Mother Nature’s favorite daughter
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PARACHUTE, Colorado – Crystal Glenn of Parachute is 87 years young and not only makes and grows most of what she eats, but also makes her own soap.
Glenn is just one of many seniors in Garfield County who has an amazing life story and is a remarkable lady.
Born to a farming family in Firth, Nebraska, she was one of six children born at home. Throughout her life, she has always lived off of the land. Considering the new push towards organic lifestyles, she has always been beyond organic. Even today, she makes her own bread, butter and cans hundreds of jars of peaches, pears, applesauce, pickles and plums. In the fall of each year Glenn, and her daughter, Ruth, dehydrate many fruits to use as snacks.
Glenn doesn’t just bake her own bread – she gets the wheat from her brother-in-law and sets up a fan to “clean” the wheat – she grinds the grains, getting it ready to make bread flour. Sounds a little like “The Red Hen” story?
Until just recently, she has worked a three-acre garden plot. At one time, she had more than 50 apple trees, ten peach trees, two apricot trees and a pear tree – all inhabited by chickens, geese and lambs. All of her beautiful fruit trees have been “volunteers” from her compost pile, where she tossed the pits as she canned.
A few years back, Glenn taught for Colorado Mountain College at the Aspen campus. She also ran a “Mountain Man Retreat” at Copper Mountain once a year. Teaching and cooking the lost art of “Roughing it in the Wild.”
Along with making her own food, Glenn also makes three kinds of soap. In fact, she made 60 bars of goat’s mild soap the day before I spoke with her.
In 1980, her children requested that she put a cookbook together, and they published 3,500 copies. Unfortunately, only two copies are left today. What a gem of information. With recipes for goat milk soap, lavender face soap, sugarless canning and Ghee butter, she will make a believer out of you.
At 87, Crystal only wears glasses for reading, has a beautiful and loving manner, has all her own teeth and the last medication she took was an aspirin 40 years ago. If you are blessed to be invited to dinner at her home in Parachute, you will experience an unbelievable feast. Crystal Glenn is Mother Nature’s favorite daughter.
– Mickey Neal is the Treasurer of the Garfield County Council on Aging
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