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We bring you Fort Collins.

Volume 1, Issue 1

fort collins , colorado

wolverine farm publishing

Spring 2014

FREE

Food,

People,

& Justice: A Profile of The Growing Project

By Jenna Allen

up

It Doesn’t Have to Be an Uphill Battle:

& over the

MOUNTAIN

Bicycle Transportation Planning in Fort Collins

Wolverines and Climate Change By Todd Simmons

M56 as photographed in Colorado, 2012. © Courtesy Cameron Miller

“An insatiable need to keep moving is the hallmark of the wolverine.” —Jeff Copeland, wolverine scientist

I

n summer 2009, a lone male wolverine made its way over the mountains just west of Fort Collins, on a 560-mile journey from the Tetons in Wyoming. Tagged M56—M for male, and because he is the 56th wolverine tagged—he’s the first known wolverine in Colorado since 1919, an era when humans nearly poisoned, shot, and trapped them out of the lower 48 states. Since then, wolverines have been staging their own comeback from Canada, with established populations in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Though the number of wolverines is on the rise, it’s estimated the current population in the lower 48 states is somewhere around a lowly 300 individuals. New science explains how climate change poses a serious risk to their survival due to the loss of their preferred habitat—high, cold, and snowy elevations. M56 was ahead of the curve—Colorado is a great place, ecologically-speaking, for wolverines, and reintroduction plans have been talked about for decades. M56’s journey is exemplary of the wolverine’s strength, endurance, and legendary fearlessness, and perhaps the only thing larger than the life in a wolverine is the myth surrounding them. But for a creature so in tune with cold and snow—regardless of how tough and tenacious they may be—a time of increasing global warming may leave us with only myths. In response, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is considering whether or not to list the wolverine as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The reason: climate change. The USFWS has been quick to point out that it is not listing the wolverine as a backdoor attempt to regulate greenhouse gases, but since wolverine habitat will be adversely affected by rising temperatures—less snow means less wolverine habitat—its potential listing is an attempt to address future concerns. The polar bear was the first animal to be listed due to climate change, but increasingly, more and more animals are being added to the list. The decision about listing the wolverine was supposed to be made in 2013, but disagreement amongst the scientific community about the relationship between wolverines and snow—the nuances of the conversation are very specific, complex, and contradictory—has delayed the decision until August of this year. If the wolverine is listed, Colorado will be at the top of the list for the species’ reintroduction efforts, following in the footsteps of the state’s successful lynx reintroduction program.

W

hile policymakers are wringing their hands over what’s to be done about urban agriculture in Fort Collins, Dana Guber, Chad Shavor, and the volunteers at The Growing Project (TGP) are getting their hands dirty. A 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2009, TGP is a group of down-to-earth folk serving their community by creating a more just food

Article & Photographs By Rick Price, Ph.D.

T

he city’s bike plan is scheduled for a major revision in 2014. Written first in 1995 and revised in 2008, the plan set the stage to launch Fort Collins as a “platinum-level” bicycle friendly community this past year. The 2014 plan revision is a scheduled part of the planning process followed by the city’s Planning, Development, and Transportation department. Citizens and bicycle advocacy groups will be invited to provide input, and a major national consulting firm, Toole Design Group, has been contracted to help write the revision. The final result will give city staff their marching orders for the next five years. But writing a bike plan is a little like sending a letter to Santa Claus: it is a wish list of projects and dreams. Yes, it’s also a kind of blueprint for city staff to follow, but imagine building a house piecemeal without first securing funding. You might think it important to build the foundation first, but that’s expensive. An outhouse would be cheaper. So you

© Courtesy The Growing Project

system in Northern Colorado. Their mission is to reduce the gap between residents and their food source by bringing local produce to underprivileged families, building community gardens, and advocating for seed-to-fork education in Northern Colorado. Like most nonprofits, The Growing Project operates on a shoestring budget. They are funded and equipped largely through grants, material donations from community sponsors, and an annual fundraiser held every winter. They recently secured the financial resources to hire their only full-time employee, Executive Director Dana Guber, who is, in many ways, a one-woman show. A third-generation Meals on Wheels volunteer, Guber is a woman with get-up-and-go who lives to give back to her community. She tirelessly Cont. on pg. 12

Cont. on pg. 6

SECTIONS

Bicycle.....4 Agriculture.....12 History.....14 Literature.....16

Make.....20 Nature.....24 Food & Drink.....26 Visionary.....30

Cont. on pg. 3

Atop bicycles with pitchforks in hand, we bring you Fort Collins, the best little city between the plains and the mountains.


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© Courtesy Stephanie Lerner

Fort Collins Courier Issue 1, Vol. 1, Spring 2014

Published by Wolverine Farm Publishing PO BOX 814 Fort Collins, Colorado 80522

publisher’s Note In adopting our new name, in putting on a dusty garment from the past, a certain amount of explanation is in order. We’ve long appreciated Ansel Watrous’ book History of Larimer County, Colorado, and when we found out he ran a newspaper called the Fort Collins Courier, we instantly thought of bicycle delivery and wool knickers. Yet, what brings us closer to the center of this paper are the days we’ve spent at the campground in Poudre Canyon named after him, after a short but invigorating bike ride to get there. In the winter, when the river is frozen on top, you can slide over the ice and scramble up the side of the opposite slope. It’s a great place to take in the canyon and the plains beyond to the east. It is here we reside, perched gently on the side of the Poudre, telling you what we see, and hoping you respond to us in kind, either via email, story pitch, or old-fashioned letter to the editor. We aim to engage you with Fort Collins, and, speaking idealistically, vice-versa, because Fort Collins certainly needs you. Our version of the Fort Collins Courier will lean heavily in a few directions—it’s how we maintain balance in this topsy-turvy world of change. We don’t aim to bring you the news, that’s the reason to get out of the house everyday. The reason to engage with us is simple: we want you to slow down, and go small. Take us to your favorite out-of-the-way place, sit down, and read quietly for awhile.

The Fort Collins Courier brings information, tools, and expertise together

to help our community members live engaged and more self-reliant lives. We want to explore the paths locals take, and inspire visitors with our city’s unique charm. Our areas-of-interest stem from our decade-long relationship with Fort Collins—in each issue we’ll feature content about bicycles, agriculture and the local food movement, as well as reporting about environmental issues and profiles of local makers and the return to craft. We distribute 5,000 copies of each issue by bicycle to over 50 locations throughout Fort Collins, and each print issue is bolstered by weekly web updates and fresh online content. Engage often.

managing editor

Molly McCowan intern

Alexander Denu masthead artist

Chris Jusell contributors

Jenna Allen Evan Brengle Emily Clingman Tiffanie Collins Nina Emery Jason Hardung Bill Hepp Carol Johnson Chris Jusell Beth Kopp Luisa Lyons Charles Malone Melissa Mika Kent Nixon Brian Park Rick Price Meg Schiel Kathleen Willard publisher/designer

Todd Simmons board of directors

Heather Manier Bryan Simpson Nate Turner Kathleen Willard Wolverine Farm Publishing a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Fort Collins, CO. We publish books, this community newspaper, and collaborate with other non-profits, businesses, and people toward a more mindful engagement with the world. Donations accepted online or by mail.

e s t . 2003 A 501( c )3 n o n - p ro f i t o rg a n i z at i o n

WE BRING YOU FORT COLLINS


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Up and Over the Mountain, cont. from cover

The largest member of the mustelid (weasel) family, wolverines usually weigh between 25 and 40 pounds, with bushy, extra-insulative fur, extremely large paws for their size, and a tireless, almost bouncing, stride. The vultures of terra firma, wolverines survive in part by clawing through feet of snow in winter to extract dead elk frozen below, and they feed on whatever they can find—marmots, squirrels, berries, weakened caribou or deer. To many, wolverines are one of the keystone species when it comes to wilderness and wildness—they’re rarely seen, and they prefer the high country, amongst the snow and peaks. Certain stakeholders in Colorado who use just this type of land are keeping a sharp eye on what happens with the wolverine—the ski, off-road recreation, timber, mining, and ranching industries all have a vested interest in what they can and can’t do on publicly owned land. If reintroduction were to happen, considerations and concessions could be made to bring all these entities into agreement under what is known as the 4(d) rule and the 10(j) provision of the Endangered Species Act. These would allow greater management flexibility, and would allow the aforementioned industries to continue their use of land deemed suitable wolverine habitat— the skiers could still ski, and off-road enthusiasts could still off-road. Experts don’t think the wolverine poses much of a threat to any of their operations. But why the wolverine, you may ask? Why bring back a creature most of us hardly know exists and very few of us will ever see, no matter how much we recreate in the high country? Why use the tremendous amount of resources it will take to help a particular species along, especially one already coming back on their own? What is most troubling is that, in order to really save the wolverine, we need to curb climate change, right? How in the world are we going to do that? And if you don’t believe in climate change, or at least not in the part that points to it being caused by humans, why worry about the wolverine? M56’s arrival into Colorado and its potential listing as an endangered species are pivotal moments in our ongoing humanity-wide attempt to wrap our minds about climate change, and we would be wise to take notice. In some respects, our way of life goes the way of the wolverine, and below are six things to consider about wolverines, their possible reintroduction in Colorado, and the challenges we face with climate change.

1. Wolverines love wilderness. When your home is wherever your feet happen to land, it had better be in good ecological condition, like wilderness. Gary Snyder, poet of the Beat Generation, best characterized wilderness as that which is “…self-organizing…elegantly selfdisciplined, self-regulating, and self-maintained.” I speak up for the wilderness areas the wolverine roam, land that still exists, however tenuously, in a world increasingly choked out by our civilized ways. To be a voice for wilderness is an unoriginal position to take, simplistic even, in a world driven toward digitized, civilized, and sterilized versions of everything. Wilderness, and its accompanying wildness, is worth saving because, in a counterintuitive way, it is everything we strive to be.

2. Wolverines love snow. Currently, the few scientists who study wolverines in the contiguous U.S. disagree about some aspects of how wolverines relate to snow, but what we do know for certain is that they love it. They love running through it with their huge paws, they love digging frozen carrion out of it, and they love having their babies in deep snow dens. As climate change continues to warm our planet, we could see more unpredictable snowfall (part of the reason why the wolverine is being considered for protection and thus a reduction in suitable wolverine habitat. With unpredictable snowfall, Colorado’s multibillion-dollar ski industry is also in jeopardy. One would

think that the ski areas in Colorado would lift the wolverine onto their shoulders and hail its reintroduction as a galvanizing force working to curb climate change.

3. Wolverines inspired a comic book hero. The DC Comics character is very popular, one of the most popular, and love for superheroes seems at an all time high. It is a nice thought, having someone with superpowers to save us from the worst of woes. But where would we be without the original wolverine inspiration? If I were Hugh Jackman, and I had made so many questionable Wolverine movies, unleashing my claws again and again on audiences around the world, I would put my considerable Hollywood clout behind a international-level campaign about the importance of the wolverine, and thus the importance of climate change, and how we are all in this together. If anyone knows Hugh, let him know that this would be a good move on his part.

4. Wolverines drive good science. Scientists heard it loud and clear: years ago, the federal government said that we didn’t really know enough about the wolverine to consider listing it as an endangered species. In the last few decades, scientists have gotten busy and filled in many of the holes surrounding the biology and ecology of the wolverine. Much work remains—especially in light of the postponing of the decision—but a lot of collaboration happened between state agencies, the Feds, and wilderness enthusiasts that would not have happened had it not been for the tenacious creature that brought them all together. The level of intelligent and contentious debate about how climate change will affect wolverines is worth digging around in, and helps push scientists to think smarter about the real-world implications of climate change.

5.We need as many pieces of our ecological machine as possible. Aldo Leopold once said: “To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” Humanity’s tinkering with the world has produced many fine marvels—I think of bicycles, books, and beer—but it’s also produced devastating catastrophes, including hundreds of extinct species, so saving every cog and wheel seems of high priority. Every time a creature goes extinct, a big blank spot is left on our shared ecological map. And without a good map, we are lost.

6. When it comes to survival, think like wolverines. Pondering the wolverine’s ability to move through snow and up and over mountains is mind-boggling—one theory put forth basically says the wolverine doesn’t view topography quite like us—to them, if the most efficient way to get from A to B happens to involve the ascent of a snow-capped peak, so be it, because it beats taking the long way around. For the wolverine, it seems, up is easy, and around is hard. To fail to mention that I founded and currently direct Wolverine Farm Publishing would be leaving out a small, yet crucial, part of this story. The inspiration for the publishing company was for a wilder world, one closer to how Snyder saw wilderness, with the irony being that a healthy civilization—part of which certainly means books, cultural events, newspapers—is the best means of preserving wilderness. Our literary inquiries and community organizing throughout the last ten years have revolved around one central question: how do we live a full life on Earth without destroying it? Now, with climate change affecting every part of our way of life and threatening to drive wolverines to extinction, we find ourselves coming back, again and again—always!—to basic questions: what is the right way to live? To live here and now in Colorado, knowing what we do, staring at the mountain of climate change looming over us, maybe it’s time we look toward the wolverine for inspiration, and haul ourselves up and over that mountain.

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Bicycle

© Courtesy Moonmen Bikes

Rise Local bicycle company set to begin production

O

ver the last few months, murmurs began to circulate of a new bike company forming in Fort Collins, founded by three veterans of local bicycle culture. The founders, collectively interviewed below, ritually ride together, and have for years, which lends their humble beginnings a sincere and purposeful edge. Late last year Moonmen Bikes was born, and to get to know these bicycle makers better, the Fort Collins Courier caught up with them recently. Fort Collins Courier: Tell us how Moonmen Bikes began. Moonmen: Many moons ago, while under the moon and over our bikes, we realized we could do anything we wanted. The moon is inspiring in that way. The bikes we ride are only the beginning, we thought. The form, or medium, can be pushed and something amazing can be even more so. We realized that all of our years of experience designing, building, riding, selling, drawing, wrenching, and respecting bicycles could translate into a razor-sharp idea: Moonmen Bikes. Who are the founders? Moonmen is Todd Heath, Paul Knowles, and Ryan Mckee. What kinds of bikes will you build? We will build whatever you are excited about riding—a bicycle that is exactly what you’ve been dreaming about for years and is


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MOONMEN Bikes, cont. from page 4

uniquely Moonmen-inspired. We build frames, forks, and components. Our material of choice is titanium, based on the metal’s specific ride quality and long-lasting durability. A Moonmen-built bicycle is a total experience, from initial ideation to the fully built and finished bicycle. The experience continues with years of ride joy.

What does the moon mean to you? We are drawn to the moon for its majesty. The moon is a reminder of the infinite possibility which we, individually and collectively, possess. Its otherworldliness inspires creativity; it is a cyclical display of time to which we set our cycling adventures. It’s a vast illumination.

How can I get one? Reach out to us via our website, or on Facebook or Instagram. We will What is your favorite local ride? When we ride we sometimes have objectives. There might be something talk to you about what you’re looking for and what your expectations specific we want to roll, like Maxwell, Shoreline, Michaud, Blue Sky, are for the bike. If we feel confident that we can meet your needs, a deposit will hold your spot in our queue. We then will go into the details Lory Valley, Coyote Ridge, etc.; we may ride a couple of these trails or all of them. Other times we just go in a general direction and see what of the design, including measuring your body dimensions so that your bike will suit you perfectly. After your approval of the proposed design happens. Often we put boundaries in place and go for 40 miles, all within city limits. Or we jump in the canal and try to stay inside it until we can get started. We then fabricate, machine, weld, and finish your bike. Once all the Moonmen parts are manufactured we can assemble we can’t go any further. There are quite a few places that aren’t intended © Courtesy Moonmen Bikes your bike with any variation of components you wish. We do encourage for riding but, as it turns out, are a blast—places high in the sky or down underground. our customers to come and pick up their bike directly if possible: we enjoy riding with our customers on their inaugural ride. Your excitement inspires Moonmen evolution. Learn more at www.moonmenbikes.com. Also find them on Facebook or on Instagram at @moonmenbikes.

 

Fort Collins Bicycle Retailers

Fort Collins Bicycle Makers

Brave New Wheel Founded in 1983 in Fort Collins 105 E. Myrtle St. www.bravenewwheel.com

Alu Boo & Boo Bikes Founded in 2012 in Fort Collins Aluminum and bamboo bicycles 1750 LaPorte Ave. www.aluboobikes.com www.boobikes.com

Full Cycle Founded in 1985 in Boulder One location in Fort Collins, two in Boulder 2102 S. College Ave. www.fullcyclebikes.com Lee’s Cyclery Founded in 1963 in Fort Collins Two locations in Fort Collins, one in Loveland 202 W. Laurel St. & 931. E. Harmony Rd. www.leescyclery.com Performance Bicycle Founded in 1982 in Chapel Hill, NC More than 100 stores in 30 states; one location in Fort Collins 2407 S. College Ave. www.performancebike.com

Big Shot Bikes Founded in 2009 in Fort Collins Fixed gear and single speed bicycles 106 N. Link Ln. www.bigshotbikes.com Blacksheep Bikes Founded in 1999 in Fort Collins Titanium and custom bicycles 204 N. Link Ln. www.blacksheepbikes.com Meetsauce Cycles Custom bicycles www.meetsaucecycles.com

Recycled Cycles Founded in 1978 in Fort Collins Two locations, both in Fort Collins 4031 S. Mason St. & on CSU campus www.recycled-cycles.com

Moonmen Bikes Founded in 2013 in Fort Collins Custom bicycles No brick-and-mortar location www.moonmen.com

The Phoenix Cyclery Founded in 2005 in Fort Collins 1532 E. Mulberry St. www.thephoenixcyclery.com

Niner Bikes 29-inch-wheel bicycles 1611 S. College Unit 202 www.ninerbikes.com

Bicycle Non-Profits/Groups FC Bike Co-op Founded in 2003 in Fort Collins Volunteer-run community bike shop 331 North College Avenue www.fcbikecoop.org Ciclismo Youth Foundation Founded in 2010 in Fort Collins Youth bicycling programs in Fort Collins www.ciclismoyouthfoundation.org

Panda Bikes Founded in 2008 in Fort Collins Bamboo bicycles 130 W. Olive St. www.pandabicycles.com Swobo Founded in San Francisco (1992), relocated to Fort Collins in 2012 Bicycles and riding apparel 1824 Laporte Ave. www.swobo.com Yipsan Custom bicycles www.yipsanbicycles.com

Overland Mountain Bike Club Founded in 2009 in Fort Collins Mountain biking advocacy group for N. Colorado and S. Wyoming www.overlandmtb.org FC Bike Library Founded in Fort Collins in 2008 Membership-based free bike rental Multiple Fort Collins locations; visit website www.fcbikelibrary.org

Bike Fort Collins Founded in 2005 in Fort Collins Nonprofit focused on bicycle advocacy and education www.bikefortcollins.org


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It Doesn’t Have to Be an Uphill Battle, cont. from cover

build an outhouse. Then you build a carport and an attached studio with a bedroom built in. The living room and bedrooms will have to wait. You get the idea. Take the 1995 bike plan, for example: that plan identified eight major projects on a “hot list” to improve bicycling. It further identified 16 other “high-priority projects.” Eighteen years later, four of the “hot list” projects have been substantially completed (the Mason Corridor trail and bike lanes on Pitkin, Laurel, and Horsetooth) while four haven’t been touched (underpasses along the Mason Trail at Horsetooth, Drake, and Prospect, and bike lane improvements at College and Drake). On the “high-priority projects” list, 12 of the 16 projects haven’t been touched. Examples of these latter projects include efforts to make key parts of Drake, Lemay, Oak, Mulberry, Taft Hill, and Shields friendlier for bicyclists. In short, of the 24 projects listed in the 1995 plan, we’ve been able to complete eight of them. That’s a 33 percent success rate. With the 2008 bike plan’s “hot list II” we’ve done a little better, completing seven of the 19 projects on that list for a completion rate of 37 percent. But there is still a major problem, since the citizen’s group that recommended the 2008 “hot list II” suggested that all 19 projects on the list be implemented (not completed, just started) “within the next two to five years.” We are now six years out and waiting. So what’s going on here? Is it a simple case of our eyes being bigger than our stomach? Are we dreaming too big? Securing enough money for all of these projects is precarious at best, based on grants and haphazard federal funding. My guess is that the planners responsible for writing these plans are operating from the standpoint of getting all of these items on the bike plan list in the event that funds become available. And that becomes the primary operating mode for implementing “alternative” transportation plans. I would argue that we have an opportunity with the current bike plan revision to take a different approach. Consider for a moment: • The city is currently flush with funds. • “Keep Fort Collins Great,” a ten-year sales tax increase approved in late 2010, brings in about $20 million annually. • Last year we took in a nearly $5.7 million sales tax surplus over projections for 2013. • We have an opportunity to add additional capital improvement funds with B.O.B. II (see below) if City Council decides to seek voter approval for it. This could possibly provide an additional $5.5 million per year over the next ten years. B.O.B. refers to the original “Building on Basics” quarter-cent sales tax that helped pay for a number of projects, including the renovation and expansion of the Lincoln Center and the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. City staff and City Council are considering proposing another quarter-cent sales tax or, alternatively, a transportation fee that would bring even more revenue to City coffers that could help pay for alternative transportation projects.

The 2014 bike plan revision should take a hard look at the priority lists from the previous plan and prioritize the 28 projects on those lists that haven’t even been started. Once that is done, the revised plan should push for completing all projects that help to complete the bicycle transportation system. In my view, priorities should include: • Under/overpasses on the Mason Trail at Harmony, Horsetooth, Drake and Prospect. • Improving the Horsetooth and College intersection. • Improving Lake St. from Shields to Center. • Connecting Laurel St. to the Poudre Trail. • Widening or adding bike lanes on Taft Hill, Shields, Mulberry, Drake, Lemay, Horsetooth, Laurel (Howes to Remington), LaPorte, Prospect, and Riverside. • A series of “bicycle boulevards” favoring bicycles on neighborhood throughstreets like Swallow, Stover, Stuart, Magnolia, and Oak. • Implementing the Bicycle Safety Education Plan (BSEP) so cyclists and motorists know what behavior to expect “when the bike lane ends.” • Completing the Master Trails plan. What would improve your bicycling routes? Get involved in making bicycling in Fort Collins safer and easier: • Join the Facebook group “Fort Collins Coalition for Infrastructure – CFI.” • Stay informed by visiting the City’s bicycling home page and bike plan update page at www.fcgov.com/bicycling/bike-plan.php. • Send ideas to your City Council member and to the Bicycle Program Manager, Tessa Greegor, at the following addresses: CityLeaders@fcgov.com and tgreegor@ fcgov.com.

Rick Price is a League of American Bicyclists cycling instructor and the Safe Cycling Coordinator for the Bike Co-op.


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144 N. College Ave. thebeancycle.com

Community-based development from the ground up

Reforestation

•

Renewable Energy

Green Job Training

•

Clean Cookstoves

www.treeswaterpeople.org


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Winter Family Biking in “The Amsterdam of the Plains”

© Courtesy Arpad Lazar

By Todd Simmons

Todd Simmons: How often do you bike every week? How many miles do you average? Dee: Every day, with rare exception. During the very very cold period in December we took Transfort a handful of times to keep Tsula from being in the cold for an extended period—it’s about a 25-minute bike ride to school. Easily 12 miles on a weekday. Arpad: We don’t use bike computers or track miles. But with commuting to work, school, the grocery store, etc., we each do a minimum of 12–15 miles a day. That’s on the low end. On days when one of us is doing all the bike chauffeuring, one of us can easily do 25–30 miles in a day. When was the last time your family had a car? Dee: Nearly seven years ago. It was Arpad’s idea and dream to be truly car-free. We were at a point where I couldn’t argue that we really needed the car. And it was his car. Arpad: The day I sold the car I became truly free. Of course, since then I have acquired other junk that is now weighing me down, but getting rid of the car was special. I drove it to the house of the guy who bought it (as he had to drive his car home). As I pedaled away from it I felt intoxicated with lightness and joy. Really. You ought to try it. What does Tsula think of your lifestyle?

© Courtesy Arpad Lazar

Dee: She has expressed pride in being carfree at times, but I suspect she really hasn’t gotten to the point where she knows what she is missing, or rather, what the difference is between what we do and what most other people do. We’ve been car-free and biking her around since before she was born. During visits to out-of-state family—when we are car-dependent—she has a general dislike of being in the car so much.

Tsula: I like it. It is actually really fun. Sometimes you get carsick. On the tag-a-long I like pushing you guys when you’re not pedaling. Any secrets or tips you’d like to share? Dee: Studded tires and mittens for winter biking, and recently we have learned of the value of a wool or down skirt! Arpad: I don’t like to get sucked into the technical discussion of cycling, even though I think about it and read about it obsessively. We move under our own power because we have designed our lives to make this possible, and even easy. Fort Collins is an ideal place for this kind of lifestyle. It’s the Amsterdam of the Plains. What does year-round bicycling mean to your family? Dee: Biking in all temperatures and all conditions as necessary. Arpad: Dee said it beautifully. I’m glad to be out there, regardless of the perceived climatic discomforts. And the conditions are pretty cushy here. I personally would like a little more adversity in my commute. I take that back...the wind gets pretty bad sometimes. Wind is about the only condition that has reduced me to tears. Tsula: I don’t know. Anything else? Dee: With two to four trips to school each day, daily safety and ease have become a priority, and I have become much more reliant upon the bike trails. The closure of a section of the Poudre Trail at the Woodward site has been a huge impediment to our daily commute and has put us at increased risk. Arpad: Free yourself financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I have yet to achieve any of these, but I’m sure there’s someone out there who can show me how. And I doubt that it will involve a car.

© Courtesy Erica Lighthiser

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uring the deep of winter you see less bicyclists on the roads, so the ones you do see stand out. One particular family kept catching my eye—I knew them from my son’s school and would see them biking in all conditions. Their supreme dedication made me want to learn more about their winter riding ways. Over email, I learned some of what Dee Amick, the mom; Arpad Lazar, the dad; and Tsula, first-grader, have to teach about living a life centered around the bicycle.


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winter/early spring bike maintenance Article and drawing by Melissa Mika

Condition that leather saddle. Make sure you're up to date with a layer of your favorite leather conditioning oil or beeswax-based product. Keep condensation (and rust) away from the inside of your tubes. When you get home from your ride, remove the seat post and hang the bike upside down to dry. There is also a spray that works wonders called Frame Saver that you can use to spray down your tube and handlebars.

More lights! Being seen is always a top priority, especially with less sunlight for the commute home.

Check your brake pads often. They wear out quickly in the colder months and keeping them fresh will make sure you are able to stop quickly.

Fenders are a lifesaver when biking in the elements. They keep the mucky road junk down, instead of on your back.

Wide or studded tires are great for a sure grip.

Lube the drivetrain. Your drivetrain gets gunked up and can easily jam because of frozen slush, ice, and snow. Make sure to clean off any gunk, apply lube, let it dry, and then wipe it clean. Do this at least one to two times per week (maybe more depending on the weather conditions).

After every ride, let your bike dry and then brush it off with a small broom (or even a toothbrush). Brush off everything—frame, pedals, wheels, chain, etc. If your bike gets too wet when cleaning, your bearings, cables, and chain will not be happy.

Other Tips:

Clothing/Accessories:

Long underwear

If it's snowing, don't lock your bike up next to the road before the plow comes through. Train tracks get slippery when wet and icy when cold. Avoid the tracks at all costs and always remember the 90-degreeangle trick. Try to keep your bike indoors during the winter and early spring. If that's not possible, use a bike tent or a tarp outside to keep it protected from the elements. A flask (or thermos of hot chocolate) doesn't hurt for the end of the ride. Snow can be tricky. New snow is great to ride through, but be careful if it's new snow on top of old, half-melted snow. A hidden layer of ice underneath can send you off your bike in a nanosecond.

Face mask/long scarf Something to cover your ears Layers: waterproof and windproof for the outside layer; wool, synthetic material, or fleece for inside layer

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."

Take care out there, be safe and enjoy the Colorado weather!

-H.G. Wells

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AGRICULTURE

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Agriculture

Food, People, & Justice, cont. from cover

writes grant applications, coordinates volunteers, searches out potential sponsors, plans events, programs, and much more for TGP. Under Guber’s guidance, TGP has expanded and improved its ambitious programs and projects in order to reach as many residents as possible.

Programs and Projects Urban Foods Outreach: Advocacy for community gardens in low-income areas is a cornerstone of The Growing Project’s mission. Launched by Chad Shavor, the Urban Foods Outreach program helps people with the logistics of how to build and maintain a backyard garden. Since the program began, volunteers have used donated supplies and materials to build 19 gardens—seven community gardens in low-income areas and 12 backyard gardens in residential spaces. For 2014, TGP intends to concentrate their efforts on building more community gardens through their partnership with the Fort Collins Housing Authority. Food Finders: Food Finders is a network of bicycle-riding volunteers who, through connections with local farmers and gardens, pick up excess produce and redistribute it to hungry people through the Larimer County Food Bank and The Family Center. Last year, they had nine sources and rescued 10,000 pounds of food. An amazing 85 percent of their deliveries were made by bicyclists with trailers. This year, they’re hoping to expand the program with more sources and more deliveries. Garden Time: Piloted in 2010 and growing every year, Garden Time gives at-risk youth ages 10 to 18 the opportunity to participate in a horticulture therapy program. In partnership with the Jacob Center’s Remington House, a 20-bed foster care facility and detention house, TGP helps young people develop vocational, entrepreneurial, and social skills, while providing fresh produce to their own kitchens. In 2012, a ten-foot by ten-foot demonstration garden was installed at the Jacob Center to facilitate the program. 2013 brought yet another leap forward, as TGP partnered with CSU Campus Corps to work with CSU students and more at-risk youth. Seed-to-Fork Education Outreach: Residents learning to grow their own nutrient-rich produce is the first step toward closing the gap between people and their food sources. One of the projects that TGP is working on for this year is constructing a garden at Lincoln Middle School. The garden will be part of an after-school program that combines gardening and cooking to educate underprivileged children about nutrition, encouraging them to get involved in their own food system.

How You Can Get Involved & Volunteering With TGP If The Growing Project plants the seeds of food activism in Northern Colorado, its volunteers are the sunlight that provides the energy to make the seeds grow. The folks at The Growing Project are hustling to get ready for this year’s growing season, and they’re going to need your help. Every growing season there are one-time and seasonlong opportunities to help in the community gardens, to be a Food Finder (beginning in late May), and to reach out to local organizations for support. This year, TGP is looking especially for volunteers with gardening experience, and community experts who can lend their expertise to projects. To receive updates on volunteer opportunities as they arise, subscribe to their newsletter through their website or visit their Facebook page. Learn more at www.thegrowingproject.org or find them on Facebook.


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spring 2014

An Introduction to Bokashi Composting By Molly McCowan

What is it?: Bokashi is a form of composting that uses anaerobic fermentation to produce compost. As opposed to traditional composting, which is an aerobic activity that uses heat and oxygen to break down organic materials, Bokashi uses fermentation and beneficial pathogens to break down all food scraps, including meat and dairy. Who is it best for?: Because Bokashi takes a relatively short amount of time, produces little odor, takes up very little space, can be done indoors, and will break down just about anything left over from dinner (even the bones!), it’s a great solution for people who want to be less wasteful but who aren’t able to have a traditional outdoor compost pile. How does it work?: A simple Bokashi compost setup consists of three parts: two buckets, Bokashi mix, and food scraps. Drill drainage holes in the bottom of one bucket and set it inside the other (this acts as a drain for fluids). Put a layer of Bokashi mix in the inner bucket, add a layer of food scraps, layer on more Bokashi mix, weigh it down with a plate or something similar (this speeds up the process), add a lid, and you’re Bokashi composting! What happens once the bucket is full?: After you’ve filled your bucket, seal it up tightly and let it sit for a few more weeks to further decompose. The final product can then be added to your normal compost pile (if you have one) or used as a potent fertilizer for home gardens. Why compost?: Approximately 30 percent of waste in our landfills is organic material. You can make a difference by composting your spare food scraps, and having the greenest garden on the block is your reward! Learn more at www.compostguy.com.

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14

HISTORY

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History

M

ore than a dozen different newspapers were available from the late 1800s to the early 1900s in Fort Collins—most of them only lasted about a year. Here is a history of the major newspapers throughout Fort Collins’ history. 1873 - Joseph McClelland founds the Larimer County Express in April of this year. The paper’s offices are located on the 100 block of W. Mountain Ave. on a free piece of land with $500 worth of equipment. The first issue is four pages long and includes advertisements for local businesses, poems, and a “questionably humorous” column called “Expressive.” It costs $2.50 a year for a subscription. 1874 - Clark Boughton founds The Fort Collins Standard, but dies a few months later. Colleagues H.L. Myrick and W.W. Sullivan take over. 1876 - The Fort Collins Standard goes out of business.

Original Fort Collins Courier office. Fort Collins History Archive [H05309]

History of Newspapers in Fort Collins, Including the Original Fort Collins Courier By Molly McCowan on the McConathy block, which will later become the Antlers Hotel and in 2014 is home to apartments and businesses. Naysayers claim that the Fort Collins Courier will never succeed, largely due to Watrous’ lack of business acumen (he is a former store clerk turned writer and editor). The Fort Collins Courier publishers got off to a rough start with the paper: they used an old Washington Hand Press, which was in bad condition and could only print in a seven-column format. They also didn’t have enough type. They solved this problem by having two pages of the paper printed in Chicago and shipped to Fort Collins, where they were then joined with the locally printed pages. 1879 - The Fort Collins Courier publishers acquire enough type to print the entire paper locally. 1880 - The Fort Collins Courier expands to eight columns; Ansel Watrous buys out Elmer M. Pelton and becomes the sole proprietor.

Fort Collins History Archive [H01911]

1878 - Ansel Watrous (pictured above) and Elmer M. Pelton found the Fort Collins Courier in June of this year. The Fort Collins Courier offices are located in the second-floor rooms of 222 Linden St.

1880 - Joseph McClelland sells the Larimer County Express to Henry A. Crafts and retires to a farm. Crafts finds seven years’ worth of newspapers stacked in McLelland’s office and burns them to make

more room, destroying all evidence of the Larimer County Express before his takeover. 1881 - The Larimer County Express, now under Henry A. Crafts, launches an afternoon daily edition. 1882 - The Fort Collins Courier publishers are able to purchase a power press and they launch an evening daily edition of the newspaper. 1883 - The daily edition of Fort Collins Courier is suspended. 1884 - The daily edition of the Larimer County Express is suspended. 1886 - Ansel Watrous sells Fort Collins Courier to the Courier Printing and Publishing Company, staying on as president and editor. 1899 - Carl Anderson, the Courier Printing and Publishing Company’s principal stockholder and general manager, takes charge of the Fort Collins Courier and adds two weekly supplements: the Fort Collins Weekly Courier and Fort Collins Courier Farmer. 1902 - A new evening daily edition of

the Fort Collins Courier, called the Evening Courier, is founded, this time proving to be profitable. 1906 - Henry A. Crafts sells the Larimer County Express to James and George McCormick. 1907 - Under the McCormick brothers, the Larimer County Express launches a morning daily edition, the Morning Express, to compete with the Evening Courier. 1916 - Carl Anderson sells the Fort Collins Courier to Morris Emmerson. 1920 - Morris Emmerson sells the Fort Collins Courier to the McCormick brothers. The Larimer County Express and Fort Collins Courier merge to become the Fort Collins Express-Courier. 1928 - Alfred G. Hill buys the Fort Collins Express-Courier. A keen eye for news and a skill for selling ads leads to the newspaper flourishing under his leadership. 1937 - Speidel Newspaper Inc. acquires the Fort Collins Express-Courier. 1945 - The Fort Collins Express-Courier becomes the Fort Collins Coloradoan. 1976 - Gannett Co. Inc., one of the country’s largest newspaper companies, merges with Speidel Newspaper Inc. 1980 - The Fort Collins Coloradoan officially changes its name to the Coloradoan. 2014 - The Fort Collins Courier lives again at Wolverine Farm Publishing, in the form of a nonprofit quarterly newspaper.


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Legendary Locals:

Lee Martinez Librado “Lee” Martinez, born in 1889, moved to Fort Collins from Huerfano County (near Trinidad, Colorado) with his family in 1906, when he was 17 years old. Martinez was known for his generosity and willingness to lend a helping hand. He would take on any odd job that needed doing, including working on farms, trimming trees, milking cows, doing carpentry work, and more. He also volunteered much of his time to the community, helping with elections and working to improve relations between Hispanics and whites. Martinez served on the Humans Relations Commission and later became director of the Fort Collins Area Centennial Commission. He died on April 11, 1970. In 1985, Lee Martinez Park (600 N. Sherwood St.) was named in his honor.

Librado “Lee” Martinez and Eva Martinez, married on November 15th, 1924. Fort Collins History Archives [H12384]

Interested in learning more? Visit www.history.fcgov.com.

© Courtesy Stephanie Lerner

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Th e n &Now

The Parade Grounds and Wolverine Farm’s New Location

In early 2013, Wolverine Farm purchased a small commercial building at 316 Willow Street in Fort Collins for our Letterpress & Publick House expansion project. Through our research of the property, we learned that part of land was originally used for the parade grounds of the military’s fort-without-walls (1864–1866). The parade grounds were 300 Wolverine Farm's Building feet x 300 feet square, and the various buildings that made up the fort were positioned around this central location. After Parade Grounds the military abandoned the fort, the area saw a great deal of change in a short amount of time—numerous railroads came and went, Willow Street was the site of a mill race to power the mills down the street, more light industry moved in, as W ill well as a number of private residences. The current building on our site was constructed in 1974, and our expansion will ow St . incorporate this existing structure. Look to our website for project updates: www.wolverinefarm.org.

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Li

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en

St

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1864

Flagpole is shown in the parade grounds. Fort Collins History Archive [H11255]

1975

The current building was originally a furniture refinishing shop and music studio.

February 2014

Current condition. A stepped parapet facade was added on to the roof at some point.

Fort Collins History Archive [316Wil75]

Letterpress Print Shop Writing/Craft Workshops Retail Space for Local Makers Conference Room Event Hall Coffee & Beer Bar Outdoor Patio

316 Willow Street In the River District Fort Collins, CO

Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House Opening Summer 2014


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LITERATURE

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Literature

Mountains and Rivers Without End, by Gary Snyder Reviewed by Luisa Lyons Counterpoint Press’ new edition of Mountains and Rivers Without End by Pulitzer Prizewinning author and poet Gary Snyder is a sumptuous book of poetry, complete with audio recordings by Snyder himself.

Tenth of December, by George Saunders Reviewed by Evan Brengle In George Saunders’ collection of short stories, Tenth of December, the characters are people we all know, or at least think we do: the devout mother of two, the selfabsorbed teenage girl, the struggling shop owner. I often found myself reminded of a neighbor or coworker; people I kind of know, but not really. Rather, these are people I merely have assumptions about. It is precisely these sorts of assumptions that Saunders explores, plays with, and dismantles. In “Escape from Spiderhead,” my favorite of the bunch, Jeff has been convicted of a crime, but is given the opportunity to serve his sentence in a more comfortable facility in exchange for his participation as a scientific test subject. He is pumped with chemicals that enhance, manipulate, and force his emotional and mental processes. The primary inquiry is, can they, the scientists, effectively control a person’s feelings of love, or lack thereof ? Saunders’ stories fuse satirical humor with warm compassion. While dramatizing much of the absurdity of contemporary American life, these stories convey tenderness for the characters. The reader enters the characters’ minds as they face trying situations and difficult decisions. These are people who at first we may assume are very unlike ourselves, who we may even be critical of, but with whom we find we sympathize after briefly inhabiting their perspectives. With these stories, Saunders shows us that irrational fears, biases, and habits are part of being human, as is the challenge of doing our best despite them.

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly, by Sun-Mi Hwang Reviewed by Brian Park “The leaves laid flowers again.” In only 133 pages of light prose, Sun-Mi Hwang is able to touch on a wide variety of topics and themes in her novel The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly. The work manages to explore difficult philosophical terrain without feeling too weighty. Clean, crisp writing and a succinct plot create a wonderful fable for any era. The simple black-and-white illustrations lend a light, airy, Zen quality to the piece. At first encounter, the self-named protagonist, Sprout, is suffering from a malaise brought on by her station in life as a cooped hen nearing the end of her egglaying days (and thus, the end of her life). Sprout aches at the chance to be a mother and longs for the freedom she perceives in the farmyard and wilds beyond. Yet floating under the surface is a firm resolution to change her station in life. As Sprout encounters obstacles in her quest to find the life she longs to lead, we are introduced to the various themes of the text. While topics such as motherhood, animal rights, cross-cultural awareness, and even adoption and fertility are explored, a particularly poignant element is the idea of being in the present, happy in the now. As Sprout progresses through the story, each of the goals she sets are attained, yet at each point she is confronted with new obstacles. The reader is left feeling at once dejected and hopeful for Sprout. Hwang speaks volumes in so few words.

Wolverine Farm P ublis hing C o. & Bo ok s t ore Join us at the bookstore each month for:

Snyder’s rich voice is immensely pleasurable to listen to. His chanting is worth it for the audio alone: “The Blue Sky” and “An Offering for Tara” are notable highlights. The recordings are raw and immediate—you can hear the pages being turned, Snyder’s breathing, the squeak of his chair, and sometimes even rain. It’s like Snyder is reading to you in your own living room. The only downside to the recording is the occasionally inconsistent sound levels: be careful if you’re listening with headphones. The poems themselves are a meditation, as the title suggests, on mountains and rivers. The book is divided into four sections, each spanning great lengths of time and space, and drawing on eastern and western traditions. Section I is dreamy and fragmented. Section II continues with the dreamy quality, but becomes more rooted in reality, comparing the natural world with suburbia. Section III is about humanity, connection, and bodies (particularly the female body). The final section weaves the first three together, giving us both a universal and immediate perspective. Once finished, you’ll be clamoring for warmer weather so you can go out hiking and re-experience the mountains with Snyder’s vivid eye. In the meantime, you can enjoy Snyder’s heartfelt, beautiful, and evocative meditation on the mountains, rivers, and world around us.

Backwards, by Todd Mitchell Reviewed by Meg Schiel Backwards, the latest teen novel from local author Todd Mitchell, is a captivating story about one young man’s journey leading up to his suicide. Working in reverse, the novel begins when 17-year-old Dan’s life ends, and progresses back through the weeks preceding his death. In an interesting twist on an already unique format, the narrator, Rider, is a mysterious entity inexplicably linked to Dan who appears as Dan dies. Each new day that Rider wakes up is Dan’s yesterday, and, stuck in Dan’s body, Rider tries to understand and uncover the events that lead up to Dan’s suicide. Backwards is a refreshing approach to a very serious topic for young adults—a topic that is sometimes glorified in teen novels. By writing the story backwards, Mitchell does a superb job of shedding light on teen suicide, while leaving room for empathy and hope for his characters and audience. Once you settle into the disorienting chronological progress of the novel, you’ll find it hard to step back into real time and leave behind the characters that you’ve quickly grown to care about. This is a story that stays with you long after you’ve put the book down.

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Letter Writing Club : Last Sunday of each month at 3pm I am Open Mic: Last Friday of the month at 8pm Little Wolverines Story Hour: 1st and 3rd Saturdays 10-11am wolverinefarm.org : 970.472.4284 144 N. College Avenue Fort collins, co 80524

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LITERATURE

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LITERATURE

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An Interview with Franki Elliot, poet and author of Kiss As Many Women as You Can By Jason Hardung Recently I received a copy of Kiss as Many Women as You Can, a book of poetry written by Los Angeles poet Franki Elliot with illustrations by Shawn Stuckey, a visual artist who happens to be red/green colorblind. This isn’t your ordinary book of poetry—each page is either a typewritten poem or illustration as a tear-out postcard. It’s a book you can physically use, just as how it was physically written—on the street with a manual typewriter for a specific, random person. I decided to do a short interview with Ms. Elliot to gain some insight into her creative process. Hardung: I’ve seen other people write poems on the spot, on the street, on a typewriter, but you actually get really good, thought-provoking poems out of this. What gave you the idea to do this? Did you do it before you moved to Los Angeles? Elliot: After I published Piano Rats, I was tired of writing about myself. As an exercise, I asked people via social media if they wanted me to write a story about them on my typewriter. To my surprise, a lot of people I didn’t know very well asked for stories. Since it is difficult to write about someone you don’t know, I asked them to send me a topic instead. It was a fun, interactive way to write, so I decided to bring my typewriter and try it at the AWP [Association of Writers & Writing Programs] conference in Chicago a few years ago and then again at the Printer’s Row Lit Fest. I had never seen anyone do it before, and I just wanted to do it as a gimmick to get people to check out

All of the stories are straight from the typewriter. No edits. No backspace. No white out— which is my favorite thing about them. A writer can go mad editing his/her own work. my book Piano Rats. Little did I know, I would turn the stories I was writing on the spot into my second book. After that, I began taking the typewriter with me to various cities and when I moved to Los Angeles I began getting invited to do stories at various events around the city. As people found out about me, they started introducing me to other typewriter poets and I’m realizing it’s a wonderful, poetic thing happening all around the world. Are the poems in Kiss as Many Women as You Can straight from the typewriter? Or was there an editing process before they went into the book? All of the stories are straight from the typewriter. No edits. No backspace. No white out—which is my favorite thing about them. A writer can go mad editing his/her own work. How did the book come about? Did you plan on using these poems in a book? I started taking pictures of my favorite poems before I gave them to the stranger who requested it, thinking I would use them in a story or poem later. Instead, I decided to use them “as is” because the visual of a typewritten story is so nostalgic and beautiful. I wanted to do tear-out postcards alongside the artwork of Shawn Stucky so that the art could be easily shared. Curbside Splendor, the publisher, was on board from the start because they had published Piano Rats as well and are dedicated to colorful, artistic bookmaking. The poems are relatable to almost anybody. What is your process for writing on the street? Does somebody come up to you and ask you to write about a certain thing? Or is that left up to your discretion? Basically, I set up my typewriter at a party, event, beach, festival, etc. and people are shy at first. They wander over, ask what I’m doing, and sometimes they will sit and chat and ask for a story. Or they will wait until someone else asks for one first. Generally, people give me a word or sentence or a line of inspiration and then I type away. Everything is usually written in less than five minutes and then I tuck the poem into an envelope and let them read it later. What can we expect from you in the future? I have only published short-form writing so far, so my next project is hopefully a novel. I’ve already been collecting and piecing together some semi-autobiographical stories I have into a cohesive storyline. Stay tuned! Take a look at Franki Elliot’s Kiss As Many Women as You Can at www.tinyurl.com/mlce3kc. Read more of her poems at frankielliottypewriter.tumblr.com. Find out more about artist Shawn Stucky at www.shawnstucky.com.

Profile: Bill McKibben, author of Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist By Carol Johnson Bestselling author Bill McKibben has written more than a dozen books that address environmental issues. Oil and Honey continues that theme, tracing McKibben’s reluctant shift from writer to his new role as global activist against the fossil fuel industry (oil) and his relationship with his neighbor, Kirk Webster, a Vermont beekeeper (honey). McKibben realized that in addition to writing about environmental problems, it was time to also become a leader in the fight against climate change. Global climate summits had failed. A new, strong, concerted effort was needed to bring this issue to the general public. In 2008, McKibben founded 350.org, named for NASA scientist James Hansen’s figure “showing that if the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose above 350 parts per million, we couldn’t have a planet ‘similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.’” A year later, 350.org organized its first global day of action, with 5,200 rallies in 181 countries. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, became the focal point for McKibben’s first major civil disobedience action for climate change, which was held in August 2011 in Washington, DC. This two-week sit-in at the White House resulted in the arrest of 1,253 protesters, including McKibben, who spent two nights in jail. (The southern portion of the pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas was approved in 2012 and became operational in January 2014.) During the protest, Hurricane Irene landed in North Carolina and made its way north, severely damaging McKibben’s home state of Vermont. In recent years, record high temperatures have been documented across the country. As global temperatures rise, extreme

As global temperatures rise, extreme weather events can occur resulting in droughts, fires, and more violent storms like Irene and the unprecedented flooding this September in Colorado. weather events can occur resulting in droughts, fires, and more violent storms like Irene and the unprecedented flooding this September in Colorado. On a broader scale, McKibben is also leading an effort to encourage colleges, universities, and city governments to divest their financial portfolios from fossil fuel interests to greener financial portfolios. Back home in Vermont, McKibben found comfort assisting pioneering beekeeper Kirk Webster. Webster runs a one-man apiary, maintaining his beehives without chemicals and raising queen bees year-round—very unusual in the cold New England climate. Due to his innovations, Webster’s hives have been very successful. When McKibben first met Webster, the beekeeper did not own his own land. Webster wanted to pass along his skills to budding beekeepers, but in order to do so, he needed his own farm. In 2011, McKibben purchased land for Webster to use during his lifetime. Webster built an offthe-grid solar home on the land with plans to add crops and animals. McKibben’s efforts to stop the northern section of the Keystone pipeline may not succeed, but he has become one of the leaders changing American environmental politics.


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Fracking By Kathleen Willard These are our apparitions: the sky gleans towards gray, the mouths of caves filled with quartz call. How long before we are all fluent in earth, our scarring stops? In an office an engineer imagines molecules deep past aquifers speak combustion and churn engines and blasts sand and benzene near the earth’s core unloosens eons of errant natural gas dormant underneath Pawnee Grasslands, an oily ocean the size of Saudi Arabia still and docile waits underneath the fossil beds of mastodons and eohippus, the knee-high horses, first to run wild on the prairie, underneath everyone’s water source, underneath artifacts and evidence of prehistoric campsites of Folsom man, the Paleo-Indian inhabitants from 12,000 years ago, underneath the final outpost of the Colorado butterfly plant imperiled globally— the ocean awaits to be split open with mobile steel girders and slamming concrete sleeves and fallible into the deepest recesses of rock to pipe toxic concoctions by roustabouts overworked and now acrid aluminum air irritates and fire streams from water faucets in the nearby suburbs. The bonds of our cells unhinge unleashing old and new contagions and cover ups the whole procedure deemed safe while around the clock earth cracks open, we tinker with tectonic plates.

Kathleen Willard is currently working on a book-length manuscript The Western Aspect, a series of pastorals and anti-pastorals exploring her love of nature and environmental issues dominating the West including the split estate, fracking, fire, insect infestations, and drought, among other concerns.

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LITERATURE

“All of these 11 stories arrest the reader from their opening paragraphs . . . a collection to be held up as evidence that the short story not only endures but also flourishes.” —Booklist, Starred Review “The stories in LITTLE RAW SOULS represent a triumphant second act in the life of American writer Steven Schwartz.” —TheRumpus.net “Set in a variety of landscapes across the southwest, from northern Colorado to Tucson, Santa Fe to Sedona, each of these stories is a gem. They give life to souls who might be cynical but still hope for meaning, souls scraped raw with living. They are anything but little.” —Arizona Public Radio “Good short stories drop us into the middle of situations we can’t help but find riveting, no matter how strange or uncomfortable they may be. Steven Schwartz’s latest collection, LITTLE RAW SOULS, is full of such stories.” —Small Press Picks “LITTLE RAW SOULS is an apt name for this collection of short stories from Colorado State University professor Steven Schwartz: Every stand-alone chapter pulls the reader into the psyche of a character charged with making complicated, emotionally trying decisions.” —5280 “A strong pick for any modern short fiction collection.” —Midwest Book Review “Expertly rendered stories” —ForeWord Reviews

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MAKE

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Make How to Paint a Portrait: An Acrylic Adventure in Alliteration

In this next step the nose becomes more pronounced and I am still shading the skin. One small line will throw the face in another direction, so I keep trying to pull it together.

By Jason Hardung

I

always wanted to be a painter, but I was never any good at it. I tried to paint a few times throughout my life, but the end product always looked terrible and I would give up. A little over two years ago I decided to try again, and this time I wasn’t going to give up. With each painting I learned something new, which I would apply to my next painting. I started painting portraits of celebrities first, because if I made them look terrible they wouldn’t get mad at me, and if I did a good job at least people would know who it was. My process is probably the complete opposite of what art teachers teach, but it works for me and maybe it will work for you.

First, I find a photo for reference and sketch out something similar to a face. I paint the shape a dark color, like blue or dark green, to give it a solid background because bodies are full of dark things behind the skin. Next I mix a peach color with a little red and white and paint over the dark part. Then I start with the left eye and move across the face like I’m reading a book backwards.

Most artists paint the background first, but I am still learning color theory and I’m not sure which colors go together until I see them together, so I might try three different background colors before I find the right one. In this painting, I introduce a dark blue background, the same color I used as a base under the skin at the beginning. The nose is now finished and I estimate where his clothes will be. Straight white is a good way to accentuate things like the tip of the nose and the eyelids.

I eye everything. I don’t use graphs or rulers; I use the shapes of the negative space. The good thing about acrylics is that they dry quickly, so I can paint over something if I mess up (and I usually mess up). Next I move on to the other eye, all the while shading in the face here and there, mixing red, burnt umber, and raw sienna to bring out the darker areas like the cheekbones. At this point I start adding a little hair for reference to the outline of the face. I feel like a sculptor chiseling expressions out of a mess of colors.

Jumping ahead I have added the hair, the ear, and the mouth and beard. I have also added more blue to the background. I’m still adjusting the shading as I go, but the face is basically done. Now I have started his uniform with a dark grey, so I can bring the ruffles in his clothes out with a lighter grey later. Hair and clothes are the hardest for me. For the beard I mixed white, black, and grey and then used a thick brush to dab the paint on instead of using strokes. I let it dry and come back with straight white or straight gray to make the single hairs.

Here I’ve finished the other eye and have started shading the nose. I also begin painting the beard white. As you can see on the left I carve away at the shape of his face with white paint to match the blank background. That’s what I mean by sculpting. The whole time I’m bringing the edges of the face in until they match the photo.

Here is the final product—I finished the background and brought a lighter gray in to paint the wrinkles and worn patches in the uniform; black for the creases and the buttonholes. This painting of Robert E. Lee took me twelve hours to complete. Like I said, I probably do things backwards, but it’s how I taught myself. Maybe it will work for you too. Sign your name on it, put it on the wall and look at it while it looks at you.


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PLEASE ENJOY RESPONSIBLY


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A

BRIEF SURVEY OF

FORT COLLINS’ PAINT AND CHALK

TYPOGRAPHY WITH

OPINIONATED

ANNOTATIONS

By Chris Jusell [1] This painted sign mixes slab-serif font (“Damm’s”) with sans-serif. Some cool stuff: notice how the Ms come to points in the middle, the interesting diagonals of the K, and the diminishing size with each line. Also, I’m sure they used a ruler, but the letter spacing is immaculate.

[3] This sans-serif font has a slightly thinner horizontal line weight than vertical, and the curved name overlaid on a shield design looks pretty confident. But isn’t it kind of boring? I don’t categorically hate sans-serif fonts, but in looking at some of these old ads I notice a kind of utilitarian quality to a lot of the fonts: very similar to each other, and a little vanilla.

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ort Collins, like many Old Towns in America, has many examples of hand-painted and hand-drawn signs, menus, and advertisements, and a resurgent interest in the field has created new work as well. Most of the old ads painted on the sides of buildings have worn away with time and the weather, but let’s look at a few of the clearer examples of those, as well as current chalkboards around town, and talk about fonts. Woo hoo! Fonts!

[4] This and example #5 are chalk (at the Forge Publick House) by the amazing Sarah Keats, who also tends bar there. This small corner is beautifully compact, very curved, and fills any dead space with a few simple lines. Notice how some of the vertical lines are slightly thicker.

[5] This cursive is a little looser and more angular. I especially love the decoration on the capital B and S. Below, each letter has just one stroke for its line weights, but by varying the angle of the chalk she achieves varying thickness. The simple serifs on “Alesmith” create a nice rectangle of text.

[8] This sign was completely painted over at some point, but weather has slightly revealed it again—the words “laundry” and “cleaners” form triangles, one contracting and one expanding. This, plus the inversion of colors (“paramont” on a white background and the rest on black) would have been striking when freshly painted. PLUS, A SOMEWHAT-SIMPLIFIED KEY TO FONT TERMINOLOGY

[7] This is a board I did at the Welsh Rabbit Cheese Shop. The top font has exaggerated serifs and a drop shadow, the bottom is a pretty standard cursive, and the middle is square (similar to Futura), with consistent vertical and horizontal line weights.

• A “serif ” is ornamentation on a font, usually at the ends of lines. • A “proportional” font has varying widths for every letter (i.e. a W is wider than an I) whereas a “monospaced” font (like Courier) uses the same width for every letter. • “X-height” is traditionally the height of the top of a lowercase letter (like an X). • “Ascender height” and “descender height” describe the amount that a letter like H or P extends above or below the limits of a full uppercase letter.

[1] 131 S. College Ave. (artist: Stewart Case, circa 1925) - - - [2] 113 S. College Ave. (artist: Curran Bill Posting & Distributing, circa 1900–10) - - - [3] 132 S. College Ave. (artist: unknown, circa 1909) - - - [4] 232 Walnut St (artist: Sarah Keats, 2014) - - - [5] ibid - - - [6] 144 N. College Ave. (artist: Chris Jusell, 2012) - - [7] ibid - - - [8] 314 E. Mountain Ave. (artist unknown, circa 1930–50) - - - [9] 152 W. Mountain Ave. (artist unknown, circa 1924) - - - photo of [1] by Robert Copeland, all other photos by Chris Jusell and Beth Kopp. Chris Jusell is a Denver-based musician and typographer, but apparently not much of a photographer.

[2] I don’t love cigars, but I love this ad. A drop shadow focuses your eye on the oversized brand name (with very pointed serifs), and holy moly that’s a great “L.” And there’s an owl.

[6] This is some of my own chalk work at The Bean Cycle. This example seems to have four different fonts, but really it’s only one type with different heights, kerning (spacing), and some additional gothic decoration on the top line.

[9] A blocky font for the top line; a pretty, rounded font on the bottom with very subtle serifs; an orange outline on all of the letters against a green background; a simple border—this is really well done, and an example of small but distinct differences between two fonts.


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NATURE

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Nature

© Courtesy Bill Hepp

Fort Collins Natural Areas: An Unforgettable Experience Article By Bill Hepp

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ur natural areas are supported by citizen-initiated sales tax ballot measures. The Natural Areas city department is responsible for fulfilling the community’s vision for land conservation and stewardship in these areas. Although some of these 43 areas are quite small, combined they constitute over 100 miles of trails in and around our city. I have lived here for 16 years and I can’t say that I have visited every one. And there are more on the way. We are lucky to have these open areas around our city. One can wander in the rosy morning sunlight; revel in the changing seasons; watch hawks soar; spot deer, eagles, and foxes; go fishing, ice skating, cycling. They are an integral and important feature of Fort Collins and part of the reason many of us choose to live here. My most memorable time in a Fort Collins Natural Area was when my dog fell through the ice at the North Shields Ponds area. It was on the second pond, west of the one that you can see from Shields. The big pond. I was on the embankment that separates the pond from the Poudre


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© Courtesy Bill Hepp

U pcoming Natural Areas Fort Collins’ department of Natural Areas currently has 43 natural areas, with 39 of the sites open to the public and 17 natural areas running alongside the Poudre River. Two new natural areas are currently in the works: • A 31-acre natural area along the Poudre River Trail, just north of Mulberry St. and east of the Poudre River. The site was formerly Link-n-Greens Golf Course, and was purchased by Woodward Governor as the site of their new headquarters in 2013. Woodward Governor has conveyed 31 acres along the river to the city for a natural area, so the concrete Poudre River Trail will be reconstructed across the site and the site will be restored to native vegetation including cottonwood forests, grass and shrub lands, wetlands, and a pond. The site will also have a few natural surface trails to allow access to the river. • Hazaleus Natural Area, on the northeast corner of Trilby and Shields. This 168-acre farm was purchased in 1999 and has been undergoing restoration.

© Courtesy Jodi Taylor

River, throwing a large stick down onto the ice. Argus, my 160-pound Irish Wolfhound, was going out on the ice and retrieving the stick. This was something new and fun; he usually didn’t retrieve. On about the third or fourth pass, he fell in about 15 feet from the shore. He got his long front legs out, dug his nails in, and pulled. Surely, he was going to pop right out. I called him enthusiastically, as if the encouragement in my voice could pull him out of the freezing water. I thought his back legs must be stuck in the mud. I called him some more. I waited. He struggled. After a few minutes it dawned on me that he wasn’t getting out. Walking to the edge of the pond, I removed my wallet, phone, and car keys from my pockets, took off my jacket, and placed my belongings on the shore. I took a few steps onto the ice, then got on my hands and knees and crawled towards him. He was panting hard. A few feet from him, the ice began to crack. I moved to lie down on my stomach, but all at once the ice gave way. I knew I had to move fast. My idea was to grab his haunches and haul him out of the mud that he was (it seemed) obviously stuck in, but as I reached his backside and went to lift him, I pushed myself completely under water. I did not touch the bottom. I surfaced with what felt like needles sticking into every pore of my body, unable to breathe, and tried to climb out, but the ice just broke under my weight. I kept trying to leverage myself out of the water but, each time, the ice collapsed. Finally, I broke enough ice that I could stand on the bottom and climbed out. I stood on the edge of the pond, my hands on my knees, fighting for breath. Argus climbed out after me, shook himself vigorously, and began to scamper and frolic about. I couldn’t breathe—heck, I couldn’t even feel my legs. But I put my dry jacket on, picked up my stuff, and numbly jogged to the car with Argus traipsing happily behind. I drove the mile home and got into the shower without taking off my clothes. We were both fine.

Bill Hepp lives and writes in Fort Collins, and doesn’t like bananas.

Acupuncture - Chinese Herbs Massage - Qigong - Diet Therapy

Hugh’s Acupuncture clinic fort collins source for acupuncture and traditional chinese medicine

The Fort Collins Courier would like to remind you that venturing out onto ice covering a body of water, or letting your pets do the same, is very dangerous. We don’t condone or advise it.

It is scheduled to open in 2015.

970.215.7419 : www.hughsacupuncture.com


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FOOD & DRINK

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Food & Drink

LoCo Food Distribution Delivering Convenience and Efficiency Article & Photographs By Emily Clingman

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a week. Beaver’s Market, a longstanding local grocery store on Mountain Avenue in Fort Collins is an enthusiastic customer of LoCo Foods.

Although Fort Collins likes to support local businesses, she learned that there was a big missing piece when it came to sourcing local food: distribution. That was Mozer’s cue to fill the void. After a year of research and business plan development, Mozer debuted LoCo Food Distribution in 2011. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a wholesale connection between producers and purchasers of local food.

Though he doesn’t have an exact percentage, Beaver estimates about 10–20 percent of his products are local—which is probably more than other stores in the area, he believes. “The grocery industry is very old and dominated by big companies,” Beaver said.

ometimes great businesses are born out of necessity. Elizabeth Mozer, with her husband Ben, learned this firsthand when trying to use local food at their Old Town movie house, the Lyric Cinema Café. “We were running around all over the place tracking down and stocking local products,” Mozer said.

It wasn’t a glamorous grand opening or an epic first year. Mozer started LoCo Food in her basement and distributed non-perishable products from the back of the Lyric. The business saw a modest $65,000 in sales. She worked with restaurants and independent grocers because “they could make their own decisions,” recalled Mozer. Now, LoCo Food is busting at the seams in a 5,000-square-foot warehouse staffed by nine employees and two cargo vans. Customers include Albertsons, Whole Foods Market, Vitamin Cottage, CSU, and Poudre Valley Hospital, just to name a few. Sales came in at nearly a million in 2013. What’s a little surprising is that Mozer considers anything within a 400-mile radius of Fort Collins local. “It provides us with a beautiful, complete plate, if you will—western slope fruit, grains from Nebraska and Kansas, for example,” Mozer said. “Honestly though, most of our stuff comes from the Front Range.” Delivery areas include Boulder, Denver, Greeley, Estes Park, and Nederland five days

“We try to stock local products as much as possible,” said owner, Brian Beaver. “We have more than 60 companies, which translates into hundreds of local products.”

Beaver said that LoCo Food is really good for him. “When dealing with individual producers, I need to make a phone call, place an order, make arrangements for delivery, and write a check,” Beaver said. “That might only take 10–15 minutes of my time, but multiply that by every product that we carry.” It sounds like a logistical nightmare. “With LoCo, now I can do that once,” he said. “One call, one check. It’s so much more convenient and less time-consuming.” He also likes the online catalog that LoCo Food provides because it introduces him to new products that he might not otherwise know about. “We have been the first retail spot for a lot of local products before they land in King Soopers or Albertsons,” Beaver said. “It’s been fun to be a part of their growth.” This was Elizabeth Mozer’s vision when she started all of this. Before LoCo Foods, many people were getting local food directly from producers or from farmer’s markets. “This is useful for vendors who are ready to pass off their distribution,” Mozer said. “So they can concentrate on what they do best, which is producing their food.”


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Mozer looks for reliable and consistent vendors for her customers—Noosa Yoghurt, Morning Fresh Dairy milk, Horsetooth Hot Sauce, Quatrix Aquaponics lettuce, Native Hill Farm carrots, and MouCo cheese are just a few. She looks for fun products like Dr. D’s probiotic soda. And she’s even stumbled across a cleaning products made from biodiesel byproducts made by the Summit Soap Company. All of these are Coloradoproduced.

Things are going pretty well according to the business plan. “We have to move a lot of stuff to make it work. The margin is small,” Mozer said. “We’re looking to make two million this year, which will make us a viable, grown-up business.” “Sometimes it’s the little things that frustrate me. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds,” Mozer said. “But looking at the big picture and how far we’ve come is really empowering and exciting.” LoCo Food Distribution deals mainly in wholesale supply, but there are occasional events where the general public can get a hold of LoCo’s products. Warehouse Days and buying clubs offer people the opportunity to group up with friends and shop at LoCo for discounted items—bulk cheese, boxes of lettuce, etc. Check out LoCo’s website or Facebook page for more information.

Learn more at www.locofooddistribution.com or look for LoCo Food Distribution on Facebook.

a creation station and fabric depot : 406 n. college, fort collins : www.mamasaidsew.com : 970.493.0623

LoCo Food is the first company to implement this distribution strategy in the region, though there’s another competitor in Boulder now. “I get calls from people all over the country thinking about starting something similar,” Mozer said. “It’s very exciting.”


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FOOD & DRINK

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This is a rich, somewhat sweet soup that’s great for a chilly evening.

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup Serves 4

1 hour cook/prep time

Ingredients

Should You Switch to Organic Tea? An Interview with Whole Foods Market Tea Specialist, Shannon Brennan

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks 1 large onion, thinly sliced 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick slices 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped 3 cloves garlic, crushed 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (substitute water if necessary) 1/3 cup cream cheese Salt and black pepper to taste Parsley or green onions, chopped to garnish (optional)

Directions Fort Collins Courier: What is your role at Whole Foods Market? Brennan: I wear many hats from day to day, but my official job title is Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate Specialist on the Specialty team. This has afforded me the opportunity to work hands-on with many amazing and artisanal products including meats and cheeses, though I must confess that my favorite part of my current position is when I get to fill the loose leaf bulk tea jars. The aromas are absolutely heavenly! Would you recommend that the average consumer buy organic tea? Why or why not? While there are a wide range of conventional and organic teas that have their various positive and negative qualities about them, organic teas are definitely the way to go for the health-conscious, sustainability-minded consumer. This is because the standards for organic integrity are much higher than those for conventional teas—from the farming practices, to the processing, to the packaging, and eventually to how it is handled and sold to the customer. If someone has a favorite tea variety or brand that is not offered organically, it is certainly advised to do some research on the brand and even the individual variety itself before making a purchase in order to ensure that you are getting a quality product for your next cup of tea. What is the benefit of buying organic tea? The benefit of buying organic tea is, to put it simply, peace of mind. Aside from the standard testing required by the USDA for production or import, an organic tea will have been rigorously inspected, tested, audited, and certified by an internationally accepted third-party organization such as Quality Assurance International. In addition, an organic tea buyer can rest easy knowing that their tea is free from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and pesticides, or any other artificial flavors, preservatives, or additives. While all of this is good for the consumer, organic teas also benefit the environment. They are required to be farmed in a manner that is sustainable, using methods and practices that are not harmful to the environment in which they were grown. The result is a tea that is higherquality, more nutrient-rich, more aromatic, and ultimately more flavorful. What kinds of undesirable things can be found in non-organic tea? Though organic tea is superior in quality and production, there are some good conventional teas out there. The tricky part is knowing which ones to purchase and which to avoid. While many companies utilize attractive branding, packaging, and marketing to impress upon the consumer an image of quality and healthfulness, unfortunately this isn’t always the case when it comes down to how the tea was produced and what is in your cup besides the tea itself. Aside from artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or other additives, most important to consider are the use of GMOs and pesticides. Just like many other food products out there, these are heavily used by many agricultural companies in order to produce the highest volume of tea that they can in the cheapest, most efficient way possible. This may be good for the company and its stockholders, but is ultimately bad for the unwary consumer. For this reason I advise each and every tea drinker to really dig in and check websites, make phone calls, send emails, and find out what’s really being put into their cup of tea so they can make an educated decision before they drink it. Where can one learn more about what’s in their tea before they buy it? In order to find specific information it’s always advisable to contact the company you get your tea from directly, but there are also great websites out there such as www.ratetea. com and www.teadiscussion.com that provide reliable, unbiased reviews and discussions about current tea brands to help the consumer make an informed decision. My favorite book on the subject is The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook: A Guide to the World’s Best Teas by Mary Lou Heiss. This will bring even the most novice tea drinker up to speed on many aspects of the tea world, including production and growing methods.

1. Bring 4 cups of broth to a boil and add the squash, carrot, red pepper, onion, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt, cover, and cook for 30 minutes until the squash chunks start to fall apart. 2. Take the pot off the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. Pour the cooled mixture into a blender and liquefy until smooth. Add the cream cheese and blend again. (Most blenders will need to do this in two batches.) 3. Return the soup to the pot and reheat gently, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. 4. Serve the soup with parsley and/or chopped green onions on top for garnish, if desired. This soup pairs well with slices of warm baguette topped with whipped butter.

Did You Know? Butternut squash is in season from late September all the way into March. Butternut squash is a good source of vitamins A and C as well as beta-carotene, magnesium, manganese, calcium, and potassium. When kept in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place, squash can keep for three months or more. At room temperature, or in the fridge, they will deteriorate more quickly, but should be fine for at least two weeks. If you can push a fingernail into the rind of a squash it is not yet mature and will be lacking in flavor. The rind should be firm and unbroken with a uniform matte tan or beige coloring without any green tinges. Squash should also feel heavy for their size. Which organic tea brands do you recommend? Like many other food products, when it comes to tea you really do get what you pay for. What a lot of consumers are unaware of, however, is that while some of the cost is incurred in operating an environmentally friendly, heavily tested and audited company, oftentimes you’re paying for what they leave out of your tea, such as pesticides. Therefore good, low-price brands offering organic teas are Choice Organic, Allegro, Twinings, and Taylors of Harrogate. Mid-to-higher range tea brands with some or all organic varieties in their lineups are Teatulia, The Tea Spot, Rishi Tea, Numi Tea, The Republic of Tea, Mighty Leaf Tea Company, Two Leaves and a Bud, and Nepali Tea Traders. As an added benefit, many of these companies are locally sourced, processed, and packaged right here in Colorado! Anything you’d like to add? Tea is the most highly consumed beverage in the world after water, so it’s important to consider the scope and magnitude of the industry and how that plays a part in the tea that you’ll be drinking. Where it comes from, how it’s handled, and even how it’s packaged can have a wide range of outcomes on the quality of the tea you eventually decide to purchase and prepare. Therefore my advice is to always buy organic, find loose leaf or sachet packaging that maintains as much of the original leaf structure as possible, and to look into the various steeping and brewing methods to ensure that you’re getting the best quality cup of tea that you can. Beyond that simply branch out, do some research, ask tough questions, try many different flavors and varieties along the way, and most importantly have fun exploring the wide world of teas!

Learn more: www.ratetea.com www.teadiscussion.com The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook: A Guide to the World’s Best Teas by Mary Lou Heiss


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spring 2014

A non-profit charity whose mission is to protect & restore the ecology of the Cache la Poudre River using public education and scientific research. Our activities

Annual Poudre River trash clean-up Public education about healthy rivers & water conservation Protecting the river from new reservoirs that would drain it

John Bartholow

Promoting river restoration & removal of abandoned dams Supporting the new whitewater park downtown Inviting the public to weigh in on proposed water projects & policies

Volunteer, Donate or Join Us

www.savethepoudre.org

John Bartholow

at

Contact

info@savethepoudre.org 970-493-4677

Mike Barry


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Visionary

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Visionary It's Out Back By Kent Nixon Photographs by Heather Manier

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n the summer of 2013, with the passage of a few urban agriculture code changes within the city, a vision started to emerge—a vision that lies crisp on the tips of our collective tongues but has yet to show its face in the light of day.

Within the passage of this rather small piece of legislation, with the media focused on goats and hoop houses, lies the missing link to self-empowerment. It’s not so much what was added to the zoning codes; it’s what was taken away that makes this so brilliant. What was taken away was our barrier to entry, giving us the ability to go out, set up a stand, and sell our goods. So, here we have it, adapted from the code change verbiage itself: “Staff is proposing that farmers markets be allowed, in addition to the existing zone districts, in the LMN (Low Density Mixed-Use Neighborhood), MMN (Medium Density Mixed-Use Neighborhood), and HMN (High Density Mixed-Use Neighborhood) zone districts. However, staff is recommending that these uses be allowed only if located within a neighborhood center, park, or central feature or gathering place [...].” The “central features” and “gathering places” that this vision defines? The down-homey, time-forgotten, dusty, beautiful, abundant alleys. The time has come to celebrate these lovely passageways. We are all neighbors here—the alleys connect us, we are a guild, a group with purpose that comes to a center, a patch of dirt, someone’s backyard barn or dirt drive. Possibly we will start becoming known for our specialties: the good cider off of the Grant and Wood alley, or the squashes and metalworks of Sycamore and Elm. Walking and bike travel would be mandatory, as local car traffic wouldn’t fit into such places. Market days would be an alive event for the neighborhoods, and the people of the town would start to think, “How can I participate in such a bazaar of goods?” We all have something to share, some creative impulse to sweeten the lives of our fellow humans. What will your alley stand contain, who are the neighbors in your alley guild, and where would your gathering place or common area be? Get ready: the alleys have spoken their vision, the regulators have responded, and all it’s waiting for is you.


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Visionary

DO YOU HAVE A VISION FOR FORT COLLINS? Send your best vision to molly@wolverinefarm.org.

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© All Photographs Nina Emery

In early February of 2014, two of the four “vulture trees” on Mountain Avenue were cut down, purportedly to make room for a large new home. Though it is hardly news that this part of Fort Collins is changing, and many big homes are going in, it was sad to see this unique cultural landmark take a hit. Stay tuned for more in our summer 2014 issue.


Fort Collins Courier, Spring 2014