While you'll find sprawling stores such as Sears, Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond and Gordman's at the Southgate Center (Southgate Road), and a Target (among other stores) at Cheyenne Mountain Shopping Center (East Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard), health and food are the dominant themes "down south."
Near Southgate — and just blocks from one of our local Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (1825 S. Nevada Ave., vitamincottage.com) — you'll find Sage Woman Herbs (108 E. Cheyenne Road, sagewomanherbs.com), a small store stocked with herbal, naturopathic and homeopathic remedies. It's not just for women — all those looking for supplements, etc., will appreciate their range of products and freely offered knowledge.
If you want to focus on a different kind of feel-good, plan a stop over at one of the two Christal's (2582 S. Academy Blvd., christals.com) in town for bedtime toys, costumes and body-friendly lubes and massage oils.
Two of our largest thrift stores call the south end home and contribute to the larger health of the community: Goodwill Industries (2007 S. Circle Drive; 6725 Camden Blvd., Fountain, goodwill-colosprings.org) and Arc Thrift Stores (2780 S. Academy Blvd., arcthrift.com). Sales from both help locals with disabilities.
Another store that's just as big, and provides equally amazing deals but on completely different items, is Rancho Liborio (1660 S. Circle Drive, liborio.com). A regional grocery, Rancho Liborio markets all of its products in English and Spanish, and along with traditional grocery items you'll find Mexican brands such as Suavitel and produce such as chayote squash.
As you head down and out of the Springs, you'll find one thing in abundance: farms, some of which offer community-supported agriculture programs. CSAs allow you to buy a share of a farm and reap the benefits during their growing seasons. Most welcome visitors — it's a good way to see how your veggies are grown and how the cows, pigs and chickens are raised.
Venetucci Farm (5210 S. U.S. Hwy. 85, ppcf.org/venetucci), owned by the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, is in its fourth year of offering CSA shares of chemical-free, mindfully grown vegetables. Shares for 2011 are gone, but you can still make Saturday visits to the farm from mid-June to mid-October and purchase produce, meat and dairy on site.
Now in its 18th year specializing in heirloom vegetable varieties, Country Roots Farm (29342 Everett Road, Pueblo, countryrootsfarm.org) offers a market-share format, allowing members to pick what they want weekly from the market table at the Wednesday CFAM at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (click here for more) or at the farm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Greenhorn Acres (5856 County Road HH.5, Fowler, greenhornacres.com), 30 minutes east of Pueblo, offers pickup Wednesdays through Saturdays at Ranch Foods Direct (2901 N. El Paso St.) or at the farm on Saturdays.
Javernick Family Farms (545 S. Lincoln Ave., Cañon City, javernickfamilyfarms.com) is a sustainable, third-generation farm certified naturally grown, and it distributes to the Springs.
If a CSA isn't an investment you can commit to right now, mark your calendar for the Cheyenne Mountain Heritage Center farmers market (parking lot east of Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School, 1118 W. Cheyenne Road, cmheritagecenter.org), which runs Saturday mornings, June 12 into September. Or shop for your veggies at the Fountain farmers market (City Hall square, 116 S. Main St.), which opens June 7 and will run from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through the summer.