Tag Archives: Fort Collins

front range ramblings, part 1

Classic sampler on the Odell's patio

Classic sampler on the Odell's patio

Gosh I love Fort Collins! I need one of my offspring to move here. Some observations:

  1. Yes, there are still irrigation ditches, and still some open land in the center, although not as much (the fort has more than doubled since our undergraduate days).
  2. Yes, it still smells like cows.
  3. And people are still laid back outdoorsy environmentally aware, and not as intensely “hip” as Boulder. The Food  Co-op is still running, in the same location, but maybe a little less funky. There is also a Whole Foods Market (meh).
  4. Great improvements since 1980 as far as coffee/bistro/beer (not that we could have affording these back in the day!) Check out Hops & Berries – great selection.
  5. And the Old Town is booming with eateries, pubs, art galleries, gift galleries, sporting goods, etc.

On Monday we went for a drive up Poudre Canyon and then back to town through Rist Canyon. Stopped at a great nursery – The Plantorium, where we bought a rhubarb plant and a tomatillo plant.  Then we went to O

Between Niwot and Boulder

Between Niwot and Boulder

dell’s and tried two different samplers and bought some six packs. Unf

ortunately New Belgium was closed. Next on to Boulder, where we tried (and bought) some meads at Redstone Meadery. Bought three varieties of Hay

stack goat cheese at Whole Foods, and then crashed at Deborah and Alan Nelson’s house.

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Lettuce be thankful (for beer)

Last fall I planted Amish Deer Tongue lettuce, which looks like another variety I’ve grown in the past  – Oak Leaf. However, I think the Deer Tongue is better (read about it here and here). Despite the crazy weather we’ve had this spring*, it has held up very well and still doesn’t show signs of bolting. I had it under cold frames until mid-March, and we’ve been eating it since January. The outer leaves are a bit raggedy, but if you strip off the outer leaves (and I’ve got so much of it that this isn’t an issue) you end up with a really beautiful little Bibb/Romaine type head that keeps well in the fridge. Speaking of which, my Bibb lettuce is bolting, so it looks like the Deer Tongue is what I’ll be planting in the future. Seeds of Change has a red variety, which I’m definitely going to get – red lettuce is so sexy!

*Too warm in January and February, then late, hard frosts; very dry until this last week, and now way too wet!

Corn poppies and larkspur are now blooming. Once again, my David Austin antique rose has been sabotaged by (too much) rain, just as it begins to bloom. I believe the variety I have is Gertrude Jekyll (great name, huh?). The wild roses that Em brought me several years ago from Ft Supply are blooming profusely. The pink ones are especially nice – double, fragrant, and very hardy – and I’ll keep them, despite their tendency to sucker and spread all over.

Mike and I are going to Ft. Collins so he can run a marathon this weekend. I wonder if we can find some asparagus along the irrigation ditches. When we were very young, poor students at CSU  one of our favorite things to do on weekends was take long walks and harvest the free asparagus. But Ft. Collins has become so urban since then, I wonder if irrigation ditches still exist in town.

While we’re  in Ft. Collins Aric has advised us to visit some of the local breweries. We may want to go back at the end of June for their beer festival. Good thing these breweries didn’t get established until after Mike and I graduated!:  Odell, New Belgium, Coopersmith’s, Ft. Collins, Conor ONeills and Big Horn. And then there are others nearby: Avery, Boulder, Lefthand, Bacchus Meadery, Walnut, Oskar Blues, Twisted Pine, BJ’s, Mountain Sun, Crabtree, Pitchers, Pumphouse, Rock Bottom, Boulder Draft House, Restone Meadery, Library,  and Altitude (ok, the last two are in Laramie, but that’s considered local, isn’t it?)

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