Summer has arrived in Colorado – June 2014

Herb Blurb June 2014

Summer has arrived in all its lush glory, thanks to all the recent rains. Festivals, outdoor concerts, swimming in freshwater lakes and all sorts of activities abound. Take out your calendar and cross out dates to take a garden tour, attend a food festival, hike a mountain and see a concert in the park.  You won’t have memories of the extra work you did or the TV series you caught up on. Get out there and participate in this glorious time of year.


Upcoming Classes

Herb and wild edible walks, private cooking, crafting and garden classes are available for you or your group or organization. Check for topics or call Susan at 303-697-6060.


Perfect Picnics

Tuesday, June 10, 6-8pm, Denver Botanic Gardens
$42 member; $47 non-member; Register here. Info: 720-865-3580, [email protected]
Amaze family and friends with your portable picnic skills! Easy and delicious, these dishes are perfect for a hike, concert or sunset viewing.

Learn how to make exotic Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwiches with Pickled Carrots and Peppers and a Spicy Sauce, Creamy Cheese and Olive Dip with Chips, Broccoli Bacon Salad with Cranberries and Cashews, Cherry Tapenade with Goat Cheese, and Savory White Bean/ Summer Vegetable/Herb Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.

Wash it all down with some Ginger Lime Coolers and a sweet. Recipes and dinner included with essential tips for a great picnic.


Herb Walk
Saturday, June 21, 9-11 AM, Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield.  303-492-6892, Register here.  Info: 720-865-3580,  [email protected]
From back alleys to wild areas, nature provides us with a bounty of wild plants for food and healing. Learn identification, ideal locations, and preparation of wild plants for eating and first aid. Step outside and explore the wild edible and medicinal plants you’ve been stepping on all of these years. Class will meet on the south entrance of the museum.



Fun Things to Do

Denver Chalk Art Festival, Larimer Square, Denver, May 31 – June 1. A two day street painting festival with over 200 artists. 

Capitol Hills Peoples Fair, June 7 and 8, starts at 10am, Civic Center Park, Denver.

Music, food, crafts and fun. 

 Juneteenth Music Festival, June 13 and 14, 5 Points, Denver.  Great music, food and cultural exhibits celebrating diversity.

 17th Annual Strawberry Days, Glenwood Springs, June 20-22nd, , Parade, arts and crafts and food in beautiful Glenwood Springs.

 Check out and for a bounty of ideas.

 Garden tours – a great way to spend a morning and pick up lots of ideas for current and future projects. Check out  and scroll down for a full list.


Free Days

Denver Museum of Nature and Science – Monday, June 2

Four Mile Historic Park, Friday, June 6

Denver Art Museum – Saturday, June 7

Hudson Gardens – Monday, June 23


Recipes of the Month

Shrubsa delicious, refreshing drink

Shrubs are a drink from American colonial days made with vinegar, sugar, fruits and herbs. They were used as a thirst quencher and are easy to make and great for using up seasonal produce. They can also add a nice tang to cocktails. My most recent recipe was chopped rhubarb and about 3 tbs of shredded ginger. Delicious!


Fruit Shrub

  • 2 cups washed, fresh fruit, cored and cut if necessary
  • 2 cups organic apple cider vinegar (very tonic to the system)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar, more or less depending on your sweet tooth and the sweetness of the fruit.

Heat vinegar and sugar together in a saucepan, once sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes over medium heat, add fruit, cover and bring to room temp. Add all ingredients to wide mouth Mason jar with plastic lined lid. Shake well, refrigerate and leave for 3 days to a week. Strain and use 1 part shrub to 5 parts water or seltzer, add ice and enjoy!


Thai Veggie Noodle Salad – serves 8

Here is a really delicious salad using fresh ingredients that can be made ahead of time and enjoyed at a summer concert or picnic.


  • 2 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • ½ cup canned coconut milk, (freeze the remainder for future u       
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbs honey or agave
  • 2 tbs soy or shoyu sauce
  • 3 tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp sriracha or cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbs grated fresh ginger
  • ½ cup cashews or peanuts

Add all ingredients to food processor and process.


  • 1 lb soba noodles 
  • 3 red bell peppers, julienned (sliced thin)
  • 4 cups peas or edamame (frozen works fine)
  • 1 ½  cups shredded carrots
  • ½ cup green onions, white part thinly chopped
  • 1 ½ cups roasted peanuts or cashews
  • 1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 2 limes cut in wedges for garnish
  • ½ cup toasted nuts for garnish.

You can also add broccoli, cauliflower or chopped kale or spinach.

Make dressing, set aside. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water. Check cooking directions, don’t overcook.  Drain pasta well, let it dry out a bit. Set aside.

Add all other ingredients to pasta along with dressing. Mix salad well, you will probably need to use your hands. Let chill a few hours to absorb flavors. Garnish with lime wedges and cashews. You can also add chicken, pork or shrimp.


Trips and Travel

Time to start thinking about getting away. I will be taking a small group to one of my favorite places this summer, Crested Butte. So close and yet a world away with its incredible beauty.

Crested Butte: Fields of Color, Farm to Fork, Crested Butte, CO
July 31 – August 3, 2014

$752 members, double occupancy. $100 extra fee for nonmembers and $200 single supplement. Pricing includes three nights of deluxe lodging, three breakfasts, two dinners, hikes, tours, and class fees. Check Crested Butte Getaway for full itinerary and registration.

Treat yourself to a fun weekend getaway in the picturesque town of Crested Butte in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Crested Butte is a charming 1880’s mining town and national historic district with great shops and restaurants in a spectacular mountain setting. It has been designated the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado”. Enjoy upscale mountainside lodging adjacent to the ski lift with a pool and hot tub and great hiking. Included activities feature a savory tapas tasting dinner with wine, ski lift ride to an alpine wildflower hike, guided tour of historic downtown and gardens and a farm to fork cooking class.

 You’ll have free time each day for a swim, massage, hike, shopping or any of the many activities offered in the area. Map and list of possibilities are included. Bring your camera, hiking boots, appetite and adventurous spirit and celebrate summer in the gorgeous Colorado mountains! Pricing includes three nights of lodging, three breakfasts, two dinners, hikes, tours, and class fees. Please register by Monday, June 16. Limited space available.

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