Toxic Tater Coalition spreads the word, NOT the fungicides

They had me with their branding – the Toxic Taters Coalition. In my world potatoes are equated with manna from heaven. And any pesticide that comes between me and potatoes is toxic by definition! So when I heard that the Toxic Taters Coalition will be visiting Minneapolis on Wednesday, June 4, it was a call to action. It didn’t take long for me to discover I had much to learn. Continue Reading

Food, farming, and football connected by research

For most Twin Cities residents it’s easy to overlook the close ties between the University of Minnesota and the state’s small towns. If you take a second to think about it though, the connection is clear. As a land grant university, they’re closely related through agricultural research, football, and a number of other fields of study.

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Feeling very “David and Goliath” as a ‘Supermom against Superbugs’

Chicago O’Hare Airport 7:26 AM: I pulled out of our farmhouse driveway at 3:24AM and wondered if I’d make the plane. I’d overslept by over an hour and hadn’t packed before hitting the pillow last night. I thought I wouldn’t be able to drive my usual 70mph on I-94 into the Twin Cities because it would be three hours before the pedal-to-the-metal commuters would be screaming into Minneapolis. I hadn’t realized that 3 AM belongs to the long-haulers and that they set an aggressive pace that sheltered my Impala from any radar sweeping the roads. Continue Reading

Joy in the barn

There has been a lot on my mind lately. I don’t know if it is the uncertain economy catching up with local foods, a flux of new CSAs or crazy weather making consumers doubt the CSA model but our CSAs numbers are way down. I am honestly scrambling. Trying to figure out how we might make ends meet this year and if we will be able to afford to farm next year. As much as I try to keep this space positive there is so much uncertainty right now and it is weighing on me. It seems agriculture across the board is feeling the hit. My friends that raise goats are struggling. My friends that run CSAs are struggling. Anyone I know who is trying to make a way for themselves is struggling. Continue Reading

Forever Green and highly efficient agriculture

To understand why the Forever Green Initiative is so important to the future of Minnesota’s landscape, one has to consider this: there is a big difference between agricultural productivity and agricultural efficiency. In states like Minnesota, the spectacular productivity of our corn-soybean system is evident: bin busting yields are the norm. But there’s a lot of waste underlying all that productivity. Continue Reading