Environment

Monday, February 4, 2019

Soil Cycle offers composting services for downtown Springs

Posted By on Mon, Feb 4, 2019 at 9:52 AM

A map of Soil Cycle's current service area. - SOIL CYCLE
  • Soil Cycle
  • A map of Soil Cycle's current service area.
Downtown Colorado Springs just got a little greener.

Former Indy news reporter Nat Stein has founded a social enterprise called Soil Cycle, a subsidiary of Colorado Springs Food Rescue. Their stated mission is to “starve the landfill and feed ourselves” by offering zero-emission compost pickup around the downtown Springs area.

It works like this: Customers sign up for the service and receive a basic composting kit, including an outdoor bucket and a list of what can and can't be composted. Once a week, Soil Cycle employees bike to customers' homes to pick up the compost for transportation to local urban farms and gardens, where it's used to grow food.

Soil Cycle started as a pilot program in the Mid Shooks Run neighborhood, but it's since expanded to cover the whole downtown area.

“After we announced our expansion on January 7, 50 new households signed up within days," Stein says. "I think this is part of a broader cultural shift. People get, on a gut level, that extract-consume-discard is not a sustainable way to live."

SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
Currently, Soil Cycle charges on a fee-for-service basis — customers pick what they pay, starting at $6 a week.

"Taking a different approach is hardly austere — it’s actually convenient, collaborative and kid-friendly," Stein says. "You can’t really say the same about trash.”
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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Grain school at UCCS will up your knowledge of our biggest food group

Posted By on Tue, Jan 15, 2019 at 8:34 PM

UCCS GRAIN SCHOOL
  • UCCS Grain School
Is it just me, or are grains the least popular kid at the dinner table these days?

For years, diet gurus have been telling us that shunning grains will help us lose weight, that ancient people didn't eat grain, and that modern grains are Frankenfoods that our digestive systems simply can't handle.

Expect the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' Grain School, set for Jan. 18-20 to address all the hype and concerns around our biggest food group. Also on the plate: Discussion and/or hand-on workshops that explore diversity and women in the grain movement, how we preserve grain (and feed the world) in the midst of climate change, global perspectives, agricultural techniques, and ways to process and cook with grains. But the main focus of the course is learning the history of ancient grains; how to differentiate among  heirloom, perennial, hybrid, and genetically modified grains; exploring agricultural practices and their impacts; and understanding how grains play into diet and cultures. The School will also explore grains the old-fashioned way: By eating them in all sorts of yummy recipes. (Sprouted kamut and winter squash stew, anyone?)

UCCS explains the Grain School this way:

Established in 2012 in Arizona, Grain School has evolved into an interdisciplinary course at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS), with the first Grain School held at UCCS in 2016. During this three-day seminar held annually, students can earn credit by taking courses in the history of land-race grains, crop breeding, nutritional and health issues, baking, fermentation and cooking, and small-scale production techniques. Representatives from the entire industry from growers, millers, farmers, brewers, distillers, maltsters, bakers, chefs, food service staff or personnel, college students, and gardeners, contribute as part of this great exchange of learning and teaching.

Beyond the big questions, there's lots of opportunities to learn things you can bring into your own kitchen: How to make pasta or tortillas or cook with African grains; guidance from restaurant and bakery owners and brewers; a thoughtful discussion of the gluten-free debate; or (for the incredibly ambitious) a class on how to grow, mill and bake with your own grains at home. 

The bad news is that the Grain School costs $500 if you take it as a non-credit course (it's also available as a for-credit course). The good news is there will be a public forum on Saturday, July 19.

 Check out the full schedule here: 
Check out some of the events on the next page.

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