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Featured Blog Posts – March 2009 Archive (34)

Bringin' Bread Back

Among the lost arts needing a serious revival, like growing your own vegetables, is making a homemade loaf of bread. But until last week, I was a bread baby. I had only made banana bread, never anything that required yeast. Or kneading. Or know-how.

I signed up for a class at Crooked Tree Breadworks made for me: Bread Baking for The Reluctant. Class was on a sunny March night in Petoskey at the bakery,… Continue

Added by Emily Betz Tyra on March 31, 2009 at 7:00pm — 2 Comments

On Spring (again. and again. and again)

Having just finished editing photos from the week, I am sitting here wondering if I can write about anything other than the changing of the seasons. It seems like all the words falling from my head to the keyboard lately are about this time of transition. And even as I type this, while I want to write some philosophical, introspective question pondering the "why" of it all, I know that what I'll end up doing is writing about the fact that I spent the entirety of last week moping mud-- in the… Continue

Added by Kate on March 29, 2009 at 3:00pm — 2 Comments

old farms inspire new adventures

We expanded our regular route, crossing over a new hill at the bottom of the meadow and along the side of the horse paddock. We walked across the top of tall grass now flattened by a winter of heavy snow, imagining what spring would bring and how difficult it might be to walk the same way in late summer.

We found the back of a lovely farm. Several out buildings supported a large barn grayed with wisdom, like baby ducks surrounding the mama. None had a viable roof. What was left of… Continue

Added by Betty on March 28, 2009 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

Skip to my Lu, my Darlin'

Fly’s in the buttermilk.

Shoo, fly, shoo.

We always enjoy having young adults come to Russ-Stick Acres.

As with adults, we enjoy it when they share our excitement.

Excitement about the animals.

And living simply.

LuLu is no… Continue

Added by Sherry Sutherby on March 28, 2009 at 1:19am — No Comments

For Our Kids - A Strong Foundation Matters

I'm new to this website and excited to join and be part of a Up North Group. I wanted to publicly introduce myself and my causes because I feel they are worthy and I'm not trying to sell anything!

I'm a mom of two young children and also a teacher. I found over the years that our kids and their growth is amazing and when I ponder how they absorb everything, have the energy and enthusiasm it makes me well up with tears. Tears of joy for the most part but when I see funding for… Continue

Added by Sommer on March 27, 2009 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

Did you lose your favorite childhood camp? Tell us your story!

I'm going off topic a bit with this post and not discussing conservation subdivisions, but it is for good reason.

LandChoices is launcing a new program to help save camps for kids, camps like YMCA, Boy Scout, sportsman and other camps and clubs. Camps across our nation are threatened with being sold for development as organizations seek easy ways to raise funds. Keeping large tracts of… Continue

Added by Kirt Manecke, Smile book on March 26, 2009 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

The Catch

Tonight, as I walked from the main cabin to the Wee House, the wind was howling.


It sounded like a freight train, circling around our “40″.

I stopped along my snowy trail and listened. Closing my eyes in the dark, I relied on one of my five senses to capture the full moment. My two canine companions also stopped.

I have no doubt our trilogy of horses also had their eyes fixed on us, in the dark… Continue

Added by Sherry Sutherby on March 25, 2009 at 10:47pm — No Comments

Warm, somehow

The gear sled. Phone photo by Tim Dirks.

Okay, one final blog post about winter camping in the Porcupine Mountains.

When I tell people I went on a winter campout, most of them seem completely perplexed that anybody would want to do that, because, in their minds, it would basically mean days of continuous cold. But that is not the case.

I don't fully understand the physiology of it, but somehow your body (with… Continue

Added by Jeff Smith on March 24, 2009 at 9:11am — 1 Comment

first daffodil

We'd been over the hill, down the road and around the meadow. Back around to the house and through the yard. Where'd we find our quarry? In the back yard of course. Four inches of green daffodil leaves were peaking out a foot from the melting edge of a snowbank. Hope springing ... just like it's supposed to.

Added by Betty on March 23, 2009 at 10:00pm — 1 Comment

Backyard Maple Syrup Production in Traverse City

Whew! Another maple syrup harvest is behind me. This was my fourth--and best--season. By the time I bottled the last drop of liquid gold and washed the last pot I was exhausted. I dragged myself to the shower, chilled to the bone and smoky. I smelled like I had sat in a fire pit for hours, and in fact that wasn't too far from the truth.

Luckily the weather was beautiful this weekend since I logged 19 hours Saturday and… Continue

Added by Jodi Simpson on March 23, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

A Loving So Long to Tapawingo

While out on the town in Traverse City on Friday, I kept bumping into people lamenting the loss of the legendary Tapawingo restaurant. Chef/owner Harlan "Pete" Peterson announced its closing earlier that day. These were friends who both had and hadn’t made the pilgrimage to Ellsworth’s epicurean oasis.

The news came almost a year to the date to our amazing late-March dinner… Continue

Added by Emily Betz Tyra on March 22, 2009 at 10:00pm — 8 Comments

Not the Last Toast for Bruce Simpson

All of Leelanau County and beyond is mourning the death of Bruce Simpson who died on March 11 at the University of Michigan Hospital. Simpson was many things--devoted husband to his dynamic wife, Debbie, father to two bright children, now young adults. But most folks knew him as the owner and founder of Good Harbor Vineyards in Leland. Simpson was the county's fourth winemaker--when the industry was still in its pioneer stages.

This weekend I… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Edwards on March 22, 2009 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Nother love note to the quinzhee

John Velis cozy in the quinzhee, warm digs for a winter campout. (The air hole appears larger than it actually was--about 4 inches diameter.) Phone photo by Tim Dirks.

When my three friends and I gathered in a rental unit near the Porcupine Mountains the night before we were to head out on our four-day winter campout, there was a little bit of anxiety in the air. Not tension between friends, but more based on thinking ahead to the… Continue

Added by Jeff Smith on March 20, 2009 at 10:00am — 4 Comments

Garlic 101--Confessions of a hopeless garli-holic

Garlic 101Probably more than you ever wanted to know about garlic,

but who knows?

By Dean Bull

Traverse City, Michigan

Originally written in 2004

Updated and revised March 2009

My first garlic planting was in March of 2002. Many friends have asked questions about my garlic obsession so I decided to write a piece on the subject. So here ya go…

The beginning. Up until that… Continue

Added by Dean Bull on March 20, 2009 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

Conservation Subdivisions: Sign the petition!

Over two million acres of natural areas, working farmland, and wildlife lands are lost to development each year in the United States. Sadly, much of this land is lost needlessly due to outdated ordinances requiring "cookie-cutter" subdivision developments.

You can help! Please sign our petition to take conservation subdivisions mainstream to preserve clean water, natural areas,… Continue

Added by Kirt Manecke, Smile book on March 19, 2009 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

discovering roads

My roommate and I set out walking through the woods, carpeted in sunset as we set out. (I think she wanted to discover some of my weekend wanderings.) Our house is in a dell. The snow is still knee deep in the hollows. Along my paths, its not deep at all. A step or two off the path and you're digging snow out of the crevice between the top of your boots and your socks. As we traveled up, the snow thinned to very wet leaves matted over brown spongy dirt. Thinking about it now, the remaining snow… Continue

Added by Betty on March 18, 2009 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Why I promote conservation subdivisions

Poorly planned growth. Conservation subdivisions would have preserved much of this land.

My friend Colleen told me last night that after they clear cut and bulldozed a 60 acre forest and meadow in our neighborhood a few years ago, she sat and cried. Machines destroyed the trees.

After witnessing this she walked over to a nearby park and noticed an owl in a tree. She sat and apologized to the land and that owl.

I… Continue

Added by Kirt Manecke, Smile book on March 17, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Getting into the spring of things...

Yesterday, as I sat on the deck of Nub's Nob, I grieved the passing of the deepest parts of winter. For a moment.

And then the blue sky and sun (yes! The sun!) swallowed me whole and I basked in that feeling we forget, and then remember, every year about this time. Something like rebirth, I suppose. Something that feels like we're waking up to a whole new place to live-- not better than the white, still, elder statesman of a place we've been presiding in for so many months now-- just… Continue

Added by Kate on March 16, 2009 at 10:00pm — 4 Comments

Porcupine Mountains at Winter's Edge

Looking for a nice place to lie down for a while, on the Escarpment Trail, Porcupine Mountains, March 14, 2009. Lake of the Clouds in background. Phone photo by Tim Dirks.

I’m just back from the Porcupine Mountains for an end-of-winter campout with three friends. I’ll write a few posts about the trip, but thought I’d start with the highlight, kind of like that “eat dessert first” saying.

We tend to think of seasons in sort… Continue

Added by Jeff Smith on March 16, 2009 at 5:30pm — No Comments

The State Theatre in Traverse City continues to pack the house.

This has been going on now for more than a year, yet it still amazes me. Last week Michael Moore announced that during the one-week run of the movie "Doubt" the State Theatre was the top-grossing theatre in the country. Yes, the entire United States of America. We outsold NYC and LA...again. And this in the dead of winter. No wonder the folks in Hollywood keep asking Moore what's going on up here.

Michael Moore asked the State's patrons why the theatre is consistently among the top… Continue

Added by Jodi Simpson on March 16, 2009 at 3:58pm — 1 Comment

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