Shows and demos

Eco Experience Sustainability stage

State Fair's schedule

The State Fair's online schedule includes Eco Experience's daily presentations and demonstrations.

Sustainability stage

Presenting a wide variety of environment and sustainability-related topics, interactive discussions, music, demonstrations and more. Something for every shade of green!

Renewing the Countryside cooking stage with daily demos at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. where local chefs and foodmakers will bedazzle with cooking using local, organic foods.

Air Quality Index forecasting

MPCA staff will be available for questions and demonstrations (Aug. 23 and Aug. 31, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). They will explain the various pieces of the puzzle that go into air quality forecasting: air quality and weather monitor measurements, satellite and radar imagery, forecast models, and how pollution is impacted by weather.

August 23

10:00 a.m. Sewing mends the soul (and reduces pollution)
Come learn about the Mobile Menders organization and how they are providing dignity and mending services to hundreds across the metro area as well as giving new life to thousands of garments. (Michelle Ooley, Mobile Menders)
11:00 a.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Mark Augustine, Minneapolis Public Schools | Culinary and Wellness Services)
Noon Raising kids sustainably: Having a fun, healthy life and planet while saving money
In a world of junk food, greenwashing, poor role models and global threats, is it possible to raise kids to be happy, healthy, caring, and socially and environmentally responsible young people while creating a sustainable future? (Terry Gips, Alliance for Sustainability)
1.00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Mark Augustine, Minneapolis Public Schools | Culinary and Wellness Services)
2:00 p.m. How to keep mason bees
Interested in keeping non-stinging, native mason or leafcutter bees but don’t know where to start? This talk will give you step-by-step, year-round instructions on how to keep these pollinators. (Dawn Pape, We All Need Food and Water)
3:00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Mark Augustine, Minneapolis Public Schools | Culinary and Wellness Services)
4:00 p.m. Are we salting Minnesota's waters?
Did you know it only takes one teaspoon of salt to permanently pollute five gallons of water? Come learn more about what you can do to protect our lakes, streams, wetlands, and groundwater from chloride. (Brooke Asleson, MPCA)
5:00 p.m. Electric vehicle future
Xcel Energy will be presenting on the electric vehicle market, how people can drive electric today and what you need to know to charge an EV once you’ve made the purchase. (Neal Callinan, Xcel Energy)

August 24

10:00 a.m. Minnesota water wonderful
Amazing water! Come play with maps, droplets, and toys to understand watersheds and water chemistry. All ages pitch in to create a giant model using eSTEM. (Heidi Ferris, Growing Green Hearts)
11:00 a.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Nicci Sylvester, Tonic Local Kitchen & Juice Bar)
Noon The state of Minnesota's environment
Join Commissioner Stine to learn more about Minnesota's position as a leader in progressive environmental policy. (John Linc Stine, MPCA)
1.00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Nicci Sylvester, Tonic Local Kitchen & Juice Bar)
2:00 p.m. Tying sustainability and art into a remodel project
ECO builder/remodeler Ramy goes through simple steps to “green” your project from 2x4 selection to boiler selection to the use of natural products. (Ramy Selim, Sunny Day Earth Solutions)
3:00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Nicci Sylvester, Tonic Local Kitchen & Juice Bar)
4:00 p.m. Wild rice and native communities
In this presentation, Paul Rice will share the importance of wild rice to native communities and how it impacts the land and livelihood of native people. (Paul Rice, MN DOT)
5:00 p.m. Refashioning your closet
Take old shirts and learn how to transform them into something new and wonderful! (Terraleee Armbruster, Punchy Magnolia)

August 25

10:00 a.m. Backyard food forest
Tired of mowing the grass? Replace your lawn with a Food Forest! Learn about all the latest growing trends: Native plants, pollinators, healthy soil, seed saving, wise water use, and harvesting food at home! (Russ Henry, Minnehaha Falls Landscaping and Giving Tree Gardens)
11:00 a.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Yia Vang, Union Kitchen)
Noon MPCA fashion show
From new fashions to vintage, everyday brands to designer, you can look great for less and help the environment at the same time. Come see how much fun thrifting can be with a variety of looks! (MPCA Staff and Friends)
1.00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Yia Vang, Union Kitchen)
2:00 p.m. MPCA fashion show
From new fashions to vintage, everyday brands to designer, you can look great for less and help the environment at the same time. Come see how much fun thrifting can be with a variety of looks! (MPCA Staff and Friends)
3:00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Yia Vang, Union Kitchen)
4:00 p.m. Safe urban gardening
Come learn how to make your garden a source of fresh, healthy food by identifying potential risks from common soil contaminants and sensible practices for a safe urban garden. (Hava Blair, Minnesota Brownfields)
5:00 p.m. Safe urban gardening
Come learn how to make your garden a source of fresh, healthy food by identifying potential risks from common soil contaminants and sensible practices for a safe urban garden. (Hava Blair, Minnesota Brownfields)

August 26

10:00 a.m. Clothing pollution is a thing: How up-cycling and eco-fashion can help
Clothes shopping? Cleaning out the closet? We’ve got facts. We’ve got demonstrations. We’ve got eco-fashion. Make clothing decisions that can reduce clothing pollution! (Anita Stech, Cut Loose Creations)
11:00 a.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Ross & Linnea Logas, The Moral Omnivore)
Noon Community Gardening, Fruit Trees and Horticultural Activities: Growing Healthy Foods for the Twin Cities
Learn how vacant land can be transformed into a garden and the role of community gardens and fruit tree orchards in our communities. Plus, find out how donated foods are distributed to food shelters, non-profit centers and neighborhoods. (August Hoffman, Metro State University)
1.00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Ross & Linnea Logas, The Moral Omnivore)
2:00 p.m. Minnesota and German cities working together
Come by and be inspired by examples of creative thinking and partnership. With "Climate Smart Municipalities,” five Minnesota cities and international partners are combining holistic climate action with generating more local economic value. (Climate Smart Cohort, UMN Institute on the Environment)
3:00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Ross & Linnea Logas, The Moral Omnivore)
4:00 p.m. Clothing pollution is a thing: How up-cycling and eco-fashion can help
Clothes shopping? Cleaning out the closet? We’ve got facts. We’ve got demonstrations. We’ve got eco-fashion. All of this will help you make clothing decisions that can reduce clothing pollution. (Anita Stech, Cut Loose Creations)
5:00 p.m. Minnesota and German cities working together
Come by and be inspired by examples of creative thinking and partnership. With "Climate Smart Municipalities,” five Minnesota cities and international partners are combining holistic climate action with generating more local economic value. (Climate Smart Cohort, UMN Institute on the Environment)

August 27

10:00 a.m. Bees, pollinators, and our food system: Passing the policies we need in MN
What’s behind pollinator declines around the world? Come learn about the role of neonicotinoid pesticides in bee die-offs and what we can do to support pollinators and beekeepers in our communities! (Willa Childress, Pesticide Action Network)
11:00 a.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Kimberly Olson, Grandma's Gourmet)
Noon Learn how to be a good neighbor for healthy yards and clean water
Learn how we can be good neighbors at home to keep water clean, protect habitat and create a healthier environment for humans and wildlife. (Tammy Schmitz, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization)
1.00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Kimberly Olson, Grandma's Gourmet)
2:00 p.m. Refashioning your closet
Take old shirts and learn how to transform them into something new and wonderful! (Terraleee Armbruster, Punchy Magnolia)
3:00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Kimberly Olson, Grandma's Gourmet)
4:00 p.m. How to purchase and plant trees
Come hear about all the basics of planting a tree in your own yard! You’ll find out where to purchase a tree, what to look for in order to get the healthiest tree possible, how to properly plant, water, mulch, stake, and protect your tree. (MN Tree Care Advocate Program)
5:00 p.m. Pruning young trees and old shrubs
Pruning is key to a strong and healthy tree. Come and learn about the fundamentals of pruning and techniques of both young and mature shrubs! (MN Tree Care Advocate Program)

August 28

10:00 a.m. People friendly driver
The Minnesota People Friendly Driver (PFD) Project is a toolbox for educating motorists on safe driving behaviors around people who walk and bike. Join in and learn how to protect Minnesota’s most vulnerable road users! (CJ Lindor, Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota)
11:00 a.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Carrie Riggs, Alma: Café, Hotel, & Restaurant)
Noon Alternatives to lawns
Learn the concepts, methods, and resources for creating a diverse pollinator habitat, a low maintenance turf grass lawn or a beautiful native wildflower meadow, while reducing high maintenance monoculture bluegrass lawns. (Bob Dahm, Organic Bob)
1.00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Carrie Riggs, Alma: Café, Hotel, & Restaurant)
2:00 p.m. Declutter and do good: Surprising things you can donate to charity
In this interactive and eye-opening presentation, find out what you can donate, where you can bring donations, and what nonprofits do with them! (Jennifer Victor-Larsen, HeroSearch)
3:00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Carrie Riggs, Alma: Café, Hotel, & Restaurant)
4:00 p.m. At-home organics recycling made easy!
Join us for interactive demonstrations on easy, at-home organics recycling. We’ll cover: ways to start a successful program, why it’s important to divert organics, and how to use finished compost. (Organix Solutions)
5:00 p.m. At-home organics recycling made easy!
Join us for interactive demonstrations on easy, at-home organics recycling. We’ll cover: ways to start a successful program, why it’s important to divert organics, and how to use finished compost. (Organix Solutions)

August 29

10:00 a.m. The Great Minnesota Tap Water Taste Test
What city has the best-tasting water in Minnesota? Come to The Great Minnesota Tap Water Taste Test and learn about drinking water, participate in the action, and help judge the competition. (Stew Thornley, MN American Water Works Association)
11:00 a.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Kelly McManus & Zachary Duwenhoegger, Dumpling & Strand, Noodlers at Large)
Noon Wildlife tracking in the Twin Cities metro area
The Metro Area is home to a remarkable diversity of wild mammals. Though illusive, they leave behind tracks and signs for us to see. Come learn a bit about tracking, hear stories from the field, and learn how to get involved. (Jonathan Poppele, Minnesota Wildlife Tracking Project)
1.00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Kelly McManus & Zachary Duwenhoegger, Dumpling & Strand, Noodlers at Large)
2:00 p.m. Your carbon food-print
Find out about how your food choices impact the planet and what easy steps you can take to reduce that impact, like eating seasonally, buying in bulk, and paying attention to food packaging. (Kristine Kvamme, Do It Green! Minnesota)
3:00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Kelly McManus & Zachary Duwenhoegger, Dumpling & Strand, Noodlers at Large)
4:00 p.m. What are sustainable food choices and can they allow us to live longer, healthier and cheaper?
In this upbeat, informative and interactive presentation, explore the power of your fork to create a healthy, sustainable world and life with nutrient-dense foods. (Terry Gips, Alliance for Sustainability)
5:00 p.m. Managing aggressive & invasive species
Aggressive and invasive tree, shrub, and plant species can wreak havoc on your garden. So come learn about common species, how to properly identify them, why they are detrimental to native plants and trees, and how to manage these species in the landscape (MN Tree Care Advocate Program)

August 30

10:00 a.m. Buckthorn quick fix
Removing buckthorn is only the beginning of restoring woodlands. Learn how to use compost, cardboard, and beneficial soil biology to truly heal the soil and help eliminate invasive plants. (Bob Dahm, Organic Bob)
11:00 a.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Ann Ahmed, Lemon Grass Thai and Sushi)
Noon DIY Organic Lawn Care
Come find out how to create a chemical-free lawn that will be the envy of your neighborhood! We will discuss seed, fertilizer, weed control, and proper watering. You will leave with maintenance schedules, information and product resources and the confidence to have your own organic lawn. (Bob Dahm, Organic Bob)
1.00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Ann Ahmed, Lemon Grass Thai and Sushi)
2:00 p.m. Natural foods and decoratives from the woods or backyard
Come learn about and identify natural foods and decoratives that you can harvest in the woods or plant in your backyard! We’ll cover sustainable harvests, uses, permits, plant species, and resources and highlight the Minnesota Harvester Handbook. (Gary Wyatt, University of Minnesota Extension)
3:00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Ann Ahmed, Lemon Grass Thai and Sushi)
4:00 p.m. The potential of citizen voices in reducing chloride pollution
Did you know that deicing salts used in winter maintenance is permanently accumulating in Minnesota’s waters? Learn how citizens can actively engage municipalities, schools, businesses, or faith and living communities to reduce deicer usage. (Randy Holst, Stop Over Salting)
5:00 p.m. Antibiotics in Minnesota: Video contest screening and panel conversation with experts
High school students around the state submitted 30-second videos on responsible antibiotic use. Come watch the final three videos and learn about antibiotic impacts on human, animal, and environmental health (Amanda Beaudoin, Minnesota Department of Health)

August 31

10:00 a.m. Green or not?
With the “green” movement now mainstream, former ECO store owner and environmentalist Ramy covers many simple things you can do to green up your daily life. (Ramy Selim, Sunny Day Earth Solutions)
11:00 a.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Saba Andualem, Urban Roots)
Noon How to design and build a tiny house
A Minnesota-licensed contractor will go through the reality of building and living in a "tiny house," including realistic costs. (Ramy Selim, Sunny Day Earth Solutions)
1.00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Saba Andualem, Urban Roots)
2:00 p.m. Plant trees like you mean it — sustainably
Many planted trees will not mature because of root defects or poor planting. Come learn the correct planting guidelines for installing food quality trees so that they have the best chance possible to live a long, healthy, useful life. (Jim Nayes, Living Sculpture Trees)
3:00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Saba Andualem, Urban Roots)
4:00 p.m. Low-maintenance edible landscapes
Fruit trees, shrubs, and vines are a great way to diversify your landscape and an introduction to local food production. We will share low-maintenance species that are great starter options, requiring little pruning and being less susceptible to disease. (MN Tree Care Advocate Program)
5:00 p.m. Have fun and stay safe on your bicycle
Come ask Mr. Michael your bicycle questions and hear his expert advice on how to care for your bicycle, and how to stay safe while riding. You’ll also have the chance to take an interactive quiz and win prizes! (Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles)

September 1

10:00 a.m. The magic of homemade fermented beverages
Learn to turn ordinary foods, almost by magic, into healthful fermented drinks while having fun and saving money and energy! Find out how to safely make natural, tasty drinks that are good for your gut using fruit, veggies, and even their peelings. Recipe (Lisa McMahon, MPCA)
11:00 a.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Tony Dimaggio, Sacred Blossom Farm and Herbal Tea)
Noon Creating an allergy & toxin free home
Allergens and toxins lurk in your house creating poor indoor air quality and healthy. Hear the insights on finding culprits in your home that hide in plain sight creating allergies, asthma and other health issues. Easy solutions abound! (Shaylee Olseon, Eco Shaylee)
1.00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Tony Dimaggio, Sacred Blossom Farm and Herbal Tea)
2:00 p.m. The thin green line: Protecting wildlife around the world
Protecting wildlands and wildlife around the world is a dangerous job: On average, a ranger is killed in the line of duty three days! Explore current events from our backyards to Yellowstone National Park to Kruger Park, South Africa. (Loras Holmberg)
3:00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Tony Dimaggio, Sacred Blossom Farm and Herbal Tea)
4:00 p.m. The era of clean cars is here
Did you know Minnesota is a leader in alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies? Come learn about the new era of vehicles that will reduce the polluted air around us. (Lisa Thurstin, MPCA)
5:00 p.m. Trees & shrubs for 2050
Learn about the options of trees and shrubs to plant today in order to have healthy, adaptive trees that will benefit the future as our climate changes. (MN Tree Care Advocate Program)
6:00 p.m. What's wrong with my shade tree?
Are you seeing black spots, leaf feeding, or bright yellow leaves on your shade tree? We’ll talk common Minnesota shade trees, the issues that plague them, and the management of these issues to help your tree thrive. (MN Tree Care Advocate Program)

September 2

10:00 a.m. Electric vehicles in Minnesota
Electric vehicles provide a new opportunity for cleaner and more efficient transportation, but how do they work here in Minnesota? We will talk about the technologies behind this shift, models available in Minnesota and our panel of plug-in vehicle owners (Jukka Kukkonen, Minnesota Plug-in Vehicle Owners)
11:00 a.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Ruhel Islam, Gandhi Mahal)
Noon SEWERMAN!
Sewerman takes you on a journey into the icky world of sanitary and storm sewers. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll plug your nose, you’ll hurl! (Dave Legvold, Legvold Farm)
1.00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Ruhel Islam, Gandhi Mahal)
2:00 p.m. The view from the tractor seat
The challenges and details of conservation farming. Is Minnesota falling far behind in making strides in conservation? Come hear about the buffer issue and some great research done by college students at St. Olaf and Carleton. (Dave Legvold, Legvold Farm)
3:00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Ruhel Islam, Gandhi Mahal)
4:00 p.m. What's wrong with my evergreen?
Are you seeing signs or symptoms of disease or stress on your evergreen trees? Hear an overview of common evergreens in Minnesota and the issues they may experience. We’ll talk identification, treatment and care for these issues. (MN Tree Care Advocate Program)
5:00 p.m. How to recognize good arboriculture
If you’re looking for a professional arborist, come learn about what to look for, questions to ask before hiring a professional, and how to identify improper practices that could harm your tree or property. (MN Tree Care Advocate Program)

Labor Day: Your last chance to take in all the 2018 Eco Experience has to offer!

September 3

10:00 a.m. How to make and use safe and effective personal care products
Learn how to make and use simple, effective, and non-toxic personal care products using ingredients found at your local co-op. (Summer Streets, MPCA)
11:00 a.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Tammy Wong, Rainbow Restaurant)
Noon Brake Bread: A bike-based, community-supported bakery
Good things take time. St. Paul bike-based bakery Brake Bread believes this to be true. Join them and learn about sustainable business practices, becoming a community supported-bakery, sourcing ingredients, and delivering bread by bike year round. (Nate Houge, Brake Bread)
1.00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Tammy Wong, Rainbow Restaurant)
2:00 p.m. Brake Bread: A bike-based, community-supported bakery
Good things take time. St. Paul bike-based bakery Brake Bread believes this to be true. Join them and learn about sustainable business practices, becoming a community supported-bakery, sourcing ingredients, and delivering bread by bike year round. (Nate Houge, Brake Bread)
3:00 p.m. Renewing the Countryside cooking demonstration: (Tammy Wong, Rainbow Restaurant)
4:00 p.m. Make your own nontoxic paints and finishes
Ramy goes through the history of paint, how to choose store-bought nontoxic paints, and how to make your own paints and finishes! (Ramy Selim, Sunny Day Earth Solutions)
5:00 p.m. Basics of climate change in 5 minutes
Climate change can seem like a daunting problem, but the science and solutions are quite simple! In just five minutes, you'll hear the basics and the science of the biggest factor in the solution: transitioning to clean, renewable energy ASAP. (Chuck Prentice, MN350)