■ Farm to Cafeteria
STAPLES — Apples, cucumbers, and tomatoes are the top three most popular Minnesota fruits and vegetables among K-12 students, according to an Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy survey of school food service leaders. Getting these locally grown foods on the menus of schools and other institutions such as hospitals and childcare centers requires cross-sector partnerships, community support and relationship building. The central region is one of eight Farm to Cafeteria workshops taking place across the state between February and April. The central region’s Farm to Cafeteria workshop will be held on Wednesday, April 3 at the Staples Central Lakes College from 2 to 7 p.m., with registration and vendors beginning at 1 p.m.
The workshops are designed to meet the needs of the region and strengthen connections to advance partnerships between area farmers and community institutions. This year’s gatherings build on an earlier round of Farm to Cafeteria workshops. In 2010, more than 600 Minnesotans attended eight regional workshops that were aimed to inspire, inform, and build support for area food to area institutions.
The central region workshop will feature a panel discussion highlighting the regional work within the Farm to Cafeteria arenas. There will be five breakout sessions on the topics of: Getting Farm to Cafeteria Started on your Farm, Moving your Farm to the Next Level, Season Extension, Getting Farm to Cafeteria Started in our your Cafeteria, and Taking it to the Next Level. There will also be farmer/buyer networking facilitated by Brett Olson of Renewing the Countryside, a locally-sourced meal featuring Farm to School recipes from the Brainerd School District catered by Lakewood Health System, and a variety of vendors and resources sharing incredibly valuable information.
The workshops are coordinated by University of Minnesota Extension in partnership with the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Renewing the Countryside, and funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
The Central region workshop is co-sponsored by the Staples Central Lakes College Ag Center.
■ Pillager Spring
Fling is April 6
PILLAGER — A full day of fun has been planned in Pillager on April 6. The Pillager Education Foundation is planning the first Spring Fling starting with an art show and craft and vendor fair in the morning. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. there will be a gym full of events for kids including a large obstacle course, minnow races, dunk tank, climbing wall, games, and a magic show at the top of every hour.
A three-on-three basketball tournament starts at 9 a.m. and the musical performance of “Grease,” begins at 2 p.m.
All events take place at Pillager High School.
The night’s activities includes a staff basketball competition, and alumni basketball with Just for Kix performing at half-times and between games. A barbecue cook-off begins at 5 p.m. with judging and awards at 7 p.m. Also featured through the night will be workshops and presentations by WalleyeDan, Chris Foley, Jim Kalkofen, the Pottery Wheel and more magician performances. The Staples Women’s Chorus sings at 7 p.m. and the Little Falls Sestri Women’s Slavic Choir will sing at 7:30 p.m.
A silent auction will be open all day and a live auction will close the night at 8 p.m. Thousands of dollars worth of items will be available for bid including an April 15 Timberwolves Skybox for 22, Dinner by Tom Kavanaugh for eight, an overnight stay at Grand Casino, and many smaller prizes.
Admission is $5 and provides access to most of the events. The entrance ticket also serves as the ticket for the prize drawings throughout the night.
This event is a fundraiser for the Pillager Education Foundation and Dollars for Scholars. Proceeds will benefit Pillager students with scholarships and funding for innovative classrooms and special projects. For more information or to be involved contact Sue Van Hal at 746-2105.
More details are available on the website:
■ Writing/publishing workshops at Staples Library
Adults who are interested in the writing and publishing process are invited to two workshops at the Staples Public Library. The first, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., on March 28, is about writing a book. The workshop structure will take three steps: the plan, the research, and the words to the page. The second workshop will be about publishing a book. It will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., on Thursday, April 11. Workshop topics will include finding a publisher or doing it yourself, and traditional or non-traditional marketing.
The workshops will be presented by Seal Dwyer from North Star Press. Attendance at each workshop is limited to 20 and preregistration is required. They are funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
For more information, contact the Staples Public Library at 218-894-1401.
■ Easter egg hunt March 30 at the Nisswa Legion
NISSWA — The annual Easter egg hunt at the Nisswa American Legion will be March 30. The event will be at 10 a.m. with pre-schoolers having their hunt indoors. Following the hunt will be hotdogs, chips and pop. There will be two money eggs, one for $25 and one for $10. Also the Easter Bunny will be making an appearance so bring cameras.
Wadena’s Red Cross Bloodmobile recently received 87 units of blood with a goal of 80 at the VFW Post No. 3922. A 7 Gallon Pin went to John Beringer, Bluffton.
■ Host a foreign exchange student
Families can host a foreign exchange student for the 2013-14 school year.
This year, Brainerd has 23 exchange students.
Marlene Larson, local coordinator for Center for Cultural Interchange, will help you choose a student for the school year. There are students available from over 60 countries. These students have already signed up to participate in CCI program and are waiting for host families. Host families may take a $50/month charitable contribution tax deduction.
These international students have their own spending money, they are academically strong and speak English well enough to attend a public high school.
As a host family, we ask that you provide: Open communication, patience, flexibility and encouragement, a separate bed (which can be in a shared room), a place to study, three daily meals, local transportation, treatment as a member of your family.
Exchange students are ages 15-18, come from over 60 countries and study in the U.S. for a school year or one semester.
For more information, call Marlene Larson at 829-7291 or 218-831-3936.