Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New kitchen in ARC 08

The ARC without kitchen cabinets. Waiting for the new ones shortly.
ARC 08 was built with just a temporary kitchen at first. We had to get a feel for the place before we could design the real thing. This week it is coming together. Stay tuned for the outcome.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

HUG Welcomes MN GreenCorp member Genna Strauss

Through the driving rain, bitter wind, and blistery snow emerges our heroine, Genna Strauss.

Perhaps not so dramatic an entrance but none-the-less I have finally arrived! If you don’t know who I am or what I am doing here, wait no further as I explain. I recently became a member of the environmentally focused Americorps program called Minnesota GreenCorps. The GreenCorps program was created by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as an opportunity to reach out to communities wanting support in achieving various green initiatives and to help aspiring environmental professionals gain valuable experience.

I come to the Pine River Area to serve as a Local Foods Specialist. I attained this position due to both interest and experience in local foods and planning execution. I am excited to utilize my current skills and learn new ones as my year here progresses.

I am originally from Red Wing and the small town of Bellechester both in southeastern Minnesota. I attended the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, MN where I graduated as Natural Science major.

I am here to help the Healthy Green Communities Partnership and the community as whole carry out two specific food goals, creating a community garden and establishing a food co-op. I'll also be helping to strengthen the Pine River Market Square (the local growers' and crafters' market). I look forward to meeting and working with you on these exciting projects. Until then, feel free to contact me at with any questions or comments.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Market Square meeting

Quinn is presiding at the Market Square meeting held in old main.

If you are ever going to crash a party because of its good food, this is the one to choose; a pot luck in a group of local organic food producers.

Preparing for freeze up

Dave is checking the end of an irrigation pipe that is getting all the water blown out of it... just in time for snow on the weekend.

Keyhole Cornucopia

Dave has already made some fantastic salads almost exclusively from the keyhole garden near the kitchen. I really like how these things work. Check out a video about keyhole gardens.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Leave those lights on!

It's weird! We have to (temporarily I hope) reverse a good habit our mothers tried to train into us. In our new house on campus (ARC08), people are being good and turning off lights behind them, and I am running around turning them back on. I am asking them to leave the lights on. It is our only source of heat.

So far, there is still no furnace, no solar panels, no other way to heat the house. This past week has been cold, cloudy, rainy and has averaged about 40 degrees F. Even though we have pretty efficient fluorescent lights, we found out we can keep the whole house at 70 degrees just by leaving the lights on about 12 hours per day.
I think I am going to love having a super insulated house.
Sign up to get yours today!