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Northern Pacific Ore Dock in Allouez

At Loon’s Foot Landing in Superior’s Allouez neighborhood, near the mouth of the Nemadji River in the Allouez Bay Channel, stands the remains of the Northern Pacific Ore Dock — built from 1912-13; abandoned by 1970. In July, Liftoff Aerials sent the PDD Drone up to have a bird’s-eye view of the old concrete-and-steel structure.

PDD Calendar Index: Bubbles

Sunday: Bubble Festival
Sunday: Jim Hall Car Repair Benefit
Monday: Eclipse Viewing Party at the Sports Garden
Monday: Eclipse Viewing Party at Duluth Library
Tuesday: Plucked Up String Band
Tuesday: Take it with You
Wednesday: Tribute Fest

For a complete look at what’s happening today, tomorrow and on into infinity, visit perfectduluthday.com/calendar.

Fruit of Newbie Fields

When you start a pick-your-own raspberry farm, people say, “You must eat a lot of berries.” The answer is no and yes.

No, because to me our beautiful fruit tastes faintly of stress and anxiety. Farming is a like skydiving: You leap out of a plane wearing a parachute made of all your spring labors and investments — and it will deploy only if conditions are perfect.

Otherwise, you’ll face a financial splat. That’s the very real danger we faced when my husband Jason and I decided to diversify our chicken farm in Wrenshall by starting Farm LoLa, the pick-you-own berry wing of Locally Laid Egg Company.

And this year the stakes feel higher. We’ve invested in an expanded irrigation system; set posts and wire trellis, hired a larger crew and pruned and weeded (and weeded some more). In a lot of ways, the work has paid off.

Though only our second season, we have eight times the berries of last year. Over three acres that equates to some 15,000 lbs. as estimated by our expert, Dr. Thaddeus McCamant. He believes it has something to do with our sandy soil, organic amendments (like “Liquid Squid”) and fruit-friendly climate provided by Lake Superior.

This all leads to what my mother-in-law would call “a good problem to have.” We are now tasked with getting as many of these berries off the field before they go to waste or attract pests or are demolished by a weather event. All of which is real and could happen at any moment. The other day, a big storm was rolling in over the field and I said angrily, “You’d better not hail on this crop!” And it struck me that I’ve become a woman who yells at clouds.

Gunnar Birkerts, Duluth Public Library architect, dead at 92

Gunnar Birkerts, a Latvian-born architect who extended the vocabulary of Modernism using unexpected angular forms, folding planes and ingenious, light-suffused interiors, died on Tuesday at his home in Needham, Mass. He was 92.

Selective Focus: Erika Mock


Erika Mock is a textile artist and arts activist who uses recycled materials to make zero-waste artwear. On Thursday, Aug. 24, she will be co-hosting a Pop-Up Shop and Open Studio along with Kristina Estell (previously featured in Selective Focus).

E.M.: I create textiles for body and soul; free-spirited sculpted art to wear to wake your body and perceptions. Most are richly colored accessories (wraps, eco-scarves, skinnies, wings, feathers, talismans, and tendrils), both organic in shape and elegant … a kind of sensitive chaos juiced with symbolism and surprise.

Lots of movies

So it’s end of summer, and the weather’s been … uneven … and it’s getting darker earlier. My heart turns toward movies.

Duluth 2017 Primary Election Sample Ballot

There are a mere two races on Duluth’s citywide Primary Election ballot for 2017 — city council at large and school board at large. Voters in District Four, the area highlighted on the map below, can also vote to whittle down the choices for that council seat.

Iron Range to host inaugural craft beer festival

The Iron Range’s first craft beer festival is on tap this Saturday in Virginia. In addition to a craft beer village, the Olcott Fountain Brew Fest will feature food, live music and kids’ activities.

The event is a fundraiser organized by the Olcott Park Fountain Restoration Committee, whose mission is to restore the park’s historic fountain to its former glory.

“It’s the first brew fest north of Duluth. We seem to have a lot of interest from all over the Iron Range, which is awesome,” says Carly Gobats, who curated the event’s brewery and music lineup and serves as the its volunteer coordinator.

Time to pat yourself on the back, Duluth

Duluthians, while not ones to brag, might quietly pat themselves on the back and take a minute to celebrate the leadership role the city played in building the foundation for the UN Minamata Convention, ratified today.

Audiofile Engineering moves to Two Harbors

The music technology company Audiofile Engineering, has been acquired by Krekeltronics, a Two Harbors-based product development firm.

The full news release is at audiofile.engineering, for those who are into such things.

Postcard from 18th Avenue East and London Road

This postcard was mailed 112 years ago today, Aug. 16, 1905. It depicts a scene looking east from roughly the spot where a Taco John’s sits today at 1810 London Road in Duluth’s Endion neighborhood.

Postcard from the Vista Queen

This undated postcard published by Erickson Post Cards & Souvenirs shows the mighty Vista Queen inside the Duluth Harbor. The text on the back notes “the Vista Fleet can accommodate groups from 20 to 800 on an exiting two-hour tour of Lake Superior and the Duluth-Superior Harbor. Lunch, dinner and moonlight cruses available.”

Bust Buy

Clearly the focus on getting every possible keyword into the headline resulted in a typo by the crack Fox 21 reporter, but let’s consider this a happy accident. Bust Buy would be a great name for a discount brassiere shop.

They asked me to make myself at home in Duluth, Minn.

Oh, fer cute.

PDD Quiz: Sculptures of Canal Park

Lake Place Park sculptureAs the summer winds to a close, we begin to reclaim that popular tourist destination: Canal Park. How well do you know the sculptures in Canal Park and Lake Place Park? Test your art smarts in this quiz (and look for more public art quizzes in the future)!

The next PDD quiz, reviewing August news, will be published on Aug. 27. E-mail question suggestions to Alison Moffat at aklawite@d.umn.edu by Aug. 24.