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Summer Activities in Central Minnesota

Summer is officially half over, but there is no shortage of things to do in Central Minnesota. You can still get out and enjoy the heat with some of these great local outdoor activities.

1) Biking - With (approximately) 5 billion miles of bike trails that cross the area, you'll have no problem finding a trail near you. Here's a great map that shows where some of the more popular spots for biking are. If you're looking for a little rougher ride, the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails can fit your need. They've got off road trails for beginner to advanced. Here's a great video showing what they can offer.
2) Geo-caching - One of the best reasons for going outside is to get away from all your distracting digital devices. However, through geo-caching you can bring your technology with you. (Hooray?) With the help of a GPS device (or an app on your smartphone), you can search for buried treasure without leaving your device behind. Go to to get started.
3) Support your Farmer - Getting to know your farmer is one of the best ways to start eating healthy. The best way to do this is to visit your local farmers' markets. During the growing season, you'll be treated to different wares as the grower brings you what's in season. And, depending on which market you are able to attend, you can see products ranging from grass-fed beef to jalapeño jellies. Check out Minnesota Grown for a complete list of markets in Minnesota.

4) Eco Camps - It's not too late to sign up your child to one of our week-long day camps. We've two sessions left for the season (July 29-Aug 2 for ages 4-5 and Aug. 19-23 for grades 5-6). Focusing on gardening, games, and crafts, your child will learn about the outdoors and take home a respect for nature. Here's the registration and informational material, but spots fill up fast, so be sure to reserve your child's place.

Composting 101

If you've been receiving your weekly CSA shipment or have been visiting your local farmers market you have probably noticed that you may have some excess leafy greens lying around after meals. Don't throw them away! You can add to your garden ecosystem by composting them first. It's simple as watching paint dry (or in this case, food decompose.) All you need to do is find a place (usually outside) where you take organic material (like grass clippings, banana peels, or shredded newspaper, for example) where it decomposes. The leftover remains are called "compost" and it makes fantastic fertilizer.

We've put together a few resources that could help making your compost bin easier.

Dutch Baby Recipe 
With the late start to the growing season, strawberries and raspberries plants are fruiting around the same time. With this abundance of berries, you have no shortage of how to enjoy them. We've asked around and people have offerred that they enjoy their berries in smoothies, on top of ice cream, and even in a glass of champagne. Many even claim that strawberries taste the best when eaten plain on a cold winters day, frozen until then. 

We can't wait that long. So, here's a wonderfully sweet and tart recipe called a Dutch Baby. 

1) 3/4 cup milk
2) 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3) 2 large eggs
4) 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
5) 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6) 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
7) 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
8) 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fresh fruit, of choice (peaches, nectarines, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries,mangoes, etc.)

1) Fifteen minutes before baking preheat the oven to 450°; have a pie plate or oven-proof skillet ready.
2) Whisk together the milk, flour, eggs, sugar and vanilla; put the butter in the pie plate or skillet and place the pan in the oven just until the butter is melted; with a brush coat the rim and entire inside of the pan.
3) Slowly pour batter into hot pan; bake for 20 minutes; reduce heat to 350° and bake another 8-10 minutes, until pancake is well-browned; remove from oven and sieve confectioners' sugar over the top; serve immediately with fruit spooned into the center of the pancake.



Healthy Green Communities Partnership
Plaid Pine River Kickoff
Friday, July 19
Lions Pavilion at the Dam Park
Immediately after the Duck Races (around 3pm)


Pine River Duck Races
Every Friday at the Pine River Dam until Mid-August
Registration starts at 1:45pm. First race at 2pm!

Pine River Market Square Farmers Market
Open every Friday
Downtown Pine River.
(3rd & Barclay)


The Pine River Community Garage Sale

August 2-3
All over Pine River

Lakes Bluegrass Festival
Aug 21-25
Cass County Fairgrounds
Pine River, MN
Four days of great music!

Central Minnesota Forage Council
Summer Land and Water Tour
July 25, 9:30am-2:30pm

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