Blogosphere

A Park For All Seasons

Friends of Way Park - Fri, 08/07/2020 - 8:44pm
Way Park is the heart of a vibrant neighborhood on the west side of Northfield. It features:  the ROMP musical playground  playground equipment and swings pre-school equipment  a half basketball court  picnic and grilling areas  a walking path  a warming hut and ice rink (seasonal)  a small baseball/kickball diamond (seasonal)  a large open field perfect for pick up soccer games, kite flying, Michellehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09921244970889478836noreply@blogger.com
Categories: Organizations

Empowering Women – Get Camping – June 12-14, 2020

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 5:15pm

This is Sarah Kostohryz’ idea, the first of her women’s camping weekends, this one at Wild River State Park. And this is Sarah:

From her site, Knitting in the Wild (she’s an amazing knitter, even bright striped socks!):

These camping retreats have been designed to provide the experience and knowledge to orchestrate your own camping trips. You will spend time living and playing outside, eating good food and spending time with old and new friends. We offer that first step to enjoying the wonderful world of camping – and we offer rentals so that you don’t have to buy a bunch of items before you ever set foot in the woods.

Included in the fee: a Minnesota State Park campground site (2 tents per site), tent rental*, an inflatable mattress rental, and all meals prepared on the fire by our very own Chef Dan Kostohryz. In an outdoor class, you will be taught things such as safety, what to look for when buying a tent, what kind of gear is necessary, easy foods to make on an open fire, and how to pack your kitchen box.  And of course, there will be opportunities for you to spend some quiet time with a book, hike or just lounge around by the fire.

For more information, and to contact her, got to the retreat page on her site, linked HERE for the full details.

We met there at Wild River State Park years ago. I had to look up when that was, it was way back in October, 2016!! We were there with Mona and Greg who were down a few sites.

It was a really cold but sunny weekend. Sara and her buddy Grizz came in after dark to the site across from us and were setting up this tent in the cold and dark. We invited them over for ??? Breakfast, dinner, whatever, and have kept in touch ever since.

If you’re new to camping, or interested in learning more, check out this opportunity. Wild River is along the St. Croix River, very woodsy, a great setting to learn some of the ins and outs of hanging out in our state parks.
Here’s the Wild River “campsite” youtube to get a feel for the campsites. And the Summer park map:

And this… and no, we didn’t see a single snake, or many of them either:

If you’re interested in camping, but don’t know anything about it, or if it’s been decades and you’d like to get back to it, consider Sarah’s
Empowering Women — Get Camping weekend, details HERE! . June 12-14 at Wild River State Park. Call your friends and reserve now!

Categories: Citizens

United in support of Trump, Republicans caucus in Faribault

Northfield News - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 4:00pm
With the party united firmly behind President Trump, Tuesday night’s Republican caucuses weren't as controversial as in years past. Still, 50 faithful party members congregated in the Faribault High School cafeteria for a night of organizing and shaping their party’s…
Categories: Local News

St. Olaf launches the Ole Avenue Project

St. Olaf College - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 3:47pm
The St. Olaf Board of Regents recently approved a plan to build a new 300-bed residence hall on the south side of St. Olaf Avenue, as well as town house–style residences with 140 student beds on the north side of St. Olaf Avenue.
Categories: Colleges

Solar Force Majure in WI – Coronavirus

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 1:38pm

Impacts of coronavirus in China are far reaching. Solar projects now up in the air. Just in from the Wisconsin PSC on the NextEra Two Creeks solar project (note there is NO mention of this on the NextEra Press Release page) and from Invenergy on the Badger Hollow solar project (likewise no mention of this on the Invenergy “News” page):

WPS letter 2/26/2020 – Invenergy – Badger Hollow_Force Majure letter 2/10/2020_384613Download WPS letter 2/26/2020 – Next Era – Two Creeks_ Force Majure letter 2/6/2020_38614Download

This is HUGE. It hadn’t registered on me the potential impact of a China shutdown, nor had it registered on the PSC staff’s brain either until now! WOW.

Force Majure is where something happens that’s utterly out of the control of the party making the claim that for whatever reason, they can’t meet their part of the contract, the permit, in this case, some parts for the project, specifically the “Nextracker” racking system for the Two Creeks project (2/6/2020 letter, ERF 38614), and generally unspecified project parts for the Badger Hollow project (2/10/2020 letter, ERF 38613). Many solar panels come from China, and there are thousands of panels needed for these projects.

Likely this is something affecting any solar project expecting shipments from China.

WHY DID IT TAKE 20 DAYS AND 16 DAYS FOR THIS TO BE POSTED ON THE PSC’S SITE BY WPS? WHAT OTHER PROJECTS DOES THIS APPLY TO? For example, the Invenergy letter of February 10, 2020 from Invenergy has only been filed in the Badger Hollow docket, filed by WPS, NextEra’s only for Two Creeks. Has Notice been given verbally to PSC as it was for these projects? Is there a letter to be filed regarding other dockets as well? If so, where’s the Notice? Are there also parts and pieces from China for other Invenergy projects, i.e., the Freeborn Wind project? I’m wondering if these Force Majure Notices are landing in Minnesota too. Inquiring minds want to know!

Categories: Citizens

Dundas development continues; Age-Friendly Northfield and City partner up; Local bus driver chosen to speak with Gov. Walz on Bus Driver Appreciation Day

KYMN Radio - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 12:02pm

By Teri Knight, News Director Dundas has a lot going on. Administrator Jenelle Teppen shared that Kwik Trip will start putting utilities in the ground in March, as soon as they can break ground. There are a couple of development projects in discussion phases right now including at 115 Depot St. Teppen said, “there’s about

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Farmer Feature – The Greensted!

Just Food Co-op - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 10:54am

This ComPost Features The Greensted, located in Zumbrota Minnesota. Here is their story:

Dean grew up on a Wisconsin Dairy Farm and Jayne mostly a city girl, but her dad grew a very large garden. She has lots of experience freezing veggies!

Dean and Jayne married in 2015, and Dean has always wanted to get back into some facet of farming, and Jayne has wanted to try her hand at marketing and branding a business. The marriage of two people and their dreams have made a good life and business partnership. When we married, we had no plans to grow a business, but it has given us much to learn and grow from both personally and in our relationship. Nothing like stress and challenge to make or break ya. 

Dean worked very, very hard to grow a small garden in 2016. It was sandy soil, and he literally got nothing from it. Nothing. But he learned he really liked growing and nurturing plants. We started researching season extension options, and microgreens kept bubbling to the surface. So we bought a couple grow flats, a grow light, soil and seeds and started growing. Funny thing – they grew. They tasted incredibly good. We loved adding them to our salads. Our research indicated chefs used a great deal of and were often looking for fresh microgreens. Jayne approached the executive chef where she was working at the time, and started bringing in samples of microgreen mixes for him to taste. He liked this but not that and so it went. After several months of try this one, he finally said, “When are you going to start bringing me these so I can stop buying from the produce vendor?” 

From there we were invited to participate in the Faribault Winter Farmers Market, which went really well. We signed up for 4 summer markets in 2018 and that was really busy as we were both working full time. 

Jayne quit working in Aug. 2018 to devote full time to growing the business. No checks were automatically deposited in the account any more. She HAD to make the business work.  It was after the busy summer of farmers markets we made the decision to go “retail” and focus more on the grocery store market, which was largely wide open and untapped. Many growers supply chef’s and fill CSAs with microgreens. But that wasn’t going to grow a “brand” for us. The decision to focus on retail wholesale opportunities has been the best decision. We meet people who are looking for fresh, learning that local sourcing is important, organic isn’t “required” but good growing practices are valued. Grocery store customers are fascinated they can get microgreens right along with their other groceries – “fancy” stuff like in restaurants, but easily incorporated into their home foods. It’s been a fun market to step into. 

About our family: 

We have 6 grown kids: 

Dean has two daughters just out of high school, Hannah and Rachel.  Currently they reside in Alexandria, MN and are working. 

Jayne has four children: 

BJ and his wife, Rachel Clare, daughter Shaelyn age 6. BJ works in AV at Mayo Clinic, Rachel is a successful “mommy blogger.” Shaelyn is a busy kindergartener. They live in Rochester. Rachel Joy, pursuing Cross Fit training, works full time as a virtual office assistant, resides in Rochester. Christopher engaged to Taylor wedding Aug 2020, works and lives in Byron; Heidi currently attending LaCrosse for Exercise Science, works at Methodist Hospital as a PCA, living in Rochester.

Tell us about the Farm: 

The GREENSTED LLC formerly My Sweet Greens MN (2016 – 2019). We renamed/rebranded end of 2019 launched Jan. 1, 2020. We feel the new name is more encompassing of our farm products (current and coming) and a bigger umbrella for other opportunities we hope to pursue in education, community and charitable partnerships.  Originally we wanted to have a coffee business, My Sweet Bean.  That never got beyond wishful thinking before microgreens hit our radar. The “Bean” became “Greens” with the added MN. We’re so glad we went into “greens” not “beans.” 

What ‘type’ of farm are you?

We are not certified, but employing many organic best practices and may go through the organic certification process in the future when the land we are renting is certifiable.

What are your favored farming practices? (water, pest control, cultivation)

Bottom water microgreen trays to avoid fungus/bacteria growth. No pests or cultivation needed. 

How much food do you produce in a year? 

In 2019 we produced approximately 2000 lbs of microgreens – distributed just over 1700 lbs, via 13,000 units primarily 2 oz containers sold wholesale at retail stores (grocery and co-ops) and direct at farmers markets. We also produced and sold some salad greens and tomatoes. 

2020 is on trend to nearly double that microgreen production. We plant and harvest twice weekly, producing on average 50 to 60 lbs per week, nearing 300 lbs per month. In January we distributed just over 1600 units (2 oz clams alone with some restaurant bulk). 

This year we have introduced a new microgreen variety mix, Pizzazz, we hired a ¾ time account manager employee, Paige. The first week of February we launched a brand new product, single serve microgreens. Paige is in the process of reaching out to more stores primarily in the Twin Cities, and helps with deliveries and store demos / farmers markets. She is being cross-trained on all aspects from seed to sale. 

It’s perhaps an unusual step for a “farm” business to hire an account manager as a first employee. However, we feel it’s the best opportunity for us to continue to growing sales channels. We have the ability to upscale our production, but one person is no longer enough to manage account acquisition and loyalty, along with deliveries to nearly 20 locations weekly, helping with packaging twice weekly, and all that is involved in keeping a business afloat. 

This is a natural career path step for Paige in an outside sales capacity and she’s done an incredible job learning and stepping right up to all the tasks needed. We hope she never leaves! Incidentally, Paige’s favorite microgreen is Sweet Peas. 

Besides Just Food Co-op what other co-ops do you sell to? 

  • Bluff Country Co-op, Winona 
  • Spiral Natural Foods, Hastings

 

Where else do you sell your products?

  • Hy-Vee
  • Kowalski’s Markets
  • Farmers Markets

Restaurants that use our microgreens: 

  • Blue Heron, Winona
  • Kahler Hotel Lord Essex Steakhouse, Rochester
  • Blue Dog Café, Welch

What is one thing you wish everyone could understand about farming?

That supporting local farms, small businesses, all entrepreneurs is crucial to building a strong community and healthy economy. It’s more than a holiday “shop small business” thing. We need to support our local economy year round.  It is vital. Supporting farms, fiber, meat, soap and care products, baked goods, canned goods, artisans, all these great producers create the vibrancy of our communities. Keep your dollars here. 

Want to get in contact with The Greensted? 

Hello@thegreensted.com  

getgreens@thegreensted.com

www.thegreensted.com

Get Social – Plug your farm:

The Greensted is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; link directly from their website!

 

 

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Categories: Businesses

Rhonda Pownell, Todd Thompson and Emily Fulton Foley

KYMN Radio - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 9:32am

Northfield Mayor Rhonda Pownell and Rotary members Todd Thompson and Emily Fulton Foley talk about a local project to end human trafficking.  The City of Northfield is working with the Northfield Rotary Club to increase awareness about this issue.

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MnDOT recommends roundabout for I-35/Hwy. 19 intersection

Northfield News - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 7:30am
The Minnesota Department of Transportation has preliminary plans for one of the most heavily traveled intersections in Rice County.
Categories: Local News

Rice County Republican precinct caucus report

KYMN Radio - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 7:17am

Rice County Republicans report from Janalee Cooper: “The Republican caucus was held at Northfield High School. We had average attendance due to the traditional caucus function in a presidential year-the straw poll -being replaced by the Presidential Primary election on  Super Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020. The attendees were excited to be a part of “democracy

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Xcel 2019 peak demand DOWN

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 5:13pm

Here we go again, with Xcel’s release of its 2019 numbers in its SEC 10k filing:

2019 10K_2b8ef42d-594c-5ac9-cc02-0f028be98f42Download

And here’s the number that I look forward to every year, the peak demand, why? Because they build the system for peak (and sell the surplus in the valleys):

Here’s what it was over the last many years:

That’s quite a drop, almost down to the 2004, 2008, 2009, 2015, 2017 levels. There’s an energy glut, to be sure, and now Xcel wants to sell its coal generation surplus from the King and Sherco plants on the MISO market. Earth to Mars, who needs more proof that the coal generation is not needed?

Categories: Citizens

Town board elections, annual meetings set for March 10

Northfield News - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 3:00pm
Voters in each of Rice County’s 14 townships will have the chance to make their views on local government known Wednesday, March 10, when annual township elections will be held and levies reviewed at annual township meetings.
Categories: Local News

Farmington looks to HyVee for possible food lockers; Nfld District Nutrition program focus on locally sourced foods; Dept. of Ag works to assist mental health of farmers; Northfield Reads panel on climate action

KYMN Radio - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 12:02pm

By Teri Knight, News Director As Farmington lost it’s only grocery store, Family Fresh last December, and awaits the building of a HyVee, the City is considering allowing HyVee to install food lockers in the city, some refrigerated, where customers can pick up groceries they’ve ordered online. Councilor Joshua Hoyt learned of the idea while

The post Farmington looks to HyVee for possible food lockers; Nfld District Nutrition program focus on locally sourced foods; Dept. of Ag works to assist mental health of farmers; Northfield Reads panel on climate action appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Jenelle Teppen

KYMN Radio - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 10:10am

Dundas City Administrator Jenelle Teppen talks about the collaboration of the YMCA and the Dundas Dukes for programs that will be offered at Dundas parks this summer as well as other items addressed by the Dundas City Council on February 24.

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Dr. Matt Hillmann

KYMN Radio - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 10:03am

Northfield School Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann discusses the February 24 School Board meeting.  Topics include the school nutrition program, the proposed community services budget, and approval of the capital and long-term facilities maintenance budget.   Hillmann recently completed his National Superintendent’s Certification along with 25 other Superintendents across the U.S.

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Rep. Lippert introduces package of Caregiver Support Bills

KYMN Radio - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 7:24am

St. Paul, MN – Today, State Representative Todd Lippert (DFL – Northfield) presented two bills in the House Long-Term Care Division focused on caregiver support. The bills, HF 3074 and HF 3077, would update the state’s Self-directed Caregiver Grant program and establish an Alzheimer’s respite program. “As more Minnesotans receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia,

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