Colorado’s Freshest Milk

agriculture, Boulder Weekly, food writing, profiles

Have one glass of Longmont Dairy Farm’s ultra creamy and delicious milk, and you’ll know why 25,000 customers on the Front Range remain loyal to this longtime institution. 

The Family Business

Longmont Dairy Farm (LDF) is more than half a century old and three generations in. Founded by Reese Boatman, Karl Obluda and Jim Boyd, LDF has been delivering fresh Colorado milk to their customers’ doorsteps since 1965. In 1988, Boyd’s son and daughter-in-law, David and Susan, took over the business. Then in 2015, their children, Dan Boyd and Katie Herrmann, became the new owners. 

Boyd is in charge of the mechanical side, including the processing plant, trucks and milk routes, while Herrmann oversees customer service, sales, marketing, IT and human resources. Since they took over, the two continue their grandfather’s legacy of running a sustainable and local dairy farm.

“We have big shoes to fill,” Herrmann says. “We want to keep our legacy alive. There’s a pressure to keep business going since my grandfather passed it on to my parents and now me and my brother. We have a sense of pride to keep this in the family. The Longmont Dairy Farm family has [served Coloradan] families as stewards of God, and we want to carry that forward.”

From Farm to Table

Herrmann says it takes a little over 48 hours for milk to travel from the Loveland dairy farm to a customer’s front door. The milk comes from Colorado born-and-raised Holstein cows, fed on a local diet of grain, hay and corn silage. Milk is stored in a tank until a truck transports it to the processing plant on Coffman Street. 

At the processing plant, the milk is homogenized, pasteurized and bottled in recycled glass bottles. Crates of chilled milk bottles wait until nightfall when an armada of 35 delivery trucks head out at 11 p.m. and make deliveries into the wee morning hours, Sunday through Thursday. Herrmann says the company delivers about 4,000 gallons of milk daily between Loveland and Highlands Ranch. 

A Convenient Coincidence

Ninety-nine percent of LDF’s business is from single-home deliveries but apartment-dwellers, fear not — milk is available for purchase at Your Butcher Frank and Longmont’s Whole Foods.

In the past, LDF has offered orange juice, eggs and butter. Since its 2018 plant expansion, LDF now delivers loaves of bread from Castle Rock’s Bread in the Box, cold brew coffee and fresh iced tea sourced by Boulder’s Silver Canyon Coffee and, more recently, Denver’s Prefare chicken and pizza meal kits.

Modern technology has made it more convenient for grocery delivery services. It’s expected the U.S. online grocery market will experience multi-billion dollar growth over the next few years. Regardless of market trends, LDF has proven its value to Front Range families for generations.

Sign up at longmontdairyfarm.com

Courtesy Longmont Dairy Farms

When you sign up for milk delivery service, Longmont Dairy Farm gives you a complimentary cooler. But, if you want to take the nostalgia up a notch, LDF also offers stainless steel and wooden milk boxes. Customers can then enjoy their breakfast with a glass of milk, free of antibiotics and rBST growth hormones. 

Once you’re finished with your bottle, don’t toss it in the recycle bin. Instead, leave it in the cooler (or milk box) so the delivery driver can take it back to the plant to be washed, sanitized and used again.

Community Service 

Since LDF launched the Milk Caps for Mooola program in 2012, it has collected 7 million milk caps and donated $350,000 to 350 participating elementary schools along the Front Range. Herrmann says with that money, students are able to access new technology, music programs and field trips.

https://www.boulderweekly.com/special-editions/colorados-freshest-milk/

The Longmont Nature Guide

Boulder Weekly, moves, travel
The Spirit of Longmont” Rafe Ropek, 2009
Photo courtesy of the City of Longmont

In the city of Longmont, residents have plenty of places to get outside and enjoy nature, including 41 parks containing a total of 2,242 acres.

“Longmont puts a lot of pride into the park system,” says Kathy Kron, Longmont Parks and Natural Resources senior project manager. “When it comes to having a variety of parks, we have neighborhood, nature and greenway parks.

“It’s a neat aspect because you can get lost in nature without having to leave town.”

And as long as you’re lost in nature, here are a few of the things you can do before you find your way back home:

Bird watching: It’s common to see osprey, bald eagles and a wide variety of hawks and other raptors. Many species of smaller birds such as chickadees, finches, blue jays, doves and woodpeckers are also common. Near evening or early morning be on the lookout for wild turkeys. And while harder to find, rare species such as the burrowing owl, which can be found near prairie dog colonies, do appear from time to time. When water is present, expect to see cormorants, American white pelicans, great blue herons, a wide variety of ducks and Canada geese.

Wildlife encounters: While most animals in Longmont are of the small and furry variety — rabbits, prairie dogs, weasels and the like — larger animals such as beaver, coyotes and deer are sometimes encountered. And if you venture west to Longmont’s Button Rock Preserve (west of Lyons), you’ll get the chance to see mountain lion and bear. 

Art viewing: Some of Longmont’s parks have wonderful nature-inspired art. So why not take in a little culture on your next hike with art including these pieces:

“The Spirit of Longmont” This installation — created by Rafe Ropek in 2009 — can be spotted on southwest Diagonal Highway. The 48 leaves alternate from yellow to green to represent Longmont’s agricultural roots, while the sphere in the middle calls to the future. 

“Dawson Silverwood” Steve Jensen, 2003
Photo courtesy of the City of Longmont

“Dawson Silverwood” Located at Lake McIntosh, Steve Jensen’s aluminum sculpture, created in 2003, contains inscriptions by students about their hopes for the future.

“A Lady and a damsel” Built in 2019 by Amanda Willshire, this towering structure is made from recycled bike parts, an old Volkswagen hood, and golf clubs; 210 Ken Pratt Blvd., on the St. Vrain River Trail.

There’s plenty more where those came from, including all along the St. Vrain Greenway. But we know half the fun is when you discover such art on your own, so we’ll keep the list short.

So, now that you know what to do, let’s take a look at some of the great places to do them right in your back yard.

Waste Not, Want Not

Boulder Weekly, news

We all love those prized Palisade peaches that are so easily devoured, crate after crate, at the end of summer every year. But did you know that one out of four peaches doesn’t even make it out of the orchard? Or that after 253 miles of transporting them to Boulder County (about 10 gallons of gas per truck, round-trip), there’s no guarantee that any particular peach will even hit the shelf before it’s discarded to make room for the next day’s shipment? If the peach bruises or over-ripens in your kitchen, do you know what your options are, besides (God forbid) the trash?

Thankfully, Boulder is home to a slew of proactive efforts dedicated to save foods like the very peaches we love (and tons of other produce) to create an overall better environment and community for future generations. Jamie Harkins, sustainability coordinator for the City of Boulder, says decreasing food waste is increasing in priority for the local government. By updating the City’s Climate Commitment and Action Plan, continuing educational projects and expanding the Food Waste Awareness Week program this September, things are looking bright on Boulder’s food waste reduction horizon.

But locals are also leading the charge: Here are three Boulder County organizations and businesses helping the City reach its zero waste goals.

Boulder Food Rescue

In 2011, Hayden Dansky kick-started a food recovery program named Boulder Food Rescue, which bridges the gap between problems in Boulder’s food infrastructure and food insecurity. “There’s food waste on all levels,” Dansky says — the farm, transportation sectors, distribution systems, grocery stores and, ultimately, consumers, who contribute 60 percent of overall food wasted, according to the 2016 City of Boulder Food Waste Audit. Dansky, who is the program’s executive director, endorses the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy, which pinpoints “source reduction” and “feed hungry people” as the top two prerogatives when it comes to managing a more sustainable food system. After finding out that 40 percent of food produced ends up in a landfill, Dansky began to reach out to grocery stores and restaurants to see if businesses would donate any excess produce. Grocery stores such as Sprouts, Lucky’s and Whole Foods now participate in the program, resulting in 1,200 pounds of produce that’s redistributed to low-income communities every day. These businesses benefit by reducing trash collector fees and receiving an incentivized federal tax credit, and the community benefits from the nourishment.

Looking ahead, Boulder Food Rescue plans to create a more engaging environment for the people they serve by sharing the community’s stories about food insecurity. They also plan to continue educating businesses about food donation policies and working with the City of Boulder to develop strategies to reduce even more local food waste.

Eco-Cycle

In the summer of 2015, the City of Boulder, along with the green minds behind Eco-Cycle, passed the Universal Zero Waste Ordinance that requires all restaurants, businesses and schools to reduce waste by recycling and composting. Eco-Cycle has been in the pro-environmental game since 1976 — when founders Roy Young and Pete Grogan started to collect recyclables on an old school bus — and the organization has helped create recycling facilities and conduct research programs for Boulder County ever since. Nowadays, Eco-Cycle focuses on educating the community about composting and how they can dispose of organic waste both curbside and in their own backyards. 

Communications Director Harlin Savage says businesses have many questions and obstacles to address when first learning about the logistics of composting, such as space constraints, but the long-term benefits to composting have sparked interest in working beyond these hurdles. Composted soil adds nutrients to the land, it’s more resistant to erosion and grows plentiful produce. “By diverting waste, it prevents methane gas’ heat trapping power,” Savage adds, a toxic emission that is many times more powerful than carbon dioxide. 

In the next 11 years, Eco-Cycle envisions Boulder achieving their zero-waste milestone and continuing intensive compost research within the county.

The Stone Cup

The Town of Lyons has committed to becoming a zero-waste community and The Stone Cup’s owner Mindy Tallent is fully on board. While it’s a costly practice for the restaurant and a continual process of educating customers, Tallent says it’s worth it because the country’s astronomical food waste needs to be addressed. Within her shop, Tallent uses ceramic ware and stainless steel silverware for dine-in guests and compostable to-go containers. Customers are encouraged to bring in their own mugs. She also use an in-house composting and recycling program through Eco-Cycle.

The Stone Cup hopes the current government will address climate change and pass legislation that causes change in manufacturing, production and purchasing so it will be more affordable to be environmentally responsible. “Our hope is that folks become more educated about how our environment is impacted by our decisions and actions,” Tallent says. “As business owners, we will continue to do what we can in educating [others] and leading by example.” 

Written for Boulder Weekly. Original article here.

Where to Go When Eating Solo

Boulder Weekly, what I'm eating

Here’s what you might guess about the Boulder food scene after a casual stroll downtown: it’s alive and thriving. You might need to trust us on this one (and perhaps erase years of societal conditioning), but the scene is also quite welcoming to the solo eater. We’ve scouted five of the best spots to visit if you’re wanting to immerse yourself in an authentic Boulder dining experience or grabbing a quick bite to eat alone. So read up and take yourself out on a date; you deserve it.

For people-watching: World Famous Dark Horse Bar and Grill
Locals, college students, visitors… they’ve all gravitated to the whimsical neighborhood bar and grill that is the Dark Horse since 1975. Its unassuming exterior obscures a playful inside maze full of knick-knacks such as mechanical gears, boots glued to the ceiling and peanut dispensers. After 3 p.m. it’s self service, so mosey your way up to the food counter to order a juicy burger, then find a seat at the bar for a local brew while you wait for your name to be called. With tons of seating space, great happy hour specials and a weekly trivia night, this bar is a great pit stop for the solo traveler.
2922 Baseline Road, 303-442-8162, darkhorsebar.com

For your weekly cleanse: Zeal
Everything about Zeal is Zen. Not only are you treating your body to flavorful and nourishing superfoods, you get to do it al fresco by the babbling Boulder Creek. Follow the never-ending signs through the tiled garden path to a quaint and intimate patio setting, complete with cavernous umbrellas and twinkling lights. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a refreshing acai bowl, wholesome mighty bowl (packed with quinoa, chickpeas, sauteed greens, sweet beets, carrots, cucumber and lentils), or filling grass-fed meatballs and zoodles in an addicting tikka masala sauce.
1201 Arapahoe Ave., 720-252-3398, zealfood.com

For a sweet breakfast fix: Foolish Craig’s Cafe
Forget pancakes and Belgian waffles to start your day: Foolish Craig’s has just the right idea with its sweet crepes (which are so good, it made that TV host with the wild hair stop by. Cough, Guy Fieri, cough.). Order “the whole thing” crepe, a sweet and spongy crepe filled with hot, oozy Nutella and topped with caramelized bananas, walnuts, cinnamon and whipped cream. Wash it down with an iced Americano (spiked version also available upon request).
1611 Pearl St., 303-247-9383, foolishcraigs.com

When you’re craving sushi: Hapa Sushi Grill and Sake Bar
Asian fusion, when done well, is exciting cuisine. Such is the case at Hapa. Known for its delicious blend of Japanese and Hawaiian nosh, this sushi favorite has those tropical and savory flavors down. Grab a seat at the sushi bar and watch the masters craft your roll, or sprawl out on its sunny patio, where you can watch the passersby stroll through Pearl Street Mall. We go for the lunch special, which comes with a sushi roll and tuna poke salad in a fried rangoon shell. You also can’t go wrong with the Hawaiian pork sliders or Red Bird chicken katsu bowl with Japanese steak sauce.
1117 Pearl St.,303-473-4730, hapasushi.com

Where it feels like home: The Kitchen
What draws us back to The Kitchen again and again may have something to do with its always amicable staff, its perfect juxtaposition between industrial and classic design in an airy layout and, of course, its fresh takes on American cuisine. Go at midday for the seasonal lunch menu, like the Munson Farms grilled corn on the cob, topped with Aleppo chili, charred green onion mayo and popped sorghum (a type of cereal grain). Then treat yourself to a butterscotch pot de crème.
1039 Pearl St., 303-544-5973, thekitchenbistros.com

Written for Boulder Weekly. Read the original article here.

Slow Fashion

Boulder Weekly, news, profiles, social change
Photo courtesy of Robins Photography

Just about every sector of business is geared toward sustainability these days. Sustainable agriculture, energy and tourism are all a given, but sustainable fashion is just beginning to disrupt the traditionally wasteful mainstream fashion industry.

Denverite Deb Henriksen, owner and founder of the rocker-chic brand Equillibrium, is poised to keep moving the fashion industry’s momentum forward. Her mission is to educate others about their own consumerism while bringing her sense of style to life with responsibly sourced textiles and materials.

Henriksen owns a storefront, and creates and sells clothes made of sustainable textiles such as organic cotton, bamboo and hemp. The idea for Equillibrium was born in 1998, when Henriksen began to dream of having her own eco-friendly fashion boutique. In 2000, Equillibrium began as a wholesale brand that was carried in skate and snowboard shops around Denver and Breckenridge. She opened her first store in 2004 (now located on West Custer Place) and hasn’t stopped since.