Tagged organic food

Gardens of Lanesboro, MN

Two churches sit atop the highest point in town. This is a view from that hilltop.

One of my favorite places to sneak away to when I want a little R&R is Lanesboro, MN – a quaint small town just 15 miles from the farm where I grew up in southeastern Minnesota.  This past week, Steve and I were able to take a few days off, which allowed us to attend my annual (large) family reunion on Sunday. Afterwards we drove along the windy gravel roads through the limestone bluffs and valleys to Lanesboro.

The Lutheran Church on Church Hill was built by the Presbyterians using local limestone.
The Lutheran Church on Church Hill was built by the Presbyterians using local limestone.

There are many activities to keep the whole family entertained including paved bike trails, Amish tours, tubing or canoeing the Root River, or just strolling through the colorful, flower lined streets window shopping in the many (art) shops along the way.

Two years ago, Steve and I biked the entire 60-miles of the trails, visiting each of the small towns along the way.  It was a vacation that we’ll always remember.  This year, we were not up to biking yet, as Steve is still recovering from a stroke that affected his left side, just a few months after that trip.  He is building up his strength with the aid of a Sun trike that we purchased earlier this summer from Edina Bike & Sport, and we are confident that it’s only a matter of time before we’re able to get back out and do 5-10 miles of biking at a time.

This past weekend was spent enjoying the beautiful flower gardens, enjoying fresh, locally grown food at Petal Pushers Cafe (which was bustling with activity on Sunday evening and featured live, festive music from a local artist).

Many Shops and Restaurants Sell Local Goods
Many Shops and Restaurants Sell Local Goods

We drove up the steep hills and captured some of the beauty of the private gardens that are abundant in Lanesboro.

The sun was setting behind the bluffs adding a golden glow to the evening.
The sun was setting behind the bluffs adding a golden glow to the evening.
Norma keeps a beautiful perennial garden.
Norma keeps a beautiful perennial garden.
Norma's neighbor has beautiful gardens too.
Norma's neighbor has beautiful gardens too.
Garden Phlox and Black Eyed Susans stand out in the evening sun.
Garden Phlox and Black Eyed Susans stand out in the evening sun.
Limestone rocks provide a backdrop for the gardens.
Limestone rocks provide a backdrop for the gardens and was used to build many of the buildings in town years ago.
Root River flows over the Laneboro Power Dam
Root River flows over the Laneboro Power Dam

The Root River was running fast and high with the recent heavy rains.

We made it back to camp at the Eagle Cliff Campgrounds, located 3 miles east of town, just in time to enjoy the sun setting behind the bluffs.

Clear skies were misleading, as it rained during the night.
Clear skies were misleading, as it rained during the night.

Some of the family discovered they had a leaky tent and woke up with soaked bedding early in the morning.  We were fortunate to have a comfortable room in the Eagle Cliff motel.  It was one of the best night’s of sleep I’ve had in months – nestled in the valley the cell towers and 3G networks don’t work so you really can get away from it all.  Not to worry though – there is cell coverage in downtown  Lanesboro, and one only needs to drive to the top of a hill outside the campgrounds to get coverage for most services.

Five Benefits of Choosing Locally Grown Food

Strawberries and Grapes
Strawberries and Grapes

Beyond the satisfaction and enjoyment of growing fresh vegetables in a backyard garden, there are many reasons why everyone benefits from choosing locally grown produce to feed their families.  If you are unable to create your own garden, shopping at a local co-op or farmers market is a great alternative.

Some benefits of choosing locally grown food for your family include:

1) Quality – fresh produce simply cannot be beat for taste.

2) Nutritional value – vegetables and fruit lose their nutritional value very quickly. Buying locally reduces the time from field to table.

2) Better for the environment – transporting food across the country increases air pollution, and adds to our dependence on oil.

3) Saves money – it’s less expensive to purchase fresh produce from local farmers than from distant commercial growers.

4) Supports your local economy – keeps local farmers in business.

5) Less exposure to ecoli and other harmful bacteria that is often found on large commercial fields.

For more information or to find a  co-op or farmers markets close to your home, visit this site:

www.localharvest.org