Morning break after a three-dog night

It hit -28 last night at Bull Brook Keep, and that’s without taking windchill into account. After pulling on my flap-earred hat, long-johns and heavy jacket, I fed and watered the chickens and fully expected to find frozen eggs in the nest boxes. Today’s harvest was small and cold, but … Continue reading

Feb. 21, 9-9:30AM Central -live with The Nourished Kitchen’s Jennifer McGruther. Getting to traditional cooking

I get it: you want to eat healthy foods. You want to cook delicious meals. You want to get back to what’s real, and you want to do it yourself! But you’re apprehensive about where to start. And you wonder if you’ll spend the rest of your life in the … Continue reading

Feb. 14, 2015, 9:00-9:30AM CT – live – the movement to take back our lives

Why all these DIY classes in “how to build this,” “how to get better gas mileage,” “how to be energy independent,” how to can and how to freeze, how to cook and how to grow your own food? Is it only about unleashing our inner creative selves or is there more?
Are we, as a society striving to relearn how to regain command of our own lives?
Yup, we’re into reflection and practical how-to’s this morning on Deep Roots Radio.
Tune in.

What: Deep Roots Radio on “taking back our lives”
When: Today, Feb. 14, 2015, 9:00-9:30AM Central
Where: Broadcast and streamed live at WPCA Radio 93.1FM,

Hope you’ll tune in.


The timekeeper – a noisy video

Our free-range chickens are built to forage for themselves

Our free-range chickens are built to forage for themselves

I’m typing away at my desk and then it comes, the crowing that says, “Hey, it’s 11 AM. There are things to do.”
My free range chickens seem to be thriving in the cold and snow. They peck at any patch of dirt or brittle grass blade they find, which is why they love to hang out under my office window. In addition to being out of the wind and facing into the sun, they love scratching through, and nestling into, the mulch around the bushes. It makes for happy hens, and a very vocal rooster.

Stir Fry – a with twist

It was what was in the fridge: organic brown rice, half an onion, butternut squash-kale kimchi, and eggs fresh from from the coop. I stirred the egg in hot butter over medium heat till it was just set. I moved this to a bowl. Then it was chopped onion into … Continue reading

Chickens and apples. Not a recipe.

Our free-range chickens are built to forage for themselves

Our free-range chickens are built to forage for themselves

No, this isn’t a recipe for chickens stewed with sautéed apples. (Though that does sound like something I’ll try.) It’s a very short video demonstrating just how hardy free-range chickens can be. Because our chickens are breeds that forage for themselves, and are well suited to our cold winters, they happily leave their coop in the mornings and begin searching for any blade of grass or dried fruit that might be exposed in the snow. These happy hens get lots of natural sugars and fiber from apples I pull out of storage. These are wild apples grown without any type of chemical. (When just picked in the fall, I make cauldrons of applesauce and rich apple butter.)
Our small flock get sun and exercise every day (as well as fresh grain every morning). Dave and I enjoy their antics (I had no idea chickens could be so entertaining), and lots of nutrient-rich eggs.


Snow? What snow? Time to get ready for farmers markets everywhere. Jan. 31, 9-9:30AM Central, Deep Roots Radio

Tune in as we chat with Val Burke, manager of Amery, WI’s Monday evening Farmers Market. Yes, there’re six inches snow on the ground. And, yes, temps are due to plunge below zero, again, over the next several days. But, hey, what better time to plan for short-sleeved T-shirts, fresh … Continue reading

Jan 24, 9:00-9:30AM CT – How grass-fed diary is better for people, cows and land

What: Deep Roots Radio recorded interview with Cheyenne Christianson, Wisconsin organic dairy farmer who sells through Organic Valley When: Jan. 24, 2015, 9:00-9:30AM Central Time Where: WPCA Radio, 93.1FM and streamed at Why: Virtually all diary operations are built on the confinement model: lots of grains, use of antibiotics … Continue reading

Tune in Jan 17, 9:00-9:30AM CT Deep Roots Radio w GYST – new fermentation bar. Guilt-free “cheers”

What: Deep Roots Radio interview with Jim Bovino, partner at GYST. He is a fermentation specialist, urban farmer at the California Street Farm (NE Minneapolis), and cider maker at Keepsake Cidery in Dundas, Minnesota.
When: Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, 9:00-9:30AM Central Time
Where: Broadcast and streamed live from the studios of WPCA Radio, 93.1FM and
Why: Because fermented foods – wine, beer, chocolate, coffee, yogurt, kimchi, etc. – taste great and are good for you.

I’d been driving around the Twin Cities all afternoon. First there was my much needed haircut at E 42nd Street Salon in South Minneapolis. My second stop was the Mississippi Market natural foods coop in St. Paul, where I loaded up on napa cabbage, turnips, beets, and brussel sprouts. I’ll roast some and ferment others.
Ferment? you ask. Ahhh, good question. Fermenting is a way of preserving foods without the use of canning or freezing. It’s a practice that thousands of years old. Think kimchi, sauerkraut, chocolate, coffee, beer, bread, yogurt, wine, cheese and cured meats (salamis, for instance). Yup, all those foods are fermented, as are lots of pickles., and miso, and soy sauce, and… Well, you get the idea.
As it turns out, these foods are not only preserved through the fermentation process, they are often made much more nutritious.
Back to my day.
After buying those beautiful organically-grown vegetables, I browsed (and bought) at Half-Priced Books, and then headed back to Minneapolis for some wine and cheese at GYST, a brand new business in on 1st Ave and 26th Street where fine taste, value, health and environmental stewardship rule.
I was warmly greeted by Mel Guse, who with Ky Guse is on the four-person leadership team in this young venture.

Mel Guse (left) and Jill Mott create elegant, delicious wine and cheese pairings at GYST

Mel Guse (left) and Jill Mott create elegant, delicious wine and cheese pairings at GYST

I asked Jill Mott, the sommelier, to create the tasting plate for me. Because I like drier reds, and it was only 4:30 in the afternoon, she poured a glass of Poulsard Vielles Vignes Domaine Rolet from the bar’s very select assortment, wines chosen for flavor and the vineyard’s careful crafting. It was a medium-pale rose color and had a caramel-like fragrance. Jill put the same close attention to the cheeses paired with the wine: a soft cheese from Buffalo Creek Creamery (Plato, MN), a Mont Vully from Switzerland which was made with the milk of pastured cows, and a 6-month-old Verano made with raw sheep milk (Putney, VT). Shredded pickled beets, and dried cherries from Door County, Wisconsin, completed the plate.
And if this weren’t enough, because I was seated at the bar, I enjoyed the meal in the company of both Jill and Jim Bovino, the fermentation specialist.
Why the focus on fermented foods? Tune in tomorrow, and find out.