The Great American Chestnut Revival: How science is bringing chestnuts back to American soil

Anyone who has ever come across a raw, wild chestnut—burr intact—will likely remember the experience. My first encounter came while hiking the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route in northern Spain. I entered a stretch of the path where elder chestnut trees—some nearing a thousand years of age—act as anchors for the rigorous journey. … [ Read more]

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Chris Qualley

Chris Qualley is mostly your normal type of guy. Grew up in Lakeville, now lives in Otsego. A wife, four kids, and a puggle named Dolly. A solutions manager at St. Cloud Financial Credit Union, which isn’t the sort of job title that begs explanation from the people he meets. Recently organized a funeral for … [ Read more]

Growing Hope: The HAFA Farm gives Hmong Minnesotans a long-term stake in agriculture

In Laos, as soon as the first rain falls in April, farmers rush to sow their seeds in the ground. The terrain is sometimes rocky and very hilly for these farmers who have worked the land for hundreds of years, growing crops to feed their families. On a 155-acre plot of land in Hastings, Minnesota, … [ Read more]

Best in Show: Four State Fair judges reveal what it takes to bring home a ribbon

Most people associate the Minnesota State Fair with seas of sweaty bodies, rickety Mighty Midway rides, and the inevitable fried food hangover induced by delicacies like Pronto Pups, cheese curds, and a beautiful union resulting in something called the “Pizzarito.” Yet its core purpose remains the same after more than 150 years: to celebrate the … [ Read more]

Kelley Farm renovations to showcase changes in Minnesota agriculture

The Oliver Kelley Farm opens for the season April 1, following a multimillion dollar renovation. The new spaces and programming hope to showcase changes in Minnesota’s agricultural history—spanning from the 1860s to modern day. “In the new Farm Lab area, visitors can explore today’s agriculture through modern cropland, animals, gardens and an outdoor exhibit trail. Then … [ Read more]