Jaim and I took a weekend trip to the Twin Cities to catch the Living Green Expo at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds. A research trip (I call ’em ‘learning journeys’), with the extra perk of spending a weekend with my wife, while the kids hung with Grandma and Grandpa (mostly being chased around the yard by a bottle calf…).
We stopped at a snazzy little Food Coop in St. Peter, MN along the way. Bought some “glad corn” and groceries for breakfast. What’s glad corn? I wondered too–lucky for me they were hocking samples. It’s just kernels of organic field corn, roasted until it turns into a cross between corn nuts and those wonderful half-popped kernels in the bottom of the popcorn bowl. The breakfast was super fab–Saturday and Sunday: a loaf of crunchy multi-grain, some strawberries and a block of this legendary gouda with truffles. Legendary, because it’s made in France and shipped to Minnesota to age in the caves near St. Peter. Or so the story goes. Whatever the truth, it’s some damn tasty cheese. My first ever truffle experience. Those three flavors and textures where a heavenly mix. Twice.
Saturday we hit the fairgrounds for some serious greeny magic. No disappointment. This event rocks the hiz-ouse. I met a new friend who loaded me up with info and ideas about becoming a vegetarian driver (that means I’d burn used vegetable oil in my tank instead of gas), watched as a kid made biodiesel right before my eyes (see the pre-diesel mush above), saw a bunch of ways to compost–with and without worms (saw a dude crazier about worms than me), studied a real green roof, got to know an author of books for kids on the environment, learned how to ‘do it green,’ and so much more.
Oh, and of course I had to get on the Segway Personal Transporter and tootle around like a human on a stick. Wicked cool–you cannot fall off, you just lean a little here or there and that thing reads your mind…
Hawk's solar oven
I also met ‘Hawk,’ a rough around the edges missionary and peddler of solar ovens, and his sidekick. And now I’m cooking with the sun. (More on that later.) I rode a stationary bike and turned on a bunch of light bulbs with human power (though the hair dryer totally kicked my ass sideways). Met lots of friends–some new, some old.
And met this guy, who laid on the floor the whole time shooting pictures of people. I hope he was getting paid.