bell museum

Magical, Mysterious, Wonderful Dirt

I have always had a happy relationship with dirt. As a kid, I took pride in being perpetually filthy, and felt a strong kinship with the Peanuts character Pig Pen. Once I became a farmer, I discovered that dirt – or using grown-up farmers’ terminology, soil – is so much more than just the fun stuff that makes kids dirty. Soil is absolutely an essential ingredient in the food system, and it’s something that most of us just don’t spend a lot of time thinking about.

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Foraging for Food Is a Way of Life for the Hmong

Imagine that you are from a place and a time where your life, your very existence, is inextricably linked to the land. Imagine that you know the environment around you so intimately that you can spot the swish of a lizard's tail in the undergrowth twenty feet off. That you can differentiate an edible plant from its poisonous cousin from touch alone. That by tasting the soil, you can divine what plants will and will not flourish. That you can disappear into the forest or jungle and emerge 60 minutes later with dinner for your family. That even though your family grows food on a farm, you often venture off with friends to gather what is offered in the wild. That some of your earliest memories are following your mother through the jungle as she bends and stoops to gather greens. That you remember hearing laughter as she and the other women banter back and forth between patches of wild edibles.

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Fresh is Back and Taking the Twin Cities by Storm

The movie Fresh is one of our favorites. Compelling, entertaining, warm, funny, and unabashedly hopeful, the documentary aims to forward the cause of good, sustainable food by making it accessible. As director Ana Sophia Joanes put it in our interview last summer:

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The Movie "Homegrown" Fulfills Urban Fantasy of Having a Farm

I have a fantasy scenario that plays out in my head each spring as the dingy snow melts; through the musky, warm summer evenings; during the crisp and bountiful weeks of autumn harvest – frankly, just about year round. My husband and I move our family to a healthy plot of land in the country where we grow our own food, make our own cheese, and watch our children frolic with goats, the sheep and the chickens. All is peaceful and pastoral. Admit it, if you're visiting this website, chances are good that you've had a similar fantasy yourself.

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Heavy Table Offers Fun Foodie Nights Out

Photo of Chris Olson by Becca Dilley, Heavy TablePhoto of Chris Olson by Becca Dilley, Heavy TableI haven't been shy about my love for Heavy Table, an online magazine focused on food in the Midwest. Although the site's not strictly focused on local food, the staff's passion for good food brings them back to local sources on a regular basis.

This month, Heavy Table is venturing into the sexy world of real-life events with a couple of terrific sounding ones. Here's the down-low (or is it the low-down?):

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