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".

Lazuli bunting, Oakland, CA
Doug Greenberg (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

There are poems on the wing upon the mountainsides – fraught with beauty and peril.  A female bunting with grass in her mouth is one such poem. In May, lazuli buntings return to the mountains and valleys of Montana.  Lazuli – stone of azure, jewel of the sky.  As spring ripens into summer, the males with their blue hoods and russet breast bands sing from atop shrubs and trees, and begin the rite of passion.

'The Food Guys' List Their Favorite Superfoods

May 17, 2020
Raspberries, one of the "superfoods" favored by The Food Guys
Pixabay

Grocery store shelves and website search engines groan under the weight of "superfoods" guaranteed to help you weight less, ache less, and generally perk up. From Food Guys Jon and Greg, here's a list of real superfoods, lurking in un-hyped peripheries of supermarkets and farmers' market tables. They're rich in bioavaiable forms of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids.

Milkweed

A hearth is many things: a place for solitude, a source of identity, something we make and share with others, a history of ourselves and our homes. It is the fixed center we return to, and it is just as intrinsically portable. It is, in short, the perfect metaphor for what we seek in these complex and contradictory times—set in flux by climate change, economic emergencies, migration, the refugee crisis, and the dislocating effects of technology.

Host John Floridis catches up with Seamus Egan: teen prodigy, multi-instrumentalist, film composer, bandleader and co-founder of the beloved Irish-American band, Solas. If you've watched the film "The Brothers McMullen" or listened to Sarah McLachlan’s “Weep Not for the Memories,” you've heard Egan's compositions.

Adventures In Pecan Pie - With Recipe

May 10, 2020
Aldon Hynes (CC-BY-2.0)

“It’s refreshing, in some curious way, to know that you can have failures, even though you ARE one of the Food Guys,” says Jon Jackson, after "Baking Wizard" Greg Patent explains why there were "dangerous-looking" pieces of pecan pie strewn around the Patent kitchen recently.

'Field Notes' Takes The Mystery Out Of Mushrooms

May 10, 2020
Mushrooms
(PD)

Throughout the human history of traipsing the earth in search of edibles, mushrooms have undoubtedly been the least understood and most feared flora in the forests of the world. Early Greeks and Romans thought most mushrooms were sinister, evil things. They associated them with dark, damp areas of decay and often depicted mushrooms in the company of snakes or toads, two key ingredients in witches’ cauldrons.

Dave McEvoy, co-founder and owner of Aerie Backcountry Medicine
courtesy of David McEvoy

What's Dave McEvoy's starting point for Aerie Backcountry Medicine's wilderness first responder training courses? The assumption that, in the backcountry, “no one is coming to help you.” What's the corollary? That an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. “First of all, what you mostly want is to not need help. So wilderness medicine classes are a lot about prevention.” Very basic prevention, it turns out, of blisters, hypothermia and twisted ankles - not to mention the potential hazards that accompany backcountry work and travel.

"Popular Music is both a love letter to music—how it accents, affects, and defines us through varying stages of our lives—and a hilarious and heart-breaking investigation of our relationship to technology, nature, and country. This book is in a class of its own and is simply unforgettable." -- Chicago Review of Books

Where Rocky Mountain wood ticks live
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (PD)

Spring has hit western Montana in full force. Days are longer than nights, temperatures are warming, and the snow is gone for the lower elevations. Animals that live here throughout the year, but become quiescent during the long, cold winters, are once again warm, active, and searching for their first meals of the spring. Such an animal is the Rocky Mountain wood tick, one of approximately 825 species of ticks known in the world, which as a group feeds solely on the blood of terrestrial vertebrates.

rawpixel.com (CC-BY-4.0)

The Food Guys, Jon Jackson and Greg Patent, want you to consider eating less meat and dairy. They've been looking at a meta-analysis of food's environmental impacts, published in Science in June 2018, titled "Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers." The study asks not only how food producers can reduce their environmental footprint, but what role consumers play. The answer to the latter: a big one, if we are willing to change our diets. 

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