Minnesota’s stunning streams lure trout anglers






Anglers drawn by the lure of stunning streams have plenty of places to fish for trout in Minnesota. Southeast Minnesota, a land of forested hills and shaded valleys, is laced with high-quality streams that harbor brook, brown and rainbow trout. The state’s premier trout fishing destination, the region’s many streams—hundreds of miles of them—are among […]

Return of the rapids: Could the Upper Mississippi River run wild again?






Boulders and whitecaps surround me. My kayak feels unsteady at best, a mere toy in the hands of Mother Nature. I secure my helmet a notch tighter and grip my paddle with adrenaline-fueled super-human strength. I’ve never whitewater kayaked before, but I’m determined to learn. And what better place to do so than my hometown of […]

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On boards: How a Minnesotan taught the world to water ski






The date is Saturday, July 22, 1922. The place is Lake City, Minnesota, on the waters of Lake Pepin, the largest naturally occurring lake on the Mississippi River. The time is 4pm. The scene is set for Lake City native Ralph Samuelson to carve his name into sporting history. Samuelson, who is just one day […]

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Craft Culture: Great Northern Boatworks turns unusable boats into show pieces






Along the eastern edge of a chewed-up dirt lot off Como Avenue in St. Paul, the pristine white bow of a Windsor Craft boat noses through a large garage door, reflecting the bright afternoon sun. It’s an odd place to spot a boat, considering there’s not a drop of water in sight. The buildings around […]

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Sanborn Canoe Co. bringing Merrimack Canoes to Minnesota






What’s a paddle without a canoe? Or a canoe without a paddle? Sanborn Canoe Co., known for their handcrafted canoe paddles, always planned to add handcrafted canoes to their product line. After recently acquiring Merrimack Canoes, one of the nation’s oldest canoe makers, they are one step closer to achieving their goal. According to Sanborn co-founder Todd Randall, […]

Think small, harvest big: Make the most of wee spaces for your gardening efforts






For five long summers, I gazed at my postage stamp-sized backyard in South Minneapolis and imagined what I could do with a grander, sweeping space. If I only had a farm, I mused, I could grow my own food and become that person who leaves zucchini and tomatoes on doorsteps around the community. But with […]

Seed swap: Promoting variety and restoring tradition one harvest at a time






I have this friend who has a half-baked dream of quitting her job to live on a farm and make her living working with her hands instead of shooting off e-mails from a standing desk. She’d keep chickens, plant squash and a blueberry bush, make jams and pies and other handmade things. I never joined […]

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Climate Generation gets the Birchwood Boost






As our month of conservation-themed stories draws to a close, we at The Growler have been thinking about how to be more involved in these pressing global issues in the course of our everyday lives. One thing we’ll do is eat at the Birchwood Cafe (I mean, we do that anyway, because we dream about those savory waffles), […]

Conservation in action: Restoring North America’s bison population






Take a Sunday drive along the rolling county roads of outstate Minnesota, watching out your window as lakes and clustered cabins give way to sprawling farmland and the odd barn or cowshed, and you might spot among the dairy farms and cornfields the occasional ranch dedicated to raising bison. From the safe side of a […]

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12 green myths put to the test






Green. Eco-friendly. Sustainable.  Every day we’re told what’s OK and what’s not when considering how to best treat the Earth. But how much of that advice is factually sound and how much of it is just another old wives’ tale? We dig into some of the most assumed-to-be-true green practices to see which ones check […]

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Minnesota’s state species: Their past, present, and uncertain future






Minnesota’s official state symbols represent the natural treasures found within the state and remind us of our cultural heritage. But will Minnesota’s most iconic species still be here in 50 years? We check in to see how five of the most beloved state symbols are faring in the face of a changing climate and loss […]

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Seeing green: Looking past the label to separate sustainable from superficial






green•wash (grēn’wŏsh’, -wôsh’) — The act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service. When a company or organization spends more time and money claiming to be “green” through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimize environmental impact. You’re standing in […]

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How to cross ‘Dogsled the Boundary Waters’ off your winter bucket list






Minnesota’s million-plus-acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), obviously, is best known for wilderness canoeing—many would say the best in the world. But winter transforms this magnificent landscape into a forested cathedral of ice, snow and silence, offering a wilderness experience like no other. Bring a beautiful, hard-working team of Canadian Inuit dogs into the […]

The Legend of Joe Rolette: The Most Interesting Man in Minnesota History






There’s a thing called ghosting, in which a person breaks off all communication with the world, ignoring all texts, calls, e-mails, semaphore flags, ASL, telegrams, etc. (Parents: Ask your kids if this is still unclear.) The New York Times discovered it when Charlize Theron went AWOL on Sean Penn. You may remember that Wisconsin legislators also […]

The Last Great Race: A Minnesotan’s Incredible Rise in Sled Dog Racing & Why He Left it All Behind






The Greyhound bus pulled away, leaving Jake Berkowitz stranded on a dirt road in the middle of northern Michigan. A few days earlier, the 18-year-old was celebrating Thanksgiving with his family in St. Paul, Minnesota. Now he was alone, waiting for a stranger to pick him up and introduce him to a way of life […]

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