Back to Basics 2019

 Workshop Descriptions

Workshops are limited in capacity. Register early to guarantee your spot in a workshop. Your spot cannot be reserved until your payment has been received. Some workshops have an additional materials fee, noted in the description. The + symbol next to a business indicates the presenter will also be in the Vendor area during the rest of the day. For more information, go to our Back to Basics main page. 

We will update this list when a session is full and no longer available for registration. *Please note: single (1-hour) workshops run concurrently with double (2-hour) workshops.

Check back in December 2019 for the 2020 Workshop Descriptions and Participant Registration! 



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

S1. Growing Tomatoes, Peppers & Eggplant - Kathy Connell, Redfern Gardens +

We'll share tips and tricks for choosing tomato and pepper varieties, successfully starting seeds and growing transplants, and growing healthy, productive plants in the garden. 


S2. Deep Winter Greenhouse Construction & Growing Shayne & Louise Johnson, Grampa G's +

Shayne will focus on the concept of passive solar greenhouses and their construction. Louise will focus on the three seasonal phases within winter and the varieties of plant materials to grow. 


S3. I Love Herbs, but What Do I Do with Them? - Dawn Molaison, Boondock Enterprises + 

In this session, we will cover fresh herbs - wild and cultivated, growing conditions, and harvesting. We will also discuss some of the healing benefits of various herbs grown in MN and share recipes that use these herbs.


S4. The Naturally-Minded Mom’s Guide to Ouches & Ick - Beth Noordmans, Turn2theSimple

 Come and learn basic assessment techniques and basic natural remedies from an RN turned naturally-minded mom that will help your children (and yourself) when the ouches and icks of life happen. 


S5. Beaded Chain Bracelets - Dawn Molaison, Boondock Enterprises

Make a unique bracelet using seed beads, jump rings, and leather. Good for most ages. You'll want to go home and make one in every color! You will take home a finished product. *This session has an additional $5 materials fee. 


S6. Intro to the Chakras - Becky Steinhoff, Ancient Wisdom Healing Arts 

Energy is always flowing! Our physical bodies consist of flowing rivers of energy called meridians. That energy has to have an inlet and an outlet. Wheels (chakras) of energy control the flow of energy in and out of our bodies. What happens when those chakras stop turning? Come find out and learn ways to get them turning again!


S7. The Basics of Keeping Chickens - Eric & Laura Stromberg & Cody Hanson, Stromberg Chicks & Game Birds 

In this workshop, we will discuss the very basics of keeping chickens, from preparing for baby chicks to keeping adult laying hens and meat birds. We will give an intro on what to feed, how to water, housing, and basic health. Essential items necessary for their success and equipment basics will also be covered.


Single Session 2 (11:40-12:40)  

S8. Basics of Fermenting - Allie Brandon, Whakima Herbals, LLC 

Learn some basic fermenting skills and how to save money by making your own kombucha and apple cider vinegar. We’ll also cover the health benefits of these fermented beverages.


S9. Successfully Growing Onions from Seeds - Kathy Connell, Redfern Gardens +

This workshop will discuss selecting the right varieties for your location and needs, starting seeds and growing out transplants, and methods for growing strong healthy plants in the garden.


S10. Winter Food Production - Jon Freisner, GroShed 

Food sovereignty is a growing concern among people of all geographical and socioeconomic positions. A major factor in food sovereignty for Minnesotans is the ability to produce food consistently, safely, and sustainably throughout the winter. GroShed technology is using the latest in LED lighting, solar technology, building engineering, and automation to solve that problem.


S11. Growing & Using Sunflower Microgreens - Mark & Peggy Schultz, Backwood Basics

Sunflower sprouts have a mild, crunchy flavor and are high in fiber, protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Best of all, they are super fast and easy to grow. They make for amazing smoothies (which we will make and sample). They are our new favorite green-both to eat and to grow. Find out just how easy it can be to have your own indoor microgreens garden.


S12. Intro to Reiki - Becky Steinhoff, Ancient Wisdom Healing Arts 

What is Reiki? Where did it come from? How can you use it to help yourself and others to overcome stress and even to heal? It’s also a great way to balance those chakras!


S13. Raising Chickens for Meat - Eric & Laura Stromberg & Cody Hanson, Stromberg Chicks & Game Birds

In this workshop, we will discuss raising and butchering your own chickens. This will include seeing the various tools we recommend and use. It will also include a video of the actual butchering process*. We will show our chicken tractor and hand out basic plans to build it. *Includes graphic content.


S14. Make It OK: Reduce Mental Illness Stigma - Deanna Steuernagel - Make It OK Ambassador 

This session focuses upon increasing the understanding about mental illness and those living with a mental illness, with the intention of reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. The session covers how mental illness is common, treatable, and can be effectively lived with, just like any other medical illnesses. The session also gives practical tips about communicating with someone experiencing a mental illness. Please join us in discussion on how to help make it ok to not be OK. 


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

S15. Soil Health Principles - Jim Chamberlin, Happy Dancing Turtle+ & Zachary Paige, White Earth Natural Resource Department 

We'll outline a regenerative model of soil health for smaller vegetable and fruit growers who sell commercially (direct marketing, CSAs, farmers' markets, or wholesale), or who raise foods via a community garden. This model is based on 5 principles - reduce soil disturbances, plant cover crops, add diverse species, deepen root systems, and integrate livestock. Practical methods and strategies for implementation even in diverse scenarios (high-tunnel, mulching, raised bed, no-till, etc.) will be covered through examples and testimonials from sustainable farmers in MN. 


S16. The Old & the Restless: Aging with Attitude - Dan Hegstad

This is a humorous and informative presentation to help us grow older and thrive with a good attitude and positive energy. Let’s make our future the best it can be! Bette Davis said it best, “Growing old ain’t for sissies.” But then, growing older is a privilege not everybody gets. Dan advocates for celebrating birthdays. Especially the ones where you get one candle.


S17. Make Your Own Custom Tea Blends to Enjoy or Gift  - Julie Matvick, KISS Farm

This session offers an opportunity to taste and smell an array of herbs grown, harvested, and dried at KISS Farm of Hillman, MN. You’ll be able to customize and bag your own teas to enjoy yourself or gift to someone else who’d enjoy a cup of warm plant therapy. (12 tea bags included in class, additional bags may be purchased from presenter for $5/12.)


S18. Jam Making: Simple Recipes to More Complex - Dawn Molaison, Boondock Enterprises +

Jams and jellies are an easy, delicious way to preserve the bounty of fresh fruits we are blessed with throughout the season. We will go over the very simple process of jam making and discuss troubleshooting methods that result in jars of goodness, quickly consumed by family and friends. We will take the basic recipe a step further and you will be introduced to recipes with a more exotic twist - and of course, there will be samples to enjoy!


S19. Using MN DNR Apps & Mapping to Expand Your Use of the Great Outdoors - Chris Scharenbroich & Katie Rossman, MN DNR 

Participants will learn how to use the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources mobile apps and maps, including GeoPDFs, to access information to help them plan recreational opportunities on public land and locate local hotspots for harvesting wild edibles (such as blueberries and mushrooms), fish, and game.


S20. Yoga for Everyone - Jennifer Smith, Nisswa Yoga

Curious about yoga? Think yoga is only a fitness class for flexible people? Guess what, yoga is for EVERYONE! After a brief history of yoga and its philosophy, you’ll learn practical tools to help you approach life with a sense of ease and acceptance including meditation, movement, and breathwork.


S21. Intro to Beekeeping - Tara Stang, Mann Lake, Ltd. +

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. 


S22. Intro to Hydroponics - Dan Swanson, Extended Seasons Indoor Gardening 

In this class, participants will learn about the basic types of hydroponic gardening systems, including DIY setups, lights, grow media, nutrients, and more.



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

S23. Minnesota's Environmental Review Process - Tabitha Cale, Minnesota Environmental Quality Board

This workshop will provide an overview of Minnesota’s environmental review program and supply information on how citizens can participate and give input on projects undergoing environmental review.


S24. Lifestyle Change & Community: Why Does It Matter? Kalsey Stults, Crow Wing Energized  

Crow Wing Energized is a public-private grassroots health and wellness movement that was created six years ago in partnership with Essentia Health - St. Joseph’s Medical Center (SJMC) & Crow Wing County Community Services. The speaker will discuss evidence-based programs to support weight loss, becoming more resilient, and getting more involved in the community in a variety of ways: Youth Obesity, Tobacco Reduction, Aging in Place, Mental Fitness, and more!


S25. Outdoor Recreation Opportunities, Programs, & Events on Public Lands - Ben Eckhoff, MN DNR

Participants will learn about recreational opportunities, events, and programs offered on public lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources, including state parks and trails, state forests, wildlife management areas, scientific and natural areas, waterways, and many more.


S26. Bees, Wasps, & Flies Explained - Britt Forsberg, MN Bee Atlas

Although we hear about bees in the news frequently, the word “bee” is sometimes used to describe any striped flying insect. In this workshop, we will learn about the ecology of several different pollinators and how to tell bees, wasps, and flies apart. We will have hands-on experience with real specimens collected for the MN Bee Atlas, a citizen science project studying native bees in MN.


S27. How to Use Those Weird Fruits & Veggies - Chris Glassmann, Happy Dancing Turtle 

In this class, we will see, prepare, and sample some of the more unique fruits and vegetables from your local grocery stores that you may not be familiar with.


S28. T'ai Chi for Health & Wellness - Dan Hegstad

You don’t have to learn T’ai Chi to learn from T’ai Chi. We will cover ten easy-to-learn movements that will improve balance (physical and emotional), reduce stress, and improve health and happiness. It really works! Everyone can learn and practice T’ai Chi. You do not need to be thin, athletic, young, or be a human pretzel. No special ability or equipment is required.


S29. Core Knowledge: Advice for Budding Apple Growers - Kent Scheer, Green Island  

Not so long ago, planting apple trees in northern MN could be somewhat iffy. Odd winters or bad luck killed-off hefty portions of home orchards. But, gradually, we have learned the fail-safe measures needed to prevent that. This session is a review of the smart and necessary practices that will keep apple trees growing for your grandkids.


S30. Beginning Wire Wrapping - Becky Steinhoff, Ancient Wisdom Healing Arts 

Do you have the perfect semi-precious gemstone you would like to make into a necklace? In this class, you will learn the basics of wire wrapping. This is a make and take class with all materials provided.


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

S31. The Power to Make a Difference with Solar Energy - Erica Bjelland, Rural Renewable Energy Alliance +

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 e an optional PRB solar array site visit after this session. The site is approximately a half-mile walk. Bring weather appropriate attire, if interested! 


S32. Meet the Insects Using Your Bee Hotel - Britt Forsberg, MN Bee Atlas

Bee hotels, bee boxes, insect condos - no matter what you call them, providing man-made habitat for native bees has become popular among gardeners and conservationists. Pinterest is full of plans for DIY bee homes of all different sizes and materials. You also may have seen them used for research projects like the MN Bee Atlas. But do you know which critters may call your nest “home”? In this session, we will learn about several different species of bees and wasps that are commonly found in artificial nests. By learning about the size, seasonality, and appearance of nests, participants will be able to identify the bees and wasps using and visiting bee hotels.


S33. Overcoming Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) - Tom Gonzales, Bridges of Hope

ACEs in childhood (divorce; abusive, mentally ill or addicted parents; a battered parent; neglect; an incarcerated parent) can lead to negative outcomes throughout one’s life. As ACEs increase in life so do incidents of depression, heart disease, addiction, sleep problems, suicide, and more. Come learn about how trauma in childhood could still be affecting you today, and what to do about it.


S34. Family-Directed After-Death Care & Green Burials - Carolyn Laine & Cindy Vernosky, Minnesota Threshold Network

Family-directed after-death care, common a few generations ago, is re-emerging today as people become more aware they can choose this more intimate, hands-on approach for this sacred time. There is a growing interest in green burials as an environmentally-sound and economical approach to final disposition. Learn the emotional, environmental, economical, and spiritual benefits, as well as the legal parameters.


S35. Massage Fundamentals - Amber Hunt, Certified Massage Therapist  

Learn basic massage for personal and family self-care. We will cover techniques for common issues, ergonomics and sample additional healing modalities. 


S36. Discoveries in Deer Deterrence - Kent Scheer, Green Island 

This session introduces three surprising DIY solutions to managing deer predation. They will be especially useful to home gardeners, small growers, and family forest owners. The majority of deer prevention information online or in popular print is folklore and testimonial and eventually leads to failure. Instead insist on science-based techniques like the three we’ll discuss which come from interesting U of M research and two of them will genuinely save you money.


S37. Soapmaking 101 - Abbie Schramm,B&B FarmCo 

Learn to make old-fashioned, natural soaps right at home! This class will cover materials needed and the step-by-step process of making your own bar soap. We will cover safety procedures, where to find ingredients, additives to your soaps, and more. We will make a batch as a class and each participant will go home with a bar of soap scented to your preference.



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

D1. The Art of Living Naturally - Christine Jones, Kelsi Wills, & Michael Neumann, Pure Soap Flake Company 

Everyday lifestyle solutions for earth-friendly bathing, cleaning, and laundry are the focus of this session. Learn to make your own products for less as we make some take-home products. We will also discuss skin sensitivities and make an easy skin lotion recipe to take home with you. Please come with a problem you would like to solve!


D2. Turn T-Shirts into Keepsakes - Linda McNamara 

A memory quilt (T-Shirt Quilt) is a great way to preserve the many shirts from runs, walks, rides, and other events. This session will get you started on a quilt that will warm you and your heart each time it’s used. Intended for those with some sewing experience. You will not finish during class, but should have the knowledge necessary to complete at home. This session requires you to bring the following materials to class:

1 3/4 yards 100% cotton fabric (plus optional 1/3 yard coordinating fabric for cornerstones) 

5 1/2 yards lightweight non-woven iron-on interfacing 

20 t-shirts (with logos) 

Scissors, thread, straight pins, rotary cutter, ruler & mat (if you have them) 


D3. Seven Steps to a Passionate Life! - Michelle Oie, Michelle Oie Speaking  

This is the year to come and find out why you feel like something is missing in your life! Come and 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!


D4. Coffee 101 - Martin & Jane Russo, U-Roast-Em +

This class with provide a history of coffee, green coffee beans, roasting, and the many ways to brew and extract the best cup. Participants will learn how to home roast and cup samples of various beans.


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

D5. Herbal Remedy Basics: Healing from Plants & Weeds - Allie Brandon, Whakima Herbals, LLC 

This class is an overview of remedy types and their uses, from what an oxymel is to when and how to use tinctures and glycerites. Then we will make a few common remedies. Participants will leave with recipes for more, many of which can be made with ingredients found in most people’s kitchens.


D6. Fermentation Nation - Steven Dahlberg

Fermentation of all things edible is rapidly moving from the fringe to the mainstream. This workshop will briefly cover the history, reasons for, and benefits of fermentation, as well as some basic techniques. We will then put this into practice by making a fermented salsa. *This session has an additional $5 materials fee.


D7. Tools, Tips, & Techniques for Reclaiming Lumber - Tony Noordmans, Coaching 4 Simple Joy +

Tony will share his experience with reclaiming, preparing, and using lumber that has been used before. This session will include discussion about the tools and how to use them, projects he’s built, and a demonstration of how to build a basic sawhorse and other projects. Session includes some project plans.


D8. 18 Years of Hydroponic Production - Barry Thoele, Barry’s Cherries Hydroponic Produce

Learn the dos and don’ts of getting started with hydroponic food production. Topics will include who your customers are, what crops you can grow and how, what you’ll need for equipment, and what not to do.

We hope to see you all again at the next Back to Basics on Saturday, February 15, 2020! 





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