Prairie Oaks Institute

cultivating the earth, rejuvenating the spirit

Leave a comment

A Peace of My Mind Mini-Exhibition

Earlier in May, we were honored to have John Noltner co-lead a retreat at Prairie Oaks on the The Power of Story and the Courage to Change the World.  As part of the retreat, John shared a partial exhibit of his work from A Peace of My Mind.  The engaging black and white portraits put a spotlight on what peace means to each person, what inspires them, how they work peace and the challenges they have faced.  More about John’s work can be found here.

The photographs will be on display at Harvest House through the end of the month.

PicMonkey Collage


Leave a comment

Work Day May 9th

It’s going to be beautiful weekend to get some much-needed spring cleaning, repair and yard work done out on the Prairie Oaks campus.

Most exciting – the Gustavus Habitat for Humanity group will be back to start assembling the hermitage building that was constructed last spring.

Volunteers welcome and much appreciated.  Noon to 4 pm on Saturday, May 9th.

Refreshing Prairie Oaks Institute to a New Spring – Washing Away Winter
Saturday, May 9 from Noon to 4
Rain Or Shine
Gather at Harvest House
The more the merrier, the more the fun, the quicker it’s done. See anything you’d like to help with?
1. Raking out gardens, clipping old stalks
2. Touch up painting: smoke house, farmhouse porch trim, inside trim
3. Wash windows in pairs
4. Put out the rain barrels
5. Uncover the AC
6. Indoor thorough cleaning – push a vacuum, push a dust cloth, wash a floor, wash a door
If you can, bring a rake, clippers, a bucket, cleaning materials.

Leave a comment

Thank you for your generosity!

We are so thankful for the generous donations our friends and family gave on Give to the Max Day.  Together we raised over $2,000 to support our facilities, programs and initiatives!

As a non-profit start-up we depend on the support of others who are committed to our mission to provide a place where people can learn, grow and connect.  Our work could not continue without you!

Leave a comment

On Give to the Max Day – Give a Crap about POI!

Give to the Max Day is coming soon! It’s a fact that Prairie Oaks is a special place, one that you have experienced and enjoyed.  Keeping the many acres and buildings up-to-date and beautiful is important and essential to POI’s vision of being a catalyst for rejuvenation. Maintaining the space matters, especially when that space has toilets.
This year, we need to replace the septic pump to keep our plumbing functional – a $2,500 expense.For Give to the Max Day, coming soon on November 13th, we ask you to Give a Crap About POI.  Will you help us pay for maintenance projects like the new septic pump so we can continue to offer wonderful (and functional!) accommodations?
Gifts of any size are welcome and important!
Thank you for supporting POI.
Prairie Oaks is a 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax deductible.

Leave a comment

Barbara McAfee to Host Community Sing July 19th!

As many of you know we are very excited to be hosting book author and voice coach Barbara McAfee for an intimate 20-person workshop from 9-3 on Saturday, July 19th.

We are every bit as excited to announce that Barbara will be leading a Community Sing the evening of the event that is free and open to the public.   We’ve also moved our regular Tuesday night potluck scheduled for July 15th to Saturday evening.

We hope you can join us to share a meal and then join together with this talented singer and your friends and neighbors as we lift our voices in song!


Potluck starts at 5:30 on Saturday, July 19th.  We usually provide soup and bread, but since we’ll be sharing a meal al fresco we will be serving  hot dogs and veggies dogs.  We’ll also provide refreshments.  Bring a dish to share if you like.  But most importantly, come and enjoy a beautiful summer evening, share a meal with friends new and old and take this opportunity to join Barbara in song!

Community Singing is enjoying a revival in the Twin Cities as people seek to come together to build a just, sustainable society.  Learn more here.


Leave a comment

Farmers Union Camp on June 11th 10am-2pm

We’re excited to host our 2nd annual Farmers Union Day Camp on Wednesday, June 11th!  Last year 40 campers had a great day on the land!

Come learn about growing vegetables and building the soil from Farmer Sonya of A Place at the Table CSA. Then find out why we need the bees with Beekeeper Alisen from Spotted Duck Apiary. Last but not least, get dirty with Taylor and worm composting.

After hay wagon ride to the Granary we’ll enjoy a hot dog lunch and then it’s time for fun crafts and games with the always inspiring MFU counselors! Ages 5-12; registration $5 (scholarships available), contact Carol Johnson, or 507-380-4364 to register before June 9. Hope to see you there!

Leave a comment

March 18th Potluck with Beekeeper John Emery

Join us on Tuesday, March 18th for our first potluck of 2014! Meet our special guest John Emery, beekeeper and owner of Spotted  Duck Apiary.   John will be back at Prairie Oaks again this spring, tending his hives on the Devine-Johnson prairies located behind the POI farm campus.

We depend on bees and other pollinators, but bee habitat and populations are in danger. Come share a meal and learn about this important issue and here John’s plans for 2014. We will gather at 6, eat at 6:30 at Harvest House, 1200 W South Street, Belle Plaine. White bean and kale soup, bread and beverages will be served. You can bring a dish to share, if you like.  RSVP on Facebook.