Authentic Traveler June 2014


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Welcome to the June 2014 Authentic Traveler
The official quarterly newsletter of Green Routes and Journeys with First Nations 

It was worth the wait! I can barely recall the spike in propane prices or the inky -20° mornings waiting with the kids for the bus. It's time for flip-flops at the beach and I'll swap those potatoes for a piece of sweet and tart rhubarb pie, thank you. "With ice cream?" yes please.
It is amazing how the rhubarb plant can sweep me back to my 10 year old self - sitting on the steps with a stalk (leaf still on) and a cup of sugar - dip, crunch - dip, crunch.  People in the middle of the country are genius' on how to take this prehistoric, tropical looking plant and make it into early summer delights - in fact turning whole towns into grand parties to celebrate the its return. And wine from rhubarb? Sure, why not.  

Surf over to Green Routes and check in on some of our great destinations this summer - chances are if you get to them soon enough - they will have rhubarb on the menu, along a garden path or at least a good story about how rhubarb changed their life. -Brett Olson

Destination Spotlights

DRINK Rhubarb Wine at Forestedge Winery! • Laport, MN Forestridge Winery
Our friends at Forestedge Winery are keeping busy as spring finally turns the corner toward summer and temperatures rise. Fruits, berries, and rhubarb crops are about a month behind due to the late spring. According to Co-owner Paul Schuster, Rhubarb is still our mainstay for winemaking since it is one of our more popular wines, blends well with the other fruit wines we produce and, best of all, the deer don't eat it!”   

5 tons of rhubarb are processed on site each year! Stalks are pulled by hand, leaves reserved for mulch and rhubarb is machine chopped (at about 250 pounds per hour!) before it is frozen and stored until pressing time. After thawing and pressing, the juice is transferred to fermenters where the magic of time and sugar-hungry-yeast happens. During your next visit to the north country, stop by the winery to see gardens, taste the wine that many have described as similar to a German white grape, or visit their gallery filled with local art.  Forestedge has won numerous international wine competitions, remains one of the best selling brands in Minnesota, and will host their 14th annual “Art Fair at the Winery” event August 16th and 17th. For those who can’t make it up, check out their website to see if Forestedge is on the shelves of your neighborhood fine wine store.


EAT Rhubarb at the newly remodeled Birchwood Cafe! • Minneapolis, MN Birchwood CAfe
Birchwood is BACK and better than ever! After closing for a 12-week renovation, the nearly 2 decade-old bastion of farm to cafe-table fare has reopened it's doors to hungry diners. The updated restaurant boasts expanded seating with a community room and chef's table, new eco-friendly design features like solar light tubes, energy-efficient appliances, reclaimed wood tables and built-ins, and perhaps most importantly, oh-so-much-more room for the storage, prep, and service of their delicious locally grown menu. Also check out the new tap beer offerings, wine-based cocktails (Rhubarb Mimosas!) and an overall expanded menu featuring Starters & Sides, Entrees, and (as far as we know of) the only organic hand-cut french fries around these parts! Of course you can still get our favorite, the Birchwood's Turkey Burger, now served with rhubarb jalepeno marmalade.


CELEBRATE Rhubarb THIS SATURDAY at the 10th Annual Rhubarb Festival • Lanesboro, MN
Ruhbarb FestivalReady to take your rhubarb devotion to the next level? Head town to Lanesboro, the Rhubarb Capitol of MN, this Saturday for their annual Rhubarb Festival. You can join the The Tasting Contest and vote on the best pies, crisps, cakes, soups, chutneys, chili, jams, ketchup, leathers, drinks and more. Remember to limber up in the morning for for the Rhubarb Run. Want a slower pace? Enter the Rhubarb Stalk Throw tournament...or how about a round of Rhubarb Golf! 

Festivities begin at 10 a.m. with the singing of the Rhubarb National Anthem. The festival is free, family friendly and fun for all. Saturday, June 7, 2014, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Sylvan Park in Lanesboro, Minnesota. More at


Green Routes Calender

Birchwood Cafe

Peace Coffee Brunch Tasting
Reserve a spot in the new Community Room at 9am or 1pm for a four-course brunch tasting menu (including the Savory Waffle!) by chef Marshall Paulsen with Peace Coffee Head Roaster, Derek De La Paz. Tickets here!
• Sat, June 7 // 9am & 1pm

For more info click HERE!>>

Bullfrog Fish Farm

Now Open Pondside!
Fri, Sat & Sun // 12 - 6pm

Live Music Sundays
All Sundays // 1:30 - 4:30pm, June through August
For more info click HERE!>>

Crossings at Carnegie

Art for the Garden, Garden for the Art
Garden p-ART-y! Featuring ceramic and metal art, outdoor furniture, chemical-free honey from local beekeepers, hand built butterfly and bird houses, cut flowers, plants, and more!
•Sat, June 28 // 10am - 6pm
•Sun, June 29 // 11am - 5pm

Crossings Camps

A world of arts experiences for children from age 3 through high schoolers Choose from a wide range of topics, including sculpting, creating comic books, pottery, or even performing magic, Shakespeare or musical theater. Register Here.
From June 16-August 15
For more info click HERE!>>

Forestedge Winery

Annual Art Fair at the Winery
A weekend of art, music, food and wine. Free admission and parking. You don't want to miss this one!
• Sat, Aug 16 // 10am – 5:30pm
• Sun, Aug 17 // 10am – 4:30pm

For more info click HERE!>>

Ripple River Gallery

• June 18­ - July 13 ­ Exhibit: Dan Mondlach, Watercolors. Reception: Saturday, June 21 from 2-­4 pm.

• June 21: Landscape Paint ­Along with Dan Mondlach, instructor. Three Hour Class. Materials Included. Cost $45.

• June 21: Summer Solstice Celebration! Painting demo by Dan Mondlach, refreshments and more.

• July 16 - ­Aug. 17: Exhibit: Nick DeVries, clay; Karen Monson­Thompson, weaving. Reception: Saturday, July 19, 2-­4 pm.

For more info click HERE!>>