Montana Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Author interviews, food, natural history, poetry, and more from "The Write Question", "The Food Guys", "Field Notes", "Home Ground Radio", "Front Row Center", and "Reflections West".

P.D. (U.S.D.A.-E.R.S.)

What did American farmers and food companies produce in 2016, compared to 1970?   A lot more of everything --  460 calories more, or 25% more daily. Given the growing circumference of Americans' waistlines, this raises The Food Guys' eyebrows. Based on a 2016 U.S.D.A. snapshot of the American food supply, they break down the trends of the last 46 years in the American diet.

Fen in the Butterfly Valley of the Plumas National Forest, CA
Harold Carlson, U.S.F.S. (PD)

Even as the deep snowpack buries much of the landscape in Western Montana, there are some very special wetland habitats that will not freeze at all this winter. These wetlands, known as fens, are among the rarest habitats in the state.

Through her gorgeous work of lyric autobiography, Raki Kopernik invites us into the lives of her Israeli parents and grandparents. She also weaves her own memories into the unfolding story of family and home, offering a critical perspective on history and ancestral trauma. This is a conversation about borders, scarcity, abundance, queer and immigrant identities, hunger, and falafel. 

Congratulations to Sarah Aronson, host of The Write Question on MTPR, for winning the 2018 New American Poetry Prize for her debut collection And Other Bodiless Powers.

You can hear some of Sarah's poetry during a reading featuring Sarah Aronson and Kelly Schirmann, Nov. 7 in Missoula. Sarah says she's also planning a Montana book tour.

Greg Patent Vs. The Orange Puff Cake Recipe

Nov 3, 2019
iStock

Maeta Heatter - who died recently at the age of 102 - was known as the "Queen of Cake," thanks in part to her 1974 cookbook, "Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts."  The moment that 'Food Guy' Greg Patent discovered it, he resolved to bake all 267 recipes in the book. Eighteen months later, he'd done so--except for the recipe on page 107 for Mildred Knopf's Orange Puff Cake.

Flathead Lake's Wild Horse Island.
Aaron Bolton

Just the name – Wild Horse Island – sends the imagination soaring. The short boat trip to this island on the west side of Flathead Lake about ten miles north of Polson is magical. This is certainly not an area where humans have left nothing but footprints. Even the name suggests a story.

Hidden Brain Host Shankar Vendantam talks with MTPR's Michael Marsolek about big ideas, understanding our blind spots and upcoming topics for the show.

S&K Technolgies CEO Chad Cottet.
Courtesy

Any investor I know would be ecstatic to see a return of $40 million on an initial investment of just $150,000. But that is exactly what has resulted from the seed money that the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes invested in a tribally-owned startup in 1999, and which has remarkably operated debt free ever since.

S&K Technologies has grown since then to a family of five companies of more than 900 employees with offices throughout the U.S. and around the world. From its headquarters on the Flathead Reservation, nestled in the Mission Valley in rural St. Ignatius, Montana, the company manages a complex government acquisition business that includes a landmark $4.2 billion contract from the U.S. Air Force.

Home Everywhere is a suitcase full of souvenirs scavenged from lives liberated, briefly, from the cares of the world. A random collection of tourists embarks on a ten-day budget trip to parts unknown. The parts are destined to stay that way, while the tourists fixate on the actions and trappings of being alive. In the tradition of pilgrims across the ages, they seek spiritual salvation, physical healing, alluring accessories, and good bargains. Soon their sacred places emerge as elusive versions of home. Private sorrows persist. The daily itinerary holds hints of escape, but in the end, gravity prevails, and they head back to normal life, hopes unrealized and undiminished, their secret dreams following in the jet stream.

Order in the Roost

Oct 27, 2019
Wild turkey
Daniel Parks (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

Once the turkeys had returned to the trees, a dance began. They leaped from branch to branch and sometimes switched trees, trying to get higher and higher—or so I thought. I began to wonder if the social hierarchy, so well-established for turkeys while on the ground, carries to the roost. Was it possible that the ideal vertical place in a tree could be the middle, high enough from land-based predators, yet far enough below flying threats from the night skies?

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