Hello, Green Living Bemidji friends! The end of the week is almost here, and we’ve got the dish on the latest sustainability-related events coming up soon!
But first, a look at this week’s sugar bush adventure!
Sustainable Tuesdays took a field trip out to Leech Lake Tribal College to learn all about sugar bush camps, how to tap trees, and how to boil down sap to make syrup! I went into this class knowing next to nothing about this topic and left with a wealth of knowledge! A HUGE thank you to Jody DeVault and Shirley Nordrum for sharing their knowledge about sugar bushing and creating this opportunity to get hands-on experience!
They’ve set up a sugar bush camp near Bena for those interested in learning more about the process – you can go out there and help them tap trees and keep the camp going during the next few weeks (the sap really started to get flowing just the other day!) . And when they’ve collected all that sap, there will be three boiling days to show people how that process works. This is a great opportunity to learn firsthand about sugar bushing and the maple syrup making process. If you’d like to be connected with class and learn more about how to get involved in this sugar bush, contact Jody at (218) 820-4482.
Thanks again to Jody and Shirley! We really enjoyed listening to you both as you explained the important connection to nature that sugar bushing has and talked about your personal growth from participating in this tradition. Thanks for all you do!
Next Sustainable Tuesday is our Seed Starting Workshop on April 9th from 5:30 to 7:30pm!
There’s no need to register for this event – it’s free and open to everyone! We’ll have some seeds available, but you can of course bring your own. We’ll also provide soil and some containers. If you have extra containers that you’re willing to share with the group, we’d appreciate if you’d bring them! We will certainly put them to good use!
We are really excited to get planting! We’ll have some experienced gardeners to share tips and tricks with us – Jessica Saucedo and Cheryl Krystosek will be helping host this workshop and answer your seed starting questions.
Hope to see you Tuesday! 5:30 to 7:30pm at the Rail River Folk School (303 Railroad St SW, across the Irvine bridge and to the left).
A special note about our vermiculture workshop on April 16th!
I’ve had a couple questions about our upcoming vermiculture workshop and wanted to address some confusing points – I should have been clearer in the details I provided, oops!
- The workshop itself is free to attend – anyone is welcome to come learn how to make a homemade vermiculture bin.
- BUT if you want you leave on Tuesday night with a new worm bin of or your own, please bring $20 to assist in covering material costs. We will provide bins, worms, and bedding material – but you must let me know if you want to reserve bins from us by emailing me at email@example.com. Please let me know by Saturday, April 13th!
- We will be providing 10 gallon-sized OPAQUE (not see-through) bins – worms don’t like light, so the bins must be opaque! If you want to bring your own bins, they can be whatever brand you want, though we will be drilling holes in them and thin, hard plastic will crack easily. We recommend a Rubbermaid or equivalent style of bin (sturdier plastic, less likely to crack when drilled through)
- We are constructing our worm bins with a two-bin system (one bin sitting inside another, allowing for drainage). If you bring your own materials, you will need to bring TWO bins (of the same size). If you bring your own, you can get worms and bedding for a reduced price.
SPECIAL REQUEST: We are looking for some extra drills to share with the group! If you are coming to the workshop and have an extra drill and a 1/16 drill bit you would be willing to share for the duration of the workshop, that would be greatly appreciated! Part of the bin making process requires that we drill holes in the bin, and this goes much faster with the more drills we have!
Don’t forget about the other exciting garden-related events this month!
- I mentioned this last week as well, but just another shout out that the Master Gardeners are hosting a Garden Party and Workshop on April 13th – they’ve got a great line-up of workshops and speakers, including the University of Minnesota’s Climatologist Dr. Mark Seeley, who will be speaking about “How Our Minnesota Weather is Changing.” Registration at the door is $15, but does not include lunch.
- The Bemidji Public Library is also hosting a Gardening Program Lecture Series, with upcoming presentations on April 11th and April 25th. These programs are at 12pm at the library and are presented in collaboration with the Friends of Bemidji Public Library and the Beltrami County Master Gardeners!
Coming up this weekend is the Home Sport and Travel Show! April 5-7th at the Sanford Center!
There are some great opportunities to learn about sustainability, active living, and healthy food at this event! Here is just a small sampling of the sessions being offered – check out the full list on the Home Sport and Travel Show facebook event page!
11 AM Sustainable Backyard Makeover
Keith Kinnen, PLA
- We will explore different ways to turn that back yard into the oasis you have always wanted with sustainable practices. We will review the importance of sustainability and the benefits, look at examples and talk about how to implement them into your own landscape!
1 PM Bicycle Maintenance Seminar
Sam Smith, Owner
Itasca Sports, Inc.
- Get ready for spring with an informational bicycle seminar hosted by Sam, The Bikesmith. Learn how to fit your bicycle properly, fix a flat, do on-the-spot adjustments, brake and derailleur adjustment, tool use and techniques, and basic maintenance. Sam Smith, owner of Itasca Sports in Itasca State Park, has been a bicycle mechanic for more than 16 years. Sam maintains the largest bicycle rental fleet in Minnesota, with more than 150 bicycles, along with the many private bikes he repairs each year. If cycling peaks your interest, this seminar is a perfect fit!
4 PM Easy, Healthful Foods for an Active Lifestyle
Lisa Knights, Manager of Supplements, Bulk Spices & Educational Departments
- Join Lisa as she shares with you how you can spend more time doing the things you love such as hiking, biking, or being on the water and spend less time cooking! You can still eat healthy using easy whole foods from a few staple ingredients.
And if you’re out and about at the Home Sport and Travel Show, keep an eye out for our Sustainable Homes Tour posters – you can find them at Zetah Construction booth and Karvakko Engineering!
Speaking of which … it’s time to SAVE THE DATE! Saturday, July 27th, 2013 marks the return of Bemidji’s Sustainable Homes Tour!
Last year’s event was such a success that we’re bringing the Sustainable Homes Tour back again! This tour, born from the minds of the Bemdiji Sustainability Committee, is a great opportunity to learn more about what residents in the Bemidji area are doing to make their homes more sustainable! Check out the details on our poster!
We are looking for more homes to include in this tour! Are you interested in featuring your home? Have questions or suggestions? Contact me (Caitlyn) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 755-3765. You can also come visit with the Bemidji Sustainability Committee in person during our monthly meetings – the next one is coming up on May 1st at 6:30pm!
Also, don’t forget to register for Tuesday’s Minnesota Food Charter Northwest Kickoff event that I mentioned last week! You can still sign up and it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about our food system here in Northwest Minnesota! Go here for more details!
That’s all for the week! Have a good one, friends!
As always, our program depends on your input and feedback, and we welcome your ideas and suggestions to broaden our community. Sustainable Tuesdays 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 Caitlyn Schuchhardt at 755-3765 or Simone Senogles at 751-4967.