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Side dish: Manitou's seed library 

Seedy people

"More and more people, even if they're not big environmentalists, are tuning into the fact that our food systems are collapsing," says Brian Fritz of Transition Town Manitou Springs. "More and more people are growing for their own health. Those are the type [of] people that will be interested in coming to the seed bank."

The bank to which Fritz is referring is the newly formed Manitou Springs Seed Library (701 Manitou Ave., manitouspringsseedlibrary.wordpress.com), based out of the public library but operated as more of an honor-system kiosk. It'll be where anyone can grab produce seeds for free, and ideally give back saved seeds in the fall, creating a self-sustaining cycle.

The library's Margaret Morris got the idea from other libraries around the nation with similar programs, says Fritz, who calls it a definite growing trend. This year's initial stock, expected to be available by mid-May, comes from donations and a little grant money. It's intended to be a diverse bank of seeds providing old green thumbs with new varieties for experimentation, and newbies with starter seeds. Heirloom varieties will be preferred, but Fritz acknowledges the inherent lack of full quality control in this model.

Cupcake Girls

Cupcake Girls (cupcakegirls.co), the sweets delivery service launched last August, will as of sometime in July, tentatively, become Cupcake Girls Bakery and Luncheonette at 302 E. Platte Ave. Owners Lisa Potts and Andrea Fleischmann purchased the former Bernie's Cakes and on May 1 will launch an extensive renovation to create the "vintage-inspired shabby chic cafe hot spot" of their dreams.

In addition to an array of cupcakes, Potts says they plan to serve other house-baked goodies, coffee, tea and, at first, a single rotating daily lunch special, like a panini or pasta salad.

Asked about saturation in the trending cupcake market, Potts says she believes the Springs is large enough to support all the businesses and that "every cupcakery has its own unique style and presentation that appeals to different people."

À la carte

Crystal Park Cantina (178 Crystal Park Road, Manitou Springs, crystalparkcantina.com) will begin lunch service May 1, serving its current menu from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily.

• Since a Jeep drove through its storefront on Feb. 13, Pho-N-Thai (125 N. Spruce St., 329-0705) has remained closed for repairs. Co-owner Soyin Duk says she now expects to be open within the week.

• The 27th annual Colorado Springs Chorale Chefs' Gala & Silent Auction will be held at 5 p.m., Sunday, April 22 at the Antlers Hilton (4 S. Cascade Ave., cschorale.org). Tickets, a fundraising $95, remain available as of press time. Call 634-3737 for updates.

  • Also: More cupcakes on the way

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