Archive for June, 2009

To Market, To Market

We are so lucky in the Twin Cities to be home to some of the most fantastic Farmer’s Markets so close to our very own Neighborhoods.

Farmer's Market Map

The big daddy, the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market,  is open seven days a week at the primary location on Lyndale Avenue, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. April through mid-November and the Nicollet Mall Farmer’s Market every Thursday.   The Lyndale location of the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market opened in 1937, but according to their website, the Minneapolis market dates back to 1876.  The Minneapolis Market is on both Facebook and Twitter.  You can get a full vendor listing for the Minneapolis market on their website but the most fun is to just go and browse the rows and see all the local fresh farmer grown food, crafts and plants you can find.

The Saint Paul Farmers Market is a weekend affair in the Lowertown area of Downtown St. Paul, and has a big emphasis on products produced within a 50 mile radius of the Capital City and the St. Paul Growers Association only allows “fresh locally grown produce to be sold–directly from the grower to the consumer.”  St. Paul’s market, like Minneapolis, has a rich history.  According to their website the first organized St. Paul market began in 1853.  The Downtown location is open Saturdays from 6am-1pm and Sundays from 8am-1pm, April through November. Saint Paul also has a Woodbury City Walk Market on Wednesdays July-October.   The Saint Paul Growers also have outposts at 17 other locations throughout the summer. Consult the website for more information.

The Mill City Farmer’s Market in the shadows of the Guthrie Theater and inside the ruins of the Mill City Museum along the Mississippi River in Downtown Minneapolis was founded by chef and Restaurateur Brenda Langdon and specializes in sustainable, organic and local foods.  It was one of the first markets to have chef-made edibles.  There are always fun family activities and one of my friends is a vendor there (Braucher Sunshine Harvest Farms) so I frequent it often.

Midtown Farmers MarketClose to my house is also the Midtown Farmer’s Market run by the Corcoran Neighborhood Association. At the intersection of Hiawatha & Lake Street it is a fantastic location for public transportation access right off the Midtown Greenway and Light Rail and Bus Lines.  Unfortunately with the impending sale and development of the school whose parking lot has been the home for the market, it is under threat and the future of this great market is uncertain. This weekend the Midtown Farmer’s Market is celebrating the Summer Solstice with a cooking demo from Beth Dooley, City of Lakes Waldorf School butterfly crafts and more.

Richfield’s Farmer’s Market takes place in Veteran’s Memorial Park Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 12 p.m and is the third largest market in the Twin Cities behind only Minneapolis’ and St. Paul’s markets.   Very convenient for suburban dwellers and a growing selection of produce though their meat & eggs can are limited.  Not bad for a suburban market and one that has only been around since 1990 though.

Newer to the scene in Minneapolis a decade ago is the Kingfield Farmers Market.  Every Sunday from 9am to 1:30pm at 43rd & Nicollet this is market is growing in popularity every week as the buzz spreads. Especially with the ChefShack stopping by!

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better for Twin Cities residents comes news of another market, this one in Uptown. The Calhoun Area Residents Action Group  with additional sponsorship from the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association is presenting the Uptown Farmer’s Market with begins this Sunday, June 21st.  The market will be located on 29th Street between Lyndale Ave S. And Dupont Ave. S.  and will operate between 11am and 5pm.  It is scheduled to be held four times this year, on the third Sundays of June, July, August and September.  According to their press release the Uptown Market is modeling itself against Seattle’s Fremont Market, and like the neighborhood, will bring an eclectic mix of vendors with more than just food goods.  As Roxie Speth, a local artist on the planning board put it, “We want to offer the kind of quirky, offbeat goods that made the Uptown area so exciting in its early days.” The Uptown Market is on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

produce-bag

Shopping your local farmers markets is not only fun and gives you the opportunity to find delicious fresh items but supporting locally grown goods is also environmentally and economically sound practice.   Just make certain to take your own reusable shopping bags (I promise I won’t pimp the bags I’m selling at Mother Earth again). But don’t forget to stock up on reusable produce bags as well!  I have several EcoBags that I love to take to market with me that I purchased from Twin Cities Green.  Great for the new potatoes, radishes, onions, and peas that are on market tables now. When I get home I reuse plastic bags for the items to keep fresh and crisp in the refrigerator, washing the plastic bags in between uses so I don’t have to keep getting new ones.

Which is your favorite market? Any hidden gems?

A rock and roll tale of little people.

Recently I was at a party having a discussion with an events promoter about his troubles booking a band.

He was lamenting the fact that he booked a band, on their word, and didn’t have a contract before getting them a gig to sing the National Anthem at a baseball game and then play 10 beer festivals around the upper midwest.

As the time was approaching to work out the final details of the contract he was informed by the singer that the band had booked a show in L.A. during the timeframe of his shows.

The promoter told me he asked the singer “So you double booked?” to which the singer replied “No. Your idea is stupid”.

I pondered for a second and said “Let me get this straight. You were told you have stupid ideas by a tiny pretend Gene Simmons?”

“Yeah”

“That’s low.”

The band in question?
MiniKiss

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_jWJPcryEk[/youtube]

They’re good, but are they mini Michael Jackson good?

If you want to check them out live here’s the band’s info.

The lesson learned here? I have no idea, but it looks like they worked things out for June 27th in Sioux Falls. Nice work.

I’ll have to catch this Beer Dabbler Tour the next time they roll through town.

Rock on, my friends, rock on.

Maybe someday I’ll tell you about the time I saved Ace Frehley’s life.

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Hey, turn out the lights when you leave

Abandoned City

Abandoned City

Originally uploaded by Kodiax2

“A long exposure evening shot during a rain storm. The long exposure caused the illusion of an eerie abscence of cars on the road. That, coupled with the dark buildings struck me that the city had been abandoned. Saint Paul, MN”

Don’t Blame The Teachers

I know that with all the budget cuts and perceived problems with our Minnesota school system people are getting frustrated and more and more I’m hearing vitriol aimed at our teachers.

It’s my understanding that Minnesota has some of the best teachers in the country and in my own personal experience that held to be true. We rank #1 in Academic Achievement, 2007-2008 and rank high in almost every possible category, except salaries and price spent per pupil.

The Strib published this excellent letter from Michael Kennedy: Teachers aren’t the problem that articulates some of the obstacles teachers face and addresses the criticisms in a way that should make school administrators and politicians feel like a naughty 5th grader.

To the politicians, commentators, educational consultants and others who feel the entire problem with education is the quality of teachers in certain schools: Back off. Go sit in the corner and put on that dunce cap. We’re the best asset you’ve got, and you are either too blind to see it or too limited in your imagination to grasp the fact that we are the strongest link in the chain. We are not the problem. We are the solution, but we cannot do our work as well as we wish unless you take some responsibility for the following factors in limited public education:

He then goes on to list several factors that make or break a school system, I’ll just show you this one as it rings most true with my beliefs.

1. Stability.
Schools that work in communities with stable populations do far better than schools where the populations are in perpetual turnover. Parents and students need to know what is expected of them from year to year in order to plan for the future. Schools with a stable faculty, a stable curriculum and reasonable expectations over the long run tend to do better. Schools with populations of families that move a lot — or with administrators who shift in the winds of intimidation or indifference — do poorly.

I’m looking at you run-around-Superintendants that start a job with a shell game where one hand shuffles the curriculum to the latest fashionable teaching methods while the other hand is filling out resumes for a higher paying/profile job.

Hey Meria Carstarphen, what lesson are you teaching kids?

Speaking of St.Paul the St. Paul school board OKs $25 million in budget cuts.

My favorite comment addresses Big Pappy Timmy Pass The Taxes On Pawlenty

“First budget kuts fall on the letter “c”.
ST. PAUL, MN – AP – Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s first announsed kut today was to remove the letter “c” from the alphabet. His reasoning is that we kan do just fine with about 95% of the kurrent letters, so losing a konsonant is not as big of a deal instead of a vowel. As well, the letter “c” kan easily be replased by either the letters “k” or “s” and was just another example of government waste.
posted by halfabubble “

Now that’s satire.

I’ll bet halfabubble had some good teachers.

You Can See A Camel At the MN Zoo, But You Can’t Smoke One

The Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal reports that effective this Saturday, June 20, the grounds of the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley will be 100% smokefree. Smoking will still be permitted at the zoo’s parking lot. The subject got me thinking of a famous anti-smoking ad campaign the Minnesota Department of Health launched in 1989. Remember the smoking animals?

Totally Doin’ It with Art and Emily: Titanic: the Artifact Exhibition

Art and Emily attended the opening event for Titanic: the Artifact Exhibition at the Science Museum of Minnesota. This exhibit includes many artifacts recovered from the Titanic and is the largest exhibit the Science Museum of Minnesota has ever hosted.

Art’s part

If you went to elementary school in Minnesota you don’t really need an excuse to go to the Science Museum. You know it’s always fun and amazing no matter what is happening. (Hooray for science!) So you’ll understand when I say: while the Titanic exhibit wasn’t the most fun I’ve had at the Science Museum, it was on par for interestingness and entertainment (which is to say, on a level much above most any other things you can do around town).

There’s not much I can tell you about the artifacts themselves that you probably haven’t already guessed: they’re old, fancy, and mostly really depressing. It’s cool to see a period of time captured and undisturbed by ocean. But really, I found that the artifacts weren’t as haunting as they were kind of neat—especially the pieces/photos of the ship itself. I had a good time comparing the change in the size of toothbrushes over the years.

But it is a Titanic exhibit after all, which carries with it a certain level of haunt and definite extreme sadness. Which is why every Titanic exhibit needs some levity. But they’re not just going to give it to you like so many free roast beef sandwiches and complimentary glasses of Guinness—you have to take it. So here’s what you do:

1)    Ask the period actors questions they can only answer out of character. For example:

•    Do you travel with the exhibit, or are you just here in St. Paul?
•    What is the password to the wireless internet?
•    Aren’t you glad women in France can’t vote and won’t be able to for another 60 years?

2)    When you get to the timeline of wireless dispatches, read them as a Twitter exchange. When the Titanic radios for help in 140 characters, that makes it more amusing, I found.

The one negative thing I have to say about this exhibit is about the crowd flow. The exhibit is not set up to maximize people movement. So, don’t be a sucker: break free from the the You Must Stay in a Line yoke of oppression and meander. You’ll keep your sanity if you do.

Emily’s part

I felt like a very classy lady attending the reception before the exhibit opening. First of all, there were passed hors d’oeuvres, which always make me feel fancy yet awkward because of the difficulty of eating and holding a drink at the same time (the Guinness was free, so there was a lot of drink holding). Plus, there was an ice sculpture filled with shrimp AND roast beef sandwiches with THREE sauce choices.

That’s classy.

There were also children at the reception, which elicited mixed feelings from me. While I did enjoy hearing from a particularly cool two-year-old (and I’m not just saying that because his mother got us into the event) about how great dinosaurs and roast beef sandwiches are, I did not enjoy that there were Irish step dancers there. I’m all for celebrating your heritage, but those curly synthetic hairpieces they wear are super creepy, and I was feeling really bad for the one boy in the group, who I assume was forced into it by his mother. You know, because of the dancing. And the skirt.

After the reception, we headed into the exhibit, where we were each handed a boarding pass with information about Titanic passenger. I was a woman in second class, and Art was a man in third class. Therefore, we assumed I was going to live (“Women and children first!”) and Art was a goner.

With this in mind, we entered the exhibit, which I have to say was pretty cool. I couldn’t believe that 1) they were able to pull all of those artifacts from the bottom of the ocean; 2) what they did pull up was so well preserved; and 3) all of the actors working at the exhibit managed to stay in character despite the fact that they (especially the attractive young ladies) were constantly being asked questions not relevant to the time period.

When we reached the end of the exhibit, we were able to look at a list of passengers to see if the person on our ticket survived. We both lived, which made me happy until I heard that my mom, dad, sister, and brother-in-law also all survived when they saw it in Milwaukee, which makes me think the entire thing is a big fat conspiracy.

You heard it here first, folks.

Can I get a little support, peas?

After having new cedar raised beds built this year I decided to build some of my own pea and bean supports this weekend.  I made a trip to Menards to pick up a little 1/2 inch galvanized pipe with, some corner fittings, and pipe bracket supports and purchased the netting from Mother Earth Gardens and I now have some permanent supports to help utilize the ends of the raised beds for my broad beans and peas.

Bean & Pea Supports


And I did them all by myself, no small feat for someone who doesn’t consider herself very “handy” usually.  The best part is that you can build these supports yourself very easily as well, and the galvanized pipe comes in many sizes.  I don’t suggest PVC as it reacts to ultraviolet rays and can become brittle.

There are, of course, other easy solutions for peas and beans, with many favoring the teepee method or you can get creative and make something that looks like a spider web for your peas.  But I like my galvanized pipe supports. Simple and didn’t take much time to make, and will be a nice permanent addition to my raised beds.

Just Another Music Friday – 6/12/2009

Rock the Cause

Last week I made the call for local music and Jenn Barnett stepped up and floated a Melismatics concert by my way at Rock The Cause HQ put on by the big daddy Scott Holden.

The Melismatics rocked and when the power went out the place felt like the eye of the storm, Scott flipped a fuse, and the band picked up without missing a beat.

It was that kind of night. There was love in the air, people playing kissing games, Mark Mallman, talk (started by me) of forming a Melismatics tribute band made of midgets, booze, nudity, swimming, James Bond projections, a late night dance party, and really all of the things you’d expect from a rock and roll party.

Really, it’s an industry of cool.

[Youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrRW9K8OULw[/youtube]

All for charity!

Were you there or know someone that was? Here’s the pic set.

Anything local I should check out this weekend? Hit me up on the TwitterBlaster.

What are you listening to?

Who loves hookers?

Q:Who loves hookers?

A: Apparently dudes around the Twincities.

There have been two high profile prostitution busts this week. The first being the combined local and federal take down of a group called the ‘Nice Guys’ The Strib reports Minneapolis cops bust ‘nice guys’ sex ring.

In an unusual scheme, a former Hennepin County lawyer worked as a pimp, flying in high-dollar prostitutes for well-off men, police say.

They call themselves “The Minnesota Nice Guys,” a group of at least 30 older, well-to-do men who police say share a common love of expensive prostitutes. Their alleged pimp is a former assistant Hennepin County attorney once responsible for locking up the justice system’s most unstable criminals and protecting its youngest victims.

Ouch.

And now it appears as though a local prostitution website called MyFastPass.com has been busted.

The site, MyFastPass.com, was started in 2005 by a 46-year-old Woodbury woman who ran an illicit massage business in downtown Minneapolis for several years. In a search of her house last week, investigators discovered a database of more than 350 prostitutes and johns using her site, according to documents filed Tuesday. The bust created an exchange of hundreds of e-mails on sex message boards and chat rooms warning men to stay away from the site and a flurry of calls from lawyers to investigators to discuss their clients’ chances of remaining anonymous if they cooperate

Score two for law enforcement.

I know that there are many people who feel prostitution should be made legal and in the ‘Nice Guy’ ring it appears as though no one was forced into the sex ring, but it’s hard to imagine someone would choose that career without first experiencing some serious hardships in life. 

Is this as rampant as it seems?

What do you think?

 

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Floyd!

Dude, you know it and I know it, you were robbed. Despite my rather French sounding last name I say screw those French and their latent Armstrong vengeance complex.

It’s good to hear you’re back. It’s better to hear you’re in Mn.

From the Pioneerpress:

After pedaling a bicycle up the Pyrenees Mountains and ascending to the top of the international cycling world, Floyd Landis is starting over.

His return to bike racing represents a major climb for Landis, who has traded in cycling’s biggest platform for a little five-day stage race next week in Minnesota.

‘I’m happy to be racing again; that’s the main thing,’ he said.

‘I never set out to be famous,’ he said the other day, adding later that he just wants one thing: ‘I’d prefer to be able to just race my bicycle.’

Floyd!
Floyd!
Floyd!

Ride on brother: Nature Valley Grand Prix

Who’s in?

DM me on the Twitter machine.

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