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Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
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A View From the Woods


By Loni Kemp

Mon, Nov 24th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Climate Chaos

We shivered through November days colder than ever before in Minnesota.

Last spring was extremely wet. Summer was extraordinarily cool and pleasant. I recall the summer before was excruciatingly hot and humid. Rainfalls seem to come in downpours nowadays, with fewer long slow replenishing rains. The growing season is longer, and I hear they are now planting the Dakotas to corn.

Am I imagining things? What is going on here?

Climate chaos. That is my new name for the phenomenon of climate change. Global warming may describe one long term trend, but it doesn’t begin to capture what we actually experience. We are well into the new age of wild fluctuations in weather and increasing extremes of rain, snow, hail, drought, humidity, winds, and temperature. Welcome to climate chaos.

I recently attended the second Minnesota Climate Adaptation Conference, organized by the University of Minnesota’s Mark Seeley, extension professor of soil, water and climate, as well as author and public radio commentator.

A striking presentation on the increase in variability of severe storms was given by Harold Brooks of the National Severe Weather Lab at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.) Data reveals growing variability in when, where, and how bad storms are getting. Some facts he documented:

• In the US, heavy precipitation storms have doubled in the last thirty to forty years.

• It used to be that a quarter of August rains in Minnesota were heavy, but now half of them are.

• Reports of 2.5 inch hail and larger are going up.

Jerry Hatfield of the USDA Agriculture Research Service is the new head of the Midwest Climate Hub. He has a long career studying soil, plant and atmosphere interactions, and was on the IPPC climate change panel that won the Nobel Prize. He reports that precipitation and temperatures are becoming more extreme:

• Heavy rains over 1.25 inches per day increased 40% since the 1950’s.

• A 37% increase in 8-inch rainfalls occurred in the midwest over fifty years.

• The increase in spring precipitation results in 3.7 less days for spring field work since 1995. Each additional inch decreases workable field days by 2-3 days.

• Since the 1940s, every decade has been warmer, and that is most true in the northern states and .....
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Becky's Food Tales

Mon, Nov 10th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

By: Becky Hoff The Plight of the Pumpkin My friends, this is not a good time of year to be a pumpkin. In truth, it’s not a good time to be any sort of squash, but the round orange guys really get it this time of year. In October the frenzy bega ..... 
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The Working Mom

By Tammy Danielson

Mon, Nov 3rd, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Minnesota Women and Flip-Flops Do you ever wonder if anyone loves flip-flops as much as Minnesota women love them? My husband does not understand my obsession so will continually ask me if I “really need so many pairs.” (Like they are taking u ..... 
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Country Coffee Talk - Egg Coffee

By Jeanette Schmidt

Mon, Oct 20th, 2014
Posted in Preston Columnists

It’s that time of the year when you wouldn’t have to cook for at least a month….church dinners, church dinners, and did I mention church dinners. There’s Ham and Meatball, Salad Luncheon, BBQ & Hot Dogs, Pork Dinner and, of course, the infam ..... 
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A VIEW from the Woods - If a Tree Falls in the Forest…

By Loni Kemp

Mon, Oct 13th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

lunch in the garden. Our god-daughter and her husband were visiting Minnesota from their home in Colorado. She was excited to show him the beloved hardwood forest landscape of her childhood. They brought her parents along, and we all soon switched ou ..... 
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A little of this, A little of that.

By Kathy Little

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

“An apple a day may keep the doctor away”, but sour green apples sprinkled liberally with salt (stolen from a neighbor’s tree) definitely do cause a belly ache. I know this from personal experience. Perhaps it was the excitement of stealing ..... 
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Country Coffee Talk - 9.29.14

By Jeanette Schmidt

Mon, Sep 29th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Where did the summer go?!! Even as I write…in the first sentence we are enjoying the summer side of the road…heat and humidity; the next sentence we’re already on the autumn side of the road…cool and crisp. It’s time to move that favorite ..... 
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A View from the Woods - Peace of Mind

By Loni Kemp

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

I garden for many reasons, such as fresh food, colorful flowers, butterflies and a lovely landscape. Yet increasingly, I find that I am seeking peace of mind. When it happens, the experience is sublime, hard to describe and fleeting. It can come w ..... 
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The Working Mom - Good Mom Gone Bad

By Tammy Danielson

Mon, Sep 1st, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Just like a good investigative TV show or gossip column would start their juicy story, I have to ask: “When did it all start going wrong?” Where did this mom go bad? Well, it all started as I took a reflection on my history of mothering and de ..... 
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