Pollinators are all the buzz

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is celebrating bees with a Pollinator Party on July 28 — that’s today — from 5 to 8 p.m. at Lyndale Park Gardens on the east side of Lake Harriet near the Turtle Fountain. The annual event brings together bees, scientists, beekeepers, food and live music. Activities include learning about urban beekeeping, making your gardens hospitable to bees, identifying bees, cooking with honey, learning how to stay calm around bees, meeting the current American Honey Princess, and lots more. The event is free; food and beverages will be available for purchase from Twin Cities Paella.


From boxer to butcher

Midtown Global Market’s Kitchen in the Market will host a cooking class Aug. 19 on whole hog breakdown with Raul Gracia, who calls himself a meat sommelier. Gracia and his family moved from Puerto Rico to St. Paul when he was in junior high, and he developed an interest in boxing that led to him winning the 1995 U.S. Junior Championship welterweight title. By the time he turned pro, he had a 115-10 record. Gracia hung up his gloves in 2006 and found another calling in food, training at Le Cordon Bleu in Minneapolis and in several Twin Cities restaurants. Now he’s developed a whole-animal expertise, aiming to help diners see value in what others might throw away because they’ve never used certain animal parts. The two-hour class is $125 and includes “nose-to-tail” dishes and cultural accompaniments. To register, visit his website at butcherandtheartist.com.


Local authors in Oronoco

On July 30, a trio of Minnesota food authors is converging on Squash Blossom Farm in Oronoco, Minn., to talk about their books, tell stories, build a bench, lead a foraging walk and serve up some food. Lucie Amundsen, who wrote “Locally Laid,” about eggs, Spike Carlsen, of “The Backyard Homestead Books of Building Projects,” and Teresa Marrone of “Dishing Up Minnesota” will lead half-hour discussions from 3-4:30 p.m., then Marrone will lead a foraging walk. The free event, “Books, Banter and Little Bites” (also the name of its Facebook page), is from 2:30 to 6 p.m. at Squash Blossom Farm, 7499 60th Av. NW., Oronoco.


Miraculous Blizzards

On July 28 — that’s today — you can help patients at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare by buying a Blizzard for the 11th annual Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day. For every Blizzard sold, $1 or more will be donated to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a national organization committed to raising awareness and funds for children’s hospitals. To find participating Dairy Queen locations, visit miracletreatday.com.