Taste The Waste Event: February 7th at the Red Stag Supperclub

“Reducing food waste by even one-third could feed 50 million people.” – Minnesota Monthly, “Taste the Waste” Event Summary

Would you like to help reduce food waste, support climate action, and encourage closed-loop creative culinary artistry all while fine dining? Then this is an event for you! With food donated from Twin Cities Co-op Partners, our very own Tiny Diner Chef Zach Marquardt, Chef Shannel Winkel from The Bird Rocks, Chef Lachelle Cunningham, and St. Paul College culinary students will transform recovered food into small plates with amazing flavors.

Your $35 ticket will include a dinner, Finnegans beer, tax and gratuity. More importantly, all proceeds will go to supporting MN350.org. This organization works with individuals and communities to collectively counteract climate change. For more information or for tickets, go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/taste-the-waste-tickets-52684288124.

Cheap Date Night on Mondays

Are you wondering where to go after a long Monday at work? Do you need to treat yourself and someone special to great conversation, good food, and satiating drinks? If you haven’t yet heard, Tiny Diner is offering cheap date night this winter on Mondays from 5-9pm. The cheap date night includes 2 entrees, a bottle of wine or a few drinks for just $28! Don’t be shy – take advantage of our Monday night special each week.

Slow down, hibernate and read! January Book Recommendations

At the Tiny Diner we hope to encourage everyone to slow down in their busy lives. Slow down to treat each other with respect and kindness. Slow down to eat great food and socialize in a colorful and joyful setting at our restaurant. Slow down to walk through our gardens in the summer, notice other living beings and how they function. Given that we are in the depth of winter, it is a great time to slow down and dive into new information without the screen: book reading. We have plenty of great local bookstores and libraries to support in the Twin Cities. Plus “old-fashioned” books take less energy (no battery needed) and they are easier on your eyes and biorhythm than screen light.

We have developed a tiny list of local bookstores and a few books that you can check out to expand your knowledge about healthy living in some way or another. This is a great segway for our upcoming spring bookclub that we are starting come April. So get cozy in your home or bring a book to the TD on a sleepy afternoon. Take notes. And keep absorbing amazing information through these slow winter months.

Book Recommendations

A Field Guide to the Natural World of the Twin Cities by John J. Moriarty

How to be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery

First We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety by Sarah Wilson

Food, Genes, and Culture: Eating Right for Your Origins by Gary Paul Nabhan


Great bookstores to support

Birchbark Books & Native Arts

Magers & Quinn Booksellers

Moon Palace Books

Wild Rumpus

January 2019 Menu Highlight: Shrimp and Grits

Whether you are looking for a full meal or would like slow-time happy hour appetizers, we have it all. Here are a few menu highlights this month.

For a main course, our shrimp and grits dish will serve you well. It consists of cheese grits with cajun sauteed shrimp in a cajun bbq sauce topped with green onions and served with garlic butter crostini. It is best paired with Herencia Altes Garnatxa Blanca wine and topped off with one of our hearty desserts, carrot cake.

If you are looking for just a tiny bite, come grab a cold drink and some of our amazing melt-in-mouth cheese curds.

January and February Winter Classes 2019

All of our January and February classes will be held at the Red Stag Supperclub’s party room to provide more space during the cold winter months. All classes will resume at the Tiny Diner come April 2019. Please write to koby@tinydiner.com with any questions you may have about the classes. Class sign-up encouraged 48 hours in advance.


Insect Survival Series

Our insects need us now more than ever! Come take one or all three classes taught by the wonderful entomologist Jessica Miller of Dragons Wynd. She brings tons of info and amazing hands-on visuals for all ages. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to learn about tiny-yet-awe-inspiring insects this winter. Check out Dragon’s Wynd: https://www.facebook.com/dragonswynddotcom/.


Winter & Minnesota Insects
Saturday January 19th

Learn where insects go in winter and specifics about migrating Minnesota butterflies. Discover how you can support wintering insects and help them return year after year. Tickets/Sign-up: https://bpt.me/4051017

Location: Red Stag Supperclub
509 1st Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Cost: $10


Invite Mosquito Eaters to Your home!
Saturday January 26th

Minimize mosquitoes in your yard with some simple tips! For instance, damselflies love hanging out in patches of tall grass. This is one of the many tips you will learn in this class to increase healthy insect visitors in your area. Get prepared for creating insect habitat as soon as spring comes around. Tickets/Sign-up here: https://bpt.me/4051033

Location: Red Stag Supperclub
509 1st Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Cost: $10


Secret Lives of Insects
Saturday February 2nd

Take a sneak peek into the secret lives of insects. We will decode insect movement and gestures. That dancing mantis or walking stick, the lone ant who seems to be lost, and many other insect secrets are exposed in this class. If we are going to be better stewards for insects and the other essential life forces we depend on, this class us wake up to the intricacies of insects. To sign-up: https://bpt.me/4051043

Location: Red Stag Supperclub
509 1st Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Cost: $10


Seed Series I: Seed Saving 101 For Your Home & Community
Saturday February 16th

Seed saving is a survival art that we need to revive! Plus it is colorful, delicious and ever-changing. Bring all the questions you have about growing and sharing seeds – we will cover the basics for home production. Plus we will have seeds to share with all participants. Feel free to bring seeds of your own to share as well. To sign-up: https://bpt.me/4051059.

Location: Red Stag Supperclub
509 1st Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Cost: $10

Koby Hagen of Seed Sages, a local steward for seed education and security, has a wide range of experience with seed production from home to commercial scale. She brings a passion for supporting new and experienced seed savers by merging traditional and innovative practices. Her goal is to pass on seeds, land-based knowledge, skilled leadership and our common seed inheritance to future generations (humans and all other beings).


Demystifying Permaculture: Design for Land, Life & Community
Sunday February 17th
1-2pm Discussion ($5-10)
230-4pm: Workshop ($20)

Still not quite sure what the hype of Permaculture is really all about? Have you heard the word but not convinced that it applies to you? Join us for a short exploratory talk and optional workshop to dive deeper as we break down the design process in a way that reveals the diversity of applications in land, life and community design. 1-2PM – Free to Attend. Suggested Donation for the talk is $5-$10.

In the optional workshop that follows, participants will gain simple, effective tools that can be applied to their own context, goals & vision. This will provide more in-depth opportunities for discussion, connecting with new friends and neighbors on this regenerative path. 2:30-4PM – Workshop is $20.

To sign-up for discussion and/or workshop, visit: https://bpt.me/4051063

Bio: Megan & Cody Mastel are certified permaculture designers, farmers, facilitators and skilled leaders in earth reconnection practices. They lead retreats, grow & craft bioregional foods, provide experiential education & cultivate habitats of reconnection through Living Hearth Farm & School, including the Open Hearth PDC which explores the resilient culture, communities, & skills of the Upper Midwest. Their business, Land by Hand, provides consulting, Permaculture design & planning, implementation and promotion for individuals, families, farms, businesses & communities. Local organizations they partner with include Tiny Diner, Make MN Magazine, U of M Landscape Arboretum, Seed Sages, Ecological Design, Organic Compound, Buttermilk Falls CSA & MCTC. Connect with Cody & Megan at landbyhand.org and thelivinghearth.com

Location: Red Stag Supperclub
509 1st Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413


Seed Series Class II: The Wonderful World of Seeds
Sunday March 10th

Seeds have always been a part of human existence. We cannot live without them. But seeds are a fairly new evolutionary jewel on our earth. Why did they develop? Why are they so special? Come find out and acquire an unforgettable view on our seed inheritance. To sign-up for this class, visit: https://bpt.me/4051084

Location: Red Stag Supperclub
509 1st Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Cost: $10

Koby Hagen of Seed Sages, a local steward for seed education and security, has a wide range of experience with seed production from home to commercial scale. She brings a passion for supporting new and experienced seed savers by merging traditional and innovative practices. Her goal is to pass on seeds, land-based knowledge, skilled leadership and our common seed inheritance to future generations (humans and all other beings).

Winter Care Fair November 4th

Get healthy with us! On Sunday November 4th from 2-430pm we are hosting our first “Winter Care Fair” at the Tiny Diner. From local makers who will help you stay warm to herbalists who will help you fight colds to wilderness experts who will advise you on how to start fires and dress properly – this event has something for everyone! With bonfires outside and warm drinks and snacks inside, there is nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon than join us.

Facebook event site: https://www.facebook.com/events/1185189454952164/




Final Fall Harvest and Garden Winterization

Our final farm and garden harvests are in. Most of the fall leaves have tumbled down, laying beautiful rustic confetti for us to walk upon. A calm, warming sunlight shines under the patio and illuminates tidied garden, play hive and outdoor seating spaces. Like other growers and growing spaces, we are ready for a hibernating winter. And this is what we have done to prepare for it.

Rural Farm Manager Tony harvested the last of his greens, baby carrots and beets, green tomatoes, peas, and winter squash. At the Tiny Diner, we harvested the last of our kale, transplanted herbs for indoor use, and cleaned up untidy areas. We pulled up diseased plants from the roots up to compost them. And we cut off other plants at their base (like beans) to allow their roots to decompose directly in the soil.

After final harvests and plant removal, we make sure properly tuck in our growing spaces. It is not enough to remove annual plants. We seed cover crops like winter rye, winter peas, and oats in September (ideally) into our empty beds to prevent erosion through the late fall and early spring. There little sprouts will growing during cold nights and chilly days until the snow comes. At the rural plot, we add composted manure, as demonstrated by the late soil-builder expert Bruce Bacon of Garden Farme, to all of our beds. Then we mulch with 3-4″ of hay to keep soil in tact. For our gardens at the TD, we add straw-stuffed coffee bags and dense straw bales to growing spaces that will not receive snow but are outside so the plants do not freeze too hard and die.

Even with our garden and farm plots evanescing, there are still wonderful colors, textures and patterns to absorb and cherish. Come on down to the Tiny Diner for a hot tea or coffee and walkabout. It is a good time for taking notes not only on our plant season but on our personal season as well. Happy fall!

Rural Farm Manager Tony overlooking his abundance plots at Garden Farme and contemplating the end of the season.

First Place Tomato: White Cherry

Despite a very hot and humid day for our 5th Annual Tomato Tasting & Spice Challenge, we had a
great turnout of spice lovers and tomato coneissuers. To get the day started, local neighborhood volunteers Mary Stade and Cindy Hagen helped Seed Sages set-up the event. And a wonderful volunteer, Christine Harkess Shortridge , of Open Arms helped guide people through the various tasting steps. 5 different farms entered their tomato contenders including Hexagon Farm & Projects, Open Arms Farm, Heirloomista, Seed Sages, and our Tiny Diner @ Garden Farme. Tomato varieties included Pink Ponderosa, Honeydrop, Early Girl, White Cherry, Yellow Pear, Mountain Gold, White Cherry, Black Cherry, Estrina, Principe Borghese, Nepal and Rose de Berne.

In addition to 11 tomato varieties for tasting, we also had a “Spice Challenge” table to assist everyone in opening up their senses to healthy and exciting flavors. The spices included shiso, raw garlic, raw ginger, a spicy serrano pepper, and nasturtium leaves, fresh tulsi basil and sweet banana peppers from our gardens at the Tiny Diner.

After everyone finished sampling all the tomatoes and voting, clear first, second and third place winners surfaced. Each grower received a prize from the Tiny Diner. Here are the results:

First place: White Cherry from Hexagon Projects and Farm
Second place: Black Cherry from Heirloomista
Third place: A tie between Rose de Berne from Hexagon Farm and Estrina from Open Arms.

Thank you to our volunteers Christine, Cindy and Mary as well as our partner Seed Sages for making this event possible. Thank you to all of the growers who entered tomatoes too. Be sure to come to our 6th Annual Spice Challenge and Tomato Tasting next August 2019!


September Garden Update 2018

Have you come to the Tiny Diner this month? Did you see our honeybees pollinating our sunflowers? Did you

Herbs exploding out of planters this season.

notice that our willow thicket is gone? We have had a lot of changes – both seasonal and constructional – to our tiny landscape of late. Our gardens are more lush than ever this season. Here is a brief update so you can identify and watch our ever-changing landscapes evolve.

After 4 years of adding organic compost, cover cropping in the fall, supporting perennial blooms, and letting annual crops go to seed, we have large fruit and nut trees, huge berry bushes, and herbs that are encroaching on our pathways. We have had to prune, trim and shape these plants in order to encourage plant growth AND visual clarity for visitors. We have been harvesting tomatoes, peppers, nasturtiums, garlic, serviceberries, plums, cherries, and herbs throughoutf or the past month.

Our rooftop garden, which is in its third year of production, is in a difficult spot. We have been growing crops in the Night Shade (Solanaceae) Family for three years. These are crops that can handle sunny, hot and windy spots like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. However, this year, the tomatoes have produced very little and are very diseased. This is partially due to transplant nursery sources but is likely due to soil depletion as well. In plant containers of any kind, like our wooden planter boxes, soil depletes much more readily given that rain water washes through and it is aerated on all sides. We have decided that we are going to pull out all of our plants on the rooftop this week to properly amend the soil for next year. We will add compost and winter wheat as a cover crop to amend the soil. Plus, this rest period will force any tomato diseases to expire as well. Next year we will NOT plant tomatoes nor peppers on the rooftop and instead plant all herbs and flowers. We will forego short-term crop production gain in order to build more soil health for the long run.

Construction to improve our aqueduct and cistern system to catch all the rainwater from the west side of the restaurant roof.

Lastly, our willow thicket was dismantled in August given that it could not be repaired. This last week, our talented and friendly carpenter friend Dan began the installation of a new Play Hive for all. It is going to be built with cedar wood and strong pillars with hopes that it will endure for years to come. Additional construction pictures coming soon. You don’t have to wait for them though. You can check out the progression of our fall gardens and our NEW play hive by coming down to the Tiny Diner this month. The fall season is a perfect time to relax, observe and share the harvest with us!

In Our Hands: Bees and Seeds Workshop Sept 16th, 2018

Two fronts collide to form a necessary stewardship storm in this workshop at Lily Springs Farm: bees and seeds. With a lot of attention on our pollinators in the last couple of years, we decided to sponsor a unique and essential topic to continue life as we know it. Bees, among many other pollinators, co-evolved with flowering plants over thousands of years. Us humans came later to steward and harvest the abundance. While some plants can pollinate themselves without the help of any living being, many of the crops we rely on need bees to do the hard work. Most fruit and nut tress in the midwest, vegetables crops like tomatoes and squash, and our precious alliums like onions, require bees of all kinds to pollinate and produce. This workshop explores the depths of our relationship to bees, flowers and seeds with the aim to enhance our ability as a species to care for them through hard times.

With over 2 decades of collective experience, Erin Rupp of Pollinate MN and Koby Hagen of Seed Sages will include the following activities in this workshop:

  • Hive exploration with BEE SUITS
  • Detailed views of bee and flower ANATOMY
  • Flower scavenger hunts with BOTANY LOOPS
  • Seed collecting and sharing with GREAT PARTNERS
  • Resources and actions steps for the WHOLE FAMILY
  • TOUR of Lily Springs Farm
  • Light refreshments from TINY DINER

It is in our hands, literally and figuratively, to take care of bees and seeds we are blessed by. There are so many fun and easy things we can do to protect them and encourage vitality for seven generations. We hope that you will join us at Lily Springs Farm on Saturday September 16th from 10am to 1pm. Check out the event here and sign up today! Space is limited!