From gems to grizzlies, along with plenty of outdoor adventures, check out                                        Amy's articles for instruction and inspiration.

Beeing Their Best - Hobby Farms

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Busy Bees:Fuzzy, gentle and efficient, mason bees are champion pollinators. 

More than 150 species make up a group of native bees called mason bees, which handled pollination long before European honey bees arrived. 

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Montana's Smoot Honey Co. upholds a sweet tradition with an efficiency that would make any honey bee queen proud. 

Montana Sapphires - Rock & Gem

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Known as the "Treasure State," Montana residents and visitors enjoy searching for sapphires, the state gem. 

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If you see a grizzly sauntering across a wheat field outside of Big Sandy or playing with a flag on the greens of the Marias Valley Golf & Country Club in Shelby, rest assured, you are not crazy. Moving from their long held mountain stronghold, more bears are heading to the eastern plains they once called home. 

Cold Weather Cuisine: Choose high-energy foods to keep backyard birds well fed during the winter. 
Birds & Blooms December/January 2022

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Foraging is tough business with snow on the ground, which is why our wintertime bird visitors benefit from high-energy food options.

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Yellowstone Shortline - Rails to Trails Conservancy

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It's fitting that the railway corridor responsible for the creation of the town of West Yellowstone, Montana, over a century ago continues to welcome visitors along the same path. 

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Spend a little time before the holidays to make memorable and welcomed gifts for family and friends. 

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The waterways, prairies, mountain ranges, and hiking trails of Big Sky Country offer practically endless recreational opportunities

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Choose shrubs that are hardy and offer a glorious display in the spring. 

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Jacob Cowgill went from farmer to baker working with ancient and heritage grains for over a decade. Now Blue Truck Bread is a favorite of locals throughout Central Montana. 

Photo courtesy of Jacob Cowgill at Blue Truck Bread. 

Backyard Kitchen Gardens The New Pioneer 

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You don't need acres of land to supply your family with enough fruits and vegetables for the entire year. Learn tips on how much to plant and how best to do it. 

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Now is the perfect time to take your family to the forest. Whether you're new to hiking and camping, or a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, here are a few tips to make it fun for the entire family.

Journey of Rediscovery: Go on a wild Lewis and Clark style ride with a homemade dugout canoe
The New Pioneer; OWAA Excellence in Craft 2nd Place Award 2021

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When Tom Elpel decided to paddle the Missouri River from Three Forks, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri, he did it in style. Working with a descendent of Captain William Clark, they fashioned the Belladonna Beaver and gathered friends to spend five months on the river following learning more about the land and themselves. 

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Many people are surprised at the number of orchids seemingly at our fingertips. But because of their unique growing habits and relationship with the neighboring mycorrhizal fungi, it's imperative to leave them where you find them. 

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If you think there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to preparing family meals outdoors, it may be time to try solar cooking.

Harnessing the sun can take camp cooking to a new level.

The most important ingredient, of course, is the sun.

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We're keeping a secret in Central Montana. While 

Glacier and Yellowstone receive the accolades, the Little Belt Mountains are the diverse and wild playground less than an hour from Great Falls. 

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Commercially raising bees fits perfectly into Montana’s rich agricultural and ranching heritage. It just involves dealing with smaller livestock.

The Bulls of Banff - Bugle Magazine - OWAA Excellence in Craft Winner 2019 

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Town elk in Banff, Alberta have made life interesting for visitors and residents for over 25 years. Learn what researchers think of the situation and methods their incorporating to live with urban elk.

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By Amy Grisak

Photos by John Ashley

Standing in the middle of the Montana prairie on a clear, moonless night, the familiar landscape takes on an otherworldly beauty as the Milky Way arches across the sky and hazy, spiraling 

galaxies glimmer. It's a blend of science and spirit, a way to connect with the universe from our home soil. 

The Many Glacier Hotel is one of the most loved places to stay or visit in Glacier National Park. To keep it safe during the brutal months when the valley is engulfed in snow, winter keepers spend months depending upon their own resources to maintain and preserve this iconic hotel. 

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Affectionately known as “Big Sky Country,” Montana’s glorious blue skies seemingly stretch forever, yet the heavenly expanse we love truly shines at night.

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Jennifer at Jacobs Heritage Farm in Copley, Ohio strives to utilize the best of the old ways of agriculture steeped in her family's Hungarian tradition.

Delphiniums, sweet peas, zinnias, and many other colorful blooms have been favorites for generations... and for good reason. 

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Preparing cabbage for a batch of sauerkraut. Start by shredding it to be able to release t

Learn to turn veggies into delicious ferments. 

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These Christmas legends from around the world are so sinister, you'll want to be good, for goodness' sake!

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Ready to grow your best garden yet? Gather some branches, leaves, and grass clippings to create a garden bed that does all the work for you.

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A Missoula, Montana couple turned their standard urban backyard into a wildlife oasis by planting native wildflowers. Now over 80 different species of birds visit their home, along with a myriad of colorful - and beneficial - insects.

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Learn how to make the "drink of the gods" with the bounty from the bee hives. 

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Basil is the queen of summer, and with so many varieties available to us, it's worthwhile to grow more than one. This article highlights a few of the less common options to spice up your garden and your meals. 

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With a history steeped in cattle rustling and a thriving agriculture industry, the brand inspectors have their thumb on the pulse of Montana livestock. Take a step into the day of Paul Johnson, veteran brand inspector in Central Montana.

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Native Americans had their own names and legends for the stars to teach lessons and explain the world around them. Read about them here.

There is a science behind those storms of the century that make headlines and earn their places in history. 

Bombogenesis: Here's What it is, and Why You Don't Want to be in the Path of One - Farmers' Almanac
 

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