Here we are at the last months of summer. Feel it slipping away? Skip the drudgery of the to-do list and make some time now for celebrating this fleeting season. Check out www.denver.org or www.colorado.com for all kinds of ideas, lots of them for free.
The farmers market in August is overflowing with tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, beans, peaches, plums, and melons. Get inspired and experience all the wonderful flavors. Break out the grill on these hot days and experiment with easy, healthy recipes using the peak of the harvest.
August and September classes are sold out but we have added an additional Home Apothecary class for Sunday, September 25.
Building Your Home Apothecary Workshop, September 25
Building Your Home Apothecary Workshop, Denver Botanic Gardens, Sunday, September 25, 9 -noon, $68, $62 member
Have you always wanted to know how to make your own home medicine chest stocked with effective homemade remedies for you and your family? In this class, discover how to use easy-to-find ingredients from the garden and grocery for everything from colds and flus to digestive upsets, headaches, and skin rashes. From the many uses of apple cider vinegar to tonics, herbal teas, and baths, empower yourself with natural therapies that help restore health and accelerate healing.
Get ready for the winter nasties and learn the fascinating craft of the home apothecary. During this class make virus-fighting elderflower/echinacea syrup and spicy fire cider, a tasty digestive tea, and a soothing herbal salve and lip balm with samples to take home. Class includes an extensive handout with recipes.
The Herbalists Happy Hour
The Herbalist’s Happy Hour – Crafted Cocktails and Tapas from the Garden is the perfect book for summer. A great reference for cooking up easy, fresh, delicious drinks, cocktails and appetizers for entertaining and enjoying. Get it here
Fun Things to Do!
Palisade Peach Festival
Experience all things peaches on the western slope. August 11-13, Entertainment, food, farm dinners, kid activities. and more. https://palisadecoc.com/events/palisadepeachfest/
Loveland 34th annual Sculpture in the Park
Sculptures from 160 sculpture artists featured next to Lake Loveland. August 12-14. https://www.sculptureinthepark.org/
Breckenridge Festival of Arts
A mix of music, dance, film, visual arts, and entertainment up in the mountains. August 12-21.
Colorado State Fair
The big guy at the Pueblo fairgrounds with a rodeo, carnival, top name acts, and the usual big fair fare. August 26-September 5. https://coloradostatefair.com/
Denver Art Museum, Tuesday, August 9
Denver Botanic Gardens at York St. and Chatfield Farms, Tuesday August 16
Four Mile Historic Museum, Sunday, August 21
Denver Museum of Nature and Science free night, Wednesday, August 17, 5-9
Hudson Gardens, daily
What I’m Reading
When We Were Birds – Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
Loved this book, swept me away and I couldn’t wait to get back to it.
Four Thousand Weeks - Time Management for Mortals - Oliver Bremen
Reject the cult of constant productivity and busyness. It’s not what you produce and consume that counts, despite the gospel of our modern culture, it’s how you live.
Mariia Shriver’s Sunday Paper Interesting perspectives on current events and people making a difference. Thoughtful and positive. Comes out every Sunday. https://www.mariashriversundaypaper.com/
Places I’ve Been
Just got back from working the wildflower festival at Crested Butte, CO. A gorgeous little mining town deep in the Rockies. Lovely place to visit with amazing views, a quaint downtown, winter skiing, biking, and so much more. A great escape from the heat dome. https://travelcrestedbutte.com/
I always take a solo sabbatical for a few days after a heavy work week. I spent a few days far from the maddening crowd in Crestone, a little village tucked up against the Sangre de Cristo mountains. It is close to hot springs, The Great Sand Dunes National Park, an alligator farm, a UFO exhibit, and other diversions. Sort of a New Age mecca, there are shrines and monasteries to visit, 2 small grocery stores, great camping along a creek, and lots of Airbnb’s for rent at reasonable prices. The views are gorgeous and there are lovely hikes in the mountains. Fairly undiscovered and great for a getaway. https://www.uncovercolorado.com/towns/crestone/
The garden is in full bloom and productivity as the harvest months begin. Is your garden looking a little tired from all the heat? Add a shot of fertilizer to perk things up. Continue to remove old blooms from your annuals and perennials, and clip back your herbs, using them in your summer dishes and drying them for your winter pantry.
You can put in seeds for your fall crops, including salad greens, radishes, beets, kale, and Swiss chard. Harvest your tomatoes, beans, peppers, etc., bigger isn’t always better. A lovely small zucchini is going to be a lot tastier that a baseball bat. The more you harvest the more you get, so clip away. Too much? Donate to neighbors or your local shelter or food bank.
Tomatoes were not widely eaten in the US until the late 1800’s. Belonging to the nightshade family they were considered poisonous. Today we know that tomatoes contain Vitamin C, A, iron, and potassium along with lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant which helps in preventing cancer. You will absorb more lycopene from cooked tomatoes than raw.
Farm fresh tomatoes will soon be nothing more than a memory. Before that sweet juicy flavor retreats for another year make the most of it with recipes sure to complement those end of summer meals. To really bring out that tomato flavor in sauces and soups add a bit of honey, agave, or sugar. Sage advice I got from an Italian grandma. Once we’re back to store bought, try cherry tomato varieties which give more of that fresh tomato taste in the off season.
“Just living is not enough ... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
- Hans Christian Andersen