Opinion: Outdoors enthusiasts must fight to save conservation funding

Taylor Ridderbusch is the Great Lakes organizer for Trout Unlimited, which has 160,000 national members, including 36,000 in states bordering the Great Lakes. Ridderbusch is a lifelong resident of Wisconsin. The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author. As anglers, and as sportsmen and women, there is always a mood of excitement that … [ Read more]

8 things every brewery should do to be more conservation-minded

The idea of being more sustainable can be daunting for any brewer when you consider all the heat, water, and ingredients in play, not to mention the potential for waste. But when you get to the core of sustainability, it comes down to maximizing usage, buying smart, and giving back. Here are eight ways any … [ Read more]

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Craft Culture: Creative reuse and customer empowerment at Junket Tossed & Found

At first glance, you might think Junket: Tossed & Found is yet another vintage shop surrounded by numerous other vintage shops on Minnehaha Avenue in South Minneapolis. Old rockers, desk chairs, and salvaged theater seats huddle together out front. There’s a ‘90s-era school desk with a flip-up lid and a classic red wagon. An old … [ Read more]

GMO vs. Organic

Could they learn to work together? A growing population—and a changing climate—may demand it. Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak are an unconventional couple. He’s an organic farmer; she develops genetically engineered crops. Sometimes the discussion among their friends and colleagues at dinner parties turns tense. After all, organic farming types and advocates of genetic engineering have … [ Read more]

Kernz-huh? Could the perennial promise of Kernza benefit food, beer, and the world?

There’s a new-ish crop that’s been sprouting hopeful conversation in recent years. Kernza is the name given by Kansas-based The Land Institute to a specific germ line of perennial wheatgrass. Like a long-lost, wild cousin of traditional, annual wheat, it has the potential to help the environment and increase food production in incredible ways. It’s … [ Read more]

Rooting for ramps: What foragers must do to conserve these coveted wild onions

For cooks and diners, the ramp’s arrival on market shelves and restaurant menus each spring induces a rabidity to rival even that of the mighty morel. Known for their sweet onion flavor and their comedic pungency (read: farts), festivals celebrating this stinky herald of spring draw thousands of people in the eastern United States. The … [ Read more]

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Rent-A-Goat: Can we use ruminants to stop invasive plants and restore the natural landscape?

When Sue Wika bought her farm in Ashby, Minnesota, it was overrun with weeds. “You could barely move through the oak savanna,” she recalls. “So much prickly ash, and buckthorn too.” It’s all the same scene—from her prairie expanse in Grant County to the hardwood forests of the Driftless Area—invasive plants are taking the soil … [ Read more]

This land is our land: The bitter debate over America’s public spaces

A debate over the fate of federal lands has intensified. It’s an ideological battle with all the Washington, D.C., hallmarks—behind-the-scenes political maneuvering, influence peddling, and media wars. One side slanders their opponents as short-haired women and long-haired men—elitists who are impediments to progress. Their adversaries, who contend they are dealing with none other than Satan … [ Read more]

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Field and revenue stream: How hunting contributes to wildlife conservation

In some parts of Minnesota, it’s no big deal to see trumpeter swans flying overhead, their black bills in stark contrast to their white bodies. It’s exciting to hear the trumpeting sound they make and exhilarating to feel as much as hear the thumping sound their wings make as they fly overhead. And while trumpeter swans … [ Read more]

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Florida brewery creates edible six-pack rings to protect marine wildlife

Florida has a special connection to the ocean. The state is home to the Florida Reef, the third largest living coral reef in the world and the only one found in the continental United States. Many of its professional sports teams are aquatic themed (Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for example). So it’s no wonder … [ Read more]

Bison declared the national mammal of the U.S.

On May 9, President Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act into law, making bison the national mammal of the United States. Bison, which are the largest mammals in North America and weigh up to 2,000 pounds, join the eagle as an official symbol of the nation. Bison once numbered in the millions before over-hunting decimated … [ Read more]

Repair, reuse culture is alive and well in the Twin Cities

It occurred to me after visiting Repair Lair, Nancy Ford’s singular repair-and-reuse shop on East Lake Street, on a rainy day in March, that almost all of my friends in high school had, for the most part, shopped at secondhand stores. We were a punked-out, idealistic bunch (we once plastered Dinkytown with anti-Exxon fliers). But … [ Read more]

Idaho research suggests barley growers can reduce water usage without reducing yields

More news on the water conservation front: research at the University of Idaho Extension suggests that barely growers can judiciously cut their irrigation at certain phases of the crop’s growth without affecting their overall yield or quality. This is the first year of barley agronomist Chris Rogers’ research with the popular MillerCoors barley variety Moravian 69. … [ Read more]

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), … [ Read more]

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 … [ Read more]

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