Time for fresh, local produce in Worthington

I love summer! You know after the long, cold winter our summers here in Minnesota just don’t seem long enough. So I am thankful that today the Worthington Farmers Market starts in downtown Worthington at 4 p.m . Buying fresh, local produce from people I know makes me happy and summer meals created with the local food purchased at the farmers markets are loaded with flavor and healthy nutrients.

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Farmers markets have gained a lot of popularity over the last few years as people are becoming more aware about the foods they eat and where they come from. People love the opportunity to buy straight from producers. It feels good to be able to ask questions about the food you are purchasing and a good number of the producers at the Worthington Farmers Market grow their goods without using harsh chemicals. This year, I am happy to see several vendors selling gluten free options.

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If you live in the Worthington area I invite you to visit our local markets. The downtown Worthington Farmers Market goes from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays at the parking lot at Second Avenue and 10th Street and this year the Saturday market starts July 11 and runs from 6:30 a.m. to Noon at Ace Hardware along Oxford Street. If you are not around Worthington, I encourage you to find a farmers market close by and enjoy all of the delicious produce and goods it has to offer!

So last week we in our fresh produce box from 10 Acres Flat there was kale. This is definitely a vegetable I have grown to love but trust me it took some time. Last year, Freya from 10 Acres shared the kale recipe posted below. It made me love and crave kale!The one thing I learned from this recipe is if you are eating kale fresh you should massage it so it is easier to digest and it also gives it a better flavor. Now, I know many of you are saying…ick, I am not going to eat kale but give it a chance! And if you don’t like it one way, try it another way. Kale is loaded with vitamins and minerals including calcium and vitamin c. In fact, did you know kale has more vitamin c than one orange?

Why is kale a winner-

 

This is the first recipe I have used fresh kale. Usually, I throw kale in a morning smoothie or I sautee it with onion and garlic in butter or bacon grease. This salad was a hit at our house. In fact, my husband and I finished it off the first night I made it and I had to make some just a few days later because I was craving it. And of course, kale is something you can purchase at the local farmers market.

Kale

KaelSalad

Kale Salad

1 bunch kale

1 avocado

Juice from 2 fresh lemons

2 tbsp. olive oil

1-2 tsp. local honey

1 cucumber, bell pepper, carrot or other favorite salad veggie

¼ cup sliced almonds or sunflower seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the stem from the kale leaves. Discard stems and slice kale into strips. Place chopped kale in salad bowl with about a ½ tsp. of real salt or sea salt and 1 tsp. of lemon juice. Rub the salt and lemon into the kale (like you are giving it a massage) for a few minutes until it turns a brighter green and is starting to look almost wilted or cooked. In a smaller bowl, mash the avocado and mix with remaining lemon juice, honey and olive oil. If it seems to thick add a dash of water. Pour over kale and stir well to combine. Add chopped veggie of choice and almonds or sunflower seeds. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

NOTE: When I made this recipe last week, I chopped the avocado into pieces and did not mash it. I used a red pepper and cucumber for my first batch this season and loved the flavor the cucumber added. We did not put the almonds or seeds on it. The next time I made it I used a carrot and turnips. As you can see you can be creative and come up with many variations of this recipe.

Please share your favorite recipe using fresh, summer produce with us here at Be Real Blog.

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Learn to #MarketSmarter June 24 in Worthington

I am a passionate person and my passion drives everything I do (yep, for those of you who know me well, you know this is Amanda stating the obvious). For quite some time now I have been passionate about social media—it is so important that small businesses, nonprofits, churches and large businesses in rural areas learn to use it well to keep our towns vibrant. When we all do better, we all do better and I truly believe this when it comes to social media! If we all do a better job marketing our businesses and services we can enhance people’s view of our community! I believe this wholeheartedly and that is why I have invested time and energy (I am still learning every day) how to use social media better for my stores, The Daily Apple Worthington and The Daily Apple Storm Lake.

When I was asked by Julie Foote of MVTV Wireless to attend a planning meeting for an upcoming social media event, I did not hesitate to attend. I had no idea what I was saying yes to, but let me tell you #MarketSmarter coming up June 24 in Worthington, MN, is going to be an event you don’t want to miss. There are people registered from Wells, Pipestone, Luverne, Storm Lake, IA, and many other places around. It has been a pleasure to work with Julie, Anne Foley and Darlene Macklin to put this superstar event together.

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You are sure to learn a ton from our keynote speakers. Tena Pettis is a social media expert and accomplished speaker + trainer on all things social. She founded tena.cious, a social media management + design firm in the Twin Cities area. She’s known for building connections both online and off, and is a strong advocate of customer focused, loyalty and relationship based sales. Jerrid Sebesta walked away from a vibrant TV career in search of a dream. And now he’s doing it! He now works for Taatjes Financial Group in Willmar where he’s a life and financial coach – inspiring people and businesses around the region look at their own dreams, make smart financial decisions and leave a legacy.

We have to give a shout out to the awesome sponsors for this event because they are allowing the event to be very affordable—only $49 per person and that includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and a social hour! Typically learning events of this caliber would cost between $150 to $350 per person, for a one-day event. So thanks to District 518 Community Education, MVTV Wireless, Southwest  Initiative Foundation, Southwest Broadband, RadioWorks, The Daily Globe, Worthington Regional Economic Development Corporation, Blandin Foundation and the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau. We are also grateful that Round Lake Vineyards & Winery will be doing a wine tasting at the end of the event. We are thrilled to have this new gem right here close by in southwest Minnesota. The fact that these organizations are willing to put money toward this event shows that social media is a key part of keeping our rural communities flourishing!

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I first heard Tena Pettis speak in January of this year, while I was at Minneapolis Mart purchasing new items for my stores. In one hour, I learned more from Tena Pettis than I have in the last five years about marketing my small business. After hearing Tena speak we started an Instagram account (follow us at dailyapple1) and started posting regularly with a consistent design approach on Facebook and business is booming. We have seen significant growth at both stores and using social media better is the major change we have made. And when I say we, that means my entire team of people has gotten serious about using social media better.

Rounding out the lineup of speakers on June 24 are: Neil Linschied of University of Minnesota Extension, Roxanne Hayenga of Minnesota West Customized Training, Mari Harries of River City Eatery in Windom and I will be presenting a breakout session entitled Making Social Media Come Alive.

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Do not let fear stand in your way of attending. There truly is something for everyone to learn and if you are just getting started with social media and are not sure what platforms to use this event is great for you. The information at #MarketSmarter is relevant for home based businesses, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, large companies—-pretty much awesome for anyone who wants to learn to market better on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…

So take action today and get registered for #MarketSmarter. Don’t let excuses or the phrase, “Oh I can’t afford it,” stop you. Truly, if you are trying to grow your business or organization and want to dig deeper into using social media you need to attend June 24. No excuses! Click on this link to get register now! The event goes from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Minnesota West Community & Technical College. If you prefer to register by paper you can pick up a registration form at District 518 Community Education, Worthington Chamber of Commerce or at The Daily Apple.  For more details about this event, please visit our Facebook event. And if you are as excited about this day as I am please invite your friends to attend!

June 2, 2015 Wellspring devotion

 

 

Friends, here is the devotion from our Tuesday, June, 2, Wellspring. It has been a challenging week. As I post this I ask for prayers for my family right now especially my grandpa, my mom and aunts and uncles! May God’s love surround them and Psalm 23:4 give them comfort.creativity is Intelligence having fun (1)

Psalm 23:4-Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Have you been crazy busy lately and not taken the time pray and have some quiet time with God? When we are too busy to draw near to God and ask him for help and thank him for our blessings, I am pretty sure that makes the devil really happy. Busy is a distraction that keeps us from drawing closer to our Lord. I don’t know about you but that sentence right there about making the devil happy hurts my heart and makes me feel deep concern for my actions. I want to make Jesus happy, not the enemy. We all need this little reminder once in awhile to keep our focus on God and not let the busyness of our daily life keep us from him.

It is so easy to fill our schedule to the brim and then not set aside time for growing closer to Christ. Recently, I started getting together with a Christian mentor on a regular basis. Before I started this I had to make the commitment that I would set aside the time to meet with her. There have been some times when our schedules do not allow us to get together as often as we would like but in the weeks we do not see each other we pray for each other and I miss our time together. The time I have spent with this woman in conversation and prayer has been so beneficial and it reminds me to take time to grow in my faith. Knowing that this woman is praying for my every need and for my marriage and for my family members she does not even know means so much to me. She has been such a blessing in my life and she is helping me to stay focused on serving God. If you do not have a mentor, I highly recommend it to remind us to continue to grow closer to God and to show us His unconditional love.

The hymn “In the Garden” written in 1912 by Austin Miles is a beautiful song written about taking time to talk with God and enjoy his beauty in nature. This song has always had a special place in my heart. It is a song that is easy to listen to when going through difficult times. I remember well this song when it was played at my step dad’s funeral 15 years ago. There were times after the funeral that I would listen to it 10 or 15 times in a row when I was driving. Such beautiful, powerful words about the great joy it brings to know that God is with us every single minute of every single day through every single happy time and in every single dark, sad time. This is also a song my mom likes a lot as well and listening to it makes her sad but also joyful in knowing she has peace with Jesus. Music touches our hearts in so many ways and can draw us closer to God when we are going through trying times.

In the Garden (Hymn written by Austin Miles)

I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses . . .

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other, has ever, known!

He speaks and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that he gave to me,
Within my heart is ringing . . .

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other, has ever, known!

And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other, has ever, known!

Prayer for the week: Dear Heavenly Father, Please lead us this week to rely on you for our every need. Just as Psalm 23 says, you will comfort us. Help us to draw near to you so we can be filled with love as we go about our daily lives. Forgive us for the times we are too busy to pray and come to you first with our issues and help us this week to pray more often about everything that is going on in our life. We want to keep our focus on you. In your name we pray. Amen.

Discussion questions:

What are the benefits of spending some quiet time in prayer?

Do you have particular songs that stir up emotions and draw you closer to God?