Transition Mankato

2017 Re-Skilling Festival

March 9, 2017 by Mike Ferguson | Comments Off on 2017 Re-Skilling Festival

Come join us for the the 2017 Re-Skilling Festival!

Re-skilling is a word describing a process of (re)learning skills we never learned, forgot to learn, or don’t remember we learned from parents, grandparents or others in our communities. These are practical skills for sustainable living, and include how to maintain, preserve, uphold, sustain and create resilience in our lives on practical levels. Re-skilling provides a sense of empowerment through practical problem solving and creates a sense of belonging through community by working alongside others. Re-skilling taps the wealth of shared local knowledge of how to do, make and tend things oneself.

This year we have 32 classes in 4 time slots

Breakfast (coffee and pastries) by The Coffee Hag and Lunch (soup and bread) by Friesen’s available for purchase.

Sliding scale admission fee of $5-$50 (more if you can, less if you can’t)


8:30 am – Check In

9 am – noon (Drop-In Classes)

  • Pottery Demo
  • Art with 410 Project

9 – 10 am

  • Natural Cleaning Products
  • Indoor Seed Starting
  • Lotsa Knots
  • Eat Local in Season
  • Woodworking
  • Rain Gardens
  • Chinese Remedies

10 – 11 am

  • Salad Dressings & Vinaigrettes
  • Elderberries 101
  • Yard & Garden Tool Time
  • Artisan Bread
  • Yoga
  • Repair or Re-purpose Jewelry
  • Worm Composting
  • Bike Prep

11 am – 1 pm

  • Lunch
  • Table Conversations

12 – 1 pm

  • Self Watering Planter
  • Bee-Keeping
  • Old Time Music with Spoons
  • Organics Recycling
  • Crocheting
  • Alternative Knitting

1 – 2 pm

  • Growing Herbs
  • Fire Cider
  • Wild Edibles
  • Kombucha Brewing
  • Manage Stress in 10 min. or Less
  • Bike as Transportation
  • Winter Seed Sowing
  • Alternative Knitting
  • Fix it Clinic

For the class schedule in PDF form, click here.

RSVP to the Facebook event here.

Brought to you by: Transition Mankato, Mankato Community Education & Recreation, and Minnesota Makers and Artists Guild

2016 Sustainability Expo

March 8, 2016 by Mike Ferguson | Comments Off on 2016 Sustainability Expo


The 2016 Sustainability Expo is a free event scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 20, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. This year’s event is being offered in connection with the campus Common Read program and will focus on the theme of sustainable food. The Expo is sponsored by the Environmental Committee and Library Services at Minnesota State Mankato, Transition Mankato, and the Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry.

Following up on the success of the 2014 Sustainability Expo, the daylong activities will again consist of information tables, speakers, vendors, kid friendly activities, and lots of fun. Twelve different presentations have been scheduled throughout the event. The topics include sustainability and fair trade, the MVAC Food Hub, tool lending libraries, container and small space gardening, sustainable farming, ecology democracy, pollinators and prairie preservation, healthy lawns, recycling and composting, gardening in India, community gardens, solar gardens, and climate change.

Organizations and businesses who would like to participate have until March 14 to register for a table. For more information about the Sustainable Expo and to access the online registration form go to or contact Monika Antonelli at 507-389-2507 or by email at

Film Showing: This Changes Everything

February 19, 2016 by Mike Ferguson | 0 comments

This changes everything Film Showing Spring 2016-page-001What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?

Filmed over four years in nine countries and five continents, This Changes Everything, is an attempt to transform the challenge of global climate change.  Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international bestselling book, the film presents seven inspiring portraits of communities facing life threatening environmental struggles, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

This Changes Everything Film Showing
Saturday, February 27, 2016
2:00-4:00 p.m.
Ostrander Auditorium, Centennial Student Union
Minnesota State University, Mankato

FREE and Open to the Public.

The showing is sponsored by Library Services, the Environmental Committee, and Transition Mankato.  In partnership with the Social Justice Lecture Series and the Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry.  For additional information contact Monika Antonelli, Outreach Librarian, at 507-389-2507 or

For MSU events: individuals with a disability, who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event, are asked to contact the Office of Accessibility Resources at 507-389-2825 (V/TTD), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTD) at least five days prior to the event.

New Composting Service Seeking Subscribers

March 6, 2015 by Mike Ferguson | 0 comments

Tired of throwing away your food waste and other organic materials? Be a part of the new organic waste collection project.


Zero Waste, a group that developed out of Transition Mankato, is working with the city of Mankato and Full Circle Organics to develop a pilot program for household organic waste collection at a drop-off point that will be open from 9 am to noon on Saturday. The project is seeking subscribers at approximately $25 per year.

All food waste, dropped off in certified compostable bags or paper bags, will be accepted. Other accepted items include tissues, paper towels, certified compostable containers and tableware, pizza boxes and paper egg cartons.

If interested contact: Katy Wortel or Jane Dow

Reskilling Festival

March 4, 2015 by Mike Ferguson | 0 comments

Re-Skilling Festival 2015

Re-skilling is a word describing a process of (re)learning skills we never learned, forgot to learn, or don’t remember we learned from parents, grandparents or others in our communities. These are practical skills for sustainable living, and include how to maintain, preserve, uphold, sustain and create resilience in our lives on practical levels. Re-skilling provides a sense of empowerment through practical problem solving and creates a sense of belonging through community by working alongside others. Re-skilling taps the wealth of shared local knowledge of how to do, make and tend things oneself.

We have nearly 50 sessions in the works for the festival and we still have room for more local folks who have practical skills and want to share those with others in one workshop session. This could be basic home repair, creating edible landscapes, making your own cleaning products, natural self-care, tool care and repair, making rag rugs, community arts,  gray water use, wool felting and any number of other things.

The festival day will include a Book Swap, Clothing Swap and Seed Swap, a Kids UnPlugged area, and a Free Drawing to give away 5 Little Free Libraries!

Please bring your own coffee mug. Soup and bread lunch available for $5

If you are interested in sharing your skills in a community setting, contact Lisa Coons at or 507-389-4272.

For more information, and a list of re-skilling classes available, click here.

This is a collaborative effort between The Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry, Transition Mankato and Mankato Community Ed and Rec.

Cost to attend is on a sliding scale $5-$50. No one turned away for lack of funds. Kids are free!


Solar Energy Workshop

March 4, 2015 by Mike Ferguson | 0 comments

solar workshop 3-14-15


We have a workshop for you!


Saturday, March 14, 9 a.m. to noon, 8:30 a.m. registration

First Congregational UCC Church, 150 Stadium Ct., Mankato

corner of Stadium Rd and Stoltzman Rd.


Sessions on Understanding Your Electric Bill, SSND’s Solar Projects, the Basics of Solar, Solar for Home and Business and Community Solar Gardens.

After speakers there will be networking and table discussion groups.


This event is free and open to the public, as space permits.

To reserve your spot or for more info: Katy Wortel 507-345-4494,

Sponsored by: Region 9 Renewable Energy Task Force, 1st Congregational Church, and Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry.

Recycling Group: Full Circle Organics Tour

February 21, 2014 by Mike Ferguson | 0 comments

The tour of Full Circle Compost in Good Thunder was, in my humble opinion, the most exciting trip we have made. Our tour guide was Max Milinkovich, the President of Full Circle.  Full Circle collects both yard waste and food scraps from companies, restaurants, institutions and apartment complexes. They have very reasonable rates, $25 to $35 a month for twice weekly pick-ups. That cost is half the rate the landfill would charge to take compostable waste and there is no tax. Full Circle has two grades of compost:  High quality containing no contaminates for use on edible gardens and lower quality contaminated compost for use on non-edible areas.

The food scraps and paper waste are dumped in their building and moistened with water.  The water is discharged through a PCP pipe and metered to measure the amount used. The building has a bio filter fan that blows air through two filters to mix air with the compost.  The compost is 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 carbon to nitrogen mix. The carbon sources are wood chips, grass clippings, paper, leaves and 98% liquid. The pile is then moved outside and warms to 130 degrees for 21 days. It is turned 3 times the first week and monitored for temperature. The temperature should not drop lower than 130 or go higher than 160 degrees. If it drops 5 degrees, it needs air so it is turned. If it goes above 160 degrees, it also has to be turned. 140 to 145 degrees is the perfect temperature.

Full Circle has an 80 acre site. The compost piles sit on 6” asphalt pavement and are screened with a 1 1/4 inch screener. One sample analysis is taken for every 1000 yards of compost produced and sent to a lab in California 3 times a year for contaminants testing. Full Circle collects compostables from a number of customers right now:  Some of the area schools, Mom and Pop Ice Cream store, the St. Peter Co-op, River Rock Café, Fillin’ Station, the Coffee Hag, Jake’s Pizza, Papa George, Waseca’s Bird’s Eye Company, Wal-Mart, Hy-Vee and Sam’s Club. They provide the bins for their customers.  Full Circle sells their compost to a biology company that makes barriers and silt fences for erosion control for MnDOT and other construction projects. They also sell compost to gardeners and others who want compost for landscaping lawns and gardens. They have more customers wanting their compost than they can provide right now so they are looking for as much business as they can find to provide them compostable material. Max’s email is and their website is

Solar Air Heat Workshhop

February 17, 2014 by Mike Ferguson | 0 comments

Transition Mankato in partnership with the School Sisters of Notre Dame Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry, Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation – Gustavus Adolphus College, and  Region 9 Renewable Energy Task Force hosted a DIY Solar Air Heat Workshop.  Professor Jim Dontje (Gustavus) gave a demonstration on building a solar air heater to 95 attendees from the Greater Mankato area.  Many folks in our area have been impacted by the spike in propane prices and other heating costs.  This workshop was created in response to the need for affordable, non carbon based heat and in the name of resilience and community.  We were so pleased to see such a large crowd on what was a very cold night. Lots of new faces and lots of old friends reinforced in us of the power of community. Jim gave a brief presentation and then the group gathered to build a solar air heater to be attached to the exterior of a house (wall or roof).  The estimated cost of constructing the 4’ x 8’ solar heater was $250.  The solar heater constructed by the group could provide adequate heat for a good sized room, and based on fluctuating fuel prices could save you $100 – $250 per year in heating costs. The feedback we received was that this workshop was very informative.  People left feeling empowered and motivated to start building their own solar heaters.  We are looking in to hosting another event similar to this one in the future.  Like us on Facebook (Transition Mankato, MN) to be notified of future workshops and events.  And feel free to leave us your feedback!

Sustainability Expo: April 5, 2014

January 29, 2014 by Mike Ferguson | 0 comments

Join local participants and organizations for an educational and entertaining day of presentations, programs and workshops.  Discover how Minnesotans are creating and living environmentally sustainable and healthy lifestyles.

A sustainable and resilient community focuses on creating a prosperous, vibrant and connected future for families and individuals despite and increasingly chaotic world. People who benefit from living in sustainable and resilient communities include students, elders, children, parents, faith based organizations, public sector workers, small business owners, immigrants and anyone else who is a member of the community.

  • Saturday, April 5, 2014
  • 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Centennial Student Union Ballroom (Map)
  • Free!
  • Directions

Why Attend

  • Build a resilient sustainable community
  • Create a better future together
  • Learn new skills
  • Have fun!

Organizations and Businesses Form

Online form for organizations and businesses that would like to register for the event.

Contact Information

  • Erica Johnson
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Office of the Registrar
  • 132 Wigley Administration Center Mankato, MN 56001
  • 507-389-5254

Hosted by:

  • MSU Environmental Committee
  • Transition Mankato
  • Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry


Official event website located at:

Community Conversation featured with Transtion US

May 13, 2013 by Mike Ferguson | 0 comments

Our community conversation event has been featured on the Transition US website. It’s part of a series called “Taking Practical Action Toward Resilience” highlighting inspiring actions that people and communities across the country are taking part in this year’s Transition Challenge.

To read the full article go to