Traversing our region to bring you the story of local food, season by season.
No. 17 Summer 2014
SHROOMPA ROCK YOUR ICE CREAM (with goat cheese) GROOMING YOUR SHROOMS
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LETTERS TO US
A CO-OP GETS SERIOUS | Rick Scibelli, Jr.
SHROOMPA | an Edible interview
BEE MINDFUL | Jaime Becktel
local chefs share:
ROCK YOUR ICE CREAM
FIELD TO FORK'S ZIP CODE SALAD
MINT: THE HERB WE LOVE ... But Hate | Jess Kelley
Stop buying and start making: SUNFLOWER BUTTER | Rachel Turiel
CHEF CHAD SCOTHORN TALKS MUSHROOMS ... (and ovens)
| Katie Burford
GROW ANOTHER ROW | Sharon Sullivan
LOCAL RICE | Kati Harr
ZELLITTI A CENTURY OF WALKING THE LINE
| Rachel Turiel
thought that leaving my house and setting up at the local cafe might knock loose a creative thought. No luck. Every table is taken except the wobbly 6-top where I now sit, alone. Awkward from the get-go. The place is full of people on computers, hunched over, doing, well, something. And every last one of them is on my nerves. Judging from the look of things, the majority are inhabiting their avatars on some virtual quest (I like my imagination to take me places where I am the king and everyone else is merely a pawn). I have decided the rest are making futile attempts at writing their memoirs. Or blog posts. Navel-gazers, all of them, I proclaim from the Roundtable. Which I am sure is why these people are bugging me. For I, along with these midday kooks, am rowing the same damn boat. Exactly four years ago I was working on our first issue of Edible Southwest Colorado in this very spot. I was overwhelmed and over my head. I had worked for newspapers and magazines in the past. But really, there is no more impractical career choice than journalism. It translates to nothing useful outside of itself, like, say, managerial skills. I needed help. Writers. Editors. Idea people. Businesspeople. Psychologists. Medication. And while there were some dark days, help came (I will plead the fifth on the therapist and meds). Rachel Turiel, our managing editor, first appeared quite leery of just what it was she was lending her skills to. Now she is the puppeteer behind this regime. In this issue, the Berkeley-born homeschooling mother hangs out on a 100-year-old ranch. What you get is an objective journalist painting the story of a family’s rich history. When not writing, she is editing. Planning future issues. Thinking of revenue streams. Coaching writers. Teaching classes. Schooling her kids. Tending her intricate garden. Talking me off the ledge. After the first year, when, unknown to me, we were in desperate need of a copy editor, one appeared via Tim Kapustka at Studio & in Durango. Kaputska pulled out a well-worn issue of our magazine that a friend of his had marked up with red ink. A lot of red ink. I thought, wow, peculiar, but compelling. And clearly embarrassing realizing right then I had drastically overestimated my grasp of the English language. Does he want to copyedit for us? Yes, Tim said. Have him call me. He won't, you call him. Mysterious, I thought. Chris Brussat can spot a single errant space in a 1200-word piece while eating his breakfast. The message comes via email. "Page three, third paragraph, left side, third line, there is an extra space between third and fourth word of the sentence." Are you kidding? And this is a guy who has multiple jobs including librarian (call central casting), farmer and antique print dealer. He is also very close to opening a natural food store in Bayfield. And speaking of Tim Kapustka, it was a 60-minute critique with the accomplished graphic designer, that refined our design. "You are making mistakes," he gently said one evening a few years ago. (Oh ... 2 edible
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how I love real critique. Let me have it. Tell me where I suck. And then tell me why. Bless you ... all of you willing to speak openly and honestly risking hurt feelings.) Fundamental issues. Imprecision all around. He quietly guided it to another level for no other compensation but the love of the medium. Then last year there was the phone call from Grand Junction. My name is Michelle Ellis and I can help you. The logical response to this offer would be a hopeful 'how?' but after four years in the publishing trenches my answer had become a wary 'why?' I believe in your magazine, she said. And in just a few issues she has turned us into a self-sustaining operation. Every single story you read in this magazine is developed, researched and written, re-written and often re-written again by local writers. They drive many uncompensated miles for sweatshop-like wages. A lot is asked of them and they all come back for more. I am thankful and proud to be working with every one of them. And then there is you, our reader. Our community-minded, local-loving reader. We were hoping you would show up. And you have. Thank you. We can't keep the magazine on the shelves. So, dear reader, please consider our dear advertisers. Our lifeblood. Support them and, in turn, support us. We're only going to get better. `
southwest edible colorado EDITOR AND PUBLISHER Rick Scibelli, Jr.
MANAGING EDITOR Rachel Turiel
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Michelle Ellis
COPY EDITOR Chris Brussat
STAFF WRITERS Katie Burford Jaime Becktel Jess Kelley
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kati Harr Sharon Sullivan
PHOTOGRAPHY Rick Scibelli, Jr. Michelle Ellis DESIGN Rick Scibelli, Jr.
We welcome letters to the editor, story ideas or submissions, email us at email@example.com
INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING? CONTACT US Rick@ediblesouthwestcolorado.com Michelle@ediblesouthwestcolorado.com edible Southwest Colorado 361 Camino del Rio Suite 127 Durango, CO 81303 Edible Southwest Colorado is published quarterly by Sunny Boy Publications. All rights reserved. Distribution is throughout southwest Colorado and nationally (and locally) by subscription. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher. © 2014.
ON THE COVER: "In my baby book, when I was one year old, my mother wrote that I would make a great priest," the former Arturo Francisco Bontempi (aka: Art Goodtimes) says. "It was what was almost expected of the firstborn, the oldest male child of an Italian family." So at 14, Arturo joined the seminary. "There was an appeal to being 14 and being on your own," he says. Bontempi stayed for seven years. Apparently, we wouldn't have recognized him. "I remember arguing – and I was a great arguer – that The Beatles were amoral because they had long hair." Then he started reading about existentialism and "realized that there was more than one truth," and that was that. Life was rerouted beginning with a stint as a Vista volunteer on the Crow reservation in Montana. Then it was back to San Francisco. It was the Summer of Love. "What more could you ask for?" So how did he get to Telluride? "I wanted to be where I could grow my own food,” Goodtimes says. `
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A native to Colorado, Rick Scibelli, Jr. is a freelance photographer and this magazine's editor and publisher. His work has been published nationally and internationally for more than 16 years. He lives with his wife, two heelers, two parakeets and five chickens in northern New Mexico. Jess Kelley is a Master Nutrition Therapist at Namaste Health Center in Durango, and freelance food and health writer for a variety of national publications. She attempts gardening every summer, but the only thing the deer don't eat or the sun doesn't burn is mint, so she grows a lot of that. She lives in a straw bale home with her husband, daughter, and cattle dogs.
Rachel Turiel’s greatest ambition this summer is to grow a few sugar baby watermelon. She raises food and a family at 6512 feet and writes about it on her blog, 6512 and growing.
Jaime Becktel is a writer and artist living in the beautiful Mancos Valley. Her love and passion for local food began as child working the family orchards in San Juan Capistrano, California where they grew avocados, citrus and persimmons.
After nearly a decade as an award-winning journalist at a community newspaper, Sharon Sullivan opted for the rough-and-tumble world of freelance writing. She also enjoys backpacking the Colorado Plateau, slow food, and knitting. She and her husband, John, live in Grand Junction.
Kati Harr is a native Coloradan. She lives with her gorgeous, funky husband and her beautiful, wild 6-year-old in Durango where you can find her reading, camping, gardening, writing and doing her best to shine.
Chris Brussat is pleased to see the progress being made in the local food and organic food movements in La Plata County and beyond. Owner and farmer for TerraNova Gardens, he is now involved in opening a natural food store and deli in Bayfield. His dream is to see strong cooperative relationships around organic growing and food security.
Michelle Ellis is a professional photographer and has lived and worked in many different parts of Colorado. Her philosophy...."As long as I can have fresh local food, good friends, and good music....I'm happy!"
Katie Burford has whittled a once extensive list of vices down to two: coffee and chocolate. These you will have to pry from her cold, dead hands.
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LETTERS TO US Just wanted to let you know we love the grange article. Such a kind reflection on the community dinners. It definitely had me laughing to hear the story from a visitor's perspective. You know, I never really noticed the tablecloths ... except that they're burlap (I think). So often my friends and I have been thrown in the “ hippy” category and I definitely feel complimented to be thrown in the “ farmer” category. Maybe those lines are beginning to blur? Or therein lies the magic of Mancos! Thanks again. We' d love to see you around the grange again! – Gretchen Groenke
Great editor’s letter last issue. The part about being chronically disrupted and not knowing if you enjoyed lunch probably resonates with a lot of people. Keep up the great work. – Mike McAliney I really enjoyed the last issue of Edible Southwest Colorado. I am always impressed with the creativity and informative articles. I was especially interested in the article about County Road G in Mancos. I have been interested in all of these young farmers for a while and have been looking forward to reading about them in your magazine!
However, I was a little disappointed about the lack of information about Miles Gallagher and his Food for All Farm. I first saw Miles Gal lagher at the Durango Farmers Market and was amazed by the sign at his booth that said “1/3 of the produce we grow is donated to local charities.” This, to me, was unique. Over the years I have followed Food for All and actually started volunteering on the farm because I was drawn in by the passion that Miles has. His vision for his farm is truly an amazing story and may even be worth more than a few sentences in the County Road G article in your magazine. His main focus for the farm is the donations. This is the reason Miles started farming. He wanted to make a positive difference in his community and thought that providing delicious, local, organic produce to those who would not normally have access to it. Last year alone, Food for All donated $10,000 of produce to Manna Soup Kitchen in Durango and Grace’s Soup Kitchen in Cortez. When people ask Miles how he gets his vegetables to taste so good, he will respond, “Because I hug each one.” Miles Gallagher and Food for All Farm really deserve recognition for the positive influence on the community. – Dana Thompson
We couldn't agree more. Staff, Edible Southwest Colorado
Miles Gallagher in front of his self-made Buddhist mural (the center being the "endless knot" ) that makes up one entire wall of his Mancos farm's wash station. 6 edible
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ON THE FARM(S)
Ole Bye, in 2013, beside his converted U-Haul that has recently found a third lease on life.
A CO-OP GETS SERIOUS | Rick Scibelli, Jr.
anagement and bylaws are firmly in place for Montezuma County’s newly-organized Southwest Farm Fresh Co-op, and 20 eager growers are signed up and ready. It seems the only thing standing between farmers and buyers is a reliable truck and a cooler. In the meantime, the brand new co-op plans to get things underway with the help of Ole Bye’s repurposed white-washed U-Haul. Bye single-handedly spent the previous two years attempting to be the conduit between farmers and buyers. A one-man rolling co-op. Every week meant managing supply and demand with countless phone calls on a dated flip phone and hundreds of miles of slogging up and down mountain passes in a retired moving truck (see Edible San Juan Mountains issue no.14). “The truck doesn’t have a ton of life left in it,” Gabe Eggers, a board member of the co-op, warns. According to Eggers, the co-op is a collection of member farms (20 presently) committed to the “aggregation and collaborative distribution” of local products. In layman’s terms, this means one-stop shopping for everybody. Instead of already-overworked farmers calling all potential buyers (like restaurants and grocery stores), they make one call to the co-op where the product will be marketed directly to all interested parties. 8 edible
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“It expands my market tremendously,” says Vic Vanik. Vanik is co-owner of Four Seasons Greenhouse in Cortez, and a co-op board member as well as participating farmer. “Instead of me having to do our marketing, the co-op does the marketing for us.” Vanik says it cuts out the phone calls, the distribution (driving his truck all over the area) and all of the things that take him away from producing. The first year, according to Eggers, is set aside for failure. “Failure is inevitable.” But failure is all about perspective. “You can see it as failure or you can see it as growth. It is part of the process in creating something that serves more than one person.” But the potential for the for-profit operation is in the millions of dollars according to Vanik. “Everybody I talk to on a national, regional and local level is asking me ‘when can I get produce again.’” Vanik sees potential in every corner. Olathe corn. Palisade peaches. Tilapia, pork, beef and eggs. “Lots of eggs,” Vanik says. “Really it’s about food security,” Eggers says. “By collaborating, we will be able to do the same thing that the big food purchasers, like Sysco, do. To me, that is what it’s about.” But first the truck. And a cooler. Any collaboration extended on these fronts would be, needless to say, more than welcomed. `
Mushroom Foraging: An Edible Interview with Art Goodtimes
t is hard to disassociate the Telluride Mushroom Festival from certain things. Its netherworld-like parade. Its fanatical attendees who descend upon the former mining town like seekers to a tent revival. Its idyllic location. And Art Goodtimes. For the uninitiated, or simply the uninterested, the near religiosity that goes hand in hand with mushrooms and the gathering of such can seem perplexing. A foray requires the patience of an ice fisherman,
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the stamina of a backcountry skier, and attention to detail (because many things matter – size and shape and color and smell and bruising and bleeding and spore prints – if you don’t want to spend the night in the emergency room). Mushroom gathering is like sailing. You can’t just “kind of” sail. There are details. Everything matters. The work is the fun. Why mushrooms? If you have to ask, you don’t get it. We asked Art
Goodtimes, one of the original forces behind the festival and a nearlifelong mushroom devotee. And Goodtimes knows mushrooms, for it was a long time ago that a mushroom was all that stood between the Telluride poet-politician he became and the Catholic priest Father Arturo Francisco Bontempi he might have become. Edible Southwest Colorado: What was your first experience with mushroom hunting? What was your aha! moment? Art Goodtimes: When I was younger, I used to do a lot of little road trips out in California. I liked to explore. I had access to vehicles sometimes. I was in the Santa Cruz mountains and I was hiking beside this creek and there was a giant red mushroom on the bank and the sun was shining on it, the water was flowing by and I thought “what the hell is that?” I was fascinated. I started to study a little bit. And then I had this girlfriend that I met through my conscientious objector job (driving a bus for mentally handicapped adults) and she loved mushrooms too, so she took me up into the hills and we found a spot up where there were tons of oyster mushrooms. Long story short, I ended up joining the mycological society in San Francisco. Then I moved to Colorado and I thought well, I could kiss that goodbye. There were only a handful of people in San Francisco that were interested in mycology, so I figured it was hopeless here in Telluride. Then one day I was at my desk (I was art council director in Telluride) and I got a phone call from this Dr. Salzman [Manny Salzman, founder of the Telluride Mushroom Festival] in Denver who told me he was interested in starting this conference on mushrooms. I am like, “really?” He said “do you know if there is anybody who would be interested in helping us?” and I said, “ME!” This was about 1981. Mushroom foraging is like opera. Either you get it or you don’t. Do you agree? I think you really have to do it with somebody to get the fever. It hooked me right away. If I was smart I would have been a botanist instead of going into English. What then motivates your passion? Originally it was because I love to eat mushrooms. The hunting was fun. But I learned from Dolores La Chapelle [former Silverton mycologist, ecologist and powder-pioneer] that it was a Paleolithic activity. What we were participating in was an ancient practice. And then I suddenly realized, oh yeah, people have been doing this forever. You are being primally human. You are doing what humans have done for thousands of years. When you put it in that light, it becomes more interesting. So do you feel it is kind of a spiritual endeavor? There is always the danger of sounding too New-Agey. When
you say spiritual, I bristle a little. I studied to be a Roman Catholic priest for seven years. Then I became a Haight-Ashbury hippie and now I am a Paleo-hippie because I am so old. Everything is imbedded in something else. It’s an ancient activity. I consider it holy but some wouldn’t and that is fine. You can walk by hundreds of mushrooms and never see them. You have to listen for them. They are everywhere. You are on a foray with friends ... the motivation is what? You are not thinking, man, we are going to have a mushroom dinner tonight!”? Oh, but I am. There are people who are into remediation, there are other people who are into identification, nomenclature. There are lots of aspects. Some people just go out to photograph them. I am into eating them. I don’t try to remember all the names of every single one. I just love to eat mushrooms. Some people call that pot hunting which is kind of a funny term these days because it gets confused with cannabis. A pot hunter was somebody who went out and gathered them to eat. There is a social aspect to it. And the ritual. Talk about the ritual. We have this parade, where everybody dresses up like mushrooms. It sounds silly but it is a ritual, a deep ritual, that takes you out of yourself, takes you out of your normal thinking, puts you into the mushroom world in a way that you wouldn’t do rationally and that makes some kind of irrational connection to mushrooms. To me, the parade is the most important thing in mushrooms. All the rest of the stuff, the hunting, I can go out and do by myself. It wouldn’t be a mushroom story without touching on psychedelics. Is there room for psychedelic mushrooms in the middle aged life? I think there is a place for psychedelic mushrooms in society for two reasons. One is they’re healing. Studies are finding psilocybin stops cluster headaches. The other reason is they open up your mind. You look at the world in an entirely different light. Why am I so passionate about life? Why am I so passionate about the environment? Why do I work in the social realm as well as the cultural realm? Because I think I had my mind turned around from psychedelics. I was a Catholic seminary student for seven years. I was passing on a tradition and then I found I didn’t believe it anymore. It rewired my mind. I was no longer the Catholic school kid ruled by guilt and fear; I was free. I don’t know what else to attribute it to. It broke down all the barriers. But at middle age? Who has time to be contemplating their navel? What is your favorite mushroom and why ? I don’t go for the rare mushrooms. When I was in Maine, I mistook a poison mushroom for a chanterelle. I had a long night. I live in the San Juans, so my favorite is the bolete. I am cautious. `
C R E AT I V E S E A S O N A L F A R E Proprietor chef Chad Scothorn
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M A K E YO U R R E S E RVAT I O N S AT W W W . C O S M O T E L L U R I D E . C O M
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9:00am to 11:30am Durango Farmers Market
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BEE MINDFUL | Jaime Becktel
n both rural and urban settings across the country, bees are rather hip these days and average people are transmuting into backyard beekeepers at an exponential rate. This is a positive development considering the widely accepted belief that bees have fallen on hard times. Perhaps you’ve heard of the phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder, where foraging bees mysteriously disappear, never to return to their hive. Maybe you’re familiar with the term Neonicotinoid, a widely-used neuro-active insecticide that has been directly linked to colony collapse disorder, while negatively impacting a whole slew of other pollinators. Were you aware of the multi-billion-dollar pollination industry where gazillions of honeybees are transported across the country each year to pollinate mega swaths of agriculture, exposing them to mites, bacterial infections and viruses that can be devastating to the health of a hive? The perils of life for a 21st century bee are significant, yet a growing army of backyard beekeepers across the nation may be their saving grace. Above the Florida River outside of Durango, a frenzy of Carniolan honeybees escalates in volume. Their electric hum fills the air as they launch forth frenetically with the opening of each new hive. A
subspecies of Apis mellifera, the European or western honeybee, Carneys are one of the most commonly kept bee varieties in the United States. These golden girls, chosen for their mild temperament and adaptability to climate and elevation, are just going about their business, agitated only slightly by the intrusion of human hands into their home. Those hands belong to Tina Sebesteyn, local beekeeper and former president of the Four Corners Beekeeping Association, who deftly pries sheets of comb from the hive in search of the elusive queen. Comb hangs vertically from each “top bar,” welded so tightly to the frame with hardened wax they require a small knife to wedge them free. In the process, Tina is stung a handful of times, somehow remaining calm while merrily chirping, “Do you smell bananas? That’s their alarm pheromone, isopentyl acetate.” Paula Nelson, president of the Four Corners Beekeeping Association, stands by without a hint of protective clothing and calmly reassures a newbie that, “before a bee stings, it will bump you with a warning. These girls aren’t angry, they’re just doing their thing.” She removes a pollen-dusted hitchhiker from her shirt, then peers inside
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IN THE OVEN
Photo by Ole Bye
the hive to behold a bar of golden comb laden with bees, glistening with sweet blossom honey and the shine of milky white larvae – the very future of flowers and food. Scuttling about with a bullet-like abdomen is her majesty the queen, and around this mystery huddles a small herd of backyard beekeepers, their eyes wide with wonder as they draw closer to the magic within. These self-proclaimed “Bee Geeks” are participants in the annual traveling road show sponsored by the Colorado State Beekeepers Association – a daylong immersion into hive ecology that gives hobbyist beekeepers a hands-in-hives approach to the science and art of raising bees in the Four Corners region. The CSBA, through regional chapters, is all about education and solutions, raising awareness about the importance of bees and all pollinators within an ecosystem. Led by Sebesteyn, the group visits a sampling of hives from various climate zones and elevations to illustrate the challenges backyard beekeepers face in the Four Corners region. What works for bees at 8,500 feet might not fly at 6,512 feet along the banks of the Animas River. At one high alpine hive Tina locates, captures and marks the queen for easy recognition among thousands of fiercely protective attendants. Her majesty is larger and darker and the genetic mother of her hive. “It’s important to assess the status of your queen regularly,” says Sebesteyn, “because without her, the bees forget their job. They need her brooding pheromone to guide them.” At another location nestled beside the Florida River, a hive is sur-
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rounded by a force field of electric fence, constructed to deter honey bandits such as bear, raccoon and skunks, who can’t help but investigate the delicious, enzymatic and energetic mother lode contained within. Many of the participants in the traveling road show are relatively new to the bee scene and aren’t motivated to keep hives for the honey. They simply want to provide healthy homes for bees and pollinators. The road show stops at beekeeper Scott Carlton’s hive and discovers his bees preparing to swarm. The time has come to split the colony, which is jam-packed almost to the point of overflow. To split the hive, Carlton will place frames of established comb covered with bees into a new hive where they will raise a virgin queen. Says Carlton, “I’m not in this for the honey. I just like knowing that bees are happy. I think in many ways they take care of themselves but there are certain basic things we can do to help them stay healthy.” Carlton’s girlfriend, Ann Hosey is a beekeeper by default. Having been interested in bees for years, she never lived in one place long enough to have hives of her own until she met Scott. “I’ve halfway adopted his bees and have become his research assistant. I feel good about keeping bees for the sake of bees themselves. They’re so easy to fall in love with. I think people feel intimidated by the idea of keeping their own bees, but the bees do most of the work themselves. We just provide them a safe space.” Beth Conrey, president of the Colorado State Beekeepers Asso-
ciation and co-facilitator of the traveling road show, is full of solutions on how to best support bees and pollinators. “The commercial [beekeeping] industry seems to be holding steady after a terrible year, but hobbyist enthusiasm is through the roof! Our greatest problems come from lack of clean forage and the widespread use of chemicals.” Conrey is currently lobbying for roadside weed mitigation that would encourage planting organically grown wildflowers along Colorado highways as well as advocating the use of less harmful pesticide alternatives. “Clean forage is the next big thing because it solves so many problems.” She mentions cities that have committed to making positive changes. In Portland, Oregon, you’ll find designated “pollinator pathways” bursting with floral variety. Chicago’s city parks are completely non-chemical. Vice President of the Four Corners Beekeepers Association, Bill Collins, states plainly, “In general, we need more beekeepers. The more hobbyists tending backyard hives and the more people open to providing healthy habitat for bees and other pollinators, the better.” Key pollinators such as bees, wasps, moths, hummingbirds, butterflies and bats need access to chemical-free, diverse forage and water sources. Planting a garden is a huge contribution to your local pollinator population, yet a tricky aspect is purchasing plants that have not been sprayed with neonicotinoid pesticides. The problem with these chemicals is that they’re systemic, soaking into the whole plant and affecting both pollen and nectar that is then carried back to the hive. Recent studies, including one conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, have determined that these chemicals are directly correlated to Colony Collapse Disorder and significantly impair a hive’s ability to ward off disease as well as conduct basic survival behaviors such as foraging for food and producing healthy queens. Here’s an easy solution to ensure you are planting clean forage for pollinators: purchase organically grown flower and vegetable starts and ask your local nursery to carry products that have not been sprayed or pre-treated with neonicotinoids. Whether you are intrigued by the possibility of becoming a backyard beekeeper or not, who wouldn’t like to see more hummingbirds and butterflies, both of which benefit from an organically grown, pollinator friendly garden? To learn more about how you can support the health and well being of pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds in the Four Corners Region, or to start your own backyard hives, visit www. coloradobeekeepers.org for extensive resources or join your local Four Corners Beekeepers Association chapter at www.4cornersbeekeepers. com.
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LOCAL CHEFS SHARE
CHAD SCOTHORN Cosmopolitan of Telluride
ately it’s challenging to get Chef Chad Scothorn of Cosmo in Telluride to talk about anything much other than his two brand new German-made ovens. “They are like the Maserati of ovens,” Scothorn beams. “I have only had them a week and I am freaking out.” That being the good kind of freaking out. They do look impressive – like something that would require a license to operate. A remote control. A PhD in quantum mechanics. Or all of the above. And the performance may just exceed the design. They can heat up to 400 degrees in four minutes. They can talk to other chefs (from around the world) and learn their recipes (no joke). They bake (“best bread we have ever made”), roast (“perfect eggplant every time”), steam, grill, broil and dehydrate. They also make French fries. “It tastes better than any French fry you have ever
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had,” Scothorn says. “But healthier.” Scothorn, a fit 55, has been working in restaurants since he was 14 – the last 19 years at the helm of Cosmo. His culinary education, while not including quantum mechanics, has taken him all over the world, including stints in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park; Ecole Lenôtre in Plaisir, France; and the CIA in Sicily. His enthusiasm still rivals that of an intern. With almost two decades of creating menus in the land of the Telluride Mushroom Festival, who better to ask to reveal some insider mushroom-prep knowledge. “I just got back from Spain and every kitchen has one.” Mushrooms, Chef, mushrooms. (continued on page 20)
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CHAD’S MUSHROOM PICKING TIPS Always clean your mushrooms as you pick them. Never put a dirty mushroom in your bucket, basket or box. The dirt will spread and make cleaning ten times more difficult. Field cleaning your mushrooms is also good for spreading spores. Never use plastic bags for collecting mushrooms. Bags put too much pressure on the mushrooms, causing them to break. Plastic also holds condensation from the mushrooms that will damage them. If your box or basket has small holes, all the better so any dirt can fall out as you hike. Always slice large porcini (also known as boletes) in half lengthwise as you pick so you can check for worm activity. If you find a new spot for picking, don’t tell anyone else. No matter what your friends say, they will go there and get your mushrooms. For cleaning mushrooms, buy a small sponge painter brush and a similar sized cheap paring knife. Using duct tape, tape them together with the brush pointing in one direction and the knife pointing in the other. Now you have the perfect mushroom knife equipped with a sponge brush for cleaning. `
Porcini Powder “I think this produces a better flavor than the actual mushroom itself.” – Chad Scothorn INGREDIENTS Take spores/tubes (the spongy material under the cap) and dice. Lightly salt the spores Spread out over a cookie sheet preferably on a glazing rack Place the pan of spores in a dehydrator or in a convection oven that is running at 180 degrees with the fan on and the door slightly ajar. Leave them in until almost hard and dry. Take these dried spores and put them through a blender or food processor and run until they become a fine powder. Use this product to coat a piece of meat or fish prior to sautéing or grilling. It is also excellent for seasoning a sauce or soup, and is perfect for a vegetarian stock.
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Porcini Ragout Yields 2 cups INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 medium shallot, finely chopped 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 2 cups porcini mushrooms, spores/tubes (the spongy material under the cap) removed and reserved 4 stems fresh thyme, tied in a bundle 1/2 cup chicken stock 1/2 one medium tomato, diced 1 ounce dry Madeira wine Salt and pepper to taste Fresh basil to taste, for garnish METHOD Heat a saucepot and add olive oil. Add shallot, garlic and mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add thyme bundle, chicken stock and wine. Bring to a simmer. Add tomato and season with salt and pepper. Finish with fresh basil chiffonade (thin julienne-like strips) This can be used as a pasta sauce by simply adding 1/2 cup cream and 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese. If you like a richer sauce for a chicken breast, simply finish the ragout with 4 tablespoons of cold butter. Vegetarians can substitute vegetable stock for chicken stock.
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IN THE CREAMERY
Katie Burford, owner of Cream Bean Berry, in her Smiley Building kitchen in Durango.
ROCK YOUR ICE CREAM | Katie Burford
t was 3 in the morning and my iTunes was playing "Fluorescent Adolescent" by Arctic Monkeys on a loop. Outside my car, the Tennessee countryside was a tunnel of darkness. Singer Alex Turner once again chopped out his ballad to mid-life ennui in staccato bursts:
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… Discarded all the naughty nights for niceness Landed in a very common crisis Everything's in order in a black hole Nothing seems as pretty as the past though That Bloody Mary's lacking in Tabasco Remember when you used to be a rascal?
A rascal, indeed. I'd always been a bit impetuous in my life choices, but leaving a 15-year career in journalism to become an ice cream maker verged on mentally unsound. Something like replacing the Tabasco for lighter fluid. Exhausted and over caffeinated, I was plagued with doubts about my decision to drive (24 hours!) to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for a week-long frozen dessert immersion course. This is how it began: making coffee before dawn one cold January morning, I heard a bit on NPR about "Gelato University" in Italy where you could go and learn the craft of artisan ice creammaking. "That's it!" I thought. For years I'd batted about ideas for possible ventures involving local food, discarding them as too difficult for a novice or already being done. But ice cream? That was the perfect palette for incorporating all variety of local offerings from milk to eggs to fruits and herbs. After that single spark, I was fairly well possessed with the idea. Four months later, I was on my way to Gelato University, unfortunately not in Italy but at the school's North Carolina campus. On iTunes, Turner again crooned out the chorus: … Falling about You took a left off Last Laugh Lane You were just sounding it out You're not coming back again. The trick to ice cream is understanding what each ingredient brings to the party. The essential elements are: milk, cream, an emulsifier, sweetener and flavor. Cream and milk provide solids and butterfat. Sugar provides sweetness and acts as anti-freeze, keeping the concoction scoopable even when held below freezing. The emulsifier helps bind the ingredients together. Once you have this equation, you can vary the ingredients to your liking. For instance, my base uses tapioca starch and milk powder for emulsification because their neutral taste allows delicate flavors to shine through. But egg yolks can be great, too. Sugar can be replaced with honey or agave, in slightly lesser amounts because of their more potent sweetness. (Nontraditional sweeteners like stevia do not have anti-freezing properties and will result in iciness). Use raw milk or goat milk, if you like. Flavor accounts for up to 20 percent of the mix (by volume). Fruit works best when cooked slightly with sugar, then pureed. Lastly, a word on ice cream makers: in my opinion, the home varieties are all about the same, so don't feel like you need to spend a lot of money. If you want to do successive batches, don't get the kind with the freezer bowl. `
Goat cheese-fruit ribbon ice cream BASE 2 cups whole milk 1 1/4 cups heavy cream 2/3 cup sugar 2 tablespoons agave syrup 1 1/2 ounces dry milk powder 1 tablespoon tapioca starch 1/8 teaspoon salt 3 ounces chèvre goat cheese
FRUIT RIBBON For every pound of fruit, use 4-6 ounces sugar Add a dash of lemon juice or liquor for added flavor Heat sugar and fruit of your choice in a pot. Once softened, blend to coarse chunks. Simmer until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and chill thoroughly.
METHOD Use 4-6 ounces of sugar to sweeten every pound of fruit of your choice. (Brightly colored berries work best. Cherries, currants and chokecherries are great options that can be sourced locally). Add a dash of lemon juice or liquor for added flavor. Heat sugar and fruit in a pot. Once softened, blend to coarse chunks. Simmer until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and chill thoroughly. In separate container, layer soft ice cream and fruit mixture. Allow to firm in the freezer for several hours before serving.
Photo by Josh Stephenson
IN THE FIELD
Grow Another Row founder Amanda McQuade collects fresh greens from a farm in Palisade. McQuade will deliver the produce the same day to local organizations.
photos by Michelle Ellis
GROW ANOTHER ROW | Sharon Sullivan
n 2008, Amanda McQuade’s plum tree was so prolific that her neighbors refused to take any more fruit. They told McQuade that Salvation Army would gladly accept her excess plums. “That planted a seed in my mind that next summer I’d plant more in my garden and take the extra to Salvation Army,” says McQuade. She didn’t realize then the idea would grow into a community-wide initiative. McQuade was active in the 2008 presidential campaign where she says she gained confidence in asking people for help. “It was eyeopening; I could organize people to do something,” says McQuade, who has a PhD in molecular biology, and wrote scientific papers as
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a freelancer before giving birth to twins three years ago. “I had developed skills at building databases, networking, and cold calling.” As the campaign wound down, she began seeking another community project. “I wanted to be the change; I was looking for something to do locally,” recalls McQuade. In April 2009, her mother told her about a program in Moscow, Idaho, called Backyard Harvest. The program connects low-income families and seniors with fresh, locally-grown produce donated by backyard gardeners. As the mother of a toddler (now 6) who would pluck and eat tomatoes right out of their garden, food was always on McQuade’s
mind. She knew there were families who couldn’t afford the fresh fruits and vegetables her son loved so much. She and two other campaign workers began brainstorming on how they could launch a program similar to Backyard Harvest in Grand Junction. By May 2009, they had designed brochures and contacted human service agencies and were encouraging gardeners to plant extra – they named the Colorado program “Grow Another Row.” McQuade’s donors range from herb container gardeners, to commercial growers to backyard gardeners. Main Street Community Garden designated a percentage of their weekly harvest until they realized they could donate directly to the domestic violence shelter across the street. In addition to the usual abundant tomatoes, squash and peppers, growers donate black walnuts, celery, corn, Asian pears, melons, and from The Fruit Basket, a commercial orchard, “white nectarines that taste like pure sugar,” says McQuade. The bulk of the fruits and vegetables come from backyard gardeners like Sandy Wren and Linda Smith, sisters who moved in together a few years ago to save expenses and help each other physically. They discovered Grow Another Row after a nearby community food bank – where they used to take their excess produce – moved to a new downtown Grand Junction location several miles from their modest eastside neighborhood. “It was terribly inconvenient for us,” says the 61-year-old Wren, who has multiple sclerosis. Grow Another Row has made donating easy for them. “We pick it fresh that morning and hang it on the fence. Amanda comes and picks it up,” says Smith. The women donated 79 pounds of the more than two tons of produce collected last year by Grow Another Row. While growers and volunteers typically learn about the program via word of mouth, or at www.growanotherrow.org, Palisade farmer Calli Ferber heard about the program from a fellow juror when she was serving jury duty five years ago. Back then, Ferber was a backyard gardener, who has since expanded her garden into Sweet Pea’s Garden farm so she could work and be at home with her 2-yearold daughter Penelope. The farm is similar to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model. However, instead of purchasing a percentage of the season’s crop up front in the spring, customers can buy weekly shares of produce. “I was excited to find Grow Another Row that gives to people who might not be able to afford fresh food,” says Ferber. “Gardening is a community thing. I remember being at my grandparents’ home – they always called the neighbors during harvest time. They always shared their garden. Grow Another Row is a great concept.” Along with her donations of various vegetables, Ferber includes recipes on how to use them. One day in May, Ferber donated six pounds of spinach, a gallonsize bag of dill (with instructions on drying herbs), and a pound of
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bok choy. McQuade dropped off the greens at The House, a Grand Junction shelter for homeless teens on the Western Slope. The donations have allowed the shelter to add more fresh food to its meals, says John Mok-Lamme, executive director of Karis, a nonprofit that oversees the shelter. “We really try as much as we can to invite teens toward healthy eating,” says Mok-Lamme. “The kids like it. Good produce is pricey, so Grow Another Row makes all the difference.” Other Grow Another Row recipients include Homeward Bound homeless shelter, the Grand Valley Catholic Outreach soup kitchen, Mesa County Supplemental Foods, Center for Independence, two community food banks, and the Salvation Army. Volunteers come and go from year to year, but typically, three to five people help McQuade on a regular basis throughout the summer. During the height of the harvest season, with her three kids in tow, McQuade will spend five hours a week driving across the Grand Valley collecting and delivering the fresh produce. She spends another three hours sorting and boxing, composting whatever is too bruised or beat up to eat or make into jam. The Colorado State University Extension Office has been a huge supporter of Grow Another Row. Retired horticulture extension agent Curtis Swift, and current extension agent Bob Hammond, offered the Grand Junction office as a drop-off site for people to bring their excess produce. Additionally, the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station invites McQuade and other volunteers to come pick seconds of the Roma tomatoes and peppers grown at the research station. Typically, 15 volunteers help out during these large, one-time harvests, says McQuade. The sisters, Wren and Smith, are in their second year donating to Grow Another Row. “We grew up in a family that shared food,” says Wren. “We had Sunday dinner with our grandparents. Everybody contributed. It was one of those things.” `
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IN THE DAIRY
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ZELLITTI: A CENTURY OF WALKING THE LINE | Rachel Turiel
here’s a familiar Western story. A stretch of river is swindled from natives. Houses, churches, businesses are pounded up from dust. Farms and ranches spread from town, sustenance coaxed from arid acres. The mountains are mined, grazed, logged, hunted and loved. Children are raised in the fold of multiple generations. Time passes. Newcomers trickle in. They bring different philosophies on land management: less extraction, more recreation. People begin using words to define where they stand: liberal, conservative, rancher, mountain biker, environmentalist. Deep chasms are carved, until people stand too far apart to hear each other. On the Venn Diagram of land management philosophies, the overlap between “environmentalist” and “rancher” occurs precisely on Barry Zellitti’s land. Ironically, this is because he was raised in the old ways, which look increasingly like the new ways. However, Zellitti is way too busy inspecting a new crop of calves to debate labels. Summer morning, 8 am, on the Zellitti ranch. Emerald pastures are hemmed in by indomitable stands of pinyon-juniper. A pair of mountain bluebirds tends a nest in the hay barn rafters. Cows lumber into the milking shed, drooping udders the very definition of agricultural alarm clock. Hungry farm cats, raised on fresh milk, dart between hooves, flirting with 1000 pounds of animal as if on their own personal ropes course. “Come on sweetheart,” Zellitti urges, patting the rump of a chocolate-colored gal named Daisy. Barry is 57 years old. With his brother, Terry, he’s the third generation to raise cattle and hay on these Florida Mesa acres, twelve miles outside Durango. His three children grew up in the house that once sheltered his grandparents. His parents live 50 feet away. Barry can explain water rights like a pro (short answer: “Worth more than gold”). His relaxed drawl could have been So-Cal surfer in another life. There is a cell phone in his pocket, a farm animal within inches of his person. His work, life, and family history are three tightly braided strands.
Zellitti’s grandfather, Luigi, came to Durango from Italy in the late 1800s. He bought land, cleared acres of sagebrush with a team of horses, and charted an irrevocable course in cattle ranching. For decades, at a time when there were 48 dairies in the area, the Zellittis milked 120 cows twice a day. Their milk was pasteurized at a Durango plant (reportedly where Wells Fargo Bank stands today) and sold throughout the region, long before “locavore” earned a page on Wikipedia. Now, with the nearest processing plant in Albuquerque, it’s no longer lucrative to be a large-scale dairy farmer in Southwest Colorado. However, Barry contends that after milking cows precisely as far back as “forever,” he’s “like the alcoholic that can’t stop.” Milk is offered to a small group of customers through Herd Share Colorado, the only way raw milk can be legally sold in this state. When asked if anyone’s ever been sickened by raw milk off the Zellitti ranch, Barry invokes, not the health-trendy new wave of raw milk factoids, but a higher source: “it hasn’t sickened anyone yet and I pray to God it never does.” Riding in the farm truck to feed 160 beef cattle with Barry and Terry (there’s a third brother named, you guessed it, Gary. Gary has his own cattle operation down the road), it’s brother comedy
hour. They banter cheekily as the truck rattles through tiers of dusty pinyon-juniper. Barry’s cattle dog, Gus, effortlessly surfs hay bales stacked three high on the flat bed. Intelligent, loyal, and cruising on an unfortunate set of very short legs, Gus appears somehow integral to the whole operation. Barry and Terry toss homegrown hay to a loudly awaiting bovine parade, answer cell phones (“I’m extremely busy at the moment”), and make ranching look like a party. Heading back, we pass a flock of wild turkey, who are revered and protected due to Barry’s observations on their scrimmage style of grasshopper predation: one flushes insects from the field while the others are positioned to descend hungrily. Coyotes too, are given a free pass. As long as there are “enough mice, skunks and prairie dog” to distract them from the calves, Barry “won’t let anyone shoot ’em.” One gets the feeling that Barry Zellitti’s land management decisions are rooted not in the types of dogma sparking contentious firestorms on Facebook, but by asking himself: “What would Luigi Zellitti do?” Case in point: “My grandfather never used GMO animal feed; don’t see why I would.” Barry and Terry’s father, Anthony, is 83 years old and has slowed down physically but “basically runs
the operation – you know how fathers are. I’d be lost without him.” Barry’s “not a big fan of all that stuff,” referring to herbicides. He’s employed ladybugs to control aphids, and is interested in testing a 20% vinegar spray on noxious weeds. He’ll use the big guns for “real bad infestations” but 90% of the weeds are cut young, put in a big pit to ferment, and then fed to the cattle. “That’s called silage.” That’s also called a lot of work when farm labor is already a ballad without end. The trajectory of the local food arc is from farmer’s field directly to your fork. This journey does not include a stop at a distant feedlot, which is where all Zellitti cows spend their final days. Can the percentage of “local” and “grass-fed” be teased out of an equation whose sum total equals an anonymous burger hundreds, perhaps thousands, of miles from home? Is it time perhaps to ask not what Luigi would do but what the future portends? Demand for grass-fed beef is growing at a rate of 20% per year, largely due to claims that it’s better for human health, animal well-being, and the environment. Barry Zellitti knows “grass-fed beef” is a buzzword in healthconscious circles. “I’m torn about that,” Barry says. “I don’t know if I’ve been spoiled by the taste of corn-fed. I like a little fat on my meat.” It’s worth noting that before their final waltz to the Greeley feedlot, the Zellitti cows are raised up on nothing less than the local environment. High country snow melts into agricultural ditches, flooding grass-lush fields upon which cows graze, and irrigating meadows which become bundles of sweet hay. Anyone who’s dreamed of a house in the country (with water), knows the Zellittis are sitting on a subdivision goldmine of ranchettes. Apparently this doesn’t go unnoticed by real estate agents, who
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call about, oh, “once a month,” according to Barry. “I’m not against people moving into the area, I just don’t want to donate the land,” he explains. It’s possible that selling these roughly 900 acres could provide an ample retirement for Barry, Terry, and their families, freeing Barry’s wife from her side job at Wal-Mart. Yet, what would be lost? Perhaps the nesting bluebirds, wild turkey flocks, coyote rodent control, plus generations of historical knowledge residing within each family member. Retaining the land would also allow Barry’s son to take over the farm (as is the plan) upon his father’s retirement, bringing a 4th generation to Luigi’s dream. It could be argued that in tending these acres through drought, hail, thistle uprisings and stillborn calves, that a rancher is an environmentalist. Or we could drop the labels and simply see the people. The three dairy cows, snouts in a mix of oats and barley while udders mechanically drain, are so calm and serene, a thin line of drool escapes the saucers of their lips. Barry fills a pan with fresh milk, instantly magnetizing five cats to its warped metal edge. “That one had kittens last night,” Barry motions to a nondescript grey tabby. Next, he delivers a bucket of cream-on-top milk (value approximately $10) outside to “the rest of the crew.” He stops to check on a “slow” calf, separated from the herd for supervision and coddling. The bluebird pair hovers like Disney props symbolizing love and fecundity while the June sun inches up a cloudless sky. Though this morning appears much like every other of the past 40-some years, Barry steps into it with purpose and gratitude. “There’s no other life I can imagine,” he says, sloshing milk into wide, shallow pans. Apparently fresh raw milk is the opiate of the feline masses: a dozen typically solitary cats gather round one milk pan. Barry Zellitti does not have a mouse problem. `
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LOCAL RICE | Kati Harr
own here in southwest Colorado, you could say we’ve got access to a few good, local foods. Vibrant green chiles come to mind. Earthy pinto beans. You can find eggs with yolks so bright it calls to mind viscous sunshine. We definitely have our hand in the millennial darling’s cool-season, emerald-green basket. Yes, I’m talking kale. So much kale! But rice? Not so much our gig here in the high desert. Until recently, that is. You read that right. Rice. Grown locally. In southwest Colorado. Let the locavores commence to happy-dancing! The daring minds behind this wild experiment are Tom Bridge and Lisa Ahern of Durango Nursery & Supply. Bridge is the owner of the 14-year-old garden haven; Lisa’s been on deck for 4-plus years. Their adventure began in 2012, when Tom was visiting his sister, Sue, in west-central Massachusetts, and discovered rice growing on her property. Passionate and inspired, the seed was planted, the idea sprouting, but could it possibly take root? Here? It is early October 2013 and Durango Nursery & Supply is deserted, save Tom, Lisa and me. As the sun shines thin and without warmth while a bitter wind whips around our faces, one has to ask why? “Tom made me do it,” Lisa says, squinting toward the nowempty tub that was home to the rice during growing season. “It was
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definitely fun. And now we know what to do next year, to make it better. Start the seed sooner. Not plant it so densely.” “Why?” Tom laughs. “Why not? Because I love food production. Because I love trying to answer questions about food security.” Tom procured the rice seed from his sister in Massachusetts. It’s a strain called Duborskian which comes from, of all places, the Ukraine. Tom raises his eyebrows, “Kinda blows the top off of what everyone believes about rice production being exclusively in southeast Asia, doesn’t it?” Indeed. Lisa germinated these seeds (“small, brown, typical,” she says with a shrug when asked to describe them) in standard seed mix in the greenhouse. That was early April 2013. Eight weeks later, into the tub they went. The tub, in this case, is an eight-foot diameter, fifty-square-foot metal stock tank, filled five-eighths full of Durango Nursery’s own topsoil mix. A few days before transplanting, Tom and Lisa had flooded the tub until the soil was covered by about three inches of water. “It took a few days to ‘burp’ it out – get all the air bubbles to rise and the soil to settle.” After the soil settled, our intrepid gardeners plugged the shoots, which were about 4-6 inches high at the time. By their estimation, about 200 plants fit in the tub. From then on it was watch, wait and water, making sure to keep the water level consistently about three inches above the soil at all times. When the cold and frost started to roll in, they harvested the three-foot-high plants and sent them (bundled in a box via the USPS) to Sue for threshing (getting the grains off the stalks with a foot-powered machine) and hulling (getting the husks off the grains via a gas-powered machine). This year, they will send their crop again to Sue for her generous assistance. The yield is too small right now to justify buying their own equipment. I admit to Tom that although my family of three strives to eat locally, rice is one of the few “mile-heavy” foods we’re reluctant to give up. “Exactly,” Tom says, “I don’t see it as an economic crop in this area. I see it as something feasible for a family – to produce rice for their pantry, for a year.” Now that sounds right up my alley. Sounds right up the alleys of many food-culture-savvy Southwest Colorado families, in fact. But, could we do it? Really? “It takes a lot of water,” Tom warns. “It would depend on if you had that. We, in this county, are made up of the haves and the have-nots when it comes to water. Other than that, space for the tub and the inclination to try.” When asked if there were any surprises, Tom grins broadly, “that we got over a pound of rice.” `
Photos by Michelle Ellis (Recipe ingredients courtesy of Crossroads Fine Foods and Field to Fork)
THe ZIP Code Salad
his seasonal salad uses ingredients produced within your ZIP code. In this example, the 81526 is a mix between spring and summer offerings from a crisp green to a silky smooth oak leaf. Also included are trout back (also known as freckles), spring peas, strawberries, garlic scapes, a little mint, and sunflower sprouts.
Balsamic Vinaigrette serves 2 to 4 INGREDIENTS and METHOD 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste 1 teaspoon Kozlik’s Amazing Maple Mustard 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Whisk together vinegar and salt and pepper until salt is dissolved. Add Kozlik’s mustard, and whisk in olive oil a little at a time. Drizzle over greens and enjoy! Store leftovers in fridge. Before serving again, bring to room temperature and whisk again.
MINT – THE HERB WE LOVE BUT HATE | Jess Kelley
saint in the drink, a sinner in the garden. Our love/hate relationship with mint reaches back before mojito happy hours and our obsession with immaculate landscapes. Its namesake originates from Greek mythology – a tale about Minthe, a hussy nymph who was turned into the herb moments before being trampled to death by Hades’ jealous wife, Persephone. Scandals aside, the nymphturned-herb has more uses than you can shake a tiller at: medicinal, culinary, cosmetic, aromatic – not to mention it practically grows itself. How could you not love it? To clarify, I’m not speaking to the entire mint family (Lamiaceae), which includes more than 200 genera and over 3,000 species, including rosemary, thyme and lavender. No, I’m making the case to grow and consume mentha – or the true mint plants – like spearmint and peppermint. Planting these herbs seems to come with a warning label: “Dear no, don’t plant mint in your garden. It will spread like crazy and take over everything!” Well, here in the southwest, my case is, who cares? Plant it. Since our growing season is a blink, it can snow in July, and the deer eat just about everything, shouldn’t we covet an easy-to-grow edible plant? The vigorous and roaming herb indeed keeps gardeners on their toes, spreading quickly via surface runners and underground rhizomes. It’s nearly impossible to destroy, but if you want to be nice to it, mint does prefer full sun with well-draining soil. A light mulch will protect it from our unpredictable weather contrasts. The tidy among us will prefer growing mint in a container, maintaining the illusion of control like we do with all things that have a mind of their own. Mediterranean in origin, mint is a symbol of hospitality, so plant it in small pots for doorway placement, then cut a few sprigs before guests arrive – waking them up before they enter. Once established, it will run through your garden like a toddler on Tootsie rolls, so it’s a good idea to remind oneself about the medicinal properties of this brash herb. The oil from the peppermint plant can relieve stomach spasms and gas, and is particularly effective against irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Pep-
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permint also contains a unique compound called perillyl alcohol that has been shown to inhibit cancer growth, while another substance, rosmarinic acid, can help relieve nasal symptoms from hay fever. Here’s a thought: plant a first aid garden this summer, to which you could add echinacea and calendula. Despite its cool and refreshing flavor profile (an unlikely union of pepper and chlorophyll), mint is often left by the wayside while other herbs take the culinary spotlight. Its one casting call? Lamb with mint jelly. (Cue lackluster applause.) Sure, from time to time it gets a place on top of some peas, which most people don’t eat much of these days. But, my word, just because mint started off with a bad reputation, doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve center stage in droves of dishes. For breakfast, there is no reason why you can’t have a chocolate mint smoothie. Or a side of cauliflower tabbouleh with your egg frittata. Breakfast hash browns are divine with finely chopped mint. And that’s just breakfast. Lunch gets a flavor boost when you mix mint into tuna salad. Carrot fries with a yogurt mint dip, anyone? Mint actually gets deserved attention in Indian dishes. Pudina rice – made with a green paste of fresh mint leaves, coriander leaves, coconut, ginger and garlic – is tops when served with cold curry chicken. A natural compliment to fish, grilled trout with a mint radish salad or fish tacos with a pineapple mint salsa is not going to turn away any forks. Finger foods? Set out a platter of grapes, pistachios, feta dredged in mint pesto, and cinnamon turkey meatballs. Think pesto garden. And just when you thought mint had danced its last waltz, someone brings homemade peppermint patties to the party, or serves a watermelon peppermint Popsicle, and the romance starts again. Never forget the drinks! Second to lamb’s mint jelly supporting role, the mint julep is truly the herb’s Oscar winner. It became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938, five years after the end of Prohibition, when spearmint’s strong link with the bourbon drink prompted the destruction of mint beds in a few southern states. Do we even need to talk about how wonderful mojitos are? I didn’t think so. I personally have a whisky barrel “cocktail garden” going, full of mint and basil, which has caused many a muddled evening. The morning after is when I hate mint. `
Virgin (or not) Mint Julep Serves 2
INGREDIENTS 1 cup filtered water 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar 2 slices watermelon, de-seeded 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves Juice from one lemon 1 quarter-sized slice fresh ginger, peeled Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish Ice METHOD Put the water, sugar, watermelon, chopped mint, lemon juice and ginger in a blender and mix on high for a minute or two. Pour over ice and garnish. Add a splash or more of Woodford Reserve (the Kentucky Derby’s “official bourbon”) if you are so inclined.
STOP BUYING AND START MAKING:
SUNFLOWER BUTTER (or walnut or sesame or almond or ... ) | Rachel Turiel
hen you spin silky, rich butters from a pile of homely nuts, kitchen angels will alight on your shoulders singing hymns of frugality and wholesomeness. You may find yourself summoning every available family member to gather round the food processor, peering into the impossibly-professional swirl of spreadable protein, while you issue your acceptance speech for perfecting the art of making almond butter. Underneath their humble, nothing-exciting-going-on-here shells, nuts are a carnival of health. Walnuts contain high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids. Sunflower seeds are loaded with selenium and vitamin E. Eating almonds decreases post-meal blood sugar spikes. Sesame seeds are rich in phytosterols which, among other things, lower cholesterol. Pumpkin seeds contain loads of magnesium, potassium and zinc, and have special supportive qualities for prostate health. Also, hello plant-based protein party! Homemade nut butter holds multiple advantages over storebought. You control the sweetness, saltiness and texture; you can excuse yourself from the towering pile of recyclables in favor of reusing one single jar; and the price is always right. `
SOUTHWEST COLORADO SUMMER
Sunflower Butter Makes approximately 3 1/2 cups Use any nut or seed INGREDIENTS 1 pound nuts or seeds (roughly 3 1/4 cups) 4 tablespoons coconut oil (melted to liquid) 1 -2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (optional) Salt to taste METHOD Roast nuts/seeds by placing on cookie sheet in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes, stirring a couple times. Remove and let cool for a few minutes. In a food processor, start by blending 1 cup nuts/seeds with 1 tablespoon liquid coconut oil and 1 tablespoon honey. Keep adding seeds and oil until you have a consistency you like. Add salt. This process should take approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
WELLNESS DIRECTORY CLINICS Body of Work: Health Clinic
MASSAGE DeVere Keen Gamble
We are an integrated health clinic specializing in chiropractic, the Rolf Method, acupuncture, cranial sacral, and hyperbaric medicine. Call today to set up a complimentary consultation www.bodyofworkco.com (970) 764 4244
DeVere unwinds your body and resets your nervous system by integrating premium massage with cranio-sacral therapy. Her unique, intuitive treatments result in optimal wellNamaste Health Center ness and vitality for your whole person. Our unique approach is based on the understandMore than twelve years of experience. ing that each patient is an individual whose (970) 946 1051 email@example.com state of well being is immediately affected by his or her lifestyle which includes diet, habits, emotions, attitude and environment. (970) 247 2043 www.namastehealthcenter.com
Nancy L Robinson, NCTMB, LMT Licensed, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist since 2007. Specializing in techniques to help restore the body to an optimal state of health and well-being. Modalities include: Neuromuscular Therapy ("NMT"), Deep Tissue, Swedish, Sports and Prenatal massage. (970) 946 8914 www.nancyrobinson.massagetherapy.com
Relax Durango Massage Deirdre Karger, CMT
Offering relaxing massage that is tailored to your needs and addresses both the physical and energetic bodies for an integrated massage experience. (970) 946 5352 firstname.lastname@example.org www.relaxdurango.com
CRANIAL SACRAL Ananda Foley
Ananda's craniosacral therapy sessions offer deep relaxation, gentle unwinding of strain patterns in the body and intuitive soul support. Specializing in life-transitions, trauma release and maternal/ infant wellness. Clients often say it's "the missing piece" in helping them gain more benefit from their other healing therapies. www.anandafoleystudio.com (970) 403 5402
ACUPUNCTURE Sydney Cooley
Providing gentle, compassionate acupuncture for many conditions, Sydney specializes in women's health, digestive disturbances, and allergies. Her treatments help people connect with their deeper selves and activate their fullest healing potential. Practicing in Durango since 2006. 1040 Main Ave, upstairs. (970) 426 8736 www.myacupuncturedurango.com.
Wellspring Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine David Konikowski, L.Ac, Dipl.C.H.
Providing individualized solutions for your health concerns - from quick and effective symptom resolution to slowing chronic degenerative disease. 2530 Colorado Ave, Suite 2A (970) 382 0321 email@example.com www.acupuncturewellspring.com
Carole Nighswander specializes in normal pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and well-woman care. She has achieved excellence in MotherBaby care for over 10 years and lovingly offers homebirth, water birth, breastfeeding support and natural therapeutics. Complimentary interview. (970) 749 6318 www.ahmavinemidwifery.com
We specialize in normal pregnancy and birth, providing midwifery and well-woman care for the Four Corners area. Our philosophy includes providing women with competent, complete, personal and sensitive care. (970) 247 5543 1 Mercado Street, Durango, Suite 145
COUNSELING Joanie Trussel The Heart Path, Healing Mind, Body and Spirit From a Buddhist perspective my practice is about assisting clients to see their life situations with greater clarity and develop awareness and compassion for themselves. (970) 759 6606 www.joanieptrussel.com
CHIROPRACTIC Dr. Stephanie Harris, DC Essence Chiropractic Studio
Essence Chiropractic Studio is a Family Wellness Center that specializes in helping families who care about their health to heal from pain, injury, and chronic health issues. Dr. Stephanie has a comprehensive, individualized approach that helps people at every age and life stage to get healthy and stay healthy. We believe that you and your family deserve to thrive! 117 D County Road 250 Durango (970) 259-5678 www.essencechiro.com
HERBS Dancing Willow Herbs
We offer the finest selections of ethically wildcrafted and organically grown herbs and herbal products in the Southwest. We are committed to providing herbal preparations of the highest quality. 1018 Main Ave Durango (970) 247 1654
Acme Healing Center
Western Slope Owned, Western Slope Grown since 2009 Crested Butte 309 Belleview Ave 970.349.5550 Durango 572 E. Third Ave 970.247.2190 Ridgway 157 US Hwy 550 970.626.4099