Back to Basics Participants 

Back to Basics is a full day event where you can learn from our presenters, visit and learn from our vendors/exhibitors, shop for local goods, take advantage of networking opportunities, socialize with friends, and enter to win one of many door prizes! Can't join us for the whole day? No problem! We have Ala Carte registration for those who would like to attend for part of the day.  We also have a kids' program, so bring the whole family for a full day of fun! 


2018-B2B-Schedule-DiagramParticipation Fees 

  • Vendor Area & Keynote: FREE
  • Full Day Adult - $30 (includes 4 workshops + lunch OR 5 workshops)
  • Full Day Senior (60+) or Student - $25 (includes 4 workshops + lunch OR 5 workshops)
  • Ala Carte - $6/Single Workshop, $12/Double Workshop, $9/Lunch 
  • Kids' Program -  $20/child (Grades K-6)

Lunch & Snacks 

  • Morning: Freshly made whole grain cinnamon and caramel rolls, bananas, and juice.  
  • Lunch: Soup, salad bar, a roll, and dessert. This year's soup options are:
    • Sweet Potato Cauliflower (Vegan)
    • Broccoli Cheese (Gluten Free)
    • Steak and Mushrooms
  • Afternoon Snack: Trail Mix 
  • Water, Coffee, and Tea will be available all day long in the Commons Area

Kids' Program Program Full - Registration Closed

This is a full day program for children in Kindergarten - 6th Grade. The fee of 20/child includes fun, sustainability themed lessons, games, crafts, and lunch. Activities are both indoors and outdoors, so please make sure your children are dressed appropriately! Note: Students in 7th grade and above are welcome to register as an adult. 


Due to the rooms of our venue, workshops are limited in capacity. Registering in advance of the event is the best way to ensure you can attend the workshops you're most interested in. Your spot cannot be reserved until your payment has been receivedWe will update this list when a session is getting close to full or no longer available for registration. *Please note: single (1-hour) workshops run concurrently with double (2-hour) workshops.The + symbol next to a business indicates the presenter will also be in the Vendor area during the rest of the day.

Fee FREE Friday! 

We are currently running a Registration Giveaway on Facebook! Like or share any Back to Basics related posts between now and February 7th to enter to win a FREE full Day Registration!  The more you like and share, the better your chances! Don't worry - if you've already registered, we'll give you a full refund. You can read the official rules here. Head on over to our Facebook page to start Liking & Sharing for your chance to win! 


Word of mouth continues to be the way most people hear about our event. Refer a friend or family member to the event who has never attended and get a chance to win one of two great prizes! One prize will be awarded to a referer and one will be awarded to a referee. Just make sure that they put your name in the "referred by" box on registration, and you'll both be entered to win! Winners will be announced at the event! 


Pre-registration for the event is now closed! Walk-In registration will open at 8am on Saturday, February 15 at the Pine River-Backus Schools. The workshop availability is current until walk-in registration begins. Workshops will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Back to Basics 2020 Workshop Descriptions        

Single Session 1 (10:15 - 11:15)

S1. All Things Elderberry - Allie Brandon & Kari Woitalla, Whakima Herbals + Workshop Full - Registration Closed
Did you know Elderberry has been scientifically proven to fight the flu as well as, or better than, several over-the-counter and even prescription products?! Come discover all that elderberry has to offer...from the berry on the plant to yummy tea; from the beautiful white flower to syrups and tinctures.
S2. How to Garden as If Your Life Depended on It - Kathy Connell, Redfern Gardens Workshop Full - Registration Closed
We will be looking at the many reasons gardening can affect one's life in positive ways and why, in these changing times, gardening could be vital. We'll discuss methods and resources that could assist a family in achieving food self-sufficiency.
S3. Gentle Chair Yoga - Bryana Cook, RYT 500, C-IAYT Trainee, Northern Namaste Yoga & Boreal Bliss Yoga Retreats - ONE SPOT OPEN
Enjoy all of the benefits of yoga without having to get down on the floor in this all-levels, gentle chair yoga class. Great for beginners, physical restrictions, aging, pregnancy, and more. No mat required, chairs are provided. All you need to participate is comfy clothing you can move in. Any further questions regarding physical ability, please consult your doctor prior to participation.
S4. Deep Winter Greenhouse Construction - Shayne Johnson, Grampa G’s + ONE SPOT OPEN
This workshop will focus on the concept of passive solar greenhouses and their construction. Discussion will be on the University of Minnesota’s version 2.1 greenhouse with an introduction to new 3.0 version.
S5. Seed Saving - Barbara Kaufman, Pine River Seed Library + Workshop Full - Registration Closed
This will be a hands-on class. We will spend a short time learning some practical information on making seed saving easier and learning a few rules of thumb. The rest of the session will be spent extracting seeds from veggies and seed pods and learning how to complete the processing. Participants will leave with seeds they can plant in the spring!
S6. Who’s Got Your Back? Building an Informal Team - Larellyn Micheau & Theresa Eclov, Faith in Action for Cass County +
This class will share why you need to build a support system and how to start the process of creating an informal team to support you or your relatives’ aging and/or chronic illness. There will be numerous examples of support systems and handouts.
S7. Basic Beekeeping - Tara Stang, Mann Lake Ltd + - TWO SPOTS OPEN
This workshop will consist of the basic knowledge you will need to get started with beekeeping. We will talk about what supplies you will need to start your first colony and what to expect in your first year of beekeeping.
S8. Intro to Electric Cars - Doug Weiss & Barb Mann
So what's the scoop about electric vehicles (EVs)? In this fast-changing technical field of cars, we'll share the basic pros and cons of owning and operating an EV based on our experience over the past year. We'll cover driving and mileage, charging the car, maintenance and repairs, and environmental considerations. An EV will be on-site at the school's charging station for viewing.

Single Session 2 (11:40-12:40)  

S9. Garden Fertility - Kathy Connell, Redfern Gardens Workshop Full - Registration Closed
If you don't want to use chemical fertilizers but feel your garden is not doing as well as it should, come explore how to bring fertility to your soil & more nutrients to your food.
S10. Gentle Yoga + Self-Massage - Bryana Cook, RYT 500, C-IAYT Trainee, Northern Namaste Yoga & Boreal Bliss Yoga Retreats Workshop Full - Registration Closed
This gentle yoga class incorporates props and is designed to relieve tension in the tissues through a myofascial release, self-massaging technique. Learn breathing, movement, and massage techniques useful for relaxation and restoration. Myofascial release balls are provided during the workshop. Needed to participate: comfy clothing you can move in, a yoga mat, and the ability to comfortably lay on your back and get up from the floor. Any further questions regarding physical ability, please consult your doctor prior to participation.
S11. Struggling With Marketing? Let’s Make It EASY! - Casey Gromer, Wave Marketing
As a business, you want to make sure you’re spending time and money in the right places to reach your customers. Does the idea of promoting your business stress you out? Do the options for reaching your customers leave you feeling confused? Marketing doesn't have to be hard. This workshop will guide you through three vital elements of marketing that make it easy to attract ideal customers. You will discover how to: easily attract those most likely to buy; target your message and grow your audience; stand out from the competition and use the difference to your advantage. Leave this workshop with focus, clarity, and a written guide to being more visible and making more sales.
S12. Deep Winter Greenhouse Growing - Louise Johnson, Grampa G’s TWO SPOTS OPEN
This workshop will focus on the three seasonal growing phases within winter and the varieties of plant materials to grow. Demonstration will include mixing soil and seed rates.
S13. National Loon Center - Kris Kristufek, National Loon Center +
Learn about the National Loon Center in Crosslake, MN and its two educational initiatives: the National Fresh Water Institute and the Scientific Loon Council. Learn about the center and how you can help "Answer the Call of The Loon."
S14. Healthy Eating Principles - Beth Noordmans, Certified Trim Healthy Mama Coach
The Trim Healthy Mama Lifestyle is not just for Mamas! It is a series of healthy eating principles that teach how to nourish and fuel the body well for its own unique needs. It focuses on real, whole foods and does not require additional supplements or expensive additions. This lifestyle is protein-centered, embraces healthy fats AND carbs, and does not eliminate any food groups (unless an intolerance is present). This session will include an introduction to the Trim Healthy Mama eating principles as well as some sample recipes that apply these principles.
S15. Do Your Feet Hurt? - Stacey Quade, Energy for Life Connection & Joseph Quade, MPT, Greater Lake Therapies Workshop Cancelled
In this class, you will learn what you can do to repair, rebuild, and give your feet some love! Discussion will begin with the basic structure of the foot and how it supports. Next we’ll provide information about common problems affecting the feet including plantar fasciitis, bunions, corns, and more, as well as common foot injuries such as sprains, toe jambs, & fractures. We’ll also cover herbs and specific application for foot tissue support and the musculoskeletal system in general.

Single Session 3 (1:00-2:00)


S16. Home Energy Efficiency: Save Money and Reduce Your Environmental Impact - Melissa Birch, Clean Energy Resource Teams
Air sealing, insulation, appliances, oh my! Making your home more energy efficient may seem overwhelming, but this workshop can help you learn how to save energy—and money—in your home. Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or plan to hire contractors, you’ll be guided through the key steps to improving your home’s energy efficiency and sent home with informational resources on technologies, financing, and more!
S17. Yes, You Can Eat the Weeds! - Pamela Broekemeier, theHERBAL CacheWorkshop Full - Registration Closed
Learn about some of the weeds that grow in our backyards; how they can be identified, harvested, used as food; and why they are good for us. Dandelion, burdock, purslane, lamb's quarters, chickweed, creeping charlie, and more plants will be discussed. Participants will have the opportunity to try a few beverage/food samples. Leave with a sense of awareness of the plants/weeds growing around you and how they can be utilized.
S18. Spring Knit Cowl - Esther Endicott, Serenity Now Yarn and Alpaca Shop Workshop Full - Registration Closed
This beginner knitting class will help keep your neck warm during those cool spring days by learning the basics to cast on, the knit stitch, and knitting in a round. Participants need one skein of bulky yarn and size 8 circular needles. You may bring your own or purchase from the presenter in class.
S19. Indoor Agriculture - Jon Friesner, GroShed
Long cold winters are a reality of every Minnesotan’s life. Indoor agriculture offers a unique opportunity for year-round food production. Join us to learn more about hydroponics, fertilizers, LED lighting, net zero building, renewable energy, and even soil-based indoor agriculture!
S20. Building the Foundation of a Multi-Sector Regenerative Supply-Chain - Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Regenerative Agriculture Alliance
This workshop will lay out the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance’s plans to bring into focus the regenerative supply-chain by joining others working at a system level to consolidate and scale farm production systems and infrastructure, investments, and coordination among five emerging regenerative sectors with potential for scaled-up collective impact in the regenerative agriculture sector. This workshop integrates the roles of consumer organizations, movement building entities, private aggregators, brands, and other businesses wanting to source from regenerative suppliers. A great portion of the workshop will be focused on the “how” of scaling up regenerative poultry from farm to table.
S21. An Introduction to T’ai Chi and Chi Kung - Dan Hegstad
Learn about the “Moving Meditation” of T’ai Chi and Chi Kung. The Chinese have known for centuries that the slow, purposeful movements of T’ai Chi promote health, healing, balance, and the well-being of body, mind, and spirit. Anyone can learn and benefit from T’ai Chi regardless of age or physical ability. No special equipment is required. (Information about T’ai Chi for Arthritis & T’ai Chi for Energy classes will be available.)
S22. The Labyrinth De-mystified - Barb Mann
These wandering pathways offer the one walking them time to slow down, but what are they, really, and why would you walk one? Come learn about these ancient pathways used in varying capacities by cultures around the world. Tips for creating your own labyrinth will be shared. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to walk a labyrinth during the session.
S23. Our Woods Could Help - Kent Scheer, Green Island
Join this group discussion on the ways family woods and landholdings could help fight global warming and generate added income. Starting with a 30-minute presentation on the potential in carbon credits, water credits, environmental goods and services, and even shinrin-yoku, we'll then move to the opportunities that seem to be on the horizon and our need to lobby for these solutions. Finally, we’ll discuss what you have been doing and what ideas you have to share.

Single Session 4 (2:20-3:20)

S24. Intro to Kundalini Yoga - Laura Adrian, Whole Elevation & School of Earth Medicine Workshop Full - Registration Closed
Kundalini Yoga is an amazing and powerful tool for cultivating health, happiness, courage, and prosperity - brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan. The practice is a little bit quirky, which is part of the fun! Each class is comprised of kriyas, which are a series of poses put together in a specific way for a specific purpose. Suitable for most ages and abilities (if you have injuries or health concerns, ask). No need to be "flexible."
S25. Clean Energy for Your Small Business or Farm - Melissa Birch, Clean Energy Resource Teams
You know your business…but do you know how you can improve your bottom line through clean energy? This workshop is for small business-owners and farmers who are interested in exploring opportunities to reduce their costs through energy efficiency and renewable energy, including case studies and financing options.
S26. Holistic Health Care for Your Pet - Dr. Deb Brown, Pequot Lakes Animal Hospital
What does it mean to care for your pet in a holistic manner? Come join the discussion about ways to keep your pet healthy and happy using nutrition, supplements, herbs, and other natural medicines.
S27. Berries in a Changing Climate - Thaddeus McCamant, Central Lakes College Workshop Full - Registration Closed
Strawberries and raspberries can still be grown in Central Minnesota, in spite of several new problems that have arisen in recent years. In this session, we will cover the basics of growing strawberries and raspberries, including finding appropriate varieties and choosing the right site. We will also share suggestions on how to deal with the emerging threat of spotted wing Drosophila and changing weather patterns.
S28. Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Dutch Oven Cooking - Tony Noordmans, Coaching 4 Simple Joy Workshop Full - Registration Closed
Come learn basic, step by step use and care of a Dutch oven. We'll discuss tools and supplies needed, how to control temps, how to not burn food, what works well in a dutch oven and what doesn't work so well. Discussion on alternative uses, cast iron restoration, homemade charcoal, and sustainability will be included. Participants will leave with recipes to try at home.
S29. Growing and Gardening Tips From… You - Kent Scheer, Green Island
Help abounds when gardeners gather to talk. This session is specifically designed to share gardening and growing tips amongst ourselves. Most of the hour will be for your questions and problems, moving down a list that begins with berries, then fruit trees, vegetables, and possibly flowers. Part of the hour will simply be your personal discoveries and tips on any growing subject (i.e. favorite catalogs, best garden varieties, slug baits, etc.). Please come prepared with questions or comments and a total readiness to chime in (no one gets to just sit and listen). We will cover whatever time permits.
S30. Intro to Meridian Tapping - Becky Steinhoff, Ancient Wisdom Healing Arts Workshop Full - Registration Closed
Tapping is an alternative therapy used to enhance emotional health and well-being. Learn the basics of tapping to help reduce stress, anxiety, sleep issues, depression, etc. Tapping is an amazing self-help and stress release technique. All that is involved is using your fingertips to tap on the meridians.


Single Session 5 (3:45-4:45)

S31. Healing with the Earth - Laura Adrian, Whole Life Elevation & School of Earth Medicine Workshop Full - Registration Closed
In this workshop, you’ll learn simple, yet powerful, practices to cultivate clarity, reduce anxiety, and spark new truths by working with the energy of the Earth. This reminds us that we all come from the Earth, and we depend on the Earth for food, water, and shelter. In our modern culture, we tend to spend less time outside and we’re collectively less connected to the rhythms of the Earth. Through this workshop, we’ll reconnect to the Earth energetically which can create big and small ripples through all aspects of our lives from relationships, to parenting, to being of service.
S32. Meat 101 - Jim Chamberlin & Chris Glassmann, Happy Dancing Turtle +
Have you considered buying more whole, halves, or quarters of animals (like hogs, sheep, cows, chickens, etc.)? In this session, we’ll discuss cuts & how to order when buying direct from a farmer. There will also be a demonstration on how to cut up and use the whole chicken!
S33. The Power to Make a Difference with Solar Energy - Rachel Juritsch & Martha Risendorf, RREAL +
Solar energy is being used around the world to meet our energy needs, address social inequity, and fight poverty. Come learn about the basics of solar energy and innovative local and global examples of how clean energy is both figuratively and literally empowering economically disadvantaged communities! We will also highlight the newly built solar array at Pine River-Backus Schools and plans for implementing solar curriculum at area schools. ** There will be an optional PRB solar array site visit after this session. The site is approximately a half-mile walk. Bring weather appropriate attire, if interested!
S34. Developing a Sense of Place Through Phenology - John Latimer, KAXE/KBXE Radio
This session will introduce participants to phenology, discuss its importance, and encourage them to begin keeping a record of the plants and animals they encounter. Learn about the benefits of keeping an ongoing record of events as a way of understanding the places we call home.
S35. Save Money. Save the Planet - Kay Paulus,
We’ve all heard that we should save money and invest for the future. How can a person stay motivated to limit spending and prioritize saving? What about someone who struggles to keep up with bills or has no money to spare: how is investing even possible? In this session, we will explore ways to limit waste in our lives – both financial and physical. You will learn how to make long-term changes you can stick with, for both a fatter wallet and a fitter planet.
S36. Herbal Medicine 101 - Marina Povlitzki, Herbalist, Plant Magick +  Workshop Full - Registration Closed
Plant-based medicine has been used across cultures since the beginning of time. This fun and informative session is about traditional western herbalism and plant-based medicine. You will learn about the 6 tissue states and the different ways that plant medicine can be used to keep the body in a better state of balance. Gain the knowledge you need to start making your own herbal tinctures as spring approaches! This workshop will include medicine making demonstrations and an instructional hand-out so that you can get started on your own!
S37. Mushroom Cultivation for the Home Gardener - Matthew Ratliff, Ready-2-Fruit Mushrooms LLC + Workshop Full - Registration Closed
This basic introduction to mushroom cultivation will explain how to cultivate a variety of gourmet mushrooms at home using basic materials and simple techniques that allow home gardeners to grow indoors annually or outdoors perennially.
S38. Winter Tabletop Gardening - Mark Schultz, Backwood BasicsONE SPOT OPENED, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Grow a steady supply of nutritious greens, herbs, and even fodder for your hens, right on your tabletop throughout the winter. We will share the techniques and equipment that we use to maintain a bountiful winter tabletop garden.



Double Session 1 (10:15-12:40) with a 25-minute break

D1. Make Your Own Cleaners and Lotions - Christine Jones, Michael Neumann, & Kelsi Wills, Pure Soap Flake Company
We will demonstrate how to make your own cleaners and lotions that are fragrance free and earth friendly. Then you will participate in a hands-on portion with take home recipes and samples! Please bring your cleaning and laundry questions and/or skin issues to solve.
D2. Seven Steps to a Passionate Life! - Michelle Oie, Michelle Oie Speaking
Come find out why you feel like something is missing in your life! REDISCOVER the passion you have inside. This workshop guides you through seven steps to living a life of passion once again. It includes motivational instruction, insightful group discussion, and detailed worksheets to empower you. You will have plenty to think about when you leave. The next step is up to you!
D3. Coffee 101 - Home Roasting and the Perfect Cup - Martin Russo, U-Roast-Em +
In this interactive workshop, you will learn about the history and romance of coffee, discuss the difference between Robusta and Arabica strains, and the taste profiles of various coffee-producing regions. We'll then cover the basic grinding and brewing (or extraction) methods and sample several Specialty Grade Arabica origins and blends. Finally, we'll demonstrate simple and automated home-roasting techniques. You will learn how to easily home-roast, brew, and enjoy the perfect cup!
D4. Intro to Meditation - Becky Steinhoff, Ancient Wisdom Healing Arts
In the first half of this session, we will move through a mindfulness meditation, a walking meditation, and a loving/kindness meditation. In the second half, there will be guided meditations and instruction on how to do mantra meditation. You may want to bring blankets and/or pillows to sit on.


Double Session 2 (2:20-4:45) with a 25-minute break

D5. Your Backyard, Your Legacy - Sheila Boldt, Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District & Eleanor Burkett, The Nature Conservancy +
This 3-part course will leave you inspired to improve your backyard, whether it’s an acre shoreline or a 200-acre farm! From permanent conservation options to 10’x10’ pollinator garden plots, we each have opportunities to leave a legacy in our backyard. Eleanor will lead a discussion on what you can do to help protect our clean water while Sheila will dive (pun intended!) into current local water planning and conservation options in the Pine River Watershed. Session will end with an opportunity to ask questions and view options that are right for your lifestyle and backyard. Bring photos or maps of your property to learn where you are in the watershed and brainstorm project options.
D6. Artisan Sourdough: Bread Worthy of the Name “Staff of Life!” - Steven Dahlberg  Workshop Full - Registration Cosed
This workshop will cover a brief overview of the art of fermentation, followed by an in-depth discussion of sourdough including its pros and cons, and ways to imitate it for those who kill their starters. Each participant will mix up a starter and a dough to bake at home. We will also bake a loaf as a class.
D7. Hydroponics Home and Business - Barry Thoele, Barry’s Cherries Hydroponic Produce
Delve into the design, construction, and operation of small scale systems that can be scaled up to commercial production. This session will include indoor and greenhouse systems.


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