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Posted on: September 7, 2023

Learn about Montana Agricultural History through our Fall OLLI Events

Fall_2023_OLLI Newsletter (1)

Belgrade Community Library is once again to host a season of free community events with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at MSU.

Presentations for this Fall will include:

Montana Crops: Past & Present with Jack Riesselman

Sept 21 from 6-7:30PM

Changing markets have had a huge influence on what crops Montana producers grow.  In the pre-prohibition era there were numerous local breweries in Montana that depend on barley grown in  Manhattan and Townsend,  Montana.  With prohibition that changed and new crops replaced barley such as sugar beets which were grown for years in the Townsend valley along with spring wheat and alfalfa.  Post prohibition saw the rise of major breweries and  barley reappeared as a major crop but in different areas of the state.  Now with craft breweries in the picture local specialty barleys are again being grown in the state. There are many other examples of markets driving what crops were grown in the state including carrots and canning peas in the Gallatin valley, Flax in N.E. Montana,  mint and dill oil in N.W. Montana,  safflower in our eastern counties, hemp a world war 2 crop which has reappeared in central Montana.  Those are but a few of the many crops that have been grown commercially over the years that changing market needs have affected.

From Chaucer to Centerville: the Long, Tasty History of the Pasty with Joseph Shelton

Oct 19 from 6-7:30PM

The delectable meat-filled hand pie we call the pasty is an ancient invention, first mentioned in Chaucer and a staple of many working-class European and immigrant diets every since. But it was in Butte, America (arguably), where it was perfected. Once a mainstay of miners who would throw the crusts into the mines to appease the Tommyknockers lurking there, it remains the favorite food of the Richest Hill on Earth - and just maybe the rest of the state, too.

Grain to Glass: Local farm’s process from seed potatoes to potato vodka with Erica Droge

Nov 9 from 6-7:30PM

Join us for a twist on local farming as Erica Droge from Dry Hills Distillery shares her unique story of how they transformed their farming business into a thriving distillery. Dry Hills Distillery is a family-owned farm that grows seed potatoes and mixed cereal grains, and through skills learned at Moonshine University, they have utilized their oversized potatoes to create a line of handcrafted spirits. Learn about their value-added farming as they move from farm to bottle.

For more information and registration links, please visit our Fall OLLI page.

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