When it comes to filling women’s wardrobes, Little Black Dress aims to be as ubiquitous as its namesake apparel. The consignment shop inches closer to its goal with every addition to its inventory, a meticulously curated collection of vintage designer clothing. Jimmy Choo shoes, Coach handbags, and apparel by Oscar De La Renta, Ralph Lauren, and Zac Posen fill the racks and shelves, which undergo constant makeovers as new items pour in. In addition to upscale items, Little Black Dress also stocks casualwear such as T-shirts and jeans, the official garments of weekends and National Blue Jeans Day.
The trainers at International Fitness have one goal: to help their clients achieve healthy lifestyles with internationally influenced exercise routines. The roster of classes includes Indian yoga, Brazilian-influenced Zumba dance classes, and Western weightlifting. In addition to leading group fitness classes, the instructors can map out training and nutrition plans to help clients meet their fitness goals. The sessions can include climbing the gym's rock wall to build lean muscle mass or demolishing the gym's rock wall to prepare for a career as a bulldozer.
Couples escape to Springfield Spas to lose themselves in the hot tubs that occupy its 10 private rooms. Duos can slip into a bubbling hot tub and adjust the temperature to the level they find most suitable for relaxing muscles, invigorating circulation, and poaching eggs. Some themed rooms transport guests to such tranquil places as gardens or beaches, whereas others are decorated with zen-inspired paintings or Oregon Ducks gear. As their troubles dissipate, tandems can contemplate the open sky in the select rooms that feature half or open roofs. Each room comes equipped with a radio and shower, and some rooms can accommodate mp3 players or modestly sized orchestras. The one-hour getaways spare couples the expense of taking more elaborate vacations and the hassle of filling their attics with hot water when they want quick respite.
Tended by horticultural hubbies Bob and Gayle Kramer (and their dog Jasper), Little Red Farm Nursery houses a bevy of botanical betterments well equipped to spruce up any lackluster landscape. Add height and interest to lawn layouts with a 3–25 gallon tree (starting at $19.99+), or a 1–10 gallon shrub (starting at $8.99+). Or deck a deck with a hanging basket, dripping with enough jewel-toned blossoms to make Elizabeth Taylor marry it twice ($24.99–$39.99).
Scott Mallory farms worms for a living. "We need to save the planet," he says, and promotes worms’ work as a way to help. According to Scott, the humble earthworm drives nature's system of fertilization, pest resistance, and turf regeneration by infusing soil with powerful microorganisms. Through Fertilelives, he produces compost tea that can bolster anything from home gardens to full-scale farming operations. After feeding his worms organic matter from vegetable scraps to sawdust, he brews the resulting compost and extracts the microorganisms into a solution. He then triggers their rapid growth by feeding them plentiful oxygen and food, such as blue-green algae and philly cheesesteaks. The resulting mix is so powerful that when sprayed onto plants, it neutralizes pest larvae and fungi, but is harmless to kids and pets. As the solution works its way into the soil, it also promotes turf regeneration, keeping soil nutrient rich.
In addition to producing compost teas for home gardens, Scott also produces it on a scale for commercial farms, freeing them of the need for industrial chemicals that, while keeping away insects, can also harm turf-regenerating bacteria and damage long-term soil health. Through his spray service, he also helps farmers spray their crops with it. One of his proudest moments came in 2011 when he delivered compost tea to Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farm. That season, its pumpkin patch was one of the few in the area untouched by an outbreak of powdery mildew fungus.
Beyond his compost-tea production, Scott helps hobby and professional farmers maintain organic, sustainable practices through services such as soil testing, classes, and consulting drawn from the methods he uses to grow his own food. He also appears frequently at local farmers' markets, such as the Springfield Farmers' Market on Fridays and the Cottage Grove Growers Market.
At Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farm, Bob and Lynn Schutte oversee a bustling cornucopia of flora and fauna perched alongside the Willamette River. Christmas trees in the varieties of Noble, Grand, Douglas, and Fraser Fir, as well Scotch Pine, sprawl over half of the 162-acre stead, while the rest is home to turkeys, chickens, and 85 Angus/Hereford Cross cows, raised for USDA-certified grass-fed beef. When not searching for Christmas trees or loading up on local cuts of meat, folks can pay visits to the farm to see the animals and the pet the plants during field trips and on Colonial Harvest Day, a fall celebration complete with live music, food vendors, and hayrides.