Vol. 1, No. 7 - Sept/August 2016
THE COLLECTIONS ISSUE
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Please join us for Make Your Mark! At this community-driven event you can see the spectacle of art being made on site by local artists. Marvel at the process of creation and meet the artists who live and work here, enriching Duluth. Each artwork made will be available to buy that night, starting at just $25 or $50. A silent auction will be filled with local goodies. Proceeds from this fun night out directly support exhibits, education, and public programs at the DAI. Your generosity inspires our local artists, and nurtures the cultural landscape of Duluth for the next generation!
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MINNESOTA POWER BENT PADDLE BREWING CO. DULUTH BARREL WORKS LAKE AVENUE RESTAURANT
Editor’s Note The Collections Issue There are two kinds of collections—the literal ones and the metaphorical ones. In the literal sense, I have been picking up cool rocks since I can remember. My childhood bedroom was sprinkled with hidden treasure boxes and tiny containers filled with rocks from various adventures. Today, I still can’t resist a pretty rock. Treasure boxes have been replaced with more grown up vessels like vases and unique bottles, but the premise remains very much the same. I love the beautiful variation in the things we can perceive— the color, shape, size, and texture—coupled with the mystery of the things we can’t perceive—the age, where it’s been, and what energy it holds. This same appreciation applies to collections in a metaphorical sense. As I grow older, I aim to collect adventures. Adventures in new places or old, explorations with depth and promise and unfamiliarity. Though each one is comprised of similar activities— walking around, chatting with strangers, taking photos, eating delicious food, and experiencing the place with an open mind, each individual exploration holds a beautiful uncertainty that remains intangible. In this elusive aspect of adventure, there is so much to uncover. This issue is all about collections, both literal and metaphorical. As a gathering of stories, photos, projects, and people from all over the state, everything comes together in this fall issue to form a meaningful, timeless collection of Northern tales. From a farmhouse cider maker to an exploration of the “apple capital of Minnesota” to an interview with a jewelry maker to a photography contest all about collections, this issue is best enjoyed in the cool promise of a sunny fall day. So, we invite you to lace up your boots, step outside, and feel the welcome chill. Take a stroll through the shallow layer of fallen leaves on the sidewalk and find a quiet place to enjoy these stories.
— Kara Larson
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Editor Editor Kara Larson Kara Larson Production Manager Production Manager Leah Matzke Leah Matzke
Contributing Designer Contributing Designer Adrian Whitney Adrian Whitney
Contributors Contributors SEAN MCSTEEN SEAN MCSTEEN Born and raised in a St. Paul suburb, Sean grew up being exposed to and Born andin the rich raised in a and St. Paul suburb, Sean up being exposed to and participating diverse culture ofgrew the Twin Cities. His passions participating in the rich diverse culture ofjournalism the Twin Cities. His passions range from playing cello,and filmmaking, Gonzo (on the weekends), range from playing filmmaking, Gonzo the weekends), and cello, traveling to any new placejournalism around the(on world, near or far. and traveling to any new place around the world, near or far.
COLBY WEGTER COLBY WEGTER Iowa farm New educated, Minnesota shaped. That’s Colby is theraised, founder of York A Look Into. This online collection of local Colby Wegter. From growing up near a town without a stopbehind light tothe stories holds the core belief that when you know the people working in NYC’s Chinatown to finally landing in St. Paul, Colby product, you have a more fulfilling experience. Knowing their stories looks to converse, to when learn and attempt to product tell. He hit feelsthem, morehow at home where they grew up, the idea of the they in Minnesota than anywhere else and enjoys her beauty on the daily. have seen it change lives and perspectives - is the path on which Colby He’s also the founder of A Look Into (alookinto.com), an online takes readers to a more satisfying end. Check out his work at editorial that tells that stories of the people behind the products we www.alookinto.com. love. You’ll often finding him trying to brew the perfect beer, write the perfect poem or find the perfect cup of coffee.
Sean McSteen Sean Wegter McSteen Colby Colby Wegter Matt Frank Matt Frank Cover Photo Cover Photo Michele Phillips, Michele Phillips, 2016 collections 2016 collections contest winner contest winner
Copyright Copyright AllAll images contained images containedininMake MakeIt It Minnesota are Minnesota aresubject subjecttotocopyright copyrightofof the artist, illustrator or photographers the artist, illustrator or photographers asas named, but named, butnot notlimited limitedto.to.
MATT FRANK MATT FRANK Matt’s passions for urban agriculture, regenerative landscape design, Matt’s passions for urban agriculture, regenerative landscape design, and food justice issues led to From the Ground Up North’s creation and food justice issues led to From the Ground Up North’s creation as an educational and inspirational tool for change in the Upper as an educational and inspirational tool for change in the Upper Midwest. power of of narratives narratives to to shape shape Midwest.He He strongly strongly believes believes in in the the power minds, open eyes and shift perspectives. Learn more about his work at minds, open eyes and shift perspectives. Learn more about his work at www.fromthegroundupnorth.org www.fromthegroundupnorth.org
Reproduction Reproductionofofany anypart partofofthis this magazine without prior magazine without priorpermission permissionisis prohibited. prohibited. Copyright 2016. AllAllrights Copyright 2016. rightsreserved. reserved. Disclaimer Disclaimer The views and The views andcomments commentsexpressed expressed byby the writers are the writers arenot notalways alwaysthat thatofof Make It Minnesota. Make It Minnesota. While every effort While every efforthas hasbeen beenmade madetoto ensure accuracy ensure accuracyofofthe theinformation information this publication,Make MakeIt ItMinnesota Minnesota in in this publication, accepts responsibilityororliability liability accepts nono responsibility any errors,omissions omissionsororresultant resultant forfor any errors, consequences,including includingany anyloss loss consequences, damage arisingfrom fromreliance relianceon on oror damage arising information thispublication. publication. information ininthis Make Minnesota(ISSN (ISSN2471-6744) 2471-6744) Make It It Minnesota Volume No.7,7,isispublished publishedbyby Volume 1,1,No. Make It MN LLC Make It MN LLC
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Cara Olinger email@example.com 507-381-1375 866-735-0120
Contents Featured Communities
Hidden Cities: La Cresent, MN Local by Local: Kristofer Bowman
Maker Workshop Series
Out & About
The Good Acre
Behind The Maker
Creative Challenges 26 Collections Instagram Contest
The Curious Chef
Share Your Project
The Collections Issue
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La Crescent, MN
By Sean McSteen
What better way to kick off the autumn season with a town known for its abundance of apples? Once home to forty different privately owned orchards that spanned across the bluffs that border the town to the west, La Crescent earned the title of Apple Capital of Minnesota. Though, with housing developments and larger orchards buying up neighboring land, that number has dropped to below a dozen. But, the town sits pretty on its apple throne. Built along the Mississippi River directly across from La Crosse, WI, La Crescent is tucked among the ridges and valleys of the picturesque bluffs that make up the Mississippi River Valley. Upon our arrival, we walked and drove around getting the lay of the land, cutting through the downtown area utilizing every street and direction possible. I love exploring a town’s downtown or main street first thing. It gives you a nice preview of the town as well as plenty of different opportunities to speak with members of the community in all kinds of settings. Another fun element about exploring different town’s downtowns is that most—if not all—towns, no matter the size, have some form of central area and each one differs from the last. One town may take some deeper exploring to be able to see a town’s unique and distinctive qualities; and some immediately stand out against the rest. La Crescent was a confusing one. Being a town with nearly 5,000 citizens, it was strange to see a downtown that was a comparable size to that of Blackduck, MN, which has a population of approximately 792. But, all towns are different and it is important to begin each new adventure with no predetermined expectations or holding another town up as the high bar to reach. Instead, see what whatever town you come across has to offer that is unique to the community. After a stop at the large, outdoor market, Bauer’s Apples, we walked around La Crescent’s downtown and surrounding neighborhood and everything felt very still and quiet. The eerie quiet may have had to do with a recovery period after celebrating Apple Fest 2016 that weekend. Apple Fest is a festival that has been
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put on every year since 1949 that celebrates what was once the town’s lifeblood: apples. With competitions, a parade, the tapping of specially made beers and ciders, and much more, Apple Fest has been an event that brings both the community of La Crescent and the surrounding areas together. Also, all the proceeds of the festival go straight back into the betterment and development of La Crescent, helping to fund development projects throughout town for the betterment of the community. A community that, when we arrived, was back to work outside of town or at school. So, we walked the peaceful streets, admiring the houses and parks that sprawled over the hilly land at the base of the rampartlike bluffs that seem to hold the town in its embrace. After talking to a nice lady outside of the library who told us about a viewpoint called Apple Blossom Overlook, we decided to take a look for ourselves. While the overlook site looked worn from the years (the information placard had been stripped bare with no information on it), the view was great and there were a couple paths leading through the tall grass that covered the loping hills like the fur of a fluffy dog. Before it got too late, we made a visit to Leidel’s Apples, a sideof-the-road apple vendor that has been around practically as long as the town has. The pull-off apple stop, which has been run by a partnership between the Leidel and Ferguson family orchards, is cute little open air store selling all things apples and other fall favorites. There, we had a chance to speak with Brian, who was running the store. Having lived in the area most—if not all— his life, Brian spoke enthusiastically about the strong bonds and sense of community that everyone feels living in La Crescent. Giving us an example of how the community of La Crescent holds each other up, Brian told us a story about a time during an apple harvest when a farmer in the community needed some help
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Visiting with Brian at Leidel’s Apples
with a crop too large to handle on his own. Immediately, there were people who dropped what they were doing and went to his aid, Brian said, trying to help in whatever way they could. We left Leidel’s Apples with a mouthful of one of the juiciest honey crisp apples I have ever tasted, we were happy and content and felt like we had seen all that we could see for the day. The sun was going down and things seemed to be even quieter in town than they had when we first arrived, so we headed across the river to La Crosse to find a hotel to get a room for the night. We began our second day early and drove back over the Mississippi and into town where we had a delicious breakfast at Kaddy’s Kafe, La Crescent’s breakfast and lunch hotspot. And as luck would have it, just as we were finishing eating, we got a call from Brad Helstad, owner of River View Winery, inviting us to visit and explore his winery just a few miles away. We finished our breakfast and hit the road and drove up the same main path up the bluff we had taken the previous day, past both Apple Blossom Overlook and a couple different apple orchards, and we were there.
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The winery is set up with its beautiful public patio as the focal point of the grounds, surrounded by rows and rows of grapes and and sloping forests with small windows through the trees overlooking La Crescent and the Mississippi. Brad first took us through the nearest space of vines, talking us through the different grapes and the qualities and distinctions they all carry. Before being a grape grower and winemaker, Brad had worked for different airlines, until he decided to give up the fast life and move back home to learn how to make wine with his father. Taking over the land, Brad has expanded the winery and grown the business while constantly jumping through the various logistical hoops that always seem to arise out of nowhere. The last stop on the tour was, by far, the coolest overlook we saw during the entire trip down south. Standing on the edge of the ledge and looking across the horizon, we could see for miles and miles as the river became land (in Wisconsin) and stretched endlessly eastward. Taking as many mental and real photographs of the winery as possible so as not to forget the incredible views, we thanked Brad for being so welcoming and engaging and were back on the road. We planned to take the scenic route up the West side of the Mississippi returning home, but before leaving La Crescent, we
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had one more business to check out: the antique store. Though the sign above the door had been boarded up, the door was open and we were greeted by the friendly store owner and his buddy, who mentioned in a passing comment that they “didn’t have to close after all.” Perusing the organized disarray of the knick-knack palace (not the actual name), we came away with a CD for the ride home and an old, special interview edition of Rolling Stone Magazine from 1987. We hopped back into the car, popped in the CD and headed out. But, before we could make it out of town, a string of flags in the distance and the rotors of a helicopter caught our eye.
Taking one last detour, we turned down the road from the antique/thrift store and discovered Veteran’s Park, which has a decommissioned helicopter sitting idle at the entrance. So, of course we had to go check that out. And while the park looked beautiful and enticing, after a few minutes of admiring the helicopter and the area, we felt ready to go. With the La Crescent Flea Market being the only thing we did not see as it was only open on weekends, we felt content and fulfilled in our exploration of La Crescent and the larger Mississippi River Valley area. So, with the wind in our hair and the afternoon sun shining through the windows, we left La Crescent and began our long track back up the mighty Mississippi.
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A Curated List of Favorites
by Kristofer Bowman O wner , U pstat e MN
Upstate MN is a contemporary lifestyle store in Grand Marais, Minnesota with a focus on the work of small-scale makers, designers, and artists. Exploring a new idea of northwoods modern, Upstate strives to share quality, contemporary, often handcrafted products, original art, and modern manufactured goods with a focus on wares that enhance daily experiences though beauty and functionality. In part, Upstate MN strives to represent the region we live in through tones, materials, and form. Owner Kristofer Bowman has been a retail buyer, storeowner, and stylist for over 15 years with a focus on modern, vintage, and industrial finds. He is proud and grateful that his dream design store (often dreamt for Brooklyn or Minneapolis) manifested itself along the incredible North Shore of Lake Superior. Grateful, too, to have a place for building human connection, while connecting humans to artists, sharing stories and an “up” state of being. Kristofer has spent a lot of time thinking, “Wherever you are, you should do what you do with passion and your best effort. This list reflects that; these are absolutely my local favorites!”
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T h e C ro o k e d S p o o n , G r a n d M a r a i s The Crooked Spoon Café was opened by husband and wife team Nathan and Sara Hingos in August 2006. Chef Nathan and his kitchen staff serve lunch and dinner with menus that change seasonally using local and regional ingredients whenever possible. Sara has hand picked a great selection of craft beer and wine and leads a fabulous team of servers who will make your experience memorable. Nathan and Sara share, “The overall mission is to leave our customers anxious for their next visit. We are very excited to be in our 10th year and appreciate all of the local support we have received over the years!”
F i k a C o ff e e , L u t s e n For Joshua Lindstrom, the founder of Fika Coffee, coffee is more than just a beverage, and Fika is more than coffee. It’s his hope that you’ll take time to savor each sip and think about the things that matter: family, friends, good food, and great conversations. Joshua shares, “We care deeply about our own community, and work to create a more sustainable economic environment by pursuing a sustainable business model that will enrich the lives of our team members and our community. To us, local means investing in our community to promote a more holistic lifestyle-all the while sourcing the highest quality coffee from around the globe.”
The Pie Pl ace Café, Grand Marais The Pie Place Café bakery offers an extensive pie selection baked daily, with both the crusts and the fillings made from scratch, using fresh and fresh frozen fruit to ensure the best flavor. They also offer a selection of cookies, cakes, and other seasonal desserts. Mary Beams, Owner and Baker Emeritus, shares, “‘The first ingredient is always love’ has been our motto for 20 years. During our transition into new opportunities and experiences, we keep our motto before us, whether it’s in our baked goods, our catering and wholesale business, our cookbooks, or our family as volunteers in many community efforts. As a business and as a family, we are deeply committed to being part of the reason Grand Marais is such a wonderful place to live and to visit.”
ri d e o n
N o rt h H ou s e F o l k S c h o o l ’ s
H j ø rd i s , G r a n d M a r a i s
Set sail on Lake Superior aboard Grand Marais’ signature boat, the Hjørdis—a 50’ traditionally rigged schooner. Your sailing adventure includes an introduction to the craft of sail and, as opportunities arise, a colorful look at the ecology, geology, and history of Lake Superior. The outing begins with a tour of the Grand Marais Harbor and as conditions permit, a journey past the lighthouse and onto the largest freshwater lake in the world— Lake Superior. Your sailing experience may include views of the Sawtooth Mountains along the North Shore, or nearby commercial fishing nets set up to 200 feet deep.
F ly B ox & C o m pa n y , G r a n d M a r a i s The Fly Box & Company is an outdoor specialty retailer constructed from two 40-foot shipping containers. The exterior is clad with reclaimed barn wood; the interior is full of curated fine goods for men and women from Patagonia, Orvis, Tenkara Rod Co., and Topo Designs. The sole proprietor, Scott Sorensen, has over twenty years of fly fishing experience and enjoys guiding visitors on the north shore’s 200 tributaries and 120 stream trout lakes. Scott notes, “We arrange quality guide services and procure select outdoor products that reflect our passions. We believe sharing information about our area’s natural resources is the most valuable asset we have and freely give this information to our customers.”
L u t Z e n R e f l e ct i o n M a s s a g e S t u d i o , G r a n d M a r a i s . LutZen Reflection Massage Studio prides itself on personal touches that inspire a tranquil and serene state of mind. Owner Teri Chilefone shares, “I believe there are many so many details to create an amazing massage experience. People can get a massage anywhere. They are looking for a feeling and an experience that will make them say, “This place is really something special and I will be back!” They leave us not just relaxed, but renewed in every sense. I feel it is this element that helps us stand apart from the competition. There are personal touches we put into the experience that keeps our clients coming back again and again.” VOL 1, NO. 7 - 2016 11
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T h e C o l l e c t i o n s I s s u e â€” M a k e r Wo r k s h o p S e r i e s
Sweetland Orchard Farmhouse Philosophies for a Distinctively Minnesotan Cider By Kara Larson
This is a wild orchard. The meandering paths arenâ€™t cleanly mowed and tidy, the weeds grow tall amongst the trees, a lively buzz of tiny insects fills the air, and healthy apples of all colors and sizes weigh down 25-year-old tree branches. The feeling you get strolling through an orchard like this one is far from a perfectly scheduled Saturday afternoon orchard visit complete with hayrides and corn mazes. Here, you feel the quiet of the picturesque views, the virtue of honest growing practices, and the passion of people who work hard to keep this orchard authentic in every sense of the word.
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When we arrived at Sweetland Orchard in Webster, MN, we were first greeted by two bouncing dogs, Boris and Fletcher. After dropping a toy at my feet, Fletcher excitedly jumped in place, insisting that I toss it far, far away. As the official greeter at Sweetland Orchard, Fletcher had done his job impeccably for the day. He ran off and out of sight as Mike and Gretchen Perbix, the owners and operators, stepped in. Mike and Gretchen are some serious apple people. It’s easy to perceive their integrity and intention—they live with purpose. This purpose: growing, pressing, and fermenting apples. And they do it well. They take pride in their transparent growing practices, their impressive 49 varieties of apples, and their platform to share knowledge and information on the process of making cider. As this expert duo walked us around their orchard, they talked about the trees and the apples and the pests and the life they’ve built around this place. They plucked ripe apples, giving us a taste of the various varieties they’ve taken care of for years.
Part I: Planting Grafts
It all began with Gretchen’s elementary school music teacher, Alice McDougall. She and her husband, Gary, have a beautiful orchard called McDougall’s Apple Junction and played a large role in Gretchen and Mike’s initial interest in apples. It was 2007, Mike had just finished his Chemistry degree through the University of Minnesota and was working at 3M, and Gretchen was working as a professor at Minnesota State University in Mankato. At that time, the couple would routinely sit down with Alice and Gary every few months to talk about the orchard business. These conversations included educating Gretchen and Mike on the tough lifestyle of running their own orchard, and also, as Alice and Gary neared retirement age, an opportunity for them to think about their future plans. After some time and thoughtful consideration, Gretchen and Mike expressed interested in taking over the McDougall’s orchard. Having known Alice and Gary for a long time, they loved the idea of running this orchard and envisioned themselves in this place, growing apples, a family, a legacy. However, it wasn’t as simple as that. Alice and Gary, not quite ready to retire, made the choice to keep the orchard in the family.
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So, Gretchen and Mike had a decision to make. Entering the apple orchard business was no longer about taking over this familiar orchard; if they wanted to do this, it would be a much larger undertaking and completely on their own. Is this what they really wanted to do? Gretchen shares, “We decided it was. And that was the first real conscious step.” Gretchen heard about an orchard that was previously for sale called Bob’s Bluebird Orchard, but it had been taken off the market. She got in touch with the owner and in November of 2008, they drove down to Webster to take a look at the property. “It was all brown, but it felt really good,” Gretchen begins. “Then it took from November to the end of June 2010 to finally nail everything down, finish the deal, and move in. In that time, we were learning about the orchard from Bob and taking courses at the U on organic fruit production and managerial economics. There was a good, long buildup and time to learn about it.”
Part II: Growing Roots
Not yet settled into their new property, Gretchen and Mike started taking care of the orchard in February 2010. From the very beginning, and somewhat to their own surprise, hard cider became a major focus. They did all the pruning that year and planted cider varieties in April. With 2010’s harvest, they began experimenting with single variety and yeast trials to figure out which varieties and yeasts worked well together. At last, with 2011’s crop, they made hard cider, got licensed and began selling in 2012. Even though they quickly found themselves on the hard cider path, Gretchen relays that they were making it without knowing there would be a market for it. She offers, “The market for it ended up being bigger than we would have thought. We were just thinking that we wanted to do it and if some people bought our hard cider, that’s great. But we were not aware at all that it was a big deal on the east coast and the west coast.” Yet, they decided to embrace hard cider. After Mike took an extensive cider making course at Cornell in 2012 from a cider expert from the UK, Gretchen flew out to join him. They made plans to visit two cideries out there—Bellwether and Eve’s Cidery. Gretchen says, “These are both really well known cideries out there with completely different approaches—we learned a ton from those visits. That’s also where we learned about the National Cider Conference that we have attended since 2013.” Those first couple years of attending the Conference in Chicago, Gretchen and Mike came away feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work to be done to make their cider dreams come true. However, they were far from discouraged. On the contrary, they were more motivated than ever. With this healthy base of knowledge, they started to form their own growing philosophies, chisel their cider craft, and perfect their process. As they learned more and more about cider development and production around the world, they found themselves eager to map out a new way to grow apples and make cider. Gretchen explains that there are basically two ways people are making cider at present. The first resembles the practices of a winemaker, and the second resembles the practices of a beer brewer. For Gretchen and Mike, it’s about balance. Their methods fall somewhere between those of a beer brewer and those of a wine maker. VOL 1, NO. 7 - 2016 15
“At its quickest, we could pick the apples, juice them in September, ferment them, rack them, and it could be possible to turn around a batch of the Scrumpy ciders in two months. But what’s more typical is that after the cider is done fermenting, we rack it, hold on to it, and let it mature. That maturation time can vary from six weeks in our fastest turnaround to months—6 months, 9 months, 12 months even.” This is a patient process that works for them. Gretchen laughs, saying that a large cidery on the west coast would find this timeframe ridiculous; however, if anything, she’d like to slow it down. Beyond this production side of cider making, there is a development side that Gretchen and Mike find far more interesting. “We really like doing the development aspect of it. And I’d say that’s a strong suit of Mike’s. Doing wild ferments, aging in oak, using different apple varieties, using different yeasts, fermentation at lower temperatures, which usually results in better flavor development. We’re really interested in all of the other techniques.” Mike has been able to experiment some of these innovative techniques in a recent collaboration with Minneapolis coffee roaster, Dogwood Coffee, and also, in a few seasonal specials like the Minnesota Mule, the Roundabout, a batch-numbered cider that changes every season, and the extremely young hard cider only available at the orchard in the fall, Whippersnapper.
Part III: Bearing Fruit
All aspects of development and production aside, the Sweetland Orchard process begins with the apples. Gretchen and Mike are proud to source the most important component of their cider from their own backyard. She begins, “That is the ideal situation for us. The thing that matters most: the apples. That’s why we’re planting all these varieties.” She adds, “Growing it here, we know everything. We know what we did to manage the crop that year, we know how much rain we got, how many sunny days we had, we know what the high temps were—and we know when to harvest them.” This last one is key. They like to harvest them as late as possible to get all the sugar and flavor development possible. Gretchen admits, “And we know our cider tastes better with our apples. So, is it the soil? Is it purely the time that we pick them? Is it that we’re not blanketing the orchard with really toxic pesticides? I don’t think it’s just one of those things—I think it’s everything working together.” It’s coming back to the balance of honest growing practices. They shy away from an overly interventionist approach, respecting the land and the trees and everything in between, and yet, they understand that without any intervening, the power of nature would diminish their yields. For Gretchen and Mike, this balance is important because resources are finite. “We need to be very careful not to take all these resources for granted because there is so much change afoot. It’s our responsibility to renew the soil and to not use toxic materials all over the place.” And with this respect and appreciation and sensibility, Gretchen and Mike’s ideas of growing here go beyond their own orchard. In growing interesting, 16 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
unique apples outside of the usual 10-12 hard cider varieties grown on other orchards, they hope to inspire a new kind of narrative for a distinctive Minnesotan style of cider. Gretchen begins, “The apples that we grow here are distinctive and I think that there’s a lot of promise in that. I think a lot of cider makers are pinning their hopes on growing more of the bona fide cider varieties and that’s a little bit misguided. Sure, cider makers in England have been using them for such a long time, but the qualities of the apples grown there are different than the qualities of the same varieties grown here. So we need to be really cognizant of that.” This is the larger goal—encouraging other apple growers to look beyond the tried and true hardy varieties and expand into the innovative realm of creating a distinctive flavor profile unique to this place. Gretchen and Mike believe in the potential of growing apples and making cider in this region. Blazing trails with their unique farmhouse ciders, Sweetland Orchard is now hosting exciting events and cider tastings with other cideries around the state, expanding the boundaries of Minnesota cider. And yet, on a quiet weekend afternoon, the orchard is also a perfect place for a charming fall outing with the family—complete with some of the tastiest apples in Minnesota and sweet, non-alcoholic cider made right there.
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Out & About:
From the minds that brought you The Beer Dabbler and The Growler, Rummage is an event in a league of its own. The first annual weekend-long event (September 30-October 2) offered exclusive deals on your favorite Minnesota heritage brands, as well as local and nationally recognized and beloved retailers. Beyond the marketplace, there was live music, craft beer, fair-inspired food, multiple family-friendly activities, games, and interactive programming.
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We caught up with Joe Alton, Editor-in-Chief of The Growler, for an introduction to and tour of this wonderful event. As we walked around, soaking in the September afternoon sun, we had a great time chatting with the vast range of vendors, learning their story and experiencing what they make firsthand. So, in collaboration with Rummage, we featured a few of these makers in exclusive online interviews celebrating their participation in this excellent new event as well as celebrating their talent and craft as Minnesota makers. Enjoy a preview of these stories below and be sure to read the full features online at www.makeitmn.com.
Joe Alton, Editor-in-Chief of The Growler
AMERICAN CRAFTSMEN Do you feel like your work allows you to contribute to something bigger than yourself? The name of my tiny company is spelled with an “e” in Craftsmen and it was intentional. I did it because I work super hard to source every component from American manufacturers. I feel that those values, ethics, and protections we fight for are indeed worth fighting for. So when someone buys a single product from me, they are also supporting the dozens of other American companies I buy my glue, varnish, thread, paint, screws, feathers, leather, copper, rivets, and hooks from. Read full interview at www.makeitmn.com/jesse-gerhard
NIKKI HOLLERICH HAGEN AND OATS
How has living and making in Minnesota influenced your creative work, specifically through Hagen and Oats? There are so many iconic images that represent Minnesota. It would be hard to produce the variety of work we have in a state we didn’t grow up in. The experiences we have had here really help us develop a sense of what a true Minnesotan is. The Boundary Waters, cabin life, Paul and Babe, winter carnival; all of these experiences have influenced our ideas for art. It seems like every piece of art we make triggers the next idea. Our ideas come from our team, our customers and of course our experiences. Read full interview at www.makeitmn.com/nikki-hollerich VOL 1, NO. 7 - 2016 19
The Good Acre—Nonprofit Commu By Matt Frank, Founder & Editorial Director of From the Ground Up North All photos taken by Amanda Rueter unless otherwise noted
What do you get when you mix food access, hands-on sustainable agriculture education, and independent local farmer incubation? Three words: community-food-hub! The Good Acre is a nonprofit community food hub and education center designed to “advance education and access for all consumers to locally grown produce in the Twin 20 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
Cities….with an emphasis placed on supporting low-income, immigrant, independent farmers”. Launched in October 2015, The Good Acre’s brand new facility sits at the nexus of the University of Minnesota (UMN) St. Paul campus’ agricultural research fields, two major urban centers, and the surrounding suburbs. The Good
Acre facility contains office space, storage and production space, a food warehouse, a commercial kitchen, and a training classroom. The facility acts as a holistic space for sustainable agriculture advocacy, education, and support services where farmers and community can come together to eat, cook, work, learn, and share.
By Matt Frank, Founder & Editorial Director of From the Ground Up North
nity Food Hub & Education Center ORIGINS The Pohlad Family Foundation, a wellknown Twin Cities institution, began forming the organization roughly four years ago. They envisioned The Good Acre as a place where healthy, nutritious, whole foods could be brought into the community while improving access to markets for small local farmers. During the 2015 growing season, The Good Acre operated a successful community supported agriculture (CSA) model, which continues to serve as one of their main programs. Since its formation, they’ve received a lot of great community, business, and academic support from partners including the Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Co-op Partners Warehouse, the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Food Association, and the Hmong American Farmers Association, among others.
PRODUCTS & SERVICES The food hub’s mission is “to enhance how food is grown and shared in the Twin Cities region, to improve marketplace opportunities for diverse independent farmers, and to increase access for all consumers to healthy, locally grown fresh produce.” In order to do this, they provide farmers with access to assets that typically require large upfront financial investments such as warehousing, storage,
and processing facilities. Access to healthy food is available to area residents through a CSA and at an on-site farmers market where partner farmers are able to distribute their produce and goods. Rounding out the mission, the organization provides both farmers and community members with access to a commercial kitchen and large classroom. These spaces serve as handson training and educational venues for teaching people about the environmental and human health benefits that sustainable agricultural practices can provide.
The Good Acre staff consists of seven main people including Executive Director Rhys Williams; Director of Kitchen Operations Emily Paul; Sales & CSA Director Sarah Libertus; CSA, Wholesale & Warehouse Assistant Anna Richardson; Warehouse Manager Nick Mabe; Farmers Market Manager Kajsa Beatty; and Bookkeeper & Office Manager Andrew Bernhardt. Each staff member brings years of experience in farming, gardening, community food systems, consulting, nonprofit management, and food production. Parttime student interns from the nearby University campus round out the team. photo by The Good Acre
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WAREHOUSE, STORAGE & PROCESSING SPACE Rhys refers to The Good Acre’s warehouse as the “farmers playground”. Coolers and walk in freezers are available for farmers to rent and use. Discounted rental fees are available to nonprofit growers. This space fills an often overlooked gap in the local foods system. It was built with food safety in mind in order to make it as easy as possible for farmers to safely wash, package, and store their fruits and vegetables. The space is certified as an organic processing facility. The Good Acre plans to add additional processing equipment to the space so that farmers have access to cutting, dicing, and slicing machines for producing valueadded goods. Fierce Ferments, a local Kimchi maker, is utilizing The Good Acre to produce and store their products and will soon be joined by other local food producers in the near future.
CSA & FARMERS MARKET The CSA model is one in which farmers are paid a flat upfront cost by people searching for access to healthy, locally grown produce and a direct relationship
with the farmers who grow it. CSA share pickup locations can be found throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul and nearby suburbs as well as at The Good Acre facility. Each week during the growing season, CSA customers receive a box of fresh, sustainably grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. CSA members also have the option of purchasing additional value-added edible goods such as honey and breads as part of their shares. The Good Acre sold 175 CSA shares in 2015 and 250 shares in 2016. Their CSA season runs for 19 weeks, from early June through mid-October. By buying local, residents are making a commitment to both the farmers involved with The Good Acre and their community. This economic business model keeps more money within the local economy than conventional industrial-scale agricultural practices while directly supporting independent farmers.
photo by The Good Acre
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During the recent 2016 CSA season, The Good Acre partnered with Building Blocks, a local housing development on the Northside of Minneapolis. Through this partnership they donated CSA shares to eight families and helped them prepare their vegetables with easy recipes and hands on cooking demonstrations. The Good Acre is also interested in partnering with the University of Minnesota to provide nearby students, faculty, and staff with access to CSA micro-shares. 2016 was The Good Acre’s inaugural year of its on-site weekly farmers market. Vendors included some of the CSA farmers, producers of value-added goods, and others. This proved to be another great way for Twin City residents to gain access to nutritious foods and meet the farmers who grow it. It also provided an additional outlet for farmers to sell their goods and as a way for farmers and community members to meet and interact.
COMMERCIAL KITCHEN & CLASSROOM The commercial kitchen space at The Good Acre contains gas ranges, ovens, produce and hand washing sinks, fridges, freezers, prep spaces, and kitchen equipment. It hosts cooking classes and farmer trainings taught by third-parties and is also being used as a space for farmers and producers to create valueadded products in-house. A requirement in place ensures that all produce used within the kitchen for classes and trainings comes from partner farmers that The Good Acre supports and works with. Farmers are also encouraged to host classes in the kitchen space using the food that they grow. The classroom overlooks the commercial kitchen and serves as a community learning space. The Good Acre hosts weekly cooking classes offering sessions on everything from bread making to how to use a whole chicken taught by Scot Pampuch, Executive Chef at the University of Minnesota. They’ve hosted top local chefs and offer a wide variety of classes broadly focused on various sustainable agricultural topics. To date,
groups such as the UMN Center for Spirituality & Healing, UMN Extension, University medical students, Appetite for Change, Minnesota Hunger Initiative, and the Women’s Environmental Institute have hosted classes there. Courses have
included beginning farmer and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) trainings. Registration fees for classes held in the kitchen and classroom spaces are kept relatively affordable to allow greater access to them both.
COMMUNITY ASSET The Good Acre is a wonderful community asset that addresses gaps in our region’s food system while providing space where good food, independent farmers, and residents come together. Show your support and check out their farmers market or sign up for an upcoming class or 2017 CSA share. Three cheers to healthy food, healthy environments, and healthy communities!
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Behind The Maker
photo by Leslie Plesser of Shuttersmack
Dan Merchant is the leather maker behind Merchant Leather. Every original piece is individually made by hand—no machines are used, no shortcuts are taken. That means the leather is hand cut and the stitches are saddle-stitched by hand using hand-waxed linen thread. This forces an amazing attention to every detail as well as creates strong, durable products. Classically styled and crafted by hand, Dan assures that Merchant Leather Goods are designed for everyday use for generations to come. Talk about the beginnings of Merchant Leather. What inspired you begin this endeavor? I started working in leather because I wanted a wallet from a designer/maker in Texas. He wanted $500 for it and at the time I couldn’t justify the price. So I decided to try making it myself. Two years later I could make something close to what he was offering! Looking back now, I appreciate the design, work and craft he put into it and would happily pay the $500 (it would have been much cheaper in the long run!). From there my wife asked me to make her a tote bag. The bag got enough attention at coffee shops and at her work that people started to ask if I would make a bag for them as well. That went on for about a year until I decided it was time to make something more out of it and launch Merchant Leather. Have you always been creative? What forms or channels have you explored in your creative journey? I have always been creative and have tried may other forms of creativity—both personally and professionally. Professionally, I’ve worked as an advertising/marketing creative and art director. Personally, I’ve done jewelry, pottery, painting, and letterpress. I still love all mediums, but leather has really captured my creative imagination most. How have the items you make evolved? How have you evolved as a maker and business owner? The items I make have evolved greatly over time, but often in subtle ways. I started, like many designers and leatherworkers, with smaller accessories and simple items. As my skills as a maker and designer have improved, I’ve added many more larger items with more complex designs. However, I have always strived to keep my designs simple and “clean”, letting the leather show for itself. As a business owner, I’ve tried to evolve as my business has grown. However, I am committed to 24 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
keeping a personal, one-on-one relationship with everyone who buys something from me. That’s part of the reason I’ve been very selective with what I wholesale and who I wholesale it to—I want to maintain a personal touch with anything I make. What do you hope to pass along to aspiring leather makers in your classes? Why would you recommend someone take a class with you? I love teaching leather-making classes and hope to pass on the tradition of hand-sewing leather. But I also hope to share the joy of making something tangible with your own hands. The hand-sewing classes are small and approachable for people of any skill level and creativity. In a short few hours, you can walk away with something you made yourself as well as the knowledge to make it again yourself. How has living and making in Minnesota influenced your creative work, specifically through Merchant Leather? I love living in Minnesota and am constantly being influenced by everything the state has to offer. Directly, the MIA is one of the best places in the world to find inspiration. I’ve spent countless hours wandering—finding inspiration in everything from jade carvings to prairie
style architecture. Indirectly, I am influenced by the practical nature of Midwesterners—I want everything I make to be beautiful but, almost as importantly, functional. I think the Midwest/Minnesota design community does an amazing job of showing beautiful can still be practical and functional. Do you like to experiment with different materials or techniques in your work? I am constantly experimenting with different materials and techniques. While I work almost exclusively in leather, the range of what is available in leather is amazing. I’m always trying different finishes, thicknesses, textures, sources, colors and styles. The same is true for techniques—while I like to think I have the basics down, I am only ever scratching at the surface of what is possible. Do you feel like your work allows you to contribute to something bigger than yourself? I am incredibly lucky to be able to make something that makes other people happy. What I make is more then just a bag or a sunglass case. While they may be just things— they are things that can make you more feel more beautiful or handsome or self-confident or happy. I am lucky to be able to add, even in a small way, any of those feelings to someone’s life.
photos by Dan Merchant
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Collections Issue Instagram Contest
WHAT DO YOU COLLECT? #MakeItMN_ScoutOn
proudly sponsored by
Alongside our awesome partner, SCOUT Vintage Collective, we invited our followers to share their unique collections with the tag #MakeItMN_ScoutOn. What we discovered is Minnesota is full of collectors! From agate hunters to mushroom foragers to trinket collectors, thereâ€™s a whole beautiful community of collective folks right here. Enjoy our top 10 favorites here and be sure to check out all the other fun entries on our Instagram page!
WINNING IMAGE @baconfatte
26 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
I heard Make It Minnesota and SCOUT Vintage Collective wanted to see what kinds of things people collected, so I had a little Autumn Silver Tea Party in my back yard... sans the Tea, but with almost all of my favorite vintage Silver pieces! These beauties have been lovingly collected from all over Minnesotaâ€” everywhere from the sweetest,
tiniest little antique shops to the biggest, craziest junk events. Each piece has a story: Some served sweets at my wedding... Some have shown off the delicious things we cook up here in the Bacon Fatte kitchen... Some are used on my table every day... All are adored for their perfectly gorgeous imperfections.
@gretcholi / Greta Alms I collect experiences. There is nothing better than a shared moment in a beautiful location!
@lakesuperior_beachglass / Anne Gorham
Grouping of last weekâ€™s beach color studies
@jeffschadimagery / Jeff Schad I love finding agates as much as I love collecting them!
@eyes_ofgrace / Grace Cooper
@nhmnwoolynn / Lynn DuBois
@tlilyl / Tracy Lund
If you take a piece of the ocean with you, you are never truly apart. I never could resist a pretty shell.
Collector of handmade wooden spoons.
Pinecones and heart shaped rocks.
@voyageur_nord / Steph Herington @autumncolors21 / Autumn Gray
@katelovesvintage / Kate Roberts
My collection, part something or other.
Collections are always a win!
Mushrooms fascinate me for their unique design as well as the fine line between life and death with so many lookalikes. A salute to the brave voyagers that first tested these not knowing whether it was going to be a good meal or their last one! VOL 1, NO. 7 - 2016 27
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Mondrian ring by Lauren Neal
Lauren Neal is the designer and artist behind NEAL Jewelry. Her work is bold and understated, designed for a woman who is nuanced and unfussy. NEAL transcends form and time—each piece becoming part of a personal narrative. Lauren has been designing jewelry and objects since 2009. Formerly Carrier Pigeon, Lauren relaunched as NEAL in 2014. NEAL Jewelry is thoughtfully and carefully produced by hand, with integrity in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Talk about the beginnings of Neal Jewelry. What inspired you begin this endeavor? Jewelry Design is definitely not my first career. I have a degree in Social Work and spent most of my 20s working as a counselor at a Charter School and as an Outreach Worker at a local Non-Profit. I have always, however, been interested in the arts and have taken lots of classes and worked on projects to express myself creatively. In 2008 when I was supposed to take the GRE for graduate school, I happened to also take a jewelry making class and knew instantly that that was what I wanted to do. The economy was in the toilet and I thought about how great it would be to learn a trade/skill that I could do no matter what. Over the years, it just organically grew into a full time business. I love that every day is different and full of possibility. Have you always been creative? What forms or channels have you explored in your creative journey? Yes, for sure. As a kid I spent all of my free time writing, 28 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
playing music, making weird home movies with friends, and creating random projects to work on. I went to an Arts & Sciences school as an adolescent and dreamed I would become a writer. I’m from a working class city in Michigan and it just didn’t seem prudent at the time to pursue a career in the arts, so I abandoned that dream for some time. I still managed to learn photography, ceramics, candle making, knitting—you name it. I’ve really crafted it up over the years! It was just kismet that I took that jewelry class when I did. I felt fully ready to commit to the process and believed that I could make things for a living. How have the items you make evolved? How have you evolved as an artist and businesswoman? The jewelry has evolved quite a bit since I started designing and making in 2009. Most of the pieces I made back then were hand fabricated and I experimented a lot with different materials. Over the years I discovered that I really loved lost wax casting as opposed
to hand fabricating. I love the sculpture making aspect of carving wax and I feel most comfortable and creative working in that medium. I certainly think it took me some time to discover my “style” of jewelry and to also be comfortable with the fact that although my core style is the same, my tastes and interests change quite frequently, which is definitely reflected in the pieces I make. I certainly started out thinking more like an artist and less like a businesswoman. I think the true evolution for me was striking a balance between both. Although I have a degree in jewelry making and manufacturing, there was NO formal business education in that particular program. So, I had to figure out how to do everything from pricing jewelry, making line sheets, photography, and website building on my own. It can be overwhelming to do everything yourself, so it has been imperative for me to actually schedule my design time. I love collaborating with other artists, design-
I love collaborating with other artists, designers, and business people and have found that to be an education in itself. â€” Lauren Neal
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ers, and business people and have found that to be an education in itself. I have learned so much over the years just from networking and staying involved. There’s an ease of movement in your work - a fluidity and motion and simplicity. Where do you find inspiration to make jewelry? Thanks so much! I find inspiration everywhere. It really depends on what I’m into at the moment. Sometimes,
I’ll find myself on a reading jag and I’ll be inspired by a character or a time period. Lately I’ve been inspired by modern architecture, furniture design, and art. Nature is always present in my work, as I am most comfortable and inspired when outdoors. The best times are when I sit down with a piece of wax and start carving with no specific design in mind and an idea materializes organically.
How has living and making in Minnesota influenced your creative work, specifically through Neal Jewelry? I love Minnesota for its seasons. Every few months, our experiences and day to day activities change so drastically due to the weather that I feel this constant cycle of newness and energy shifts. It definitely has an affect on my creativity and productivity. I tend to do my best work in colder weather! Do you like to experiment with different materials or techniques in your work? I experimented with materials quite a bit in the early years. Mostly I’ve been focused on bronze, sterling silver, and gold. Metals are my thing for sure. I get to experiment with different golds, stones, and techniques in the custom work I do, which definitely influences my NEAL line of jewelry. I would love to work with more stones and plan to incorporate that in the coming seasons. I would also love to find some time to take a sabbatical to take classes and expand my carving technique. Hopefully soon! Do you feel like your work allows you to contribute to something bigger than yourself? Oh boy, that’s tough. I would like to think that running my small business in an environmentally and socially responsible way has an impact. I’ve created jobs (although small) for my contract worker and production assistant here in Minneapolis. I also feel as though the maker’s movement has raised awareness about the harmful affects of fast fashion and unsustainable production on the earth. It has brought the focus back to well-made, long-lasting products that people can enjoy for years to come. Being a part of that movement and getting to share that knowledge with my friends and family has been rewarding. As for the jewelry itself, I hope that it helps women feel confident and strong.
30 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
The Curious Chef By Colby Wegter
It’s a curious thing, to stay curious. Constantly propelling oneself forward with an eagerness to learn new things, failing a few times, attempting to get it right, failing some more and beginning to master it. All for the sake of being curious about something. It’s one of the first things Landon Schoenefeld told me. As the chef of the effectual Birdie, a chef ’s table experience attached to the popular Nighthawks Diner & Bar on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis; it’s the curiosity of the next service, plate, ingredient or technique that drives his love for his craft.
Around 20 years in the restaurant business has taught Landon there’s little separating those who find themselves successful in the industry and those who don’t. They get the same scars, sweat the same sweat, and enjoy a good joke all the same. The community welcomes any and all–high school kids looking for their first job, former servers, retired military, culinary school graduates and anyone in between. The microscopic distance between the success and mediocrity in such a diverse group might boil down to one desire–eagerness to learn more.
Curiosity, he tells me, is what makes him successful.
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“when you think you know ever ything, you shut your mind off ” 32 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
“When you think you know everything, you shut your mind off,” Landon tells me this over the phone, right after I asked him his favorite simple dish to make at home. It’s chicken and rice. Landon’s key is boiling the chicken in the broth, deboning it and then cooking the rice in that same broth. I feel like I’ve won the lottery, knowing that my chicken and rice will never taste as bland as it has before. Months prior to our phone call, I was a patron of Birdie. I didn’t know who Landon was, or his talented team of ladies that made the Birdie experience truly unique. I hadn’t attended a chef ’s table before. What was the protocol? Do I wear a dinner jacket? Do I own a dinner jacket? Was this a pinky out while you sip your chardonnay sort of place? Do those places exist or had I just made that up in my mind? I was like a freshman going to his first prom after being asked by a senior. I didn’t know what I was doing but my anxiety was quickly dispelled when I walked through Birdie’s doors. It was classic Minnesota, welcoming me with open arms. A record player spinning vinyl in the corner, a handwritten menu, candles, wooden tables. Classic Minnesota, however anything but ordinary.
A treasure map to ultimate satisfaction was laid before us in the form of 13 courses that night. Uni, a parmesan crème brûlée with marinated artichoke heart, a smoked beet dumpling with carrot broth, a grapefruit sorbet and many others fortified and wowed us. Maybe other chef ’s tables are like this, I thought for less than a second, but this feels special. It wasn’t long before I was reaching over to Landon, shaking his hand, and asking for his card. I needed to know more. He and his team agreed to meet and I began flooding their minds with questions. What’s the goal? How’d you get here? What will it look like in a few years? Why the record player? Why the silverware? And a whole bunch of other why’s and how’s. But no matter how many questions I asked, his comments still stuck with me. The first thing Landon had said about staying curious. “We’re in the business of making snowflakes,” he told me. “Every night is a different experience. A different crowd, music, ingredients and menu.” It’s an elegant way to explain his mission. Although Landon considers himself successful, he’s never satisfied. Wrestling with success and satisfaction is another act Landon is performing that is as balanced as his next dish. In our most recent phone call, I asked him what it all meant and how it made him feel. “It’s weird,” he says with a deep breath. “It’s weird when you achieve your dreams. It’s surreal when you have an idea and you’re actually doing that.” And then I start to think. Landon’s success, achieving his dreams, it’s not running a restaurant. It’s not the notoriety. In some ways, it’s not even about about the food. His dreams started coming true the day he made the decision to never stop learning. To never accept that there wasn’t anything left to uncover. The day he figured out, there is so much more to do and learn. What makes Landon successful isn’t the perfect execution of a complex dish or profitability of a restaurant. What makes him who he is...well you know it by now, right?
Curiosity. VOL 1, NO. 7 - 2016 33
PROJECT Linsey Prunty Basics of project: LC Design does an array of projects. From small pieces like hand painted signs to large pieces of industrial furniture. The most popular pieces have been state Home signs, state pillows, wind turbine light pendants, and shovel chairs. Customers will request things and LC Design always gives it a go. People trust us with most anything that includes barn wood using, painting, staining, plasma cutting, welding, and everything between. What drew you to this project? I am an interior design graduate from South Dakota State University who moved to the small, rural town of Pipestone, Minnesota. Everything old intrigued me and the creative part of design was obviously instilled in me. I knew I had a knack for reusing, redesign, repurposing, and upcycling items. What has your project given you? It has given me freedom to express my creativity. Living in this small town, options for interior design is sparse so I had to make the best of it and go with my gut. In the last year I opened my house based business and it has given me so many relationships with clients and customers, we are always being contacted to do new projects. Driving around town and being able to see my pieces gives me so much hope that I will see a store front and that my creativity is appreciated.
34 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
Teresa Audet Basics of project: I have been hand-carving wooden spoons, utensils, and semi-functional objects and have created a catalog of wholesale items available at local retailers. What drew you to this project? I have always been attracted to craft and well-made objects. I am a furniture maker and have been creating custom, oneof-a-kind furniture since 2012. This line of smaller items comes from my desire to fill peopleâ€™s homes with beautifully crafted functional objects. What has your project given you? I get so much joy from creating objects, and I get even more joy from sharing them with the community. I truly believe in making art and good design attainable, and by making smaller objects, as well as involving with the community, I have been able to get closer to this goal.
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Andy Weld Basics of project: We just launched our sustainable ash product line of furniture! Dead Ash - based in St. Paul, MN - builds furniture out of highly sustainable ash wood. An insect known as the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is expected to kill of all ash trees in North America. We are raising awareness of this unpreventable devastation, and providing a silver lining by crafting handmade furniture out of solid ash wood that will function long past any ash trees are left. What drew you to this project? As a furniture builder, I have a close relationship with the wood I work with. When ash trees started being cut down on the block I live on here in St. Paul, the EAB started effecting me personally. So, I decided to take my trade and do something about it. Making furniture out of sustainable ash wood is the best way to honor the tree species and give it a new life. What has your project given you? Good question. Launching Dead Ash has given me a higher appreciation for the wood I work with and where it comes from. It has also given me the opportunity to be the vessel of providing a sustainable product to a large consumer market.
36 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
We create a magazine that shares the stories of makers and innovators spanning our great northern state. As we feature bold and inspiring Minnesotans—from craftsman to beekeepers, artists to farmers, brewers to foodies—we’re here to build a timeless collection of tales from each region across the state. We aim to strengthen and promote sustainable, beautiful, altruistic, unique, and creative communities. We are so proud to share our one-of-a-kind Minnesota magazine with you.
www.makeitmn.com/subscribe VOL 1, NO. 7 - 2016 37
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