Chickens Love Colorado Springs!

IMG_2069-300x225Welcome to Hungry Chicken Homestead! Six hungry chickens live here as well as some other animals, and people who know where the food is stored.

The chickens love Colorado Springs and want to tell you about local farms and small businesses right here in our community!  Chickens know a thing or two about the importance of a good flock and good things to eat.  Likewise, people benefit from knowing their neighbors and knowing where to get good food!

Look around!  You’ll find stories about Colorado businesses and farms, stories about the Homestead and even listings telling you where to buy food grown or produced right here in our neck of the woods.

Wondering what to do with all that local food you can buy?  We offer food preservation and cooking classes too!

Sign up for Chickens on the Mailing List to get the class schedule, information about Colorado Springs locally owned businesses and homesteading events in your inbox!

We hope you’ll find a little inspiration for your own story too!

Colorado Springs Local Business: Frayla Boutique

Tina Schwaner said something about her business, Frayla Boutique & Hair Salon, that no one ever said to me before, though it seems obvious now…

“This feeds my love for shopping.”

Colorado Springs Local Business Frayla 3I always think to myself that I don’t like shopping, but it’s not entirely true.  I love poking around in shops with unique handmade and local items.  And honestly, though I dress like a person who is conflicted over modern fashion’s approach to modesty, age appropriateness and the ever-impending CrossFit workout, I actually love pretty clothes.

Colorado Springs Local Business Frayla 1Tina’s boutique is a great place to look around.  Frayla is a small, friendly hair salon (Tina is the only stylist).  She recounted how clients sometimes arrived early when she used to rent a booth in another salon.  Tina, a warm and thoughtful person, wanted everyone to feel welcome and enjoyed how waiting clients would participate in the conversation with her and her current client.

But wouldn’t it be nice, she thought to herself, if they could browse through interesting treasures at the same time?

Colorado Springs Local Business Frayla 6Frayla Boutique became a reality when she rented a space on E. Cheyenne Rd, between S. Cascade and Nevada.

Colorado Springs Local Business Frayla 10The best part of the little boutique, in my opinion, is the variety of handmade, local and fair trade items.  I found glass beads made by Colorado Springs artist Michelle Hair of New Earth Beads.

Colorado Springs Local Business Frayla 9

Frayla carries Giving Keys, a project that employs people transitioning out of homelessness.  You choose a key that speaks to you and wear it until you meet someone that seems to need it more.

Colorado Springs Local Business Frayla 4Tina notes that she’s bought and given away a lot of keys.

Colorado Springs Local Business Frayla 7Frayla also carries Made with a Mission candles.  Made with a Mission recycles glass bottles into candles.  They have a partnership with the Springs Rescue Mission here in Colorado Springs.  Tina points out that if you buy a Made with a Mission candle and a Giving Key, you’ve supported three women owned businesses, employed homeless people in two states, upcycled a bottle and a key and you’ve given back to a local mission.  Not bad for one stop shopping!

Lotion Bar Cafe is also in Colorado Springs.

Lotion Bar Cafe is also in Colorado Springs.

Stop in at Frayla, even if you don’t need your hair done.  As Tina says, you’ll find Fashion with a Conscience!

Check the Facebook page before you go.  Remember, this is a one-woman shop.  You don't want to miss out if she steps out.

Check the Facebook page before you go. Remember, this is a one-woman shop. You don’t want to miss out if she steps out.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

Join Chickens on the Mailing List to learn about Colorado Springs locally-owned businesses, keep up with local homestead & garden events and read stories about the hilarious homestead chickens!

Colorado Springs Local Farm: Pure Foods Colorado

I took a lot of pictures during my visit to Pure Foods Colorado, a family-run ranch in Peyton, CO.  You’ll have to forgive me if most of them are of a baby cow.  You would be surprised how charming baby cows are!

Could you turn your camera away?  I couldn't.

Could you turn your camera away? I couldn’t.

I was reminded of a visit I made out there in August 2014 while talking with Yosef, of Ahavah Farm.

“We have really great neighbors, Brian and Katelynne,” he mentioned.

“Oh!”, I exclaimed, narrowing my eyes and searching my memory.  “I think I visited them once.”

“Yeah, Katelynne said they know you.  She said, ‘Bonnie was going to write an article about us, but I don’t think she ever did’.”

I’m embarrassed to tell you, dear reader, that it’s true.  This can happen when a person’s attention is constantly being pecked at by rogue chickens.  Honestly, I just can’t believe I forgot to write about the baby cow.  But it’s not too late!  Even if the baby cow is now a full grown adult cow, Pure Foods Colorado is right where it was in August and I can revisit that pleasant day in an article

"Get on with it," says the baby cow.  "Tell the story before naptime!"

“Get on with it,” says the baby cow. “Tell the story before naptime!”

Brian and Katelynne Hall used to live a different kind of life.  Though Brian grew up around farmers in California, he became a commercial pilot as an adult, working first for an airline and later in corporate aviation.  Pilots can make a good living, but, as you can imagine, it’s a job that takes you away from home a lot.

There it is, the big blue sky.  Does it call you to travel?  Or does it make you love your place that much more?

There it is, the big blue sky. Does it call you to travel? Or does it make you love your place that much more?

In the end, that kind of life wasn’t really what they wanted for themselves and their children.  They bought their land in Peyton in 2005 and began living an agricultural life.

In addition to adorable baby cows, they also raise goats and chickens.

In addition to adorable baby cows, they also raise these unusually clean goats and a few chickens.

Today, they raise food for the family in the form of vegetables, eggs, meat and milk.  The food extends into the community.  You can buy their pastured beef, their cow and goat milk and their organic chicken feed for your own family.  They gave me a jar of their delicious raw milk to try.  It was just what you would expect from cows raised peacefully on pasture and milked by hand in a clean, quiet milking parlor… creamy and gone long before the store-bought milk next to it in the refrigerator.

Katelynne mentioned how rewarding it is to raise food for her family and that they’ve done this together.  Brian is home now to work alongside Katelynne and their children.

“The broader community aspect is very attractive,” added Brian.  “We know we’re part of the whole.”

After visiting the barns, we got to see the pastures.

After visiting the barns, we got to see the pastures and the big cows.

I remember enjoying this tour a lot.  Pure Foods Colorado was the first of several farms I’ve seen that are run by families dedicated to making a simpler way of life.  They spend time together, rely on each other and their own hard work and teach their children what it means to be part of a community.  They have clear ideas about kindness to animals and using the land with respect.  They face the life and death struggles which are always on the surface of a farm with strength and equanimity.

I’m glad they’re out there, showing us all that we’re not trapped in an impersonal rat-race world, with their clean food, their pioneering spirit … and their baby cows.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

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Colorado Springs Local Farm: Ahavah Farm

It was Friday afternoon and I was driving.  I drove and drove until I got to Peyton, for the second time in two days.  I turned down the dirt road toward my destination and since no other car could be seen, I inched down the road looking at the house numbers.

I found it and was welcomed by children and chickens.

I found it and was welcomed by children and chickens.

Ahavah Farm is home to Yosef and Hava Camire, along with their four children, some happy dogs, more chickens than I could count (since they were always moving), a flock of ducks and two odd birds whose breed I cannot remember.

I only remember that the male seemed to be from another planet, like a turkey.

I only remember that the male seemed to be from another planet, like a turkey.

Yosef and Hava had invited me for Shabbat dinner, which I could not resist for many reasons.  Besides their warm friendliness, they are also part of a small group of Jewish farm enthusiasts like myself AND I have learned, as part of this enthusiasm for farms, that one should never decline an invitation for dinner at a farm because the food is better close to its source than anywhere else.  Farmers also know what to do with odd vegetables, like kohlrabi and turnip greens.  Hava’s cooking was no exception to this rule.  I convinced her to give me the recipe for her coconut cream mousse, which I’ll include at the end of this article.

Contrary to what you might think, I did more than eat.  I was also treated to a tour.

Contrary to what you might think, I did more than eat. I was also treated to a tour.

Yosef showed me around the farm while Hava finished the preparations for dinner and shooed persistent chickens off the deck.  The family had lived in Denver, but didn’t like city life and bought this property a couple years ago and Yosef has been fixing it up ever since.

“We really did this for our kids,” he explained.  Life in the country gives kids room to run around, gives rein to their imaginations and helps them learn about the natural world.  It also teaches them about hard work and where food comes from.

And they certainly are learning where food comes from!  The family sells their produce at the Colorado Farm and Art Market on Wednesdays at Ivywild School from 3PM – 7PM.  One week the children stopped by to chat with us at the Info Booth and told us a story about their youngest sibling.

“She pulled a carrot right out of the ground and ate it!”

The Camires are very passionate about social responsibility and bees.

The children are involved in most aspects of the farm, but not all.

Have you heard me tell people it’s our civic duty to keep bees in the city?  You may know that bees are having a hard time surviving and we can’t grow food without bees.  Yosef showed me the top bar beehives that he had built.  He sternly told the children to stay where they were and then we went out into the field where he opened up a hive.

“Want to get a picture of the inside?”, he asked.

I demurred.  It seems rude for a stranger to intrude on bees that way, so Yosef took the camera and put it in the hive.

I'm both impressed by his bravery and amazed at how the bees make this beehive shape.

I’m both impressed by his bravery and amazed at how the bees make this beehive shape inside the hive.

After visiting with the bees, we rejoined the children and Hava for dinner.  They are so kind and sociable that I couldn’t drag myself away to get home for Chicken Bedtime until the last possible moment.

Come by and visit this friendly family at the Colorado Farm and Art Market on Wednesdays and get some fresh, “beyond organic” produce.  After a few minutes, you’ll be well nourished with vegetables and kindness.

Read on for Hava’s remarkable vegan dessert recipe …

Vegan Coconut Cream Mousse

Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
maple syrup (or any sweetener) to taste

Let the can sit a while after you buy it so the cream separates.  Open the can, skim off the cream and refrigerate it for an hour or two, until it’s firm.  Add the cocoa powder and the sweetener.  Beat with a hand mixer or with a whisk until everything is incorporated and the mousse is just a little bit fluffy.  It won’t beat up like cream or egg whites, but you will see some air bubbles incorporated into it.  Chill until firm and serve with fresh fruit.  Warning: Do not leave the bowl out with a spoon handy.  If you’re like me, you’ll eat the whole thing in one sitting.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

Join Chickens on the Mailing List to learn about Colorado Springs locally-owned businesses, keep up with local homestead & garden events and read stories about the hilarious homestead chickens!

Colorado Springs Local Farm: Homegrown & Happiness

I was, upon visiting Kellie and Tracy Dodson’s homestead, stunned by the neatness!

Have you ever seen such a thing?

Have you ever seen such a thing?

I, too, have a Homestead in the city and it had always seemed to me that messiness goes with the territory.  Seeing no piles of scrap wood, no straw scattered everywhere and none of the misplaced landscaping rocks that chickens have kicked all over my yard, I would not have believed Kellie’s assertion that she had grown more food than she knew what to do with if I hadn’t seen the snuggly Freedom Ranger birds.

Most of the Freedom Ranger chicks were enjoying a big warm chicken pile.

Most of the chicks were enjoying a big warm chicken pile.  They eyed us, mildly concerned we’d want to join.

Mr. and Mrs. Dodson are the proprietors of Homegrown and Happiness, an urban homesteading school.  They offer classes in their backyard to teach you how to produce vegetables, eggs, meat and honey in your backyard, all without the chicken/landscape rock soccer game that we have witnessed here.

They look ready for a game, but somehow never affect the landscape.

They look ready for a game, but somehow it never gets started.

The classes are everything from keeping chickens to growing in small spaces to soap-making.  Kellie also sells some cottage food products like spelt bread, jam and eggs, which means she knows about making money with homestead products.  Their classes are a great way to get started if you’re looking to use your land to save or make a little money.

They even have a little greenhouse!

They even have a little greenhouse!

What qualifies them to teach us how to make such a productive, neat, rock-free homestead?  Kellie has been gardening most of her life.  They started producing vegetables on a larger scale about four years ago and now grow so much that even with canning and freezing it’s a challenge to use it all up by the end of the year!  They’ve had so much fun that Kellie quit her day job recently to teach people full time.

It’s always a bit challenging to get a new business organized.  “I’m kind of a little eclectic right now … just trying to figure it out.  But the biggest thing is I just want to teach people how to grow.  Because I have such a passion for providing for yourself,” Kellie explained.

The bees quietly go about their business in the side yard.

The bees quietly go about their business in the side yard.

“There is something about telling your kids, ‘Go pick dinner!’.”

You can learn more about Homegrown and Happiness through their website or catch them on a chicken coop tour.  The website includes a blog and a store where you can buy, among other things, a kombucha SCOBY, kefir grains and seasonal produce.

I am going to guest-teach a class on their homestead later this year about storing potatoes for winter.  Sign up for their (or my) newsletter to get the announcements!

But please … don’t bring any landscape rocks.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

Join Chickens on the Mailing List to learn about Colorado Springs locally-owned businesses, keep up with local homestead & garden events and read stories about the hilarious homestead chickens!

Colorado Springs LOCAL Farms: Real Farmers Markets

Who can you trust?

Colorado Springs Local Business Daily Harvest Aquaponics RomaineYou may recall an article I wrote last year about a certain farmers’ market here in town that was selling produce from other states without making it clear to customers what they were buying!  I use an exclamation point because this is something of an outrage!  After all, if a “farmers market” sells the same produce as a grocery store, I’d rather go to the grocery store on my own schedule, rather than cram the visit into the four hours a week this “popup grocer” is open!

What’s worse is that they are capitalizing on the hard work of real farmers markets.  We’ve taught people to expect locally grown produce at a farmers market and these popup grocers don’t really tell customers that they are different.

So we’re back to the question … who can you trust?  I’m going to tell you.

Colorado Springs Local Farm 2015 Farmers Market Ad 4We have two farmers markets in Colorado Springs that only sell produce from farmers in Colorado.

  1. Colorado Farm and Art Market

You can find the Colorado Farm and Art Market on Wednesday at Ivywild School from 3PM – 7PM and at the Margarita at Pine Creek on Saturdays from 9AM to 1PM.  Their members include Venetucci Farm, Frost Farm, the Arkansas Valley Organic Growers co-op, Larga Vista Ranch, Ahavah Farm, Blue Skies Organic Vegetables and others who grow within driving distance of Colorado Springs.  You’ll also find Smith Farms and Hobbs Family Farm in the right season for Colorado garlic and fruit.

The season begins Wednesday June 10 and runs through October 13.

2. Downtown Sunday Market

The Downtown Sunday Market will take place in Acacia Park (where the Uncle Wilbur Fountain is, at Tejon & Bijou) every Sunday from 9AM – 2PM from June 14 through October 11.  Hunt or Gather manages this market.  They get the produce from the Arkansas Valley Organic Growers and other farms around the state that they have confirmed grow to their standards.

By supporting these markets, you’re supporting our Colorado economy, keeping farms viable in our state and voting for real Colorado food with your dollars.  Visit regularly, tell your friends, get to know your farmers.

Let’s support the kind of world where we can truly trust the people who sell us our food.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

Join Chickens on the Mailing List to learn about Colorado Springs locally-owned businesses, keep up with local homestead & garden events and read stories about the hilarious homestead chickens!

2015 Hungry Chicken Homestead Chicken Rankings

You know what happens when new chickens join your flock?

They compete… actually, they fight, but it’s less distressing to say they are competing.  Otherwise I feel like I have rival gangs living in my backyard.

Four chickens from another backyard moved in recently and the 2015 Poultry Pecking Order Competition has begun!  They aren’t quite done yet, but for those of you who like to follow this sort of sport, here are the current rankings:

1.  Middle Chicken
Team: Resident
Breed: Rhode Island Red
Age: 5 years
2014 Ranking: Head Chicken

Notes: Middle Chicken was witnessed in a five minute match with Bobbi for head chicken position.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  They both got tired after a minute and stood chest to chest, alternately resting and pecking each other’s heads.

2.  Blond Chicken
Team: Resident
Breed: Rhode Island Red
Age: 5 years
2014 Ranking: #2

Notes: Blond Chicken was Chicken #4 of the original four Homestead birds.  Her meteoric rise is due in part to persistence and in part to the untimely natural deaths of two former head chickens.

3.  Buttercup
Team: Resident
Breed: Sicilian Buttercup
Age: 3 years
2014 Ranking: #4

Notes: Buttercup once survived a raccoon attack.  She also makes the cutest sound.

4.  Little Red Hen
Team: Resident
Breed: New Hampshire Red
Age: 1 year
2014 Ranking: #3

Notes: Little Red Hen benefits significantly from being red.  Chickens are notoriously racist and this bird is allowed to hang around with Chickens #1 and #2 since they are also red.

5.  Bobbi
Team: Newcomers
Breed: Barred Rock
Age: Unknown
2014 Ranking: Head Chicken

Notes: Bobbi was once kicked out of a coop for being too bossy.  The high-ranking red hens aren’t having it and continue to chase her around the yard.

6. Stray Chicken
Team: Resident
Breed: Easter Egger
Age: 2 years
2014 Ranking: #5

Notes: Stray Chicken is sweet as pie.  We are happy to see her hold her own in the middle of the pack.

7:  Raven
Team: Newcomers
Breed: Sex Link
Age: 2 years
2014 Ranking: #2

Notes: Raven is a big chicken.  We may see her climb in the rankings as she gets more comfortable in the yard.

8. Georgia Lee
Team: Newcomers
Breed: Sex Link
Age: 2 years
2014 Ranking: #3

Notes: Georgia Lee has no interest in this competition, other than to stay close to Raven and make nervous chicken sounds when a red hen comes by.

9: Randi
Team: Newcomers
Breed: Easter Egger
Age: Unknown
2014 Ranking: #4

Notes: Like Stray Chicken, Randi is very sweet.  At this rate, she may pull enough heartstrings to be allowed to sleep in the Chicken B&B in the garage.

Colorado Springs Local Farm: Minibelly’s Farm

I asked Michael O’Malley of MInibelly’s Farm if the controversy and legal wrangling made him regret investing himself and his family in the tomato greenhouses in Black Forest.  His answer sticks with me.

“I believe the Lord wanted me to build it, so I built it,” he said, simply.

Maybe faith and the struggle to do something meaningful underlie all of the articles I write for this blog, but it is particularly salient in this one.  You see, the two families who run Minibelly’s set out with the excitement and hope typical of entrepreneurs.  They wanted to produce organic tomatoes for Colorado Springs and bring us another option for locally grown food.  It’s a noble enough goal, but since the county granted their permit, they’ve been under siege by some of its neighbors.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Minibellys Greenhouse 6

The greenhouse did not provide a clue when I drove past the farm on my way to the interview. I didn’t see it!

I can’t say I know the whole story.  You can read a well-written and balanced account on the Right to Thrive blog, but I’m too biased in favor of farming to be truly fair.  I can’t blame residents for fearing change around what is often a family’s biggest investment, their home, but I also can’t condone what amounts to harassment.  Minibelly’s followed the rules, the county approved their permit and they’ve won every lawsuit; but the group continues to raise money to take them to court yet again.

Rows and rows of tomatoes populate the greenhouse.

Rows and rows of tomatoes populate the greenhouse.

I asked Michael what made him want to start this business.

“I really found memories of my grandpa,” he said of his grandfather who had continued to farm in Chicago despite encroaching residential development. “He was in the middle of the city raising ducks and chickens and horses.”  He also told me of a desire to share his work with his wife, Nicole, and their children; something that wasn’t possible when he was a military intelligence officer.

Michael and his business partner, Ben Honken, had been working together at Summit Ministries when they discovered a common goal.  They wanted to be producers.  They wanted to build something and contribute something tangible to our community.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Minibellys TomatoesThey settled on farming, but the journey towards this goal was a long one.  Neither had much experience with agriculture as a business.  Michael had been in the Army until 2010 and was able to use the G.I. Bill to complete a Veterans to Farmers program to learn how to farm.  They had to find a way to finance the venture and that required a commitment of savings on the part of both families and they took out loans too.  Both men were longtime residents of Colorado Springs and they wanted to stay, but as anyone paying attention to agriculture in the Mountain West knows, farming isn’t easy out here.  Water rights, soil deficiencies and unpredictable weather make it difficult to start a new farm or keep an established one.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Minibellys Greenhouse 5As often happens in our modern world, technology offered assistance.  Ben and Michael discovered controlled agricultural greenhouses.  A greenhouse hydroponic system allows the farmer to control some of the growing conditions.  It uses less than a third of the water of traditional farming, nothing to sneeze at in a region where the seniority of your water rights can be the difference between growing food or a fallow field.

They decided to pursue it.  It would require intensive education in both agriculture and law, but would likely provide a more stable living for their families.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Minibellys Green Tomatoes 2Families?  Make no mistake, this is a story about two families, not just two entrepreneurs.  Each family lives in its own house on the farm’s property where Nicole O’Malley and Lydia Honken homeschool their respective children.  Those nine children have as much to lose as the adults.

“We’ve invested everything we have into making this successful,” Michael said of the partner families.

Today, the greenhouse is a reality.  I joined a tour and we walked around inside, breathing the humidified air and inspecting the soil-less plants.  I was surprised to feel a light rain during a discussion of pollination.  Michael explained that the humidification system detects when the air is too dry and adds moisture by “raining”.  Later, we heard a humming sound and panels at the top separated, making a long window.  The sun heats the space through the panels, like all greenhouses, but opens up when it gets too hot.

I was also surprised to see bees!  They pollinate the plants, just like they do outside.

I was also surprised to see bees! They pollinate the plants, just like they do outside.

The first crop of tomatoes is growing nicely and soon Minibelly’s tomatoes will be available at local grocery stores.  You can also buy them through Hunt or Gather’s Buying ClubMinibelly’s offers tours of the greenhouse, but you must contact them to schedule one.  Like all farmers, they are very, very busy.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Minibellys Suspicious chicken 2

Minibelly’s keeps a few chickens, but they are not allowed in the greenhouse.

I wish this didn’t have to be an article about local politics.  I’d rather have spent more words on the amazing technology or the way these families strengthen their relationships through shared work, but the attempts to put them out of business overwhelmed all of this.  If you’d like to help out, visit Minibelly’s GoFundMe site.  You can help by writing letters of support, donating to the fund or sharing the campaign site.

“I believe the Lord wanted me to build it, so I built it,” Michael said, an expression of faith in the face of adversity and impending disaster that I find to be stunning, beautiful and inspiring.  If we want local food, we need local farms.  If we want farmers to invest in our community, we need to support their right to grow unmolested.  If we want small businesses in our world, we need to buy from them.

If we don’t want to see farms disappearing, like Michael’s grandfather’s farm did after his death, we need to stand up for the ones we have.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

Join Chickens on the Mailing List to learn about Colorado Springs locally-owned businesses, keep up with local homestead & garden events and read stories about the hilarious homestead chickens!

Colorado Springs Local Business: Earth Cures

“I call them ‘glycerites'”, says Becky Anderson, owner of Earth Cures Natural Herbal Remedies.  She couldn’t call them “tinctures” because a tincture typically contains alcohol and these don’t.  She makes the glycerites from vegetable glycerin, apple cider vinegar and medicinal herbs.

“Wait!”, you say.  “That sounds an awful lot like the recipe for vinaigrette!”

True.  In fact, the Daily Dose glycerite Becky gave me to try tastes a lot like vinaigrette.  And now that I’ve spilled some on my shirt, my shirt smells like vinaigrette too.  But that’s not part of the instructions.  It says to take two full droppers with food and not a thing about laundry.

Colorado Springs Local Business Earth Cures DisplayMy clumsiness aside, I was struck during my conversation with Becky at how much care she puts into her herbal remedies.  She develops a relationship with the herbs and with the remedies.  She speaks of them holistically, explaining that she puts her time, energy, care and prayers into them.  She doesn’t work with the herbs when she’s in a negative mood because all of that energy is ultimately carried to the customer.

Her remedies take more interaction than a simple tincture.  If you put herbs in alcohol and leave them alone, the alcohol with dissolve the herbal properties on its own.  Not so with glycerine.  It takes five to seven days of labor to extract the herbal properties.

I’ll pause here and note that I’m the sort of person who needs see, smell and do math where it comes to plants.  During our conversation I mentioned that it’s hard for me to understand statements about the energy of the maker being carried through the product.  Becky patiently explained that plants have social needs, as you may say.  A plant thrives where the life is, not in isolation.  She plants her seeds and develops a relationship with the plant; monitoring them, talking to them and praying over them.

Colorado Springs Local Business Earth Cures SalvesSince she has been studying plants and their properties a long time, she would know.  Her interest in them began when she was a young girl.  She grew her first garden at the age of four.

“What made you interested in plants?”, I asked.

“They’re beautiful,” she responded.

That interest in plants, along with an interest in cooking, eventually led to making herbal remedies.  She made them for family and friends until starting the business in 2012.  Earth Cures offers alcohol-free “tinctures”, salves, liniments and lip balms.  You can order all her remedies from the website.  She has no plans to open a store, but you can find her at events around town, like Herbfest, Vegfest and the Teeny House Jamboree.

Colorado Springs Local Business Earth Cures Lip BalmsI loved her answer when I asked what she likes about running a business and I’ll close with that.

“I created it.  I like it because I’m a stay at home mom and I don’t want a job where I have to answer to someone.  I created a job that allows me to do what I love, which is helping people through food or herbs, and allows me to be there for my children no matter what.”

“I can be a mom this one time.  This is my chance.”

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

Join Chickens on the Mailing List to learn about Colorado Springs locally-owned businesses, keep up with local homestead & garden events and read stories about the hilarious homestead chickens!

Colorado Springs Local Farm: Yoga Retreat at Mountain Goat Lodge

Honestly, this sounds like the most relaxing retreat ever.

Colorado Springs Local Business Mountain Goat Lodge Yoga RetreatNot only will it involve yoga, massage, hiking and good food; but in between the activities you can visit with goats, chickens and ducks.

In my personal opinion, goats and poultry are just about the most soothing thing around.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Mountain Goat Goat Face 2Well … except maybe for cats.

Patience in a boxThe retreat is June 1 – June 3, 2015.  Call the Lodge at 719-539-7173 to register.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

Join Chickens on the Mailing List to learn about Colorado Springs locally-owned businesses, keep up with local homestead & garden events and read stories about the hilarious homestead chickens!

Colorado Business Directory: Created in Colorado

Have you visited Created in Colorado, the business directory for all things produced in Colorado?  Co-creator Laura Sherman tells us all about it below!

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Country of origin labeling on my chicken? Why is this even an issue?

All Ears
I may not be able to control where my family’s socks, electronics and clothing were manufactured, but couldn’t they just leave my chicken alone?  This was my reaction several years ago when the country of origin labeling discussion was occurring.  Before this point I never gave a thought to where it was raised, the good or bad conditions they were raised in or, God forbid, that my chicken breasts were shipped from overseas.

This was before I was “enlightened”, before I realized just how out of touch I was with the reality of where the products and foods that I purchased on a daily basis for my family and myself were actually coming from.

Sure, I knew in the back of my mind this easy way of shopping at superstores was maybe not the best way, but it was convenient……..and what other options were there?

bunnysheeptext
I had occasionally shopped at local farm markets, craft fairs and trade shows for various items.  It was an occasional convenient way to get what I needed and support a local.  But it was never #1 priority.  Convenience was!

EastMesaDesingJeep

Then a friend enlightened me.  This friend was Nathalie Bouchard, a French Canadian American Locovore who truly saw the need to help both those producing Colorado goods and those looking for Colorado goods.  Nathalie saw the impact that buying local had on her community and knew that this was a trend that needed support.  She knew there needed to be further education of people like me and that people like me truly needed good tools to find those producers easily, quickly and conveniently.  They needed to be motivated and educated about the importance and value of the shop local movement.
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The solution to this was to build a web directory that was chock full of Colorado producers of every kind.  Creating a yellow pages of sorts for Colorado manufacturers, artists, craftsmen, & food growers to display their contact and product information easily and conveniently for interested consumers that were looking to add a little local to their diets and monthly budgets.

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Created In Colorado strives to provide easy to find info on both made in Colorado products and their producers.  With easy to navigate product specific directories its simple to find both mundane everyday supplies as well as unique Colorado made gifts and specialty items.

So what do you say, ready to challenge yourself?

  1. Pick one household item per month to buy locally.  Mine is soap.  There are a hundreds of handcrafted soap companies in Colorado to choose from.( Look in our soap directory.)   I signed up for a soap subscription through Prideful Wellness.  Talk about convenient! My soap arrives on a monthly basis to my PO Box, I enjoy and embrace it because for one, I don’t have to shop for it, and for two, it’s great soap that has great ingredients I want my family using.
  2. Consider Local Meats.  Buying in bulk makes it economical.  Buying it local is just sensible.   Meat is not season specific, and it’s not hampered by our short Colorado growing season, so why do we import this item? Let’s support our local ranchers and farmers and provide our family with a clean verifiable source of healthy protein.  Find Chicken, Beef, Lamb and Eggs in your area.
  3. Make gift giving unique, memorable and special.  Think local first when shopping for gifts.  One of kind always rates higher than one of a million, right? And there is something Dave Ramsey says about birthdays and holidays seasons.  They come around the same time each year, how in the world can they sneak up on you?  Think ahead so you are not scrambling and settling for a one of a million gift instead of one in a million.  Look in our gift guide for some hints.

 

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©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

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