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May 2014

www.MinnesotaGrown.com

In This Issue
Crumbly Topped Rhubarb
Find us on Facebook
Farmers Markets
Grilling Season
Save the Date - Events
Minnesota Grown Supporters
Minnesota Grown Directory

Do you have your copy of the 2014 Minnesota Grown Directory yet? The newest copy is now available and is filled with 978 places to buy direct from the farm and the highest number of CSA farms, farmers markets and wineries! It's also filled with more fun facts, ag related trivia, family friendly activities and even recipes!


 2014 Directory Cover  
Lamb Gyro-Burgers with Yogurt Sauce
 

 

Sheepy hollow Lamb
 
Ingredients:
Burgers-
1 pound lean  lamb 
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed 
teaspoon garlic powder 
teaspoon pepper 
teaspoon onion powder 
teaspoon ground cumin 
teaspoon salt 
2 pita bread rounds (halved crosswise) 
1 cup of chopped fresh lettuce 

Yogurt Sauce-
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon mint, chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar 

 

Directions: 

1. Combine oregano, garlic powder, pepper, onion powder, cumin and salt; and add lamb and mix well.
2. Form into 4 patties, about inch thick.
3. Grill over medium coals to desired degree on doneness.
4. Split open each pita half to form a pocket.
5. Place gyro-burger in each pocket and top with chopped lettuce and yogurt mixture.

 

Recipe courtesy of Minnesota Grown member Sheepy Hollow at Native Oaks Farm. 

Crumbly Topped Rhubarb
Crumbly Rhubarb
Ingredients: 
3 cups young rhubarb, unpeeled and diced
1 tablespoon unbleached flour
1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
6 tablespoon butter 
6 tablespoon unbleached flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup rolled oats or quick cooking oatmeal
 
Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. 2. In a 10 X 6 X 2-inch baking dish, combine the first 6 ingredients.  

3. Cream the butter with the four and brown sugar, then stir in the oats.

4. Sprinkle over the rhubarb.  

5. Bake in a moderate oven, 350 degrees F, for 40 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender and the top is brown.

 

 

 
Spring Activity: Visit a Garden Center! 


With the April showers behind us, your lawn and garden will soon (or already is) be flowing to life! The month of May is a great time to enjoy the warmer weather and enjoy some outdoor space: from potted plants, to a lawn or garden! In this month, your local garden center will also be full of everything a gardener could need.  
  
Choose a local owned garden center to find starter items like tools, to seedlings, including mulches, fertilizers, lawn seed, gloves, and more. Cold weather tolerant annuals like pansies can be planted in containers now. As the weather warms, your favorite food crops like tomatoes and peppers can go directly into the garden.  
  
Keep an eye out for seedling sales and bedding plants at your local farmers market! Additionally, there are many Minnesota Grown nurseries and greenhouses which can help supply your home garden.
Garden Center  
Minnesota Grown Facebook 
  

Are you on Facebook? If so, we want to be friends with you! If you follow us on Facebook, you get the latest inside scoop, updates on fun activities and what's going on in Minnesota Agriculture! This month we proudly went over 13,000 likes on our page! Get in the know and follow us now!

The photo below is our post regarding the US Capitol Christmas Tree... yes, in April! Did you know that for the first time since 1992, the US Capitol Christmas tree will be coming from Minnesota? If you follow us on Facebook, you would have!

Stay up to date with what's in season and exciting by liking out page!

Facebook 4-29-14  
 
Thinking About Sweet Corn Already? 

Though it may not feel like it yet, summer is right around the corner and a great part of the upcoming season is Minnesota sweet corn. During the spring, farmers plant sweet corn as the ground temperature begins to rise. 

 

We spoke with Minnesota Grown member Byron Bartz from Home of the Range Farm in Barrett MN.  While some farmers may begin their planting any day now, Bryon will be waiting a few more weeks until the ground warms up more. Sweet corn is sensitive to cold weather.

 

Sweet corn needs from 54 to 120 days to grow based on the variety, climate, and geography. On average, this crop grows for about 60 to 78 days. There are three color varieties of sweet corn including solid white, solid yellow, and bi-color. Due to our long, cold spring this year many farmers will be waiting to plant their corn for warmer weather.

sweet corn Mill City  

While waiting to taste the goodness may seem hard- we promise it will be worth it! We will update you on the sweet corn conditions and when you can expect to see this tasty local treat at farmers markets and on market stands in the July Pick of the Month! 
Farmers Markets are Opening 

    Farmers Market Flowers  

With the warmer weather, we are happy to say....it is farmers market season! In this article we hope to inspire you to find out when your favorite farmers market will begin this year, get you back in the mood to visit your local farmers, or maybe find a new market in your area! Many of Minnesota Grown's over 170 farmers markets around the state will open this month, beginning with southern and central Minnesota. Due to our long, cold spring so far and Minnesota's fluctuating temperatures, veggies and other produce will need to stay in the ground a bit longer. However, farmers markets around the state will still be full of Minnesota Grown goodness. The variability of produce is a great reason to keep returning to your farmers market each week to see what's new and watch the spectrum of colors and types of produce grow with time. Some growers will utilize season-extending techniques such as greenhouses, hoop-houses, or high tunnels to help start plants and protect them from the cool weather. Rhubarb, lettuces, chard, spinach, asparagus, and green onions are a few examples of other early produce you may find in the first few weeks of the market. 

 

We spoke with Jack Gerten from the Saint Paul Farmers Market about the upcoming market season. The Saint Paul Farmers Market is including more educational opportunities this year in addition to their children's interactive market program. Healthy eating and cooking are the focuses of the kids program at this market. Newsletters, story books, and games are available for children to learn more about food and farming. Through the children's program at the market, kids are given a bucket when they arrive and if they find the matching bucket at a participating vendor's stand they take home a bucket full of veggies! Recipes are also provided for kids to encourage simple cooking activities to do with parents and family. This year, the market is expanding the educational opportunities to include adults by offering medical information. There will be medical professionals present to answer questions about healthy cooking, eating, or health insurance. Jack says to get ready for meat items (such as trout, pork, beef, chicken, and lamb), veggies as the weather warms, herbs, and bedding plants for the first few days of the market. 

  Mau Family FM

 

 Maple Grove Farmers Market Spring Preview 

 

If you are too excited to wait for the start of your local farmers market, the Maple Grove Farmer's Market has prepared a preview event on May 8th where customers can reconnect with new vendors, returning vendors, neighbors and friends. Some early produce will be offered in addition to bedding plants, farmstead meats, poultry, eggs, syrup, honey, jams, jellies, preserves, artisan breads, baked goods, hummus, gluten free baked goods and more. This event will include the gift bags pictured below, live jazz music by Laura Underwood and prizes. This will be the Maple Grove Farmer's Market's eleventh year of offering vendor grown and vendor made products. New products in 2014 include certified organic produce, grass-fed beef and lamb, heritage breed turkey (available late in the season), brewed coffee drinks, locally made soaps, potted herbs and herbal bath products, brewed coffee beverages, chocolate sauce, and more. The market will open on June 12th.  

    MN Grown Giveaways  

Anywhere in the state, any day of the week, Minnesota Grown's website can help you find a farmers market near you.  

 

 

  Thank you to Kristen Weigle of the Maple Grove Farmers Market and Jack Gerten of the Saint Paul Farmers for this season's market information.  

 

 Kick off Grilling Season with Your Favorite Local Foods

As the days lengthen and temperatures begin to rise, many Minnesotans celebrate by firing up the grill! This is a great opportunity to enjoy your favorite local meats such as lamb, beef, pork and chicken, but it doesn't have to stop there! Minnesota is also home to plenty of specialty meats that work great on the grill. Of course, don't forget about produce! Many of your favorite vegetables like asparagus, eggplant, onion, peppers, mushrooms are delicious cooked on the grill. Since many farmers markets will open throughout the month of May - grab some new veggies and toss them on the grill! 


Adding some Minnesota raised fish to your grill can change up your summer dinner routine. When grilling fish, it is helpful to start cooking with the skin side up to help help preserve oils and flavor. To keep fish from sticking to the grill surface, slice a potato in half and run it lengthwise down the hot grill- the starch will act as a natural lubricant.  

Here are a grilling few tips to consider: 

Cheryl Style

  
This graphic is courtesy of Cheryl Style, a New York Times best selling author.

Save-The-Date

calendar
Earth Tracks, Fri May 9 10a-2p, Duluth: Join wildlife biologists, naturalists and environmental educators from across the region to learn about wildlife, research and conservation actions you can take to make a difference here and around the world.

Fishing Opener Community BBQ, Fri May 9, Grand Rapids: At Old Central School Friday before Fishing Opener, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Enjoy music, food vendors, kids stuff and casting contests. A fun, free and open to the public event!

Sister Saturday Celebration at the Farm, Sat May 10, Waconia: Food, fun, and experience the country! Join us for our junk market and antique appraisals. Music by Clark Machtemes and Traveled Ground, g
ardening and planting advice. Also CSA demo, Mackenthun's Sausage and Deli from St. Bonifacious, Sheep cheese from Shepherd's Way Farms. There will be a book signing by Jim Gilbert, Naturalist, of his latest book, Minnesota's Outdoor Wonders.

Preston Trout Days, Fri May 16-Sun May 18, Preston: Adult fishing contest, kids fishing contest, family bike ride, petting zoo, chicken barbque, city-wide garage sales, Lions Club pancake breakfast, Grand Parade, street dance, fireman's beer tent, car show, family-fun activities, golf tournament, food vendors & more.

Shepherds Harvest Festival, Sat May 17-Sun May 18, Washington County Fairgrounds: Fiber Comes to Life at Shepherd's Harvest! Come experience Minnesota's largest sheep and wool festival. Shop an outstanding array of over 100 vendors, choose from a full range of classes or just enjoy the many breeds of sheep, goat, llama and alpaca on display. Discover fibers, yarns, weavers, spinning wheels, potters and cheese makers from our Midwestern countryside. A great family event. Admission is $5. Parking is free.

Bluff Country Gathering Barn Dance, Sat May 17, Lanesboro: Live music and dancing!

Rhubarb Festival, Sat May 24, Hastings: Rhubarb Festival is sponsored by Friends of LeDuc of Historic Hastings, LeDuc Gardeners, & Dakota County Historical Society. Features lectures, demonstrations, & a bake sale. Come taste, test & be tantalized.

Waterfest 2014, Sat May 31, St Paul: Join us for a free family celebration of our clean lakes and an opportunity for outdoor hands-on learning about clean water, wildlife, and land and water conservation. Experience the lake with Voyageur canoe and solar pontoon boat rides, stand up paddleboards and fishing lessons, sailing demonstrations and canoes and kayaks for check out. Enjoy other activities including a fishing contest, Geocaching, Open Mic, Eco Arcade, climbing walls, jump castle, native plant give-away, live animals, water... More games, landscaping, watershed and art exhibits, lakeside yoga and lots more.

Bacon and Beer Festival, Sat May 31 2-7p, Bemidji: Benefit for the United Way, where everything becomes Bacon! Event will feature Bemidji's best bacon purveyors displaying, sampling and selling a multitude of bacon inspired products, while patrons enjoy a unique collection of national microbrews. A variety of entertainment includes Pig Races, Battle of the Bands and Monster Cheeseburger Challenge and Best Bacon Dish Contest - with cash prizes.
 
Minnesota Grown Supporters
 

Minnesota Cooks is an education outreach program of Minnesota Farmers Union that celebrates Minnesota's dedicated family farmers and the talented local foods-minded chefs and restaurant owners. Their website includes lots of recipes and a map indicating restaurant/chefs they have worked with. They also produce a calendar each year featuring a farmer/chef for each month!
MinnesotaCooks