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Weekend driving tour highlights arts and food on local farms

A barn painted black with the words "Just Dandy" on the front
Just Dandy is one of the stops on a Food and Art Tour taking place May 27-28, 2023, in Bemidji and surrounding areas.

Taste of the Arts offers two days of self-guided adventure around rural Beltrami County where locations offer mixed disciplines of music, arts demonstrations and food.

PUPOSKY — A driving tour in Bemidji and the surrounding area this weekend guides people to food and arts experiences in the city and beyond.

The spotlight is on local fermented foods as part of the Taste of the Arts Tour, which includes nine stops in rural locales in Beltrami County. Those partaking in the tour Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28, can observe art in the making, take part in demonstrations or farm tours and taste a plethora of offerings.

Ginger honey, sourdough bread, yogurt, sauerkraut and pickled vegetables are all on the menu alongside basketweaving, kombucha making, sculpture creation and more on this self-guided journey.

A mushroom painting by artist Alena Hrabcakova.
A mushroom painting by artist Alena Hrabcakova.

In rural Puposky at Puposky Pearl mushrooms, folks can sample mushrooms grown and prepared by Thamrong “Keng” Dechawuth while artist Alene Hrabcakova will lead a painting demonstration. Another stop along the journey includes kimchi making and family band performances, while another offers sourdough bread demonstrations and tastings along with wooden bowl making. Welding, puppet making and poetry all make appearances as well.

Cate Belleveau, who organized the tour as part of her nonprofit Belle Thalia Creative Art Space, joined Area Voices on the KAXE/KBXE Morning Show to share what visitors can expect and her inspiration for the grant-funded event.

“Cultureshed” is a term Belleveau first heard a rural arts summit, and the meaning behind it led to this weekend’s tour. Belleveau described the term as “a geographic region irrigated by streams of local talent and fed by deep pools of human and natural history — an area nourished by what is cultivated locally and the efforts of writers, performers, visual artists, scholars, farmers.”

Cate Belleveau.
Cate Belleveau.

Belleveau said the timing of the event coincides with planting time, and for thousands of years, farmers in cultures around the world celebrated this time with dance, music and theater.

Not all performances or art events will occur both days, but detailed schedules of events should be able to be found at tour locations. Since the creation of the maps, road construction taking place will take those following the route on a detour. Birchmont Beach Road is under extensive construction between Lake Bemidji State Park and Parker’s Lake Road. People are advised to take Power Dam Road from Bemidji to avoid delays.

A map showing QR codes of a Taste of the Arts driving tour through rural Bemidji
Katie Carter
A map shows the driving tour for Taste of the Arts through rural Bemidji. The event is May 27-28, 2023.

  1. Candles and fermented honey from Wildflower Cottage and Shannon Westrum, basketmaker. 4905 Bemidji Ave. N., Bemidji. 
  2. Wood bowls from Swamp Hill Carpentry and sourdough bread from Francois Fouquerel. 6714 Parkers Lake Road NE, Bemidji. 
  3. Sauerkraut and baked goods from Frenzel Farm and Annalise Aakhus, folk singer. 36008 Corlan Road, Blackduck. 
  4. Sauerkraut and vegetables from Kroeger/Rixen Farms and poetry on antique typewriters from Gail Rixen. 26377 Irvine Road, Bemidji. 
  5. Eco-boutique and refillery (for bulk items) from Just Dandy; sourdough bread and spices from Wildflower Farm; and Carrie Jessen, weaver. 16544 Puposky Road, Bemidji. 
  6. Fermented mushrooms from Puposky Pearl and Alena Hrabcakova, painter. 2233 Great Divide Road NW, Puposky. 
  7. Yogurt and goat milk body care products from Belle Thalia; sculptor from Rock Iron Art; and kombucha from Cali Kombucha. 24011 Highway 89 NW, Puposky. 
  8. Kimchi from Minam Morris and Not Your Average Family Band (bluegrass). 9644 Linwood Court NW, Bemidji. 
  9. Sauerkraut and vegetables from Jack Judkins and Mary Therese, silk painter. 6689 Beltrami Line Road SW, Bemidji. 

Area Voices is made possible by the MN Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of MN.

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