Dr. Gail Hanson on antibiotics overuse in industrial ag and the rise of superbugs

The antibiotics given to livestock amount to tons every year. If these drugs were administered to help the animal recover from illness or injury, I could see it. But that’s not the case. In many confined animal feeding operations, antibiotics are mixed with the daily feed in order to prevent illness due to crowded conditions, and to boost animal growth.
What does that mean for us?

Dr. Gail Hansen, a senior officer for Pew’s campaign on human health and industrial farming

Dr. Gail Hansen, a senior officer for Pew’s campaign on human health and industrial farming

This Deep Roots Radio interview with Dr. Gail Hanson, of the PEW Charitable Trusts provides eye-opening information.



Chefs for sustainable food – James Beard Foundation VP Kris Moon on the new Impact Programs

We all know that chefs can cook, some of them extraordinarily. And we know that what they cook can reflect and flavor local culture. But did you know our chefs can – and increasingly do – play a role in redesigning a more sustainable, healthful food system in America?
I really enjoyed this conversation with Kris Moon, Vice President of the James Beard Foundation because the foundation’s Impact Programs spotlight and promote chef-led efforts to rebuild a more nutritious and regionally-sourced food system in our country.
Experienced and trained in restaurant management, nutrition and major networking events, Moon is leading programs true to the values and heart of the foundation’s namesake, James Beard – the chef and cookbook author who was lovingly regarded as “America’s favorite chef.”
I hope you enjoy this Deep Roots Radio conversation.

Connecting the dots between what we eat and how its grown

Connecting the dots between what we eat and how its grown


Light showers

I hadn’t expected it. After all, the forecast had been for rain yesterday afternoon, and when it didn’t materialize, I thought, “oh, well,” and “darn.” [When your business is converting grass to beef, as our’s is, we can always use an inch or two of rain every week.]
Believing the rain had either veered by us or that the system had disintegrated at the county line, I then did the usual farm-mental-gymnastics and planned for today’s early activities.
And so, now it’s raining, but lightly. The weatherman says the showers will be brief. I can see the edge of the clouds to the north. From solid grey cover they break up to brighter, puffier islands in the blue.
One more cup of tea, and it’s outside I go.
SylviaReceeding showers - May 5, 2016

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, www.wpcaradio.org
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 www.wpcaradio.org

Deep Roots Radio, 91.3FM and www.wpcaradio.org


Lisa Kivirist about newest book, “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, sylvia@bullbrookkeep.com