Spring 2018

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UC Health

{ Spring 2018 }



Tiny homes promise to solve Colorado’s big housing problems—but only if we find a way to make them fit in.

By TonI Mclellan


Of fermentation, that is. Meet five NoCo women who are poised to change what you sip—for the better.

By josie sexton

With help from those on the NoCo front lines we get to the heart of the matter.

By Andrew Kensley

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2018


{ Spring 2018 }




Riveting reads / space savers / where-to for vinyl collectors / more.
By Cara McDonald and Corey Radman


As humans encroach on wildlife habitat, one group of tireless advocates serve the animals that have been displaced.
By Carrie visintainer


Two moms with a conscience launched this line of walking works of art.
by lisa blake


Grab the bikes—it’s time for a spring fling in Fruita.
By cara mcdonald


How to take the stress out of meditation.
By andra coberly


Rose-gold everywhere / the man shed reloaded /more.
By Lisa blake and cara mcdonald


Gourmet bugs / kids eats beyond chicken fingers / fruit brandies / more.
By shawna jackson van and Lisa Blake


Erin Hottenstein on what it would take to get women’s voices in local government.
by corey radman

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2018

Wolf Sanctuary

{ Spring 2018 }

Letter from the editor

Some of the happiest times of my life have been when I lived in the smallest possible space.

For starters, my shared college dorm room, freshman year, which was pinchy even by dorm standards at 10 by six feet. Then there was the one-room apartment I had outside of Osaka, Japan, furnished only with a futon, a table and a bookshelf. There was the tiny cinderblock duplex on Prospect Road during grad school. Later, a one-bedroom condo my partner and I shared as newlyweds, where our baby slept in the living room and we stored our bikes, grill, skis and baby toys in a hatch under the stairs we called The Doghouse.

Despite the romance of it, the tiny thing didn’t really stick. We needed to get the baby out of the living room. We currently live in someone’s idea of an ’80s dream house that’s got enough wasted space to make any minimalist weep and enough bathrooms to clean to make me weep. I love our home and we’re very fortunate. But it’s my constant partner, as I work from a home office, and it fills my thoughts. Declutter it. Clean it. Pay for it. Stain it. Replace the roof. Repaint the walls because someone had a Sharpie and an artistic vision. On it goes.
I once worked at a magazine where we profiled a doctor who studied happiness. “Do you know,” he asked, “what people say their number one barrier to pursuing happiness is?” Answer: “I have a mortgage.” Meaning, sister, I’ve got commitments. I can’t just do what I want because I’m accountable to a bank every 30 days for the next 30 years.

Which is funny. The thing so many of us in Colorado dream about—finding and affording a home here—can become the thing that ultimately keeps us from dreaming further, like opening a bakery, sailing the Carribean, or taking that volunteer teaching gig.

I think back about those tiny-room days. What was the constant? I didn’t worry about home. I spent as little time and money as possible on it; instead I was focused outward. They were times of big change and great adventure and the little rooms were just places to sleep and regroup as I built my life. New people, education, travel, love, motherhood—that’s where I “lived.” I was so busy building who I was that I didn’t have the time or energy (or Pinterest account) to focus on a bigger, better house. I was forced out of the bubble of a domestic haven and into the world, and those days changed me.

In the pages that follow, we explore the tiny house movement; it’s fascinating from both a philosophical point of view and a practical solution to our housing challenges, suggesting that less can totally be more. But we don’t just leave the exploration there. This issue is full of stories to prompt us to shake off our perceptions and leave the bubble, whether it’s by looking at how women’s voices are being heard in new fields and conversations, thinking about our communities and how they’re shaped by immigration, or pairing edible bugs with gourmet dishes.

It’s easy, sometimes, to retreat inward and not look out as much as we once did. But we’d miss out on the unfamiliar, the new, the uncomfortable and the different. And in the end, our lives would be so much smaller.

Cara McDonald, Editor / Fort Collins Magazine / [email protected]

volume 7 • issue 1

Amy McCraken

Cara McDonald

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Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2018


{ Tips, Trends, Stuff We Love }


Arts & Culture

digging deeper
This spring, Bas Bleu Theatre will perform Dirt, novelist and Fort Collins Magazine contributor Laura Pritchett’s first work for the stage. When a young female scientist finds herself in a serious bind, she struggles to cope, and her mind takes her all over the planet, including the mysterious world under our feet. The playful multi-media exploration features original music by Longmont resident Brian Young, fascinating footage of soil and climate science, choreography by Fort Collins resident Francis Lister, and the Lakota creation myth spoken by Leo Swallow, one of the last remaining speakers of the Lakota language before it became adapted as a written language. The show runs from April 5 to May 6, with tickets and info at basbleu.org.

{ News & Notes }

Elizabethan Era

Music-themed four-star lodging rock ’n rolls into town.

Fort Collins’ only four-star stay has managed to nail the urban-chic vibe while maintaining our beloved city’s kicked-back jeans-and-boots dynamic. The 164-room Elizabeth Hotel—a Marriott Autograph Collection boutique—opened in December to high expectations.

{ News & Notes }

Kids & Family

Dairy Delight

Ah, springtime. And not much is cuter than a baby calf. Check ’em out yourself— Bellvue’s Morning Fresh Dairy, family run since 1894, is planning to open its doors for tours this spring, where you’ll get to go behind the scenes, see how production works and meet the cows and their calves. Finish it up with a visit to their onsite Howling Cow cafe for an espresso drink and chocolate milk shots for the littles. For more info check morningfreshdairy.com.
—Cara McDonald

{ News & Notes }


Vinyl-Lover’s Guide to FoCo

Here’s where shop to expand your collection.

Brand Spanking Used
This Old Town thrift store is packed to the gills with all sorts of knickknacks. However, they also have a large collection of vinyl—it’s mostly made up of children’s albums and ancient Broadway cast recordings, but for someone looking for records a little more out-there, this is the place.

Rock N’ Robin’s
While the weed culture in the joint is impressive (it shares space with a dispensary), the store also has an admirable record collection. But, perhaps the best part of this store is their special orders program. “If people want something, we can try to order it,” says Clay Cheney, an employee of the store. “Some things you can’t get, but most things you can, and there’s more and more on vinyl everyday.”

Barnes & Noble Booksellers
“We started out with twelve albums here [about four years ago],” says music department employee Beverly Schreck, “and within the first year, we had close to a thousand.” The selection is a plus, but downside is they only carry new vinyl.

Bizarre Bazaar
The collection at this FoCo icon is so expansive that they have baskets of records with a cover on them reading “for overstock, do not browse” stowed beneath their collection. Records are exclusively used, imbuing them with the classic vinyl pops and whizzes that vinyl enthusiasts so appreciate. —Nate Day

{ News & Notes }

Around Town

Garden, Undaunted

As if we didn’t love them enough—Gardens on Spring Creek has big news afoot of even more to adore. For starters, this year sees an expansion of the Great Lawn, which will seat up to 1,500 people for outdoor performances. Then two acres of Prairie, Foothills and Wetland gardens will showcase native plants. But our fave? The Undaunted Garden, designed by big-time landscape designer Lauren Springer Ogden, which will feature plants (native and non-) that thrive in local conditions. Think of it as a giant glimpse of what-could-be for those of you ready to ditch your bluegrass lawns. All these upgrades come with special shout-outs to the Bohemian Foundation, Woodward, Inc., and the City of Fort Collins along with hundreds of community supporters who contributed through The Gardens’ annual campaign and Colorado Gives Day in 2015 and 2016. —C.M.

{ News & Notes }

Feather Beds

Weird and wonderful habitats for the yard and garden.

Professional potter Douglas Fey was sipping coffee on his Northern Colorado deck, watching birds nest in colonial bottles when inspiration for a gargoyle-birdhouse hybrid struck.

Two decades later, the former CU Boulder ceramics professor has crafted an entire clay kingdom of bears, dogs, birds, cats, donkeys, elephants and tigers. His trademarked Bird Garglers are made with durable wheel-thrown red earthenware clay, hand-shaped into whimsical creatures appearing to gargle the sparrows, wrens, swallows and sometimes blue birds that move in.

Fey will customize a caricature of a relative or friend—just supply a few photos. douglasfeypottery.com

{ News & Notes }


Space Savers

Local government for the win on this recent giant land acquisition.

It’s no secret that NoCo’s booming economy and greatest-place-ever status is also contributing to open space being gobbled at a troubling rate. But here’s a big victory to celebrate—Fort Collins and Larimer County have teamed up for another conservation win, this time adding 2,492 acres adjacent the existing preservation areas of Coyote Ridge Natural Area, Horsetooth Mountain Open Space and Devil’s Backbone Open Space.

The purchase, which featured four separate deals with private landowners, has been in the works for years, with a little over half of the acreage purchased outright and the remaining placed into conservation easements. All that doesn’t come cheap—the $11,570,200 price tag was split between the county and town (thanks to voter support of a sales tax ballot measure), and the lottery-funded Great Outdoors Colorado. The real heroes? You..

“Conserving land in the iconic foothills just outside of the city, next to some of the most treasured and popular natural areas and open spaces, means that they will be here for us, wildlife and future generations,” said Mark Sears, Fort Collins Natural Areas Manager and Acting Director. “The opportunity to conserve such a large area is increasingly rare, and we are thrilled to be part of the project.” —C.M


{ Where The Heart Is }


Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

As humans encroach on wild habitats, one group of tireless advocates serves the animals that have become displaced.

BY Carrie Visintainer

WE’VE ALL HEARD the term Not In My Back Yard. Nimby. As in, it’s easy to ignore a controversial issue if it’s happening somewhere else, where you don’t feel the impact in your day-to-day life.

Yet there are certain issues that have begun to creep into all of our backyards in one way or another, due to the mind-blowing growth in Northern Colorado. One of these is the wildlife that is displaced.

Garwood's Jewelers
Cornerstone Home Lending
ski team real estate

{ Style & Shopping }

New in Town

Laadi Designs

Two moms with a conscience launched this line of walking works of art.

By Lisa Blake

SOME OF THE WORLD’S most talented weavers are hand-looming fabric magic in rural villages near Oaxaca, Mexico.

Clara Garcia and her three daughters live among them, hand-dyeing wool, hand-weaving textile straps and cutting soles from recycled tires for each pair of Fort Collins-based Laadi Designs sandals. Garcia’s husband collects hides from the local butcher—another ethical notch for the artisan family’s hacienda-based workshop, since no additional animals are harmed—and uses a traditional small-batch method to hand-cut and tan the leather.

Laadi co-founder Alisa Woofter fell in love with the Garcias’ craftsmanship while traveling in Mexico. “Shoemaking and weaving are traditions that are endangered in the world of fast fashion,” she says.

The 35-year-old mother of two teamed up with co-founder and friend Amber Schmechel, also 35 with two daughters, and launched their bohemian, socially conscious sandal brand in 2017 with a little help from a Kickstarter campaign.

Fair Trade-certified Laadi—which means “weaving” in Zapotec, Oaxaca’s indigenous language—ensures artisans receive reasonable and reliable wages and donates $1 from every sandal sale to She’s the First, an organization supporting girls education.

the cup board
traditional chinese

{ Adventure & Travel }

Spring Fling In Fruita

High-intensity interval training is everywhere. But is HIIT all hype?


Spring here finds it spitting snow one day, sun shining the next, and a serious case of bike jones starting to brew. The problem? Mud, unpredictable trails. The cure? Fruita. Ten miles past Grand Junction off I-70 West, the high-desert town of just under 13,000 is a hotbed of world-class mountain bike terrain, suitable for the mellowest cruisers and the most high-throttle dirt-chasers alike. We got the scoop from a few locals on making the most of your visit.

Bare foot lakes
rodizio grill
ortho health
Cornerstone Home Lending

{ Health & Wellness }

Getting Started

Ohm on the Range

How to take the stress out of meditation? Try it out in a class near you.


THE IRONY ABOUT attempting meditation is that it can be kind of stressful.

“The amount of angst I see in people coming to class for the first time, it’s horrible. It takes a lot for people to walk into someplace religious,” says Gen Kelsang Rinzin, resident teacher at the Heruka Buddhist Center. “It fills people with trepidation.”

People don’t know what to expect, whether they will be welcomed, what will be required of them or even what type of class is right for them.

kirk expert eyecare
csu vet
The Group Inc.
The Group Inc.
The Group Inc.
Fort Collins Mag

{ How We Live and Grow }


grow your garden

Backyard Sanctuary

Shinrin-yoku offers a calming way to reap the benefits of time outdoors.

Getting outdoors in NoCo isn’t exactly a stretch—we’re bike-laned and open-spaced and single-tracked up around here. But that go-go-go way of being in nature means we might be missing out on the real therapeutic benefits. Enter shinrin-yoku, the Japanese art of “forest bathing,” which involves taking a slow walk through nature and engaging it with all the senses. Japanese researchers have compared walks in the city with walks in the forest and found forest walkers experienced a reduction in blood pressure and certain stress hormones.

{ Home & Garden }


Really Rosy

When it comes to accessories, rose gold’s unapologetically pretty hue is a welcome break from stainless steel’s industrial look.


The One Light Pendant by Artcraft Lighting features a rose-gold cage wrapped around a 60-watt bulb for a touch of warmth to the farmhouse/industrial look. The Light Center Fort Collins, lightcenterinc.com

Who says your bin can’t have a bit of bling? We love this upgraded 45-liter rectangular step trash can from Simple Human. $129 at bedbathandbeyond.com

tribal rites

{ Home Trend }

outdoor living

Gear Shed Geek Out

The ultimate backyard upgrade for the bike obsessed.

BY lisa blake

In Colorado, the average two-wheeled cache can grow out of control pretty fast. We have road, fat and mountain bikes, trailers and hitches for towing the kids and dogs, tuning equipment, locks, helmets and other swag.


Tiny homes promise to solve Colorado’s big housing problems—but only if we find a way to make them fit in.

By Toni McLellan

Hunter Buffington lives off the grid in Larimer County, Colorado near Fort Collins. “I’d love to tell you where we’re based, but it’s technically illegal,” she says. The PR and event production manager lives with her husband and son in a converted bus dubbed The Rebel Ant. “She’s a rebel because she doesn’t follow the other ants in the colony,” says Buffington of her home on wheels. An advocate for the tiny house movement, Buffington is also breaking rank by living independently in an area where affordable housing and increasing population density are serious issues.

Of fermentation, that is. Meet five NoCo women who are poised to change what you sip—for the better.

By Josie Sexton
Photography by Stephanie Powell

Brewing Manager | New Belgium Brewing

As a 21-year-old college graduate, Stephanie Palladino found herself managing 10 Anheuser-Busch union men the age of her dad. She had majored in chemistry and didn’t expect to put her degree toward brewing, but Palladino’s father worked at Budweiser and mentioned that it could be a potential career for her. “If he hadn’t said anything, it never would have occurred to me,” Palladino says. Eleven years later, she’s New Belgium’s brewing manager, leading 31 brewers and working with eight leadership members, making sure the fourth-largest craft brewery in the country puts out consistently good beer. She keeps her team on schedule and oversees the everyday production of brands from flagship Fat Tire to experimental Juicy Haze. But Palladino confesses that when she started working in breweries, she didn’t love beer. “I [eventually] fell in love with beer because of what it is as a science and what it is as an art,” Palladino says. She and her team enjoy discussing the next trends in craft beer and the latest ingredients, and they’ll also geek out over a perfected and replicated process in the lab. “You’re very much interacting with the science,” she says. It’s a message she has extended while working with middle-school girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs. And it’s a message she hopes to transmit when giving tours of the brewery to young women. “This is science?” the younger kids will ask, and she’ll answer: “Yes! This is science!”

By Andrew Kensley

Forget what you think you know from cable news commentary and online echo chambers. With help from those on the front lines of NoCo’s immigration situation, we get to the heart of the matter.

The practice of seeking better lives, wherever it takes us, isn’t abating anytime soon.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, an independent, nonpartisan think tank, 43.3 million immigrants were living in the United States in 2015, or just over 13 percent of the total population. While this represents about a 30 percent increase since 2000, the number has remained relatively stable over the last 15 years.

Your state is home to over half a million immigrants—legal and otherwise.


{ News, Brews, Delicious Discoveries }



cult classic

I WAS A VEGETARIAN in college mainly because all of my roommates and musical idols were. But a cheeseburger at a backyard BBQ was my undoing. While I heated I my black-bean burger in the microwave, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the urge to devour a grill-charred hamburger stacked high with everything—tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions. I did, and it was, in a word, amazing. I experience similar feelings of bliss when I order the Colorado Cheeseburger at Austin’s, and it is my go-to burger here in town. Perfectly cooked beef, topped with Swiss cheese and loaded with whatever veggies you crave it’s all served on a toasted brioche bun. There are other burger options at Austin’s for every mood—a nicely-seasoned Portobello or bison, for instance—but it’s pretty tough to beat the classic gig, so treat yourself. Two locations; austinsamericangrill.com —SHAWNA JACKSON VAN

{ Food & Drink }


Six legs and Delicious

One Old Town bistro experiments with adding creepy-crawlies to its menu.

BY Stephanie Powell

MY HUSBAND AND I ARE sitting across a table from one another, slightly aghast at the meal before us. On each of our bright white rectangular plates sits a petite egg-white and chimichurri omelet. Our omelets are flanked by thin strips of colorful veggies and a magenta swipe of beet and roasted garlic sauce. So what’s troubling us? Perhaps it’s the three-inch locust perching on top.

Our locusts seem to be staring at us while we, in turn, stare back at them. When I glance up at my husband his face tells me he shares my dismay and curiosity. It’s a standoff of sorts and for a moment neither of us makes a move toward a first bite.

Admittedly, we were the ones who contacted Nate Hines, Chef/Owner at The Welsh Rabbit, and specifically requested a “bug lunch” after learning he has been experimenting with and developing insect-themed dishes for over a year. But the reality is a little daunting.

“The idea of edible insects had been floating around in the back of my mind for a while,” Hines says.

gardens spring

{ Food & Drink }

healthy eats

Beyond Chicken Fingers

Where to find kids-menu options that don’t make you cringe.


We explored popular Fort Collins menus to find smart, well-rounded—and delicious—eats for your littlest diners.

Restaurant 415
Look to the small plates where you’ll discover veggies cloaked in flavorful layers. There’s lemon-butter broccoli, orange-garlic Brussels sprouts and a spaghetti squash singing in basil, parsley, garlic and parm. Picky eater? Steer toward the kid pie, a mini pizza made with locally sourced organic flour, house red sauce and mozzarella. 415 S. Mason St., 970-407-0415, thefourfifteen.com

C3 Agent Chrissy
melting pot

{ Food & Drink }



Under-appreciated fruit brandies bring
Colorado’s orchards to your glass.

BY Andra Coberly

FRUIT BRANDY IS NOT a Feisty Spirits top seller. Nor is it the second or third or fourth most popular liquor at the Fort Collins distillery.

Instead, you’ll find their three fruit brandies mentioned at the very bottom of the menu.

“We don’t sell much of it,” says Jamie Gulden, co-owner of Feisty Spirits. “We make it because we love it.”


Forbidden Fruits

Under-appreciated fruit brandies bring Colorado’s orchards to your glass.

BY Andra Coberly

FRUIT BRANDY IS NOT a Feisty Spirits top seller. Nor is it the second or third or fourth most popular liquor at the Fort Collins distillery.

Instead, you’ll find their three fruit brandies mentioned at the very bottom of the menu.

{ 5 Minutes With… }

Erin Hottenstein

The stats shocked her—then she set to work. Her mission: equal representation.


FRUSTRATED WITH a lack of women’s voices in politics, Erin Hottenstein founded Colorado 50-50, an organization striving for gender parity in elected office and on appointed boards and commissions.

What does CO 50-50 do?
We have events like the series Winning with Women that are part educational, part networking. We demystify the process of running for office and encourage women to run for office, or to get on a path to leadership, even if they don’t know if they might be interested in running for office.

Why doesn’t Colorado 50-50 skew toward a political party?

Because we think that all women are good for the system, not just a certain party.

What would change if women were equally represented?

We know that women politicians are different in office. Lots of academic research shows that women are more collaborative. They are less hierarchical. They work across the aisle and they actually get more done.

spring home show
spring home show
Spring 2018

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