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.

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”

 

Conscious Consumerism – Better Meat Choices

This month, the theme we chose for media content was “Conscious Consumerism.” If you’ve been following along, you’ve seen advice on buying local, greener gifting, and giving experiences rather than things. The theme helps us focus our message and our creativity for the month, and ensures we’re bringing you the best and most timely content possible. We gather inspiration from big events, holidays, and national observance days (ie: Nov 15th is “America Recycles Day”). The upcoming holiday season was the inspiration for “Conscious Consumerism.”

During our brainstorming session, one observance that came up was that November is “World Vegan Month.” A slightly…fiery…discussion ensued. For the Food & Water Security team, food choices are the most important aspect of responsible consumption–not only because we grow food at our “day job,” but also because we are farmers, we support farmers, and we see food sovereignty as the foundation of regional resiliency. Deeply connected with food choices are environmental consequences.

Veganism can be a divisive subject; polite discourse is often impossible when there is so much misunderstanding. Yes, as a culture, Westerners eat too much meat. We should consume less meat overall, and use meat like a condiment to flavor and enhance our vegetables, grains, and legumes. However, from an ecosystem approach, agriculture with properly managed livestock is the most sustainable and environmentally restorative.

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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. 

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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Harvest Recipes

In Minnesota, we have our four seasons, and at the end of the bright, sunny, summer, leading into crisp, sweater-weather, fall, we are inundated with a bounty of end-of-season produce that can make your grandmothers recipe book open by itself in excitement!

Just take a quick look at some of the most used produce here in MN; we’ve got garlic, squash, potatoes, carrots, romaine lettuce, spinach, pumpkins, and apples. There’s a lot to go with here, lots of directions to go. Do you want a savory, filling, meal? Are you looking for a light, fresh, entry? Are you hankering for a sweet treat?

Fall is the best time to make your taste buds scream in joy. Here’s a few recipes that will take advantage of the bounty you’ll find.

Pumpkin Curry

pumpkincurry

We’ll start with something a little different. Of course, there’s the popular pies, cupcakes, coffee drinks that usher in the cool weather. But, what if we tried to do something a little different with our pumpkins. Let’s make a deliciously savory & spicy dish. Note: You can use any winter squash . The texture and taste is all up for grabs.

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How to Handle the Harvest

So you’re drowning in vegetables?! It’s that time of year! A few things to keep in mind: a. You likely chose this situation (signing up for the CSA, planting the garden, buying at the Farmers’ Market/Farm Stand, leaving your car door open), b. It can be managed, c. You are not alone! Welcome my friend, we’re in the same club.

There are options for how to handle the overabundance that is likely pushing against your fridge door’s capability to seal (or is this just my fridge?). Eat right now, eat soon, or preserve/prepare for later consumption, or find a new home – these are the options we’ll be addressing.

Eat Right NOW

Salsa – Fresh garden salsa might be one of the reasons I survive winter each year. The gorgeous variety of tomatoes and peppers can wow any audience. *Plus, you can can OR freeze salsa! Continue reading