Sustainable Tuesdays, a weekly presentation on topics related to environmental and sustainability issues presented by the Bemidji State University Sustainability Office, will feature a food-preservation series, including seed saving and preservation, canning and food preparation, during its October lineup.
Sustainable Tuesdays are held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Rail River Folk School, located at 303 Railroad St. SW in Bemidji. They are open free to the public unless otherwise noted.
Oct. 8 — Seed Saving Workshop
As this year’s growing season comes to an end, this workshop will show gardeners and growers how to save seeds for use next year. Cheryl Krostosek of Chill Creek Ridge farms will share seed-saving techniques; participants in the workshop will save and preserve seeds that can be taken home. This is a bring-your-own-produce workshop.
Oct. 15 — Seed Library and Seed Bank
Zachary Paige of the White Earth Land Recovery Project will expand on the Oct. 8 seed-saving workshop by exploring how seed banks and seed libraries work, and how a seed bank could be started in Bemidji.
Paige has received training on seed banks from the Seed School at Native Seed Search. Visit nativeseeds.org for more information.
Oct. 22 — Canning and Food Preservation
Rochelle Johnson, a local gardner and educator, will share tips and tricks for canning and preserving pumpkins and other fall harvest foods. This hands-on session will discuss the pumpkin’s nutritional value and its use in a wide variety of recipes.
This session will be held at Harmony Foods Co-Op, located at 302 Irvine Ave. NW in Bemidji. Workshop participants who would like to take pumpkin products made during the workshop home with them can do so for a $5 materials fee.
Oct. 29 — Mapping the Region in Terms of Food
David Abazs, from Round River Farm in Finland, Minn., and his wife, Lise, operate a non-profit seed bank, Shalom Seed Sanctuary, which helps teach sustainable farming in Minnesota’s Arrowhead region. Abazs will help workshop participants map Bemidji’s region in terms of land usage and the area’s capacity for regional crops. He will also share information on current agricultural practices and provide insights into possible areas for expanded production. He also will examine the creation of a “regional pattern diet,” how producing that diet compares to the production of an American standard diet, and how the economic impact of a local food system can impact an area’s sustainability.
Abazs also will discuss a variety of agricultural projects that might provide ideas for food developers in the region, including aquaponics, the use of algae for fuel and examples of farm-to-school programs.
Sustainable Tuesdays are a partnership between Bemidji State’s Sustainability Office, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Minnesota GreenCorps and the Rail River Folk School. The Sustainable Tuesdays presentations aim to draw upon the strengths of the region’s diversity to create a sustainable Bemidji.
• Sara Dennison, Minnesota GreenCorps Living Green representative , BSU Sustainability Office; (218) 755-3765, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Simone Senogles, Indigenous Environmental Network; (218) 751-4967, email@example.com