The Prince.

I’m surprised by how much the passing of Prince has hit me. He belonged to the world, but first he was Minnesota’s. RIP. … Continue reading

Live w 2nd Harvest Heartland (fighting hunger with good, surplus food) rescheduled to April 16, 9-9:30AM CT

A technical glitch prevented our April 9th interview with Second Harvest Heartland. Don’t dispair – we’ve rescheduled this live interview for April 16th.

What: Deep Roots Radio live interview with Heidi Coe, Agriculture Sourcing Representative with Second Harvest Heartland, MN/WI
When: Saturday, April 16, 2016, 9:00-9:30 AM Central Time
Where: Broadcast and streamed live from the studios of WPCA Radio, 93.1FM and on the Internet,
Why: Millions of Americans are food insecure – they miss one or more meals a day. One way of meeting this pressing need in the Upper Midwest is through the efforts of Second Harvest Heartland, a non-profit expert in gathering and distributing surplus foods of quality. Heidi Coe will describe their efforts, and her particular specialty – finding and distributing surplus farm product.

I hope you’ll tune in. Got a question or comment? Text me at 651-238-8525.


Herbalist/farmer Nancy Graden talks about medicinal herbs on her certified organic Red Clover Herbal Apothecary Farm.

I hope you enjoy this Deep Roots Radio interview with trained and experienced medicinal herbalist and farmer Nancy Graden, owner and operator of Red Clover Herbal Apothecary Farm, Amery, Wisconsin.
Nancy brings decades of training and field experience to her farm and to the people of Amery, Polk County and the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota metro area.

Deep Roots Radio, 91.3FM and

Deep Roots Radio, 91.3FM and

Deep Roots Radio interview with Lisa Kivirist about “Soil Sisters: A Toolkit for Women Farmers”

Just published, Soil Sisters:A Toolkit for Women Farmers provides resources, tips and new visions. Its a book about empowering ourselves to reach out, branch out, and shape our lives on the farm.

A toolkit for women farmers

A toolkit for women farmers

I hope you enjoy this Deep Roots Radio interview with farmer, author and prize-winning eco-innkeeper Lisa Kivirist about her newest book, Soil Sisters: A toolkit for women farmers.
Lisa is a Senior Fellow, Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems at the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture and a national advocate for women in sustainable ag. She founded and directs the Rural Women’s Project of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, an award-winning initiative championing female farmers and food-based entrepreneurs.
She and her husband John Ivanko are partners in Inn Serendipity, their nationally recognized environmentally-designed b&b in southern Wisconsin. They have also co-authored Homemade for Sale, Farmstead Chef, ECOpreneuring, and Rural Rennaisance.
Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko

Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko

Baking French sourdough without $$$ artsy extras. Some alternatives.

I’ve been baking bread a long time, and I’ll admit it – I love the equipment and gadgets that come with artisan baking. Thing is, those extras can add up to some serious change. Can you bake great French sourdough without a $35 willow banneton, a $15 lame, or pricy organic rice flour for dusting a linen couche? Can you get a high, lofty loaf without the aid of a steam-capturing dutch oven. And what about those large plastic buckets used for the first (bulk) fermentation? Nobody gives those away.I didn’t have any of these things when I first started … Continue reading

The good, the bad, the absolutely ugly, and hope. US Senate Ag Committee approves DARK Act

It was interesting. This morning’s US Senate Ag Committee hearing was carried live on the Internet, and watching it was an education in and of itself. I, along with thousands of others (I hope) looked on as 20 committee members (Senators all) considered a proposal to amend the “Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946” that would establish a national voluntary labeling standard for bioengineered foods. Transparency – that’s good. Why the amendment? Because some businesses and elected officials want to make it illegal for any state to require GMO labeling on our food. So much for truth-in-labeling. It’s why this legislation … Continue reading

Baking French Sourdough – Class March 20, 9:00AM-1:00PM

By request, another sourdough bread baking class is scheduled for
March 20th, 9:00AM-1:00PM.
Where? The teaching kitchen at Bull Brook Keep, an easy ride from Minneapolis/St.Paul

Yes, you can made hearth bread -a French sourdough, and variations – in your home oven to fit your schedule.
Click here for more information and to register.
Class is hands-on and limited to 6 students.

Questions? Sylvia Burgos Toftness, 651-238-8525,

Hearth breads made with poolish. Say, what?

Why is it that the hearth breads taste so good? Why do they have those wonderful brown crusts that crunch and shatter when you bite into them? And those holes! When you slice or tear them, their interiors are filled with large glossy holes perfect for holding butter and olive oil and tapenades. Why can’t you make them at home? Do you really need a wood-fired oven? Hold on…let’s get rid of the myth first. You can bake hearth breads in your home oven. It’s not rocket science, but like anything worthwhile, hearth baking takes a bit of planning and … Continue reading

Of snow plowing and sourdough baking

Feb. 3, 7:00AM Last night, before shuffling off to bed, put two baskets of raw dough into the very chilly root cellar for a slow rise. (Could’ve used the frig, but it’s packed right now.) I also set the oven to pre-heat to 500 degrees by sun up this morning. The snow was still falling horizontally at 11PM, driven by a strong and nasty north wind. A quick flick of the deck light told the tale: sloping drifts packed hard as cement. The snow fall had started benignly enough yesterday at about noon – big, beautiful flakes swirling over the … Continue reading

Beth Dooley, live, Sat. Jan. 30 – local winter recipes in the land of ice and snow

In last Saturday’s (Jan 13, 2016) Deep Roots Radio interview, chef/author/journalist Beth Dooley described how she came to live in the chilly Upper Midwest, and how it’s not only possible, but delicious to cook with local ingredients in snow-covered Minnesota. This history and grounding is at the heart of her new book, In Winter’s Kitchen. This Saturday, Jan. 30, Beth will take us to the next step and describe actual recipes – ingredients and spices – for winter cooking. Join us! What: Deep Roots Radio conversation with Beth Dooley on winter cooking in the land of ice and snow When: … Continue reading