970-7242912. (982-05-13)

POULTRY/GAMEBIRDS FREE – 5 EXOTIC CHICKS or 3 ducks with 100 frypan special @ $37.50 plus shipping. Also Cornish Cross, standard breeds, fancy chicks, ducks, geese, turkeys, bantams, guineas, pheasants, quail, supplies, video. FREE COLOR CATALOG 417-532-4581. Cackle Hatchery – PO Box 529, Lebanon, MO 65536. www. (876-07-13)

QUILTS AWARD WINNING LONG-ARM QUILTING Services - Karen Niemi, 303-470-9309, http://creative., (846-08-13)

REAL ESTATE CAÑON CITY RANCH, 1081 acres, 9000 BLM leased grazing acres, varied terrain, open and treed. Nice Southwest-style home, outbuildings, ranchhand house. Near rafting, fishing, hunting, skiing. Call Diann Tomar, Frontier West Realty, 719275-7404. (103-05-13) GRAND JUNCTION HORSE FARM, 3130 A 1/2 Rd, 3550+ sq. ft. home on 14 acres. Newly remodeled, new central air, new boiler, new water heater, new roof, half brick ranch w/new vinyl siding. 5 bdrm, 3 1/2 bath, living room, dining room, large kitchen, large family room. New carpet/tile/wood floors. Full horse barn w/indoor stalls & outside runs. All steel fencing, arenas, loafing sheds on large pastures. Additional fencing around home & inground heated pool. RV building (50x28’), two large ponds, etc. $625,000. Ginny 970-260-9629, Terry 970-261-3001, Gtraudt@ 3% to 6% to any REALTOR w/buyer (946-06-13) HOWARD, COLORADO. Tree covered residential home site. Year round access. Owner finance. 719276-7294 (050-06-13)

[funny stories] REAL ESTATE



SAN LUIS VALLEY HOUSES 12+ acres with two homes on the Rio Grande River outside of Del Norte. One house was built in 1910, the other in 1971, each with domestic wells which can only be found in today’s market on parcels of 35 acres or more. Asking $584,500 for both but can be purchased separately. Call 719-657-2390. (102-05-13)

KAUAI VACATION RENTAL, 2bdr, full kitchen. Minutes from beaches. $600/wk. 808-245-6500; makana; (756-05-13)

OLD POCKET WATCHES – working or non-working and old repair material. Bob 719-859-4209 watch (870-12-13)

WANTED: PROPERTY TO LEASE for hunting, fishing. We offer landowners numerous benefits. Hunting club also looking for new members. 303-460-0273 (069-04-13)

RELIGION BECOME AN ORDAINED Minister by correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, PMB 767, 6630 W Cactus, B107, Glendale, AZ 85304. http:// (441-06-13)

TICKETS NFR & PBR RODEO TICKETS – Las Vegas. All seating levels available. Call 1-888-NFR-rodeo (1-888-6377633) or *BBB Member; Since 1990. (912-11-13)

WANTED TO BUY NAVAJO RUGS, old and recent, native baskets, pottery. Tribal Rugs, Salida. 719-539-5363, b_inaz@ (817-04-13) OLD COLORADO LIVESTOCK brand books prior to 1975. Call Wes 303-757-8553. (889-08-13) OLD COWBOY STUFF–hats, boots, spurs, chaps, Indian rugs, baskets, etc. ANYTHING OLD! Mining & railroad memorabilia, ore carts! We buy whole estates. We’ll come to you! Call 970-759-3455 or 970-5651256. (871-05-13) OLD GAS AND OIL items: Gas pumps, advertising signs, globes, etc. Pieces, parts, etc. considered. Also 1932-34 Ford cars and trucks, parts and pieces, too. Any condition. Brandon, 719-250-5721. (519-11-13)

VINTAGE FISHING TACKLE. I buy rods, reels, lures, creels, etc. References available. Call Gary at 970-222-2181. (960-08-13) WANT TO PURCHASE minerals and other oil/gas interests. Send details to: PO Box 13557, Denver, CO 80201. (402-03-14) WANTED: JEEP CJ OR WRANGLER. Reasonably priced. No rust buckets. 888-735-5337 (099-06-13) WE PAY CASH for minerals and oil/ gas interests, producing and nonproducing. 800-733-8122 (099-02-14)

A man pulled into a crowded parking lot at the local shopping center. He rolled down the car windows to make sure his new Labrador puppy had enough fresh air. She was laying down, stretched out on the back seat in the car. He wanted to make her understand that she had to stay put. He walked backwards toward the store, pointing his finger at the car and saying sternly, “You stay. Do you hear me? Stay! Stay!” At that moment, a young man slowly came driving by. Puzzled, he asked the man, “Why don’t you just put it in park?” Lila Taylor, Stratton

We own a Great Dane named Rutner. Nearly

I got my cool bike through the CCL classified section. It’s just what I wanted. Call Kris at 303-902-7276 to advertise.

PLAN TO ADVERTISE Education sections in June and October Great schools Great tutors Great opportunities

all the time she acts like an angel, but she hates UPS drivers. One day on a walk, a UPS man came walking around the corner. As I struggled to keep hold of Rutner, I tried to ease the situation and said, “As you can see, she just loves UPS men.” He responded, “Don’t you feed her anything else?” Philip Arlinghaus, Fort Collins

As I was helping my 4-year-old son change his pants that were covered in dirt, I noticed he had two pair of underpants on. When I asked him why he had on two pair, he said, “Mom told me to put on a clean pair.” Bernard C. Moses, Williamsburg, Kentucky

We were visiting Lake Electra in Durango and wanted to do some fishing. We drove all along the lake looking for the best spot to put in our lines. As we drove over a bridge, we noticed a worker trimming weeds alongside the bridge. My husband stopped and asked the man, “Hey, man. Where’s the best place to fish around here?” Without missing a beat, the man motioned toward the lake and replied, “I’d try out in the water.” We still laugh every time we think about that encounter. Darren and Tobie Webb, Durango

Call Kris for information on how to be a part of the education sections: 303-902-7276.

We pay $15 to each person who submits a funny story that’s printed in the magazine. At the end of the year, we draw one name from those submitting jokes and that person will receive $150. Send your 2013 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check. April 2013 29

Sow Your Seeds With Love


When planting your produce and flowers this spring, think local. On our search for Colorado companies that sell gardening products we found three gems that supply seeds: Broomfield-based Botanical Interests, and Bounty Beyond Belief and Lake Valley Seed, both based in Boulder. These companies offer abundant options for your garden, all of which are free of genetically modified organisms or GMOs. Check out their selections at your local nursery or visit their websites: botanicalinterests. com, and

Take the Ouch Out of Crouch


The Deep-Seat Garden Kneeler takes the pain out of planting, pruning, weeding and harvesting your garden. It is equipped with a comfortable, deep cushion and handles that help gardeners stand and kneel with ease. Flip the Garden Kneeler in the low position to get down low or flip it high to sit in a natural position so you can tend to your garden. The Deep-Seat Garden Kneeler weighs 9 pounds yet supports 250 pounds and folds flat for easy storage. Buy it in green or purple for $39.95 at

Enter to win Do these Discoveries entice you? Enter to win our April contest and they could be yours. Email your name, address and phone number to to enter. We will choose two winners for this contest. First place will receive the Deep-Seat Garden Kneeler and second place will get a copy of Secrets From My Grandma’s Garden, a dibbler and a variety of GMO-free seeds. All entries must be received by April 22. 30 April 2013

The Dibbler Does It The dibbler is a simple tool that will come in handy when it’s time to start planting your garden. You can use the dibbler to create a nice hole to a size of your liking by poking and twisting it into the ground. This particular dibbler is made of oak and marked in 1-inch increments to help you make exact measurements. After the hole is made, simply drop in seeds or bulbs, cover with soil and repeat. Find a dibbler at your local gardening supply and nursery store. This dibbler cost $11.49 at Paulino Gardens in Denver

Get In on the Secret Secrets From My Grandma’s Garden, written by Fort Collins dweller Don Eversoll, is a delightful, practical gardening guide that gives readers tips, advice and answers that will help get their gardens going. For example, Eversoll explains how to plan your garden’s layout, build good soil and establish plants from seeds. He includes pages for readers to make notes, which can come in handy for memory recall during the following year’s planning. He even includes some recipes from his grandma, the inspiration behind the book. Secrets From My Grandma’s Garden sells for $11.95 on Eversoll’s website,, and at several Colorado garden centers.

Colorado Country Life April 2013  
Colorado Country Life April 2013  

Colorado Country Life April 2013