Green Lands, Blue Waters – A new menu for Minnesota farmers?

Do you like Kernza® and jam? Would you eat it in a boat? Would you eat it with a goat? Would you try it drenched in milk, ground to flour, or brewed as beer? Kansas-based nonprofit, The Land Institute, has spent more than 40 years researching and developing new farming strategies to protect soil and…

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One woman’s weed is another woman’s salad

Look! There’s a yellow flower growing in that jagged sidewalk crack, but watch out! You almost stepped on the crack and everyone knows that would break your mother’s back. Is it a weed or is it a flower? I guess that depends on who you ask, but rub it on your chin and see if…

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Inspiring a Land Ethic

There are degrees and kinds of solitude. An island in a lake has one kind; but lakes have boats, and there is always the chance that one might land to pay you a visit. A peak in the clouds has another kind; but most peaks have trails, and trails have tourists. I know of no…

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Adopt a storm drain in honor of Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — participated in teach-ins and rallies across the nation to advocate for an end to environmental destruction. The event was organized by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, and was inspired by a string of environmental disasters, including…

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500 Frogs a Croaking

On the third week of coronavirus my true love gave to me, 500 frogs a croaking, four [dozen] calling birds, three rich fens, two mourning doves, and a partridge in the Great Plains. It is Saturday, which means two days of rest away from video conferences, working remotely, homeschooling, and tending home. So, we run…

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Do’s and Don’ts of Spring Gardening

With too much time on his hands during the past few weeks, one friend’s husband gave their seven-year old a Mohawk haircut. Another started tearing down portions of the ceiling in their entryway to install new lighting. (Actually, that was the same guy.) People have been decorating their windows and fences with paint and sidewalk…

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The day the kingdom rested

Once upon a time, there was a great big busy kingdom that was marvelously filled with magic. Rocks split open, allowing crystal clear water to pour out for the villagers to drink; trees oozed with liquid that turned to sugar when it was cooked; and tiny crystals fell from the sky every winter, covering the…

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A walk in the woods, a planted seed, new skills to learn

We went to the woods on Sunday afternoon to enjoy fresh air, warm sun reaching through frostbitten air, and no other humans in sight. For the dog, it was just like any other day. She had no idea that the world was turning upside down as she galloped across the blackened prairie, still charred from…

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Wet basement? Sorry, no app for that.

The sun is out, the snow is melting, and someday soon you may go downstairs and discover that your basement is wet. What should you do? First, it is important to determine why your basement is wet. When we first bought our 1870s home in Stillwater, water poured into the basement every time it rained.…

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The hills [will soon be] alive with the sound of music

It is never a secret when my son and I go for a walk. You can hear us coming from at least a block away. I’m usually singing because I consider myself to be either Julie Andrews or June Carter, depending on the day. Charlie is tripping along behind me in oversized boots replacing all…

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