Welcome September {2017}

Near the beginning of each month we like to pause and make an intention for the month, thinking about what the new season will bring, whether it’s in the way of animal activity, farmers’ fields, or environmental events. *You can find our archive of previous welcomes here (a few months are missing from the archive, we’re bowing our heads in shame).*

Let’s start with a good old confession : having just come back from the beach, this post is hard to write. It’s not that I’m heading into September kicking and screaming, it’s just that I feel like the door to summer hit me in the rear.

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BUT I know that come tomorrow morning I’m going to find myself a pumpkin something or other, pop something in the oven, and start day-dreaming about brisk fall hikes amidst the foliage.

Below I’m sharing a few more things that I’m looking forward to as well as a bit of news that made me so happy and had me looking backwards (by a few years!).

Looking Forward

After many weeks away from Boulder, it’s always fun to come home and look at our city with fresh eyes. I never get bored living here, but I do get into a comfortable routine. I’m excited to shake things up by checking out some of the new(ish) locals around town.

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  • It was three years ago that Sarah and I stopped in the Rowdy Mermaid tap room to buy a kombucha flight. Another one of our favorite local brewers, Upstart, just opened a new tap room, and it’s top on my list of places to visit. I’ll probably stop in for a quick growler, because these boys are not refined enough for a round of ‘booch. And at home, it’s about time to brew up another batch!
  • My fashion has not changed much in the past few years. Still wearing this exact outfit, but this season, I want compliment it by sewing a new sweatshirt! Am I crazy?
  • EEK! These boys! Those cookies! I want to bake everything, but those cookies and a batch of these bars are top on my list (scroll down in this post to see my notes about the bars).

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Looking Backwards

I was really excited to see this article in the news. Dan Janzen, the researcher that started the original project, taught my absolute favorite undergrad biology class. I won’t wax on about his teaching style, other than to say that he had a way of turning a 90 minute lecture into a mesmerizing story that left you wanting more…  and in the process he taught so many basic biology/ecology concepts.

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Dr. Janzen’s work is in the news because in 1997 he started an experiment by working with a number of parties to dump 12,000 metric tons of orange peels on 7 acres of degraded land in a Costa Rican forest. The orange peels were waste from a local orange juice company. I heard about the start of this experiment during one of his lectures in 2001, and I’m so exciting to learn about these amazing results.

When the peels were first dumped, a lawsuit was brought against the juice company by a rival for defiling a national park, and the defendants lost! BUT fifteen years later, researchers from Princeton visited the site and discovered that the land is now covered by a lush forest. Quoting this article, “The area fertilized by orange waste had richer soil, more tree biomass, greater tree-species richness and greater forest canopy closure.” As the authors note, this is an example of how partnerships between private companies and local planners can actually lead to a win for everything. Organic wastes come from many agriculture and food industries, and this is an example of how simply dumping those wastes created a rich fertilizer and and renewed a damaged landscape.

If you’d like to learn more about this project, you can access the paper here.

~

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On with it now! We’re off to romp around in the woods and reacquaint ourselves with these mountains.

image source : orange peel

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