What do isotopes in water have to do with soil? One of my go-to podcasts is Down to Earth hosted by The Quivira Coalition. The Quivira Coalition is a non-profit organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico dedicated to building economic and ecological resilience on western working landscapes. According to their website, the coalition was formed to preserve the region’s rich agricultural heritage. It states:
The Quivira Coalition is based in New Mexico and is dedicated to building ecological and economic resilience in the arid southwest. A tricky idea, indeed!
“In 1997 two conservationists and a rancher who believed that a ranch that supported wildlife and a healthy ecosystem could also support a viable ranch business, came together to create the Quivira Coalition. Then, in 2003, twenty ranchers, environmentalists, and scientists met for forty-eight hours to figure out a way to take back the American West from the decades of divisiveness and acrimony that now truly jeopardizes much of what we all love and value. But we also met to take the West forward, to restore ecological, social and political health to a landscape that deserves it and so desperately needs it.”
One of their recent podcasts, titled The Science of Water, features the work of Dr. Kate Zeigler, a geologist/ hydrologist.
Dr. Kate Zeigler
Dr. Zeigler’s work has focused on groundwater recharge rates in the dry southwest where the average annual rainfall is seven inches. The soils in this region recharge very slowly, often percolating through the soil at the same rate your finger nail grows. She goes on to explain that not all water is the same. As groundwater ages, the isotopes in it change. By studying the changes in protons versus neutrons in the individual atoms in the water, they can determine how old the groundwater is and how fast the aquifers are recharging, or how fast they are being depleted. With the philosophy that knowledge is power, they share this information with farmers and ranchers as a tool for decision making.
Who doesn’t love to occasionally look back and see from where they’ve come, and reflect on where they’re going? 2019 was a year we tackled new topics and connected with new partners, yet, we also wrote about things near and dear to our hearts. So, we thought it would be fun to look back at our most read posts written in 2019.
Every summer we love to encourage kids to get outside. So, for the last few summers, we’ve hosted camping trips to local and state parks throughout Minnesota. Michelle writes about the fun had on these trips in the most read article of the year.
Just posted a few weeks ago, Nora’s article on using your skills and time to make gifts seemed to resonate. (Plus, it’s not too late for some last minute gifts before the holidays are over for this year). 🙂
We continue our discussion with local foraging enthusiast, Travis Grimler.
In this episode we talk about the legality of foraging, Travis shares some of his favorite recipes, and we share some good references to turn to if you’re interested in getting started in foraging.
We are very fortunate at Happy Dancing Turtle to have leaders who aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty. In this episode, we were able to sit down with our very own Principal Executive Officer, Bob McLean, who is also the District Governor Elect for Rotary District 5580.
The Bob and Colin Show. We’ll see how long it takes to get into syndication.
We were able to talk about the looming problem of water scarcity, which is troubling many parts of the world, but we also talked about the many people and service organizations that are working very hard to help solve that problem.
We also talk about how you can act locally to help these water stressed areas.
Jim, Allison, and Chris went to the MDA Organic Conference last month and Sean Sherman was the keynote speaker. Jim took a shot and asked if Sean would be interested in speaking on Turtle Talks and to our surprise, he said yes!
So, we’re very excited to have Sean Sherman on this episode. More famously known through his food production company, The Sioux Chef, Sherman talks about his mission to bring indigenous foods back to indigenous communities, helping to grow opportunities and create successful micro food systems.
You can learn more about Sherman’s non-profit organization, NATIFS (North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems) by going to https://www.natifs.org/. You will learn about his mission to help native communities reconnect with traditions and native cuisine that has been lost over the centuries due to the colonization and aggressive expansion of European settlers.
We were able to tear Michelle H. and Nora W. from their Back to Basics setup (taking place THIS SATURDAY, February 2) to talk with us about the important topic of kids and nature. You won’t be surprised to learn that more and more children are spending less and less time outdoors and are choosing to instead spend their time in front of screens (of any kind).
Shared from Allison R.
This was an eye-opening episode for me.
It made me re-evaluate the amount of time I allow my children to be occupied by electronics, and furthermore, how I, myself interact with my screens.
The point isn’t that technology is bad or worse than not using technology. What has become evident is that children are missing out on some of the things that inherently make them kids. They have optimism, energy, and want to explore things. It’s built into their core.
What is happening is that the extreme uptick in screen time use is stopping children from being able to use that core.
We need to be mindful as parents that the use of technology and the, possibly, unintended consequences of allowing too much screen time, do not interfere with letting a kid be what a kid is supposed to be.
*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.
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.
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.
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”
The growing season is coming to an end. Our garden is finally put to bed. In our 14th episode, we discuss what we did to put our garden to bed.
We also do a season-end review, bringing all the numbers and pounds of food produced.
In the third segment, we talk about a hugelkultur project added to the south field.