Category: World Around

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Hard Fought Success in the High Country – Fields to Plate Produce

The drive to the Old Fort Farm in Hesperus, Colorado is deceptively steep. From downtown Durango I rose steadily, almost imperceptibly, and gained a thousand feet within minutes. From afar I had seen snow on this mesa just days before – not anymore. Pulling in, I found a large, aging, post-harvest farm; brushed with deep golden hues of well-watered land in a Colorado autumn.

With a bit of navigating, I located the Fields to Plate farmers. The small crew was harvesting a thousand-pound beet sunset: red, gold, pink, purple. The bounty seemed unlikely for such a dry, high altitude location; so, I set forth to learn how they did it…


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Read my first article on Artisan Situation!

My good friend Zach Kaiser runs the site with some old chums from my college days with the Idea Fund. The story covers the recent history of Fields to Plate Produce, the farm David and I got our CSA from this summer.

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the hand I was dealt (poem).

The hand I was dealt
is considered near perfect:
golden hair, healthy body,
straight, middle class.
(They say: it could only be more perfect
were I not a woman).

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tour de farms.

Once I overcame the annoyance of constantly avoiding other bikers, the Tour de Farms was extremely enjoyable. Saturday morning I rode 25 miles with dozens of other Durango locals to tour small farms in the Animas Valley (David was going to join me but he decided to go get 6th place at the Silverton Alpine 50k instead, without training I should add). The annual event is hosted and coordinated by The Garden Project of Southwest Colorado and the Colorado State University Extension.

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Lined up outside the Smiley Building.

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what I know about the Animas disaster.

For the last month and a half I’ve had the privilege to work for the Animas River Wetlands – a certified wetlands project just outside central Durango. The project is converting old hay fields back to their previous wetland state, filtering water for the Animas River that runs through downtown Durango. The Animas is a hot spot for Durango tourism and is held dearly in the hearts of those who live here.

If you recognize the name of the river that’s probably because you heard it on last night’s news, or the night before that. A week ago today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accidentally released 3 million gallons of mine water from the old 1800s Gold King Mine upstream in Silverton, CO. Thursday night that water reached Durango, turning the town’s beloved river a brilliant gold color and causing chaos.

Animas River

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bandelier: make-believe come true.

When I was a kid I had an obsession with Native Americans. I loved Pocahontas and learning about different tribes in school. Josefina was my first (and therefore most loved) American Girl Doll. When my mom found out that my babysitter’s father was 50% native american she set up a meeting so I could meet him.

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I may have gotten the little bro involved…

I played a lot of make-believe. I had an absurd amount of dress-ups and 20 acres of land to imagine on. For two straight years, or maybe more, I imagined life as a native in Maine. I made a teepee and pranced around the woods pretending every living thing had a spirit. Even though these woods provided me the ability to imagine the impossible I was highly bothered by the fact that I didn’t look the part. This was probably impounded by the fact that my best friend did. I wished my blonde hair and fair skin away.

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“make less beautiful” (big bend).

Big Bend.

Big Bend National Park.

There’s something about Big Bend that demands reflection. Maybe it’s the big, soft peaks looming over you, or the way the Basin campground is nestled between the mountains as if in a hug. Maybe it’s the silence, or the endless horizon. Big Bend is the least frequented national park – making it easy to appear, when correctly located, as though you are the only person there. After a month on the road with non-stop driving and visiting, the quiet was rejuvenating. Recognizing that we weren’t meeting our trip goals of (1) running, (2) writing, and (3) figuring out a life plan – the space to reflect was necessary. So we stayed for almost a week.

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the vibrant big easy.

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New Orleans is a city poised on a thick foundation of blazing character, clashing culture, and defiant uniqueness. I was only there for a day – but that much was apparent. But I also perceived, from my brief time in the French Quarter, a city frozen in the time-warp of tourism. No city ever stays the same, but when we make it a landmark in history, we threaten it’s authenticity. I admit – I was guilty as a tourist. I also recognize that I wasn’t there nearly long enough to comfortably make this assertion, but I felt it none-the-less. Maybe those of you who know the city more can counter me – I hope you can.

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my guide to tampa, fl.

We spent an amazing week in Tampa, FL with David’s parents. We stayed away from the big commercial attractions like Disney, SeaWorld, Universal, and Busch Gardens – voting to check out more local, educational opportunities. If you’re looking for neat, local stuff to do – I’ve compiled a list for you!

1. The Florida Aquarium

CAM00087I haven’t been to an aquarium since I was little, but this was awesome. David’s mom volunteers there so we had a personal guide the whole time. From the tiniest sea horses to the largest sharks to the fascinating corral I was hypnotized the whole time. I especially loved the sea otters! A must see for anyone of any age.

 

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earthaven: ecovillage reflections.

In that true twilight dusk, the kind that makes the forest come alive with the impossible, Earthaven becomes the world of my childhood dreams. Winding trails and bridges made of stone, trunks, branches, clay, and everything the forest offers spiderweb the town. “We’re losing light!” NikkiAnne exclaims as she hurries us down a small path into someones yard and off on another path hidden in the shadows.

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