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  • HDT Team

Back to Basics 2018 – A Primer

**Registration for the 12th annual sustainable living event, Back to Basics: Navigating Changing Currents, is open! With 45 workshops to choose from, almost 50 vendors to shop at, informative and entertaining keynote speakers, door prizes, a delicious lunch, and school aged (K-4) children’s programming available, there’s fun for the whole family! Workshops ARE FILLING UP! So, don’t miss out.**

Every winter in Northern Minnesota brings with it four things.

  1. Bitter cold

  2. Time to perfect your hot tottie recipe.

  3. A reinvigorated perspective on what is more uncomfortable: being “too hot” or “too cold”*

  4. Something wonderful.

For the last 12 years, that wonderful something has been the annual sustainable living event, Back to Basics! It’s here. It’s finally here!

We wanted to focus on the importance of water, so we made this year’s theme: Navigating Changing Currents. We wanted to make more aware the troubling times in our nation, politically anyways, so we brought in two amazing keynote speakers who are well-versed in the the importance of recognizing climate change, the worldwide ecosystem, and our place within it.

“We’ll share ‘Why we need to be concerned and what you can do about it’” stated Phil


Mike Duvall and Phil Hunsicker will keynote the event with “slides and songs.”

Hunsicker when commenting on the keynote he and friend, Mike Duval will deliver on environmental challenges facing Minnesotans. The duo will educate and entertain with a mix of slides and songs on topics like climate change and aquatic invasive species (AIS). Both Phil and Mike work for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources where Phil is an AIS Prevention Planner in the Division of Ecological and Water Resources and Mike is a District Manager of the Division of the Ecological and Water Resources.

As always, the Vendor Area is open to the public, all day, free. This is a great opportunity to check out sustainable living-focused products and services designed to help you navigate today’s changing currents. Many of the vendors are also presenters; with 45 workshops it’s possible to get everything from an introduction to a deep dive on topics ranging from hydroponics and raised-bed gardening to exercise and stress-reduction.

Keep in mind, ala carte registration makes it easy to take one or a few workshops instead of the full day, which includes lunch and workshops. Pre-registration is available until noon on Thursday, January 25th. Walk-in/day-of registration opens at 8am Saturday, January 27th at PR-B School.

Event hosted by Happy Dancing Turtle and Pine River-Backus Community Education.

For complete event details including workshop descriptions, vendor list, and to register and pay online, visit

*I need to make it clear that there is absolutely nothing, not one thing, more uncomfortable than being cold. People will say, “Yeah, but Colin, you can always put on another sweater or cover up in another blanket when you’re cold”. To that I will say that once you do things to stop being cold, you aren’t cold anymore. What I’m talking about is the state of being cold, which is BRUTAL. You shiver. You ache. You begin to question why your simple pioneering ancestors chose, out of all the majestic wavy land in this abundant and beautiful country to stop here, in central Minnesota, where the summer days are long but few and the winter days are legion. We haven’t even gotten through the first month of winter in mid-January. We’ve got two whole months to go before we can even sniff a temperature over zero. We are arrogant in our insistence of staying here. Our hubris will be our downfall.


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