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Field of Dreams

A letter from the editor of our June Home 2014 issue.

My husband and I live in Boulder, and our house is on a classic sloping Front Range lot—where no amount of grading and rock-wall construction could ever transform it into one of the pancake-flat yards I remember from my childhood in the Midwest. (A landscape architect once called the yard “magical,” but I think she was just being nice.) It’s basically a hill. Combine the slope of the yard with a very wet and windy winter and, well, you end up with whole swaths of land where the mulch and ground cover have been washed away, leaving nothing but mud.

Of course, my toddlers love it this way. But as I watch them play outside, gleefully sprinkling dirt on each other’s heads, I start to fantasize about the backyard we’ll someday build for them—and us. Green grass, aspen trees, hammocks, and swings. And, yes, somewhere we’ll have that fire pit I keep fantasizing about. We don’t have the budget or time for a renovation right now, but one day this yard will be made for both kids and grown-up entertaining.

Which is why I’m so thrilled about this summer issue of 5280 Home. I’m already tearing out pages to file in the “Dream Backyard” folder that sits prominently on my desk—starting, of course, with Matt Suskin’s patio (“High Fidelity,” page 62), which Denver landscape architecture firm Blu Design Group outfitted with a dreamy fire pit that Suskin and his young daughters use to while away long summer evenings.

I hope you, too, will find inspiration for outdoor summer fun in this issue—whether it’s planning a stylish Fourth of July ice cream soiree (“Ice Cream Social,” page 34), hosting a Mediterranean-inspired garden party for your friends (“A Place In The Sun,” page 50), or finding the perfect pot for your front stoop (“Posh Planters,” page 28). And if you—like me—have a yard that needs some serious attention, perhaps this issue will find its way into your inspiration folders (and onto your Pinterest boards), too.

This article was originally published in 5280 Home Summer 2014.
Cheryl Meyers
Cheryl Meyers
Cheryl Meyers is a contributing writer to 5280 Home, which means she gets to spend her days writing about Colorado’s most beautiful indoor spaces.

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Field of Dreams

Remnants of America’s historic baseball stadiums sit in the Rockies’ backyard.

At the 1932 world series, Babe Ruth pointed to a center-field bleacher before hitting a home run to that exact spot—and a ball from that series (signed by Ruth and Lou Gehrig) just happens to be housed right here in Denver, at B’s Ballpark Museum in LoDo.

Baseball’s all-American allure pervades the two-room tribute to the most renowned stadiums in history: Ebbets Field, Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field, and Fenway Park. Each section of the museum contains artifacts such as turnstiles and uniforms, and die-hard fans will recognize relics like the drain cover from the old Yankee Stadium, over which Mickey Mantle tripped and injured himself.

Curator Bruce “B” Hellerstein wanted to transport visitors back to the good ol’ days of America’s pastime, when players spent their careers on one team.

Our Rockies are baseball history newbies, but B’s shows its local pride with relics from the city’s original club, the Denver Bears, including a section of bench seats—the only remaining piece of Bears Stadium.

Field of Dreams

How one industry’s waste is another’s profit.

Summertime in Colorado is synonymous with sweet Olathe corn on the cob. But come fall, acres of harvested cornfields are covered with stover—the leftover stalks, husks, and cobs. The USDA estimates that each corn season yields about 580 million pounds of the biomass, which is left on the ground to decompose or used as winter-feed for cattle.

That was just a lot of carbon dioxide–producing junk—until Corn Board Manufacturing Inc. found a way to use stover to create an alternative to pressed wood. Its product, which is combined with a superhard resin, is used to make everything from doors to chairs to skateboards—and the results stand up to even professional wear and tear. Just ask legendary skateboarder Christian Hosoi and pro surfer Alana Blanchard, both of whom ride boards made by a subsidiary of the Texas-based company (which launched retail operations in Colorado this summer).

But the true hardiness test came when CEO Lane Segerstrom jumped on one of the company’s longboards and tethered himself to a car traveling nearly 80 miles per hour to prove the product’s strength and durability. Not only did the board hold up over two runs, but Segerstrom also notched himself an entry into the Guinness World Records list for the fastest speed on a towed skateboard (he averaged 78.1 miles per hour). Given that test, we’re sure this new material can handle your household use.

This article was originally published in 5280 July 2011.
Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.