Winter Market: January Refresh

This Farmers Market brings the best of Minnesota’s harvests deep into Winter and features a few new health-focused vendors along with local favorites. Join us for the White Bear Lake Winter Farmers Market Season Finale; 9am-1pm on January 12th, 2019. Browse over a dozen local vendors indoors at Tamarack Nature Center, 5287 Otter Lake Road, WBT, MN 55110.

Shop Local, Eat Local + Healthy!


We can all use a little health boost after the Holidays, right! Bonus if we’re feasting on food grown close to home. Yes, even in January Minnesotan’s can enjoy local food. Like fresh greens, locally and humanely raised meats, fresh eggs and cheese- along with local honey, storage vegetable crops, breads, soups, and our furthest sourced food: wild Alaskan caught salmon!

Thanks to our neighbor farmers using high tunnels, greenhouses and indoor lights we can enjoy fresh food through the Winter. We’ll also have a wide variety of canned and frozen produce, jams and herbal products available. We welcome the “Brick Oven Bus” food truck and Platense handmade Empanadas to tide you over while shopping.


January Gift Basket Giveaway!!

Vendors have come together to offer an amazing assortment of local love- Register to win the day of. Details HERE!

Community Driven Market

This market is a true community driven event, bringing together many local community organizations. Pine Tree Apple Orchard donates free Cider tastings, which the White Bear Area Foodshelf volunteers serve up.

WBL Seed Library table

Our own White Bear Lake Seed Library will be sharing seed saving ans starting information. Ramsey County Master Gardeners will be onsite answering gardening questions and giving out free “table top” organics recycling kits. The Pollinator Friendly Alliance will have info on how to help our wild pollinators! Tamarack Nature Center will be sampling their honey and maple syrup and have a take home “seed art” project.

The coordinator of the market, Michelle Bruhn, also runs Forks in the Dirt and will be sharing some vegetable garden planning techniques. You can also register to WIN a One Hour “Veggie Garden Planning Session” with Michelle right HERE.

January Market Vendors

All Good Organics: variety of fall and winter vegetables, spices, sauerkraut.

Bell’s Maple Syrup: Pure Maple Syrup tapped from Sugar Maples in Cushing, MN.

Dahl Hobbie Farm:  Raw honey, honey-based 12 spice cough soothing formula, jams.

Eichtens Cheese & Bison:  variety of locally sourced cheeses, sausages and wild rice.

Gilbertson Farm: humanely raised beef and pork, chicken and eggs.

Great Harvest: yeast breads, rolls, scones, cookies and scruffins.

Hart & Soul Herbal: quality controlled, naturally sustainable herbal products.

Ingredients Cafe: scratch made soups and handmade gnocchi to go.

Platense: Tasty Argentinian handmade frosted nuts, popcorn + serving ready to eat Empanadas.

Morsels: Handmade granola bars + bites, cookies, cupcakes and caramels

Sailor Mercy: Hand crafted batches of immune boosting Elderberry Syrup.

Sassafras Health Foods: Promoting Healthy Living as a way of life with supplements and other whole food based items.

Unity Farms:  A variety of popping corn, spices and cold processed soaps.

Weeds Greens: High quality and huge variety of locally grown microgreens.

Wild Run Salmon: Wild caught Alaskan Salmon sold by the fisherman.

Me and Chomp the Carrot at the December Market

As market coordinator, my mission is to help us all make healthier, more sustainable food choices. Our choices result in healthier lives for us and our planet! Follow the WBL  Winter Market Facebook Event Page for up to date information and specials. Full vendor and community table list on Forks in the Dirt on the WBL Market page.

*Don’t forget to bring Cash as not all vendors take cards*

Dig Into the New Year with me and our local growers and vendors!

Michelle

Growing Goals

I hope you’ve all been enjoying the Holidays! The addition of our wood burning stove has added greatly to our sense of Hygge during this Minnesota Winter.
For many of us this time of year brings deeper self-reflection. I’ve been taking stock of the past year and dreaming of the next since before the Winter Solstice. So much happened in the last 365 days
that I hadn’t planned for that it feels a little silly to make more than a rough outline for the coming 365. And yet without a plan I follow too many tangents…

Frozen Gardenscape

And yet, life grows on. Even with a frozen surface (and finally some snow), our Earth is still breathing deep and slow- readying herself for another round of explosive growth come spring. But Mother Earth has slowed down too for the time being; so I’m doing my best to follow suit. In this busy time of year (holidays), life (with two littles), and building a business (Forks) it is becoming apparent I NEED to make time and space for me. Time for self-care and listening to my own thoughts. Time for taking charge of my own health beyond gardening and healthy eating.

Being able to look back and see the goals I set for myself and how they played out and how they affected how I spent my time- is almost more revealing than if they were accomplished or not. I am a stubborn one so if I set a goal, I’m likely to make sure it happens. Beware the woman who takes on too much, she gets grumpy with overwhelm. Anyone else over the overwhelm!?!

Taking a Look Back

I love being able to look back at goals I set from the previous year. Last year I did this in a BLOG POST. The goals are listed below-

My 2018 goals for Forks in the Dirt:
*Meeting and writing about more local farmers – Yup and it was FUN
*Inspiring awareness in the food choices we make,- I think So (not sure ow to measure this one) What do you think??
*Expanding the White Bear Lake Winter Farmers Market.  Check- Three markets attended by 800 people, with more vendors, food trucks and new community info partners

My personal goals for 2018:
*Planning for and planting our doubled vegetable garden space – We planted and grew in all the spaces of the garden
*Preserving more of my own food (dehydrating, freezing, fermenting and canning) -I gave away more food, so there’s less in my freezer but canned a little more
*Finding a local sustainable source for organic oats and chicken meat  –Yes on the chicken meat, and I have a source for Oats just haven’t gotten there yet
*Becoming a better Chicken + Kid Mom  –Well, My kids are still alive- my chickens are not. More on this in a future blog post.
*Finding more of that elusive “Balance” – EPIC FAIL

What I could see from looking back was that EPIC FAIL– the “Balance” ties into what I was already feeling the need to focus on for 2019. A part of that balance for me is giving myself grace when I don’t measure up (OK, more like a huge part).

What do you want to Grow?

What you water will grow

Finding those sweet spots when you lose yourself in the work because you are so fully engaged is what I long for- you too? For me those moments come in many aspects of gardening- the planning, the planting, the tending, the harvesting, the cooking of the food I get to grow. It also comes in writing; at least in the beginning when I’m so excited tot share an idea- not so much the editing 😉. Meeting like minded garden geeks is another way I fuel my passions as well. Setting up interviews to learn more from farmers and others working towards local food ways is a priority. Volunteering at the food shelves also helps me get out of my ‘self’. So, more of all that is on the books for 2019.

Meeting Amazing Garden Minded People like Diane with Seed Savers Exchange

enJOY the JOY

Now to show you all just how nerdy I can get… there is a phenomenon recently proven by neuroscience that I want to share. The Velcro vs Teflon paradox. The basic concept is that you need to appreciate (or contemplate) positive thoughts longer to have the same effect as a negative thought. The positive thoughts or feelings slide away unless you savor them consciously for at least 15-30 seconds. Within that time, the thought positively imprints and can stay with you. You can listen more HERE during 13:20-14:30 minutes in this Liturgists podcast with Richard Rohr (two of my favorites together). Or read more about the idea of savoring positivity HERE.

Time to unwind in front of the WoodStove

Both my Wood Stove and Winter break time with my boys has helped me set this practice into motion. I hope I can keep with it because I can already feel the effects!

Goal Setting

I will set more measurable goals as well. Starting more veggie seeds under grow lights and building a cold frame (FINALLY!). I’ve also recently fallen in love again with Indigenous Foods and plan to explore those foods and farmers more this year. Along with goals like keeping up my volunteering at the food shelves and working with more children in my town, both at the WBL YMCA and at the elementary schools.
*But these goals will all take a seat behind my main focus of growing my self.*

I love a good book, and I found a few new favorites this last year. Did you find a book that did your garden or soul good? Please share it with me!

A few of my favorite books from 2018:

Year Round Gardener & Veggie Garden Re-Mix: by Nikki Jabbour

Sioux Chef: By Sean Sherman + Beth Dooley

Lab Girl: by Hope Jahren

OK- EnJOY these last days of 2018 and here’s to a big old CHEERS to 2019- looking forward to digging in and growing with you all!
-Michelle

December Farmers Market is Coming to Town

Ready, Set, GIFT!

We can’t wait for you to Shop Local + Eat Local with us at the December 8th White Bear Lake Winter Farmers Market! There are so many delicious gifts waiting to be found… We’ve curated the best local food growers and makers to give you a chance to do lots of your holiday shopping in one place! Don’t forget to fill your own Holiday tables with local foods too!

We all know receiving a consumable gift is the best…so giving them is the easy choice!

Extras for the Holiday Market

  • Ramsey County Recycles will be giving away FREE REUSABLE BAGS to the first 100 shoppers!
  • Chomp, the BearPower Carrot Mascot will be on site for photos from 9-10!
  • Fresh Roasted Hot Coffee from Ox & Crow Coffeehouse

 

Don’t forget to Enter to Win this Locally loaded Gift Basket ~ The December Market Giveaway!

Entering to win here will also start your monthly email membership with Forks in the Dirt!

Meet the December Farmers and Makers 

All Good Organics:   With their own Farm Store on their farm in Lino Lakes, Butch and Kris will have a wide variety of farm fresh produce. Some of their offerings include greenhouse grown lettuces, full variety of fall/winter vegetables, frozen summer vegetables, homemade canned items (best sauerkraut!) and farm made spice blends! I visited with them last spring and got a great tour of the farm! 

Dahl Hobbie Farm:  Susan is known for her jellies, jams, raw honey and her honey-based 12 spice cough soothing formula. She’ll also be bringing some specialty chutney.

Eichtens Cheese & Bison: Our closest cheese producers are bringing a large variety of locally sourced and crafted cheeses. They offer some of their summer sausage and MN Wild rice as well. They’ll also have gift boxes available. My new favorite is the herbed gouda, it simply makes everything better.

Gilbertson Farm: Jessy brings a well rounded selection of humanely raised beef and pork, chicken, DUCK,  eggs. They sell a variety of cuts and blends. We love their pork sausage. They make a mean Wild Rice Brat- and their pork chops cook up tender and with so much more flavor than anything store bought. Plus the animals all had a great life!

Great Harvest Sharing their amazing Breads!

Great Harvest: If you’ve been to the WBL Summer Farmers market you’ll remember these breads- and likely Sheldon the happy purveyor of so many samples 🙂 They specialize in yeast breads. They’ll bring breads, rolls, scones, cookies. Their monster cookies are legendary- their scones are my favorite!

Green Bros Micros: The Green brothers, really- Brandon and Nick Green recognized the benefits of urban farming and took the plunge to start growing micros as a delicious, nutritious addition to your diet. Fresh and local GREENS in our MN winters are such a treat!

Hart & Soul Herbal: Vanessa Hart crafts an all natural line of apothecary healing and aromatherapy products. Using the fewest steps between God and consumption, these high-quality-controlled naturally-sustainable unrefined products are made in small batches in White Bear Lake.

Sigrid of Hoppel Poppel sharing her German sourdough style breads

Hoppel Poppel Breads:  Sigrid shares her German roots through baking amazing sourdough breads and pastries. Her caramel rolls alone are worth a visit to the market. Some of her heavily seeded loaves are a meal in themselves. She’ll bring a variety of European style breads and pastries.

Ingredients Cafe: A White Bear favorite, the chefs at Ingredients are whipping up some scratch made soups to make your at home weeknight dinners simple and delicious. **NEW ITEM: Hand made Gnocchi at the December market** A special shout out to Ben Pratt, owner of Ingredients for volunteering his time to cook for the Harvest Party at the YMCA this Summer!

Ox & Crow Coffeehouse: Mara at Ox & Crow has created a wonderful coffeehouse in the Mahtomedi.. We’re looking forward to having her locally roasted specialty coffee beans and house made chai teas served hot. She’ll also be bringing

Platense: Vanessa brings us a taste of Argentina right here in Minnesota! She uses authentic family recipes for traditional frosted nuts from Argentina. The flavors might not be local but they are locally well-loved!

Mark and Linda of Suzi Q’s Dang Good Western Dressing!

Suzi Q Western Dressing:  “Dang Good” Western Dressing brought to you by Linda (Suzy Q) and (Cowboy) Mark from right in town. They had their first Summer selling their dressing at the WBL Summer market, and it was such a hit they’re bringing it to the Winter market too!

Unity Farm: Moses of Unity Farm is an emerging farmer with a bumper crop of popcorn, tomatoes and peppers. He’ll be sharing his dried, canned and blended produce. Moses is a farmer with the Minnesota Food Association. 

Community Driven Winter Market!

We’re so lucky to have HUGE support from so many local community groups. These people make this Winter Market a true event, and we’re lucky to have them!

Pine Tree Apple Orchard has once again donated their Hot Apple Cider! It will be served by White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf volunteers. Let’s help hungry neighbors while shopping local 💚

Two happy shoppers with their FREE table top composting kits from Ramsey County!

Pam from the White Bear Lake Seed Library will again be spreading seeds of knowledge, and giving you info on starting your own seeds. We are so lucky to have a free and trusted source for locally saved seeds! Great blog and info at their link above.

The Ramsey County Master Gardeners will be available to answer gardening questions and and spread the word (and free starter kits) for the Ramsey County Composting program!

Viva Musica reps will be demonstrating their “Kindness Rocks” art program for schools.

Forks in the Dirt:  That’s me 😉 I’ll be there with a table to talk growing your own, backyard chickens, composting, canning and/or finding the best local food resources. My mission in getting this winter market together is to help us ALL make healthier, more sustainable food choices- for our own health, and the health of the planet!

Follow the WBL  Winter Market Facebook Event Page for up to date information and specials.

Can’t wait to Dig In and see you there!

– Michelle and the fabulous farmers and vendors of the WBL Winter Market!

Winter Farmers Market Season is HERE!

Welcome to the WBL Winter Farmers Market!

This marks our second season of Winter Farmers Market in White Bear Lake!  We can’t wait to share all the amazing food from these local growers and makers!

Nov 10 – Dec 8 – Jan 12
9-1 at Tamarack Nature Center

Community Supported Market

Again, I’m blown away by the community support for this local food event. We all love our weekly Summer Farmers Markets in downtown White Bear Lake, so this is a natural extension to keep a good thing going. At last year’s first ever event we had over 500 shoppers visit us at Tamarack Nature center. This year, we’re seeing if we can grow our love of local by holding three indoor markets this Winter. Adding on site Food Trucks and a coffee shop to keep it interesting- we’re ready for you to make this another successful market season!

ENTER TO WIN $20
“Market Money” to spend your way on Nov 10th!

Shop Local Eat Local

These Winter Farmers Markets give us all a way to shop local foods a little longer into the season. The November Market “Gather” gives you the opportunity to fill your hostess gift bags and Thanksgiving tables with the best of this season’s harvests of vegetables, meats and dairy, along with freshly made preserves of all kinds! Most items for sale are sourced from White Bear Lake and surrounding communities. We’re excited to offer many returning local farmers along with a few new additions to round out your shopping list.

Meet the November Farmers and Makers 

Butch and Kris of All Good Organics in their Greenhouse

All Good Organics:   With their own Farm Store on their farm in Lino Lakes, Butch and Kris will have a wide variety of farm fresh produce. Some of their offerings include greenhouse grown lettuces, full variety of fall/winter vegetables, frozen summer vegetables, homemade canned items (best sauerkraut!) and farm made spice blends! I visited with them last spring and got a great tour of the farm!

Dahl Hobbie Farm:  Susan is known for her jellies, jams, raw honey and her honey-based 12 spice cough soothing formula. She’ll also be bringing some specialty chutney.

Eichtens Cheese & Bison: Our closest cheese producers are bringing a large variety of locally sourced and crafted cheeses. They offer some of their summer sausage and MN Wild rice as well. They’ll also have gift boxes available. My new favorite is the herbed gouda, it simply makes everything better.

Jessy and I at the last WBL Summer market

Gilbertson Farm: Jessy brings a well rounded selection of humanely raised beef and pork, chicken, DUCK,  eggs. They sell a variety of cuts and blends. We love their pork sausage. They make a mean Wild Rice Brat- and their pork chops cook up tender and with so much more flavor than anything store bought. Plus the animals all had a great life!

Great Harvest: If you’ve been to the WBL Summer Farmers market you’ll remember these breads- and likely Sheldon the happy purveyor of so many samples 🙂 They specialize in yeast breads. They’ll bring breads, rolls, scones, cookies. Their monster cookies are legendary- their scones are my favorite!

Hoppel Poppel Breads:  Sigrid shares her German roots through baking amazing sourdough breads and pastries. Her caramel rolls alone are worth a visit to the market. Some of her heavily seeded loaves are a meal in themselves. She’ll bring a variety of European style breads and pastries.

Ben Pratt of Ingredients getting ready to cook for this Summers “Harvest Party”

Ingredients Cafe: A White Bear favorite, the chefs at Ingredients are whipping up some scratch made soups to make your at home weeknight dinners simple and delicious. A special shout out to Ben Pratt, owner of Ingredients for volunteering his time to cook for the Harvest Party at the YMCA this Summer!

KDE Farms: Brian and Roberta raise grass fed highland cattle right in Hugo. They’ll be bringing cuts of beef, whole chicken and eggs. I had the chance to visit their farm this Summer, here’s the article that resulted from our time. Roberta also makes some tasty local maple syrup!

Ox & Crow Coffeehouse: Mara at Ox & Crow has created a wonderful coffeehouse in the Mahtomedi.. We’re looking forward to having her locally roasted specialty coffee beans and house made chai teas served hot. She’ll also be bringing

Platense: Vanessa brings us a taste of Argentina right here in Minnesota! She uses authentic family recipes for traditional frosted nuts from Argentina. The flavors might not be local but they are locally well-loved!

Sailor Mercy: Dani  hand crafts each small batch of immunity boosting  Organic Elderberry Syrup. Made with all high end, organic products, plus local raw honey and un-fluorinated water this is the good stuff! . Her company names combines her twin daughter’s names with her passion for local and organic. She also makes amazing “no moo’ hand crafted chocolates.

Suzi Q Western Dressing:  “Dang Good” Western Dressing brought to you by Linda (Suzy Q) and (Cowboy) Mark from right in town. They had their first Summer selling their dressing at the WBL Summer market, and it was such a hit they’re bringing it to the Winter market too!

Fresh MicroGreens from Weeds Greens!

Weeds Greens: Matt Green of Weeds Greens supplies some of the best restaurants in the metro- and luckily our market too. They grow chemical free hydroponic micro greens, fresh herbs and baby greens right in Lakeville. Fresh and local GREENS in our MN winters are such a treat!

New at this Farmers Market

Coffee Corner!

We’re excited to offer hot coffee and Chai from Ox and Crow, and specialty sourdough bakery goods from Hoppel Poppel in the party room at Tamarack. This is right off the main Atrium by the community booths! so you can munch and sip while learning about other ways to make meaningful local food choices.

Food Trucks!

Kicking off this season’s winter markets we’ll be joined in November by both  Gateway Trailside + Smokey’s  Pub n Grill.  After you work up an appetite shopping and or hiking the trails you can grab lunch from two local food truck favorites!

Community Boosters

Pine Tree Apple Orchard is generously donating some of their tasty apple cider! A local favorite for apples, all kinds of apple baked goods and their pumpkin patch (not to mention strawberry picking in the Summer) Pine Tree is once again on board with making sure our cups overflow!

The cider will be served by our local White Bear Area Food Shelf volunteers. Cash donations to the food shelf will be accepted and appreciated!

Tamarack Nature Center will be sampling and have more information on how to get involved at the nature center. Plan to take a walk around some of the many miles of trails around the Nature Center and enjoy the nature where your food comes from!

Pam from the White Bear Lake Seed Library will again be spreading seeds of knowledge, and giving you info on starting your own seeds. We are so lucky to have a free and trusted source for locally saved seeds! Great blog and info at their link above.

The Ramsey County Master Gardeners will be available to answer gardening questions and and spread the word (and free starter kits) for the Ramsey County Composting program!

Viva Musica reps will be demonstrating their “Kindness Rocks” art program for schools.

Forks in the DirtThat’s me 😉 I’ll be there with a table to talk growing your own, backyard chickens, composting, canning and/or finding the best local food resources. My mission in getting this winter market together is to help us ALL make healthier, more sustainable food choices- for our own health, and the health of the planet!

Follow the WBL  Winter Market Facebook Event Page for up to date information and specials.

Can’t wait to Dig In and see you there!

– Michelle and the fabulous farmers and vendors of the WBL Winter Market!

Grass Fed for Good at KDE Farms

Welcome to KDE Farms

Say hello to the happiest Grass Fed Highland Cattle I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with!  They are living their best lives out in their fields just north of the Twin Cities in Hugo MN on a 3rd generation family farm.

At first glance the rolling hills look like your average small family cattle farm, but then you realize there’s no barn, you see horns on the cattle and can’t find a feed trough. Welcome to KDE Farms, where they raise grass fed Highland cattle, meat and layer chickens and produce some fabulous maple syrup.

Walking the Fields

Visiting these down to earth farmers earlier this Summer, I fell in love with their farmland- and the way they raise their animals. These docile Scottish Highland cattle can take three years to finish off. But they balance out their keep with having a double coat that is water proof and down-like, eliminating the need for a barn. And they’ve naturally developed to thrive off of grass.

This leads this kind of farmer to maintain their land in a way that conventional farmers (usually) don’t. Because they are feeding their ‘product’ from what they grow and not what they purchase, grass fed cattle farmers blend their knowledge of raising healthy grass with raising healthy animals. And, as Brian and Roberta Ehret can attest to- that all starts with healthy land.
Continue reading

Vegetable Garden Evolution

We’re all somewhere on the  garden path. Some of us have a few pots, maybe indoor herbs, maybe a farm.  Our family is working to make the most of our big suburban backyard. One year ago, almost to the day, I was completing the prep for our new vegetable garden! We’ve been through a  bit of an explosion in our backyard over the last few years. And this expanded space is the latest in what we’ve dubbed ‘musical gardens’. Well, these beauties are staying put!

In order to add the amount of growing space we wanted fast, we went with a well known no till option called “Lasagna Gardening”. Just one growing season in and I’m amazed at what a great addition these beds have been!

In The Beginning…

When we moved in 10 years ago our backyard had spruce trees, overgrown bridal wreath and an almost dead hydrangea. And a lawn of mostly creeping charlie. No garden in site. Needless to say, we’ve added A LOT of perennials, bushes, trees, chickens, pathways, and yes- Gardens. Of course the creeping charlie will forever be part of our landscape as well… But let’s focus on the Vegetable Garden here.  Continue reading

5 Steps To Prepare Your Garden For Winter

 

Freeze Baby!

And just like that, it’s time to prepare your garden for Winter! We skipped right over frost warnings and went straight to a freeze warning for tonight. Oh Minnesota, somehow your sweet Summer song always lulls me into forgetting about Winter lurking around the corner. It seems like yesterday I was sweating away, swatting mosquitoes, harvesting the abundance from my gardens. So how on earth is there a freeze warning for tomorrow!?!

Ramsey County Master Gardeners at your service

Since I’m aware the fast change always catches me off guard, I asked friend and local Master Gardener, Brianna Godhe, to give us her take on getting our vegetable gardens ready for the inevitable. The Ramsey County Master Gardeners have been a great asset to our local gardening community, recently attending a Harvest Party, available for Q&A.

Take it away Brianna-

Tucking the Vegetable Garden into Bed

As the days get shorter and the evenings get cooler, it’s time to think about preparing your vegetable garden for winter. It’s hard to think about ice and snow in September when the sun is still warm but you want to be ready. Our average first frost date– that is, the date when we can expect a hard frost which will kill the tender and warm-season crops in your garden – for St. Paul, MN is October 9. It can happen anytime from the end of September to the end of October. It’s a hard truth: once the State Fair ends, our gardening days are numbered.  Continue reading

Harvest Party to Celebrate Local Food!

Are you ready to party in the Garden!?!

This Harvest Party grew from the BearPower organization. White Bear Lake is lucky to have the efforts and talents of this group of dedicated people. They’re working to bring healthy living to our community in so many different ways.

I’ve been digging into coordinating this BearPower Harvest Party with the BearPower team and loving finding the best of the best to help celebrate community grown food. We’ve brought together the cream of the crop local chefs to prepare all that lovingly grown food. Add to that a great mix of activities to take over our White Bear Area YMCA gardens for the day and you’ve got a can’t miss event! We’ve got FREE food,  games,  information, samples and activities to get you growing your love of good food! Continue reading

Seed Saving for Home Gardeners

Garden Fresh Food

It is that time of year gardeners… Everything is ripening, and FAST in the garden right now. So right now is the time to start looking at your plants’ produce not just as food- but also as seed for next year’s garden crops. Time to start seed saving!

I started saving seeds because I got behind on picking my pole beans. When I found a few (ok, lots) of bean pods that were swollen and starting to yellow and a light bulb turned on. I didn’t have to toss these inedible beans into the compost- I could let these keep growing and save these to plant for more beans next year.

It was a sublimely empowering moment. One I want you to have too!

Beginners Luck

I got lucky starting with one of the easiest seeds to save. For the first few years I saved mostly bean varieties and native flowers. I’m still a novice when it comes to saving seeds. Which is why I’m the perfect person to pass the torch: if I can do it – you can too! I want you to feel that same kind of power that saving your own seeds invites.

The Barn + Diane’s Garden at Heritage Farm, Seed Savers Exchange. Photo Credit: Molly Moe

Seed Savers Exchange

Diane Ott Whealy and I in her magical heirloom garden. Photo credit Molly Moe

First- I want to give a shout out to the Seed Savers Exchange for their recent Summer Conference and Campout on Heritage Farm. I’m still buzzing with all the new information I brought home. I had to share some of what I learned with you all!

They’ve built a vibrant community of dedicated volunteers and staff, all starting with co-founders Diane Ott Whealy and Kent Whealy in 1975. I was lucky enough to meander through Diane’s gardens with her at the beginning of the weekend. Continue reading

Farmers Markets Summer 2018

Get your Fix of Farm Fresh the easy way, there’s a farmers market almost everyday!

I really like really local food… So of course I wanted to share my favorite Farmers Markets in my corner of the Twin Cities with you!

I shop these markets to: buy ‘new to me’ varieties to test before I grow myself, buy in bulk for preserving and to buy the crops farmers have started early or keep growing late in greenhouses to extend our local fresh food season. I also love chatting with the farmers and vendors, and I get some good insight into my own home gardens listening to the experts.

We are absolutely feeling the bounty of local farmers’ hard work up North right now. The food rolling in is dripping with sun ripened sweetness; from the cucumbers  to the zucchinis. And with a little planning, can be served on your table the same day it was picked! These Summer bounties make our MN Winters worth it, am I right!?!

For tips and secrets on ‘how to’ shop a Farmers Market like a pro, read this article! 

Summer 2018 Farmers Markets

Continue reading

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