Phyllis Louise Harris
We live in a wonderland filled with so many delicious resources, choosing just a few becomes more and more difficult. The new Minnesota Grown Directory for 2016 does not make the job any easier with more than 1,000 food and product resources in the state. But the directory is free and all you have to do is ask for one sent to your door.
Start with the state’s award-winning wines. Since 1973 when David Bailly established Minnesota’s first vineyard Alexis Bailly Vineyard near Hastings to the more than 600 vineyards and 40 wineries in operation today, there is one near you. Many offer wine tastings, vineyard tours, grape stomping in the fall, picnic areas overlooking scenic valleys and special events. Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls is a good example. About an hour drive south of the Twin Cities the winery is in an historic building in the middle of town with the vineyard a short distance away. On weekends the wine master may be on hand to explain the wine process and you can taste the results. Light food is also available at reasonable prices and the winery presents a variety of entertainers throughout the year. Go to cannonriverwinery.com . Or for wine and beer lovers, head to Waconia and the Schram Vineyards Winery and Brewery with many weekend events. schramvineyards.com .
On July 30 and 31 plan to attend the Waconia Wine Festival featuring tours and tastings at the Parley Lake Winery, Sovereign Estate and Schram Vineyards and Brewery. The Festival includes outdoor activities plus food and craft vendors. Tickets are $25 and available online at waconiawinecountry.com/event/waconia-wine-festival-weekend .
Then there are the 176 Farmers’ Markets around the state. All are open this month through October with a bounty of freshly grown and picked produce, locally raised meat and fish, baked goods and so much more. One of my favorites is the Mill City Farmers’ Market in Minneapolis on the banks of the Mississippi River between the Guthrie Theater and the Mill City Museum. Every Saturday morning there is musical entertainment, a variety of food vendors, local growers with freshly picked produce and meat and fish farmers along with honey, jam, jelly, pickles, baked goods and so much more. And there is often a cooking demonstration. Gorkha Palace has long had a booth at the market featuring their food from Nepal, India and Tibet including popular momos. On June 4 there will be special features focusing on urban farming and on June 11 the market will highlight immigrant farmers. The second Saturday of each month features the mini farm with live sheep and hens. After the market, visit the Mill City Museum for an unusual look at Minnesota’s important flour history.
Not enough for you? How about pick-your-own farms where you and the family can save money by going into the fields and picking your own strawberries, raspberries, green beans, pumpkins, apples and so much more throughout the season.
But the directory does not stop at every variety of food. It also lists alpaca fiber products, beeswax products, Christmas trees, elk antlers, leather goods, lumber, petting zoos, soap, wreaths and yarn to name a few. Get your free copy at www.minnesotagrown.com or search through their web directory for sources near you. It can add a whole new dimension to your summer.
Read more about Asian food in Minnesota and try more than 160 recipes in Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875, in bookstores and on amazon.com.
Watch the EMMY® award winning “Asian Flavors” television show based on the book on tpt MN. Check local TV listings for broadcast times or view the show streaming online at:http://www.mnvideovault.org/mvvPlayer/customPlaylist2.php?id=24552&select_index=0&popup=yes#0