You’re Invited! In keeping with August’s monthly theme of “Harvesting Summer,” we’ll be learning about how to harvest honey from the bees tonight, Monday, August 13th from 5:30-7:30 pm at the Rail River Folk School (303 Railroad St. SW).
Local Bee Keeper Perry Eddy, the apiarist who helped install the bee boxes at the folk school this June, is coming back to teach us how to get honey from the hive to the jar. Discover the process of opening the hive, removing the bees, uncapping the honeycomb, then extracting and bottling the honey! Be prepared to get sticky so bring some spare clothes, and for those that would like to bring your own sweet sample home, bring your own small jar and a small donation to the folk school!
Canning Produce and Memories
Last week we were lucky enough to be visited by several generations of the Carlson family, who’ve been keeping the family tradition of canning alive for the better part of the past hundred years.
The class was held at Harmony Co-op’s Community Kitchen and featured hands-on demonstrations on how to prepare vegetables (specifically beets), the how-to’s with different types of canning (pressure cooking vs. water bath), a brief history of the use of canning (did you know that Napoleon’s interest in food preservation for his troops prompted canning’s widespread use?), and an alleviating discussion dispelling many of the attendee’s fears of contamination from the process.
In spite of the cautionary tales of botulism and food poisoning, one of the main thrusts of the presentation uplifted that if canning is done in an intentional, sanitary process and any food that looks or smells suspect upon opening is thrown out, the health and environmental benefits of growing and preserving your own local food far outweigh any risks. To help lend credence to the matter, Margaret and Ray Carlson explained, “we’ve been eating delicious canned foods our whole lives, and we’re still here!”
Everyone who attended got to sample several appetizing family beet recipes and was able to help in stages along the whole process—from peeling beets to pulling steaming sealed cans out of the pressure cooker. Best yet, there are already stories of attendees heading home to put up their own tomatoes in sauces and chilis because of their attendance last week! Thank you Maggie, Dave, Margaret, and Ray Carlson!
Shoreland Restoration Discussion
We are also incredibly grateful for Jared Stull, Soren Sorenson, and Bob Eckstrom for visiting with Sustainable Mondays two weeks ago to discuss the importance of preserving native habitat. Bob Eckstrom came in from the DNR to discuss the permitting process and the resources available through the Department of Natural Resources including the following website: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakescaping/index.html. Soren Sorenson discussed the significant ecological and biodiversity benefits of having a shoreline filled with restored native plants.
The beautiful evening closed with a tour of the recently restored Cameron City Park by Jared Stull. The city has worked with state-wide shoreland restoration experts to develop a beautiful native-landscaped shoreline with hundreds of shrubs and native plants. In spite of the drier conditions this summer and the many storms the park’s crew had to focus on, the benefits of these restoration efforts are already visible—including increased shoreline erosion control, enhanced habitat for wildlife (we saw many butterflies on the black-eyed susan flowers) and a reduction in long-term maintenance costs (less watering, mowing, and fertilizing). Thanks again for all those who attended and for all three of our presenters who covered invaluable and practical information. For more, visit the “Materials and Resources” tab on our site!
Shifting Gears is celebrating 10 years of service with an open house Sunday August 19, 2012 4:00-7:00PM at our new location; 303 Railroad street SW. Come and bring the whole family. There will be free stickers, buttons and other prizes. The bicycle blender will be set up for kids to make bike powered fruit smoothies. Light refreshments. Free and open to the public. Come by car or better yet, by bike! For an event flier click here and for more information call 751-8134 or go to shiftinggearsbemidji.com!
The Minnesota Design Team is coming to Bemidji to help jumpstart our area’s significant Comprehensive Planning process, so if you’d like to make sure your voice is heard on community issues that are important to you, make sure to put the following dates on your calendar and attend the events.Click Here for a Copy of the Flier and get involved in the following ways:
1. Interested in the Greater Bemidji Area? Want to tell us what you like? What you’d like to see changed? Attend the community conversation on September 14th at 5:30 pm. BSU Beaux Arts Ballroom. FREE DINNER!
2. Want to hear what your community told us about the Greater Bemidji Area? Attend the follow up evening! September 15th at 7:00pm. Historic Chief Theater.
WAYS TO VOLUNTEER!
1. We are looking for host families. The Minnesota Design Team is a volunteer group (30 people). They come from all over the State of Minnesota. They are in many fields and walks of life. When they come to visit – they stay in people’s homes. This gives you as a host family one on one time with the team leaders! If you have a room or a couch – let us know! We will place a team member in your home.
a. Dates: September 13th – 15th
b. Opening reception to meet your volunteer: Oak Hills College – 6pm – Thursday, September 13th. Come socialize and start the conversation for the future.
c. Responsibilities: A bed and conversation! Their meals are provided by the organizers. They may need a ride to the host family’s house per many of them will be carpooling
2. Have a camera and an hour? We need to complete a photo analysis of our community! We need pictures of the following: STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, THREATS, OPPORTUNITIES (SWOT Analysis)
a. Date: Tuesday, August 14, 2012
b. Time: 5:00 pm
c. Location: Start at City Hall
d. Activity: You will go out in groups of 2’s. We’ll assign different areas of the community. You take pictures of the SWOT items you identify. On a sheet – tell us which item it is STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, THREATS, or OPPORTUNITIES. Come back to City hall in an hour. We’ll download all the photos and create a collage of our community!
As always, we welcome your input and ideas for future programming. Sustainable Mondays feature a variety of learning opportunities focused on sustainability that connect our beautiful, vibrant community and is a partnership program with the Indigenous Environmental Network, MN GreenCorps, Rail River Folk School and BSU’s Sustainability Office.
For more information, contact Brett Cease at 755-3765 or Simone Senogles 751-4967