Don't worry, bee happy
Turtle Lake hosts wild foods walk, dinner to support organic lands initiative

Don't worry, bee happy
Missy Votel - 07/12/2018

Whereas some of us may see invasive plants as public enemy No. 1, Katrina Blair sees nutrition, medicine and, most importantly, sustenance for the bees. As a result, Blair, founder of Turtle Lake Refuge and champion of local organic lands, started the Bee Happy Lands project in 2015. The goal of the project is to stop the use of pesticides, which of course have been linked to the sudden demise of our favorite pollinators, in favor of going au naturel. But for those who can’t make peace with the sight of sunny dandelion heads or bristly thistle in their midst, Blair and her small army of wild Bee Happy foodies will dig them out of your life. They’ll also apply compost and a special ash tea treatment to make sure those unwelcome yard visitors are gone for good. There is a nominal fee of $15/hour per happy laborer. (Cost of not having to look at weeds, ruining your back doing it yourself and saving the bees: priceless.)

But the cost of keeping the bees and backyard gardeners happy comes with a cost – which is why Blair will be hosting a “Wild Foods Extravaganza” fundraiser this Friday. The event, which will raise money for the Bee Happy Lands initiative, will include a wild food plant walk with Blair (5:30 p.m.); a gourmet wild foods dinner prepared by Turtle Lake Refuge and chefs Marcos Wisner and Matt Myers from 11th Street Station (6:30 p.m.); and postprandial tunes from the Stillhouse Junkies (7:30 p.m.) There will also be local wine from McElmo Canyon’s Sutcliffe Vineyards and local apple and cherry cider from Outlier Cellars, of Mancos.

Naturally, the event will take place in the outdoor splendor of the Animas Valley at the River Bend Ranch, six miles north of town on the east side of Highway 550. Tickets are $44 and available at www.event brite.com. For more information on organic weed mitigation, which is available for HOAs, private land, residences, and public lands and open space, visit turtlelakerefuge.org or call 970-332-8877.