Deborahmclaren's Weblog

Sustianable Tourism, Buy Local, Rural-Urban Connections

Archive for October, 2009

Salmon-free wines

Posted by deborahmclaren on October 22, 2009

Nope. Doesn’t mean your wine is free of fish – (mmm… like so many wines are inclined to be…)

“It means that essentially, Salmon-Safe wine growing is an effort to help preserve and sustain Northwest salmon habitats by requiring that vintners commit to not polluting the groundwater and surface water that may flow from vineyards into the streams and rivers where salmon live and spawn. Each vineyard must meet a rigorous set of guidelines specific to efficient irrigation and water conservation measures, erosion control, integrated pest management, and native vegetation and habitat management.”

I’m a serious fan of Washington’s boutique wineries and this is good news! Check out a great article “Tasting Notes: Salmon-Safe Wine”
by the lovely Shannon Borg in Seattle Magazine by clicking the link above.

Also note a program in Oregon at

Posted in food and wine, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

Posted by deborahmclaren on October 21, 2009

I have spent the past couple of weeks thumbing through the book “Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World” by Paul Stamets. As you can imagine from the title, Stamets is practically religious in his message that we can use living systems to solve environmental problems and to restore ecosystems.

One story that stands out in my mind is about his brother’s no-till farming technique. After the produce is cut, the stalks and roots are left in the field. As mushrooms grow in this material they hold the earth in place, absorb and keep more water, and return nutrients to the land. The land stays fertile.

Stamets also discusses the numerous ways that mushrooms have been used as medicine, discussions from the renewal of toxic land to the rehabilitation of toxic human bodies, gardening techniques, how fungi can live off of and absorb and grow on human hair, petro products and other crazy stuff — and compares mushroom growth and shapes to those of galaxies and universes. Could this book be more interesting? And it is written in perfectly readable, understandable English.

My husband Rob and I started taking our son, Anil, mushroom hunting this fall. He was immediately captivated and not only discovered many different types of fungi, but was intensely interested in helping us identify them later. I think part of his interest might have had to do with the fact that many mushrooms are dangerous and have names like “Death Angel,” and sometimes glow – like Jack-o-lanterns. Very cool for 9 year old boys — and I’m happy its mushrooms instead of Play Station 3 warriors… way more organic!

I’m going to have to check Stamet’s book out for another term from the library. It’s too much fun. And I think I might have to start doing mushroom tours! I’ve got some great places in mind — call me if you want to tour both wild and domestic mushroom sites in Minnesota next year!


Posted in Book Review, ecotour, green travel, mushrooms, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

building community

Posted by deborahmclaren on October 9, 2009

What brings my community together? We love our community councils, beautiful, historic neighborhood and unique shops. Next week we’re meeting to discuss how we can make our urban, capitol city neighborhood more sustainable. What are some things that have happened in other urban neighborhoods to bring people together around “sustainability?”

Posted in Buy-local, microenterprise, Minnesota | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Love in the Fall

Posted by deborahmclaren on October 2, 2009

Minnesota seasons roar
None come in smoothly or quietly
One day you are in shorts in the sunshine
Next day you are in parka in the snow
Sun dogs rule!

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Regional Flavor Strategies

Posted by deborahmclaren on October 2, 2009

Working as a consultant to implement and expand the Regional Flavor Strategy at White Earth Indian Reservation and nearby area. Coordinated a meeting Sept 10th that brought together the 6 RF pilot projects with government, nonprofit, tribe and entreprenuers in West Central Minnesota. Working to build small, sustainable businesses (microenterprise) around heritage, culture, arts, foods, and tourism. Look for info at RFCircle.

Other RF participants and interested folks from W. Central Minnesota encouraged to join!

From the AEO website:

Microenterprise Development is a pathway to business ownership for underserved entrepreneurs that generates income, builds assets and supports local economies in creating employment. Most microenterprise development programs provide core services including business training and technical assistance, and access to capital. Other services may include access to markets and technology training.

Why Regional Flavor?

As many rural communities experience a ‘loss of power’ in their traditional economic engines (manufacturing, resource extraction, etc), this project offers new hope and opportunity. Utilizing collaborative efforts to implement a mix of rural economic development strategies that incorporate microenterprise development, regional tourism, cultural and historic assets, and agricultural product development, the Regional Flavor approach supports these entities and entrepreneurs in working together to rethink, redefine, and rebrand themselves and their regions.

Posted in Buy-local, entreprenuers, microenterprise, Minnesota, Native tourism | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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