Turtle Talks Podcast – Episode 17: Back to Basics Q&A w/ Keynote Speaker Kent Solberg

*For complete event details including workshop descriptions, vendor list, and to register and pay online, visit www.happydancingturtle.org. If you’d like to register now, you can go to our online registration site.*

 

Back to Basics is entering it’s 13th iteration this year. We like to think that it’s the engaging workshops, vibrant vendor fair, and awesome volunteers that have helped it become the regions’ premier sustainability conference. We’ve been very fortunate to also have compelling keynote speakers.

This year, Kent Solberg, from the Sustainable Farming Association, is kicking off the event with his speech titled “Soil Health: The Future of Farming?” As the Livestock and Grazing Specialist at the SFA, Kent is on the road all over the state, helping producers embrace soil health. Due to the that, we were unable to bring Kent into our studio, but were able to record him via conference call. So, please excuse the sound while you learn how soil health is going to help farming into the future.

Back to Basics Registration Now Open

*For complete event details including workshop descriptions, vendor list, and to register and pay online, visit www.happydancingturtle.org. If you’d like to register now, you can go to our online registration site.*

Registration for the 13th annual sustainable living event, Back to Basics, is open! With 45 workshops to choose from, nearly 50 vendors to shop at, an informative keynote speaker, door prizes, a delicious lunch, and school aged (K-6) children’s programming available, there’s fun for the whole family!

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45 sustainable workshops are planned, with some filling out already. Hurry to sign up!

The day will kick of with a keynote presentation by Kent Solberg, Livestock and Grazing Specialist with the Sustainable Farming Association. Kent will be answering many “buzz” questions regarding soil health and what it could mean for our future, our food, and our natural resources.

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HDT Holiday Traditions

Happy Holidays from the staff of Happy Dancing Turtle. We want to share with you some of our favorite traditions and recipes that we’ve used over the years as we met and dined with our families. Some are more classic while some are different, indeed! However, the main reason behind them is they are a reason we get together with our friends and families during the holiday season.

Colin M’s Rosette Recipe  

We’ll start with dessert, which indeed seems like a good place to begin. For, what are the holidays without holiday treats?

When Colin was a child, his mother would let him run the deep fryer, which delighted him very much. She recently allowed Colin’s little girl to run it this season, which worried him just as much. Rosettes are a delicate batter-based sugar sprinkled cookie. You take this flower shaped iron and dip it into the batter, and then fry the heck out of it. Once done, you sprinkle sugar or cinnamon on them. I’ve even heard of people sprinkling lemon juice on them for a change. Any way you eat them, they’re really light, despite them being deep-fat fried batter. Yum!

 

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Check out this hand-written recipe card!

Apparently, Colin’s mother got this recipe from a woman who lived on a farm just over the hill from the farm she grew up on. Lucille is still alive, by the way. At 95 years old, she still drives, lives on her own, and hosts parade viewings in Kensington, MN from her front yard.

Look at the grease spots and thumb prints showing up on the card! You can tell this is a well-used recipe just by how much it’s been used.

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Turtle Talks Podcast – Episode 16 : Q&A with Seed Saver Barb Kaufman

A few episodes back, we were fortunate to be able to interview U of M researcher, Lois Braun. We had such a good time and loved to bring in a person with such a breadth of knowledge on a topic we were interested in, we decided to try again.

This week, we were able to coax local seed saver enthusiast and Pine River Seed Library manager Barb Kaufman to join us at behind our microphones. Barb was eager to share her knowledge on how to start saving seeds, what methods she uses for tricky seeds, and a bit of history of seed saving.

Turtle Talks Podcast – Episode 15: Herbs & Spices, A Primer

You would be forgiven if your thoughts immediately wandered over to the the eleven herbs and spices used in the “finger-licking good” recipe for KFC. It’s not your fault. Ads are prevalent in our society, and there are none more pervasive, none more that have stood the test of time, than the solicitations for that greasy, but oh-so good, fried chicken.

BUT! We’re not here to talk about fast food chicken. In this episode, we do talk about the many different ways you can enjoy herbs and spices in your everyday cooking. We had a lot of fun chatting about our favorite ways to prepare our families meals.

Do you have a favorite spice you’d like to share? Hit us up in the comments.

 

Music used:
1) Intro – What to Expect by Jake Bradford on album “Sharp”
2) Gold Fish by Photoaxis on album “Gold Fish”
3) Sun Bird by Geva Alon on album “Wall of Sound”
4) Watch Out by Chaun Davis on album “Be Mine”

 

Grateful Gathering 2018

On Thursday, November 8, we gathered at Bites Bar and Grill for our annual holiday party. Our crew ate scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, laughed at the great games provided by Janis & Shirlee, snacked on delicious desserts made by Bites owner, Wendy, and then counted our blessings, one by one.

Door prizes were handed out for those that could guess how many beans were in a jar and we even played a form of HDT Jeopardy, to the delight of all participating.

A big thank you to the party planners, Janis, Shirlee, and Chris. I look forward to this night every year. Another success!

 

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Poor Chris G. had to count out over 3,000 kidney beans. That poor guy!

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Shirlee & Janis playing as emcees during the fun night.

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Chris and Michelle G. all smiles.

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Colin and Amy M. happy to be out of the house.

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Jim and Audra C. posing for a picture between stories.

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Quinn, Wayne, and Roy.

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Robert and Janis discussing how much fun they’re having.

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Robert and Terri share a laugh.

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Paul shows off his door prize (a game night in!)

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Rochester, only 19, won a gift basket of vodka and tequila. He quickly exchanged it for the game night prize. 🙂

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Quinn and Roy show off their door prize of coffee from Stonehouse Coffee in Nisswa.

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Dan and Michelle show off their door prize of a movie night at Bear Pause Theatre in Hackensack.

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Being thankful is the reason for this event.

Four Reasons to Buy Local Turkeys

There are so many reasons to purchase your turkey from a farmer that is local. You can easily find out the conditions the turkey was raised in. You can find out what they feed the turkey. If you’re serious about looking locally for your Thanksgiving feast, Minnesota Grown is a valuable resource that will connect you with local producers throughout the year, not just for Thanksgiving. You can search for the local producer nearest you, or the one that best fits your values.

If you’re still on the fence about whether to go local or not, here are five reasons why searching locally is the best way to go.

  1. No Surprises
    Buying a local free range turkey gives you the opportunity to know what you are eating and where it came from. Buying local gives you the ability to talk to your local farmer about their farming practices, feeding program, and processing program. You should do your research, of course.

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    Your Tom might be as big as this gorgeous fella.

  2. Just Look at Tom Turkey’s Home 
    Not really, but you can learn a lot by seeing how a farm raised turkeys are raised. If they’re brought up in a humane environment with the option to the great outdoors, you can check that off your list. They get their nutrition from pecking all day with additional quality feed from the local feed store (compared to the store bought turkeys that are cooped up and fed low quality medicated feed). To be sure of this, you should do your research, though.
  3. What Would you Pay for a Robust Local Economy?
    Buying meats from your local farmer keeps money in your community. Shopping local keeps four times the money in your community’s economy compared to shopping at chains. The dollars spent locally go towards the regular things your local farmer buys! (How Quaint!) These include dentist bills, holiday presents, and other things that other “normal” people buy around town. So, shop local! Your farmer will thank you!

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  4. Your Taste Buds will Thank You
    Knowing where your meat is coming from, how it is raise, and how it is processed will automatically make you enjoy Thanksgiving dinner that much more. But the truth is, a farm fresh free range turkey tastes better. Usually, they are not pumped full of preservatives, saline, or other added ingredients. When you buy from your local farmer you are getting what you pay for… fresh turkey. But, as always when making a choice of this nature, you should do your research. 

Turtle Talks Podcast – Episode 13: Q&A with Lois Braun

Last week, we were able to pull University of Minnesota researcher Lois Braun into the recording studio. She opened up her world of hazelnut plantings and cross-country experiments for us all to learn.

This special episode of Turtle Talks is a Q&A session with Lois and her technical assistant, Connor. On this day, they came up to the HDT gardens to plant over fifty hybrid hazelnut plants. (You can check out pics from the planting here!)

You can read more about her research at www.midwesthazelnuts.org/

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The Shady Chicken Project Now Underway

Last week, over 50 hazelnut plants were installed in our south field. As part of the Shady Chicken Project, Lois Braun has chosen HDT to be one of the test sites.

Lois’s important work as part of the Forever Green initiative promotes improving natural resources and economic opportunities for farmers. Diversified income streams and perennials on the landscape are both things HDT can get behind! Find out more about Forever Green here:https://www.forevergreen.umn.edu/

If you want to learn more about the work Lois and the Upper Midwest Hazelnuts coalition are doing, their website has some great information. 

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We designed the experiment to have spacing of five feet between each plant and 12 feet between each row.

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We welcomed Lois Braun from the University of Minnesota. She is running her hybrid hazelnut experiment at several different locations through MN and WI.

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