Vol. 1, No. 3 - Jan/Feb 2016
The Renew Issue
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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 b MAKE IT MINNESOTA
EDITOR’S NOTE Greetings all, The paths that we follow shift and move, the world is not static it changes, and so we have a change to announce as well. I will be stepping aside to undertake additional duties and projects while our new partner Kara Larson will be stepping into the role as editor. I wish you all well and I know you are in good hands. - Benjamin Matzke
Welcome to Vol. 1, Issue No. 3 The Renew Issue It’s important that we start from the beginning. Really, it’s the best place to start. In our premiere issue of 2016, we seek to create something genuine, refreshing, honest—a magazine that reflects the innovative Minnesota creative community that inspires us every day. The New Year, with all its enlivening promise, has prompted us to take creative risks and continue to evolve as a magazine. Issue No. 3 is themed “Renew” and as such, every story that fills these pages aims to share the hopeful revitalization of starting anew. So, go ahead, read on. Read the tale of a urban bread maker who delivers by bicycle, a vibrant couple who makes kimchi, a brewery whose farm-to-bottle ale sent them harvesting wild rice in Northern Minnesota, an in-depth exploration of two “hidden” Minnesota cities, the top winners in our photo contest that collected over 1200 incredible Minnesota photos, and a whole lot more. Just so you know: it’s all beautiful. We are so proud to share our exceptional Minnesota magazine with you. And we hope you enjoy the stories to come. To quote Jack Kerouac, “This foolish gang was bending onward.” Join us, if you will.
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Contributors Editor Kara Larson Production Manager Leah Matzke
Contributors Diana & Emy Crane Sean McSteen Cheri Reese Lindsay Strong Tootie & Dotes Katharine Plowman Kirsten Grohovsky Cover Photo Janel Johnson, 2016 Cari Me contest winner Back Cover Photo Mike Falkenberg, 2016 Cari Me regional Instagram winner
DIANA CRANE AND EMY CRANE
Diana and Emy felt like little nomads from a very young age—from Arizona, to Arkansas, to Idaho, it seemed they were always on the move. Now settled in Minneapolis, they’re still figuring out how to put down roots. Spruce is storytelling, it’s learning, it’s growth—it’s their attempt to weave themselves into this city, and to feel truly at home.
Born and raised in a St. Paul suburb, Sean grew up being exposed to and participating in the rich and diverse culture of the Twin Cities. His passions range from playing cello, filmmaking, Gonzo journalism (on the weekends), and traveling to any new place around the world, near or far. CHERI REESE Cheri is half the founding team behind Far North Spirits. After a career in public relations in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, she returned to Hallock with Michael as a desire to live more seasonally and work more soulfully, which, as the story goes, grew into a passion for making authentic, craft distilled spirits.
LINDSAY STRONG Lindsay is a brand new Minnesotan who has quickly adopted the North as home. She teaches yoga, photographs pretty things for fun, and hangs out with teenagers for work. She also dreams of creating a memoir worthy life filled with love, art, and friendship.
Copyright All images contained in Make It Minnesota are subject to copyright of the artist, illustrator or photographers as named, but not limited to. Reproduction of any part of this magazine without prior permission is prohibited.
CLAIRE CAMPBELL & OLIVIA DROPPS Claire and Olivia are the granddaughters of Tootie & Dotes. Their site is lovingly titled with the names of their grandmothers. They are northern womenfolk, cultivating strength and nourishment as they write about the slow and steady lives of midwest farmers and producers.
Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. Disclaimer The views and comments expressed by the writers are not always that of Make It Minnesota. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the information in this publication, Make It Minnesota accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences, including any loss or damage arising from reliance on information in this publication. Published by Seeking Stories LLC & Matzke Media House LLC 2 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
KIRSTEN GROHOVSKY Kirsten is the founder of Apothicare, a body care company working to empower people. Through elderberry syrup, tea, and deodorant, lip balm, and more, Kirsten aims to help people improve their health and therefore, lives. As a holistic health professional, she is passionate about teaching people from all walks of life about the basics of holistic health philosophies.
KATHARINE PLOWMAN Katharine Plowman is an herbalist outside of Hutchinson Minnesota. An avid forager and preserver she blogs about her and various foodie endeavors at http://urbannettle.com. Committed to organic farming practices she has worked as a Loon Organic crewmember for the four years.
Contents Featured Communities
Local by Local
Maker Workshop Series
Herbal Teas with Kirsten Grohovsky
Out & About
Minnesota State of Wonders
Instagram Contest 17 Cari Me: Art Enriching Communities Behind The Creative
22 26 28
The Legend Behind The Wilde Rijst Ale You Betcha Kimchi Christopher MacLeod And The Rise of Bread Bread
Conquering Northern Cold the Wintergreen Way
The Sea of Emerald at Loon Organics
Share Your Story With Us
Online Creative Profiles
Renew: A Creative Essay Conest
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Community Feature: Hidden Cities IN THE LAND OF
Gnomes and Lutefisk By Sean McSteen
elcome to Hidden Cities! This new community feature is our latest segment that sets out to highlight one or two small towns across Minnesota in each issue, showing the fun and sometimes quirky things that can be found with a little bit of exploring. The towns we will cover may not necessarily be the final destination you are traveling to and, in fact, are probably towns you drive through on your way to somewhere else. But, it is often worth it to abandon the main highway and see what small town Minnesota has to offer. You may be surprised at what you might find, and whom you might meet. For each town highlighted in Hidden Cities, we will take a field trip to the featured locale to spend plenty of time exploring the town and its history, attractions, businesses and people. 4 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
Our first two towns, Dawson and Madison, make up part of Lac qui Parle County. The county gets its name from the French translation of the Dakota name for the thin, long lake that spans much of the northeastern county border, translating to “lake that speaks”. Within the county, Dawson is known by its nickname, “Gnometown, U.S.A.”, while Madison boasts itself as the Lutefisk Capital of the U.S.A. So, naturally, we had to go and see the towns for ourselves. Traveling three hours west from our hub in Minneapolis, Dawson and Madison came into the horizon as drastic contrasts to Metropolitan living. In the Twin Cities, the lurking office buildings shine every hour of every day against the skyline. But, in Lac qui Parle County, those high rises are exchanged for small businesses and factories; slowly billowing smoke across the sky while factory lights sparkle against the darkening, dusk sky. The constant, low din of honking, sirens and busy highways fall away leaving a peaceful silence in the air. So silent that you can hear a dog bark from a mile away. Reaching Dawson first, we came across Gnome Park at the entrance to the town. Scattered across the park was a herd of nearly 20 gnomes of different styles, created by different local artists each year. Each gnome is created as a representation of specific member of the community, voted on from a pool of nominees. Equally as interesting is the fairytale style short biography that is paired with every gnome, laminated and added to the ring binder for visitors to read. The gnome-biographies are written as though the stories came straight out of a children’s book of fairy tales, framing different citizens of the town as fantastical and larger than life gnomes, presenting visitors with a magical, or larger than life sense that strangely distorts everything not within the city limits as well as elaborately celebrating a gnome’s (townsperson’s) homecoming, instilling somewhat of a “safe zone” within and a “danger zone” outside of Dawson. While the majority of the gnomes in Dawson are located in Gnome Park with a few others scattered around town, the Dawson Public Library houses eight more of the gnomes within its uniquely captivating structure. Visiting the library was a great treat and would delight anyone interested in original, elegant architecture. With its high, vaulted ceilings and wrapping mezzanine overlooking the main floor of the library, we had just as much fun examining the structure as we did exploring the rows of books and collection of some of the town’s historic memorabilia. The last place we stopped on our walk along Main Street was a charming store called The Cellar Door. This store sells handmade goods from artists and makers from all over the state, including many from Lac qui Parle county. The store owner, Carol, excitedly toured us around the store, sharing the backstory on locally-made goods that ranged from artisan jewelry to beautifully carved and painted wooden tables and boxes, all hand-crafted. RENEW - VOL 1, NO. 3 - 2016 5
After driving throughout the streets of Dawson, and buying a fine mustard-colored tweed rocking chair from the local thrift store, we watched Gnometown, U.S.A. fade away in the rearview mirror as we drove the short distance down the road to Madison, Minnesota. Our first stop upon arriving in Madison was the Lac qui Parle county Museum where Barb Redepenning, the museum’s curator, gave us a quick rundown
of the museum and then allowed us to explore the museum’s 22 exhibits on our own for as long as we liked. Exploring the booths and rooms meticulously set up to represent the best of each township, it was remarkable to see just how deeply the county cares about the stories of its community members. Each exhibit in the museum is assembled using clothes, photographs and everyday items from the town’s past that have been donated from all over the county by individuals passionate enough about their family’s history to save things that hold nostalgia, value and a connection to the past. Newspaper clippings, old high school yearbooks, military uniforms, a most impressive salt-and-pepper shaker collection, and much, much more illustrate the overflowing pride the town has for the members of its community. One celebrated member of the community who is widely celebrated and shared is the writer, poet and activist, Robert Bly, who was born in Lac qui Parle county and whose former study building is part of the museum. The small, one room building is lined with Bly’s own collection of books that were donated by him along with the structure itself. After leaving the museum, we moved on to downtown Madison. Don’t worry, we made time for a quick stop at Lou T. Fisk, the 30-foot lutefisk statue that graces the small park
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just past the museum. On this sunny day, Lou glistened. As we headed into downtown, we were met with a quiet Main Street comprised of a few different antique stores and thrift stores, a hardware store, an art store, a diner whose cup of chili and coffee were unparalleled that day, and a Jubilee Foods. Walking down the road, we passed a woman walking into a store who struck up a conversation with us after seeing our camera (she and her husband own a photography business). Her name was Gwen, and while it sounds cheesy, our interaction was exactly what we had been hoping for while exploring Madison. Coming from the Twin Cities, it is such a foreign thing to think about knowing every single person in your town, for the good and the bad. It is people like Gwen that make living in a small town an attractive thought. Heck, if Gwen was going to be my neighbor, I’d pick up and move to Madison today! Not only was she incredibly warm and welcoming, but also open and incredibly complimentary about the community and the people who call Madison home. She shared with us the touching tale of the community’s reaction when she was diagnosed with cancer. She smiled as she described the immediate wave of support and love from her town all rallying around her, sending flowers and cards and going out of their way to let Gwen know that she was in their thoughts. She praised the community and the love and care every person has for everyone else; and like a few other people we had met on our trip, she had moved away at a younger age, but returned to raise a family and start a business with no interest in ever leaving again, saying, “you couldn’t pay me to live somewhere else.” Leaving Dawson and Madison, I was struck by the sentiment both towns held close regarding the necessity and privilege of remembering their past. And not simply a brief overview of the past like the opening paragraph you may read on Wikipedia, but a detailed and curated account of each and every member of the community. It did not matter how great or how little impact an individual made. The story itself held and continues to hold value; and like tiny pieces of a puzzle, each member of the community then and now fit together to present the full, complete picture representing Dawson, and Madison, Minnesota. So, the next time you are traveling through the western area of this great state and happen to see signs for Dawson and Madison, we dare you to forget your final destination for a moment and pull to the main road to explore. Take a random turn down an interesting looking street—even if you cannot pinpoint exactly what is grabbing you—or explore a local business and chat with the owner. Whatever it is that you do, we would be willing to bet you find yourself surprised with what you find and whom you meet. RENEW - VOL 1, NO. 3 - 2016 7
By Cheri Reese of Far North Spirits
“Shop local,” we say! But sometimes, we need a little guidance—an informant on the inside to point us in the right direction. So, we thought, “who better to share the best of Hallock, MN than a Hallock native and local prominent business owner?” That’s when we asked Cheri Reese to help us out. As half of founding team behind Far North Spirits, Cheri Reese focuses on brand and promotion for Far North while her husband, Michael, farms the grain and is head distiller. Together, they built Far North Spirits with a desire to live more seasonally and work more soulfully. This grew into a passion for making authentic, craft distilled spirits from field to glass. As an unwavering advocate of everything local, Cheri shares her favorite beer, honey, and art from her own small town of Hallock, MN. So, here you have it, a local shopping guide by a local herself !
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H UNT HONEY Alex Hunt, the founder of Hunt Honey, shares, “Living in Minnesota has been very essential in my beekeeping venture. With my network of Minnesotan beekeepers I have been able to constantly learn and refine my skills to become a better beekeeper. The bee and horticulture display at the Minnesota State Fair has also been influential by allowing me to see all the different types of honey and products other beekeepers from Minnesota produce.” He adds, “Today I run 112 hives all located in Hallock, Minnesota. I offer many products including Honey, Creamed (Spun) Honey, BeesWax, Lip Balm, and apparel. In the future I also hope to add candles, soaps, and possibly some hair products!”
RO CK BAKKEN Rock is a skilled local artist in Hallock. Mainly painting with oils and gravitating toward the serene nature landscapes of Northern Minnesota, Rock is a local legend. “I have been drawing as long as I can remember. When I was 8 years old, my mother took me to the Charles Russell art museum in Great Falls, MT. I think I knew then that art was going to be a big part of my life,” recalls Rock. “Living in a small town in northern MN is a peaceful life and writing this I just came to realize that all my paintings reflect that peace. Every time I go for a walk around our little town of Hallock, I am thankful for all the beautiful trees. And that sense of gratitude is the ground from which I paint.”
MEGAN SUGDEN “There is something magical about the sky at night, and coupled with the local tie of Kittson County, I really feel like I found the perfect little local niche! Living in Hallock, MN is the ideal place to view and photograph the Northern Lights!” Minnesota photographer Megan Sugden truly has a gift to mystically capture the vivid nighttime scenes of Northern Minnesota. She adds, “Many of the places I have photographed have real, emotional connections for people, especially those that grew up here or moved away. It is wonderful that my photos are able to take on a life of their own like that, and I am happy that they are out there contributing to improving our community in these unique ways, or simply making someone smile.”
REVELAT ION ALE WORKS “Living and doing business locally is a sustainable way of life that will keep our small towns in Minnesota vibrant,” begins Ryan and Lindsey Evanson, co-founders of Revelation Ale Works, a new craft brewery set to open in Hallock in 2016. “Craft beer is all about local. Because we started with local hops and are opening in a local landmark building, we are backyard brewers down to our core. That’s where the name Revelation comes from; we had a great idea to brew beer as a means to strengthen community while also getting to brew beer! It’s a revelation!”
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Maker Workshop Series
HERBAL TEAS with Kirsten
Welcome to Herbalism Growing up around the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, I saw people taking a pharmacy of medications every day. This was not something I wanted for myself. Although I tried my hand at many professions, from artist to photographer to social worker, I finally landed on herbalist in 2006.Â Herbalism was a way that I could help myself and others take control of their health choices while being a steward to the environment. After graduating from Evergreen State college in 2012 with a degree in Holistic Health focused in Western Herbal Medicine and Reproductive Health, I began to think about the best way to share my knowledge to empower people with their health. 10 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
As a holistic health professional, I am passionate about teaching people from all walks of life about the basics of holistic health philosophies. That’s what my sustainably minded body care company, Apothicare, is about. I love to see people share in my passion and take steps to improve their health. Through Apothicare, I have been able to bring quality sustainable products to the marketplace in Minnesota through elderberry syrup, unique tea blends, deodorant, lip balm, and more. I feel like I have truly found my calling; this was the career I was hunting for, where I cannot only help myself but help others. When given the to opportunity to talk to my customers, I realize that the majority of people aren’t aware or knowledgeable about herbal medicine, so I like to take a little time to educate people about my products. Then this may inspire them to dig deeper into their health and start blending teas for themselves or make their own deodorant. This builds skills and reduces waste. Don’t get me wrong—I love making products for people, but I also love helping them to help themselves. It would make me very happy to know I had inspired someone to make their own tea for gut health. This brings us to what I’d like to talk about here—the basics of wildcrafting, buying, and blending your own teas. RENEW - VOL 1, NO. 3 - 2016 11
Sourcing and Wildcrafting In terms of sourcing, the more hands-on option is wildcrafting. This is the term used in herbalism for harvesting herbs from the wild. Wildcrafting holds a special place in my heart. As an herbalist, it offers me the opportunity to deepen my relationship with nature. When I set out to wildcraft, I end up simply sitting with the plant for the first few times. It allows me time to build a relationship with the plant and that time spent has also saved me from harvesting the wrong plant. I enjoy being out in nature and really listening for the more subtle things that otherwise go unnoticed by someone just passing through. When wildcrafting, the two most important things to know are the sustainability of harvesting the herbs and proper plant identification. Before you wildcraft, do your research to find out if the plant you hope to harvest can truly be sustainably harvested from the wild. The next step is to build a relationship with the plant and take note of the environment in which it grows. Are there environmental toxins nearby? Is anyone else harvesting from this plant? As a general rule of thumb you never want to harvest more than ten percent of the population that you see. This is to allow the plant the opportunity to re-propagate and leave some for other animals or birds that may visit the plant. This research is incredibly important, as many plants have been over harvested from the wild when they become popular—a great example is goldenseal. It has become a very popular plant used in herbal body products, tinctures and teas. Goldenseal has a very specific niche where it grows successfully and it takes time to rebuild a healthy wild population. The best thing we can do is to allow the wild population time to re-establish itself and buy organic. Buying organic ensures that it was cultivated and is not further diminishing our wild populations. This then brings the cost of the wildcrafted goldenseal down so there is less incentive for wildcrafting the herb. The second of the two key aspects to wildcrafting is ensuring proper identification of the plants that you are harvesting and for this you need to gain an eye for botany. What is the structure of the flower? If and when is it in bloom? What is the structure of the leaves? Are they toothed or lobed? Are they divided and how many times? These are just some of the basic questions you need to be able to answer when you start to identify plants. Improper identification of plants can lead to more harm than good if you come upon a lookalike plant. Next you want to know what part of the plant is used; different parts of a plant will contain different chemical compounds—some of those compounds maybe inert or harmful. Really, it takes years of knowledge and practice to become a confident and knowledgeable wildcrafter. The best way to learn is from someone that has experience wildcrafting and identifying plants. If that is not possible, some great resources to start learning are the books, Botany in a Day and Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide. Wildcrafting can be more than you bargained for as a beginning tea blender or even to keep up with as an herbalist, so I suggest to start by finding a few resources for sourcing your herbs. 12 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
There are many options to buy quality herbs from local shops. In the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, some of my favorite shops where you can by herbs in the exact quantity you need are Magus Books over in Dinkytown, Present Moment in the Lyndale Neighborhood or Tao Foods in Uptown. Local Co-ops sell herbs in bulk to varying degrees and health foods stores like Mastel’s in St. Paul sell them in bulk pre-portioned bags.
Formulating and Blending When formulating for a larger market, you can’t get too specific for one individual, so you look for herbs that are more general and tonifying. Normally I try to approach the system that the teas are being formulated to support in two to three ways. For example, my Tummy Tea is peppermint, orange peel, burdock, ginger and clove. All of these herbs have multiple qualities to them but to put it simply, peppermint is a great carminative and is warming, orange peel is a bitter that can help aid in the digestive process, burdock is very tonifying and nourishing to the digestive tract, ginger is warming and a carminative as well, then clove is another warming carminative that is also know for it’s anti-microbial properties. If someone has a hot inflamed digestive tract I would not recommend this tea to them, but I feel like more people in our culture have a depressed, cold digestive tract. Beyond that, it is a tasty tea that will help settle an upset belly. When formulating for an individual, you ask very specific questions based around their concerns and what symptoms they are experiencing. There are lots of conversations about snot color, duration, type of cough, etc., to figure out what the tissue state of the system is that you are trying to support. Learning how to formulate well is a skill, but there are some basic remedies that people can pick up on for common home use. When formulating teas for the general public, I like to think about some of the common issues that people in our culture face combined with what tastes good, because trust me—some herbs are absolutely revolting, but make great medicine. One thing I have noticed in myself and many others in our culture is how commonplace is it to suffer from chronic stress. Stress is something that we have grown accustomed to and we are rewarded financially and through positive acknowledgment. We also deal with a lot of grief and trauma without much support from society. Some people have built good practices into their lives to help activate the parasympathetic nervous system when needed, but the vast majority of us have not or do not engage often enough. Thus, I formulated the Stress Less Tea to help support people in our modern culture. Stress Less Tea was formulated with herbs to help support multiple systems that play a more immediate role in the stress response. Oatstraw, being the primary herb in this blend, feels like a nourishing relief to an overworked nervous system. While supporting the musculoskeletal system, it lifts a melancholy mood if taken over a period of time. This herb contains calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, E, and amino acids. I would love for us all to drink this rejuvenating tonic on a regular basis.
The second herb in my Stress Less blend falls in to a group of herbs called adaptogens. This group assists the body with stressful situations over the long term by stimulating and/or relaxing the body, supporting normal immune function, improving mental clarity and normalizing unbalanced physiological processes without becoming addictive. Eleuthero, in specific, is known to help support mental clarity and emotional stamina during times of stress while improving physical endurance for the individuals that can’t take a break quite yet. When people are chronically stressed, they tend to experience a weakened immune system, Eleuthero, like other adaptogens, will be your ally to help you through if taken regularly. Next in the lineup you will find Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil. Tulsi is an important Ayurvedic, a traditional Indian practice of medicine. It is known to support overall vitality, stress reduction and support normal immune function. Someone once told me that Tulsi is light in the darkness, I find this is true because of its tendency to lift the mood. Brushing up against this plant in the summer garden will bring about a delightful mood-lifting aroma. Rose is a cooling astringent that makes a lovely reproductive and sexual tonic for both men and women. Tonifying the reproductive organs and strengthening the cardiovascular system, this herb can be used in so many different ways. It has been used by aromatherapists to easy anxiety and depression, thus it makes a great addition to a stress tea blend with a particular affinity to the heart. Rose and chamomile can work together to easy the symptoms of tension headaches. Chamomile is a classic; as a child I remember my mother making me a cup of chamomile tea when I couldn’t sleep. This relaxing nervine is also a carminative and an antispasmodic, which makes it a great remedy for the gut while calming the mental chatter.
Lemon Balm is my sunshine plant, rubbing a leaf and sniffing the lemony bliss that arises from this aromatic nervine can produce nothing but happiness and tranquility. The beautiful taste and highly aromatic smell make it a good addition to any tea blend or by itself to uplift the spirit and calm the nerves. Last, but not least, I have added Cinnamon to this blend as a stimulating aromatic. This herb brings everything together. It has been used to sooth irritated inflamed conditions, which can be common among people dealing with chronic stress. It is warming, but I feel like the cooling quality of the other herbs balances it out. Cinnamon has more recently become popular for its ability to decrease insulin resistance, which is thought to be a problem for people dealing with chronic stress. This tasty, sweet and warming herb really helps complete the tea. To blend at home, your herbal knowledge doesn’t have to be as indepth as that of an herbalist. These are just some of the things that your herbalist is thinking about when they formulate a tea for you. We think about what organ system the herb is working on and the qualities of the herbs so we’re not exacerbating any situation. Tea blending can be as simple as grabbing a handful of oatstraw, nettles and raspberry leaf and throwing them in a tea strainer because that is what you feel like in the moment. For the curious person that would like to take their tea blending to the next step, Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health is a great resource. There are also many online blogs that can help give you new ideas or more specifics on herbs that you are interested in using. There are tens of thousands of herbs that are used in herbal medicine today. You will always have something new to explore, but the important thing is that you start. Only you can take control over your health and what a better way then to start blending delightful nourishing teas. RENEW - VOL 1, NO. 3 - 2016 13
STATE OF 14 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
WONDERS Words & Photos by Lindsay Strong
There is a particular loveliness to see a place through the lens of a local, a love letter to the place that has defined and refined an individual, a sweet homage to the skinned knees and first loves that happened on its surfaces. The images that graced the walls of the MPLS Photo Center in Northeast, Minneapolis, bring forth a sense of wonder, adoration, and respect for the many landscapes and life forms that Minnesota has to offer.
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The exhibit, running until March 13, offers viewers an opportunity to explore the adventurous side of The Land of Lakes and to reimagine the ways in which we all experience the scenes around us. From images of vast horizons across the plains of Minnesota to an up close and personal macro view of plant life only just beginning, the images present a view of life that is new and interesting, and just sweet enough to leave a lasting impression. For photographer, Brian Peterson, “the State of Wonders project was truly a labor of love,” and that love comes through from every frame. With patience, diligence, and several hours spent exploring, it’s clear to the observer that Brian “enjoys exploring this great state” with his camera in tow to “share the beauty found all around us.” This exclusive exhibit, hanging in the Photo Center’s Main Gallery, features photographs from Brian Peterson and Kerri Westenberg’s aptly named State of Wonders book. Each photograph features scenes from Minnesota’s diverse and lovely terrain. Walking into the gallery space, I was immediately reminded of what life in the Land of Lakes really looks like. Coming from a self-proclaimed, “Newspaper guy,” Brian’s photographs capture an honest image of life in all corners of Minnesota. And as onlookers relished in the glow of expertly placed gallery lights, they each emitted a glow of their own. For some, it was a glow that recapitulated a lifetime of memories and scenes just like the photograph hanging on the wall before them. For others, the spark came from the realization that surrounding them just outside of the walks of the MPLS Photo Center are scenes and stories that they never imagined possible. Especially in the dead of winter, while the ground is slippery and frozen solid, and cheeks rosy from the cold, and hands vaguely purple from forgetting gloves on kitchen tables, it can be difficult to remember the beauty of every scene, every season. The glory of Brian Peterson’s photographs is that they are each a reminder of the possibility of beauty and the absolute certainty that Minnesota has it all.
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Art Enriching Communities When Becky Stattelman of RedBarn Design approached us with the beautiful beginnings of her idea for this contest, we set out to build the framework and invite Minnesota photographers to submit their best work. We loved the inspiration, the goals, and future of the contest—and it was a pleasure to tap into the wealth of photography talent in Minnesota to share with our readers, followers, and friends. And, just as we had hoped, we sat back and watched as astonishing entries flooded in under the #MakeItMN_CariMe tag.
...with a special thank you to Artie’s Lodge for providing our grand prize pacakge.
The Cari Me Instagram Contest ran for one week, and in that seven-day timeframe, over 1200 photos were submitted. Photos from every crevasse of the state that featured scenic overlooks, boisterous dogs, smiling people, and natural marvels. From this exceedingly impressive collection of Minnesota photographs, we had the colossal task of choosing just seven top photos. One winning photo was chosen from each region of the state— Northwest, Northeast, Central, Metro, Southwest, and Southeast. For these winning shots, the person behind the camera will be awarded a surprise gift basket crafted from local businesses around their region. And lastly, one grand prize photo was selected. This photographer will receive a weekend getaway at Artie’s Lodge in the Big Stone Lake Area from Artie’s Bait & Tackle Ortonville. First, let’s begin with Becky’s inspiration for the contest. At the base layer, this contest is about giving, sharing, and growing. It is about one individual who inspired a community, an individual with a most caring soul, an individual named Cari. As Becky’s sister-in-law, Cari left a lasting impression on Becky as well as everyone in which she came in contact. “Cari was the person behind the hot dish or donated bag of groceries. She had great concern for anyone who had lost a loved one, a job or had a bit of hard luck. Remembering birthdays, $50 in a card for most newlyweds she knew, generous with the scouts and neighborhood children selling
GRAND PRIZE IMAGE
Janel Johnson, @janelhjohnson
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anything, new shoes for kids who needed them.” Becky adds, “Five years in a row, she hosted a Valentine party at her dining room table and invited all of the very old ladies in her neighborhood—thinking that they don’t get invited out any more and may not have many friends left to invite into their own home. She had a quiet courage, doing what was in her heart, making a a difference.” In 2012, Cari was 66 years old when she passed away during a heart surgery. Becky hoped to pass on Cari’s charitable spirit and honor her by giving back to local communities around the state; however, it took some time to think up the perfect project. The idea was to craft a special collection of bags called ‘Cari Me’ as a charitable project. Becky created the fairly indestructible RedBarn tote bags, and with a local printer at the ready, she dreamed up a vision of a traveling art exhibition with a collection of beautiful Minnesota photography. This is where the seven winning photos from the Cari Me Contest come into play. The seven bags, sporting the winning Cari Me contest photos, will start out their proud journey in Becky’s own Big Stone Lake community. A show is planned for late March at WYSIWIG Juice Co., a new and exciting business with a passion for people and healthy living in Mankato. 18 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
The second part of the exhibition is about the potential charitable capacity of the bags. The hope is that, as the bags travel around Minnesota to various galleries and events, the exhibition will raise up some funds for a worthy cause in the community where it is being shown at the time. “I am hoping galleries and businesses around Minnesota will want to share the exhibition of top Minnesota photos, raise funds for their own good cause, and celebrate their local Cari Me contest winner,” begins Becky. “I’ve witnessed how generous Minnesotans embrace the opportunity when asked to contribute in small ways that will help the less fortunate among us. Easily sharing change in their pocket, $1, $2, $5. Each dollar will be a tribute to honor Cari, and every other person like her, who does great things in small ways to make a difference right where they are.” The Cari Me contest aims to support, celebrate, and inspire anyone it reaches around the state. “It’s beautiful when art creates an opportunity for motivated people to come together and go forward.” Becky adds, “Minnesota is truly the ‘state of the arts’ and we are seeing exciting happenings gain support all across the state to the benefit of both large and small communities.”
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Megan Sugden, @kittsoncountyskies
CENTRAL Christine Fagerlie, @dreaming_big_mn
SOUTHWEST Greta Alms, @gretcholi
O U R
R E G I O N A L
W I N N E R S !
Mike Falkenberg, @mmmfalk
Jake Freese, @o.t.w_
Amanda Pettis, @aeastvold RENEW - VOL 1, NO. 3 - 2016 19
Out & About: The Legend behind the Wilde Rijst Ale By Kara Larson
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W ilde R ijst A le
By Kara Larson Lakes & Legends Brewing Company prides itself on brewing Belgian farmhouse beers that epitomize quality, authenticity, and integrity. The goal is for every sip to inspire us to find our roots and seek connections to the land in which we live. For Derrick Taylor and Ethan Applen, the Co-Founders of Lakes & Legends, these aspirations are best emphasized in bringing the farm that much closer to the glass. The first farm-to-bottle beer, the Cranberry Saison, was brewed fall 2015, and now, 2016 welcomes the Wilde Rijst Ale. The infusion of Minnesota sourced wild rice perfectly illustrates the brewery’s commitment to utilizing the finest local ingredients in innovative ways. In an effort to get closer to their ingredients, Lakes & Legends opted to learn firsthand the time consuming and delicate process of harvesting wild rice, so they traveled all the way to Spirit Lake Native Farms of Northern Minnesota. With the help of Bruce Savage, the owner of the farms, the brewery team dove in, canoe first. “We were so excited to be able to spend the day learning about the harvesting and finishing of the rice and, at the same time, finding inspiration in how we could use the rice in our own beers,” recalls Applen. “It’s been such a great experience working with Bruce and his team and it really speaks to the core of who we are. We can’t wait to find another opportunity to work with Spirit Lake Native Farms and others in the region.” Lakes & Legends is a relatively young brewery. However, they don’t let their novelty hold them back from challenging the craft beer norm, meeting local farmers, and experimenting in original ways. Part of their eagerness to try new things is tied to what Minnesota has to offer. RENEW - VOL 1, NO. 3 - 2016 21
Still, they hadn’t expected to be brewing a Wild Rice beer so early after opening their Loring Park taproom. But once they met Bruce at Spirit Lake Native Farms, they felt inspired to do something original. “The more we can create and foster a system where we’re using local ingredients, brewing locally, then using our spent grains to go back to farms, the more it creates this process that fosters interconnectedness and community.” Taylor adds, “On a personal level, it’s just so much more rewarding to know and be friends with the people you’re working with—we can make a beer, like our cranberry saison or wild rice beer, and say, oh yeah, I harvested that rice with Bruce! Or I was in the cranberry bog picking cranberries with the Forsters of Minnesota Cranberry Co.!” With ties to the community, its farmers, and our Minnesota land, Applen and Taylor are happy to share the stories behind the brews they’re so proud to craft. Taylor shares, “We feel privileged to make beer in a location that has such strong ties to agriculture and ingredients with great flavors. Farm-to-bottle brewing lets us spotlight those people who are producing incredible ingredients for our beer, lets us tell their stories, and in that way we just make our beer that much more interesting.” This close connection to and appreciation for the ingredients certainly pays off. The Wilde Rijst has a depth and backstory rich with humble care, honest quality, quiet integrity. The love and thoughtfulness shown in harvesting the rice shines as this smooth Belgian is full, earthy, and with the sweetness of wild rice, distinctly Minnesotan. January 14th marked the anticipated release of Wilde Rijst, an event that encouraged local craft brew lovers to gather and enjoy the unique farm-to-table ale. To enhance the complex flavors within the beer, the event also featured a unique food pairing of two delicious appetizers—maple roasted squash bites and hominy cakes prepared by The Sioux Chef, a catering service and food truck headed by Chef Sean Sherman. In addition to these tasty food pairings, Bruce of Spirit Lake Native Farms, along with his son, made the trip to Lakes & Legends to sell bags of their fresh, premium wild rice—the same wild rice harvested to brew the Wilde Rijst. “We’d always wanted our brewery to be a place that fostered community, and we’ve been able to do that—from the people that we buy from, to the people we sell to, and maybe most importantly, the people we choose to work with every day,” offers Applen. “We’ve been blessed with the ability to build the perfect environment where WE want to come in and spend most of our time every day, and in that way I can’t think of anything better.” For Lakes & Legends, the goal is simple: brew quality, delicious beer with locally sourced ingredients. However, it is their approach to achieving this goal that is unique. Because everyone at Lakes & Legends is not only working to brew the best beer possible, but they also value the story behind the brew—the story whose opening lines begin in the soil, well before the smooth pour from the tap. 22 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
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With natural probiotics and gut health making headlines these days, we’re turning our attention to a local purveyor of fermented foods and our favorite brand of Kimchi: You Betcha Kimchi. You Betcha Kimchi is a Minnesota grown business started by Iman Mefleh and Joe Silberschmidt, a young vibrant couple with a passion for bold fermented flavors and sustainable urban agriculture. These young entrepreneurs started You Betcha Kimchi in 2013 after taking the Farm Beginnings program through The Land Stewardship Project. Currently operating out of City Foods Studio, their Kimchi business has grown as our taste buds for this Minnesota twist on the Korean classic continue to expand. You can pick up your own jar of this delicious and locally made product at several locations including The Linden Hills Co-op, River Market Co-op, The Herbivorous Butcher, Coalition Restaurant, the Northeast Farmer’s Market and the Solar Arts Building Winter Market. As if that weren’t enough, the duo also recently expanded their business operations to include the purchase and management of Growing Lots Urban Farm, located in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. This one-acre CSA and market garden is using organic methods to transform two previously vacant urban lots into vibrant, productive green spaces. Summer
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CSA sign ups have already begun for the 2016 growing season and you won’t want to miss out on these—we promise! As long time admirers, we were thrilled to sit down with Joe and Iman to learn more about the history of their businesses as well as their current operations and future goals. Tell us a little bit about the history of You Betcha Kimchi. We started our kimchi business in the fall of 2013 because we want to eventually live on a farm. It is a very fun means to an end. We took an extremely helpful business class for organic farmers through the Land Stewardship Project called Farm Beginnings. This allowed us to build a vision for our lives and figure out how our business would fit into that and connected us with resources to help with the legal, financial and marketing aspects of our business. Kimchi is a good product to begin a farm business with because it is unique and value-added, forgiving of imperfect vegetables, comprised of mostly easy-to-grow and storable crops and it keeps well so doesn’t require an instant buyer. The vision was to make a tasty Minnesota take on kimchi using local vegetables that we grew ourselves. We began by chopping cabbage in the laughably little kitchen of our apartment and raising the eyebrows of our neighbors with kimchi’s formidable
aroma during its fermentation. We started selling to family and friends, then friends of friends and so we were able to launch our business with an excited customer base. The project quickly outgrew its pot, so we replanted at City Food Studio in South Minneapolis. It is home to some incredible small food businesses in addition to being an interesting, exciting business in itself. It has been critical to the growth of our business, as collaborating with other “artists” there (they are big into food=art) which has allowed us to share ideas, materials, experience and contacts with other burgeoning small businesses. In spring 2014, we planted seeds at Garden Farme in Ramsey, a 93-acre certified organic farm. We also partner with Seven Song’s Farm in Kenyon to grow our delicious organic ginger and garlic and the rest is history, so they say. How have you grown over the last year? We got married in November of 2015. Almost immediately afterwards, we were contacted by our friends Stefan and Michael who ran Growing Lots Urban Farm. They knew we were looking for farmland to expand You Betcha Kimchi, but thought we might be interested in taking on their CSA farm project in the smack middle of Minneapolis on two converted parking lots. The more we talked about the possibility of farming in the city and running a CSA instead of growing for the kimchi, the more we realized it was the perfect fit. So yes, instead of a honeymoon, we used money from our wedding to buy the farm. We decided to build on our relationships with local farms to source the ingredients for our kimchi and use the limited growing space we have in the city to grow veggies for the CSA. What’s great is that we’ve realized we really fill a niche for local farms who want to wholesale to buyers besides the very competitive co-op and restaurant markets. We’ve been able to ramp up our production a lot this past year and we’ve expanded into several co-ops and a restaurant. Where can we find your products now? We’re available at City Food Studio where we make the kimchi. They’re on 38th and Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis and are open for retail every Tuesday night (58pm) and Saturday morning (9am-1pm). We’re at the Linden Hills Co-op (SW MPLS), River Market Co-op (Stillwater), The Herbivorous Butcher (NE MPLS), Coalition Restaurant (Excelsior), and the Northeast Farmer’s Market. They are currently doing their Winter Market every third Saturday at the Solar Arts Building. The next one is a night market on February 20th from 6-9pm featuring great music and vendors. We’ll be the ones starting the dance party. What is the difference between pickling and fermenting? The quick and dirty of pickling vs. fermentation: pickling involves heat processing and fermentation does not. RENEW - VOL 1, NO. 3 - 2016 25
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When you pickle, you usually heat vinegar, salt, and sugar (which is called “brine”) in water and pour it over the vegetables. To make the pickles shelf-stable, you can them using a canner (a big pot that you put the jars in to get them to seal). When you ferment vegetables (there are so many other ferments and methods!) you generally use a salt-water brine and submerge your chopped (or not) vegetables underneath the brine using a weight of some sort. The brine creates an environment that is conducive to the growth of “good bacteria” (lactobacillus plantarum in this case) and prevents molds and such from growing on the vegetables (which would happen if they were exposed to air). Fermentation also involves time—sometimes a lot, sometimes a little, depending on your desired result. Some sauerkrauts can ferment for months. Our kimchi ferments for 7 days. Ideally, you’d ferment for more than 5 days to hit a good flavor and probiotic level. You can check the pH to make sure (if you don’t trust your taste buds) which should read lower than 4.0. Ferments are not usually canned after they are done fermenting because the heat would kill the good bacteria. Instead, they are stored in a cool environment to slow down the fermentation (in the case of refrigeration, it nearly stalls the process). How can people support what you are doing? Well, the easiest and most helpful way is to buy our product! And to support local farmers, restaurants, co-ops, farmers markets, politicians and community organizations so that we can continue to have a vibrant and sustainability-minded local economy. We also love hearing recipe ideas, potential sale or partnership opportunities and interest from volunteers. A young business obviously needs a lot of resources to get off the ground and we always appreciate volunteers for both the farming side of our business and the kimchi—making side (we pay volunteers handsomely in kimchi). What are your sources of energy and inspiration? Local farmers that really model a quality of life that we value: simple, flexible, fun, sustainable and generous. There are so many in Minnesota and Wisconsin. My grandfather owns a 250 acre corn/soybean farm and thinks we’re nuts for going into organic farming. We’re working on him... We really appreciate those that have been successfully going against a cultural and economic grain of making farms and simultaneously urban living incredibly expensive, time-consuming and difficult. What do you think is missing from your community? There is a big swell in interest from young people in local food and farming, yet the average age of a US farmer is 58 and rising. There’s this huge gap, both economically and culturally, to conquer for young farmers, especially for small-scale organic farmers here in the industrial-farm dominated Midwest.
What we need are more organizations and government programs who can connect young farmers with land opportunities and assist with the infrastructure and financial support to make it viable. What do you think are the qualities it takes to be a farmer? To be a small-scale, organic farmer? Mild insanity. A sense of humor and a sense of adventure. A commitment to continual learning and therefore an equal willingness to fail. Social and community building skills as farming is impossible to do alone. The ability and willingness to do very hard physical labor. A liberal arts college degree helps, as does any study in science, agriculture and business. Many people can learn to grow things well, but not all good farmers know how to market themselves and end up struggling a lot. What are you most looking forward to in 2016? Oh mama. Everything? It’s feeling like a good year. We’re both looking forward to growing our CSA and having a lot more systems in place. Last year we really just had to hit the ground running since we bought the business in late December. After a year of experience and feedback, we’ve learned how to build on the success of our first year to implement valuable improvements. We’re upping our membership from 45 to 65 and are looking forward to bringing in new members. We began a new lease on a third lot on 40th and Minnehaha and are the proud owners of a recently donated walkbehind tractor to help convert the new lot. You Betcha Kimchi is working on expanding our team so it’s more than just the two of us. As Iman has really taken on Growing Lots full-time, You Betcha Kimchi is seeking a manager to help with production. We are hoping to expand our market to new restaurants and retail. Our goal is to remain a truly Minnesotan company that stays within the state. So no You Betcha in Texas, sorry y’all.
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Christopher MacLeod and the
Rise of Bread Bread Words & Photos by Diana Crane
“How can a nation be great if their bread tastes like Kleenex?” Julia Child dedicated her life to making a really hearty beef bourguignon, a perfectly juicy poulet rôti. She also asked some of the toughest questions—how does Wonderbread affect America’s national identity? Christopher MacLeod, of Laune Bread, seems to be reforming this reputation all by himself. He’s kind of carrying the future of bread on his back—or, rather, behind him, in a bin attached to his bike. After a few years spent learning from some of the best bakers in the business, like Steve Horton of Rustica, MacLeod launched a small, subscription based bakery in October. Every Thursday morning, after a few days of mixing, growing, rolling, MacLeod loads up his bike, and delivers bread to about 60 houses in South Minneapolis. I sat down with him the other day at Sun Street Breads, where he leases kitchen space and brings his powerful little dream to life. Here’s what I learned about his history, his vision, and the perfect loaf.
˜ I read that you went to Lewis and Clark College, and studied Communications and German Studies. Here you are in Minneapolis baking bread for a living—how’d that happen? So when I was in college I studied abroad in Munich for a year… That’s where I fell in love with bread. I met and became friends with a German woman whose family owned a bakery. Her dad just seemed like he was the happiest person in the world. When I came back to the U.S. and picked up classes again, I sort of realized that I was missing something. I wanted to work with my hands. After college, I got a job at Fressen, a German bakery in Portland… I moved to Minneapolis a year and a half ago because my dad’s here now, and because I thought it’d be a good place to test out my idea for a subscription based bakery. Subscription based bakery. I’ve also heard you call it a “microbakery.” What’s that mean? People can subscribe to
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receive my bread either bi-weekly or weekly. If they’re in my delivery zone, I’ll drop it off by bike on Thursday morning, if not, they can come pick it up at my house. My whole goal is to reduce waste—I’m really trying to be zero impact. By having a subscription model, I bake as much bread as I need to bake, so ideally I’m not throwing anything away. I’m also trying to use all locally sourced flours and grains. Starting this thing small has been a way to limit myself… I’m really forcing myself to think about how I want to grow and expand.
bakeries became these kind of untrustworthy spaces, and Wonderbread became this very clean, cheap, easy alternative.
What’s it been like sourcing everything locally? This is the heartland—you must have plenty of farmers to choose from. You’d be surprised. Starting this thing, one of my biggest challenges was finding flour. The grain system here is pretty far behind other regions. We might have good wheat, but the way that it’s milled isn’t how bakers wan to use it. More often than not, it’s too coarse, which makes it difficult to turn a really nice, airy loaf. All that being said, I’m pretty happy with the flour I have right now. My whole wheat comes from Askegaard Organic Farm in Moorhead, and my white flour comes from Lonesome Stone Milling in Wisconsin. That’s really the majority of my ingredients right there.
You know a lot about bread. You kind of live bread. How does the way you think about it and work with it trickle into your everyday life? Making bread kind of forces me to slow down. I often feel like I’m moving 1,000 miles a minute. Bread is a really nice process where I’m forced to be patient. I have to consider whether the dough is ready to ferment, or ready to shape or ready to go in the oven. I have to slow down, so baking has become kind of zen for me. Hopefully this makes sense, but baking has also gotten me back into running. Even though I was standing 10-12 hours a day mixing, shaping, baking, my legs needed some bend and physical exertion. Running is a form of stress relief, and oftentimes it helps me take my mind off my workday. Bakers, with their schedule, typically go from work to sleep, which is often hard for me, as my mind doesn’t shut off easily. So by running, I am able to go through the movements of my day and by the time I’m done, my mind is quiet.
White and wheat. What’s your bread like? What’s the perfect loaf ? All my breads are naturally leavened, and at least 50% whole grain, if not more. I’m going for kind of a wood fired style, so I’m trying to achieve a softer crust, and a pretty dark bake. My breads also tend to have a lot of water in them, so they last longer and they have a softer interior. I’ve started out by offering two subscription plans—the first is called “bread bread”… it’s a half whole wheat and half white. The other is called the “bäckers whim.” Every week it’s a different bread— like next week it’s cranberry corn, or today I’m doing toasted sunflower and malt extract. The toasted sunflower is a bread that the German baker I met makes. I didn’t get his recipe, but I just thought it was incredible so I tried to recreate it. A lot of the stuff I make is inspired by bakers I’ve met in my travels. What’s your take on bread culture in the U.S. versus abroad? I feel like in Europe people don’t have this big problem with eating bread, like many people do here. To be fair, there are reasons why rustic bread sort of stopped being a thing in the U.S.—that was because of the quality of the bread, because of the ingredients bakers were putting in, like sawdust to make it cheaper. Neighborhood
I stopped eating white bread when I was in Germany. I just don’t think there’s much flavor to it and it doesn’t offer the same nutritional benefits that whole wheat flour, or rye or spelt have. My bread is easier to digest because it has whole grains in it, and because the bacteria in sourdough actually helps break down the gluten for you. It also has resistant starch and a lower glycemic index, so less sugar, you know.
˜ When I ask Christopher about his hobbies, he mentions baking, running, biking; he trails off a bit after that, searching. I make a little joke about the solitude, the alone time. These activities—some of my favorites as well—all feel extraordinarily quiet. He quickly mentions that he has also started writing quite a bit. “I’ve been doing a lot of research on bread— I’m working on a small series about where my flour comes from. I’m really interested in teaching people about bread, so I’ll write little notes and tuck them in with my deliveries each week… the greatest appeal of doing this was really building relationships with both my customers and my purveyors.” While his everyday goals may include getting to know how his starter grows, or understanding how his dough reacts to different temperatures, I recognize in Christopher a need for connection that stretches beyond the kitchen. RENEW - VOL 1, NO. 3 - 2016 29
Minnesota Style Conquering Northern Cold the Wintergreen Way
Susan Hendrickson-Schurke lives in Ely, Minnesota with her husband Paul. The couple owns two businesses, Wintergreen Northern Wear LLC, an outdoor clothing manufacturing company operated by Sue,and Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge and Arctic Adventures operated by Paul. Raising their three children and enjoying the outdoors has been their combined focus for the past 30 years. Susan originally got her start by designing and producing the clothing for the 1986 Steger International North Pole Expedition co-led by her husband Paul and Will Steger. The 1989 Bering Bridge Russian-American Expedition formally launched her Wintergreen clothing business when she decided to hire several very skilled sewing technicians to help her produce the clothing. One thing led to another and before Sue knew it, she had purchased several buildings in downtown Ely and the business eventually grew to 40 employees and two retail stores. In 2009, with the business in good shape, Sue decided she wanted explore a new career path, so she sold the business. Unfortunately, things did not go so well for the new owners and in 2013, they went out of business. This was a disappointing turn of events for Sue, who upon going to the auction of her old business, was filled with a great deal of emotion to see the business she started now being dismantled. Sue went to the auction with the intention of purchasing a sewing machine, but instead, she thought just maybe she could give it another go.
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She called her husband and he agreed to give it a try. At the auction, Sue purchased 12 sewing machines, 11 cutting tables and some left over fabric. She put all of this into storage and for the next 1 1⁄2 years, proceeded to work on re-creating her old patterns with her friend and former employee, master sewer, LaVerne Ellis. In November 2015 Sue re-purchased her old retail and manufacturing building in Ely. Within 2 weeks the machines were humming again with 4 employees! One year later after the re-start, Sue has 19 employees. She is very content to be back and a part of the Ely community providing good employment and a happy place to work.
Sue’s Tips for the 3 W ’s of Winter Wear For over 30 years, Wintergreen Northern Wear has been making outdoor clothing for cold-weather outdoor enthusiasts in Ely, Minnesota. At Wintergreen, Sue’s motto for staying warm and enjoying Minnesota winters follows a model of the 3 W’s—Wicking, Warmth and Wind. According to Sue, the most important layer is the Wicking layer or the Nextto-Skin layer—also called the Base layer. She shares, “A wicking layer moves perspiration away from the body to keep you dry and to hold body heat in. Staying dry in the winter is key to staying warm. Damp skin loses heat many times faster than dry skin.”
For Wicking: Black Powerstrech
She adds, “The Wicking layer also requires proper wicking fabrics found in either synthetics or wools. Both polyester and wool have wicking properties, meaning each type of fabric will move moisture away from your body. Cotton on the other hand is like a sponge and will hold moisture against your body, so avoid wearing a cotton base layer when active in the outdoor winters. Personal preference dictates the choice of wearing a synthetic polyester base layer or a merino wool base layer.” The second W is the mid-layer, the Warmth layer. The function of the Warmth layer is to hold body heat in similar to the insulation on one’s house. “The Warmth layer can be comprised of several thin layers or a thicker layer depending upon the activity level, outdoor temperature and person’s metabolism. The Warmth layer can be made from synthetic polyester fleece or natural wool fibers,” relates Sue.
For Warmth: Recycled Micro Lava Blue Top
The third W, or outer layer, is the Wind layer. From Sue’s perspective, the Wind layer stops the wind from pulling heat away from the body and helps the Warmth layer hold in the heat. She also offers, “The Wind layer must be breathable so body moisture can escape. Wearing non-breathable rain gear for example would keep you damp with perspiration. At Wintergreen Northern Wear, we prefer Supplex® nylon as a breathable Wind Layer.” So, to conquer a Northern winter in comfortable winter active-wear, Sue advises you to think in 3’s—Wicking, Warmth and Wind. For Wind: Orange Windshell RENEW - VOL 1, NO. 3 - 2016 31
Kitchen The Sea of Emerald at Loon Organics By Katharine Plowman
The winter doldrums. Everyone has them...especially us Minnesotans who try as we might to eat with the seasons inevitably succumb to the robotic gravitation toward the Cali grown mesclun mixes and assorted baby kales. We rationalize and in honesty, there’s only so many ways one can eat a butternut squash before you quite literally begin to take on a pumpkin toned complexion. (I speak from experience on this note.) But vitamin D deficient friends rejoice. I can’t guarantee this will take away your Seasonal Affective Disorder but it certainly will add that lovely green dash your locally procured dinner plates have been lacking. Folks, meet Loon Organics’ winter spinach. Yes, despite the sub-zero conditions and Jack-Frost nippy winds Loon Organics owners, Adam Cullip and Laura Frerichs, raise local spinach November through April. No they aren’t magicians growing this tasty winter treat out amidst snowdrifts and ridiculous infrared heaters. Loon’s secret weapon: their hoop houses. (Think a nonheated greenhouse if you’re unfamiliar with the hoop house terminology.) Nutty, dense and I guarantee the most delicious spinach you will ever eat, Laura and Adam are seeking to serve us green deprived winter tundrites year round. How this sea of emerald wizardry exists…strategic fall planting and insulated row covers. Laura and Adam plant the spinach in late September, irrigate and come November they have full size plants ready for harvest. The cold temperatures cause the leaves to get very dense making this perhaps the thickest spinach you will ever eat while freeze thaw patterns give the spinach its extraordinarily sweet taste. Oh, and did I mention it’s full of all the nutrients your body is craving during the winter like vitamins K, A, and C. And don’t forget those trace nutrients like manganese, magnesium and iron, Loon’s spinach is full of them. Our favorite way to eat it? Raw of course, because what’s better with red wine braised short ribs and some delicious stone ground 32 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
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organic polenta than a lovely salad? Granted we also flash-sauté it (thanks Matt Kappra at 320 Northeast for this idea), put it in frittatas and it’s a stellar addition to stews. But in all honesty nothing is quite as good as enjoying a light spinach salad amid our meat and root centric Ole’ and Lena diet. And keeping in the tradition of eating local, we like to add dehydrated vegetables that we preserve throughout the year. Forgo buying those golf-ball-dense tomatoes for the Cesar or adding the cranberries and walnuts. We add dehydrated leeks, beets, celery and even fennel that was harvest during the growing season. Equally as stunning are dehydrated raspberries and strawberries, which shine like jewels contrasted against a blanket of nutrient rich greens. A grate of some winter storage purple haze carrots and you’re bound to bedazzle even the fussiest dinner guest. So how does one procure these coveted greens? This past holiday season Laura and Adam sold their goods at Mill City Indoor Winter Farmer’s Market November through December. In the future Loon hopes to extend their availability through the addition of a winter pack shed. This would make harvesting and processing the winter greens easier and provide year-round employment for a full-time employee. Cheers and eat more local greens this winter. They are a rare treat amidst butternuts and bacon but, well worth it. Six more weeks of winter…local spinach can and will help!
Loon Organics Winter Spinach Salad For Salad: 4 cups of spinach roughly chopped 1-2 carrots cleaned and grated 1/4-1/2 cup assorted dehydrated local vegetables 1/3 cup dehydrated local fruits 1/3 cup toasted nuts of your choice (hazelnuts or sunflower seeds are great) Generous pinch kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper
For Dressing: 2/3 cup olive oil 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/2 tsp salt
1. Combine the salad ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well. 2. Combine the dressing ingredients together in a separate jar and shake vigorously. 3. Pour desired amount of dressing over the salad ingredients and mix well. 4. Eat and enjoy.
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Minnesota Creatives ...
Share Your Story With Us!
Recent Online Features: Kirsten Grohovsky …is the founder of Apothicare, a body care company working to empower people. Through elderberry syrup, tea, and deodorant, lip balm, and more, Kirsten aims to help people improve their health and therefore, lives. As a holistic health professional, Kirsten is passionate about teaching people from all walks of life about the basics of holistic health philosophies. Through Apothicare, she has been able to bring quality sustainable products to the market place in Minnesota. Read more at www. makeitmn.com/kirsten-grohovsky
Tracy Terbell … is the mastermind behind Ball of Fire. In 2010, Tracy Terbell started crocheting catnip toys for Oscar, her newly adopted and boisterous kitten. As the story goes, this tiny hobby soon evolved into something bigger. Today, Tracy makes magic mushrooms, googly eyed octopi, a wide variety of vegetables, and even pierogis through this undeniably successful catnip toy business. Read more at www. makeitmn.com/ tracy-terbell
Matt Frank …is the founder of From the Ground Up North, a digital resource hub for those interested in learning more about regional sustainable agriculture-based businesses, grassroots organizations, nonprofits, educators, farmers, advocates and artists throughout greater Minnesota and Wisconsin with a focus on both urban and rural spaces and the connections in between. FTG Up North offers free, accessible stories, resources, research reports, an interactive local foods map, and third-party hosted sustainable agriculture events as ways for people to learn more and get involved in a thriving local food scene and economy Up North. Read more at www. makeitmn.com/ matt-frank
Join These Makers And Others Across The State - Submit Online At: www.makeitmn.com/creatives RENEW - VOL 1, NO. 3 - 2016 35
Contratulations to Kathrina Josephson on being selected as our “Renew” essay conest winner! We had many exceptional entries. Please visit our website www.makeitmn.com/renew to read more winning essays.
Wasatch mountains 36 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
Waist-deep in fresh powder, I pause to take in my surroundings and catch my breath. I’m only twenty yards out now from the Mt. Aires saddle, as far as we’ll get today without snowshoes. Despite the chill in the air, I’m sweating and my heart pounds. My thighs, concealed under pink snow pants, are screaming, and my legs have become separate entities from my body entirely. In a final thrust of energy, I rush through the heavy snow, towards my husband, who is already standing at the edge. “We made it to the top!” I shout in relief and joy as I reach him. Arms outstretched, I fall backward, landing in the pillowy embrace of the mountain. When I look up, everything is white around me, and I feel tiny and big all at once. We made it, and for that moment, it seems like the biggest accomplishment in the world.
Several days before, I was sitting in my Minneapolis cubicle, fully swallowed up by the grey apathy that comes in late January, once the sparkle of the holidays has come and gone and the reality of a Midwest winter has set in. My days were starting to feel predictably monotonous: wake up, shower, sit in traffic, work, sit in more traffic, have dinner, sleep, rinse, repeat. I needed a shake up, and a flight to just about anywhere else would do the trick.
Back in Utah, our gear is piled into the back of the rental car, creating little mountains of their own - snow pants, coats, goggles, mittens. My stomach is twisting tighter and tighter as we wind up the Big Cottonwood Canyon, right outside of Salt Lake City. There’s always something about that first day of skiing that makes me nervous, like I’m going to fall off the chairlift and forget how to get down the slopes in one piece. My vivid imagination quickly highlights several ways I could break all of the bones in my body on my first run of the day. I reluctantly pull on my boots and trudge to the bottom of the lift. Breathing deeply, I settle into a chair as it swings around to bring us up the hill. The mid-afternoon sun casts a warm glow on fresh snow, and rogue sunbeams filter their way through spindly pines dotting the slopes. It is a truly breathtaking sight, snowcapped peaks a complete 360º around me, and in that instant I temporarily forget my fears of the next few hours. As I point my skis down the first slope, my mind relaxes and my spirit begins to loosen its tangled knots. These are the things that make me feel alive again. These are the moments that renew that sense of wonder tucked somewhere deep inside of me. I can’t help smiling as I careen down the slope, slightly off-kilter, with the sun on my face and the wind whipping at my pom-pom hat.
It is not surprising when I say that traveling has become one of the greatest joys of my life, but it may be surprising that the rediscovery of wonder that happens on these adventures always manages to ooze itself into the very cracks of my familiar life. After one of the most epic weekend trips I’ve had in awhile, it would seem like heading back to Minnesota would send me into further bouts of the winter blues. But back at my cube, my web searches for “best coffee in Salt Lake City” become “best coffee in Minneapolis” and I find myself taking in a detour to get myself a cup. Another search reveals the Twin Cities’ top destinations for cross-country skiing, a new skill I’m hoping to master in 2016. Traveling sets my heart on fire again and renews my perspective on life in a way that I did not think was possible, helping me see the mundane with fresh eyes. I am surprised again by a home I thought I knew so well. The moments of accomplishment I feel hiking and skiing the Wasatch mountains renew my desire to test the boundaries at home. I begin making a mental list: hike the North shore, rent a houseboat and float down the Mississippi, run a marathon in Duluth. Tonight though, the list is simple. I cup my hands around a steaming cider and soak in the warmth of a Sunday evening bonfire. RENEW - VOL 1, NO. 3 - 2016 37
LITTLE THINGS IN
The smell draws me Walking blind into the mist The skyâ€™s open And the fog lifts The precipice The edge The newness of the day The Sun warms the face Wicks away the cold The breeze cools the skin and lightens the heart Scent f illing the nostrils And f rom deep within Warming body and sole
The little things in a big place Black Coffee over Dark Water I almost see the spring
38 MAKE IT MINNESOTA