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“We bring you Fort Collins.” Volume 2, Issue 1

wolverine farm publishing

fort collins , colorado

Spring 2015


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Visionary Profile: fred Kirsch and the C o m m u n i t y f o r s u s ta i n a b l e e n e r g y. . . 3 0 pg. 26

Let ter t o the Edit or...3 Three women’s C y cling Cl ubs...4 Family Friendly Bike Ride...5 Book Re vie ws...8 Intervie w w/ J. Waldman...10 Poetry of the For t...11 Let terpress & Publick House...12 maker PRofile: wild Woods Wellness...16 How t o Make a one-p iece Shoe...18 Make Y our own herb al cleaning products...20 N atural homemade hair c are...21 A discourse on homelessness...2 2 The col orado water plan...24 a fe w wildfl owers of for t collins...26 The nor thern Col orado food cl uster...26 What c an y ou have in y our b ackyard ?...2 7 From bean t o b ar: Nuance Chocolate...28 Maker Profile : Woodchip coffee...29

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lo and behold! pg. 29


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Fort Collins Courier Issue 1, Vol. 2, April 2015 Published by

Wolverine Farm Publishing PO BOX 814 Fort Collins, Colorado 80522

The Fort Collins Courier

brings information, tools, and expertise together to help our community members live engaged and more selfreliant 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 bicycling, 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.

editor-in-chief Molly McCowan contributors

Jenna Allen Hannah Baker Evan Brengle Jessica Crouch Brittany Dolezal Desirée Fiske Daniel Hesser Ravitte Kentwortz Abigail Kerstetter Beth Kopp Chloé Leisure Rico Lighthouse Lynda McCullough Amy McMahon Allie Ogg Penelope Olsen Brian Park Hannah Rose Reese Ruland Lindsey Smith Harper Skjerseth Jen Zidon photographer

Dina Fike publisher/designer

Todd Simmons board of directors

Heather Manier Bryan Simpson Nate Turner Kathleen Willard


Wolverine Farm Publishing a 501(c)3 nonprofit 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 to:


Wolverine Farm Publishing PO BOX 814 Fort Collins, CO 80522


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



spring 2015





fort collins courier

Glade Reservoir is a Threat to the Vitality of the Fort Collins Community


n early morning angler casts for rising trout as commuters bustle to the harmonious tune of streamside birds. A kayaker cautiously navigates a whitewater feature, and lazy pods of tubers meander their way down the Poudre River as it flows through Fort Collins. This majestic river serves as a defining element of our community by providing lush banks and clean water for any soul seeking rejuvenation. Unfortunately, an impending menace lies upstream—a 170,000-acre-foot threat to the vitality of the Fort Collins community. The construction of Glade Reservoir threatens to dewater the very resource that brings life to our city. The Poudre River has already withstood severe impacts from development and agriculture. Nearly 60 percent of its water is currently diverted for various uses along the Front Range, and Glade Reservoir stands to further test the resilience of the Poudre River ecosystem. Every minute during June’s peak flows, the river pushes an average of two full Olympic swimming pools of water through Fort Collins. Energy-intensive pumps would remove nearly 40 percent of that water upstream of town, near Ted’s Place. Glade Reservoir would clearly pull a tremendous amount of water out of our river as the reservoir fills over the years, exerting enormous pressure on one of our community’s most prized resources. A very real connection exists between the water in our river and all that inhabit the adjacent land. This connection extends beyond that of the anglers, tubers, kayakers, and bicyclists that frequent the Poudre River. Cottonwoods thrive, and diverse riparian communities support myriad animals, from brown trout to mountain lions. Barry Noon, a professor of conservation science at CSU, notes the adverse effects that flow reductions would have on the birds of the Poudre River corridor. Diets of these birds are highly subsidized by aquatic insects, and aquatic insects would be decimated by reduced flows and increased water temperatures resulting from low water levels. These effects would likely be long-lasting. We may also see willows and cottonwoods replaced with plants that support less diverse insect populations of lower abundance. Glade Reservoir literally threatens to suck the life out of our river. Its effect would likely be immediate, severe, and long-lasting. Every voice counts—there are other ways we can provide water into the future without further harming the Poudre River ecosystem. Ask what your river does for you, and then act to preserve values that you find important. Write our government officials and voice your values and concerns so the natural function of the Poudre River can be preserved for generations to come.


—A Concerned Poudre River Enthusiast

Write to the editor: molly@wolverinefarm.org



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Black Widow Cycling

Three Women’s Cycling Clubs in Fort Collins By Reese Ruland


f you’re lucky enough to live in Fort Collins and enjoy cycling, you’ve got a pretty charmed life. The biking, both road and mountain, is top-notch and caters to the full range of ability levels, from tame and mild to shreddin’-the-gnar wild. Some days the hardest decision you’ll have to make is where to ride. Biking isn’t just for the boys, either— we ladies enjoy time spent in the saddle too. But riding alone can get dull, and sharing a killer ride with others always elevates the experience. Luckily there’s an abundance of women-specific cycling clubs in Fort Collins. Below is a brief overview of three women-only teams, the requirements to join, and how you can find out more about each.

road bikers, mountain bikers, and everyone in between. Many of the members race, but it’s not a requirement. The club aims to “provide [members] with the opportunities to learn skills in a comfortable environment and with fellow ladies to reduce the scariness” of racing. The Follies host rides and clinics for their members throughout the year. This team has partnered with local and national companies, allowing members to score some sweet discounts on gear. Who doesn’t enjoy a deal?

Team Babes on Bikes If you ride the trails of Fort Collins, this team is for you. Team “BOB” was founded in 1992 by local women mountain bikers who wanted to support other female cyclists.

To join Fort Follies, potential members need to fill out a member form, health history form, and a conduct form, as well as pay the $50 membership fee and purchase a team kit. Members are expected Fort Follies to lead two rides a year (or find a new sponsor) and volunteer at local events or their spring training camp. Find out more at www.fortfollies.com.

Starting in April of each year, Team BOB organizes weekly rides for all abilities and also hosts bike-skills seminars. Each year, new and existing members must fill out a commitment letter and pay a $40 fee. It’s suggested that you attend as many group rides as possible so as to get the full team experience.

Black Widow Cycling Started in 2014 by a group of friends, Black Widow Cycling isn’t your average bike team because it isn’t actually a team, per se. It’s just a group of ladies who like “wearing kickass kits, riding bikes, socializing, and having fun.”

Team BOB also asks that members participate in a minimum of three hours of bike community service and five hours of trail work. Find out more at www.coteambob.com.

The club has weekly road rides, game nights, and more. The club seeks to welcome women of all abilities and interests. Long road rides just aren’t your thing? No problem, just take your cruiser to Odell Brewing or New Belgium and meet up with the gals for a post-ride beer. Find out more at www.blackwidowcycling.weebly.com.

Fort Follies You’ve probably seen women riding around town in purple-polka-dot kits. Well, those ladies are none other than Fort Follies members. This team was founded in 2012 for

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Ready. Set. Go Slow. It’s a ride of eight hop varieties, led by Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin, that steer brilliant tropical aromas of melon, peach, lime and grapefruit to your nose. The flavor coasts with similar notes, while balancing a malty-sweet yet clean start and hoppy bitterness in the back. Light-bodied and extra quaffable at 4.5% ABV, Slow Ride Session IPA brings the finish line to you. Experience life in slow-mo at newbelgium.com




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


John Bartholow



info@savethepoudre.org 970-493-4677

Mike Barry


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Collage: Contemporary Artists Hunt and Gather, Cut and Paste, Mash Up and Transform, by Danielle Krysa and Anthony Zinonos Review by Jessica Crouch Backyard Farming Series, by Kim Pezza Review by Daniel Hesser The expansion of community gardens and small farms in Fort Collins speaks to an increasing awareness of where our food comes from, and perhaps the communal need to tend our land. In this age of Know Thy Farmer, understand that, sometimes, the farmer is you. Those not yet poised to start their own farms do what they can in their backyards. With subtle changes in one’s approach to such projects, aligning with the principles of permaculture, you might find your home and landscape turning into more of a homestead. Enter Kim Pezza’s Backyard Farming series, which taps into the philosophy of learning by doing. Think of these little booklets, each about 100 pages, as the jumping-off point for gaining skills-based literacy—in keeping honey bees, growing herbs and vegetables, raising chickens and goats, and preserving our food. I dove into the beekeeping primer, which led me to price out a starter hive over at Copoco’s. You can go online, of course, to learn more of the history about any of these subjects, but these volumes present brief histories, and unique miscellany abounds: “the wild bezoar, from Iran, is believed to be the source of all domestic goats in America.” Plenty of links direct you to more comprehensive directions on food preparation and animal caretaking, with ample grist aimed at the suburban grower. Recipes finish out the back of each book, and several pages are available for your notes. The Backyard Farming Series, by Kim Pezza Publisher: Hatherleigh Press Paperback: $5.95 each

Collage is the second book by The Jealous Curator blogger Danielle Krysa. While her first book, Creative Block, gathered artists’ advice and ideas, Collage is a compilation of work by 30 contemporary cut-and-paste artists. Much like her blog, the artists she selected for Collage resonate with her artistic sensibilities of whimsical fantasy and mood-inducing melancholy punctuated by delicate narrative and subtle abstraction. Although neither a complete survey of the most prominent contemporary artists working in collage nor a thorough presentation of the wide range of techniques and concepts, Collage is a nicely curated and beautifully designed book. Arranged alphabetically by the artist’s last name with an artist statement and four to six pages of images, it almost resembles a reference manual. In the spirit of collage collaboration, Krysa invited each artist to create a “New Collage” using a photograph sourced from her family archive. Scale is an unfortunate quandary; the “New Collage” pieces are presented as full-page illustrations and stifle the remaining examples of works. The artist statements are mostly tiresome, although Brandi Strickland and Bill Zindel are two exceptions and Anthony Zinonos nicely bookends Collage with an inspiring foreword and a tongue-in-cheek statement at the end. Overall, Collage resembles a Pinterest board more than a thoughtful visual essay. However, understanding its roots as an art blog relieves it from the burden of art criticism. Rather, it’s a nice visual resource that looks great on my coffee table and even better in my studio. Collage, by Danielle Krysa, foreword by Anthony Zinonos Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 16, 2014) Paperback: $27.50

Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith Review by Brittany Dolezal Before I read Grasshopper Jungle, I ran into a fellow librarian at a conference. When I told her I was reading this book she said, “I think I could only recommend that book to a few patrons at the library.” The fact is, Grasshopper Jungle is raunchy, clever, and frank. It gives a believable glimpse of what it might be like to be a teenage boy. The plot follows a sexually confused Polish boy who is obsessed with history and is named Austin. Austin lives in a small town where there is nothing to do but skateboard and smoke cigarettes with his best friend Robby and his girlfriend, Shan. Austin and his friend Robby eventually free a strand of mold that, after a series of bizarre and puzzling events, turns people into grasshoppers. This ultimately brings about the end of the world. Andrew Smith’s ability to create a hectic plot and then keep it focused is what made this book even better. His sentence composition and short chapter construction are smooth and fun to read. Grasshopper Jungle is full of words like “horney” and “sperm.” Literally, I counted these words six times on one page. Although some reviews are apprehensive to recommend the book and suggest it for a “more mature audience,” I think the book is honest about the confusion of growing up and discovering who you are. It’s about identity and experimentation. A lot of YA fiction can wrap up the coming-of-age experience in a neat package, but let’s be honest, whose teen years are that straightforward? Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith Publisher: Speak (February 17, 2015) Paperback: $10.99


Seeking quality used book donations in the following categories: • Children’s picture books • Poetry • Nature • Classic fiction • Spirituality

Wolverine Farm Publishing Co. & Bookstore | www.wolverinefarm.org | 144 N. College Ave, Fort Collins CO | (970) 472-4284

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Terrapin, by Wendell Berry Review by Abigail Kerstetter

The Strange Library, by Haruki Murakami Review by Evan Brengle

Reading poetry is as curious an art form as writing it. The best poems don’t offer tidy conclusions or easy explanations. They offer the reader a space to dwell awhile. They beg, Look.

Haruki Murakami’s latest release, The Strange Library, is a small, visually striking work—the brief story can be read in less than an hour. In typically tantalizing Murakamian fashion, the story progresses quickly from the quotidian to the dreamlike. A boy visits his neighborhood library, where he is led through labyrinthine corridors, suddenly imprisoned, and befriended by a sheep man and a voiceless girl.

In Wendell Berry’s elegantly presented collection, Terrapin, his poems ask the reader to look at nature; at the world outside the human, yet deeply felt and experienced by humans. Tom Pohrt’s illustrations ask, No really—look again. The strength of this collection is in the pairing of the two. Lightening the mood in some of these poems, perhaps, Pohrt’s illustrations don’t necessarily make these poems easier to read. Rather, they draw out the space of each poem and invite the reader to dwell a little longer. Each illustration dwells differently with each poem, sometimes illustrating the poem’s subject, other times pointedly not. And still other times, Pohrt supplies the subject Berry’s poems will not name, and in so doing reveals the world the poet sees in its essence. The terrapin and his house are one. Though he may go, he’s never gone. So begins the title poem of this collection, which, like the terrapin’s shell, envelopes the collection and one’s experience of the collection just as snugly. “He pokes along; he’s in no haste.” Though occasionally lighthearted or self-satisfied nearly to the point of being trite, these are nature poems that ask you to look, and look again: Ponder this wonder under his dome. Who, wandering, is always home.

In his other works, Murakami immerses the reader in a surreal world, but in The Strange Library, that world is only introduced. Due to the shortness of the story, the reader does not have much chance to become invested in the characters’ struggles. While the story lacks the depth present in other books by this author, The Strange Library is singularly engaging due to its beautifully elaborate presentation: full-color illustrations occupy nearly half of the book’s pages. Chip Kidd’s art direction and design complement Murakami’s text such that the story really only becomes complete within its relationship to the surrounding artwork. Throughout his writing, Murakami frequently employs recurring images, suggesting meaningful correspondences. The Strange Library stands out for using actual pictures rather than words alone to create this sense of the symbolic. If you’re new to Murakami’s writing, this probably isn’t the best place to start. However, if you are one of his many fans, this book makes a unique and fun addition to his body of work. The Strange Library, by Haruki Murakami Publisher: Knopf Publishing (December 2, 2014) Paperback: $18.00



This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, by Naomi Klein Review by Desirée Fiske In her latest book, Naomi Klein brings readers faceto-face with the harsh reality of capitalist tendencies in the fight against climate change. With such obvious dysfunction between Global North habits (like high consumption and fossil fuel extraction) and the health of the earth, Klein asks her readers, “So . . . what’s wrong with us?” Broken into three parts—“Bad Timing,” “Magical Thinking,” and “Starting Anyway”—This Changes Everything tours the intersection (and ultimate incompatibility) of capitalism and climate change. Klein details ecological crises, capitalist exploitation and power, and social distress. She outlines an honest tale of a reality we have all come to know for too long, openly calling out the ideologies of Richard Branson and Michael Bloomberg and comparing her own problems with infertility to Mother Earth’s climate struggles. She shows democracy as being ineffective in listening to the voices of ecological justice. Challenging readers with the confrontation of climate change in a globalized world, Klein suggests that a massive ideological shift is necessary if we are to continue production—and destruction—on such a grand scale. She attests that such movements must not be left for the elite, but rather stresses the power of social pressure from below.

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, by Naomi Klein Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 16, 2014) Hardcover: $30.00

Terrapin, by Wendell Berry Publisher: Counterpoint (November, 2014) Hardcover: $25.00


Take part in our regular monthly events: • Poetry Slam - 1st Fridays, 8pm • Little Wolverine’s Story Hour, 1st and 3rd Saturdays, 10am • Open Mic Night, Last Fridays, 8pm • Letter Writing Club, Last Sundays, 3pm

Wolverine Farm Publishing Co. & Bookstore | www.wolverinefarm.org | 144 N. College Ave, Fort Collins CO | (970) 472-4284


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he Fort Collins Courier recently interviewed Boulder-based author Jonathan Waldman about his first book, Rust: The Longest War. A fascinating look into the corrosive power of rust, and the people who work to combat it, Rust is a deep look at a simple, everyday process that will make you see the world differently.

Fort Collins Courier: You begin the book with a personal story about a sailboat that entered your life and got you hooked on rust. Where did your curiosity lead you next? Jonathan Waldman: So I was blogging for Outside about refitting that old sailboat, and finagled my way into a conference in Norfolk, Virginia that seemed journalistically relevant, because it was about the problem of rusty boats. (Finagled means I used my blogger status to score a free press pass.) The event was hosted by the navy, and called “Mega Rust.” It was awesome—I saw paint you can apply underwater, and an Ice-ninelike powder that absorbs a crazy amount of water, and I also met Dan Dunmire, the quirky and fun corrosion czar at the Pentagon. I don't normally like enormous conferences, but this one grabbed me, and left me convinced I had to keep pulling on the same thread.

How long did you work on the book? With the staggering amount of information you present, did you ever feel like you were losing your mind? Once I got a book deal, I spent 16 months reporting and writing the book. Indeed, there were times I felt like I was losing my mind, but I fought back two ways. One: lots of bike rides. In those 16 months, I logged 150,000 vertical feet biking up Flagstaff Road (basically my backyard here in Boulder.) That’s five Everests! I also went a bit overboard organizing. I'm an organizer; on the boat, everything had its place, and so it was in my writing life, too. By ruthlessly sorting and categorizing information, I made my writing task that much easier. I guess that sailboat experience helped in a couple of ways.


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Hmmm . . . I'm a climber and mountaineer and former alleycat racer, so most things seem pretty tame to me. I mean, it was cold up in the Arctic in March, but I wore two pairs of pants and two puffy jackets, and I like the cold. And it was exciting sneaking into the Bethlehem Steel Works, but not I'm-gonna-get-attacked scary. Ah, I got it: diving off of Miami to look at the sunken remains of the first stainless steel ever produced. My archaeological guide, who'd once been bitten by a shark and had 400 stitches, told me the conditions that day were pretty “sharky.” This just after we kayaked out a mile and jumped in. This landlubber was not thrilled.

You spent a considerable amount of time with engineers for this book—any different perspective on how they see they world? It's funny; sometimes I wonder if I should have been an engineer. Maybe an engineer and historian? Ever met one of them? At any rate, I think like an engineer, and love talking shop with engineers, and usually want to grab tools and wrench on stuff, but I also reach my fill after a while and have to decompress. The stereotypical engineer, of course, has never read a single book for pleasure—and though I met some guys like that, most were far more well rounded. I think I was a) lucky and b) picky. I couldn't write a book about people who were more or less the same.

What public infrastructure or simple everyday objects do you look at differently now? Cans and pipelines. Both are complicated and amazing, and so easy to overlook. In fact, I'm going to use my can evangelism as an excuse to drink beer while doing book talks. My fingers are crossed that author status comes with powers akin to blogger status.

Current literary projects? Well, there's this wacky robot, but I don't wanna give away too much.

What was the most dangerous research expedition?

Local Book Club Recommendations

The Fort Collins Courier polled several local book groups to ask what books have led to the best discussions so far. Here are some of their top picks. Council Tree Library Book Club Members vote to choose six books that they read over the year (with a break during the summer months). They read a combination of fiction, nonfiction, and classics. Top Picks: • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout www.poudrelibraries.org/bookclubs Fort Collins Book Club on Meetup Discusses contemporary fiction and nonfiction books as well as a few classics. Meetings take place on the third Sunday of each month at members’ homes, with food and beverages. Top Picks: • Quiet by Susan Cain • Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard www.meetup.com/FtCollinsBookClub Graphically Yours Book Club Led by Old Firehouse Books, this book group meets the third Thursday of every month in Happy Lucky's Teahouse to discuss graphic novels. Top Picks: •Jinx by Brian Michael Bendis • Silver Surfer: Birth of Thanos by Jim Starlin and Ron Lim www.oldfirehousebooks.com/shazam

Old Town Library Book Club Discussions of fiction and nonfiction books at the Old Town Library. Complimentary copies of books provided by the Friends of the Library. Top Picks: • The Round House by Louise Erdrich • Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann www.poudrelibraries.org/bookclubs Strange Worlds Book Club A science fiction and fantasy book club at Old Firehouse Books, which has been so popular that attendance is currently capped and a spin-off group is being considered. Top Picks: • Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer • The Golum and the Jinni by Helene Wecker www.oldfirehousebooks.com/strange-worlds Traps and Trenchcoats Mystery Book Club Discusses classic and contemporary mystery novels on the third Monday of every month at Old Firehouse Books. Top Picks: • And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco www.oldfirehousebooks.com/traps-trenchcoats Wolverine Farm’s Underground Book Club A private book club for the volunteers of Wolverine Farm Bookstore. Location and dates are secret, but anyone can volunteer at the bookstore and join the book

club. Fiction and nonfiction titles are voted on and discussed every six weeks. Top Picks: • Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy • A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor www.wolverinefarm.org and www.goodreads.com (search for the Wolverine Farm group) More Local Book Clubs: Fempowerment Book Club is open to people of all genders, sexes, and orientations who want to expand their knowledge of feminism and women's rights activism. www.meetup.com/Fempowerment Fort Collins Not In Our Town Alliance Book Club (FC-NIOTA) is dedicated to talking about issues relating to acceptance and appreciation of differences within our local and global communities. www.ftcollinsnotinourtown.org/book-club FoCo Women’s Book Club is a group for any woman that loves to read, discuss books, and make new friends. www.meetup.com/Book-Lovers-for-Women Harmony Library Book Group has a book club coordinated by FRCC professor of English Blair Oliver. It is open to the public. www.poudrelibraries.org/bookclubs

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Emulsification by Ravitte Kentwortz

* Fictions Lines unfit Minced fonts Fits of scum it Limes in oil A ‘fuel’ of Fats foam An infectious Life Miniscule * Fustian music A tonic is * It cons a fuse Faces futile Finite Once Atomic false Of time? Infectious (Used Emulsification as Mother Word and all words are derived from it.)

Literature 11

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Untitled by Brian Park


Once It foams A licit cuisine An amniotic sauce Ocean ‘fists’ in Ale’s toil Is us?


My Imagination by Aiden, Ava, Bodhi, Greta, Hailey, Juliet, Laurajane, Porter, Rory, & Sofia K-2nd Creative Writing Enrichment Class, Laurel Elementary My imagination is as big, as big as the solar system, one of my bears, a giant sponge door, the earth, a dolphin, the world, Jupiter, the universe, a giant’s freckle. My imagination is as far away, as far away as Pluto, the Sun, the North Pole, Axis (a dwarf star), your hair.

In the dark times Will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing About the dark times. —Bertolt Brecht

Honey Bee by Jen Zidon My baby smells like honey. Her head comes out of me hive-shaped. I reach down and grab her fresh wet skin. I cradle and sniff.   We care for the hive. It leaks honey all over our skin. Our loud, dry mouths form a slick lather of old saliva and fresh nectar. We become dogs licking our wounds.   The sound of lick licking awakens the bees. They leave the hive sensing fear. Hovering, they wait with fierce intention. We freeze. The humming and eye aversion only awakens the hive further. The honey doesn’t stop oozing out in a rich golden dew. We lick   the furniture the rugs the refrigerator the hard wood floors. We build a tolerance to the pain and the stinging and the sound of our own cries. We begin to eat the honey-covered household items. The honey soaked books were not being read.   We are stretching the lining of our stomachs like the tanned and wrinkled women of the plains in hopes of swallowing the entire house.

My imagination is as exciting as, as exciting as an 8-year old’s birthday party, eating a banana, a roller coaster, an experiment, a shark, a Hawaiian volcano, Red City an electric eel. by Harper Skjerseth, 2nd grade My imagination is as deep, as deep as the ocean, Once there was a girl named Jewels, who lived in a city called the core of the earth, Red City. It had a Red Feather Forest, a Hot Rock Shower, the deep end of the pool, Skull Rock, a Crystal Loop de loop and a Pink Park. In Hot the bay, Rock Shower, lava shot out of the sky. Jewels loved to drink dirt, the lava. She loved to go to the Red Feather Forest and pick the a mole, feathers the cardinals left behind. In Crystal Loop de loop she death, loved to jump over the crystals. where an ant goes.

The Books by Penelope Olsen, 6th grade

my mother is dead my father is dead my relatives have faded into nothing and my friends, once so dear have all gone there is only me I am this tree standing silent in a barren land my branches have been cut by sharp knives kerosene flames have burned my body but death will not yet find me I am attached to this earth and she feels my roots pulling water, life from deep within the darkness and this gives me pause solace breath to my voice trees stay firmly grounded   right where they are the heroism of plants is patience  I envy the dove, her freedom but I am a nomad not of place but of time the sky will always follow you for I have a voice I will tell my story and it will be heard that is my rain

Instead of Tracking Migratory Viruses by Chloé Leisure

Click. The doors to the coffee shop closed, and the lights turned off. “The coast is clear,” said Critical Understanding: The Powers and Limits of Pluralism. “Finally!” shouted the Chinese vocabulary cards. All of the books hopped off their shelves, except one. Poor little Culture and Conduct. His shelf was too high. All of the books made a ladder and helped him down. The books had a party. Sadly, Folklore of Shakespeare ripped a page. Transference by Chloé Leisure

These poems were selected by Chloé Leisure, Fort Collins Poet Laureate, from some of her workshops and classes this past year. The Fort Collins Courier would like to thank Chloé for her dedication to the local poetry scene, as well as her own continued success as a poet. The poems “Honey Bee,” “Emulsification,” and “Untitled” were written by Open Words participants.

emanating from a nearby baobab tree a voice floating in the breeze

Another question itches as they fold me into flannel charged with static electricity. How can space go on forever? There must be an end somewhere! My dad wears a black eyepatch, the result of a jagged fingernail and a goodnight hug. A black hole of guilt festers in my chest. Numbers make sense. Just add one more. Well, if there was a big wall at the end of space, what would be on the other side? Lights out. I rub my cricket legs together until a dark galaxy at my feet sparks to life. (from her chapbook, The End of the World Again, from Finishing Line Press)

We fill empty spice jars and pill bottles with relics: the broken shell of a robin’s egg, halved and brilliant. A bundle of porcupine quills from the dog’s snout. Withered red courthouse petals. A palmful of dead bees from a dusty windowsill. We save the past to inoculate the future of relentless summers and silent branches. To prove we once shared greasy chunks of suet and little mounds of sunflower seeds with chickadees and northward-creeping red-bellied woodpeckers. We save the past to remember sitting on the back steps, listening to the evening chorus of peepers and robins, watching the sun glint through birches before setting the serpentine creek on fire. One day, we’ll string the past together and hang it from our necks: amulets clinking a warning tune against the old indulgence of falling in and out of and in love again. (from her chapbook, The End of the World Again, from Finishing Line Press)

“A poem needs understanding through the senses. The point of diving into a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore, but to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out, it is an experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept the mystery.” —John Keats


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Letterpress &


ver two years in the making, Wolverine Farm’s new building is in the final stretches of construction, with an anticipated opening in summer 2015. Part community gathering space and part workshop, the Letterpress & Publick House will be a dynamic hub of activity—a place to engage with literature, art, and the movers, shakers, and makers of our community. Join us in the River District to celebrate local literature, art, agriculture, bicycles, history, and the return to craft. The following page shows some of the history of our grounds and building over the years—part of the parade grounds of the original “Fort,” then a furniture repair shop, music studio, and glass shop till we purchased the property in 2013 to begin redevelopment. For more information please visit www.wolverinefarm.org.

{Event Hall} {Conference room} for meetings, literary/art workshops, retreats

for large workshops, literary readings, films, townhall meetings, music, farm dinners, dancing

{coffee & Beer bar} featuring Bean Cycle coffee and local/regional craft beer (But wait! Hear this! No disposable cups will be offered, so please drink it here or bring a travel mug.)

{bicycle exhibits} with a revolving selection by Jeff Nye

{Letterpress print shop} focusing on local literature, art, and print ephemera

{local goods} with a revolving selection by local makers

{outdoor courtyard} with beer garden, performance space, outdoor markets

e Opening Summer 2015

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spring 2015



Publick House 1864



MARCH 2015

Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House Updates: wolverinefarm.org





Acupuncture - Chinese Herbs Massage - Qigong - Diet Therapy

Hugh castor, Lic. Acupuncturist

In LaPorte at 3522 W. County Rd. 54G North from Fort Collins on College/old 287 Across from Cache la Poudre Elementary just off the Poudre Bike Trail.

Monday-Friday: 6am-5pm Saturday-Sunday 7am-6pm

fort collins source for acupuncture and traditional chinese medicine

970.215.7419 : www.hughsacupuncture.com






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spring 2015


Maker Profile: Wild Woods Wellness


ikah Jaschke and Cyndi Pointer’s foray into herbal medicine started small as they began gathering willow bark to replace aspirin and picking rose hips to add to tea for extra vitamin C. Inspired by the bounty that existed in nature, they spent the next few years taking classes, reading voraciously, and making their own salves, tinctures, and teas. The Fort Collins Courier talked with them to learn more about their growing herbal medicine business, Wild Woods Wellness.

Fort Collins Courier: Tell us about Wild Woods Wellness. When did it start? What do you do? Mikah Jaschke and Cyndi Pointer: We officially started Wild Woods Wellness in 2013, but we had been wild-harvesting herbs and crafting salves, tinctures, and teas since 2010. We spend our summers wild-harvesting in the mountains and growing herbs at Happy Heart Farm. Then we spend our falls, winters, and springs crafting salves, tinctures, and teas. We sell our products online in our Etsy store, and we have booths at holistic and craft fairs throughout the year.

Tell us about your products and ingredients. We make small-batch salves, tinctures, and teas. Salves are designed for external use on the skin, and the base for our salves is an organic olive oil from a small farm in California called Bava Family Farms. Tinctures are herbal remedies that can be used internally or externally. The medicinal properties of the herbs are extracted by alcohol—we use an organic gluten-free brandy that’s distilled for us locally by Fiesty Spirits. Teas are blends of herbs that are meant to be infused in hot water. Our intention is to keep everything as local as possible and to maintain relationships with small producers in our local community. The only things we purchase from outside Fort Collins are our bottles, tins, olive oil, and paper.

What kind of work goes into making these products? Making our products starts with the herbs. For all of our products, we only use either wild-harvested herbs or herbs we grow locally here at Happy Heart Farm. Once we have the herbs, we dry them. If we’re making a tea, all that remains after drying is to craft the herbal blend. If it’s a salve, we infuse olive oil with the herbs at a low heat for several hours, then take that oil and mix it with local beeswax to create the salve. For tinctures, we put the freshly harvested herbs directly into the alcohol and skip the drying process all together. The herbs sit in the alcohol for six to ten weeks before we strain away the herbs and are left with the medicinal tincture. The final step for us is the packaging: we make our own non-toxic glue, print our labels on FSC-certified paper, and use only U.S.-made, recyclable bottles and tins.

Find out more about Wild Woods Wellness on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ wildwoodswellnessherbalremedies, or visit their Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/wildwoodswellness.

What would you tell someone who’s skeptical of the efficacy of herbal remedies? Well, if you want to know if a pear is sweet, taste it. Herbal medicine is the oldest form of medicine known to man. There’s archaeological evidence of the medicinal usage of plants dating back 70,000 years. In the last ten years, the scientific research on this traditional form of medicine has also increased exponentially. Shifting to using herbal medicine has had a profound and healing impact on our lives and we simply want to give people the opportunity to try it for themselves!

Are you a maker or do you know someone who is? The Fort Collins Courier is looking for makers to profile in upcoming issues. Everything from bicycles to broomsticks, furniture to fiber arts. For more information please contact Molly at molly@wolverinefarm.org

Calling all Makers



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spring 2015

How to Make a One-Piece Leather Shoe By Rico Lighthouse


his style of shoe—and countless variations—has been made in rural Europe from ancient times into the present. They’re quick and easy to make, and allow your feet to feel the ground you’re walking on, thus providing a heightened sense of awareness of your surroundings. For comfort in the mountains and fields they can't be beat. Materials 1. Leather (enough to place each foot on and have a good two to three inches all the way around) 2. Pair of scissors and/or a sharp knife 3. Pen or marker for drawing your outline 4. Paper bag for template 5. Thread for sewing (can use hemp, shoemakers linen or strong thread) 6. Wax for your thread 7. Awl, or something to punch holes in leather Directions 1. The first thing you'll need to do is gather your materials. You'll want to use leather that’s not too thick. (Try the back of that old leather sofa down the street.) 2. For your first few pairs it's a good idea to draw out a template on an old paper bag. Simply trace your foot and then draw a rectangle 1 ½ inches around it. You should have a nice rectangle around your foot outline. Cut out the rectangle, then trim the back to be between ½ and ¾ of an inch from your heel. Now transfer the pattern to your leather and cut it out. If you want a higher heel, slightly widen your rectangle toward the heel. 3. Wax your thread really well. (I use beeswax, but any kind will do.) This prevents your thread from slipping around and adds a bit of water/oil resistance as well.

4. Now you’re going to fold your leather rectangle in half and sew it up. This is where it's handy to pre-punch your holes. Just make sure that what you’re punching into isn't going to dull your needle. 5. Starting with the toe, sew it together using your favorite stitch. I like the blanket stitch, for purely aesthetic reasons. 6. Once you've sewn up the toe, lay your shoe out flat and place your foot in the toe to make sure your heel size is good. Pinch the heel together around your foot: there should be just enough room to sew the seam together with a small amount of space. Larger is better here, as we’re going to cinch up the shoe to make it fit. Trim off any excess from the heel, punch your holes and sew it up just like you did with the toe. You should have a nice rectangle with its sides sewn together at this point. 7. Next you'll cut the double slits for your lacing. One lace will go all the way around the shoe and cinch it to your foot. I like to make the slits about one inch apart, but some make them closer or farther. It doesn't matter too much as long as you’re consistent. 8. Once you've got your slits cut you'll need to lace up your shoes. You can use the same leather as your shoe, or a contrasting color, or a regular shoelace, so long as it goes all the way around the shoe with room to tie it off at the heel. Cutting a spiral will give you the maximum amount of lace from a small piece of fabric. 9. Place your foot inside the shoe and pull the laces at the heel until the shoe fits. Tie it off at the heel and trim up your lace. 10. Now lace up the top of the shoe just like you would any shoe. 11. The point at the toe will pull up when you cinch the shoe, the point at the heel you’ll sew up against the back. These shoes are also extremely comfortable with wool socks.

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sing a few basic ingredients, you can easily make your own green cleaning products for a fraction of the cost of the products you buy in the store—and without any harmful chemicals.

For instance: • Lemon juice kills germs • Baking soda deodorizes surfaces and dissolves grease (mixed with other ingredients, it’s also an effective scrub) • All-natural castile soap, made from olive oil, washes away dirt and grease • Distilled white vinegar has antifungal and antimicrobial properties, and can get rid of mineral deposits from bathroom fixtures and cookware Kitchen Countertop Cleaner This spray doubles as a natural oven cleaner—just use less water to make a pourable paste instead of a liquid. Spread the paste all over the interior of the oven and let sit for four hours, then scrub. Ingredients • 4 tsp baking soda • 1 tsp liquid castile soap • 8 tbsp white vinegar • 800 mL warm water • 10 to 12 drops antibacterial essential oil, such as rose geranium, basil, thyme, or lemon Directions Mix the ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the white vinegar so the mixture doesn't overflow when reacting with the baking soda. Mix all ingredients together and pour it into an empty spray bottle.


spring 2015

Many herbs have disinfectant properties and are great for cleaning as well. Basil, bay, cardamom, clove, eucalyptus, ginger, hyssop, lavender, oregano, peppermint, rose geranium, sage, spearmint, and thyme are powerful cleaning agents. Essential oils made from these herbs have strong antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiviral capabilities. Here are some recipes for simple cleaning products you can make at home. Tip: we recommend storing any cleaner that contains essential oils in glass bottles—the oils can corrode the plastic over time. Perrier bottles, Topo Chico bottles and many others have narrow openings that fit a spray-bottle top perfectly. Further reading The Naturally Clean Home: 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning, by Karyn Siegel-Maier Publisher: Storey Books (December 1, 2008) Paperback: $9.99 Antibacterial Bathroom Cleaner This fragrant spray disinfects bathroom surfaces. Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, helping to remove and control mildew. Lavender and hyssop have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Ingredients • ½ cup distilled white vinegar • 1 ½ cups water • 2 tbsp liquid castile soap • 8 to 10 drops tea tree essential oil • 8 to 10 drops lavender essential oil • 8 to 10 drops hyssop essential oil

Timber Framing: A selfsupporting framework of milled timbers fastened with integral wooden connections ( pegs, wedges, interlocking joinery).

1925 CR 54G laporte , co 80535 472-5519 : corey @ highplainstimberframes . com (970)

H igh P l ains T imber F rames


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spring 2015

Natural Homemade Hair Care



Rosemary Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner With just a few more ingredients, you can make a moisturizing, hair-lifting, and cleansing shampoo and conditioner set that smells amazing. Shampoo

by Hannah Rose


• ½ cup lavender castile soap • 1 ½ cups water • 3 tsp virgin coconut oil • lavender essential oil • rosemary essential oil Directions

Melt coconut oil in a microwave safe dish. Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl or mason jar. Store in a used shampoo bottle or other squeeze or pump bottle. Conditioner ingredients


f you care about what you put in your body, you probably care about what you put on your body. Think about all the products we put on our skin and hair on a daily basis. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, and lotion are just a few. The shampoo and conditioner products we buy at the grocery store have a lot of “stuff ” in them. Read the ingredients listed below and see if you recognize what any of these things are: • sodium laureth sulfate • sodium chloride • behentrimonium chloride • hydrolyzed collagen • polysorbates • glycol • amodimethicone • cetrimonium chloride Many of these ingredients are preservatives and chemicals that are only in the recipe because they make the product lather. In addition, shampoo overworks sebaceous glands by stripping hair of oils, making them produce more oils in order to compensate. A better alternative? Make your own: shampoo and conditioner can be made out of natural products you have around your house. Reuse old bottles or invest in glass containers to cut down on waste. Creating your own products is a healthy and environmentally friendly option, and your hair and scalp will thank you.

Basic Shampoo and Conditioner For the most basic recipes, mix together baking soda and apple cider vinegar for a healthy and natural shampoo and rinse. Shampoo

• 4 cups water • 1 tsp borax • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar • lavender essential oil • rosemary essential oil Directions

Combine ingredients in a half-gallon container. Apply rinse to hair once or twice a week and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


• baking soda • water • essential oil of choice

Honey Shampoo Using honey helps relieve frizz and dandruff while moisturizing and softening.



Mix one part baking soda, three parts water, and a few drops of essential oil. Use as you would store-bought shampoo.

• raw honey • filtered water • essential oil of choice




• apple cider vinegar • olive oil • essential oil of choice Directions

Mix two parts apple cider vinegar, one part olive oil, and a few drops of essential oil. Use as you would a store-bought conditioner. Recipes adapted from these sources: www.empoweredsustenance.com www.campwander.blogspot.co.uk www.premeditatedleftovers.com www.silverq.hubpages.com


Advertise in the Fort Collins Courier for as little as you would pay for 41.667 baby chickens.

Contact: todd@wolverinefarm.org

Combine one part honey with three parts water. Using a smaller amount is wise to prevent the shampoo from spoiling. Add essential oil for fragrance. There is no need to follow this with a rinse. These recipes are available for free online, and there are many more. I encourage you to get online and research for yourself, and find what recipes suit you and your hair the best. You can also mix and match shampoo and conditioner sets based on your hair needs and personal preferences. Your head may seem a little oily right after making the switch to these all-natural products, but that’s just your scalp adjusting to the new chemical balance. After a few short weeks, you’ll find your hair to be lighter, fuller, softer, and healthier.



The Food Cluster convenes businesses, organizations, and individuals to contribute directly to the scope and projects and initiate public/private partnerships. Collectively, these partners have significant capacity to coordinate a unified voice in efforts to influence public policy decisions, establish high impact projects, and create a strong network of food system leaders in our community.



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spring 2015


A Discourse on Homelessness By Desirée Fiske


ocial consciousness around the issue of homelessness in Fort Collins is in shift. Throughout the past year, the city and its citizens have been in a process of renegotiating dialogue and action in confronting the issue. Nuances, perspectives, problems, shortcomings, and trials have been learned, but this is not to say there are not more lessons. Poverty in Fort Collins must not be confronted as if it exists in a vacuum—conversations are only to be bound up by focusing on the “micro” of individuals and behaviors. Rather, in scaling back to understand the “macro,” we may reapproach the issue of homelessness in Fort Collins in a new light. I suggest that the dialectic between these approaches has caused the city’s shift in tactics over the past year. From backroom meetings to public forums, the discourse of homelessness in Fort Collins has evolved. During the spring of 2014, the city began to enforce laws on panhandling and camping within city limits as part of a new campaign to combat homelessness. Methods of engagement with the issue soon came into focus for the community, and a three-part campaign was developed by the city. This campaign included increased police presence

in downtown and camping areas, the use of the municipal court through referrals at the Murphy Center, and a public education campaign on panhandling. Measures of the campaign, though, met contestation and doubt within the community, and was critiqued for its lack of understanding of its offensive and questionable nature. The public education campaign poster read: “Give Smart: Say No to Panhandling.” Why was the community meeting the issue of homelessness as a product of fear in individuals and behaviors? How was the problem to be interpreted? In response to community critique, the public education campaign was rolled back, and conversations around the grander issue of homelessness and the exploration of alternative means to confront it opened. Networks of agencies, community groups, and members have regularly met since the summer of 2014 to discuss the nuances and suggest new opportunities with the city. The Fort Collins Homeless Coalition, allies for poverty alleviation, has been connecting with statewide advocacy groups such as Denver Homeless Out Loud. Homeward 2020, a local agency conducting point-in-time counts and developing strategies to eliminate homelessness, hosted a facilitated public forum in January. The Fort Collins Housing Authority will also be opening Redtail Ponds, a permanent supportive housing community, later in the year. Steps taken by the city and community are only the beginning in eliminating homelessness in Fort Collins. Expanding the dialogue to include voices that are too often spoken for and looking beyond behaviors to the systemic roots of poverty both offer opportunities for meaningful change. We need to evaluate the conditions of poverty and homelessness to assess how we pick up the conversation from here. The discourse around homelessness is shifting, Fort Collins—let’s not miss the opportunity to seize it.

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fort collins courier


spring 2015

Nature The Colorado Water Plan By Brittany Dolezal


’m not sure which is scarier, the Front Range without rivers or the Front Range without any water at all. This is the concern for many when talking about the Colorado Water Plan (CWP). According to the CWP website there is a projected population increase in 2050 that is estimated to almost double in size. One unnerving article even states Colorado could run out of water by 2050.

that be to push this plan [CWP] in a better direction so that it focuses on water conservation and river protection.”

For those who might not know, the Colorado Water Plan is a statewide initiative that will prepare Colorado for long-term water use. The goal of the CWP is to address the state’s unsustainable water trajectory. It’s about water supply and demand as Colorado’s population grows.

“The draft plan is extremely controversial because it proposes to put dams and diversions across many of the rivers in the state of Colorado,” Wockner says. “The proposals on the Colorado River could costs billions and would likely ignite a water war throughout the southwest U.S.”

As this growth develops, many issues face Coloradans: a better transportation system, where people will live, cost of housing, and how water supports all of these plans. Colorado is one of the last states to develop a statewide plan for water use.

The plan states that it sets forth strategies that could address future water needs in a way that is in sync with “a productive economy that supports vibrant and sustainable cities, productive agriculture, a strong environment, and a robust recreation industry.” Hickenlooper has even said the plan is “written by Coloradans for Coloradans” and offers “21st century water solutions.”

Understanding how we currently get our water is one way to better comprehend the debate. A majority of the state’s water is located on the western slope—however most people reside here, the eastern slope. Most of Colorado’s water originates as snowfall on the western side of the Continental Divide. As reported by the CWP, the western side of the Continental Divide contains 70 percent of the surface water and 11 percent of the population. The eastern side of the Continental Divide consumes 70 percent of the state’s water. Currently, leasing water rights from agriculture has been one solution. Some propose Glade Reservoir as a viable solution to the problem. This would divert the Poudre River into a large reservoir. This is a highly controversial issue that has been in battle for years. Many argue this solution is not the answer and would ultimately damage the river and deface the landscape of Larimer County. Gary Wockner, campaign coordinator for Save the Colorado, says, “Save The Colorado is in the trenches, fighting against the powers

Wockner promotes water conservation and efficiency, water recycling, water-sharing, and cost-effective alternatives instead of draining Front Range rivers.

It’s hard to tell if this plan really is a grassroots initiative written by all Coloradans for all Coloradans. If you want your voice heard on the issue you can get involved by submitting a general input form on www.ColoradoWaterPlan.com, attending a Colorado Water and Conservation Board (CWCB) meeting, or attending a basin roundtable meeting.

The CWP Timeline: May 1st, 2015—Public comment deadline for first draft of CWP July 15th, 2015—Second draft of CWP released for public review September 17th, 2015—Public comment deadline for second draft of CWP December 10th, 2015—Final CWP submitted to governor

A Few Wildflowers of Fort Collins These wildflowers were spotted in Lory State Park in late May, 2014. Photos by John Kopp.

Western Wallflower

White Rose

(Erysimum capitatum)

(Rosa acicularis)

A member of the mustard family, the Western Wallflower Purple Locoweed grows up to 30 inches (Oxytropis lambertii) tall and is found in open Purple Locoweed is a native areas, slopes, meadows, flowering plant that grows up and valleys at 4,500 to to 16 inches tall and has silky, 12,500 feet in elevation. silvery basal leaves and bright The flowers bloom from March to July and are rose-purple flowers. It can be found in mountain parks typically bright goldenand foothills from 4,500 to yellow or tangerinecolored. 10,000 feet in elevation. Interesting fact: It contains a phytotoxin called swainsonine, which is dangerous to livestock. Poisoned animals suffer from neurological damage which results in “loco” behavior.

Interesting fact: The wallflower got its name from a closely related plant in the Old World that was often found growing on stone walls and masonry fences.

A native deciduous shrub, the White Rose grows up to four feet tall with densely prickly stems and usually pink (but sometimes white) five-petaled flowers. It can be found in different ecosystems from the lower foothills to montane forests, and even up to subalpine forests. Interesting fact: Rose hips, can be used in teas and jams and offer a good source of vitamins C and A. They are also used as a dye. The flower petals are also edible and can be eaten raw or used for perfume.


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spring 2015

Agriculture The Northern Colorado Food Cluster: On a Mission for Local Food By Daniel Hesser


ort Collins’ local food renaissance grew from a critical mass of farmers, restaurateurs, educators, and foodies who, with their passion for sustainable food systems, sought to connect our small farms with the public.

While the farmers’ markets during the summer and fall have helped promote local farms and vendors, there is a flourish of activity—less visible, perhaps—in the winter and spring as well, brought about in part by the Northern Colorado Food Cluster. The Food Cluster seeks to foster a resilient, local food system that builds value into all partners and makes our community more vibrant and healthy for its access to good food. The Food Cluster—along with the CSU Extension, the Food Co-op, the City of Fort Collins, and many volunteers—created the winter farmers’ markets in Old Town’s Opera Galleria. These markets serve to extend the season for participating farms, making fresh, local produce available to the public and introducing new farmers to the public. The Food Cluster emerged through a series of meetings over the course of two years, six of them public. A steering committee was formed to decipher how to best promote local food production and consumption, with an eye toward increasing access to healthy food for all residents.

The organic way in which the Food Cluster came together, where stakeholders include consumers as well as producers, might serve as a template for future industry clusters. The fact that CSAs, grocers, restaurants, and the Food Bank had already established a history of collaboration and connectivity gives the Food Cluster an advantage when applying for federal grant funds to accomplish their mission, which retains an economic development bent. The Food Cluster’s goals include 1) educating the public about local food, and promoting it, 2) creating jobs in that sector, 3) creating opportunities for businesses by examining innovative, new roles they might play, 4) connecting groups working on similar projects in order to reduce redundancy, and 5) increasing the community’s access to affordable, healthy food. What does our community need to do to address our food issues? The Food Cluster will serve as a forum for discussion, while also taking a proactive stance on expanding markets and general accessibility to fresh produce. Small shareholders—you the consumer, restaurant owners, and almost all workers in the service sector—are partners in this endeavor. One immediate goal may be to help farmers gain access to land, which is a major hurdle for those anxious to break ground. Learn more about the Northern Colorado Food Cluster at www.nocofoodcluster.com.

Foco, 2015

DESIGN course


Members of the Food Cluster included the City of Fort Collins, the Food Bank of Larimer County, Spring Kite Farm, CSU, and others. As a result of public meetings

this past summer, the Food Cluster divided into subcommittees on strategic planning, fundraising, food-system inventory, outreach, public policy, and high-impact projects, all staffed by community volunteers. Non-profits such as the FoCo Café and others were quick to sign on as partner members, which gives them a voice at particular meetings. Individuals may become members as well, and CSU students receive a discount.

What is it? Permaculture is a revolutionary design science that applies nature’s patterns to human structures. Through an engaging mix of lecture, hands-on group activities, and real-world design projects, participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of ecological thinking and how to apply it in a variety of contexts.

The details A seven month, 72 Hour Certificate Course. Located in Fort Collins, CO. It is instructed by Kelly Simmons, Adam Brock and Patrick Padden. Scholarships and early bird prices are available.

2015 - Aug. 15-16 • Sept. 19-20 • Oct. 17-18 • Nov. 21-22 2016 - Jan. 16-17 • Feb. 20-21 • Mar. 19-20

Contact www.theg rowingproject.org info@theg rowingproject.org | (970) 587-3827

Y o n u Hav a C t a e Wh

In Your Backyard in Fort Collins?










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spring 2015

Food & Drink From Bean to Bar at

Nuance Chocolate By Lindsey Smith Photographs by Dina Fike


ot only has Nuance Chocolate in Old Town brought an artisanal approach to chocolate-making in Fort Collins, but the impact the shop has had on the community in five short months is nothing short of remarkable. Toby and Alix Gadd opened Nuance after the realization that their hobby had completely taken over their home kitchen. After experiencing cacao trees in person on a vacation to Costa Rica, they researched everything about the diverse types of cacao and the benefits of creating and enjoying “bean to bar” chocolate. Upon entering the Pine Street shop, the rich smell of dark chocolate and the building’s beautiful brick architecture create a warm, sophisticated feeling not unlike a European café or intimate wine bar. Nearly everything is handmade, from the chocolate and its wrappers to the sign Toby painted himself. Not to mention the custom-built wooden cart the Gadds use to transport products from the factory a few blocks away. The cart gets a lot of attention and customers will often follow it back to the shop for a chocolate fix. In what is often called “the microbrewing of chocolate,” the bean to bar process involves several steps that enhance flavor and mouth feel. Near where the cacao trees are grown, pods are split open to reveal beans covered in a sticky white substance called mucilage, which facilitates fermentation. After fermentation and drying, the beans are shipped and roasted in Nuance’s factory. The first stage grind creates cocoa mass, which has a peanut-butter-like consistency. Next, the cocoa mass and sugar are combined in the melanger, which reduces particle size to 20 microns or less. A heating and cooling process improves texture at a molecular level by changing the crumbly, unappealing beta 1-4 crystals into the smooth, perfect snap of beta 5 crystals. Premium dried milk is added for milk chocolate, and finally the chocolate is molded into bars or shapes and packaged for sale. The best way to get acquainted with chocolate from around the world is to order a sampler flight. In the same way you might sample craft beer or cider, a flight includes small samples of single-origin chocolate, which has been sourced from the cacao of one region. In late spring, look out for a new drink inspired by a treat you might find in Italy or Spain. With half a bar of chocolate and heavy cream, this decadent dessert is sure to impress. Cocoa powder, brewing chocolate, and handmade truffles are also available. In addition to stocking 12 single-origin bars, Nuance has already partnered with countless local businesses, and is open to new collaborations. Nuance recently included the Bean Cycle’s hand-roasted coffee in a bar and also contributed cacao to special Snowbank and Pateros Creek brews.

Handmade notebook made from repurposed Nuance packaging. (Made by Sam Friedman.)

Nuance Chocolate 214 Pine St. Fort Collins, CO 80524 Generally open from 11am to 7pm. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/nuancechocolatecompany.

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spring 2015



Maker Profile:

Woodchip Coffee


aura Sickles started Woodchip Coffee in her backyard—she wanted to try a new way of roasting coffee beans over a wood fire. The Fort Collins Courier interviewed her via email to learn more about her business.

Fort Collins Courier: How did you get into artisanal coffee? Laura Sickles: When I was a little girl, I always looked forward to Sundays. That was the only day my mom would allow me to drink a little bit of coffee (granted, it was instant decaf coffee loaded with tons of Irish cream). I would sit out on the front stoop of my house in the small town of Cheverly, Maryland and drink my cup of coffee. That was bliss to me. When I started driving, I found this little coffee house and fell in love. One day while I was sipping a cup of coffee there, I realized I wanted to have my own coffee shop. I started to share this dream with everyone I knew.

On my 18th birthday my family bought me a tiny Nesco coffee roaster. I hadn’t even thought about roasting coffee up until that point. The roaster only yielded about a quarter pound of coffee, but I was immediately hooked. I started researching the art of roasting. I didn’t start experimenting with fire roasting until four years ago. My dad had a little popcorn popper for over the fire and he suggested we try roasting coffee in it. So we took turns shaking the popcorn popper over the fire, anxiously waiting for the first crack. The coffee turned out great, and it turned me on to the art of fire roasting.

When did you start Woodchip Coffee? In May of 2014 I started officially selling my coffee at the Northern Colorado Farmers’ Market in Laporte, but I’d been roasting coffee at home for 11 years before that and selling it to friends, family, and coworkers.

Tell me about your coffee. What different blends or roasts do you offer? Right now I only use organic, fair-trade, Colombian coffee. Roasting over a wood fire creates a unique coffee blend. The flame touches the coffee beans at different times and temperatures, making the end result full of light-, medium-, and dark-roasted beans. For now I’m just calling the roast a “Fire Roast.”

What do you do differently than most coffee producers? The coffee industry is all about consistency and perfection. I’m bringing back the art, passion, and tradition into coffee roasting. When I roast coffee, I don’t dial into a machine and set my temperatures and time. I tend to the fire throughout the roast to try and keep the flame and heat temperatures where they should be, and where I want them. I pay attention to the temperature, color, smell, and sound of the coffee.

What’s your favorite part of the process? I really enjoy doing things from scratch—knowing the source and appreciating how everything in life is connected and related. Coffee does this for me. I know where my coffee comes from, where the apple (sometimes pecan) wood was grown, and I chop the wood and roast the coffee myself. I use coffee bags that are biodegradable, hand-stamp my logo onto the bag, and handwrite the roast date and the type of wood used. I know who I sell my coffee to and I can see the direct impact. To me that’s what it’s all about.

Find out more about Woodchip Coffee at www.facebook.com/woodchipcoffee.


fort collins courier



spring 2015


Visionary Profile:

Fred Kirsch AND the Community for Sustainable Energy By Lynda McCullough Photographs by Dina Fike


red Kirsch is a man with a plan—or in his case, a strategy for enacting change in local energy policies. An environmental activist, he previously worked with large organizations like the Hudson Bay Company and Clean Water Action, but grew frustrated with the bureaucracy and lack of progress and decided to scale down. “In working with those organizations I noticed that most concrete, tangible change was on the local level and also with corporate campaigns,” Kirsch says. He began looking for a city in which to work on energy issues, and in 2006 he started the Community for Sustainable Energy (CforSE) in Fort Collins. Fort Collins meets the criteria in which a canvassing office can succeed, Kirsch says. It has a more forward-thinking citizenry and a well-educated community. Kirsch worked alone until August 2007, when he hired his first canvasser. The mission of CforSE is “to develop energy systems fostering protection of the natural environment, economic prosperity, and the continued improvement of quality of life in Colorado by engaging consumer input in energy policy decisions.” Kirsch believes canvassing is “a sacred form of democracy,” and CforSE knocks on doors to connect citizens to their elected officials and hold elected officials accountable to the citizens. CforSE’s first project was a new plan to improve the bus system. City council members believed that the bus was not used very much and wasn’t important to residents. Wade Troxell even thought money should be shifted to the police force. But a public transportation action group consisting of transit-dependent people asked CforSE to get involved, so the staff went out into the community to talk to people and found “tremendous support for the bus system.” “We got over 4,000 handwritten letters to city council,” Kirsch says, and Troxell, tremendously to his credit, did a complete 180 on it. “By the time the bus came up for a vote,” Kirsch says, “Troxell was the one asking pertinent questions and making sure the plan was as good as it could be.” Promoting community solar gardens is another important CforSE project. These gardens are a collection of panels in a centrally located plot of land within a community. Residents can buy panels, or amounts of energy, which offset their own energy costs and impact. “The longer-term vision we have for the community solar gardens is that

Longmont and Loveland will want to come on board, and we can put up some community solar gardens for everybody in Platte River Power Authority for people in all four cities,” Kirsch says. “The model is going gangbusters all over the country, and I think they’re in 40 communities in Colorado now,” he says. The Fort Collins community solar garden project, which is being built by the Clean Energy Collective, is almost sold out. It will be built on the southwest corner of Mulberry and the Poudre river. A second solar garden project is also in the works. Other CforSE campaigns include a project that would require energy-efficiency “grades” in property advertisements, thus letting people see the average utility costs of their new home or business property up front. This would be especially useful to those renting homes or business space, as it would put pressure on property owners to make energy-efficient upgrades. The focus of CforSE is always community awareness and engagement, Kirsch says, and because 99 percent of funding comes from canvassing, it doesn’t get distracted from the mission. The group is bringing it to the streets, so watch out for them, and check their website and Facebook page for events and fundraisers near you. Learn more at www.cforse.org and www.facebook.com/ CforSEcolorado.

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Fort Collins Courier, Spring 2015  

Fort Collins Courier, Spring 2015