Gardens, Not Lawns: Fritz Haeg's Edible Estates

Each year, Americans spend roughly $30 billion dollars on pesticides, fertilizers, machinery, water, and energy in the name of maintaining thousands of little green blades of Kentucky Blue. Lawns are built into the American lifestyle; many of us have fond memories of pushing our toy lawnmower alongside a parent as they cut the grass every Sunday to keep it from becoming overgrown, or running through the sprinkler in the intense heat of late summer as it waters the crunchy, browning blades.

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Hunting for Dinner: Foraging (Stinging Nettles, Morels, and Ramps)

Spring is finally here, and along with it comes a whole new hunting season. I’m not referring to the spring turkey season; I’m talking about the spring foraging season. As the woods and prairies come alive with new growth, a plethora of wild edibles come into season. From May until the first snow falls, there are literally thousands of wild plants that grow in the wild. And these plants, berries, and mushrooms are as delicious – if not more delicious – than anything you can buy in the grocery store. I love getting out into the woods and finding wild foods that I can take home, not just because of their distinctive flavors but also because foraging is a great way for me to stay connected with nature and to scout possible hunting areas for the upcoming fall hunting season. 

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ABC’s of the Beez Kneez: A Mission for Sustainability.

Lesson #1: Antennae

Three years ago, I attached some antennae to a bike helmet, painted my bike black and yellow, and started The Beez Kneez. At the time, I had no idea where it would take me. What I was aware of was my motivation, and it was two-fold: I wanted to work with bees, and I was very concerned about their struggle to survive. 



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Raising Chickens: A Respectful Butchering

Our butchering date had been weighing on me for weeks. I was counting the days, looking forward to the end of hauling 5- and 7-gallon water jugs morning and night from our yard hydrant to the chicken yard and of wrestling 50-lb. bags of broiler feed every few days. But I was also dreading the slaughter – the toll I would be exacting on sixty living creatures. This was not the sort of burden I ever considered before our first harvest of meat chickens in July of 2011.

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Hunting for Dinner: An Unsuccessful Pheasant Hunt (and Pheasant Meatloaf)

This is the third post in a series about hunting for food -- truly meeting your meat. Also check out the earlier posts from the series, Duck Hunting and Squirrel Hunting with Mom.

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Straw Bale Gardening, Part 3: The Final Report

This is the final installment in our Straw Bale Gardening series, which follows a novice gardener’s attempt at her first straw bale garden.

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Hunting for Dinner: Duck Hunting (and Roast Duck with Soy Maple Sauce and Mashed Parsnips)

This is the second post in a series about hunting for food -- truly meeting your meat. Also check out the earlier post from the series, Squirrel Hunting with Mom.

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Event Preview: Food + Justice = Democracy

If you are on any type of local food listserv in Minnesota, you’ve received an invitation, or two, or ten to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Food + Justice = Democracy national meeting, convening September 24 -26 in downtown Minneapolis.

IATP’s goals for the convergence are lofty; the conference is billed as a national meeting to change the food justice narrative, where “participants will co-create a national food justice platform to push our government and our political leaders to prioritize a fair, just and healthy food system.”

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Hunting for Dinner: Squirrel Hunting with Mom (and Fried Squirrel n' Waffles)

It’s amazing to me how loud a single leaf falling through the canopy of a forest can be. As I sit quietly in the woods on this September morning, I again notice how loud sounds can be in the forest. It is early in the morning on Saturday, September 15th – the day of the small game opener in Minnesota – and I am sitting in the woods about fifteen minutes south of Burnsville with my newest hunting partner.

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Why it’s Ethical to Eat Meat

The belief I’m about to argue — that eating meat is ethical — has been, for me, 25 years in the making. For much of this time, paradoxically, I was a vegetarian because I thought eating animals was morally reprehensible.


What a self-righteous twit I was.


At my in-laws’ traditional Thanksgiving dinner, I recited graphic details about industrially raised turkey. (Do you know what debeaking is?) At the counter in a fast-food restaurant, I’d loudly order a cheeseburger with no meat. (I want a bun, cheese, pickles, lettuce and onions…but no meat!) At a neighborhood pig roast, I asked the host if he had ever read Charlotte’s Web. (You would never be able to eat pork if you had.)


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