Everyone should have the right to healthy food, just as they should have the right to a good education for their children and access to adequate healthcare, says Oran Hesterman, author of "Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All." Hesterman, along with Hank Cardello, author of the best-selling book "Stuffed," are part of the Healthy Foods Summit 2011: Optimizing Food Systems for Human Health, planned for Oct. 10-11. The event is co-hosted by the University's Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute and the Arboretum. Presenters will address critical points in our food system where changes can be made through conventional and sustainable approaches. For more information and to register, click here or call 952-443-1422. The summit is open to the public. Please join us to learn more about this compelling topic.
—Check out our Pumpkin Palooza display in the Oswald Visitor Center Great Hall. It's an eye-popping array of pumpkins, squash and gourds - more than 130 varieties! Large and small, orange, white and gray, all were grown on the grounds of the Horticultural Research Center by our talented gardeners. While you're here, check out the apple-tastings from 1 to 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, also in the Great Hall. We are sampling U of M research apples and asking you to rate them for flavor, size and texture. You might just discover the next Honeycrisp! Applehouse Update: More Honeycrisp apples are coming in every day and they join a superb collection of other U of M apple introductions, including Haralson, Red Baron and Chestnut crab. In addition, many numbered research apples are available only at the Arboretum Applehouse. Soon the harvest crew will be picking Fireside, Regent, Snowsweet and other varieties. Call the Apple Information Line at 952-443-1409 for updated apple availability.
—Book Sale. Calling all book-lovers! Andersen Horticultural Library's Annual Used Book Sale is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 7, 8 & 9th) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Snyder Auditorium. We have books to interest every reader. Sunday is bag day - fill a grocery bag with books for just $2.
—Bring the family for Weekend Family Fun, from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Learning Center. Learn why leaves change color and fall from the trees and create an autumn keepsake. Drop-in basis and free with gate admission.
—The Arb Rocks! On Sunday, balanced-rock sculptor Peter Juhl will demonstrate his rock-balancing skills from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Restaurant Gallery, where you can also view the Center of Gravity photo exhibition documenting his amazing sculptures.
—Ghouls and Goblins Volunteer Opportunity. We're seeking volunteers - junior-high age and older - to be part of Ghouls and Goblins at the Maze, a spectacular new Halloween event at the Arboretum planned for Saturday, Oct. 29. The event runs from 1 to 5 p.m. and is geared toward families with children ages 3 through 12. The fun takes place at the Visitor Center and along a half-mile Trick or Treat Trail to the Magical Maze. We're seeking volunteers to dress in their most imaginative costume (family appropriate) and help scare up a spooktacular good time at this family-friendly event. Do you like to perform? Do you have a fun or interesting trick or talent? We need entertainers and outgoing people who can stand and move around for several hours, indoors and out. Volunteers will receive light refreshments and free passes to the Arboretum. Contact Thom Dreeze at (952) 443-1425 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (Also inquire about Ghouls & Goblins craft workshops on Saturdays, Oct. 8, 15 & 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Learning Center.)
—Free Member Event. Learn all about the U of M's apple-breeding program from expert David Bedford at the "People, Plants and....Apples" presentation on Saturday Oct. 15, at 10:30 a.m. in the MacMillan Auditorium. Includes apple tastings! Free for members (RSVP at email@example.com). Non-members can attend for $7.50 (call 952-443-1422 to reserve your spot).
—Gift of Membership, Free Calendar. With the holiday season just around the corner, consider giving the gift of an Arboretum membership to loved ones and friends. With each gift membership purchased, you will receive a stunning 2012 Arboretum wall calendar featuring photography by the Arboretum Photographers Society. Visit www.arboretum.umn.edu/join.aspx or call 952-443-1440.
—Travel Tour Opportunity. A journey to the 2012 Floriade in Venlo, Holland, and on to Brussels to see the Begonia Carpet is just one of the exciting trips offered by the Arboretum in the coming year. Travel dates are August 10-17. Sign up by Nov. 1 and save $100 off the cost of the trip. It's filling up, so don't wait too long! Contact Jim Glad at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-724-1915.
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— MEA Break Day Camps. Let your 1st-4th graders use their MEA break for enriching, hands-on nature nourishment! The Arboretum offers MEA day camps on Friday, Oct. 21. Choose from art, cooking, exploring and nature. For more info, visit www.arboretum.umn.edu/schoolyearcamps.aspx or call 952-443-1422.