Janet Day: Leave it to the kids to make the most of beetle kill
Fraser Valley, CO Colorado
The Eyes of a Child: So often, it seems, children have the determination to do what adults can’t or won’t. Kids don’t care that someone may already have tried an idea or that not everyone likes it or that it may be a lot of work and take a lot of time. They just decide to do something and go with it.
A year or so ago I advocated that Grand County make something positive out of what many saw as a negative: the pine beetle infestation. I suggested holding a Beetle Days celebration and having some self-deprecating fun with the dead-tree situation. I heard plenty of supportive talk but saw little action. Then Summit County held its own beetle fest and the idea here died, or so I thought.
East Grand Middle School 8th-graders didn’t care who did what first. They started planning their own beetle festival and the culmination of that work takes place May 22 when the school in Granby celebrates its Earth Day and Pine Beetle Festival with music, food, educational opportunities and the symbolic burning of a “Beetle Man.” For more information, contact the Granby Chamber of Commerce at 970-887-2311.
Treasured Trips: The people who use TripAdvisor.com again made a Grand County destination one of their favorites. Rocky Mountain National park has been voted TripAdvisor’s Best Destination in the U.S. for Outdoor and Adventure. It shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. I’d have thought Yellowstone, Yosemite or other more-visited spots would have out-ranked RMNP. To see the entire top 25 list and get other details, go to http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g143048-Rocky_Mountain_National_Park_Colorado-Vacations.html
Grand Golf: Warmer weather and melting snow turns the duffer’s mind to thoughts of 18 holes. World Golf’s web site just published a comprehensive ode to Grand County’s golf courses that is bound to bring a few more visitors our way.
Unlike many other web postings, this story brings the county’s golf course descriptions into the present, noting that pine beetle mitigation at the Grand Lake Golf Course diminished the lush forest feel but “the new thinned-out look almost makes it a new course” with new challenges.
To read the entire story, go to http://www.worldgolf.com/features/grand-county-colorado-pole-creek-headwaters-grand-lake-grand-elk-10305.htm.
Grand Gardening: By this time of year in most areas of the country, gardens are well under way. Growing anything in Grand County takes patience and understanding. So it was no surprise that Carol Morales’ recent high altitude gardening classes at our local libraries were packed with participants. There are ways to keep kitchens full of your own home-grown produce throughout the summer and into the fall. Morales should know how to do it – she and husband Joe have been providing flavorful locally grown produce in Grand County for decades.
While I’m impatiently waiting for Morales Farms’ first spinach crop to be harvested and ready for sale, Carol introduced me to a new taste sensation: dehydrated shredded beets. Don’t make a face – even people won’t don’t like beets will love these things. The slightly salty, crunchy handfuls are addictive eaten as a snack and add a new dimension, plus nutrition, to salads or soups.
Blanch beets in salted water and shred. Then use a dehydrator to get every bit of moisture out of the shreds and store tightly sealed. The only thing I need to do now is figure out where I put the dehydrator I haven’t used in years.
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