A Pocket Full of Rye: How a lowly, northern grain is mounting a comeback through whiskey

Stalks of rye bob in the summer breeze in a field near Cambridge, Minnesota. It is a cereal grass in the wheat family—seeded in the fall, it stays green and patient throughout the winter, then skyrockets in the early spring. It shoots up from the gray, powdery soil, gets a deep tan, and then grows … [ Read more]

Main Street, Minnesota: a three-day journey through windmills and water towers, into the heart of the state’s small towns

Milk at Carl’s Corner in Essig, Minnesota, is 80 cents a glass, $1.50 if you want a large—which, from a quick survey of the wood-paneled dining room, several patrons do. We’re on day two of our three-day road trip from Lake City to Luverne. Normally, this cross-Minnesota trek would take four, maybe four-and-a-half hours to … [ Read more]

Forever Homes For Farm Animals: Sanctuary farms give animals destined for unhappy endings a new lease on life

A 300-pound pig named Wally was traveling 70 miles per hour on a highway outside of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was a mere three miles from his destination, a slaughterhouse, when a woman driving behind the truck he was in reportedly saw the pig lift up the door with his snout. Wally stepped out onto … [ Read more]

Soil Farmers: How A Renewed Focus On The Land Is Building More Resilient Farms

Peter Allen wants to bury a fence. Tucked within the rolling landscape of the driftless region, on a farm outside of Viola, Wisconsin, a barbed wire fence runs along the spine of a ridge separating a strip of pasture from the valley below. The noticeable three-foot drop between the fence and the field is the … [ Read more]

The Food Hub Dilemma (or what we mean when we say we support local farmers)

What’s the best way to support a local farmer? Buying their product, obviously, that much is clear. But how? And where? I’ve been providing mostly scattershot support for my farmer-neighbors. I eat at restaurants known to feature their products. I browse farmers’ markets and have a CSA share. I try to eat with the seasons, … [ Read more]

Grow a Farmer Fund raising money for low-interest loans to farmers

There’s nothing better than fresh produce from a local farmers’ market. Whether it’s juicy tomatoes or perfectly globular pumpkins, farm-to-table foods are seasonal delights. But the reality is that small-scale farming is hard work and earning a living from it can be even harder. From land prices to equipment, animal housing to securing bank financing, … [ Read more]

The next tool in the fight against bovine emissions… Oregano?

Raising livestock is a gassy business. In fact, a third of methane generated by human activity comes from livestock, beef cattle contributing a substantial amount of that total via belching. While the solution to cutting methane emissions from livestock ought to include consumers eating less beef, researchers are also searching for ways to reduce emissions at the … [ Read more]

Jer-Lindy Farms and Redhead Creamery win dairy sustainability award

Jer-Lindy Farms and Redhead Creamery were recognized with a 2016 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award for Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability, at a ceremony in Chicago on May 11. The 200-cow Brooten, Minnesota farm and artisan cheesemaker—a partnership between two generations of Jennissen family—were acknowledged for a number of sustainable practices, including reducing the farm’s energy use by 20 percent, not … [ Read more]

Community Supported Agriculture: What it is, how it works, and why it’s worth considering

Tis the season for fresh, locally grown produce, farmers’ markets, restaurants boasting seasonal menus, and community gardens bursting at the chicken wire. Another way to enjoy just-picked, seasonal goodies is to join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. No, you don’t have to till the land and harvest the crops (although the farmers would probably … [ Read more]

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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]

A Blind Tasting beer festival

Taste & Rate 48 Minnesota Oktoberfests

Sept. 20, 2019 | 5:30–9pm
Upper Landing Park
Tickets: GA $40 | DD $20