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Gillette’s Lifestyle Magazine









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Contents 26 CITY’S BEST

Gillette’s garden shops are budding with knowledgeable experts to solve any problem. We’ve handpicked our favorites.

This kit will save you money.



Meet 4-H chicken champion Chaylin Stephens as she preps to compete again at this year’s Campbell County Fair.


Master Gardener Sandra Aberle gets us gardenready with expert advice on everything from lighting to potting.




Get into the fold with the ranching and gardening family, and local YouTube sensations, Our Wyoming Life.


Moorcroft’s Garden Gnomes volunteer group rally together to cultivate and grow a kickass community garden.


This photo is everything.




2 0 1 9 M U S I C F E S T I VA L

G I LLET TE COL L EG E CA M PUS www.donkeycre e kfe

Natives of Nowhere • Figures in Fiction Freddy Rodriguez • The Lique Canyon Kids • Big Horn Band Cascade Crescendo • The Land Band


Friday, Jun 21, 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM – Saturday, Jun 22, 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM Fun On the Go for kids, Laser Tag, Food and Art Vendors including the unveiling of the selected sculptures for Avenues of Art

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Editorial CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Erika C. Christensen MARKETING DIRECTOR Stephanie L. Scarcliff CHIEF OF STAFF Lisa A. Shrefler SALES Jessica L. Pierce Jason N. Kasperik CONTRIBUTORS Jennifer C. Kocher Ryan R. Lewallen Charity Stewart ART DIRECTOR Richard W. Massman

On the Cover

We ambushed Crazy Daisy Floral’s Carla Eide for an impromptu photo shoot and wound up with the money shot to grace this month’s Garden Issue cover. With over 20 years experience in floral design, and a co-worker (Jordan Tucker), who’s the sitting president of the North Community Garden, we handpicked Janelle Mason’s Crazy Daisy Floral as one of the city’s top garden shops (see page 28). Photos: Adam D. Ritterbush


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DESIGNER Candice E. Schlautmann PHOTOGRAPHER Adam D. Ritterbush

Inquiries & Customer Service Outliers Creative, LLC P.O. Box 3825 • Gillette, WY 307.686.5121 • 82717 is a publication of Outliers Creative, LLC © 2019, all rights reserved. Reproduction in any form, in whole or part, without written permission is prohibited. This magazine accepts freelance contributions. 82717 is not responsible for loss, damage, or any other injury to unsolicited manuscript, unsolicited artwork (including but not limited to drawings, photographs, or transparencies) or any other unsolicited materials. Outliers Creative, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The MC Family of Companies, LLC.



irds are chirping, days are warmer and longer. Life is good. It’s time for new love, renewed possibilities and reconnecting with good ol’ Mother Nature. The editorial team here at 82717 couldn’t be happier. Why? We’re itching to get outdoors, have some fun in the sun and spruce things up a bit. This month, we share our refreshed enthusiasm with you, our friends and neighbors, via the first annual Garden Issue of 82717 Life Magazine. Welcome! It comes budding with Master Gardener insights, our thoughts on the top shops of the season, heaps of gardening greatness and more. Beginning with local YouTubers Mike and Erin Galloway of “Our Wyoming Life” family ranch and garden (who make money letting people watch their cows), we take you through their production first-hand and ask the tough questions like what it means to become an internet sensation overnight. Dive into our interview with local gardening rebels, the Moorcroft Garden Gnomes, who speak gregariously about going against the grain and sticking it to the man to cultivate a community garden with their bare hands, seeds and soil.

Meet the next generation of poultry champions, Chaylin and Chyla Stephens, and their favorite chickens, Mayhem and Mischief, in the first story of a new series we’re calling the Campbell County Fair Clover Kids, which follows local 4-H’ers of all ages through the process of preparing and presenting their fair projects. While this issue is inspired by the excitement of springtime, and filled to the brim with inspiration for your garden, including the best patio furniture for your yard from our friends at Home Depot, it also speaks to a larger conversation about farming, the value in sustainability and the role of growers and consumers. Read our expanded digital issue now, with works from Jen Kocher, Charity Stewart, Ryan Lewallen, Adam Ritterbush and more, at and connect @82717Life. Then run, don’t walk, to check out the new Outliers Creative website at Next month, look for our summer trend report boasting the best daytrips, camps and jams for summer 2019. You won’t want to miss it! By: Stephanie L. Scarcliff

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Clover Kids In this issue, we introduce our new “Clover Kids” series, where we invite you to follow along with local 4-H’ers of all ages and competitive classes as they train their livestock and prepare their projects in anticipation for the upcoming Campbell County Fair, beginning July 26 through August 4.

Let’s get social Look for CCF Clover Kid updates across our socials @82717Life.


Find and share your progress — from beef to cake decorating — by scrolling through our #ccfcloverkids hashtag on Instagram. It’s serious fun!

More online at There are more great things happening online! From local events to added features from award-winning contributors and community mavens, along with exclusive video discussions about the stories you see here in print, we’ve got it going on all month long at


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Spring Tips from a Master Gardener


he ground may have only just started to thaw, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start a garden, according to Master Gardener Sandra Aberle. But, as evidenced by the recent winter storms during the past few weeks, the outdoors may still prove to be hazardous to young vegetables, which makes an outdoor garden not practical, at least for now.


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Sandra advised that while it is too early to plant in your backyard and greenhouses, it’s definitely not too early to start growing indoors.

LIGHT Growing indoors, however, can be tricky. Essentially, it’s like having a garden in the living room devoid of natural sunlight. This means that when starting a garden inside, artificial light is a necessity.

Luckily, there are plenty of options available, some reportedly more desirable than others, according to Sandra. For her, ordinary shop lighting is the way to go, as opposed to the more expensive growing lights. Shop lighting is more economical, which means you’ll pay a little less on your electric bill, Sandra said. She added that artificial lights should either

be set on a timer, or the gardener needs to keep an eye on the clock, to turn off after around 16 hours. This is to mimic the natural day/night patterns that will give the plants some rest. “Plants need rest too,” Sandra said.

POTTING Just like lighting, providing a pot for young vegetables to sprout and grow into their “true leaves,” their second set of leaves, is crucial, according to Sandra. She foregoes traditional plastic planting pots, which can be picked up at any gardening depot, in favor of home-made pots fashioned out of newspaper. There are a few reasons for this. First and foremost, it negates the need to purchase more pots should the plant’s root punch through pot’s

sidewalls, which they are apt to do if properly cared for. Sandra’s method provides a simple alternative: layer on more newspaper. It also means the plants won’t have to force their way through the plastic later when transplanted into an outdoor garden, seeing as newspaper will generally decompose in the ground.

PLANT SELECTION Mid-April to early May is the prime time to plant cabbages, Brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower, Sandra said. “Basically, any member of the Brassicaceae (cabbage) family,” she explained, adding that such plants are generally more hardy and can withstand adverse conditions. Tomatoes and peppers can be good options,

too, though they are not quite as sturdy as members of the cabbage family and may benefit from planting later in the season.

INDOOR CARE Generally, from seeds until sprouting, young vegetables have all the nutrition they need, Sandra said, which makes caring for them relatively simple. Once seeds are planted in seed starting soil, they should be watered often, but take care not to provide more than 2-3 inches of water per week. Until the seeds sprout, nothing more needs to be done. The seed starting soil, while absent of any nutrients, does provide critical structure for roots to spread into. Seed starting soil is commercially available, or it can be made at home (the less expensive option.) Essentially, seed starting soil is comprised

APRIL / MAY 2019


of a base, such as peat moss or pasteurized soil, mixed with sand, vermiculite, or perlite, according to When the seeds sprout, it’s time to move them into potting soil. In some ways, it resembles seed starting soil with one important difference – potting soil usually contains some sort of fertilizer and organic material to provide growing seedlings with ample nutrition.

HARDENED TRANSPLANT The end of May signals the start of the outdoor planting season, but, Sandra said, don’t just take the plants out of their protected indoor environment and plunge them into the dirt. Transplanting requires patience and care, lest the plants undergo unnecessary stress that can cause them to be less productive when it comes time to harvest them. In the two weeks leading up to transplanting, the plants should be gently introduced to the elements by placing them outside, in a moderately


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New Patients Welcome! protected space, for an hour every day and then taken back inside. Sandra calls this process “hardening,” which, in the end, is supposed the make the plants more withstanding when they are planted in the garden. The garden soil may need some work as well. Wyoming has a high alkaline soil and is filled with clay, which is not the best thing for growing vegetables, according to Sandra. The soil should be well tilled, which allows nutrients to rise to the surface in reach of the young vegetable roots. Sandra takes things a step further and adds

dead leaves and plant material to her garden after every harvest, creating a sort of outdoor compost and making her garden soil rich and fertile. After the plants are transplanted, watering should stay the same: 2 to 3 inches of water per week, including any rainfall that might occur. As a last piece of advice, according to Sandra, when choosing what vegetables to include in your garden, choose the ones that are most likely to get eaten after the fall harvest. Otherwise, all the organic, homegrown, vegetables will likely go to waste. By: Ryan R. Lewallen

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ndrew is in the business of helping people, but it’s not your conventional 9-to-5. As the owner of MidWest Pest Management, a Gillette startup, he gets a lot of calls for help. Calls he’s always ready to answer. In a recent sit down, Andrew said his summer days are filled to the brim with exterminations. “We deal mostly with the creepy and the crawly,” he half-joked. “You know, the things you don’t want in your house or business.” MidWest Pest Management responds to concerns over bed bugs, rodents, termites, wasps, cockroaches, spiders, and other unwanted pests, but the company also provides top-notch tree care services, and helps people with their weed control issues. “We do a lot of contract work for many different government agencies ranging from local municipalities, to state and county agencies, all the way up to federal departments." They have provided pest solutions for about any situation, whether that be for a homeowner with a small problem or a large business or agency needing multiple services. “We’re not just all about bugs. We also fertilize, spray and prune trees, and provide all different types of weed spraying,” he said. Andrew smiles down at the table as he talks about his work. There’s an air of modesty about him, mixed with charm and pride. At age 30, he speaks about his company’s successes almost as though they were to be expected. And maybe they

were. He’s a business-minded numbers guy, who did the math, found the market and put in the work to make it work. “It didn’t happen overnight,” he said. “But this season, I will have a staff of four full-time employees working alongside me, and we’re looking to hire more part-time, seasonal workers.” “I wouldn't get very much done without my crew. Trust me, I have tried and there is only so much one person can do,” he said. One of the crew members is Andrew’s older brother, Zachariah. The boys were raised by their grandparents, Ken and Jean, who own and operate a similar pest control outfit in Sturgis. Andrew was young, maybe 4 or 5, when he started learning the insand-outs of the family business. He knew he wanted a business of his own by the time he was 10. “And pest control was the trade I was most familiar with,” he said. After graduating from Black Hills State University in 2011 with a degree in business administration specializing in entrepreneurial studies, he went for it. Seven years later, profits are up, and because he built his business slowly, from the ground up, and without accumulating any debt, he’s enjoying life with his wife and their two kids a bit more these days... at least in the winter months, when business is slower. By: Stephanie L. Scarcliff

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ilbert Oedekoven smiles down from the seat of a John Deere tractor in the faded, sepia photo hanging on the barn wall. Even in death, he watches over his ranch property 10 miles south of Gillette on Highway 50, which he left to his wife Rita Whalen. His step-daughter Erin Galloway and husband Mike have since taken over the dayto-day operations, and she wonders what Gilbert would think to know his ranch has gone viral.

He’d get a kick out of that, she believes, knowing that more than 80,000 subscribers from all over the country and world tune in each week to their YouTube channel to watch the family work the ranch and carry on his legacy. In many ways their instant fame is surreal, even to them, considering that up until a decade ago, neither had even been within three feet of a cow let alone raised any. Back then, they were on fast-track corporate careers in radio and loved the

urban life in Cheyenne and Boston. A call from Gilbert changed all of that. His health was getting worse, and would they mind coming home to help feed the cows that winter? Though Erin was technically from Gillette, she’d been in college when her mother married Gilbert, and other than brief stints home during the summer, she’d only tagged along on ranch chores and never participated. Nonetheless, they quit their jobs and made the move to northeastern Wyoming.

Their first winter almost did them in. Mike can still remember the wheezing wind and cold as it seeped through the seams of their flimsy trailer and the boneaching soreness from his first real dose of manual labor. That, and all of their bumbling and mistakes. Somehow, though, when winter ended, they remained on, and nearly a decade later, can’t imagine raising their three kids anywhere else. YouTube fame kinda came out of nowhere. Just over two years ago, Mike was playing around with his GoPro and videoed himself feeding the cattle. He’d recently learned that more than 75 percent of people wanted to know where their food came from, so he put together a rough, four-minute video and posted it online as a way of educating people. Almost immediately he began getting alerts on his phone, so he put it another room and went to bed while his phone continued chiming away. In the morning, he woke to more than 300 views. After putting it on Reddit, it continued to take off, and before he knew it, he had 20,000 views and 1,500 new subscribers to a channel he hadn’t even planned to create. So, they decided to put together a channel for their videos and dubbed it “Our Wyoming Life” and their brand slowly began to develop. With the intent of giving people an idea of what ranching life is like, Mike made videos of everyday chores while Erin focused on the garden, and the kids, 7-year-old Mackenzie, 5-year-old Grace and 3-year-old Lincoln, also made cameo appearances, including joining in on their Sunday live chats. Mackenzie, who adamantly wants to be a police officer, has even received badges and hats from police all around the country. Part of their appeal, the Galloways believe, is that they’re novices themselves and on a lot of days are learning new things along with their audience. That they were outsiders to this world seems to resonate with their viewers. That, and their raw, down-to-earth style that shows the realities – good and bad – of ranching life on a small homestead in northeastern Wyoming. Since converting their attic into a recording studio with computer for video editing, they now put out three videos a week, including a live chat, in which they respond to viewers questions as well as a podcast. Mike does videos focusing on cattle and other ranch chores and Erin’s focus is on gardening and cooking. They talk candidly about some of the


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hard days as well as the good, and keep track of a running chore list, which they slowly tick off items as months go by. Last year, Mike attended a YouTube seminar in Cincinnati to learn more about marketing and making their videos and channel stronger. Things like taking off their sunglasses, for starters, while Mike was told leave on his Stetson, because without it, nobody could recognize him. Many channels decide to monetize their videos, which entails allowing YouTube to put ads in the videos. In order to do so, a channel needs to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the previous year. For every 1,000 views, you earn a dollar. “It’s a full-time job on a part-time salary,” Erin said. In recent months, however, they have figured out how to market their brand, selling merchandise on their webpage and signing up affiliates on Amazon, which is more or less a product recommendation.

Small add-ons seem to be paying off, like the window cam that looks out onto the pasture, where for a $1 a month, people can watch cows all day long. In a million years, Mike never conceived anyone would be interested in that and has been pretty blown away by the positive reception. Some people comment on the wide, blue sky and vastness of the flat, treeless prairie, and sometimes on the clouds. “One guy asked me what those white streaks in the sky were,” Mike said. “He had never seen a contrail from a jet because he’d always lived in the city.” The weird thing about having your life broadcast into strangers’ homes all over the country and world is both flattering and daunting. As a former radio DJ Mike is a natural, but it took Erin a while to feel comfortable seeing herself on video and she still struggles. The live chats are a little strange, too, as people write in with questions. Some of those can be pretty comical, like when viewers ask why they don’t milk their cows or why there are no trees in their yard.

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Every day, their email in-box is flooded with correspondence from viewers, and they frequently get packages and letters in the mail. That day, Erin returned home from the post office with a padded envelope from a female viewer in Texas. Inside were three Easter baggies for the kids full of pastel jelly beans and chocolate eggs along with a handmade ornament, ornately decked out with sequins and fancy lace edges. She just loves their show, the woman wrote, and appreciates their lifestyle and the oldfashioned values they’re raising their kids with centered around family, faith and hard work. The ornaments aren’t much, the woman continued, but they’re made for your children with love. “It’s so touching that people watch our shows and see us like family,” Erin said. Most of their subscribers aren’t from the area, and off screen in Gillette they are rarely recognized, though once in a while someone makes the connection. Last week, Mike knew his wife had been to Albertson’s when a viewer posted a photo of her – “Mrs. Our Wyoming Life” – out shopping with the kids. When Mike told her that, Erin was horrified because the kids had been particularly bad that day and she wasn’t sure what part of that “horror show” the viewer saw and if the woman had seen her yelling. Those are the somewhat unnerving moments, Erin laughed. Sometimes people even stop by, like the Italian couple, who on a visit to Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore, decided to take a trek out to Campbell County to track them down. They stopped by on their way to Mt. Rushmore then returned afterwards to give Mike $100 to take his wife out. They had found their show on YouTube and were big fans. Another time, while they were livestreaming a branding, a couple strangers turned up and asked how they could help. They’d been watching the show unfold on YouTube and figured they’d come over and lend a hand. That’s the bizarre part of doing their channel, the sharing of their lives with strangers, who often turn up in real life.


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They’re flattered that their lives appeal to so many people, and that they are able to put Wyoming and its rich ranching heritage on the map. For many, it’s a foreign and widely misunderstood world that some – like PETA activists – take umbrage to with their negative comments on their site about mistreatment of animals and carnivores in general.

Those posts are few, Erin acknowledged, and they try to use their channel to help educate. But in those cases, it’s a moot point. While Mike gears up for a calving series – some of the more popular videos, along with taking cows to market – Erin heads up their oneperson gardening crew with a massive four-garden spread, including two hot houses, that like their

channel, continue to grow. She’d been in charge of running Gillette’s farmer’s market for years and had a regular booth for her produce. Now, she’s stepping down and instead the couple plans to start a roadside market on their property off of Highway 50, where they’ll sell produce, jams and meat. They’ve also since renovated a home on their spread they plan to rent out as an Airbnb, a tie-in with the channel to allow first-hand access to the filming and production. In August, they’re hosting a ranch rodeo for viewers to get a first-

hand glimpse and be a part of filming, which has already sold out months in advance. And though their success was largely accidental, they’re easing into their new roles as they continue expanding their brand and channel. It’s definitely a new era of ranching for them in more ways than one as they share their life from their little sliver of northeastern Wyoming. By: Jen C. Kocher Photos: Adam D. Ritterbush

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Chicken Love Chicken


ayhem and Mischief are trouble makers, Chaylin Stephens explained, as she bent down to pick up one of the black and white speckled roosters pecking at her shoe. The aptly-named Mayhem squawked and flapped his wings as she grabbed him and deftly flipped him on his back on the trampoline in her backyard, at which point he promptly mellowed. “You’re not going to like this much,” she explained to the rooster as she prodded his belly and straightened a wing, ticking off a laundry list of things that the 4-H judges will be looking for when she competes this summer at the Campbell County Fair.


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There’s not a whole lot that Chaylin doesn’t know about chickens. She’s literally been around them for her entire life and has a binder full of chicken facts she’s memorized. She can identify a chicken by its comb type, country of origin and can tell you the color of its eggs. At age 14, she’s won two first-place showmanship belt buckles and a handful of second places, and competed for the first time in open class when she was only 16 months old. What can she say? She just loves chickens. “They’re actually very entertaining,” she said matter-of-factly as she returned Mayhem to the pen and scoped around for a more compliant practice bird. Right now, she’s trying out about five or six

chickens to see which one will be her showmanship bird. She'll show 25 birds at fair in total. The showmanship chicken has to be easy-going with a trainable disposition, which pretty much rules out the roosters. Her ringer, a black and white Mille Fleur Belgian Bearded d’Uccle hen named Missy, is currently out of commission due to an injury. She doesn’t know what happened, but one day she came into the coop to find Missy and another rooster limping. She thinks there was probably a skirmish, but you never know when it comes to chickens. For now, Missy is in the basement recuperating with the newborns, and has left Chaylin in need of a backup.

Feathers flap in a cloud of dust as the birds make a beeline to dodge Chaylin’s quick-draw hands as she ducked down. She cornered one trying to escape through the bird-size door into the hen house. As far as chicken coops go, Chaylin’s borders on fancy. Her stepdad, Tron, refurbished it out of an abandoned storage trailer on the family’s 14-acre spread south of Gillette off Highway 50.

Her dad, knowing her passion for chickens, fully customized the coop into designated areas for three different groups, depending on their age and demeanor. And he doesn’t even like chickens. The newly hatched chicks are kept warm in the basement for about three weeks before making it out to the round galvanized metal water tank, where they’re confined under a heat lamp. Off to their right is a caged area that Chaylin built last

weekend with her dad. Behind the chicken wire, a handful of white ducks snuggle together while two cantankerous roosters pace back and forth. This is the avian equivalent to a time out, so they’ll be here until they settle down and learn to behave. The remainder of the coop is relegated to the laying hens, who have the lion’s share of space, complete with two outdoor pens, yard access and an indoor room with sleeping perches and nesting boxes, already full of eggs. She gets at least a dozen multi-colored eggs per day, most of which she sells to friends of the family, except for the free ones that go to her gymnastics coach. Along with egg duty, she is also responsible for cleaning out the coop at least once a week and food and watering– chores for which her mother has to give her a time frame or otherwise she might stay down there all day. Like her coop, Chaylin’s chickens are also pretty fancy, and much like her showmanship skills, continue to become more sophisticated over time. Hers are the pedigree chickens, like Brahmas, Crevecoeurs, Auracanas and the fluffycrowned, souped-up Polish. Around her feet, chickens of all colors and sizes squawk, flap their wings and peck at dust as they go about their day. Some are pretty exotic looking with poufs of feathery sideburns and flowing, regal crowns sprouting out on the tops of their heads as they prance daintily like runway models in Russian fur caps and 4-inch heels. One circles the room with a high-pitched, sing-song squawk, which Chaylin imagines is her way of ordering the other chickens around. “Follow me, follow me,” Chaylin mimicked in tune with the bird. Beauty has its limitations, though, as Chaylin’s mom Lin pointed out. As if on cue, one of the fancy, white plumed hens head-butted the wire fence trying to find the opening back in. “The fancy chickens are not the brightest of bulbs,” Lin observed. This is what Chaylin loves about her chickens; they all definitely have a distinct personality and no two chickens are alike. Her favorite ones are the Belgian Bearded d’Uccles, which you can’t buy around here. Her neighbor ordered the eggs from Pennsylvania and hatched them for her for around $15 a bird. Right now, she has about 17 of them and is planning to APRIL / MAY 2019


breed them and sell their eggs. Money that will go to fund gymnastics, which along with the chickens, consumes most of her time. She tries to give all of her chickens names – Pecky, Humdrum, Sparrow – but as she points out, with close to 80 birds, you kinda start to run out of ideas. For now, she’s content helping her younger sister, 8-year-old Chyla, get ready for her first chicken competition at fair.


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“I’m pretty nervous,” Chyla said, smiling up at her sister. Up until now, Chyla has stayed busy raising her two not-so-miniature pigs. “It’s pretty easy when you get the hang of it,” Chaylin said, describing how she puts Vaseline on the chicken’s combs, wattles and feet and even paints their toenails for fun. She’s hoping for another first-place win this year, which is her goal: to nab first place in each

of the three divisions. But either way, she’s already ahead of her own record and just enjoys spending time with the birds. Chaylin smiled as she picked up a large black and white speckled hen and nuzzled it against her chin while her mother shrugged and crinkled her nose. By: Jen C. Kocher

100 S. Burma Rd. • Gillette, WY | 307-682-9501

Goven's Farm & Ranch Supply


riving by Goven/Thar’s Farm & Ranch Supply storefront off Burma Road, you’re more likely to notice the brightly colored metal yard décor than the new name on the signage. After managing Thar’s for 14 years, Jessica Goven purchased the business in October 2017 when Gary Thar retired. “We kept the name, but changed it a little, because a business that’s been here for 40 plus years, you don’t change,” Jessica explained. This time of year, she’s staying busy. Grass seed is just one of the hot commodities. As always, they stock reclamation and garden seed, fencing supplies, and a wide variety of tack, livestock feeds, supplements and supplies. Basically, Goven Thar’s is a locally owned and operated one-stop shop for anything Ag related.

Jessica admitted she was a little worried how customers would react to a change in ownership after so many years. But, the transition has been smooth sailing, and she brags her customers have been great. She’s added a few new lines here and there to keep up with trends and demand, including adding the metal yard décor last summer. Jessica said she met the vendor while following her teenage daughter to a rodeo event in Huron, South Dakota. It’s just one of the many ways the synchronicity of balancing all of the various pieces of her world has worked out. The flowers are perfect, and are both decorative and nearly deer-proof. “The deer will not eat them,” she said of the large metal flowers. “But, they could pack them off.” Otherwise, Goven is carrying on the traditions of the past, and she’s amused when people walk in to the store exclaiming, “I didn’t even know this store existed.” By: Charity D. Stewart APRIL / MAY 2019



City’s Garden Shops We share our top four go-to stores for gardening in Gillette — and why we love them. By: Stephanie Scarcliff | Photos: Adam D. Ritterbush

It can be hard to keep things green year-round in Wyoming, but Gillette’s nursery scene is actually budding with experts who can help solve any planting problem.

Problem: You have limited space for foliage in your tiny apartment or dimly lit office.

Try: Crazy Daisy Floral Because:

Jordan Tucker. This guy knows succulents, and air and house plants. Talk with Jordan for one minute, and you’ll see what we mean. We know, because his expert recommendations helped our sprightful content specialist bring her perfect home office to life.

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Problem: You never know what to

plant where and when in short-seasoned Wyoming.

Try: Landscapes by Holcomb


Experts in native species, the seasoned pros at Landscapes by Holcomb, including owners Mike and Devie Holcomb, regularly make seasonal planting recommendations and have been in the business locally for over 15 years. (They know their stuff.) In addition to commercial and residential landscaping installations, they also have a large retail area where do-it-yourselfers can purchase trees, shrubs, rocks and mulch—making Landscapes by Holcomb your one-stop shop for all things gardening.


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You’re tired of paying top dollar for grocery store herbs and want to try growing your own—but don’t know where to start.

Try: Garden

Center at Menard’s

Because: The Buzzy® 3-Pot Kitchen

Problem: You really want to take

your garden to the next level, but it’s missing that something extra special.

Try: Goven/Thar’s Farm & Ranch Supply Because:

The local farm and ranch supply store has a beautiful array of modern and contemporary statuary and garden décor to help embellish any garden. Take your lawn from ordinary to extraordinary with life-size cacti ($69), enormous flowers, tiny trucks, cows on bicycles and more. By: Stephanie L. Scarcliff

Herbs Grow Kit ($8.99) makes growing fresh herbs at home easy as pie. The kit includes everything you need to grow your own basil, cilantro and chives. Basil lovers? Also try: Buzzy® Herb Pail Seed Starting Grow Kit ($2.49), which includes a cute, sage green pail, seeds, growing medium and instructions. Menard’s also has a cool online tutorial section at, where they share articles and tips about growing herbs and vegetables indoors. APRIL / MAY 2019



Perfect Patio This guide will help you pick the best outdoor furniture for your patio, deck or pool area. story + photos provided by: THE HOME DEPOT

take a peek! APRIL / MAY 2019


Draw out a layout of your outdoor living space on grid paper and experiment with styles and placements so you can get the best combination to serve your needs.


Best Patio Furniture for Your Yard


atio furniture lets you turn your outdoor space into an extension of your living room. With a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from, the right patio furniture will provide long-lasting enjoyment and a place to entertain comfortably when great weather beckons. The easiest way to purchase patio furniture is to buy in sets. A patio set will come in all kinds of styles and sizes from a simple bistro set with two chairs and a coordinating table, all the way up to a dining set with seating for six or eight. The advantage of buying in sets is that you can easily outfit an entire patio for one price and all the furniture will be perfectly matched. However, you are limited to a single style; if you tend toward a more eclectic style, purchasing a set as your sole outdoor decor may be less satisfying.

Size Do you have a smaller balcony that can only hold a chat set? Or does your backyard have space for entertaining?

Are you planning to host a lot of outdoor parties on the patio? Do you need versatile patio furniture like stackable chairs and tables for extra guests or are you looking for a larger comfortable set for relaxing?



With so many choices, it can be difficult to find the patio furniture that matches your home style and your lifestyle. Home Depot’s Choose Your Own Color program lets you customize a look of your very own by choosing the patio collection, color and fabric.

If you’re looking for inspiration, check more amazing patio design ideas and creative backyard patio makeovers at:



APRIL / MAY 2019


y t i n u m m Co a g n i t a Cultiv


generations, and increasingly, they’re losing touch with where their food comes from. The Garden Gnomes took the idea to the Moorcroft City Council, asking permission to co-opt the now-defunct playground behind the old elementary school, which has since been converted into the community center. The playground equipment had been torn down, with the exception of a spider-shaped jungle gym that, after a brainstorming session, the group decided would make a great gazebo. “The land was just sitting there growing weeds,” Elaine said.

he plastic owl drooped from its perch on top of the chain-link fence surrounding the Moorcroft community garden. He’s fallen asleep on the job, Elaine Buckmiller noted, but in a few months, he’ll be back to his post when his shift begins for the summer. His job is to guard the grapevines from the birds, which last year, proved to be an effective deterrent. Right now, the garden doesn’t look like much buried under thick shrouds of snow, but Elaine and friend Marge Reed already have big plans for the summer.

They’re part of a larger group of volunteers who call themselves the Garden Gnomes, because they prefer anonymity and would rather stay out of the limelight. This pair, who have been friends for as long as either can remember, believe in getting things done, so not surprisingly it was their idea to start a community garden. Marge thought of it one day and convinced her friend to go along with it. Having grown up on a farm in rural North Dakota, she appreciated getting her hands dirty and growing their own food. She worries that these agricultural traditions aren’t being passed down to the younger


APRIL / MAY 2019

Community Garden It takes a village to keep a community garden growing. Although not a complete list, here are some supporters who help cultivate the garden, both literally and figurative: Glenn Construction Dan Grace Casey Devish Doug Leis Ron & Linda Caylor Flow Tech Fueling Clay Okland Memorial Sharon Millay Memorial Toni Korneman Justin Robinson Ed & Carol Lee Sisson Fischbach Construction Troy Stewart Tru & Tate Reed Town of Moorcroft Emily Griffith Fred Devish Willard Gantz Parent Advisory Committee Dick & Johnnie Faye Claar Dorothy Baron Nancy Feehan Peggy Fraser

Initially, not all of the council members were on board with the idea, voicing concerns about cost and upkeep. “Did we pay any attention?” Marge asked rhetorically. “Hell no. We said let’s just do it. It’s much easier to beg forgiveness, then ask for permission.” They borrowed a boom truck, a tractor with a tiller and a skidsteer and got to work, and before they knew it, others were showing up to lend their equipment, donate wood and benches, hoses, manure, water wands, plants, flowers, and a whole lot of manpower. “Everything just seemed to be there when needed,” Elaine said. “We used and abused a whole lot of people,” Marge said with a laugh, firing off a long list of people and businesses who stepped in to help. When all the supplies ran out, they had 15 4 x 8-foot wooden beds, and a couple smaller ones for children. Dozens of people came out that first season, including two of Marge’s young grandsons, who couldn’t get over the idea that cucumbers were pickles. Now in its fourth year of production, the Town of Moorcroft has seen the benefits and is one of their strongest supporters, even donating water. For $25, anyone can rent a garden bed, which includes the use of hoses and water. And unlike other community gardens where everyone picks produce and shares labor, the renter is responsible for upkeep and care of his or her bed and can plant whatever they want, including flowers. “As long as it’s legal,” Marge said with a wink,

“and pesticide-free.” She’s particularly pleased to see so much interest from young people, including the 30-yearold man who asked for plants for his birthday in lieu of gifts. Along with being a great form of therapy, according to Marge, it’s also morphed into a bit of a competition. Themes, too, have begun to emerge as one grower turned his two planters into a locomotive engine and a covered wagon, complete with red wheels, cloth canopy, and a tiny scarecrow cowboy in a Stetson pulling the reins. Others have American flag pinwheels, decorative neon plastic fish, and a pastel bird feeder planted six feet in the air. Everyone seems to have their own theories about what makes the best fertile soil, according to Elaine. “People get very opinionated,” Marge laughed, “and competitive.” Elaine agreed, admitting that even she’s gotten carried away, particularly when it comes to buying gardening implements. “Elaine has more shovels than God should allow,” Marge laughed. But there’s something about digging your hands in the dirt, giving back and taking pride in your community, Marge pointed out, and she’d like to see that sentiment catch on and continue to grow. By: Jen C. Kocher Photos: Courtesy Marge Reed By: Jen C. Kocher

APRIL / MAY 2019



APRIL / MAY 2019

Community Calendar Our hand-picked guide to the best local events in April / May.  April 20

AJ’s Magic Academy Ages 7 to 14, get ready to take on an amazing adventure into the exciting world of magic. Learn to read people’s minds, make money appear and travel through time with a magic banana. Cam-Plex Heritage Center Green Room. Sat., Apr. 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. $50 per student, 16 student max.  April 26

Society of Petroleum Engineers Crawfish Boil Join the community in supporting local charitable medical funds for our friends and neighbors. Tickets available in advance at Expresso Lube, City Brew, Tool Pushers Supply, & Campbell County Chamber of Commerce. Tickets can also be purchased at the door. Cam-Plex Wyoming Center Equality and Frontier Halls. Fri., Apr. 26. Lunch 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Supper 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. $25 for adults, $5 for children ages 4 to 11.  April 26

Vitality Combining breathtaking visuals with captivating style, an Evening of Wonders is an interactive theatrical experience that takes the audience on a magical journey. Cam-Plex Heritage Center Theater. Fri., Apr. 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets available through the Cam-Plex Ticket Office for $12 to $15.  May 1

Powder River Shrine Circus The Annual Shrine Circus is the biggest source of funding for the local fraternity, and your participation makes it possible for them to maintain our local lifeline in the community. CamPlex Heritage Center Theater Wed., May 1. First performance at 4 p.m., second performance at 7:30 p.m. Tickets available at White’s Frontier Motors, K2 Technologies and Teacher’s Corner/Kid’s Mart.

 May 3

Springfest Dinner & Auction for John Paul II School Cocktail Hour and Wine Tasting at the Cam-Plex Wyoming Center Equality Hall Fri. May 3 at 5:30 p.m., followed by a Prime Rib Dinner with live and silent auction at 7:30 p.m. $100 per couple. Table sponsorships available. All proceeds to benefit John Paul II School. Contact Melanie, Kandis, or Marla at (307) 686-4114 for details.  May 3

Artrageous Witness giant masterpieces in the making. The Artrageous Experience is high energy, inclusive, full of mystery and pure fun! Cam-Plex Heritage Center Theater Fri. May 3 at 7 p.m. Tickets available through the Cam-Plex Ticket Office for $12 to $15.  May 4

Friends of the NRA Banquet Friends of National Rifle Assn is a non-profit volunteer fundraising effort. The proceeds raised support youth shooting and safety programs, as well as range development and improvement throughout Wyoming. Cam-Plex Wyoming Center Energy Hall Sat. May 4 at 5 p.m. Contact Shawn at (307) 941-9669 for details.  May 4

Springfest Family Night for John Paul II School Dinner, silent and dessert auction, and kids' games with all proceeds to benefit John Paul II School. Cam-Plex Wyoming Center Equality Hall Sat. May 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Contact Melanie, Kandis, or Marla at (307) 686-4114 for details.

 May 7-8

Wyoming Energy Summit Hear from experts regarding the most pressing issues facing Wyoming's energy landscape. Conference only (May 8), includes continental breakfast and lunch: $99. ITC Tour (May 7): $20. Tour of local coal mines (May 7): $20, Preconference reception and dinner at The Prime Rib Restaurant and Wine Cellar (May 7): $40. Combo purchase (May 7-8)., includes conference, preconference reception and dinner, and your choice of tours: $139.

More events

 May 11

Rotary Ball The Gillette Rotary Club will be holding the 42nd Annual Rotary Ball on Sat. May 11. Last year, they donated over $50,000 into community projects. Tickets include entry and dinner for two, as well as entry into the prize money drawing along with availability to all our great silent & live auction items and entertainment. Contact Gillette Rotary Club at (307) 682-2020 for tickets and details.  May 11-13

Junior High State Finals & Gillette High School Rodeo Events beginning daily at 8 and 10 a.m., and 7 p.m., at the Cam-Plex East Pavilion and Barn 3. Grab a program upon arrival for a detailed schedule of events. All events are free to spectators. Contact Darrin at (307) 670-0962 for details. APRIL / MAY 2019



APRIL / MAY 2019

ADVERTISERS Bear’s Naturally Clean Dry Cleaners 307.685.4455

Gillette Dental PC 307.682.3353

CAMPCO Federal Credit Union 307.682.6105

Goven’s Farm & Ranch Supply 307.682.9501

City of Gillette 307.686.5200 County 3 307.461.4319 Donkey Creek Festival

Hando’s Service Center 307.675.2287

Infinity Builders, LLC 307.685-1295 Mountain West Dental 307.685.1111

Gillette College 307.686.0254

Outlier’s Creative, LLC 307.686-5121

Paintbrush Services 307.682.3913 Papa John’s Pizza 307.687.7272 Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza 307.673.7272 Red Hills Veterinary Hospital 307.696.2525 The Bank of Sheridan 307.673.8100

APRIL / MAY 2019


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82717 April/May 2019  

More 82717 online at Though 82717 Magazine may only be published once a month, don’t forget to go online to to k...

82717 April/May 2019  

More 82717 online at Though 82717 Magazine may only be published once a month, don’t forget to go online to to k...