Vegetables tell their stories at talent show – Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — They danced, talked about recipes and trivia, and told what could be described as dad jokes, all during a talent show promoting vegetables.

In front of an often cheering crowd, on what could be described as a perfect summer day, Thursday, August 4, at the Crow Wing County Fair, five vegetable entries competed for the popular vote to be named Vegetable of the Crow Wing County Year. .

The vegetable talent show at Mills Stage was part of the One Vegetable One Community effort, which is designed to bring the community together by encouraging gardeners to plant, grow, cook and/or share a single vegetable. In the running this year: cabbage, broccoli, green beans, peas, and squash.

“They will try to convince you why they should win,” said farmer Dan Hegstad, who chaired the event, as he told the crowd they could mingle with the vegetables and take selfies after the show. “They seem to be very adamant that each one is the best vegetable.”

Wielding a golf club and sporting an unusual and luxuriously long mullet, Crow Wing County Deputy Chief Adam Kronstedt brought cabbage to life. Kronstedt juggled golf balls, showed off dance moves, praised the benefits of coleslaw for one of the world’s oldest vegetables, and carried a sign that read, “Give Cabbage a Chance.” Kronstedt may have had a secret weapon with a youth section cheering the crowd singing pro-cabbage.

Broccoli Derek Owen, who works at the Northen Pacific Center in public relations and sales, brought a high-energy punk rock vibe to the vegetable, noting that it has the added benefit of looking like a tree. Owen, playing an inflatable guitar, also touted broccoli’s high-fiber content and provided a recipe for a broccoli salad, but the biggest reaction from the crowd may have been when he noted that broccoli goes well with cheese while a cohort sprinkled it with a rope dumb as cheese. be in.

“Pour some cheese on me, in the name of love, pour some cheese on me,” Owen sang.

When the biggest fan of the green bean jumped onstage complete with a sandwich board extolling his chosen veggie, a deputy kindly chased the fan out of the area as part of the skit.

The green bean itself, Kara Terry, director of Crow Wing County Community Services, pointed out that there are green beans, the famous green bean casserole, and sauteed beans with garlic. As her favorite fitness move, Terry received applause from the crowd as she used an upside-down skateboard for a barbell exercise and connected with kids by handing out items from a fanny pack.

Pea Jessica Gangl, executive director of the Brainerd Public Schools Foundation, brought dance moves and a jump rope for her favorite physical activity to her pea presentation. She noted the versatility of the pea, as well as her position in literature with a very sensitive princess. Her sign said, “Don’t worry, Happy Pea.”

“Peas can stand on their own,” Gangl said, noting that they’re worth a trip to the garden on their own without adding anything with peas as a snack on their own.

Brainerd Family YMCA CEO Shane Riffle’s heightened energy was added to his squash persona, complete with green hair and graceful footwork with a soccer ball.

“What do you get when an elephant tramples your garden? Pumpkin,” said Riffle.

Additionally, he tossed beach balls into the large crowd and noted the many forms of squash in the garden, including a spaghetti squash variety, with a reminder that it doesn’t taste like pasta.

The talent show’s humor, energy, and fun brought attention to healthy eating. One Vegetable One Community’s goal is for the vegetable of the year to “grow in kitchen gardens, community and school gardens, containers on front porches, in front of businesses, religious organizations and government buildings.”

Starting community conversations about growing food, nutrition, how to prepare, cook and store it is part of supporting the goal of making healthier food choices. The effort is a partnership with Crow Wing Energized, a grassroots effort to promote a healthy community that began with Essentia Health and Crow Wing County, the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, and the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

People can vote for their favorite vegetable at the Crow Wing Energized Crow Wing County Fair booth and online.

After the talent show, the vegetables took photos with members of the audience and sought votes.

“It was fun,” Owen said of his participation. “That she was wonderful.”

Owen said it was a way to make vegetables fun for kids, especially.

“It was super fun,” Gangl said, praising Crow Wing Energized for coming up with a creative way to reach kids and “make vegetables cool again.”

Renee Richardson, managing editor, can be reached at 218-855-5852 or [email protected] Follow on Twitter at

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