Posts Tagged: inspire(d) magazine

Read the Fall 2017 Inspire(d) Online!

Here’s what’s happening in the Fall 2017 Inspire(d) – our 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY ISSUE!!!

10 Years of Inspire(d)! 10 Community Builders from Across the Driftless, Sum of Your Biz: Empty Nest Winery, Infographic: 10 Truths We’ve Learned, Chicago Train Trip, Unicorn Presents! Fun Fall Events, Cool New Driftless Places, & More!
Read the whole thing online here!

A note from Aryn:

Roxie and I were reading the Disney book, Pocahontas, recently. It’s not one I love (I’m not sure when it even made it to our shelves)…but it did spark a good conversation. We were discussing what happened to Native Americans when settlers came to this “brave, new world,” and how they’re treated still today. We talked about how people from different parts of the world might look a little different from each other – different sizes, shapes, and definitely colors – but we’re all the same on the inside. And Roxie – who just turned five – says, “Mom, wouldn’t it be SO COOL if there were pink and purple people?!” I smiled, “Why, yes, Roxie. It would be so cool. And isn’t it so cool that the people and colors we do have are all different from each other anyway? It makes the world so much more beautiful, I think.” “Yeah, totally, Mom,” she says.

More colors, more variety, more beauty – we humans all come together to make this amazing, diverse work of art.  And we’re all connected through a community called humanness.

This is our 10-year anniversary of Inspire(d) Magazine. We dubbed it an “experiment in positive news” when we first started out, so I decided to think on what that experiment has taught us. I compiled a list of truths that have risen to the top of my list – check out the infographic on page 25 – but the clearest lesson of all is that community is the most important thing we can build in this life. Big or small, these communities and connections are what we’ll remember at the end of our lives.

So this milestone Inspire(d) is all about community-builders. Our region is filled with them, but we narrowed it down to 10 amazing groups or people: Liz Rog and Brad Crawford, John Condon, Lissa Carlson, Patrick ‘Red’ Longmire, Mike Ashbacher, Roxanne Schnitzler and Jessica Rediske, Shannon Dallenbach Durbin, Lora Friest, Adam Wiltgen, and Greg Wennes.

Wow, am I excited for you to read these stories this fall. I was inspired by every single one of them. They start on page 29.

These are some crazy times we’re living in, but there are some crazy exciting things happening too. There are great events and activities to check out all over this fall (pg. 56) and lots of local friends taking the leap to launch new ventures (pg. 14). We are so excited! Veteran business-owners Dave and Pam Kruger of Empty Nest Winery have some good tips for new business-owners in this issue’s Sum of Your Business. They are a husband-and-wife duo that this husband-and-wife duo truly admire!

And we couldn’t have a magazine birthday without unicorn presents, amIright?!? Check out the paper project on page 28, and the full tutorial right here on (coming soon!).

Finally, we got out for a little Family Reseach Adventure: We took Amtrak from La Crosse to Chicago! Hop aboard and check out our itinerary to get some ideas for your next train trip!

I am so grateful to you all for reading this magazine for the past 10 years. (C’mon, stop crying, Aryn!) The fact that I’m 36 years old and have been running a business for 10 years makes me feel proud as hell, and surer than ever that we really CAN do this. We can change the world. It’s so easy to feel completely helpless about things when we read the daily news. “What can I possibly do?!?” we ask ourselves. Talk to your neighbors. Make friends. Build community. Start to understand each other a little more every day. This is what you can do.

People often ask me if I will ever run out of ideas for Inspire(d) and my answer is always, “Definitely not!” It’s because of you– you continue to inspire me, and you inspire the people around you. Keep it up, you guys. It’s working.

Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

Read the whole thing online here!

September 2017 Calendar

September 2017! We think fall is one of the loveliest times of year! Start your planning now with this handy-dandy September 2017 calendar (and you can download the pdf here). Enjoy! XO, Inspire(d)

Check out these great September 2017 activities!  In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

1. September 1: At Luna Valley Farm we are growing wood fired pizza and community. Join us on Friday Pizza Nights in September and October from 4-8pm.

2. September 2: Winneshiek Farm Crawl! Family-friendly event includes farm tours and food sampling plus an evening concert at the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds.

3. September 2: Tomato Tasting (and Salsa Contest!) at Seed Savers Exchange: Sample dozens of open-pollinated heirloom tomatoes, judge a salsa contest, attend workshops, and hop on a hayride.

4. September 9: Root River Trail Towns Taste of the Trail – 10am-3pm- Lanesboro, Peterson & Whalan– Join us for a taste of each of our Root River Trail Towns Communities- more info at

5. September 9: Join in on “Live on Water Street” – a community celebration featuring music, food, beer, and fun for all ages! 300 Block, downtown Decorah, 3-8 pm. Info on Facebook.

6. September 9 – October 7: Dreaming Under a Cedar Tree. A free dance performance series and visual art installation with a Middle Eastern flavor, by Sharon Mansur. Outpost, 119 E. 3rd St., Winona

7. September 14-16: Experience Cresco’s Norman Borlaug Harvest Fest with Inspire Day at the Borlaug Farm. Take in the car show, 5K, Quilt Auction, live music and MORE!

8. September 15-17: MidAmerica Herbal Symposium, herb conference with amazing Herbalists sharing their plant knowledge. A weekend filled with great classes, food, and beautiful surroundings. Whitewater State Park, Altura, MN Register today,

9. September 16: Root River Trail Towns Taste of the Trail – 10am-3pm- Fountain, Harmony & Preston– Join us for a taste of each of our Root River Trail Towns Communities- more info at

10. September 16: Arts & Heritage Day in Chatfield, MN. Art fair, kids activities, food, music all day culminating with the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra in Potter Auditorium.

11. September 23: Takkefest! Join Vesterheim Museum for this free festival for everyone! Live Music, Dancing, Norwegian Fusion Cuisine and Beers, plus crafts and games for all ages.

12. September 23: Root River Trail Towns Taste of the Trail – 10am-3pm- Houston, Rushford, Rushford Village– Join us for a taste of each of our Root River Trail Towns Communities- more info at

13. September 24: Chosen Bean Concert with David Mallett. Live folk music up close and personal. Limited seating, $20 in advance or at the door. 6:30pmconcert.

14. September 24: Upstart Crow Theatreworks presents The Cemetery Walk, celebrating the Porter House’s sesquicentennial. Tours leave every 15 minutes, 2-4pm, Phelps Cemetery, Decorah. $10/$5.

15. September 30: Seeds + Cider Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation invites you to Heritage Valley, a 1,200-acre nature preserve, for a fall prairie seed harvest! RSVP at

Inspire(d) 10th Anniversary Party!

Inspire(d) 10th Anniversary Party – Oct 21, 1-4 pm

Did we mention we’re celebrating our 10th year in business? (Ha, a few times, right?) We’re pretty excited to celebrate and thank you all for helping us get here. So we’re throwing a party –a farm party! Well, actually, a benefit party for some friends of ours who are opening a really neat preschool just north of Decorah: Little Farmers. 

Please come out to the Little Farmers farm to help us celebrate! 2902 US Hwy 52 (just south of Nob Hill outside of Decorah).

Enjoy music from Viroqua’s Stanton West, pumpkins and gourds, fall treats, and family fun while checking out the new school, chickens, bunnies, and more!

It’s free to attend, but we hope you’ll help us raise some funds for the soon-to-be non-profit preschool. But if you can’t make it to the party, don’t worry – you can still support Little Farmers through their GoFundMe page!

Like us at to stay up-to-date on all the fun things we’re adding to the party list – it’s gonna be a blast!

We’re pretty excited to have been able to make this magazine for 10 years, we we hope to keep going for decades more! We feel like there are more stories and people to write about than ever. It solidifies what we knew when we started: People are good.

Speaking of good people, we need to thank you fine folks reading these words – if it weren’t for you all – and our incredibly supportive advertisers – we couldn’t make this fine and fun publication. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Times 10… million!

In order to keep bringing Inspire(d) to the world, we’d love to know some more about you! We’re always fine-tuning our content to what our readership wants, and always helping our advertisers understand our market so they can best represent their businesses within our pages.
So: Please tell us about yourselves through our 10-Year Readership Survey here – and be entered to win some fun (but small) prizes!