Portfolio of Writing Samples

Of the many hundreds of articles I've written, here are links to a few of my recent favorites:

Tips for a Honeybee Health Plan

For many legacy keepers, honeybees used to be easier to take care of than most domesticated animals. All beekeepers had to do was give their bees a nice nest box, check on them occasionally, and harvest the honey. That changed with the arrival of the Varroa destructor mite in the 1980s. This harmful parasite was introduced to the U.S. from Asia and spread quickly through honeybee colonies. It remains a major issue for beekeepers today.

Hardy Seeds for Hardy Souls: How one woman grew a seed company from a patch of sunflowers

The Denver Post 2019

The seeds for Laura Parker’s passion sprouted years ago in a sunflower patch on her family’s ranch on the Western Slope. That’s when she noticed the sunflower seeds she saved and replanted had a tendency to change over the years. Those childhood seed-growing lessons led her to become the self-described “seed freak and owner” of High Desert Seed + Gardens in Montrose. 

CU Study Measures Community Gardening  Health Benefits (page 10)

Colorado Gardener Newsmagazine 2018

In spite of aching backs, sore knees and sunburned necks, gardening is good for you. That’s what gardeners think, and that’s what a new community gardening research study is out to prove. The Community Activation for Prevention Study—CAPS—is taking a scientific approach to addressing an important question: Can community gardening help prevent cancer?

The GrowHaus in Denver is part of gourmet mushroom boom across the U.S.

The Denver Post 2019

If interest in mushrooms seems high these days, it isn’t because Denver has inserted psilocybin into the national conversation. It’s the other mushrooms that are a lucrative and growing market. The country’s mushroom production is a billion-dollar industry, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The small mushroom growing operation at The GrowHaus is part of that mushroom boom. Alex Albu, mycologist and mushroom farm manager, grows and sells hundreds of pounds of gourmet mushrooms every month – about 200 pounds every week.

Fonio is a New Grain for the Future

VegetableGardener 2019

In its annual food trends report for 2020, Whole Foods Market includes "Foods from West Africa" near the top of its list. Whole Foods reports that "Brands are looking to West Africa for its superfoods like moringa and tamarind, and lesser-known cereal grains sorghum, fonio, teff and millet." One of the grains on that list, fonio, is already part of the trend. Under the Yolélé brand, fonio (pronounced PHONE-yo) is one of the newest ancient cereal grains to be rediscovered in the last few years.

How to Stuff a Pumpkin

Fine Gardening 2018

The Pilgrims had a love-hate relationship with the pumpkin. Without it they wouldn’t have made it through the winter, but that doesn’t mean they had to like the taste of it. Early pumpkins were probably much different than the ones we find at the markets today. It’s easy to imagine they were more stringy with a lot less flavor. I’m sure early cooks had to get creative to keep their clans from complaining, “Not pumpkin again!”

Grow Your Own Cocktails and Mocktails

Natural Start by GreenView 2018

Most of the fruits, vegetables and herbs gardeners use for tasty eating can also be stirred into refreshing summer cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages. Sweet mint makes memorable mojitos and mint juleps; lemon balm and lemon verbena add a lively touch to a cooling glass of lemonade. A container of sweet mint and pineapple sage provides plenty of potential for summer drinks. Floral flavors, like nasturtium and lavender flowers, also offer bright ideas for summer sampling. Even the lowly dandelion can be turned into a sipping wine.

Herbal Harvest: Lavender farm produces fragrant crop

Out Here magazine 2016

Mike Neustrom stands on the windswept rolling hills of north-central Kansas watching his dog, Augie, dart back and forth between long, tidy rows of lavender plants. He calmly talks about the harmful effects of dry, windy weather and points out the rows he planted too closely together in 2002 when he started Prairie Lavender Farm. 

Planning a Smart Pot Garden

Smart Pot website 2018

Have you heard the saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”? That adage is especially true when it comes to planting a garden. If a gardener wants to grow fruits, flowers, herbs or vegetables, they’ll find a way to make it happen. With a combination of Smart Pots fabric containers and a few hours of sunshine a day, it’s possible to grow a garden just about anywhere. Whether on a rooftop, balcony, patio, deck, porch, front stoop or alleyway, all it takes is a little planning to get your garden growing.