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Archive for March, 2011

Grass Seeds Academy – March 2011

Posted by deborahmclaren on March 27, 2011

The Mighty Bow

The Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association (MBOTMA) sponsors numerous events around the state each year. We enjoy the Bluegrass Winter Festival held in Plymouth (suburb of Minneapolis) each March. Besides the hundreds of diverse acoustic musicians and bands, everywhere jams, dancing and general pleasantry there is a youth program, the Grass Seeds Academy, that offers kids a chance to learn  jamming etiquette, ensemble playing, how to play back-up and take a lead break on their instrument, plus singing lead and harmony vocals. The kids have a lot of fun, but they work hard too. They learn from gifted musicians that dedicate their time to the kids – taking ocassional breaks to perform on stage themselves. And finally they perform with their self-created bands on Sunday afternoon.

Jammin

Gettin started

This year’s faculty was The High 48’s, winners of the 2009 Rockygrass band competition.  Anthony Ihrig on banjo and resophonic guitar, Rich Casey on bass, Chad Johnson on mandolin and Eric Christopher returned for a fourth year of teaching fiddle – and some mandolin. Mark Kreitzer joined them to teach guitar. The perennial favorite, Chuck Millar was back to teach fiddle and a  little bit of everything else, too. New this year is Ryan Kimm, teaching guitar, resophonic guitar, and bass. He is an experienced teacher and the kids  loved his youthful energy and enthusiasm. Catie Jo Pidel, a former GS student plays in Ruby Magpie with Ryan and was also along as an enthusiastic teacher this year. Sandi Pidel, the Grass Seeds Coordinator, can be reached at 763-784-5286 or email grassseeds@minnesotabluegrass.org.

Little Dude, Big Bass, Joyous Noise!

The main goal of Grass Seeds is to get young people playing their instruments and loving traditional music.

Grass Seeds Academy

GSII is a new off-shoot this year of extra talented youth from 14-18. This group will work on more difficult arrangements and advanced techniques like improvisation. They will really focus in on what it takes to be part of a performing group.


The High 24s playing their version of Shenandoah Valley Breakdown

The GSII playing Wagon Wheel. Bob would be proud.

A lovely time was had by all.

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Posted in cultural heritage, family travel, Minnesota, music, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

New Zealand! Need your tips to “go local!”

Posted by deborahmclaren on March 20, 2011

We’re heading to New Zealand in April. Looking for sustainable, locally-owned businesses (accommodations, cafes, art galleries, etc), organizations and events. Tips for such places appreciated. Please send directly to me at Deborah AT mm.com

Itinerary

North Island
Auckland
Coromandel
Rotorua
Hamilton

South Island
Christchurch – Picking up car in Christchurch to drive to Queenstown,
considering a stop in between
Queenstown
Dunedin
Milford Sound

Posted in art, Buy-local, cultural heritage, green travel, Indigenous tourism, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Virtual Volunteer

Posted by deborahmclaren on March 15, 2011

Great resource from Ron Mader & http://www.planeta.com

 

Virtual Volunteer.

Posted in Volunteer | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2011 Minnesota CSA Farm Directory available

Posted by deborahmclaren on March 4, 2011

2011 CSA Farm Directory

Time to find your CSA (community supported agriculture) farm delivery to ensure a nice, fresh box of goodies arrives for you each week this summer. There are dozens of farms listed in the new 2011 CSA Farm Directory!

The website includes information about each farm and a map with drop-off sites.

CSAs deliver everything from eggs, lip balm, honey, flowers, organic and heirloom vegetables, to tasty broiler chickens, salsas, pickles, lamb, jam, artisan dough breads, gluten-free baked goods and grass fed beef.

Some CSAs host member events – festivals, hootenannies, gardening, slow foods dinners, garlic festivals, corn feeds, wine tastings, walks in the woods, bonfires, hay rides, farm tours, camping, barn dances and opportunities to reconnect with the land – forests, prairies, creeks, and animals.

Check out the directory for the CSA that fits your needs. CSA farms are dedicated to healthy, fresh foods and a better planet.

Posted in Buy-local, food and wine, Minnesota, Slow Foods | 1 Comment »

Update on Twin Cities Bike-Sharing Program

Posted by deborahmclaren on March 1, 2011

Minneapolis bike-sharing program prepares to expand into St. Paul
By Frederick Melo
fmelo@pioneerpress.com
Updated: 03/01/2011 09:32:01 AM CST

Minneapolis resident Claire Bootsma sat on a ‘Nice Ride’ bike as it was parked at the rack on Nicollet Ave. at Grant Street in Minneapolis July 1, 2010. (Pioneer Press, file)

The Nice Ride Minnesota bicycle-sharing program has moved a step closer to expanding from Minneapolis into St. Paul. Although specific rental locations haven’t been identified, nearly $2 million in new federal funding and foundation support will allow the program to grow from 65 sites to more than 100 this spring.

“I think in total we’ll probably add 50 more stations this year,” said Bill Dossett, executive director of the Minneapolis-based nonprofit. “You will see stations in St. Paul, but I don’t know how many yet, and I don’t know where.”

He said an official decision is about two weeks away. Eight of the stations will be in North Minneapolis.

As for the potential location of the St. Paul sites, here’s a clue: A chunk of the new funding has come from Macalester College and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, a coalition of foundations that aims to protect the University Avenue neighborhoods around the future light-rail route being built from downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis.

A series of public meetings hosted by Nice Ride Minnesota last fall generated more than 800 suggested sites.

Nice Ride, which is based out of the Midtown Bike Center along the Midtown Greenway in South Minneapolis, currently maintains 65 bicycle stations where commuters can rent bikes for short trips, mostly.

Organizers say surveys show 20 percent of the 100,000 trips taken between the program’s launch last June and November would otherwise have been taken by car.”We’re excited to see the success of the first year,” said Hilary Reeves, a spokeswoman for Transit for Livable Communities.

On Monday, Transit for Livable Communities, a St. Paul-based nonprofit organization, announced Nice Ride will receive $1 million from the Federal Highway Administration to fund the program’s expansion. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will add $500,000 as part of a challenge pledge, and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative will put in $250,000.

Macalester College is contributing $30,000 through its High Winds Fund, which aims to improve aesthetics and security on its campus.

In total, Transit for Livable Communities announced it will award federal highway funding of $1.17 million to three capital projects. The city of Fridley will receive $110,000 to add sidewalks and bike lanes from the Northstar commuter rail station and communities to the south.

The city of Minneapolis will receive $62,000 to improve pedestrian safety on Franklin Avenue in the Seward neighborhood.

Frederick Melo can be reached at 651-228-2172.

ONLINE

More information about Nice Ride Minnesota is available at its website: NiceRideMN.org.

Posted in alternative transportation, climate solutions, green travel, Minnesota, Saint Paul, sustainable travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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