Category: North Iowa

The Fieldhouse: Clear Lake, Iowa – Farm to Table

fieldhouse

If you’re looking for the newest and greatest food scene in North Iowa, look no further than Fieldhouse in Clear Lake!  With it’s farm to table menu, cozy setting, along with park & lake views, it can’t be beat!  With an every changing menu and farm fresh supplies, this is a unique dining experience that will blow you away!

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Cooking with Herbs at Enchanted Acres

It’s a well-known fact that I love Enchanted Acres, the pumpkin patch.  I sing their praise each fall over their strawberry jam and caramel apple sundaes! Plus, the owner Shannon is such a great person that it makes it easy to be a cheerleader!  This past weekend, Shannon invited me to come out and participate in one of her workshops, Farm to Table Herbs & Butters.  This awesome workshop was taught by Mary Lovstad of Farm Girl Cook’n and Farm Girl Weddings!

I’ve known Mary for several years as we are both members of the North Iowa Bloggers.  I also know she is an incredibly talented cook, but her knowledge of herbs during this workshop blew me away!  I’m not one to cook with fresh herbs. I don’t grow any, I don’t have access to many, and to be honest they have always scared me! Thankfully, with Mary’s help, I’m feeling more confident than ever!

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2017 Garden Update, 4/24/2017

Can you believe it?! Gardening season is finally here! Well, according to the weather forecast, it’s gardening season for a day or two then it’ll be cold and wet again! Geesh!  But, I couldn’t wait any longer, so it’s officially the first Garden Update post!  Last year, I waited until the end of May and well…that is just too long!  So, here it is!

So, is there a lot to update you on with the gardens?  Have I actually done a lot in the gardens yet?  No, not really, but I am so stinking excited this year to share it all with you, that I figured we might as well start from the very beginning, right?!

Vegetable Garden

I basically badgered T this weekend to till our vegetable garden until he gave in!  It seemed dry on the top…well, maybe he was right and it was too wet.  However, he’s as stubborn as I am, so by the time he had tilled half of it, he told me I was planting it, so planting we did!  We put in cucumbers, green onions, radishes, tomatoes, and a row of green beans!  I’m hoping the sun and warm temps today will give those little seeds a jump start otherwise, I’ll never live this down!  (I think you can see from the picture how wet it actually was..you can see where we packed it down in between rows!)  There is still the other half of the garden to till and plant (when and if it ever dries up) along with 2 other sections that are adjoining!

Vegetable Garden
April 23rd 2017 Vegetable Garden

 

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Girls Day at Enchanted Acres

If you’ve followed me for any certain amount of time, you know that I’m surrounded by boys and guys.  It’s all guys at work and all guys at home. (Ms. Nike doesn’t count, does she?!)  So, when I heard about all the fun happening at Enchanted Acres this past weekend, I knew it would be a great day for a Girls Day!  I called my friend Erinne and she happily joined me for an afternoon of fun at the pumpkin patch.

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What You Don’t See in Agriculture!

#Plant16 is in full swing here in Iowa and that means lots of long hours for those in the agriculture community!

When you are a farmer or involved in the agricultural community there are a lot of things that are normal to you or that you’re used to seeing. When you’re not it’s easy to be unaware of what is going on behind the scenes!  It’s easy to not know how much goes in to feeding the world.  I wrote a similar post about this same topic and you can find that HERE! But, for today..I want you to think about what you don’t see on the surface of the agriculture world.

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Friday in Franklin County: Christensen Jewelry

Welcome to Friday in Franklin County! I love the place that I call home and the businesses that are here that I’ve decided to share a piece of it with you every Friday!

First up is Christensen Jewelry and owner Russell Gibson!  Russ first got started in jewelry making in high school when he took a metals & jewelry class during his sophomore year at Washington High School in Washington, Iowa.  The art teacher did jewelry work on the side and was very involved with everything the kids did.  During the class they learned the proper techniques to hand make everything, cut and finish the stones, etc.  They were required to produce a minimum of 30 designs before they were allowed to create a piece itself.  One semester in this class and Russ was hooked.

Christensen Jewelry Owner, Russ Gibson
Christensen Jewelry Owner, Russ Gibson

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I Created with Kelly Gau Studio

Last year about this time, I met up with some of the North Iowa Bloggers for one of those wine and painting parties…I’m a terrible painter!  Then, I tried my hand at making my own Christmas wreath and was so in love with

Me and my abysmal painting!
Me and my abysmal painting!

the results that I ended up leaving it hanging on my house until the very end of February!   So, up until this point I had faired a solid 50/50 on my DIY events/projects, so it was all up in the air when I went to the West Fork Wharf in Sheffield the other night to create a mixed media item with Kelly Gau Studio!  I knew that regardless of what my piece of art looked like, I would have a great time because I was with my dear friends (Alicia of Pork Diaries, Laura of Life On Sky View Farms, Val of Corn, Beans, Pigs, & Kids, and Donna of donnahup.com)!

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Super Bowl Fun, Your Way

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The Super Bowl is Sunday! Do you know how you’re going to celebrate? Are you someone who has a big party with family or friends? Maybe you prefer to go out? Keep things low-key? Either way, I have some ideas on how to make it a fun afternoon & evening.

Big Party Fun, In – If you’re a person who enjoys throwing a big party, invite your friends over and have them help you do the “work”!  Encourage each person coming to bring their favorite appetizer to share!  If you’re having women, have them bring a bottle of their favorite wine, then grab some paper bags and cover the labels up, have a taste test and have the women all vote for the winner…have a small gift for the winner (think $1 spot at Target or clearance from Bath & Body Works, fun napkins for entertaining, etc).  Make sure to use paper plates and silverware to cut down on your cleaning up!  I also would encourage 2 different areas…one for those who actually want to watch the game and one for those that are there just to socialize!

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Comments for A Cause: My Happy Place

Recently I became aware of an amazing organization right here in North Iowa. It’s called My Happy Place. While I love the Comments for a Cause idea, I don’t always participate each month!  I feel very strongly about only participating when I find a cause or organization that strongly moves me and that is the case this month!  This group is a non-profit organization dedicated to making a difference in our community’s.  They work with sick children and families to create a fun and safe living space for the child at home!  my happy place

From their website,

“We do this by working closely with the child and families to design and redecorate a personalized bedroom within the family’s home. We fill this space with items that are meaningful to the child and in a style they choose.  Our goal is to help as many sick children as possible, one child at a time, one community at a time.  We believe that every child deserves their very own happy place.”

So far, through their efforts they have decorated 19 rooms and have 4 coming up!  They’ve decorated rooms to be like the inside of a fish tank, a man cave for a teen age boy, one to appear like an outdoor tree house/camping scene, and many dreams have come true!  What a fantastic way to brighten a child’s day that faces so much adversity!

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