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Side dish: Herbal CSA springs to action 

Remedy for ruin

Just days prior to the recent epic hail storm, Sara Foster, owner of I Dig the Garden organic landscaping, was discussing a vision with her sister Anna for an herbal CSA program partly inspired by a Boulder Valley business called Willow Way.

There was no immediate call for action, until the hail destroyed the entirety of Sara's garden: perennials and veggie seedlings pulverized and fruit trees stripped of leaves. Suddenly, she had the real estate open to grow something positive out of the natural disaster. Within days, Anna's Apothecary (473-6148) was formalized on Facebook, advertising "herbal remedies for everyday ailments" in the form of tinctures, tonics, elixirs, salves and culinary herbs, all to be grown with clean, biodynamic principles.

The quick business launch seemingly stands in contrast to Sara's favorite permaculture principle, "small and slow solutions," but a fast reaction that still embraces sustainable ideals plays into the sisters' desire to have the business serve as a living model for the community.

Beyond potential classes and a hope to expand into farmers markets next year, the apothecary's immediate CSA program tentatively looks as if it will shape into a quarterly distribution model, with the first delivery hitting around early August. A planned bio-shelter (call it greenhouse if you like) should enable year-round growing.

As for the types of products they envision, think items like elderberry syrup, first-aid salves, and arnica rubs for sore muscles or medicinal teas. Prices will likely fall in the range of $75 for a half share or $150 for a full share.

Beer season

• Seats ($39 to $149) departing from La Veta at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 23 still remain for the fifth annual Rio Grande Scenic Railroad Rails & Ales Brewfest and Concert (mountainrailslive.com), featuring a round-trip ride plus access to the music and 20-brewery fest that's held at a solar- and wind-powered outdoor amphitheater accessible only by train.

• The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (30 W. Dale St., csfineartscenter.org) will host its Whiskey for My Men, Beer for My Horses fundraiser inside the FAC Courtyard from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, June 29. Tickets are $25 ($20 members; $5 discount for wearing a "big-ass belt buckle"), with guest spirit makers Spring 44 and Distillery 291 on hand, along with Pikes Peak, Colorado Mountain and BierWerks breweries, plus Kraft Beers.

Purple Mountain Brewfest & Billiards will be held at the Event Center at Rustic Hills (3960 Palmer Park Blvd., purplemountainbrewfest.com) from 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday, June 30, with a portion of proceeds going to military charities. Celebrity billiards player Jeanette Lee, "The Black Widow," will appear alongside 70-plus beers from nine Colorado breweries.

matthew@csindy.com

  • Also: Trains, whiskeys and brews.

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