Fort Garland Museum Holiday Craft Fair draws variety of vendors

Photos by Diane Drekmann Fort Garland Museum held its Holiday Craft Fair and Artisan's Market on Dec. 10. There were numerous vendors.

FORT GARLAND — Fort Garland Museum held its Holiday Craft Fair and Artisan's Market on Dec. 10.

There were numerous vendors. Ben and Amity Nicholson own the White Shell Mountain Ranch, outside of Alamosa. For three years, the couple has sold soaps and lotions made from goats' milk.

“We raise dairy goats and fiber goats for handspun yarns," Amity Nicholson said.

To find out more about White Shell Mountain Ranch, call 719-937-9754 or 719-496-582, or visit their website at http://white-shell-mountain-ranch.square.site.

Vendors sold canned jams, and others with jewelry. One vendor had homemade tortilla warmers and water balloons made from yarn which expand and can be reused.

Westlea Tipsword is a 12-year-old with a business called Generational Homestead, selling freeze-dried snacks.

The Tipsword family moved to Saguache five years ago and has a farm with chickens, pigs, quail, and a mule.

Westlea creates tasty treats using original recipes. His chocolate peanut butter cups are like Reese's peanut butter cups.

“Chocolate doesn't freeze well, so it is mixed with pudding and can be eaten as is or mixed with water to create a pudding," his mother said, while her son helped a friend.

Westlea combined spiced apple and caramel for a candy that tastes like apple cider. Other candies are like Jolly Ranchers.

Westlea got a $500 loan from his grandmother a year ago to start his business. In the future, Westlea hopes to create backpacking and long-lasting freeze-dried food. He rents the freeze dryer machine from his neighbor.

Westlea is also a member of 4-H and uses the money from his business to fund his 4-H projects. Many of his projects involve baking and cooking. He is also hoping to raise money to go to Europe with his class and learn about the cuisine and go foraging in the Alps.  

Westlea has a YouTube video called Generational Homestead and is also on Facebook and Instagram. For more information, call 563-726-1029.

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