Tropical Leaves
Back to Basics

Virtual Workshops

If you're a previous Back to Basics participant who has wished you could have attended more workshops in previous're in luck! You choose your schedule in 2022! Watch 5, watch 25!


Registered participants will receive an email the morning of January 22 that will include links to:

  • Zoom to watch the keynote address live

  • A private YouTube Channel with all 25 of the pre-recorded video workshops below. These include the best of the 2021 virtual workshops plus 5 new ones for 2022!  New workshops have a "+" symbol after their title.

  • Handouts, which can also be found in the descriptions below and in the YouTube descriptions

  • Session evaluations, which can also be found in the YouTube descriptions.

Videos will be available to view anytime between January 22 and February 6. Watch as many as you'd like from the comfort of home!


Don't forget to fill out the Workshop Evaluation after you watch each video. If you share your email address with us (don't worry, your responses will still be anonymous), you'll also be entered into a prize drawing! Each evaluation you fill out gets your name in the drawing again.

Register Now

V1. Planting Native Vegetation for Wildlife, Preventing Erosion, Water Quality, and to Eat!

Sheila Boldt,

The Pine River Watershed Alliance & the Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)

Looking for options for native gardening, stormwater and shoreline landscaping, or forestry needs? This workshop will offer numerous planting, ordering, and grant options to help alleviate the cost of projects that aid in water quality protection. Attendees will be directed to where they can place orders for vegetation through the Crow Wing SWCD and other MN nurseries, as well as view forest management or other conservation options.

Handouts for this presentation are here.

V2. Surviving Your Winter Colds

Allie Brandon, Whakima Herbals

Sniffles, coughs, fevers, and fatigue - not many of us escape a common cold or two throughout the year. Join me for tips, tricks, and other herbal ideas for soothing symptoms and kicking colds to the curb, including the use of teas, tinctures, soups, and syrups. Come to learn about medicine straight from Mother Nature herself.

V3. Taking Care of Your Lymphatic System with Herbs

Pamela Broekemeier 

theHERBAL Cache

In this workshop, we will briefly go over what exactly the lymphatic system is and why it is important to keep it in good shape. Then we will look at a variety of readily available herbs/plants that can help maintain a healthy lymphatic system.

The handout for this presentation is here.

V4. Varicose Veins: What You Need to Know+

Pamela Broekemeier, theHERBAL Cache

In this workshop, you will learn what varicose veins are, who gets them, and why people get them. We will also cover some ways to prevent them, herbs that will help, and much more!

V5. Building Soil Health in Your Garden

Jim Chamberlin

Happy Dancing Turtle

This session will define soil health and why it's important to successful gardening. We will cover the basic soil health principles and discuss practical ways you can implement these to grow a healthy and abundant garden. You will come away with a better understanding of soil and low input methods to restore and protect it.

V6. Hedgelaying 101

Jim Chamberlin

Happy Dancing Turtle

Hedgelaying is a centuries-old practice used to build and maintain a living fence that will hold livestock and deter predators. This presentation will explore the various traditional hedgelaying techniques used in England and describe our first experience with laying a hawthorn hedge at Island Lake Farm. We will also discuss hedge maintenance and future plans to incorporate hedges into a keyline pasture system.

V7.  Gentle Lakeside Yoga 

Bryana Cook, Northern Yoga & Wellness|Boreal Bliss Yoga Retreats and Amanda Imes, Boreal Bliss Yoga Retreats

Enjoy two lighthearted and gentle yoga classes by the lake! Bryana and Amanda of Boreal Bliss Yoga Retreats co-teach these classes for your enjoyment. Think summer, water, and relaxation.

V8. Fermented Beverages Hard and Soft+

Steven Dahlberg

There was a time when both alcoholic beverages and “soft drinks” were considered beneficial, even medicinal. The reasons why include: 1) They were made from fruits and/or medicinal herbs, 2) unrefined sugars were used in moderation to preserve and/or carbonate them, and 3) they were fermented, usually at home or locally by people who knew and cared about you. The range of beverages includes: wines, ales, ciders, kombucha, kvass, ginger ales, root beers, switchels, shrubs, buttermilks, and kefirs. In this workshop we cover the general principles of making fermented alcoholic beverages, kombucha, buttermilk, ginger ale, and switchel.

V9. “Super Foods” - Nutrient Dense Foods for Optimal Health

Steven Dahlberg

Weston A. Price was on the right track when he determined that diets rich in vitamins and minerals were the key to good health. We also know that conventionally-grown and, especially, processed foods don’t provide this type of diet. This workshop will cover a short list of critical “super foods” that do fill the gaps. Some of these are ferments you can make yourself. You will also learn sources for each of the super foods and how to use them. The key idea is that your food is your medicine while supplements and medical treatment should be for crisis, not everyday care. The handout for this presentation is here.

V10. T'ai Chi and Chi Kung 

Dan Hegstad

Learn the “Moving Meditation” of T’ai Chi. The Chinese have known for centuries that the slow, purposeful movements of T’ai Chi promote health, healing, balance, and well-being of body, mind, and spirit. Anyone can learn and benefit from T’ai Chi regardless of age or physical ability. No special equipment is required. This session also includes a free online 'follow-along' Chi Kung video.

The handout for this presentation is here.

V11. Health and Wellbeing 101

Al Gawboy and Kara Schaefer, Crow Wing Energized

Join us as we discuss the most basic components of overall wellness including nutrition, exercise, hydration, and sleep, and how you can incorporate healthy habits into your daily routines.

The handout for this presentation is here.

V12. Keeping a Phenology Journal 

John Latimer

Northern Community Radio (KAXE)

Phenology is the study of phenomena or happenings in the natural world as it relates to the seasons. We will discuss how to create and maintain a phenology record around your home. Learn what the important observations are, how we can record them, and why it's important to do so.

The handout for this presentation is here.

V13. Vaping: What We Know. What We Can Do+

Nicki Lodge

Pine River Backus Family Center

In this workshop you will learn what vaping is, as well as the impact it has on the body. We will also provide  ideas and resources to prevent youth and adults from starting. Strategies and resources to support them in quitting will also be covered.

V14. Simple Meal Planning for a Healthy Family 

Beth Noordmans

Cooking at home and from scratch is the healthiest and most budget-friendly way to eat. But it can become an overwhelming amount of work quickly! Let me teach you the basics of what a healthy meal looks like and then teach you my simple system to make meal planning quick and easy. No more wondering what to make for dinner!

The handout for this presentation is here.

V15. Sourdough Made Simple 

Beth Noordmans

Learn how to make sourdough breads in a simple and easy way that works even with a busy life! We'll start with "growing" your own starter, then I'll teach you to use this starter to make yummy and healthy quick breads like waffles and biscuits, and then move onto things like pizza crust and an actual loaf of bread!

The handout for this presentation is here.

V16. Outdoor Cooking with a Dutch Oven: Fun and Delicious!

Tony Noordmans

Coaching 4 Simple Joy

Come learn basic, step-by-step use and care of a Dutch oven. We'll discuss tools and supplies needed, how to control temps, how to not burn food, what works well in a Dutch oven and what doesn't work so well. Discussion on alternative uses, cast iron restoration, homemade charcoal, and sustainability will be included. Recipes included.

V17. Thrivalism: Preparedness, Survivalism, Ingenuity

Tony Noordmans

Coaching 4 Simple Joy

A conversation on living intentionally. By being prepared physically, mentally, and emotionally for what life brings you. Learn how to develop skills, mindsets, and systems in order to not just survive but to thrive.

V18. Winter Wellness: Herbal Remedies for Cough, Cold and Flu Season

Marina Povlitzki

Plant Magick

During the Fall and Winter months we often find ourselves feeling under the weather. While regular challenges to our immune system are helpful and important, there are many easy things we can do to feel better sooner and more often. Join Herbalist, Marina Povlitzki, for a fun and informative lecture. You will learn about many different herbal preparations that can boost your health during cough, cold and flu season. Most of the herbs we will talk about might already be in your kitchen! Recipes included.

The handout for this presentation is here.

V19. Healthy Cells and Being Well

Stacey Quade

Energy for Life Connection

In this class, I hope to increase your understanding of how healthy cells thrive in a more alkaline environment and why abnormal cells and inflammation thrive in an acidic environment. Learn about choices, habits, and patterns that support healthy vital cells and wellness.

V20. Do Your Feet Hurt?

Stacey Quade

Energy for Life Connection

 and Joseph Quade

MPT, Great Lake Therapies

Take the time to come and learn why your feet take such a beating and how you can apply these simple techniques to make them feel better.

In this class you will learn:

1. The basic structure of the foot and how it supports you.

2. The common problems affecting the feet; plantar fasciitis, bunions, corns, and more.

3. The common injuries; sprains, toe jambs, fractures.

4. What you can do to repair, rebuild, and give them some love, including herbal allies that can help relieve conditions of inflammation, and support and heal tissues in the musculoskeletal system.

V21. BackWoodBasics in the Kitchen: Saturday Night Pizza

Mark Schutlz


Fire up the oven on a Saturday night and get ready to prepare a delicious super thin crust pizza using the best of the summer's produce and other locally sourced ingredients. We'll be using locally sourced pork for the sausage, tomato sauce from our garden, Heritage wheat from Sunrise Mill, and basil from our GardenStream tabletop garden.

V22. Introduction to Yoga Nidra

Jennifer Smith

Nisswa Yoga

Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation also known as conscious sleep. In our fast-paced world of constant distraction, cumulative stress, and poor sleep, it can be a powerful tool to help us cope. It systematically takes your awareness from the outer world towards an inner state of peace. It’s both a practice and a state of being. The body falls asleep as your mind stays gently aware. Relieve stress, improve focus, and sleep better. In this workshop, you’ll learn a brief history of the practice and then experience a guided Yoga Nidra meditation. Appropriate for all ages, shapes, and sizes, the practice is done lying down, using blankets, pillows, and perhaps a bolster and an eye pillow.

V23. Cordwood Construction+

Doug Weiss and Barb Mann

Balsam Moon

This inexpensive, do-it-yourself construction technique, that’s been around since at least the mid-1800s, is a great building alternative given today’s rising costs of construction. Join this session to learn some basics of structural options, sizing, preparation and seasoning of cordwood logs, options for the mortar, the steps of building cordwood structures, embellishments you can incorporate, and finishing. We’ll share tips we learned in the process of building a guest cabin and invite you to join us this summer for construction of a cordwood outhouse/shower/sauna at Balsam Moon Preserve located 10 miles west and south of Pine River.

V24. Intro to Electric Cars+

Doug Weiss and Barb Mann

Balsam Moon

So what's the scoop about electric vehicles (EVs)? In this fast-changing technical field of cars, we'll share the basic pros and cons of owning and operating an electric vehicle based on our experience since 2019. We'll cover: driving and mileage, charging the car, maintenance and repairs, and environmental considerations.

V25. Roll Out the Barrel: Build Your Own Wood-Fired Barrel Oven

Doug Weiss and Barb Mann

Balsam Moon

Do you dream of having your own wood-fired outdoor oven? Does a brick oven seem too daunting? Take an old steel drum barrel and convert it into an outdoor wood-fired oven that can bake up to a dozen loaves of bread at once, or six pizzas, or casseroles, roasted veggies, and more! This session will share the basic process and tips we learned through making one ourselves, from sourcing materials, and laying brick to sealing it all with cob.

B2B Enthusiasts are presenters, vendor/exhibitors, participants, and community members who choose to give a little extra to B2B on their registration. This money is used in future B2B events. We're very thankful for all of our 2022 B2B Enthusiasts - thank you for your donation!