Posts Tagged: mason jennings

Summer Fun List!

Summer should be all about fun, playing outside, spending time with family, and enjoying all the good stuff that comes with longer days and these warm, magic-filled nights. Here are some things we plan to do this summer…maybe you’ll want to add them to your list too!
XO – Aryn

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Catch fireflies!

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S’more smores!

It’s a simple recipe (cracker, roasted marshmallow, chocolate) for a sweet summer tradition.

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Make a wish on a shooting star

(and enjoy looking at the others while you wait)!
Summer meteor showers to put on your calendar:

The Delta Aquariids – July 30
The Perseids – August 12

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Explore caves to keep cool

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Daylily farm!

An 1854 farmstead filled with daylilies?! Fun! And what a sight! More than a hundred varieties of daylilies – literally thousands of blooms – grow on Oak Hill Farm just south of Preston on Highway 52. They are open weekends when the lilies are blooming – usually the month of July until the first part of August, or by appointment (507-696-3251). You can stop by just to see the flowers, but it might be hard to resist taking some home (they dig the plants for you, in case you can’t resist)!

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Disc golf on a fun farm!

There’s another Southeast Minnesota farm we’ve heard has some cool offerings: Sweet 16 Farm near Houston, Minnesota – on, you guessed it, Highway 16. They not only have a Friday (6-8 pm) and Saturday (8-10 am) farm stand, but a 20-hole disc golf course too! The par 3 course features shorter distance fairways with naturally occurring hazards –tall grass prairie, ravines, a pond, through the woods… you get it! Sounds like a fun adventure!

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Mason Jennings at Seed Savers

Mason Jennings concert at Seed Savers couldn’t happen last year because of flooding, so we’re excited it’s on the calendar for July 8 this year!

A summer concert under the stars is always lovely, and add to that the gardens of Seed Savers and singer-songwriter Mason Jennings and it’s downright magical. Folk rock artists The Pines and Iowa songwriter Pieta Brown will open the show. Ticket sales support SSE’s non-profit mission to protect and promote America’s garden and food heritage.

Visitors can head out to Seed Savers early for wine or beer and a garden tour with Diane Ott Whealy at 6pm. Doors open at 5 pm and the concert begins at 7 pm. Food vendors and cash bar will be offered, and primitive camping is available for $15.

Details at www.seedsavers.org/benefit-concert

Check out Inspire(d)’s 2016 interview with Jennings here.

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Driftless Winery Events!

There are some super fun events on the docket this summer at area wineries. Empty Nest in rural Waukon is hosting fun wine releases, live music on the patio, and their ever-popular murder mystery dinner theaters (advance tickets only).

And north of us at Four Daughters Winery near Spring Valley, Minnesota, they’re offering up “dine in the vines” evenings, where visitors can enjoy a 10-course meal under the full moon (advance reservations). Plus, they’re planning free outdoor movies all summer!

June 21: Wayne’s World
July 12: The Proposal
July 19: A Walk in the Clouds
August 2: Field of Dreams
August 16: Signs
August 30: Twister

Note: No outside food or drinks will be allowed, but options for a pre-order picnic basket (charcuterie, cheese, bread, fruit and nuts) or pizza and salad for two are available, or various movie snacks are offered on-site. Movies will be shown in the Barrel Room in case of rainy weather. Bring your own blankets or chairs.

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Looking for more ideas to keep your kids active and engaged? Check out our big list of fun kids summer activities!

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P.S. Save the Date: Takkefest, September 23, 2017

We know we’re talking about summer fun here, but we want to be sure you save the date for a cool new event at Vesterheim Museum this fall: Takkefest.

Takk is the Norwegian word for “thank you.” Vesterheim will host a celebration in their “back yard,” the museum’s Open Air Division. Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate.

  • Live Music, including the Scandinavian dance band Foot-Notes
  • Dancing
  • Norwegian Fusion Cuisine
  • Norwegian-American Beers and Aquavit
  • Crafts and Pioneer Activities (for kids and adults)
  • Mini Folk Art Classes

“Let’s loosen our bunads and kick up our heels, enjoying what we’ve got ?here in Decorah!” Indeed. Thanks, Vesterheim! We can’t wait. Check vesterheim.org for more details.

Q&A with Mason Jennings

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Introduction and interview by Benji Nichols
Originally published in the Summer 2016 Inspire(d)

We’re proud to say we’ve been big fans of Seed Savers Exchange and Heritage Farm for a long time. And for many a moon, Iowa troubadour Greg Brown (of whom we are also big fans) has graced a beautiful summer evening to help raise funds for the ever-growing cause of saving and sharing heritage seeds and plants.

When Brown announced that 2015 would be his final year for the Seed Savers benefit concert, there was, happily, another extremely talented artist waiting, literally, in the wings.

Well-known Midwest musician Mason Jennings was at the benefit last year, and the magic of that moon-lit evening in rural Decorah swept him away. With just a little peer pressure from Greg Brown and friends, Jennings counted himself “in” to perform the 2016 benefit show – when that show was cancelled due to wide spread flooding in 2016, a re-do was penciled in the books for July 2017!

Jennings – a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist – is a Hawaii native who now calls Minneapolis home. He has sold hundreds of thousands of records to much acclaim – the album “Blood Of Man,” which Jennings recorded on garage band (playing all the instruments himself), received a 4-star review in Rolling Stone. His thirteenth album “Wild Dark Metal” was released just this past spring – of the album, Jennings has said, “It deals with loss, love, suffering, longing, and mystery. I hope it finds the listener who is looking for it. I hope it brings deep medicine. I hope you play it loud.”

For close to 20 years, Jennings has toured the world, bringing audience members his unique style of musical medicine. This summer, joined by friends and fellow Iowa-rooted musicians The Pines, and combined with the incredible setting of Seed Savers, folks are in for some real magic.

Inspire(d) was lucky enough to have a few moments to collect some fun thoughts from Mason Jennings as he anticipates the upcoming benefit concert.

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I: You’ve been anchored out of Minneapolis going on two decades now, with real roots in the 400 Bar (RIP) and the entire Minneapolis scene. What first got you to Minneapolis and has kept you coming back to the Midwest?

MJ: My dad lived there for a few years and I visited and felt at home. I love the size of the Cities. The way the community supports artists and the close proximity of nature. The seasons work for me creatively too. Equidistant to both coasts for touring… great place to raise a family… the list goes on. I love Minnesota. I love Iowa too.

I: From our understanding you attended the Greg Brown benefit show last year at Seed Savers and were inspired. Can you tell us about your experience?

MJ: I love Greg’s music and the concert setting was amazing. Seed Savers seems like an amazing place and it was inspiring to see folks coming together to support it. Both Greg and Iris Dement took me aside that night and told me they thought I should play it next year. And I listened and agreed.

I: The Pines will be opening the Seed Saver’s Benefit show in August, and Benson Ramsey (of The Pines, and Iowa music legend Bo Ramsey’s son) also contributed photos to your new album “Wild Dark Metal” – when did you all connect?

MJ: I met Benson about six years ago at a friend’s wedding. We immediately hit it off and have been hanging out ever since. I think he is an amazing person and his songwriting is very moving to me. The Pines are easily one of my favorite bands. They’ll be joining me onstage at Seed Savers too, which will be fun.

I: Do you keep a garden at home at all?

MJ: I don’t keep a garden yet but I love gardens. I’m hoping that being (at Seed Savers) will inspire me to someday start one.

I: Ok. Rapid fire! First thing that comes to mind:

Midwest: Prince
Summer food: Corn
Family: Forever
Currently listening to: 89.3 The Current
Seed Savers Exchange: Hope

Don’t miss this evening of incredible music in an even more incredible setting! Here are the details:

Who: Mason Jennings and The Pines, with Pieta Brown
Where: Seed Savers Heritage Farm
When: Saturday, July 8, 2017. Doors 5 pm. Concert 7 pm.
How: Buy tickets online at www.seedsavers.org/benefit-concert

Read the Summer 2016 Inspired Magazine

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Inspired Magazine Summer 2016!

Welcome to the 2016 ‘Summer’ issue of Inspire(d) Magazine! As always, the summer issue of Inspire(d) has a fun local food theme. This year we explored the Roots of Food – family recipes and the stories that go with them. Next, we take a leap back in time with 50 Years of Nordic Fest Fun (plus an infographic!), share our Bike Love and ride ideas, have a quick Q&A with musician Mason Jennings, an “organic” business conversation with Sno Pac Foods in Caledonia, and the community series takes us to Cresco, Iowa. Plus, of course, you’ll still find all our regular features like the monthly calendars (wow – it’s going to be a fun summer!), What We’re Loving, and a very, very special back page probituary with an extremely inspirational figure from Nordic Fest’s history – you’ll just have to read it to find out!

Click on over to read the whole Summer 2016 Inspire(d) online.

Also: This is our largest issue to date! We’re super excited to have increased to 84 pages for this summer, and our circulation has expanded too – 16,000 magazines will go out to the Driftless Area and beyond. Woot!

A million thanks to our talented contributors:
• Illustrations by the incredibly talented and wonderful Lauren Bonney.
• Writing Contributions from Sarah Friedl-Putnam, Kristine Jepsen, Jim McCaffrey, and Joyce Meyer.
• Photos for our community story on Cresco from Tanya Riehle of Blue House Studio and Jessica Rilling.

And a huge, massive, very grateful thanks to all of our advertisers. They are the reason we have been able to create 46 issues of Inspire(d) and continue this awesome “experiment in positive news.” Buy local! Please support the awesome local businesses of the Driftless Region. And when you visit our advertisers, let them know you saw them in Inspire(d)!

If you’d like to see where you can pick up a copy, please click over to this link. Magazines will be on stands in early June, but often go fast. If you’d like to see them somewhere in your neck of the woods, drop us a note! (benji @ iloveinspired.com)

Now get out there and enjoy the summer!

-Aryn, Benji, & Roxie