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 www.wpcaradio.org 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 www.wpcaradio.org.
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.
Sylvia

Podcast: Chicken guru Lisa Steele writes/lives “Fresh Eggs Daily” Cluck!!

Lisa SteeleA fifth-generation chicken keeper, Lisa Steele is also an engaging writer and terrific photographer – proven skills that earned her Better Homes & Gardens recognition as one of the Top Ten Garden Bloggers in 2014. Author of Fresh Eggs Daily, and the power behind the blog by the same name, Lisa offers sound advise on how to raise your backyard flock naturally.
I hope you enjoy this Deep Roots Radio chat with Lisa.

Free-range chickens checking out the changed landscape

Free-range chickens checking out the changed landscape

Deep Roots Radio w Lisa Steele

Jan. 3, 9-9:30AM Central, LIVE with bovine guru Gearld Fry

What: Live, Deep Roots Radio conversation with bovine genetics guru Gearld Fry
When: Saturday, Jan. 3, 2014, 9:00-9:30AM Central
Where: Broadcast and streamed live from the studios of WPCA Radio, 93.1FM and online at www.wpcaradio.org

Gearld Fry, bovine genetics expert

Gearld Fry, bovine genetics expert


I met Gearld Fry five years ago. It was in a crowded hotel conference room in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Fry was one of four instructors taking us through a two-day grazing school. We were transfixed.
It was December and Dave and I had just bought our 72-acre farm in western Wisconsin. Fry’s presentation introduced us to principles we’re using to improve our herd and to produce healthful 100% grass-fed beef.
Fry talked about working seasonally, feeding only grass and why, how to identify a cow that will give rich milk for her calves, and the huge influence the bull has on the quality of future generations. He also stressed the importance of “line breeding,” using your own bulls to continually improve the quality of your animals.
Line breeding?
Join me and Gearld Fry tomorrow morning for a live chat about his approaches. Nationally known, Fry’s counsel is based on over 50 years experience with cattle – beef and dairy.

Sat, Dec. 27, 9:00-9:30AM CT – It was fermentation, I know.

It seems I’m on a crowded train. Everybody’s climbing into the kitchen car and fermenting veggies on the farm.
Fermenting? you ask. Yeah, like kimchi and sauerkraut, and sourdough bread.
So what happens when a Newyorkina (New York Puertorican woman) makes Korean kimchi on her Wisconsin cattle farm? Holy fusion, Batman!
Tune in to find out.

What: Deep Roots Radio with Sylvia Burgos Toftness and Dave Corbett
When: Saturday, December 27, 9:00-9:30AM Central time
Where: Live and streamed from the studios of WPCA Radio, 93.1FM and www.wpcaradio.org

See you then.

Sylvia

Organic cabbage from Black Brook Farm

Organic cabbage from Black Brook Farm

A long brine soak

A long brine soak

Bull Brook Keep kimchi

Bull Brook Keep kimchi

A couple of the books I’m using:
The Art of Fermentation, by Sandor Ellix Katz
Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning, by The Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivante

Podcast redux: 2011 chat with bovine genetics guru Gearld Fry

(click on the title above to access the podcast. Thanks.) A rose is a rose is a rose, or so the old song goes. But is it? The more we learn, the more we become aware that every living thing is unique. While two roses may appear identical at first … Continue reading

What the “cluck?” Dec. 13, 9-9:30AM Central w Fresh Eggs Daily’s Lisa Steele

More and more municipalities are reversing old restrictions and once again allowing home owners to raise chickens in their own backyards. This means more and more of us are enjoying fresh eggs (unlike anything you’ll find in the grocery store), and the company of hens. Since lots of city folk … Continue reading

How far for that perfect loaf? Dec. 6, 9-9:30AM Central with Sam Fromartz

What: Deep Roots Radio conversation with Sam Fromartz When: Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, 9:00-9:30AM Central Time Where: Broadcast and streamed live from the studios of WPCA Radio, 93.1FM and www.wpcaradio.orgA highly experienced, nationally-recognized and celebrated investigative journalist, Sam Fromartz is Editor in Chief of the Food and Environment Reporting Network … Continue reading