Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Prairie Roots’ Local Food Mystery Tour full of organic goodness

All About Food | May 1st, 2014

By Lauren Beek

The bus sat white and gleaming in the Cash Wise Foods parking lot. I quickly found a spot, as the lot was nearly empty at 7:45 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

Water bottle? Yup. Camera? Yup. Notebook? Yes, indeed. I gathered my stuff and sleepily walked over to my ride for the day. I didn’t know what to expect, but that was the point. I’d been invited to attend the Local Food Mystery Tour hosted by the Prairie Roots Food Co-op (PRFC) and Moorhead Community Ed.

Sunshine and the possibility of baby farm animals was all I needed – count me in! I took my seat and we slowly rolled into the Minnesota countryside.

Noreen Thomas, the organizer of the tour and a member of PRFC’s board, took to the microphone and let us know where our farm tour would take us.

Our first stop would be Native Harvest, where we would learn about maple syrup tapping. The second stop would be Karmakee Farm to visit some goats and last, we’d visit Bergeson Nursery to learn about planting trees of the north.

After Noreen’s announcement, I couldn’t help but feel the giddiness of a third-grader on a field trip.

As the bus rolled on through sleepy towns and thawing fields, Noreen helped us pass the time by sharing interesting facts or pointing out wildlife.

She and her family run Doubting Thomas Farm in Kragnes, Minn. and she excitedly spoke about some of their upcoming projects – one that includes 800-year-old seeds from a squash-like vegetable and another with native bees! They welcome visitors, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates.

By 8:30 a.m. and my random facts and bucket list items were growing.

Soon, we were approaching Callaway, Minn. – home of Native Harvest: White Earth Land Recovery Project.

We shuffled into the Callaway School gym turned Native Harvest gift shop and smells of freshly brewed Muskrat Coffee mixed with traces of maple syrup filled the air.

Their friendly staff encouraged us to look around, enjoy some Horse Rider’s Grog coffee and try some fresh maple sugar candy. They just pulled in a fresh batch of maple sap and were in the process of turning it into syrup.

On our way back to the bus, I was delighted to find one of my predictions had come true. There were two calves and baby chicks waiting for some attention in the parking lot.

Christina Traeger brought the animals from Rolling Hills Traeger Ranch, where they specialize in gourmet grass-fed beef.

Andre, a British White, won me over with his long eyelashes and eagerness to be scratched. He also made me think twice about the barbeque I would be attending later that evening.

We said our goodbyes and hit the road again bound for goats. I happily stared out the window and listed to conversations of brewing ginger beer and how to make kombucha.

As we pulled up to Karmakee Farm, the smiling faces of Bridget and Mike greeted us. They were happy to show us around their farm and share their animals with us. I was particularly fond of Jellybean the baby goat, while she was fond of eating my jacket.

As Bridget explained their operation, three baby goats jumped and hopped through the crowd. The two farm cats wove their way in between legs looking for cat lovers and chin scratches.

We sampled fresh goat cheese, sniffed homemade soap and tried goat’s milk lotion. I can happily report I am now the proud owner of all three.

After Karmakee, the bus drove due north. We took in more prairie sights – a workhorse farm, a soaring bald eagle, Amish farmsteads and lots of high tunnels (big greenhouses).

During this drive, PRFC employee Kaye Kirsch took to the microphone and explained the benefits of food cooperatives and becoming a member. Not only are you supporting local and organic food, but you also get the benefit of PRFC’s online marketplace.

Members can shop from a variety of local producers Sunday through Wednesday and pick up their order on Thursday at Gethsemane Episcopal Church. How great is that? Fresh, natural food from local farmers at your convenience!

If you’re thinking about becoming a member, now is the time to do it. They’re only about 100 members away from opening up a storefront! Check out www.prairie-roots.coop to sign up and learn more.

At Bergeson Nursery the sun was shining, the coffee was hot and there were free doughnuts. What more could you ask for? A lively seminar on bare-root planting from Joe Bergeson? Perfect. The group was enamored by Joe’s enthusiasm for plants in the north region. His knowledge was expansive and his excitement was infectious. If I weren’t renting a home, I would’ve left with 10 trees that day.

After Joe’s seminar, we enjoyed a delicious lunch in the greenhouse surrounded by blooming flowers, green plants and heaps of dirt. It was perfect and just what I needed after a harsh winter.

Guest speakers Gary Kircher and Stephenie Anderson followed lunch.

Gary discussed the joys and perils of growing raspberries and strawberries at Garden Hills Farm. They’re open seasonally and also have apples and pumpkins for picking in the fall. I’m particularly excited to try their fresh strawberries. Gary explained that a real strawberry, picked right from the plant, melts in your mouth!

Noreen suggested making a day of visiting Garden Hills Farm, eating lunch at the local café, La La Ice Cream & Grill, and then stopping at Bergeson’s on your way out of town. This trip is definitely on my summer bucket list.

The other speaker was also a hit, Stephenie from Northern Woolen Mills brought her beautiful fibers and taught the group how to arm knit with yarn from an alpaca named Ruby.

After the guest speakers, I wandered around Bergeson’s and took in the surroundings. There was marsh out back, the sun was warm above me and a sweet spring breeze carried the sounds of singing frogs. What a great day.

The bus ride home was much quieter. Some people were snoozing, while other chatted quietly about the day. I found myself staring out the window again, taking in the beautiful countryside of Minnesota. The land I’ve called home nearly all my life and the land where my great-grandparents started their American lives on a farm.

I would highly recommend attending a Local Food Mystery Tour with Prairie Roots. The people are friendly, the food is delicious and you will absolutely learn something you didn’t know before. I promise. Best of all, riding on dirt roads through small-town Minnesota is a great reminder of where we come from what it really means to shop locally.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Prairie Roots Food Co-op Local Foods Mystery Tour

WHERE: Surrounding countryside

WHEN: No dates yet, but the next tour is planned for September

INFO: Visit www.prairie-roots.coop and click on “Events” or call Moorhead Community Education at (218) 284-3400

Recently in:

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comThat old adage no longer applies: There is now such a thing as a free lunch, and it is here to stay. With help from a willing community, the founders of Lunch Aid North Dakota are continuing their…

By Michael M. Miller michael.miller@ndsu.eduLarry Kruckenberg of Cheyenne, WY, a native of Hazen, ND, has authored a new book, “Big Bend Country: A Journey of Good Times, Hard Times, and Hope,” available from GRHC.Kruckenberg…

Sons of Norway, Kringen Lodge #4-25, is a fraternal organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Norwegian culture.Sentrum på 722 2nd Ave N, FargoKringen Kafe er åpen for Kaffe og Bakverk mandag-fredag 9.00 til…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comIs Texas Senate Bill 8 only the beginning?If it wasn’t so insulting to primates, it looks as if some of the most vocal anti-abortion lawmakers in North Dakota wish to adapt a monkey see monkey do…

By Ed Raymond  fargogadly@gmail.comIt’s Time to Elect Electricians Instead of LawyersLawyers have been screwing the American people for over a century. Currently we have 214 lawyers and only one electrician in Congress. It’s…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com15 July 2021With Grand Forks being a hop skip and a cruise away from Fargo-Moorhead, our neighbors to the north have some great dining options. Whether you’re planning on spending a weekend or…

Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com15 July 2021“We have a guy that's been involved with the show for many years as a landlord and knew what it was like in the heydays. So he knows where he wants to take it.” says WE Fest General…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comTing Poo and Leo Scott may be the directors of record, but “Val” unfolds almost purely as the kaleidoscopic personal diary of subject and writer Val Kilmer, the mercurial one-time superstar…

By  Sabrina Hornung sabrina@hpr1.com2021 marks the 18th annual FMVA Studio Crawl, the Fargo-Moorhead Visual Artists’ largest event. This year 38…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Theresa L. Goodrichsubmit@hpr1.comIt was day ten of our epic southwest road trip and we’d made it to Arizona. After camping in Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and New Mexico, we were exhausted, but fortunately our night in…

by Annie Prafckesubmit@hpr1.com17 June 2021On June 19th, from 12pm to 7pm, nonprofit Faith4Hope Scholarship Fund is hosting their first ever Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Lindenwood Park in Fargo. It is free and open to the…