Page 1







FIND FREE EVENTS AND RSVP BY VISITING: Mon – Thur: 8 am – 8 pm | Fri: 8 am – 5 pm | Sat: 9 am – 4 pm | Sun: Closed 821 East Washington Ave. | Madison, WI 53703 | 608.286.3150 | American Family Mutual Insurance Company S.I., American Family Insurance Company, 6000 American Parkway, Madison, WI 53783 ©2018 014424 – Rev.4/19


publisher Towns & Associates, Inc. PO Box 174 Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 P (608) 356-8757 • F (608) 356-8875

july/august 2019

vol. 62

essential editor-in-chief Amy S. Johnson

arts Dakota Mace................................52

publication designer


Linda Walker

Curt Fuszard...................................48 First, Acknowledge and Accept Your Pain........................................50 Racial Justice................................44 Rebirth of the Garver Feed Mill....22 Stoughton........................................6

senior copy editor Kyle Jacobson

copy editor Krystle Engh Naab

sales & marketing director Amy S. Johnson

sales & marketing manager Kelly Hopkins

dining Dorf Haus.......................................32 FreshFin Poké.................................14

entertainment American Players Theatre.............10

food & beverage

account manager Gordy Young

Medium Full City Roast Beer’d not Pressed..........................56


graphic designers Jennifer Denman, Crea Stellmacher, Barbara Wilson

administration Cathy Bacon, Debora Knutson

contributing writers Erin Abler, Cassandra Bowers, Sandy Eichel, Dave Fidlin, Kyle Jacobson, Elissa Koppel, Lauri Lee, Jennifer Phillips, Lori Scarlett, DVM, Liz Wessel, Joan W. Ziegler

Native or Not.................................60

landmark Garver Feed Mill (Flashback Article from 2013)......................................18

nonprofit Connecting Worlds Apart.............30

pets Indoor Cats Need Vet Care Too!................................46



Eric Tadsen

Fair Trade.......................................36 Wantoot Gallery............................26

additional photographs American Players Theatre, Art Gecko, Paul Capobianco, Ann Christianson, Dakota Mace, Garver Feed Mill, Green Concierge Travel, Kyle Jacobson, Just Coffee Cooperative, Madison Trust for Historic Preservation, REACH-A-Child, Tim Erickson Photography, Upshift Swap Shop, WESLI, ZDA, Inc.

sports & recreation UW Badgers Spotlight Rowing......40


From the Editor................................4 Contest Information......................62 Contest Winners............................62


| 3

additional copies Madison Essentials is available free at

over 200 locations. If you would like a copy sent to you, please send mailing information and $4 (payable to Towns & Associates) for each copy to Madison Essentials, c/o Towns & Associates, Inc., PO Box 174, Baraboo, WI 53913-0174.


To purchase an annual subscription (six issues), send mailing information and $24 (payable to Towns & Associates) to Madison Essentials, c/o Towns & Associates, Inc., PO Box 174, Baraboo, WI 53913-0174. Or sign up for a FREE online subscription at


We welcome your questions and comments. Please submit to Madison Essentials, c/o Towns & Associates, Inc., PO Box 174, Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 or email


To place an advertisement, please call (608) 445-5556 or email

from the editor

“True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.” —Brené Brown During what continues to be a very volatile time, we can use the encouragement to identify and embrace who we are, and to feel comfortable and safe in our own skin. It’s a process that is both necessary and fragile. And while we are ultimately in control of our own being, it’s also important for us to recognize the need to support each other and to have others to support us on our individual and collective path. Who we are is often connected to where we choose to live, and the Greater Madison area, in fact, the entire State of Wisconsin, thrives when we are supportive of each other. Madison Essentials represents this community that encompasses our lives by featuring such topics as local food and shopping, charitable organizations, the arts, individuals serving others, home and pet topics, and how we can spend our time. We will always be stronger because of each other, and Madison Essentials will always be showing just how it’s happening. Please enjoy our Community & Culture issue.

all rights reserved. ©2019

No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written permission by the publisher, Towns & Associates, Inc.

amy johnson

Watch for the next issue September/October 2019. Cover photograph— Chris Klopatek, As You Like It, 2018 taken at American Players Theatre by Liz Lauren Photographs on page 3: top—Taken at FreshFin Poké by Eric Tadsen middle—Taken at Wantoot Gallery by Eric Tadsen bottom—Taken at Dorf Haus Supper Club by Eric Tadsen

4 | madison essentials

Photograph by Paul Capobianco

| 5

Stoughton by Liz Wessel

Settlers from the eastern seaboard were drawn to the Koshkonong Prairie, a geographic area defined by today’s cities of McFarland, Cottage Grove, Cambridge, Albion, and Stoughton. Koshkonong means “the lake we live by,” and early settlers did just that, putting roots down near the waters. This area’s rolling prairie; hardwood trees; and fresh water in the form of lakes, rivers, and springs made the area ideal for farming. One of these locations was at a bend in the Yahara River with the large Lake Kegonsa nearby, which became Stoughton. The city was named after a Vermont pioneer, Luke Stoughton. He envisioned a community located between Janesville and Madison, complete with saw mill, 6 | madison essentials

grist mill, blacksmith, general store, and an inn. Community leaders guaranteed the city’s place on the map by making sure the railroad went through Stoughton. Stoughton residents have always had the ability to celebrate their culture, origins, and history while looking forward to the next phase of community development. Not just once, but multiple times since the city’s founding, Stoughton residents made the choice to restore structures that were part of the town’s identity, including the Stoughton Opera House, the clocktower on city hall, and the Carnegie library. This makes Stoughton an even more intriguing place to visit, where a downtown stroll allows you to explore these landmark buildings as

Photograph by Tim Erickson Photography

Photograph by Ann Christianson

e ssential community

well as storefronts that contain a variety of shops and restaurants.

Photograph provided by Green Concierge Travel

A visit to the library is a delight. The original was one of the 1,689 Carnegie libraries built in the United States by millionaire philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. In Stoughton’s case, the city applied for a $15,000 grant. They received a counter of $10,000 and a stipulation that the library had to be free to the public and the city had to raise operating funds. The final agreement was for $13,000 and $100 per month in operating funds. But there’s a twist. When the library needed to expand, the community ultimately voted to keep the library at the existing location and incorporate the historic building into an expanded, modern library. The result is a blend of old and new. You can see the facades of the historic building bridged with an atrium to the new expansion. Inside the library, you’ll find free walking tour guides for historic neighborhoods around the city. The tours show off the variety of early architectural styles incorporated into buildings at the turn of the century: Queen Anne, Italianate, and

The Carnegie library atrium that bridges the old building facades shown here after the expansion. The Carnegie library as it appeared when it was built. ­— Courtesy of Stoughton Historical Society

Photograph provided by Green Concierge Travel

Classical Revival. The guides are simple to use and include stories of the owners, and they’re also available at the Stoughton Historical Museum and city hall. A short distance away, city hall was also a restoration project. Built in 1901, city hall served many purposes, and the

City Auditorium (now Stoughton Opera House) was the center of community activity. It still is! After its renovation and the restoration of the clocktower, Stoughton Opera House began hosting local and national musicians, plays, comedy acts, and civic events. You can plan an evening out for dinner

Built in 1901, city hall served many purposes, and the City Auditorium (now Stoughton Opera House) was the center of community activity.

| 7

Photograph by Tim Erickson Photography

For information, visit and

Upcoming Festivals: Stoughton Junior Fair, July 3–7 Catfish River Music Festival, July 4–7 Stoughton Coffee Break Festival, August 17 Stoughton Wine Walk, October 17 Victorian Holiday Weekend, December 5–7 Syttende Mai, May 15–17, 2020

History and Culture: • Free Historic Walking Guides can be found at Stoughton Public Library, Historical Museum, and City Hall • Livsreise at 277 W. Main Street. Check for hours at • Stoughton Historical Museum at 324 S. Page Street. Check for hours at

Photograph by Tim Erickson Photography

8 | madison essentials

and a show at this venue, known for its acoustics, modern technology, and Victorian trimmings. The Livsreise (Life’s Journey) cultural heritage center is a visionary building providing a link to Stoughton’s immigrant past. Follow the settlement of the area from indigenous peoples to New Englanders to immigrants from European nations, especially Norwegians. They were hardworking people that farmed and worked with their hands. Livsreise captures the history and development of Stoughton inside this beautiful building with modern displays. Create your own immigration story and travel from the old country across to America. Take the Erie Canal and then a wagon to Wisconsin. You’ll get a sense of what immigration from Norway was like. The center was gifted to the community by the Edwin E. and Janet L. Bryant Foundation, and entry is free.

Other fascinating displays include cultural educational kiosks about Norwegian dancing, folk tales; the traditional decorative rosemaling painting among others; and, of course, Syttende Mai, Norway’s Constitution Day. The first citywide celebration occurred in 1897, and Stoughton continues to celebrate Syttende Mai in healthy style on the weekend closest to May 17. Visitors of all ages and with all types of interests—running, dancing, eating, canoeing, crafting, singing, and spectating—will find something at this colorful festival. In a nod to its earliest settlers, the focus of the community has once again turned to the waters that run through the city. Stoughton’s next chapter will include becoming a recreational destination. City leaders and residents have decided to enhance its natural assets, parks, and trails. Two sets of trails already exist on the north side of the city with plans to

Beautiful sunset on Lake Koshkonong, which means “the lake we live by.”

connect the loops, and plans are actively underway to redo Mandt and Riverside Parks on the city’s south side along the Yahara River. They will include a riverwalk, pedestrian bridge, and trails to other parts of the community as well as waterside commercial development. The biggest draw is a planned whitewater park, which will bypass the dam using a series of pools or drops for kayakers. Such exciting plans seem to be in step with the way Stoughton has addressed many of its choices along the way, answering how to revitalize a part of the community with an eye toward the future without losing sight of the past. I’m looking forward to my next visit!

Norwegian Dancers perform during the festival.

Photograph by Tim Erickson Photography

Cat stiv a e l F c i fish Rive r Mus 2019 July 4–7, 2019 * Stoughton, WI Delicious Food • Beer & Wine Stoughton’s Junior Fair & Fireworks at Dusk Thursday and Sunday!

FREE Music

Liz Wessel is the owner of Green Concierge Travel, which has information for honeymoons and other ecotravel at

Liz Wessel

 The Cactus Blossoms

 the iowans

 Charlie Parr

 Dave Landau

 Kendra Swanson

 Miles Over Mountains

 Fendrick and Peck

 Jack Klatt

 Birds! Birds! Birds!

 Material Boys


Visit for the complete schedule!

| 9

essential entertainment


Threads of Authenticity BY KYLE JACOBSON

The shadow of the hillside stretches over the far-reaching forest. In the distance, a gleam of sunlight brushes with a yellowing light upon green horizon’s fringe. But the reason 1,000 people have gathered this night is for the stage. Out in the open, its grades of platform are not limited to the traditional confines of a theatre. Three 12-foot rings grow layered before floating stairs and a fantastical light shining like a blue and green marble moon onto the actors performing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As the performance continues, the sky turns orange, then pink, then purple, until bleeding rich and black seamlessly 10 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

into night. With the forest swallowed in darkness, the stage takes on a new life. Blue lights in the background give a faint glow to the specters of trees weaving peculiarly behind the performance, and the vibrato of an owl’s call echoes fortuitously before Puck’s closing monologue. The audiences who return time and time again to see performances at Spring Green’s American Players Theatre (APT) will tell you there’s nothing like it, whether going to the outdoor Hill Theatre or the intimate 201-seat, indoor Touchstone Theatre. And the actors and directors will double down on that. Artistic Director Brenda DeVita says, “I

O u t d o o r s e at i n g a va i l a b l e

AP T enters into its 40th season this year, and the organization’s passion for storytelling is as strong today as it was for their first performance in 1980. can’t explain what it’s like to step out of a dressing room and be under the stars. I can’t explain to you what it does to you as a performer. How it rejuvenates you. How it affects you. For the right people, for the people who enjoy that, it’s lifegiving. And there’s something sacred about it.” APT enters into its 40th season this year, and the organization’s passion for storytelling is as strong today as it was for their first performance in 1980. Jessica Amend, marketing content manager for APT, says, “Regardless of who’s directing, the story comes first.” Their philosophy is about making the story as accessible as possible. To achieve that depth of telling a story while using easily misinterpreted language requires world-class actors with a lifestyle dedicated to perfection. “They are students of something that they think is infinitely impossible to be great at,” says Brenda. “They are people that are inherently interested in that larger exploration and that larger challenge and tenacity to go after something that has no real answers.”


I imagine the vision of APT founders Charles Bright, Randall Duk Kim, and Anne Occhiogrosso was very much in the spirit of the actors when they searched the Lockman farm near Spring Green to find the perfect place for the stage. As is on APT’s website, “One person walked to the base of a steep hill and began to read; his voice reached those above with uncanny clarity. After looking at 43 sites, this was the one.” Here they would perform Shakespeare plays uncut, which meant potentially four-hour-long endeavors. In the interest of accessibility, this is typically not the case today. Jessica says, “It’s really evolved so that we tell people the best story with the best actors while keeping the playwright’s original vision in place.” As prominent as Shakespeare is at APT, his works aren’t exclusive in the venue. This year will also feature playwrights Oliver Goldsmith, August Wilson, Lauren Gunderson, George Bernard Shaw, Tennessee Williams, Henrik Ibsen, and Lucas Hnath. Drawing a wider breadth of play enthusiasts

| 11

group of humans who’ve come to have an authentic experience.” It’s theatre. You’re watching a person, not someone on screen. Adding the element of nature to the equation creates something impossible to replicate. The directors are quite familiar with the uniqueness of a play and take today’s zeitgeist into account when deciding the best way to tell a classic story to contemporary audiences, sometimes even incorporating our world into the show through set- and costume-design choices. But taking the times into

consideration is only one layer when it comes to an individual’s experience. Jessica says, “It’s a different pivot on that story, and the people who are coming to see it are maybe in a different place in their life from the last time they saw it.” In essence, there’s a heightened intrigue to come see a play you’ve experienced before when it’s again put on by APT because what you walk away with will almost certainly not be what you remember. Year in and year out, APT’s audiences have been the most significant source

Adding the element of nature to the equation creates something impossible to replicate.

through an eclectic mix of stories is something everyone at APT is quite passionate about, and audiences are dedicated to ensuring each year is a success. Jessica says, “APT’s audience is amazing because they’re like the Packers fans of theatre. It takes some effort to get here. You drive, you walk a quarter mile up a hill or take the shuttle, and then you’ll watch a play outside. And usually it’s beautiful under this starlit sky, but sometimes they’re in parkas, and they’re bringing blankets because our outdoor season runs until early October.” Regardless of the circumstances, APT notes their audience is always engaged. Not just hearing, but listening. For Brenda, “There’s nothing like performing for people who’ve come to listen.” It’s that Midwestern passion that goes all-in upon discovering something true. “When something’s true, you can’t stop looking at it. You can’t not have it reveal something. ... This audience is an authentically interested audience. An authentically interested 12 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Famous for Steaks

Home of the 20 oz. Bone-in Tenderloin

• Friday Night—Fresh Pan-fried Lake Perch • Saturday Night—Prime Rib • Sunday—Chicken Dinner • Late Night Bar Menu & Happy Hour (Beginning at 10:00 p.m.)

• Seasonal Outdoor Dining in our Grotto • Corral Room Available for Private Parties OPEN DAILY

Mon-Fri Bar Opens at 4:30—Dinner at 5:00 Weekends Open at 5:00

For Reservations Call: 256-3570

of the theatre’s success. In a financial respect, the theatre relies more on ticket sales than donations, essentially flipping the trend seen in similar venues. When it comes to the performance, Brenda says, “The experience of seeing Shakespeare at APT is different because the audience is different. ... You’re collected in a group of people that are adventurers who made this effort to be here to listen to a story.” Many don’t make the drive to the hills of Spring Green to simply see a performance and go home. They come early, have a picnic, drink some wine, then take the hike to do something words can never explain— cherished vestiges for the senses and of the mind enlivened in the poetry of the examined life.

Kyle Jacobson is a copy editor for Madison Essentials, and a writer and beer enthusiast (sometimes all at once) living in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

Entrances at

116 S. Hamilton & 115 W. Main Street

Photographs provided by American Players Theatre.

Kyle Jacobson

Hrs: Tues-Sat 10am-5pm

608-643-5215 | RiverArtsInc.Org | 590 Water St, Prairie du Sac

| 13

essential dining

Spicy Tuna

FreshFin POKÉ Spreading the BY LAURI LEE

Poké is the trending Hawaiian food that jumped to the mainland of the United States in the last few years and inspired the name and theme of FreshFin Poké, one of Madison’s new fast casual restaurants. The Hawaiian word poké is a two-syllable word, pronounced poh-kay, which simply means cut into chunks. Traditionally, islanders cut up the fresh catch of the day and toss it with sea salt, onions, and sesame seeds. Poké bowls first came to California, where the largest populations of native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders live. It didn’t take long before poké restaurants exploded on the scene in cities across the country. Diners at FreshFin Poké can customize their poké bowl, which features the highest-quality cuts of sashimi-grade seafood and alternative proteins for diners who prefer not to eat raw fish. Being able to select from poached shrimp, vegan options, and sous vide 14 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

chicken (vacuum-sealed chicken breast cooked in its own juices) allows more people to enjoy the healthy, flavorful, and affordable quick bowls. A poké bowl consists of a protein served over a bowl of rice or greens, and diners select from a wide-array of toppings and add-in selections. Nutritional information is available at so diners can make informed ingredient choices. The Asian fusion Signature Bowls set the restaurant apart and cater to the Midwestern palate. The authentic, handcrafted sauces take the basic poké dish up a notch. Each bowl can be assembled relatively quickly, and the cost is between $9 and $12. A customer loyalty program—Earn a Bowl, Give a Bowl—provides a free poké bowl after purchasing 10 bowls, and takes it a step further by donating a poké bowl to Porchlight, their Madison community partner.

FreshFin Poké is owned and managed by Nate Arkush and Andrew Foster. Nate grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and has worked in restaurants since age 15. He received culinary training at the Austin Community College in Texas, and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and an MBA from DePaul University in Chicago. Across the country, Andrew grew up in Montana. For spending money, he also worked in the food industry during high school and college. “In high school, I biked to open a sandwich shop at 5:30 a.m. before going to classes,” he says. After receiving his engineering degree from Montana State University, he moved to Milwaukee to work for an engineering consulting company. After four years in Milwaukee, Andrew moved to Madison to complete the full-time MBA program at the University of Wisconsin­­ — Madison.

P opular Poké Trend through the Midwest Nate discovered poké bowls on a visit to California, and found the popular dining concept met Americans’ growing demand for fresh globally influenced food. “Diners have grown comfortable eating sushi, so to discover a more affordable way to eat Asian-style raw fish seemed to be a food trend whose time had come. It gives you all the benefits of sushi, but it’s customizable and quicker than a sit-down sushi restaurant.”

restaurant, so he moved there to start the first FreshFin Poké, opening it in January 2017. A few months later, he met Andrew, who was completing his MBA summer internship in downtown Milwaukee. Nate’s vision for the restaurant and growth plans clicked with Andrew, and they decided to partner to grow the new venture.

Nate and Andrew have what they call a five-five-five plan—five restaurants in five markets in five years. The popularity of poké bowls has helped them to open five restaurants in just 19 months. The ambitious plan is to be on the lookout for new site opportunities while being careful not to grow faster than they can manage. Since January 2017, they’ve

After visiting many poké restaurants and drawing from the best across the United States, Nate developed his brand to stand above the rest. He had been working for 10 years at the Starwood Hotels and Sheraton Grand Hotel in Chicago, and felt the time was right to start his own poké restaurant. He had an entrepreneurial vision and wanted to grow his concept from scratch in the way he dreamed of doing it. His research showed that Milwaukee lacked a poké

| 15


Sauk Prairie

WINE A BIT You’ll feel better

Zen Bowl (Vegan)


CAMP IN MY TOWN MERRIMAC, WI 16 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

opened four Milwaukee restaurants: Oakland; Third Ward; Corners of Brookfield; and the Milwaukee Bucks Fiserv Forum, which provides poké for Milwaukee Bucks games, concerts, and other arena events. Because pro athletes want healthy, protein-packed, nutritious meals for fuel before the game, Nate and Andrew’s catering operation also provides healthy poké bowls to visiting Major League Baseball teams who come to town to play the Brewers. Catering is available at all locations. As Milwaukee’s first poké restaurant, FreshFin Poké received the OnMilwaukee Best New Restaurant award in 2017. The Madison-based FreshFin Poké opened in September 2018 in the lobby of The James, a block of student apartments adjacent to UW–Madison. “The location has an excellent drive-by traffic count, which provides great visibility to University Avenue commuters crisscrossing the city from east to west each day,” says Andrew. “We wanted to be near State Street to reach a younger demographic, but in the end, chose the higher traffic visibility of University Avenue to draw people of all ages and help us get well-known throughout the city. Plus, the building has the vibe we were looking for. We don’t need much

space for a fast casual restaurant, so the 27-foot ceilings and tall bank of windows facing University Avenue appealed to us. Tables and a beverage bar along the windows help people have an outdoor view in cooler or inclement weather. And in summer, we’ll have outdoor seating.” These two entrepreneurs have a hardworking ethic and hands-on approach to operating FreshFin Poké. Likely, it won’t be long before they expand to a west side location or possibly open a spot at the planned Madison Public Market.

Edamame Dip with Smoked Salmon

Lauri Lee is a culinary herb guru and food writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. Photographs by Eric Tadsen.

The perfect getaway doesn’t require a plane ticket. De–stress and unwind with a hot stone massage, a lemongrass mimosa body scrub, or a 30-60 minute session in our traditional sauna.

Lauri Lee

MADISON LOCATION: 502 University Avenue MILWAUKEE LOCATIONS: Oakland at 1806 E. North Avenue Third Ward at 316 N. Milwaukee Street Corners of Brookfield at 240 N. Lord Street Milwaukee Bucks Fiserv Forum at 1111 Vel R. Phillips Avenue

View our full list of offerings at

Mention Madison Essentials and get 5% OFF your next session.

relaxation fo� EVERY BODY CHECK OUT OUR NEW LOCATION! 8302 Globe Drive • Suite 102 • Madison, WI 53717 |

| 17

e s s en t ial landmark


By Erin Abler


Before you read our article on the newly renovated Garver Feed Mill, we want to remind you of its history. We can’t do better than our 2013 article on the once-unknown fate of the old sugar beet processing plant. Just north of the vibrant Olbrich Botanical Gardens, a stately building threatens to crumble under its own weight. Alternately looming, eerie, inviting, and grand—with over 100 years’ tenure on the spot—the Garver Feed Mill building has seen multiple industries come and go. Today, the untenanted Garver attracts both urban

explorers and historians, graffiti artists and professional photographers. What will come of the site is a paradox too, for a building in decay—however historical—is not a site suitable for regular visitors. At heart, the building’s placement is part of its history: a problem that reveals why the Garver building has also been the biggest piece in a land-use puzzle spanning 15 years. BEET SUGAR BEGINNINGS Though commonly referred to as the Garver Feed Mill, this large agricultural complex wasn’t always used to house farm supplies and feed for livestock. In

fact, the Romanesque Revival structure was a strategic addition to Madison’s east side.1 At the turn of the 20th century, Madison’s population was growing rapidly, spurring promotion of suburban development for both residential and industrial purposes. Hoping to spur and maintain the city’s growth, a civic group called The Forty Thousand Club was organized in 1901 with the goal of boosting Madison’s population from around 19,000 to 40,000 by 1910. Collaborating with a private real estate development firm, The Forty Thousand Club worked to bring the U.S. Sugar Company to Madison, establishing a factory on the east side. Their planning laid the groundwork for an east-west dichotomy in Madison’s land-use pattern that persists to this day. The west side was defined by its upper-middleclass residents, primarily a mixture of university faculty and professionals, while the east side took on an industrial, working-class feel.1 The impact on the area was significant. From 1906 to 1924, Madison’s U.S. Sugar factory contracted with thousands of

18 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

beet farmers within a 100-mile radius. In peak season, 250 laborers worked all day long, processing up to 500 tons of beets per day.1 In 1923, company records showed a payroll of $200,000— a significant amount considering that in 1917, boys were paid just $1.25 per day to work thinning sugar beets.3 Though The Forty Thousand Club didn’t reach its goal, it did presage an explosive population growth in the area. Between 1910 and 1920, the population of the east side increased by 70 percent.3 Though Wisconsin once had a thriving beet sugar industry, its heyday didn’t last long. Changes in sugar cane tariff legislation lowered prices on that crop, making beet sugar less economically competitive than it previously had been in comparison to foreign-grown sugar.1 Faced with the drop in demand, U.S. Sugar scaled back its operations. The east side building was first sold off in February 1925, and eventually acquired by James Garver in May 1929.1 A SECOND LIFE IN FARM & FEED James R. Garver could be considered a man of progress. With a master’s degree in animal husbandry from the University of Wisconsin–Madison College of Agriculture, he worked several trades before beginning his own business in the old U.S. Sugar building in 1929.1 There he began the Wisconsin Sales and Storage Company, initially carrying dairy and poultry feeds in addition to providing general storage space. In the first three years he owned the warehouse, Garver converted it into a “state-of-the-art feed mill, a project that was completed early in 1931.”1 The building was renovated and altered significantly to fit Garver’s needs, including the demolition of the top two stories of the building.3

dairy, swine, beef, and poultry feed to 200 dealers in the region.3 “The Garver Supply Company eventually supplied feed over a 40-county region in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. After James R. Garver died in 1973 at the age of 88, the business was run by employees under a

trust arrangement.”3 It was sold in 1975 to Wayne Wendorf and James Hatch, who operated the business as Garver Feed and Supply Co., Inc. before selling it to Cargill, Inc. in 1997.3 NO CLEAR PATH FORWARD Once sold, the Garver Feed and Supply business left behind the historic

Garver built his business by crafting specialty mixed formulas to optimize the growth and health of various livestock. Understanding that different animals have different nutritional needs, his process demonstrates the growing impact of “scientific agriculture” at the time, which was promoted by agricultural colleges, extension services, and professional farm journals.1 During the 1940s, Garver’s company supplied

| 19


Get down to the Nitty Gritty! . Home of the Famous Gritty Burger . Serving Weekend Brunch . ALL AGES WELCOME . Serving Gourmet Milkshakes . Gluten Free, Vegetarian, and Vegan Menu Items




#1 PLACE TO CELEBRATE BIRTHDAYS . Drink FREE Beer, Soda or Specialty Cocktails on your Birthday! . Over 700,000 birthdays celebrated since 1968!


223 N. FRANCES ST. 1021 N. GAMMON RD. 315 E. LINNERUD DR. 608-251-2521 608-833-6489 608-837-4999

structure in which it was born. In 1997, the Olbrich Botanical Society (OBS) acquired the Garver building and the adjacent 5-acre property for $700,000. At the same time, the City Parks Division acquired 17.8 acres north to Fair Oaks Avenue. OBS quickly transferred ownership of its acquisitions to the city, along with a deed restriction that the property be used as parkland devoted primarily to botanical gardens.3 Since then, Garver’s fate has been anything but obvious. Though some concerted investigations have gone into determining what to do with the property, the size, age, and expense of rehabilitating the building itself has presented ongoing challenges to city officials, Olbrich administrators, and east side residents alike. Lou HostJablonski, an architect with Design Coalition and a longtime participant in planning around the Garver building, describes the unfortunate gridlock that’s resulted. “In the time that the city’s owned it, there’s been no maintenance. There’s been a fire, there’s been vandalism,” he says. Worse, the building 20 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

is exacerbating its own deterioration. “The big damage that’s been happening is that it first developed leaks, then major leaks. Now the slope of the roof is delivering rainwater and snow directly into the walls of the building, which is death for a building. What happens is in cold weather the water freezes, expands, and just pops things apart. It’s just degrading from the top down. Bricks can fall on your head from any moment, so there are [safety] concerns—as cool a building as it is, there are people walking around wanting to see it, kids graffitiing, partying, whatever. From the manufacturing, there’s open pits and stuff all over. It’s a big, attractive nuisance as well as a problem compounded over the years because of the negligence of the building.” IDEAS FOR RENEWAL The Garver Feed Mill captures the imaginations of many who visit, pass by, or live near it. Since 1997, the evocative nature of the site has sparked a variety of propositions, but none have yet taken shape. To help move these ideas forward, a Garver Redevelopment

Committee formed in 2006, accepting land use proposals. Of three semifinal proposals, the one given the go-ahead was that of Common Wealth Development, which put forth a concept for an arts incubator. With the intention of using Garver as a lively public space, Common Wealth proposed a comprehensive renovation to make room for studios, performance spaces, classrooms, and galleries.3 By 2011, though, the $15 million arts incubator project was deemed infeasible. Above all, Lou says, the venture was a casualty of the economic downturn. “All of us knew that it was going to be a challenging project. Just stabilizing the buildings so that it’s at a stasis point, no longer falling apart, was gonna be $1.3 million. For a small organization to start out with that sort of capital need before you even get to setting up offices and installing heating, etc., is a very big hurdle.” As both an architect and a longtime resident of Madison’s east side, Lou has been part of many consultations, committees, and conversations about Garver over the years. In late 2011, Lou put forward a concept design for converting Garver Feed Mill into a ruins garden—a rehabilitation of the most usable parts of the building, with other parts of the structure stabilized but not repaired—that is, left to stand as ruins do. The idea has precedent around the world, from Mill City Museum in Minneapolis to Cinnamon Bay in the Caribbean. As a ruins garden, Garver could foster tourism by hosting historic tours, housing a museum, offering event rental space, or leasing space for a restaurant or gift shop. “The highest and best use of that property is not to use it as a ruins garden,” Lou says. “But I wanted to do something to move the ball forward, keep the attention on Garver. I wanted to say that this is an idea, should there be no other possibilities. If it takes close to a million dollars just to demolish the thing, here’s an alternative.” Roberta Sladky, director of Olbrich Botanical Gardens, has expressed eagerness in finding ways to open up more space in Olbrich’s main building.

to this day. The neighborhood can bring energy and vision and a sense of urgency—but what the neighborhood doesn’t have, of course, is money. Those things all have to come together. Officially this is one of the last buildings of that era and that time in Madison where we have relatively few remnants of our industrial past.” Haswell, Susan O., A. Kay, and K. Rankin, “Garver Feed Mill,” City of Madison Landmarks Commission - Landmarks and Landmark Sites Nomination Form (1994, January 20). /nominations/117_3244AtwoodAve.pdf 1

Rath, J. (2012, July 5). A likely reprieve for Garver Feed Mill. The Isthmus. 2

In July 2012, she acknowledged that Olbrich’s “current visitor facilities are inadequate.” Indeed, attendance has increased more than 300 percent since the Bolz Conservatory opened in 1991, jumping from 60,000 visitors its first year to approximately 250,000 in 2012.2 Observers believe this bodes strongly for the possibility that Olbrich and the Parks Division may utilize Garver as a garden support and storage facility. Unglamorous as it seems, this would at least ensure the strengthening of the building’s core until further uses are explored and plans developed. AVOIDING DEMOLITION What happens to Garver next will take shape in the coming months as the city works with Olbrich to gather and interpret structural engineering data and architectural consultations. Meanwhile, neighbors and visitors alike have the opportunity to continue voicing their interest in the decision. “The entry to preservation is often in the delight of old things—whatever might be your particular interest,” observes Lou. “You lose sight sometimes of how they got that way—how they got preserved, who valued what for them to get to the state in which they are when they have a plaque and you get to them. Here’s a building that hasn’t gotten to that stage yet, that hangs in the balance. “At the core there needs to be champions for it. It needs to be one or more people who step up and say, ‘This thing is too important to let die. There’s too many possibilities, too much potential

coolness, and even too much potential income for the Garden and the city to throw away.’ If that happens, everything else follows. Whether it’s very active use with lots of people or less so, as with the ruins garden, you’re still making use of it. It all starts with somebody championing the site and having a vision for it. It’s something that the neighborhood has tried, continues

White, S. (2012, February 18). The fate of the ‘Sugar Castle’: looking forward, looking back. Provided upon request by the East Side History Club. 3

Erin Abler is a freelance writer. Photographs provided by Madison Trust for Historic Preservation.

Mariner’s Famous for Steaks & Seafood

Since 1966 246-3120

Nau-Ti-Gal Casual Food & Fun

Since 1982 246-3130

Captain Bill’s Seafood & More

Since 1993 831-7327

Betty Lou Cruises Private & Public Cruises

Since 1998 246-3138

| 21

essential community

REBIRTH OF THE By Kyle Jacobson

Early on, I jokingly warned our team about the east side’s reputation for “full-contact democracy.” David Baum repeated it often since, but in fact there turned out to be solid, widespread neighborhood support for this concept for Garver’s rebirth. I’m delighted to see the whole site nearing completion after 20-plus years of neighborhood dreaming and working. –Lou Host-Jablonski, AIA, Design Coalition “There are still so many people that don’t know where the Garver Feed Mill is,” says Adam Nagy of Ian’s Pizza. Vanessa Tortolano of NessAlla Kombucha adds, “But then the people that do know about it are like, ‘Ah, yeah, we’ve been around there. I broke in there once with a friend.’” Nic Mink of Sitka Salmon says a resident told him, “In the ‘40s, I muskrat hunted there.” In case you haven’t heard, the Garver Feed Mill, an old sugar beet processing plant behind Olbrich Botanical Gardens built in 1906, is getting one heck of a makeover. The building itself was on the brink of edifice extinction. Walls about to come down. Extensive water damage leading to a tree taking hold on the roof and its roots following the mortar 22 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

joints in the brickwork. Its inevitable demolition was curtailed when the community chose Baum Revision to give Garver Feed Mill new life. On the request for proposal, Bryant Moroder of Baum Revision says, “Throughout the entire project, we received about as much support from the community as any project in Madison. From as far back as the committee selection process, when 150 residents showed up to say we want this project, the enthusiasm exploded on social media from people in the neighborhood and beyond who cannot wait to get into the building and interact with tenant businesses.” So what’s the plan? Come fall of this year, the east side of Madison will have a new foodie destination ripe for events and rounding out a day on the

bike trail or at Olbrich. The building will be keeping some of the graffiti and all of the charm with its new residents: Ian’s Pizza, NessAlla Kombucha, Sitka Salmon Shares, Calliope Ice Cream, Underground Catering, Kosa wellness spa, and Briar Loft boutique floral. Bryant says, “You guys could’ve very easily moved to some industrial place in the middle of nowhere and called it a day.” Which would be fine, but aside from the incredible opportunity Garver Feed Mill provides in terms of history and location, the reason these businesses are choosing this space for their next venture is summed up nicely by Nic. “We’re all value-based businesses, which means we take into consideration things beyond just making money.” Because of Sitka Salmon’s new location, Nic will be able to do bike deliveries to the 500 members located within three

miles of the Garver Feed Mill, putting the things he and his employees value in pole position. Further exhibiting sustainability practices, NessAlla Kombucha thought out an energyefficient way to utilize the heat coming off their refrigeration to preheat the ondemand water heater. Taking a step back from the enormity of the work being done to revive Garver Feed Mill and understanding the implications of its future, it isn’t too hard to see that these businesses are taking advantage of an opportunity to amplify their beliefs to a wider audience than just the east side of Madison. Bryant says, “There’s all these spaces, and that creates opportunities for engagement and education. For NessAlla Kombucha to start their brewery tours again. We were talking about doing big Friday night fish fry, but sort of the Sitka version of it. For many of our tenants, it’s all about facilitating these experiences.” And each of the tenants have something to say about what encapsulates the identity of Madison and much of Wisconsin.

“You’re making an investment in the community,” says Nic. “You look at making investments for many different reasons, and as a business, you should be mindful that your investments do much more than make money. Investments transform communities. They can get people to think about how they live differently and, for us, investing in things that don’t degrade the environment and allow us to work with natural resources a little bit more thoughtfully. ... We see it as a comprehensive investment into the world we want to see. I don’t want to run a business in a Quonset hut in a nearby city. ... I don’t want to facilitate that. I want to facilitate this. Our members want to facilitate this. Our fishermen want to facilitate community-tight places like this. And I’m sure that’s why we’re all here.” Then there’s the history of the place and what it means to so many different people for so many different reasons. From the aforementioned muskrat hunter and other anecdotes to the stories of what happened when the factory was

OPEN DAILY! 3330 atwood ave. madison, wi 53704 | 608-246-4550

| 23

Hip, Knee or Shoulder Pain? OrthoTeam Clinic Can Get You Back in the Game

Two clinic locations to serve YOU better! 2 Science Court, Madison or 900 Ridge Street, Stoughton (608) 877-3419

• Sports Medicine • Knee • Shoulder • Hip

• Cartilage Restoration • Platelet Rich Plasma Injection (PRP)

Stoughton Hospital accepts over 160 area insurance plans. Please check your individual plan regarding coverage of services at Stoughton Hospital.

OrthoTeam Clinic

Excellence in Orthopedics

24 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

in use, including a molasses spill whose severity might be bordering “tall-tale territory,” according to Vanessa. There was even a span of a few years when an artist had taken up residency in one part of the building. The space itself might not be ancient, but you’d be hard pressed to find its equivalent. It’s the new stories, however, that really interest Bryant as Baum Revision sets the stage for the next chapter of Garver Feed Mill. “To be successful as a project,” Bryant says, “we need to move beyond our audience and bring this to the broader world. What we’re focused on is trying to create that platform. ... I think the memories the people are going to take from this building for the next 100plus years are going to be really cool.” Right now, that element of opportunity, exciting as it is overwhelming, is evident to everyone who will be filling out those pages. With ideas aplenty and the impetus to meet those ends, Garver Feed Mill gives Madison a new voice to speak of sustainability and tapping into a community’s potential to make a more widespread impact.


February-April 2020 issue of Home Elements & Concepts, our sister publication, to see a full photo display of the finished space.



our featured local food artisans

Kyle Jacobson is a copy editor for Madison Essentials, and a writer and beer enthusiast (sometimes all at once) living in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Photographs provided by Garver Feed Mill.

GARVER FEED MILL 3241 Garver Green Madison, WI 53704

Try this signature dish at

Mushroom ragout laced with seasonal vegetables and topped with Seven Seeds Farm chicken, buttermilk blue cheese streusel, and pickled red onion. Artful presentation using the finest community-sourced ingredients. 5607 County Road C, Spring Green (608) 588-7900

Since 1971 Italian Specialties & Delicatessen ®

Huge Deli Featuring

Take-Out Dinners & Homemade Entrées —Try our housemade frozen pizzas­­—

• Hot & Cold Sub Sandwiches • Antipasto Platters & Sandwich Trays • Homemade Deli Salads • Lasagna & Mostaccioli • Spaghetti with Meatballs • Gluten-Free Pastas & Sauces • Homemade Pasta Sauces • Meatballs & Sausages (hot or mild) • Italian Recipes & Housewares

San Marzano tomatoes


authentic extra virgin olive oil from Italy

Imported Olives & Olive Oils, Tomato Products, Artisanal Pasta & Cheeses, Frozen Filled Pastas Only from Fraboni’s: For Over 60 Years… Our Original “Porketta” Roast

Dane BUY


M-F 9-7; Sat 9-6; Sun 9-5

Elegant layer cakes, all-butter pain au chocolat, pastries, breads, tartes, and more. The art of baking in a friendly neighborhood setting. Try these Bread is life. Bread is community. signature dishes at 1402 Williamson Street, Madison (608) 257-1652

108 Owen Road • Monona 608-222-6632

Look for more featured dishes in every issue!

| 25

essential shopping

Modern American art and craft partners Ried and Kathy Knapp started an online business in lllinois that featured art from only living contemporary American artists, and only with a distinctly modern aesthetic. “Deciding to sell only work from American artists made a lot of sense to us for several reasons,” Ried explains. “The U.S. is obviously a huge dynamic cultivator of artists. There is an abundance of wonderful art schools in the country turning out talented and highly skilled artists and craftspeople. When you think of modernism or modern art, people often think of Europe. “We knew Europe didn’t have an exclusive on fresh thinking, and so we wanted to celebrate modernism happening here. There is a made in America component to our thinking as well. We represent studio furniture makers from coast to coast. Why do we need to ship furniture across oceans? As environmentalists, it makes sense to us to produce and shop local.” With some early success and a steadily increasing number of artists and disciplines represented, Ried and Kathy decided to expand the business with a physical gallery location. “We looked at many places in Michigan and Wisconsin before we considered Mineral Point,” says Ried. “We initially fell in love with the idyllic charm— reminiscent of a Cornish village. But it turns out Mineral Point has been an artist colony for generations. There are currently about 70 visual artists, writers, and performers who live in the 26 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

area. In fact, it’s the highest per capita home for artists in Wisconsin. It made our decision easy.”



Wantoot’s gallery became part of the Mineral Point arts scene in the summer of 2012, but the journey wasn’t a smooth one. Ried says, “We’re also preservationists, and we wanted to contribute to the landscape of restored buildings in the commercial district. Mineral Point is actually the oldest nationally designated historic district in the state.” The 1891 building Ried and Kathy chose needed more attention than they originally thought. The project involved the National Park Service and the Wisconsin Historical Society, and included completely rebuilding the exterior: restoring window openings, replica windows, new roof, replica skylights, and replica storefronts. High ceilings; original maple floors; and a north-south building orientation, which provides consistent soft light, are just a few benefits of the finished




| 27

restoration. “We love people’s reaction when they step through our authentic 19th century storefront and time travel forward to experience cutting-edge 21st century design inside,” says Ried. Wantoot features original paintings, mixed media, and sculptures from

artists across America. Rarely are these pieces not one of a kind. The only prints available are limited edition silver gelatin prints or hand-printed lithographs. Much of the functional art—jewelry, pottery, wearable art, and studio furniture is made by artists in small limited editions or are one-of-a-kind pieces. The subtle differences of work done entirely by hand makes even those pieces limited edition and unique. Wantoot features a highly curated collection of artists and artworks. Every artist shown is carefully selected, and each piece of work by that artist is individually chosen. This ensures that visitors to the gallery will always find something unique. “We show pieces from many artists who have no other

28 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

representation in the Midwest, let alone in Wisconsin,” says Ried. Because of the extensive selection of original large-format artwork as well as the large number of handcrafted furniture designs, Wantoot has a burgeoning consulting business with architectural design firms and interior designers. Services include making artwork recommendations for specific spaces as well as helping clients choose pieces of custom furniture. “One of our artists has over 20 wood species available,” says Ried. “Different woods lend very different personalities to furniture. In the end, it’s always about creating something that speaks to the client and is unique.” Photographs by Eric Tadsen.

in the Join us for the 18th year of a Madison summer tradition! FR E E CO N C E R T


JULY 2 0 , 2 0 1 9 ( Raindate: July 21)


| 29

e ssential nonprofit

Connecting WORLDS APART BY JENNIFER PHILLIPS In the middle of downtown Madison is a world with a mix of cultures and languages. The Wisconsin English Second Language Institute (WESLI) welcomes both international students from around the world and local students to learn English in an immersive atmosphere. Students hail from 25 or more countries every month. Walking the halls, one hears languages from Asia, Africa, and South America. This convergence of people are united in their goals to study English. Some students are university bound, learning English from beginner to academic in a year. Others come to ensure an authentic American experience and improve their language for travel or business. Many plan on English for their career advancement in international business. And there are also those who need English for the essentials: work, a new home, and connecting with others. WESLI has been teaching English since 1981, beginning out of Gail and Jeff Dreyfuss’ passion. The original school was located on University Avenue near



Join for as little as $4.

30 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

campus and later moved to the Capitol Square in the 1990s. Since then, over 15,000 students have studied at WESLI, going on to universities and careers. Alumni have become top executives in hotel and oil industries, authors, leaders for change here and abroad, and government officials across the globe. Every student works hard to study intensively, but no journey is gone alone. WESLI has a family-like atmosphere with teachers and staff offering support to students in their studies and daily life challenges. Students form new friendships across cultures in classes and activities. Such community is important to WESLI, both every day in the school and outside the classroom walls. We encourage students to participate in the local community as much as possible. Volunteering is popular among students. It gives the chance to help out and practice their language skills. WESLI connects students to local opportunities,



like tutoring in their native language and helping out at the Children’s Museum and community events. Not only does it help their language skills improve through the conversations, but the integrated community experience is part of the rich study-abroad experience that Madison offers. Many students have volunteered with East High School to tutor in their native languages of Arabic, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, and Japanese. WESLI students enjoy experiencing an American high school and being able to share their own languages. Community members reach back by becoming conversation partners with WESLI students. After matched, the conversation partner and student will meet up for a weekly conversation. This program fosters strong community connections, friendships, and confidence for students. WESLI works with a number of area businesses to provide professional English lessons for their employees. Teachers travel to businesses to provide the customized lessons, allowing the employee to improve specific skills for job growth and advancement. Sometimes employees of local businesses attend classes at WESLI in the International Business Essentials or Public Speaking classes, learning in a diverse classroom. For other businesses, a large on-site class of English or Spanish is helpful to build the language gap between co-languages. Whether employees are beginner or advanced, instructors provide a balance of lesson and practice with content fitted for the unique work environment.

“Tutoring for business clients has been so rewarding. You can see where they started and how far they’ve come,” says Regina Frank, a WESLI tutor for professional English.

and ideas beyond grammar. His classes often involve attending community lectures and events to complete assignments designed to foster authentic learning and understanding.

Community is central to WESLI, with partnerships locally and globally. A new and impactful partnership with Leading Change continues this mission. Leading Change is a nonprofit seeking to renew Africa one scholar at a time to impact a larger community. Adama Sawadogo was the first Carlos Osorio Scholarship for Change recipient in 2018 through Leading Change.

As with any study abroad experience, students are looking forward to all the new experiences and the memories they will make. However, study abroad is not without its challenges. Students are tired after hours of travel and connection flights when they arrive in Madison. WESLI staff or a homestay family welcomes them upon arrival, offering a friendly face and prepared accommodations. Students often arrive to Madison a day or two before their first day at WESLI. This gives them a little time to recover from jetlag and get their bearings. Everything is still new, with more to experience and a few more challenges ahead.

everyone is. With Madison’s consistent top rankings, students experience the best of the United States with opportunities never too far. Jennifer Phillips is the director at WESLI.

Carlos Osorio is the owner of WESLI and started out as a WESLI student himself before buying the school after completing his MBA from the University of Wisconsin­ –Madison. The scholarship was named by staff in honor of Carlos’ own journey and continued commitment to international students through this fully funded English study scholarship. “WESLI has been committed to the success of international students of all kinds seeking high-level academics in the United States. We feel that Leading Change’s mission is honorable and want to make a significant impact toward success of these students in the organization’s early years,” says Carlos. Teachers and staff at WESLI also have their own unique journeys that brought them to WESLI. Some have had abroad careers teaching English, returning to their midwestern roots and finding WESLI as a connection to their international experiences. Others began in WESLI’s Teacher Training Program, which served as their first steps into the world of English as a Second Language (ESL). Starting off with little knowledge of the field, they soon found their teaching abroad job, like Nathan Brelsford, who taught in South Korea before returning to Wisconsin and teaching at WESLI. Nathan teaches the academic and professional levels at WESLI and is one of many favorite teachers. His classroom lessons focus on developing the key skills in understating communication

Their first day at WESLI includes assessments and orientation, followed by the first week of classes. The first week is very exhausting as students acclimate to an only-English environment. Students connect with new and old students, which helps ease their learning curve in their new surroundings.

Photographs provided by WESLI.

Jennifer Phillips


19 N. Pinckney Street Madison, WI 53703 (608) 257-4300

If a student stays with a homestay family instead of the WESLI Student Residence downtown, they get a front-row seat to experience American life. Homestay families will host a student from a few weeks to a few months. They eat meals as a family, go on weekend excursions, and spend time together talking and reflecting on the daily happenings. Homestay families have been an integral part of WESLI’s community for over 30 years. Not only do they provide a kindness in opening their home, they become family to students, building friendships extending into the years to come. WESLI connects worlds apart through the open communities of Madison and beyond and hopes to continue to reach throughout the area. WESLI wouldn’t be here without our students, but we wouldn’t be here without our local community. Madison is authentic and students comment on how friendly

| 31

essential dining

Dorf Haus 60 Years BY LAURI LEE

If the walls at Dorf Haus could talk in honor of the supper club and banquet facility’s 60th anniversary, you’d hear stories of how two generations of the Maier family established, grew, and operated the popular restaurant. Located in the Town of Roxbury just outside Sauk City, the setting seems plucked out of Bavaria and resembles a German bierhaus. The extensive display of artwork depicts famous German kings and castles through impressive stained glass, carvings, and antiques. In 1950, before it was Dorf Haus, the property held Brownie Breunig’s Tavern, a grocery store, living quarters, and dance hall where Vern and Betty Maier held their wedding dance. Vern owned a construction business when the newlyweds started their family,

which grew to nine children—five boys and four girls—over the next 20 years. In 1959, Vern stopped at the tavern for a beer and learned the owner wanted to sell. The dance hall had only been used in recent years for storage and playing basketball, but Vern thought it would make a great cabinetmaking shop. He bought the hall and renamed the business Vern’s Tavern and Grocery. A pivotal event occurred, which unintentionally laid the groundwork for the establishment of Dorf Haus. “One day the compressor went out in the tavern, and Dad went to purchase one at an auction,” says son Monte, Vern and Betty’s sixth child. Ninth child, daughter Rebecca, adds, “The auctioneers lumped other unsold items with the compressor, so he also returned

home with everything needed to start a restaurant. … Mom said, ‘What are we going to do with all of this stuff?’” Fate intervened, and the auction items didn’t stay in storage very long. In 1961, Vern had a life-threatening accident, which led to his decision to close the construction business and eventually bartend at the tavern. “They owned the equipment,” says Monte. “So with encouragement from Uncle George, who owned the Wagon Wheel restaurant in Portage, they launched a restaurant to seat 25 people. The line of customers led out the door, and each took a number for all-you-can-eat chicken and fish for $1. Frog legs and bullheads were also on the menu. When customers told them the price was too low, they raised it by 25 cents.” In 1963, change was in the wind again when the building next door blew up and majorly damaged the wall in the restaurant’s front seating area. When rebuilt, they enlarged and moved the bar across the dining area. The plan was

32 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

to bring back wedding dances and have room to hold the reception. The first wedding event was held on February 16, 1963, and as the popularity grew, they connected the dance hall to the restaurant, added a side room, and enlarged the kitchen. The next step was to start serving German food, so they came up with a small German smorgasbord with sauerbraten one night a week. The cuisine was chosen since Vern’s heritage was 100 percent German and Betty’s was 50 percent. Also, Roxbury was a Germanesque community with many Bavarian immigrants that made it feel like living in Germany. Vern and Betty, with the help of their high school English teacher who was a World War II translator, renamed the restaurant Vern’s Dorf Haus. In German, Dorf Haus means small village inn. Expansion continued over the years. “A new back section was added in 1968 to accommodate a huge bar repurposed from Rohde’s Supper Club in Madison,” says Rebecca. “A game room and an alcove with a fireplace were established in 1973, and because the back deck was too sunny, it was enclosed to become the Antique Room, holding Vern and Betty’s incredible collection and a few tables for diners.” The room opens to a twotiered deck leading to the flower garden, gazebo, foot bridge, and large old willow tree that has been a picturesque backdrop and site of many weddings and rehearsal cookouts.

Knackwurst, Weisswurst, Smoked Pork Hock

Monte and Rebecca are the present-day owners and managers. “Monte started managing the bar and helped mom manage the supper club after dad had a stroke in 1983. He did everything except cook,” says Rebecca. “After graduating from UW–Madison in 1992, I was happy to jump on board full-time and split responsibilities with Monte and our parents. I focused on bookkeeping, marketing, events, media, hiring, and managing the dining areas. Mom and dad were our best teachers and continued to give advice and pitch in until they passed in 2012 at age 80 within 22 days of each other.” Growing up, all the Maier children helped bus tables, do dishes, wait tables, cook, and

| 33

bartend from a young age. Currently, along with Monte and Rebecca, 10 family members work at the restaurant: a sister-in-law, Monte and Rebecca’s children, as well as nieces and nephews. Most have worked with them for 10 to 40 years. The authentic German and American specialties on the menu include Wiener schnitzel, sauerbraten, rouladen, barbecue ribs, roast Long Island duckling, seafood, and their famous family-style chicken. In true supper club style, Dorf Haus is famous for their Friday night fish fry, Saturday night roast prime rib, and Sunday chicken dinner. The large salad bar features pickled gizzards, liver pâté, and handmade cheese spread. The notorious supper club bar drinks include the brandy old fashioned and, of course, ice cream drinks, such as the grasshopper, pink squirrel, golden Cadillac, and brandy Alexander. A very popular Bavarian smorgasbord with live polka music and dancing

34 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Wiener Schnitzel with spaetzle

A very popular Bavarian smorgasbord with live polka music and dancing is offered on the first Monday of the month year-round and also on the third Monday during summer.

is offered on the first Monday of the month year-round and also on the third Monday during summer. The tradition of serving roasted snapping turtle from the Mississippi River during Lenten season started more than 35 years ago. It’s offered Wednesday and Friday, and diners call weeks ahead to reserve their order, as it sells out quickly.


have to keep coming back to see what Monte and Rebecca have in store to celebrate with family and friends who have become family. Lauri Lee is a culinary herb guru and food writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. Photographs by Eric Tadsen.

When viewed from outside, it’s hard to tell that Dorf Haus has 10,000 square feet. The restaurant seats 225 for sit-down banquets, 450 people for buffets, and two smaller dining rooms seat 100. Reservations are accepted on all days except Friday, when they’re only available for parties of eight or more. The wait can be up to 90 minutes at times. Over the years, the restaurant has been anything but stagnant. Everyone will

Lauri Lee

| 35

e ssential shopping


tr ade by Dave Fidlin Photograph provided by Art Gecko

Art Gecko Since opening its doors, Art Gecko has been selling a variety of products to Madisonians made from suppliers in developing countries. Among them: clothing, décor, furniture, holistic goods, and jewelry. The retailer, which has two Madison locations, has used the phrase “conscientious commerce” to describe its mission. Marcel Colbert, co-owner of Art Gecko, says most of the shop’s product line is sourced from India and Southeast Asia. Other locales, including Mexico, are also in the mix. “We skip the middle man,” Marcel says of Art Gecko’s business model. “We put a fair market price on our products, and we’re aware of [our suppliers’] working conditions.” Art Gecko began as a concept plan in 1994. After working through logistics and securing suppliers, the doors officially opened in the community in 1997. “The business started growing almost immediately,” Marcel says.

Photograph provided by Art Gecko

A core principle is to forge relationships with suppliers. “We’ve known a lot of the sources for a number of years. There’s a very personal relationship. We believe in face-to-face contact.” Whenever possible, visits to the suppliers’ countries and work places

36 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

are a part of the business plan. The immersion process includes getting to know the region and country, paying respect to cultural awareness, and learning about the unique circumstances in each country. Back home, feedback from local customers also plays a pivotal part in deciding what is stocked within the stores. Customer feedback, including desired products, is relayed to suppliers in the hopes of bridging relations between Madison and other parts of the planet. In describing this two-way process, Marcel says, “We’re trying to make the world a smaller place.”

Photograph provided by Art Gecko

In recent decades, the concept of fair trade has grown in popularity as merchants and consumers alike make more conscientious decisions about how and where products are sourced. At its most basic level, fair trade is about forging business relationships between companies in developed nations and producers in developing parts of the globe. As the term suggests, producers are paid a fair price for the goods they sell to the business. Across the Madison area, a number of businesses sell goods and services around some or all of the principles of fair trade.

Photograph provided by Just Coffee Cooperative

just coffee cooperative Since its founding in 2002, Just Coffee Cooperative has been forging relationships with coffee farmers in Latin American countries and other areas of the globe. The seeds for the Madison-based company’s origins were planted through a relationship with Zapatista coffee farmers in Chiapas, Mexico.

and others within Just Coffee work to ensure farmers are receiving a fair, livable wage for the caffeinated crop they cultivate and bring to Madison. “It’s a way of making sure farmers are paid a better wage for the work they do,” Matt says of the first principle in their broader mission statement. “But that’s really just scratching the surface.”

Just Coffee has more than 30 people within its organization and has a highly caffeinated mission statement. Co-founder Matt Earley, a native of Kentucky who earned his master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, says, “We really believe in the democratic organization of co-ops.”

As deeper relationships are forged between the supplier and Just Coffee, resources are offered to help farmers diversify the crops they are growing beyond coffee. Being kind to the planet is another key component of Just Coffee’s circular goal in enriching the globe. “Environmental sustainability has become a much bigger piece of this,” Matt says. “We want to make sure we’re working with farmers who are making sound ecological practices.”

The organization functions largely as a wholesaler, though it maintains a small retail function with pop-up coffee carts at assorted events throughout the area. Just Coffee is available at a number of local restaurants and grocery co-ops in addition to a selection of national grocery chains. While coffee is a part of the business, it’s just one piece of a much larger missionminded puzzle. From the onset, Matt

Just Coffee has attained Certified B Corporation status, meaning it has met a prescribed set of high standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. “We’re really excited about that certification,” Matt says. “It’s going to play a critical part for us as we move ahead.”

| 37

upshift swap shop The dire impact textile waste is having on the planet from an ecological perspective has become more well known in recent times. Lindsay Leno, owner of Upshift Swap Shop, is hoping to do her part in curtailing textile waste with a unique business model that emphasizes ecological responsibility from a global perspective. Lindsay, whose professional background includes work as a fashion designer, noticed early on the industry was built around a constantly changing selection of wardrobe pieces for women. While the metamorphosis of selections from season to season and year to year is nothing new, Lindsay says she was growing concerned about the amount of textile waste piling up.

Photograph provided by Upshift Swap Shop

Whether it’s in the United States or another country, the cost of manufacturing clothing has an impact on the planet and its resources. Case in point: 1,800 gallons of water are

consumed, on average, to manufacture one pair of jeans. As Lindsay learned more about the impact of textile waste and the constant churn of new clothing pieces, she decided to put her concerns into action by hosting a clothing swap meet event one evening. The successful pilot project eventually resulted in Upshift Swap Shop, which opened in fall 2013. “It cuts down on waste,” Lindsay says of swapping clothing pieces that are in good condition but no longer part of the original owner’s desired wardrobe. “We’re very, very conscious about some of the wastefulness in the fashion industry. We’re trying to make a difference.” At the moment, Upshift Swap Shop’s area of focus is for women, but eventually Lindsay anticipates expanding the service to men, children, and a specialty program tailored around maternity apparel.

Photograph provided by Upshift Swap Shop 38 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Customers have several options available in store and online to swap out unwanted clothing for new pieces. “We’re trying to sidestep fast fashion so that it’s a much more sustainable business model,” Lindsay says. Fair trade, as a concept, has been growing in popularity in recent decades and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Business owners across the Madison area are committed to working with global suppliers to ensure they receive equitable compensation for the goods and services they provide. Dave Fidlin is a freelance writer who has a special affinity for Madison. Dave’s career spans nearly 20 years, and he’s grateful for the opportunity to learn something new each day through his professional pursuits.

Dave Fidlin

Art Gecko

1725 Monroe Street Madison, WI 53711 (608) 251-6775 510 State Street Madison, WI 53703 (608) 280-8053

Just Coffee Cooperative 3701 Orin Road Madison, WI 53704 (608) 204-9011

Upshift Swap Shop

836 E. Johnson Street Madison, WI 53703 (608) 628-9525

| 39

essential sports & recreation

UW BADGERS Spotlight ROWING by Dave Fidlin

As a team name, the Wisconsin Badgers are synonymous with such collegiate offerings as football and basketball in Madison. But Wisconsin Athletics offers an array of other sports, all from highendurance players who wear Badgers uniforms as well. Rowing is one of Wisconsin Athletics’ oldest, most storied offerings on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus and has notched a number of notable accomplishments along the way. As the program has evolved, UW students from an array of backgrounds have been able to participate in the time-honored sport. The Badgers offer rowing in three separate categories based on gender and skill level. Men’s rowing has the deepest roots, stretching back to 1874. Women’s openweight rowing was added to Wisconsin Athletics’ roster as a varsity sport in 1974, and women’s lightweight 40 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

rowing followed suit as a varsity sport in 1995. “It’s one of our oldest programs,” says Paul Capobianco, assistant director of athletic communications with Wisconsin Athletics. “It’s got a pretty great history. There’s a great line of success. It’s been one of our better programs.” This past year, 136 students participated in one of the three teams, which Paul says is about average. The greatest amount of participation comes in the women’s openweight team, with 60 participants on the roster toward the end of the 2018-19 school year. Fifty participants are on the men’s team, and 26 students have taken part in women’s lightweight competitions. In an average year, Paul says 250 to 300 students sign up for rowing during fall tryouts, and participation numbers typically narrow afterward.

While rowing might appear easy to the casual observer, Paul says it’s a highendurance sport and not for the faint of heart. Students who stick with rowing demonstrate discipline, determination, and a high degree of stamina. “It’s really hard—super hard. It’s almost like a runner’s high.” While some of the UW students donning a Badgers uniform in support of rowing have been playing the sport long before enrolling at UW, Paul says other team members have participated in other sports—swimming, in particular— and have chosen rowing as a natural next-step sport to participate in as a related activity. Regardless of a team member’s backstory, Paul says he has noticed a common trait for each participant who sticks with rowing throughout a school year. “It seems to be a sport where you’re all in. There’s that sense of accomplishment.”

When asked why rowing has endured the test of time—remaining a part of Wisconsin Athletics’ roster of offerings for 145 years—Paul credits the natural landscape as at least part of the reason for its longevity. “The lakes are a big part. There’s also been some pretty amazing coaches here over the years.” Beau Hoopman, one of Wisconsin Athletics’ current assistant men’s rowing coaches, demonstrates skill and mastery within the program. Beau was a walkon from Plymouth when he joined the program. “[He] won a gold medal in the men’s eight at the 2004 Olympics and a bronze medal in the eight at the 2008 Olympics,” Paul says. “He played golf in high school.” When the warm weather is in full force, the Badgers rowers hone their skills outdoors in one of the nearby lakes or rivers. When the docks are taken out in November, usually before Thanksgiving, practices turn indoors until winter’s thaw firmly gives way to spring. Indoor practices take place within the Porter Boathouse on the UW campus’ Lakeshore Path along Lake Mendota. The venue serves as the rowing program’s official home. And some true diehards head south during the UW’s winter break—last half of December and first half of January—to continue their rowing practice outdoors. The Badgers rowing season in the spring officially kicks into high gear in mid-

March and typically lasts into late May or early June. Over the years, UW rowers have amassed a number of accomplishments. To date, 15 Olympians have been named through one of the program’s two women’s teams. An additional 13 Olympians have reached the achievement through the men’s rowing team. There have been other notable achievements over the years, particularly through the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA). The Badgers men’s rowing team has achieved nine IRA national titles: 1951, 1959, 1966, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1986, 1990, and 2008. Women rowers also have enjoyed their share of successes. In its near quarter-century existence, the women’s lightweight rowing team has earned five IRA national titles: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009. Additionally, the women’s openweight rowing team has achieved two national titles, one in 1975 and one in 1986, pre-NCAA.

“It’s one of our oldest programs,” says Paul Capobianco, assistant director of athletic communications with Wisconsin Athletics. “It’s got a pretty great history. There’s a great line of success. It’s been one of our better programs.”

| 41

A weekend in Green Lake is the perfect way for us to disconnect from life’s chaos and reconnect with each other. The natural beauty of the lake is breathtaking and calming, and there’s lots to do off the water— biking, golfing, hiking, shopping and dining. There is something special about this place that everyone should experience!

—Jo Ellen, Evanston, IL

Rowing has become such an entrenched part of Wisconsin Athletics’ programs that large-scale competitions have been hosted in Madison and the broader area. For example, Paul points to the Big Ten Rowing Championships, which are made available for the women’s openweight team. Two championship events were held on Lake Wingra, one in 2000, the other in 2007. On May 19, the championships returned to the region, this time on Devil’s Lake. NCAA-sanctioned women’s rowing has been a part of Wisconsin Athletics since 1997, and the UW program has notched a number of notable accomplishments in the more than two decades since it was first introduced.

Plan your weekend getaway at

ngs i d d e W& s t e u q n a B


42 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

the UW campus in Madison, Paul says he frequently directs them to Wisconsin Where They Row: A History of Varsity Rowing at the University of Wisconsin, a book by Bradley F. Taylor released in 2005 and published through UW Press.

Dave Fidlin is a freelance writer who has a special affinity for Madison. Dave’s career spans nearly 20 years, and he’s grateful for the opportunity to learn something new each day through his professional pursuits. Photographs by Paul Capobianco.

“Our women’s team has been to 11 consecutive NCAA championships, the longest current NCAA stream among all of UW’s teams that qualify to NCAAs as a team,” Paul says. For sports lovers interested in learning more about the history of rowing on

Dave Fidlin






more in store



Notebooks from France, Blacking pencils from California, original note cards and stickers designed right here in Madison. Anthology 230 State St., Madison Chelsea Crew red “Bobcat” Sandal paired with one-of-a-kind Queensley Designs 1940’s French coin necklace. (shoo) 109 State St., Madison 2

3 2


3 From Old Fashioneds to Kringles to Football, prints by Midwest graphic artist Adam Turman are a true reflection of Wisconsin Culture. Little Luxuries 230 State St. #2, Madison UPF 50+ beachwear, swimwear, and everyday wear for the whole family utilizing Coolibar’s 4 fabric innovations. We’ve got you covered! Plum Crazy 6079 Gemini Dr., Madison

| 43

e ssential community

Racial Justice by Cassandra Bowers

The authors of the Declaration of Independence outlined a bold vision for America: a nation in which there would be equal justice for all. More than 200 years later, it has yet to be achieved. Though generations of civil rights activism have led to important gains in legal, political, social, employment, educational, and other spheres, the forced removal of indigenous peoples and the enslavement of those of African descent marked the beginnings of a system of racial injustice from which our country has yet to break free. From our public schools where students of color are too often confined to racially isolated, underfunded, and inferior programs to our criminal justice system that disproportionately targets and incarcerates people of color and criminalizes poverty to the starkly segregated world of housing, the dream of equal justice remains an elusive one. RACIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE For much of the country’s history, formal and explicit racial restrictions prevented people of color from accessing the mainstays of economic life, including employment and homeownership. Though explicit racial classifications 44 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

were outlawed by the civil rights statutes passed in the 1960s, yawning disparities in wealth, income, and other economic opportunities remain, preventing us from achieving true racial justice in America. These racially disparate outcomes reflect a combination of covert discrimination, structural inequality, and implicit biases, and they have become more severe in the continuing aftermath of the economic crisis of 2008. Focusing especially on issues relating to credit and homeownership, the ACLU uses litigation and other advocacy to remedy deeply entrenched sources of inequality and ensure that access to opportunity is not allocated according to race. Because, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it, “What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t have enough money to buy a hamburger?” RACE AND INEQUALITY IN EDUCATION The ACLU’s education work centers on a disturbing trend called the school-toprison pipeline, a set of policies in our nation’s public schools that pushes an alarming number of kids into the juvenile

and criminal justice systems when they most need support from their schools and communities. We believe that this trend is reflective of our country’s prioritization of incarceration over education. It’s made worse as resources for public schools are decreased. From inadequate counseling to an overreliance on school-based police officers to enforce schools’ harsh zero-tolerance policies, many students, overwhelmingly students of color, face very adult consequences for adolescent mistakes. Zero-tolerance policies criminalize minor infractions of school rules, while police officers in schools lead to students being criminalized for behavior that should be handled inside the school. Students of color are especially vulnerable to push-out trends and the discriminatory application of discipline. The ACLU believes that children should be educated, not incarcerated. We are working to challenge numerous policies and practices within public school systems and the juvenile justice system that contribute to the school-toprison pipeline.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW • Black students are suspended and expelled from school three times more often than white students. • The median accumulated wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Latino households. • Seven in ten blacks said they are treated less fairly than whites in their dealings with police. RACE AND INEQUALITY IN EMPLOYMENT The establishment of formal legal equality has not led to the elimination of unjust differences based on skin color—major disproportions persisting in education, housing, imprisonment, family structure, unemployment, wealth, and opportunities for advancement. Seniority systems in employment, in the absence of prior skin-color discrimination, would seem to be a fair way of distributing scarce jobs and promotions. But layered on top of centuries of skin-color discrimination and exclusion, seniority systems have the effect, if not the intention, of replicating and reifying inequality, of rewarding the unjust beneficiaries and punishing the victims of prior discriminations and exclusions, thereby deepening and aggravating the initial injury. This is true even if the seniority system is currently and prospectively implemented in a race-neutral way; indeed, race-neutral mechanisms layered onto systems created by prior exclusions and discrimination almost always and inevitably have the function and effect of perpetuating and worsening the original exclusion. This fact is the basis for the moral and legal foundation for affirmative action. But while such affirmative action remedies, if implemented, may cure structurally discriminatory employment systems, the deeper inequalities in wealth and assets and the ways in which those deeper inequalities limit equal opportunities across a broad spectrum of essential items, such as housing, jobs, education, and capital formation, do not yield and probably cannot yield to such legal remedies. In effect, such deeper inequalities are able to maintain themselves without any current

violation of law and in the absence of any current discrimination. For although those structural inequalities based on skin color were created and maintained by governmental actions, they do not require any governmental action now or prospectively in order to maintain unjust skin-color differentials into the indefinite future. Nor is it necessary for antidiscrimination laws to be violated in order for such differentials to endure. In effect, a regime of formal equality, layered on top of these structural inequalities, functions as a seniority system for injustice, placing a veneer of fairness over a fundamentally unfair structure. It’s for this reason that the remedies of formal equality, developed during the era when establishing formal equality was critical, are no longer sufficient to establish remedies for racial injustice and, in some instances, may even be regressive. New paradigms will have to be developed, new ways of thinking about and analyzing the problem, and new ways of conceiving the problem will have to be invented before remedies can be found for the racial injustice lying ossified beneath the hard, outer shell. The fact is that the search for such remedies represents an entirely different stage of the quest for racial justice. At the same time, it would be a mistake to assume that because formal equality exists, current skin-color and ethnic discrimination does not. To the contrary, traditional discrimination against African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, and others continues to escape the enforcement of civil rights laws. The focus cannot be exclusively devoted to the second-stage problem described above, but must also be focused on new forms of old injustices, some of them arising in ways that traditional civil rights advocates have not always been swift to recognize.

Cassandra Bowers is the communications director at ACLU of Wisconsin.

Cassandra Bowers

ACLU of Wisconsin 207 E. Buffalo Street #325 Milwaukee, WI 53202 (414) 272-4032

Madison’s local

LGBTQ MAGAZINE since 2007 Connecting you to the people, businesses, and events in our community.

In coalition with our National ACLU office and state affiliates, other civil rights groups, and local advocates, we lobby in local and state legislatures and support grassroots movements. Through these efforts, we strive to educate and empower the public on a variety of racial justice issues.

| 45

essential pets

Indoor Cats Need Vet Care Too!

by Lori Scarlett, DVM Do you have a cat at home that hasn’t been to the vet since it was spayed or neutered? Let’s face it, indoor cats get the short end of the stick when it comes to healthcare. I understand the difficulty in taking anyone to the doctor, let alone an animal that doesn’t want to go. This past month, my four cats were all due for annual wellness exams, vaccines, and bloodwork. I do bloodwork on all my animals every year to make sure they’re healthy inside and out. I live approximately 20 minutes from my

46 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

clinic, and my options are to take all four in a huge, heavy kennel or take them separately. The kennel gets it done in one day, and I only have to listen to them “sing” for a single commute. But getting four cats into one carrier is a bit like playing whack-a-mole, and I can’t lift the carrier once they’re inside. I opted for one cat in a small carrier, taking them one by one. My cats don’t like traveling in a carrier and car any more than your cats. Two settle down after a few minutes and then hide in my office the rest of the day. The

other two yowl the entire trip. Since they get stressed, I do the Fear Free thing and give them an antianxiety medication an hour or so prior to leaving. It takes the edge off, and they’re calmer for the trip, exam, and ride back home. Why do indoor cats need to go to the vet if they aren’t sick? Because indoor cats are not enclosed in a bubble—they can be exposed to viruses and parasites and aren’t immune to obesity, behavioral problems, and dental or other diseases. A lot of people think indoor cats don’t need vaccinations, but while they aren’t at risk for feline leukemia or FIV, which is spread through cat bites or saliva, they can be exposed to viruses that cause upper respiratory diseases and rabies. If you saw a sick, stray kitten on the street, would you pick it up and take it home to nurse it or transport it to the shelter? When you come in contact with a stray cat, you can bring those viruses home and infect your cat. One client’s child took horseback riding lessons where there were barn cats. Out of the blue, the older indoor-only cat developed an upper respiratory infection. I’m sure

Indoor cats also get outside accidentally. My cats go out on the deck when I let my dog outside, and many cats spend time on screened-in porches. Stray cats can come up to the screens and hiss or sneeze, passing viruses through the screen. Rabies vaccinations are required by law, but that isn’t the only reason your cat should receive them. Although not terribly common, bats can get into your house. They’re able to locate very small openings in homes and buildings. Rabid skunks, raccoons, or foxes will not act normally and frequently can be seen during the day. Theoretically, they could dash into your house. Rabies is almost 100 percent fatal. Finally, if your cat bites someone and isn’t up to date on the rabies vaccine, the cat will be required to have a 10-day rabies observation period. Roundworm eggs can be found in potting soil. My cats like to dig then clean the dirt out of their paws. Incidentally, aluminum foil over the dirt can prevent cats from digging. Roaches, along with earthworms, birds, and rodents, are paratenic hosts for roundworms. In these animals, the roundworm eggs don’t mature into adults, but the eggs can infect cats, dogs, and humans. Most kittens are born with roundworms, so if you brought a kitten home that wasn’t checked for parasites or adequately dewormed, the roundworms could be spread through a shared litter box. It’s important to have your indoor cat’s poop checked yearly. Heartworms can infect indoor cats, and are spread by mosquitoes. The risk is lower for indoor cats, but it’s still plausible. We don’t have a lot of heartworm infections in Wisconsin, but the numbers are increasing. They’re a big problem in the southern states, which is where the majority of rescue dogs come from. Because of a four- to six-month incubation period, dogs that tested negative when rescued could still be infected and show a positive later. Mosquitoes biting infected dogs can easily spread the disease to other dogs

and cats in the area. Did you know mosquitoes can fly up to two miles? Fleas and ticks can also infest indoor-only cats. They hitchhike on your socks or clothes or jump off a dog that is taking a flea and tick preventative, and the inside environment is perfect for them. Using a flea, tick, and heartworm preventative is important, even for indoor cats. Regular wellness exams are an opportunity to talk about new or different cat behaviors. While being indoor only is safer overall, many cats develop behavior problems due to boredom, lack of activity, and easy food access. They need more environmental enrichment than cats that go outside. Not having activities to occupy the brain leads to stress, and stress can lead to inappropriate scratching, not using the litter box, and becoming aggressive with other family members. Obesity is also a problem for indoor cats, as they generally get less exercise and don’t have to hunt for food. Many cat foods contain far too many calories, and having food always available or regularly dumped into a bowl doesn’t require any work on the cat’s part. An annual exam should include a body condition scoring (BCS) assessment and diet discussion. If the vet sees your cat annually, they can also monitor for sudden changes in weight. I examined a cat that was overweight for five years. This year, the cat was down three pounds. The owners hadn’t noticed the weight loss—the cat was diabetic. If I hadn’t seen the cat regularly, it may have become ill and not easily treated before the owners noticed. Dental disease affects indoor cats as frequently as outdoor cats. Resorptive lesions (sort of like cavities that eventually reach the root canal) are very painful and often affect a cat’s overall behavior before it’s appetite. The slowing down that many people attribute to age is often due to chronic disease. Gum disease and inflammation can also affect the kidneys, liver, and heart. Most owners don’t look at their cat’s teeth and gums very often, if ever, so it’s important that your veterinarian does. There are many other diseases that affect cats: hyperthyroidism,

inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, lymphoma, kidney disease, and heart disease. Cats are great at hiding pain. An annual wellness exam also allows your vet to get to know your cat, which allows them to pick up on subtle changes when they occur. There’s nothing more sad or frustrating than seeing a cat whose disease is so advanced that it can’t be helped. All cats deserve to receive good medical care. Lori Scarlett, DVM, is the owner and veterinarian at Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic. For more information, visit

Lori Scarlett, DVM & Charlie

Photograph by Brenda Eckhardt

it was from a virus brought home on shoes, clothes, or hands.

| 47

essential community

CURT FUSZARD Enriched by Practice

by Kyle Jacobson Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” The great things he’d accomplished are more a credit to those who came before him than they are to himself. A bit too humble, but the sentiment is there. So where does a giant come from? Better yet, where does the person come from who stands on the shoulders of giants? Genetic dispositions and privileges

aside, growth is fostered in the shadows of those we are fortunate to have met and admire. Curt Fuszard spends his life in a constant state of growth. He chooses to never stand on the shoulder of giants because he’s always on the lookout for a bigger giant. It goes way back to Curt’s youth, when his father was in the National Guard. This lifestyle took the Fuszard

family from Neenah to Waupaca to Milwaukee and eventually to Madison. Curt attended Madison East; stayed for the University of Wisconsin–Madison; then, in the shadow of his father, joined the ROTC. “When I was on campus, they asked me to lead all the different services—Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines—it was a really nice way to build my leadership skills.” Those skills, fostered by Curt’s teachers and professors, would prove instrumental in the opportunities ahead. The next three years for Curt would be on active duty in an intelligence role for the Army. “Helping the commanders to understand the enemy, the terrain, the weather, all those factors.” Curt was assigned to an infantry unit, placing him in the field day in and day out. But the weekends gave him bits of reprieve, and he chose to spend that time going through an MBA program, which he finished just as his time with the military came to an end. The initial shaping of Curt’s ethical foundations led him to become a person who leads as an example of perpetual evolutions. Curt says, “If you have high expectations of others, you better have high expectations of yourself.” Throughout his next 37 years in investment roles, Curt made it a point to reflect and enact. When he was overseeing money managers, people who invest money for the bank, he learned about a CFA (Chartered Financial Analysis) program for money

48 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

managers. It would take up his evenings and weekends for three years to study for the annual comprehensive exams, but Curt isn’t the type of person who feels like he’s done all he could if he doesn’t lead by example. When his role shifted to advising financial advisors, Curt went through a similar program for financial advisors and received that designation. He credits the military for helping his development of long-term planning. That’s probably why he took a lot of time to consider what was next after his years in the private sector. He recalls picking up Bob Buford’s book Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance. Curt says, “Bob was a very successful business person in Texas, and at about the age of 50, decided he was going to step into his halftime. ... After days and days, maybe weeks and weeks of contemplation, he decided, ‘I want to spend the second half of my life giving back.’” Curt decided to spend the second half of his life in kind. The last 10 years for Curt have been in Middleton, where he serves on the UW–Madison foundation board and is president of the Middleton Good Neighbor Festival board and past president of the Middleton Optimist Club and Middleton Endowment. Due to his developed nature of methodical approaches to making big changes, when Curt decided to “shake things up [for the Optimist Club]. Move the venue. Change membership structure. On and on. ... I decided I’m going to have coffee with the five or six senior longtime legacy Optimists.” He learned

about facets of the club not apparent in the literature and furthered his appreciation for the history and foundation of the club. In turn, those senior members were ambassadors for Curt’s ideas when he introduced them to the rest of the club. But don’t mistake Curt wanting to shake things up as him injecting his vision onto those who aren’t interested. It’s more his way of helping people do an in-depth assessment of how things currently work and asking themselves if that’s truly the best way to live up to the organization’s mission statement. Arguably, Curt makes his most significant community impact through REACH-A-Child, an organization focused on helping first responders comfort children in their moments of crisis through the power of a book. There he serves as executive director as part of a two-person team backed by a board of directors and advisory council. Curt says, “This is my opportunity to really give back after years of traditional employment.” This is Curt’s second half. What REACH-A-Child means to Curt is strongly reflected in his approach in asking for donations. “The way I like to do it is I think about a child that’s at the scene of the car accident or the house fire or a domestic issue or whatever it is—they’re having the worst day of their life. And what could possibly comfort that child in crisis? A first responder with a book, time together, anything that is distracting a

child from that bad thing.” This impact has been fostered through Curt’s efforts time and time again, and more local fire and police departments are starting to take advantage of this program, which comes at no cost to them. With all that, Curt still finds he has room to grow. “I really think that every day presents an opportunity to build one’s character. And take the foundation and even do more to ensure that your moral compass is dead on. ... Life is a classroom, but you don’t learn if you don’t reflect.” He’s even found a new giant’s shadow to learn under, his 37-year-old son’s. With a mix of pride and awe, Curt says, “He is the most amazing person I have ever met.” Kyle Jacobson is a copy editor for Madison Essentials, and a writer and beer enthusiast (sometimes all at once) living in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Photographs provided by REACH-A-Child.

Kyle Jacobson

| 49

essential community

First, A cknowledge and Accept Your Pain

BY SANDY EICHEL Last year, I wrote about how I lived a life of should—doing what I should do and being who I should be. Trying to be what other people expected and wanted of me impacted every aspect of my life and made me miserable. When I finally decided to come out of the closet of should to be my true self, my entire life improved tremendously. And it’s still getting better. For 2019, I’m explaining how I did it, and I’ll share the lessons I learned through the process. 50 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

The first step away from a life of should is to admit and accept the emotional pain that we suffer as should-ers. This is a lot harder than it sounds because healing from emotional pain is more complicated than healing from physical pain. Our bodies make sure that we feel and repair physical pain while our brains often try to push aside and avoid emotional pain. It’s still there, but most of us don’t allow ourselves to acknowledge and work through the emotional hurt we feel.

From early on, society trains us to bury those feelings and press on because we should be strong and resilient. But we all have emotional pain, and it can’t heal correctly if we don’t recognize and treat it properly. In the same way we have to admit to a problem before we can solve it, we must admit to emotional hurt before we can heal. But our brainwashing gets in the way because we’re conditioned to believe that admitting emotional anguish means that we’re vulnerable and weak. I know this all too well. For me, playing the role of the strong person I should be for 20 years prevented me from facing the fact that I’d been raped when I was 14. Although the assault influenced much of my behavior and life decisions, I never talked about it. I never dealt with it. Even worse, I blamed myself for it. Lifting the veil of shame I wore for all that time was difficult, and at times it seemed impossible. Once it was gone, though, I was able to acknowledge what my assailant did to me, and, for the very first time, genuinely understand that it wasn’t my fault and I didn’t deserve it. From there, healing became possible. That experience empowered me to acknowledge and accept emotional pain that I suffered in other areas of my life, including my family, my first marriage, and my professional endeavors. For example, my experience with my dad growing up was a difficult one. Despite my various and extreme efforts to please my father, I could never seem to do anything right in his eyes, and I had internalized his ongoing comments that I wasn’t worthy of love. To realize I was worthy of love and that my dad’s treatment was hurtful and destructive was difficult to come to terms with, but doing so allowed me to let go of those ideas about myself so I could heal. That meant also letting go of the fable I had written that someday, if I was only able to prove myself to him, my dad would appreciate me and I would then feel the love I had always yearned for from him. Gulp. That was a difficult, but necessary realization. That led me to realize the other comments and relationships in my life that were informing my low self-

esteem and self-worth. With each acknowledgement of the hurt I felt, came the ability to reveal my true self and my own self-worth. Like a muscle that gets strengthened with each flex, I found that I was setting myself free from being a slave to what others thought of me in a variety of contexts, including work and friend relationships. Acknowledging hurt is the first step to healing. Accepting your vulnerability is not only part of the process of healing, it’s one of the truest demonstrations of strength. Like a bone that heals to become stronger than it was before, our emotional well-being improves with proper attention and care. When we process and heal, we learn to do better in the future. Instead of repeating unhealthy patterns (i.e. dating the same kinds of toxic people or working in oppressive environments), we recognize problems and take action to address them. In the next segments, we will be looking at letting go of hurt and forgiveness, which are big issues for all of us. So take a deep breath—think about what has happened to you. Sit with the hurt for a bit and realize that it’s there. In that vulnerability lies the opportunity to heal and become stronger. Search for the stories you have written to protect that hurt; they’re there. This process of self-discovery is difficult, but it’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. There’s a famous saying: pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. From personal experience, I can tell you it’s true. Let’s all choose not to suffer. Sandy Eichel is a happy ex-should-er.

Sandy Eichel

| 51

e ssential arts



“We have been stuck in a period of time where our designs are not created for us anymore. They’re for an outside audience. That’s something I would love to be able to see again.” Dakota Mace is a Diné (Navajo) artist from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she grew up surrounded by traditional artistic practices. “My whole family specializes in silver making and jewelry, so I grew up with a lot of arts around me my entire life.” Finding an early allergy to silver, Dakota decided to focus on other art elements. “I got really into photography when I was 14. I started to learn a lot of alternative processes, and that included cyanotypes, wet plate collodion, so everything you wouldn’t see in a traditional black-andwhite photography studio—that’s what I really loved.” While Dakota was earning a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New 52 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Mexico, her mentor, Tom Jones, visited the Institute and recommended she apply to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She would go on to complete a Master of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from UW– Madison, both in photography. Upon being accepted to the two programs and moving to Wisconsin, she struggled to find material to photograph and ways to express her indigenous roots. Jones connected Dakota to Jamie Ross, a collector of Diné textiles in Mineral Point. Dakota shares, “What was really unique about [these textiles] was that they had a lot of text on them which is rare in a lot of Navajo weavings. It started my interest, of course, in textiles, documenting textiles, but also in really trying to understand the intention of the weavers and why they chose to weave a weaving that said ‘12 eggs’ or ‘sugar.’” Dakota’s curiosity around the historic, economic, and geographic contexts for these weavings led her toward her current research area: trading routes

and connections between indigenous weavings’ cultures, spanning from the Zapotec in Mexico to the Salish in Canada. She is now pursuing her second Master of Fine Arts with a focus in textile design. Housed at the School of Human Ecology, Dakota’s current degree program focuses on weaving, specifically research on indigenous textiles, their process, and technique. In addition to teaching as a lecturer in photography within the UW–­ Madison Art Department next year, she is looking ahead to PhD programs with a focus in cultural appropriation. The bulk of Dakota’s research studies two veins of cultural appropriation: the cultural exchange that has taken place among indigenous peoples for centuries and that which takes place in

the marketplace, as indigenous weaving designs are stolen, commodified, and desecrated. The latter phenomenon is explored in Dakota’s collection Woven Juxtaposition. It places Diné weavings next to products sold by Urban Outfitters, Target, and Pendleton, whose designs are stolen and bastardized versions of the Diné work. The body of work is a damning depiction of American businesses who market themselves as “genuine” despite both a lack of artistic authenticity and a lack of compensation for the indigenous people from whom they are stealing. One of Dakota’s diptychs is called Sex Trade, which shows a pair of Urban Outfitters underwear next to a mid-20th century

Diné traditional wool weaving. She talks about the period when she was compiling this body of work. “I started focusing in textiles. That was my MA show— looking at the way museums categorize textiles, specifically Navajo weavings. This was at the time when Navajo Nation had a lawsuit against Urban Outfitters and the fact they were using the term ‘Navajo’ to describe objects they were selling, specifically a pair of underwear that was extremely offensive to native people particularly. … What a lot of people don’t know about native history is that there’s been a lot of missing and murdered indigenous women due to, of course, sexual trauma and history, so it was a real offense to have something as

Dootł’izh 2018 Handmade Abaca Paper, Seeds, Indigo Dyed. 12” x 14”

| 53

simple as underwear with Navajo Design work on it and call that Navajo.” While the Navajo Nation didn’t win the case to stop the use of their designs or name, they were able to open the doors for others to fight against companies and individuals from using indigenous designs and terms. Dakota says, “That really pushed me to start researching cultural appropriation not only for my own people, but for all indigenous people.” Today, in a twist of cultural appropriation, one of Dakota’s signature techniques is to prepare native weavings using western techniques. For example, her piece I’íí’áago and Hayoołkááł (Sunset and Dawn) looks like Navajo weavings but was completed with a floor loom. She says, “It’s been a fun way of playing with people just because I am mimicking a lot of Diné weaving designs and traditions but not using traditional materials. So it’s my own way of showing others that, ‘Yes, you can be inspired, use different materials, and create a very similar effect

54 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s


Dakota shows me a flat cream-white fabric made of tiny glass beads and continues, “When Europeans came, they introduced glass—specifically glass beads—so it’s a big part of native culture now to do beadwork. To have people understand, ‘No, that was us adopting another element from a different culture and including it in our own way of doing things.’ One culture takes for another and takes from another. It becomes one. And unless you start doing the research, you don’t realize that at all.”

the School of Human Ecology. From April 27 to May 17, Dakota held her MFA exhibition, Yák’aashbąąh, at the Ruth Davis Design Gallery. “This September,” she says, “I’m co-curating an exhibition with my good friend Kendra Greendeer, a PhD student in the art history department at UW–Madison. Intersections: Indigenous Textiles of the Americas focuses on indigenous weaving practices, techniques, and its connection to value, trade, and design. It will be going up at the Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery. It will really emphasize the trading value and design aspects of the weavings and how these cultures, although extremely different in location, are still very similar and connected through weaving.”

Dakota’s work can be digitally accessed at In addition to her digital collection, she’s involved in a handful of exhibitions through

In November, she’ll also be participating in Points of Departure, a show honoring the 50th anniversary of the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection at the same

gallery. A group of artists chosen from throughout Wisconsin will make pieces inspired by objects in the collection. More information on these events will be uploaded to -of-events. Elissa Koppel is a freelance writer and a local artist. Photographs by Dakota Mace.

Elissa Koppel

Photograph by Olivia Loomis

that you can get anywhere from the processes you are connecting with.’ I use it as my own inside joke—here’s my way of culturally appropriating from western culture.”

| 55

e ssential food & beverage

Medium Full City Roast Beer’d not Pressed BY KYLE JACOBSON

We live in a multiverse of overlapping perspectives. Each thread of human existence is so tailored to itself that we’re forced to assume experiences of others are likened to our own so that we can discuss them and presume understanding. Where this overlap occurs between myself and Jeff Zimpel, an artist in Cedarburg, is in my microcosm of craft beer and his of artisanal coffees. So why get all philosophical and scientifical about a facet of the human experience that’s so obvious it’s arguably not worth talking about? When two mediums combine to create something distinct, the level of sensitivity to what is transpiring is directly proportional to the appreciation of the aftermath. While some of the most successful coffee beers of the past found a home in Stouts, my intrigue has piqued within the last five years to those using coffee in lessexpected styles. And, thanks to Jeff sharing the world of coffee with me, I have a newfound respect for what goes into making a damn good cup of joe. 56 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

But we’ll try to stick more with the beer side of things. As I was saying, the term “coffee beer” was once synonymous with dark, often earthy beer. Skyler Kottwitz, head brewer of Full Mile Beer Company & Kitchen, says, “Most dark coffee beers are good in their own right, but sometimes drinkability gets lost as more layers are added.” Drinkability is the idea that you might have two or three instead of one and done. “They’re good, but I’d rather have something a little bit lighter.” Which is why Skyler chose their Cromulent! Cream Ale as a base for Rusty Dog Coffee’s Kenya Lenana beans, creating Lazy Bones, Full Mile’s Coffee Cream Ale. It’s beers like Lazy Bones that leave me wanting more, in a good way, with experimentation in the marriage between coffee and beer. I’m such a sucker for Belgian yeast strains, and if someone were to make a killer Coffee Wit or Java Tripel, I don’t see how life could get much better. Skyler had

thoughts on this as well. “If you did, you’d want to use an earthy coffee. An earthy medium-to-dark roast in a Belgian Tripel, where you have the spicy phenols to play off the earthy coffee, more or less, like the Tripel Karmeliet, probably one of my favorite Tripels, very spicy and phenolic. You’d have the peppery citrusy note from the beer along with an earthy roasted note in the background...” The rest is left to the imagination, but even just writing it gives me goosebumps. In fact, C.J. Hall, co-owner of Full Mile Beer Company & Kitchen with Nathan Kinderman, got in my head when he said, “We also talked about switching it up, putting a different kind of coffee in the base beer to see how those coffees affect the flavor.” He then told me that mixing different cold brews with a base beer would get you close to the end result of using those beans while brewing that beer. So I took a trip to my local coffeehouse and brought home a tall cup of Beans n Cream cold brew. Instead of trying a beer and seeing what coffee fit, I tried a coffee to see what beer fit. Disclaimer: I don’t know much more than jack about joe. That said, the cold brew coffee I had was a medium roast with a robust earthiness, rich but not gritty, harboring a light acidity. The first beer I added the coffee to was the infamous, oddly excited about being triple hopped, shall-not-benamed Light Lager, stored exclusively in my fridge for grandma when she visits her grandchildren. With just a

Tadsen Photography Drone/Aerial Imagery

Fully licensed - FAA part 333 Waiver Stunning stills and 4k video - - 608-469-2255 dash of coffee, what I would consider an uninteresting beer suddenly came to life. Though the coffee aroma was slightly overwhelming, the carbonation of the beer gave a little jive to what was otherwise a smooth brew. In fact, the light acidity made a pleasant touch of yeast stand out in the beer. The result was very coffee forward. Upon adding more cold brew, the coffee’s robust character overtook that hint of yeast noted earlier. Next up, an IPA touted as being Midwest. There’s a degree of balance with the hops kept in check through a faint malt background. The aroma comes across as citrusy balanced with a sprig of floral. After adding coffee, the competing layers of aroma and body and flavor essentially destroyed each other, leaving behind an experience I have no desire to repeat. Where the hops stick around in the aroma, the coffee dominates the maltiness of the beer. Perhaps if this were a lighter roast with higher acidity, I’d see some pleasant cohesion in qualities, but as is...not so much. In the name of science and some

| 57

We’ve been waiting just for you!

less-gruesome form of self-flagellation, I added more coffee. Goodbye hoppy aroma, hello Lysol. Giving the coffee too much presence created what felt like oily separation on the palate.

Learn about Dane County Humane Society’s club for pets with the longest shelter stays at 58 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Last up, not too long ago I purchased a Dark Chocolate Ale. It has some of that syrupy quality common in malt beverages, but overall is very much dark chocolate. I assume I’m getting some cacao nibs, and the beer says it’s made of three blended chocolate extracts. Maybe it’s my naivete coming through, but to drown out the expected sweet flavor from such extracts, I detect maybe a hint of smoke. Not enough to show up in any meaningful way, just enough to mute sugars. After a dash of cold brew, what was once syrupy became coffee, and those dessert elements of the beer grew into something more refined and a little dry, as are some of my favorite Stouts. Staying true to this beersperiment, I added more coffee and ruined everything. All said and done, the road is very much paved for more inspired coffee beers. We live in the world of brewers without borders when it comes to ingenuity. Some like to be punched in the mouth with flavor, others prefer discovery in “the romance of nuance,” as Skyler puts it, when drinking a more subtle beer. Either way, if this is what it’s like when worlds collide, I’m ready to go.

To chronological time—where every step backward is an alternate step forward, and every step forward is begotten by the steps we’ve taken. Kyle Jacobson is a copy editor for Madison Essentials, and a writer and beer enthusiast (sometimes all at once) living in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Photographs by Kyle Jacobson.

Kyle Jacobson

Check out Full Mile Beer Company’s Lazy Bones as well as these other coffee beers from breweries in the Midwest. 3 Sheeps – Hello, My Name Is Joe Third Space – Java Blanca Sonder Brewing – Kato Surly – Coffee Bender

| 59

e ssential home

Native or Not by Joan W. Ziegler

The benefits of native prairie plants have been highly touted for decades. They can support birds, butterflies, and other pollinators; help with erosion control and water management; and thrive without added water or fertilization. Native prairie plants are an indispensable part of a complex environmental web in which a multitude of species depend on them for food and shelter. Still, bringing them into our home landscapes in a pleasing and low-maintenance fashion may be easier said than done. The keys to creating a beautiful and easy-care prairie garden are properly preparing the planting area before you plant, choosing the right plant for the right place, and considering the scale or the size of the plants in relationship to garden beds and the larger landscape. Native or not, many of our native prairie plants have been scaled down and bred for better garden performance.

Start Clean

aster ‘Purple Dome’

The best way to reduce garden maintenance is to make sure your planting area is weed free before you plant. Given the unforeseen consequences of Roundup® on pollinators and the environment, I highly recommend the old-fashioned manual approach to achieve this goal. Use a sod cutter to remove sod, and smother weeds with cardboard or blackout fabric. Be patient; give yourself weeks or months to make sure that your bed is weed free. Perennial weeds, like quack grass or thistles, may take even longer to remove. Once the weeds have been eliminated, cover the garden beds with a two- to three-inch layer of finely shredded mulch to prevent new weeds from germinating. It’s not necessary to add fertilizer or soil amendments when you select a plant palate adapted to your site conditions. Start clean to minimize future weed battles.

Right Plant, Right Place

Perennials combined with natives butterfly weed, monarda ‘Gardenview Scarlet’, and coneflower ‘Magnus’ 60 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Most prairie plants prefer full sun— six hours or more of direct sunlight— but many will be happy in partial shade—four to six hours of direct sunlight. Native prairies are categorized according to moisture levels and soil

Size and Scale In nature, prairie plants colonize large expanses, and the vastness of these colonies is what makes them inspiring. Walking through a prairie and seeing waves of flowers and seas of grass backlit by the sun can take your breath away. Unfortunately, what’s magnificent in a large prairie may look rangy and unkempt in a garden setting. Fortunately, plant breeders have been busy creating improved natives with the ability to support wildlife like their wild cousins, but tamed for the garden. Most of these improved natives are shorter

‘Little Joe’ Joe Pye weed

black-eyed Susan and Kobold blazing star in stature, upright in habit, and have showier flowers. This is not to say that many of our unimproved natives are not excellent garden plants. Many are more vigorous and winter hardy than their improved cousins. Whatever plants you choose, it’s important to remember the size and scale of the plant in relationship to the garden bed. Tip: The rule of thumb is plant height should be limited between one-third to one-half the width of the garden.

Conclusion Why native? We have so many beautiful choices, and they are well suited to our climate. Native plants selected for the proper soil type and moisture conditions require minimal maintenance and little to no added irrigation or chemical pesticides. Where space is limited, a combination of natives and improved natives creates beautiful gardens that can support a multitude of indigenous species and help mitigate a world of environmental problems. Nonnatives

may be showier, but they simply cannot compete with natives in supporting biodiversity. If you do not have space for a pollinator garden or rain garden, why not try adding more natives to your garden. Joan W. Ziegler is a horticulturist and garden designer and winner of the 2015 Perennial Plant Association Merit Award for Residential Landscape at ZDA, Inc. Landscape Architecture, 4797 Capitol View Road, Middleton. Call (608) 831-5098 or visit Photographs provided by ZDA, Inc.

Joan W. Ziegler

Photograph by Betsy Haynes Photography

type: dry, mesic, and wet. If your soil is shallow, sandy, or rocky, you should choose plants native to our dry prairies. These plants are naturally drought tolerant. If you have heavy clay soils, limit your choices to “clay busters” and plants native to mesic prairies. If you’re planting a wet spot or rain garden, plants native to our wetlands are the natural choice. Prairie plants are great choices for problem spots, such as steep slopes where other plants may be difficult to establish. Choosing the right plant for the right place ensures your plants will be vigorous and easy to maintain.

landscape architects garden designers site planners 831.5098


| 61

advertiser index association

entertainment & media

Aldo Leopold Nature Center........................ 15

After Should..................................................... 51

Dane Buy Local............................................... 51

American Players Theatre............................. 11

Dane County Humane Society.................... 58

Back of the House Online Video Series....... 34

Fitchburg Center............................................. 59

Betty Lou Cruises............................................. 21

Green Lake Area Chamber of

Catfish River Music Festival............................. 9

Commerce.................................................. 42

Dane Dances!.................................................. 39

Sauk Prairie Area Chamber of

Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison......................... 64

Commerce.................................................. 16

Home Elements & Concepts......................... 54

Town of Merrimac........................................... 16

Journey of Aging............................................. 34

dining, food & beverage

Olbrich Botanical Gardens........................... 23 Our Lives Magazine........................................ 45

Bavaria Sausage Kitchen, Inc....................... 37

Stoughton Opera House................................ 63

Captain Bill’s.................................................... 21

WORT-FM........................................................... 24

Common Ground............................................ 37

home & landscaping

Dorf Haus Supper Club................................... 33

ZDA, Inc............................................................. 61

Drumlin Ridge Winery..................................... 29 Fraboni’s Italian Specialties &


Delicatessen............................................... 25

American Family Insurance DreamBank...... 2

Imperial Garden.............................................. 48

Bergamot Massage & Bodywork.................. 17

Lombardino’s..................................................... 5

Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic.......................... 46

Mariner’s........................................................... 21

Inner Fire Yoga................................................. 53

The Mixing Bowl Bakery.................................. 57

Monroe Street Framing................................... 54

Nau-Ti-Gal........................................................ 21

Stoughton Hospital......................................... 24

The Nitty Gritty................................................. 20

Tadsen Photography...................................... 57

The Old Feed Mill Restaurant........................ 49 Otto’s Restaurant & Bar.................................... 7


Paoli Schoolhouse Shops & Café................. 28

Abel Contemporary Gallery......................... 53

Pizza Brutta....................................................... 12

Anthology......................................................... 43

Porta Bella........................................................ 18

Deconstruction Inc......................................... 47

Quivey’s Grove................................................ 19

Karen & Co......................................................... 5

Riley’s Wines of the World.............................. 41

Kessenich’s Ltd................................................. 17

Samba Brazilian Grill....................................... 41

Lidtke Motors.................................................... 34

The Side Door Grill and Tap........................... 41

Little Luxuries.................................................... 43

Sugar River Pizza Company........................... 11

Plum Crazy........................................................ 43

Tangent............................................................. 42

River Arts on Water Gallery............................ 13

Tempest Oyster Bar......................................... 13

(shoo)................................................................ 43

Tornado Steak House..................................... 13

UW Provision....................................................... 5

Vintage Brewing Co. ...................................... 42

Wantoot............................................................ 27

Willy Street Co-op........................................... 30

Win a $50

Gift Card!

Madison Opera............................................... 29

Athens Grill....................................................... 31

Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream..................... 38


Question: “Which Roxbury restaurant is celebrating 60 years?” Enter by submitting your answer to the above question online at, or by mail with your name, mailing address, phone number, and email to: Madison Essentials c/o Towns & Associates, Inc. PO Box 174 Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 All entries with the correct answer will be entered into a drawing for one of two $50 gift cards. Contest deadline is July 22, 2019. Gift cards will be honored at all Food Fight® Restaurant Group restaurants (see

Good Luck!

Winners Thank you to everyone who entered our previous contest. The answer to the question, “What local retail business holds First Friday gatherings the first Friday of each month?” is Hive of Madison. A $50 Food Fight® Gift Certificate was sent to each of our winners, Michelle Godwin of Madison and John Wanserski of Verona.

CONGRATULATIONS! 62 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s


t e B t s Be





Profile for Towns & Associates

Madison Essentials July/August 2019  

Madison Essentials is a bimonthly magazine dedicated to promoting the Greater Madison area and its independent businesses and organizations....

Madison Essentials July/August 2019  

Madison Essentials is a bimonthly magazine dedicated to promoting the Greater Madison area and its independent businesses and organizations....