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HDT Recipient of Grant to Study Aqua/Hydroponics

Earlier this year, HDT was awarded a grant from the University of Minnesota Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (CRSDP). Using the grant as seed money, HDT has been able to create a side by side demonstration site of both a hydroponics and an aquaponics system. Hydroponics (video) is the method of growing produce with nutrient enriched water, without soil. Instead of nutrient enriched water, growers using the aquaponics (video) method use live fish (and their resulting waste) as a method to grow produce.

This project will allow HDT to compare and contrast the two systems in identical environments and help to demonstrate the different methods to any other producers who are looking to move into this type of production. Not only is the grant to be used for the construction of the two systems, but it's goal is to allow HDT to collaborate with other similar operations in the region. 

With this new data, more producers will be able to make more informed decisions on whether the systems will work for them. For more information on the building process, you can check out this pamphlet we put together.

Back to Basics is Back

The 8th annual Back to Basics (B2B) winter event is coming up in no time (Saturday February 1, by the way), and we are hoping to make it one to remember. In order to do that, we need the you! For every B2B, we reach out into the community for the best presenters, the most interesting workshops, and the coolest vendors. So, don't be shy. Let us know if you have knowledge you'd like to share. 
Making Back to Basics one of the premier events in central MN takes a lot of work and collaboration, but if we all work together this year's will be the best one yet! 

Autumn Pumpkin Soup

It's that time of year when you can't walk a block without seeing an advertisement for pumpkin spiced somethingTo be honest, though, it is pretty delicious. But, did you know the distinct pumpkin pie smell and flavor is a mix of spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves & sometimes allspice), and has little to do with the actual pumpkin. So, this year, instead of relying on those tantalizing spices, here's a recipe that will rely solely on the robust flavor of the pumpkin, itself.


  • 2 TB Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Red Onion
  • 1 Medium Fresh Pumpkin
  • 3 Cups of Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1.5 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Cayenne
  • 3-4 Thai Chillies
  • Handful of Thyme
  • 3 Cloves Garlic/Minced
  • Salt
Carve pumpkin, keep the seeds (You can toast them for a nice snack later!)
Place the carved pumpkin fresh into a blender and add 1 cup of the stock. 
Heat a deep sauce pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook until fragrant and then add the black beans. Add the remaining stock, the cream, the cumin, the cayenne, chillies, and thyme.
Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer on low for 20 minutes, stir frequently to prevent sticking. 
Taste the soup and add more seasoning to your satisfaction.
Add salt to taste. Enjoy!


Give to the Max Day
Please consider donating and/or sharing these GiveMN campaigns.

Pine River Dam Park Beach
Help continue improvements at the Pine River Dam Park.
Consider a personalized capstone as a Holiday gift for the
hard-to-buy-for person on your list!

RREAL Pajama Gala
Help RREAL reach their goal to help
low-income families stay warm through the
power of solar panels.

Gifts of the Heart Event

Create unique, upcycled gifts for family & friends.
For all kids ages K-8th Grade
Tuesday Dec 3 & Thursday Dec. 5
3-5pm at Pine-River Backus HS Commons
Only $5 per session or $8 for BOTH!
We're looking for volunteers.
Sign up Here.

Upcoming Events

Dirty Oil Movie Series
Nov. 8 - "Dirty Oil" Film
Nov. 22 - Marty Cobenais Lecture
Dec. 6 - "Gasland" Film
5pm-8pm. Discussion & potluck.
Informational Flyer

GreenStep Workshop Series

Learn about topics related to the best practices of the
Minnesota GreenStep Program
Nov. 12- Better Buildings
Jan. 14- Efficiency on the Streets
March 11- Economic Development
May 13- Active Living
Sessions are at the League of Minnesota Cities Building in St. Paul.

More information and to Sign Up

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