Rock Out Your summer with Local Events

The end of summer is rapidly approaching, but we still have time to wring out all the merry fun we can from the warmest days of the year. As the Starks say, “Winter is coming,” so you’d do best to take advantage of our precious warm season while you can.

Tonight, Film on the Rocks at Red Rocks is showing Twilight. If any of our dear readers haven’t heard of it, it’s a small indie film, a love story between two teenagers: one pale and one sparkly, starring two talented unknowns: Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattison. It’s a lovely, quaint film set in a small logging town in Washington. It’s like Romeo and Juliet meets Twin Peaks meets Dawson’s Creek. My sister-in-law will be attending in full sparkle mode. I’ll be at home, on my porch, quietly melting.

Be sure to stop by your local farmers’ market this weekend. Last week, I bought some saucer peaches, which I’ve been eating nonstop. They’re pretty much the best thing ever, all fuzzy and sweet and saucer shaped.

Next week, the Denver Botanic Gardens are doing a great event with Ryan Rice, the artist and chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Native American Arts in Santa Fe, NM, as well as the cofounder and chair of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective. The basic event details are below, but visit the Botanic Gardens site for more info:
July 27 —“Site Seen: Native Art in Public Spaces”

Walk:  5:30–6:30 p.m.

Guided walk by Ryan Rice acts as prelude to the lecture. Space is limited.

Lecture:  7–8 p.m.

Then, on August 4, Denver Public Library is hosting a night of urban fantasy on the eve of RomCon. As I love book readings, cocktails, and magic of the urban fantasy variety, I’ll be attending in full sparkle mode.

From the Fresh City Life website:

Fresh City Life is pitching in to celebrate one of the most amusing and entertaining booklover’s conventions—RomCon 2011 (August 5–7). Dedicated to all the subgenres within Romance novels, this convention will draw an international audience. On the eve of RomCon, three exciting urban fantasy authors will join us for an evening of magic, mojo and readings from their most popular titles. You’ll also have an opportunity to create a Mojo Bag—a good-luck filled bag that will hold talismans contributed by each writer.

Mucho Mojo will feature the following fantasy authors: Nicole Peeler (Jane True series, including Tempest Rising), Kimberly Frost (national bestselling Southern Witch series, which includes Would-Be Witch, Barely Bewitched, and Halfway Hexed), and Jeanne Stein (national bestselling series The Anna Strong Vampire Chronicles).

Join your friends at Mad Wine Bar (13th and Acoma Plaza) and enjoy some fantastic potions and brews concocted specially for this event. It’s a magical chance to meet three incredible writers and make a retro-hip mojo bag to lift your spirits—all for free! (One drink minimum please.)

Get out there readers, and seize the summer. Anyone have great plans worth sharing?

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Local Publishing House, Local Food

Here at Fulcrum, we’re toasting the release of Renee Wilkinson’s book, Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create, by looking for food locally and sustainably in our own (figurative) backyard.

After the long winter, farmers’ markets are up and running again. Farmers’ markets are very special to me because they introduced me to the great love of my life: rhubarb. I spent the first 20 years of my life in denial, thinking that I hated rhubarb and that it was a terrible punishment to inflict on an innocent strawberry pie. But when I saw the bright pink and red stalks on sale at a farmers’ market, I bought them on impulse and fell in love with the tarty pleasures of the rhubarb: rhubarb tarts, rhubarb cobbler, rhubarb salsa, rhubarb-infused vodka (ok, that last one was a total failure). Ever since, I’ve always loaded up on rhubarb when it starts to appear on farmers’ market tables in early spring and summer.

I’m looking forward to checking out what Colorado has to offer this spring:

Boulder Farmers’ Market

Denver Famers’ Market

Fort Collins Farmers’ Market

There’s still time to buy a spring/summer share in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, another way to buy from and participate in the local, sustainable food movement. Many of Colorado’s CSA programs are listed through the Rocky Mountain Growers Directory. Some CSA programs have work shares as well, for those who want to support their local farm and eat delicious, locally sourced food, but who can’t afford the up-front cost.

I’ve done a work share before, at a farm in New England. I think my farmer relatives may have hurt themselves from laughing so hard at their tenderfooted, city slicker kin who paid for the privilege of working on a farm. As a matter of fact, I think they might still be laughing. But as a student, it was the perfect way to get farm-fresh produce at a lower cost than the usual share.

Whether you’re at a farmers’ market or buying from or working for a CSA, you never know which new ingredient you’ll find to inspire you, or which tasty local heirloom variety you’ll discover and fall head over heels for. If you put your dollar toward supporting and cultivating local food sources, you can help to grow, raise, and create a sustainable and thriving community food system.