MOSES Organic Farming Conference

The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service hosted its annual Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, WI and I went! My blog and twitter have been silent for a while, but I assure you alternative farming systems are always on my mind. I’ve worked on a local organic farm, joined the Duluth Young Farmers Coalition,…

Long Journey Home

I am back in Minnesota! My lovely mother flew up to assist with the drive home. It was a very fun trip despite some very long driving days! I am absolutely in love with the Fall colors across North America, right now. I had the realization that I haven’t been in this part of the…

Belated Whitewater Rafting Photos

Here are my favorite photos from the whitewater rafting excursion from my family’s  vacation in Jasper last month. Our trip was on the Sunwapta river. You can tell from our faces in the photos we didn’t have a good time at all. Nope, no fun for the Brainard girls. Of course that was sarcasm at…

One Last Farm Weekend in Alberta

I had an awesome weekend. Really really awesome. At first it looked like last weekend might have been a flop. A trip to a garlic festival in BC was canceled last minute, leaving me very disappointed that I had no fun plans for my last free weekend in Alberta. But then I remembered another event…

NAPC Schedule and a Case for Learning Close to Home

First things first! The final Northern Alberta Permaculture Convergence schedule is live and can be seen below at the bottom of this post!  I’m really excited for our lineup of workshops. One of the many things that make this Convergence special is our line-up of social permaculture workshops. Social permaculture is a more recent, and…

The Brainard Girls’ Vacation in Jasper

Last week my mom, sister, and aunt flew out for a vacation in beautiful Jasper National Park. Here’s more photos than you wanted to see from our trip. Not pictured here is our super awesome whitewater rafting trip on the Sunwapta River. It was super awesome. Mom, Celesta, and Weezie, thank you so much for…

That’s It! (Well, not quite)

August 31st was not only Jupiter’s “got-me” day, it was also technically the end of my Fulbright research term. With the beginning of the 2016 school year and the end of the 2015 fiscal calendar, I am now a Fulbright alumni. The University of Alberta will be shutting down my UAlberta email and no more…

Meaningful and Immersive Travel Experiences

There are a lot of problems with traveling: Social problems of escaping your own culture and exploiting others. Environmental problems of using carbon intense means of travel and putting pressure on wild landscapes for our recreational benefit. Financial problems of it being just so darn expensive and unsustainable. But if you really want to travel…

Media Inspiration to Travel

I bounce between passionate feelings for two extreme travel-related options: Localized societies and economies and bioregionalism are the only sustainable way for society to progress. We need to produce everything we need from food to furniture locally, eliminate fossil fuel guzzling transportation, and invest more in our local communities. Our jobs, family, and societies shouldn’t…

Urban Farms in Vancouver

I visited Vancouver! I would never forgive myself if I didn’t take advantage of my prolonged stay here in Western Canada to visit this city I’ve heard so much about. I was not disappointed. Vancouver is a beautiful city with a vibrant culture. Despite being on vacation, I couldn’t resist visiting a few farms while…

Coming Back, Giving Back (NSLI-Y webinar)

I had the honor earlier this month to be a presenter in a webinar as an alumni of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth program (NSLI-Y). NSLI-Y is a scholarship offered to American high school students by the US Department of State to allow students to study abroad and learn languages rarely taught in American schools. I had the…

Hello, Canada!

On the road to my Fulbright program in Red Deer, Canada.  I discovered new places in my home state of Minnesota, and had my first taste of the wide open spaces of Canada.  It was a wonderful way to ring in the new year, and I know more good things are yet to come!