Month: February 2017

Phalen Freeze Fest=Outdoor Fun!!

At times it felt more like a thaw fest than a freeze fest, but those who came out to Lake Phalen on Feb 11th had a wonderful time finding fun in winter. Over 250 community members came to try out ice fishing, boot hockey, snow shoeing, kick sleds, join in a story walk, fire-starting and marshmallow roasting. Urban Roots interns have spent the last month working with local puppeteer Daniel Polnau building the puppets and working on the performance to showcase the Ojibwe legend of Shingebiss, the duck that stood up to Kabibona’kan, the Winter Maker. The performance was narrated by Jenn Hall from New Native Theater.

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Partners for this annual event include: the City of St. Paul, St. Paul Parks and Recreation, St. Paul Natural Resources, Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, Wilderness Inquiry, Tips Outdoors, St. Paul Public Library, Polar Devils and Ramsey County with support from Clean Water Land and Legacy Funds.

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Harvestars Hard at Work – The Crop Planning Project

In January and February our gardens sleep, but there’s no rest for the growers! Harvestars Imogene and Tony have spent the past three weeks reviewing last summer’s plantings and harvest and planning for 2017! The two Harvestars (our lead intern position), first reviewed all 63 varieties of produce grown last summer and then made notes about the crop’s successes and failures: productivity, flavor, resistance to disease, color, popularity-to name a few criteria. The interns then categorized the crops by family and whether they grew best in the cold or warm season, using this information to decide which varieties we should grow again, and what new cultivars could be introduced. They were rewarded with every farmer’s favorite endeavor; pouring over seed catalogs with all their delicious photographs and colorful descriptions of veggies, fruits, and flowers. Imogene and Tony made notes with a proposal for each new variety they had selected and then presented it to their two supervisors, Jaclyne and Summer. The most convincing arguments won and our 2017 seed order is on it’s way!

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