What is a Complete Street

After doing some research on the topic of biking in MN, something came to my attention that I had to write about. This concerns the “Complete Street” movement. But first a succinct (but thorough) definition: Complete Streets is a program designed to make our transportation grid as accessible as possible to all forms of travel; looking at the needs of cars, bikes, autos, baby strollers, skateboarders, unicycles, and pedestrians.

The ultimate goal is to make getting from one place to another as safe as possible with as many choices as possible. Currently, when you look at a road there is one mode of transportation that is considered and valued above all others, and that of course is car traffic. City planners are focused on getting traffic through from point A to point B as quickly as possible.

northernbrainerdstreet

NE Brainerd

Continue reading

What’s Goin’ On 06/24-0626

Weekly Events!
Friday – Farmers’ Market (Pine River Market Square – Farmers’ & Crafters’ Market), 2:30-5:30pm, Downtown Pine River. See Facebook for updates.
Friday – Duck Races!, 2pm, @ the Dam

Saturday – Ideal Green Market Farmers’ Market – Ideal Corners next to the Old Milwaukee Club; 9am-1pm. Facebook for info.

Special Events!
Friday – 371 Flea Market, 9am-3pm, Near the Depot and Chamber Info. Center, off 371

Thursday – Sunday – Cass Co. Fair!, LOTS of family fun! Check out the schedule here.

See you at the Market! OR Fair. 🙂
Quinn

Farmers Markets All Around

Interest in local foods is more than a trend, and certainly from a historic perspective – it’s a return to the “way things used to be”.

The number of Farmers’ Markets has grown dramatically in the past few years, this echoes the increased interest by consumers to procure tasty, fresh, unique, and ripe food.

prmspicsmallThere are diverse reasons shoppers appreciate Farm Markets. Many site the interaction with farmers, growers, and crafters to be a highlight. The opportunity to talk with people about their products is powerful. When purchasing relish at the supermarket, for example, it’s not possible to ask when it was made, how it was canned, and if there is a secret recipe, maybe even one that can be shared. A conversation with a grower can be much more than “how much are the tomatoes”; it may inform every tomato purchase that you have after that. Things like fertilizer use, pest prevention tactics, heirloom and open pollinated seed, how to avoid blight, recipe suggestions, and much more may transpire between consumer and grower. This is just one of many thousands of conversations that happen at a typical market. At the least, Farmers’ Markets are a place to find seasonal products; but there is much more to the equation, they are an opportunity to build community, support smaller growers, circulate dollars within the local economy, and boost health and diversity within diets.

raspberryinsept

You’ll find all sorts of fresh foods at your farmers market.

Many Markets take place outdoors offering a neat environment for children and adults alike. Some also have kid-focused activities and amenities. Shopping with children at Farmers’ Markets is a neat experience to share. Opportunities to show that food isn’t made in a supermarket but is grown and that the growers are “real” people. Also, depending on the Market, shopping may be a cultural diversity adventure for kids. Different cultures have different vegetables that are common in their recipes and may be present at a Market.

Often referenced rationale for shopping at Farmers’ Markets might be familiar, though it bears repeating. People love that produce is allowed to ripen on the plant versus in the shipping crate or on the shelf.

Almost always, the produce is picked day of the Market, offering freshness that is only rivaled by backyard gardening. In addition, the varieties that are grown by Market vendors can be focused on attributes like flavor, and color versus shelf life and transportation tolerance. Some customers purchase in larger quantities in order to put-by for off-season eating through canning, freezing, and dehydrating.

Take every possible opportunity to stop by Farmers’ Markets, each experience is bound to be different and rewarding. Unique foods, neat ideas, and great people abound. Whether trendy or not, they are dang tasty!

Sunscreen Salad

I just checked the weather forecast for this weekend. It’s expected to be hot and very sunny. Instead of spending your weekend in the air conditioned climate controlled environments, I’ve got a little home grown recommendation that will help with the sun.
It’s called “Sunscreen Salad” and it’s supposed to help your body fight UV harm.

There are studies that show eating foods (or tablets, yuck) that have high Vitamin C & E can help your body in “photoprotection” (which means protects against sun damage). So, instead of throwing down tablets of vitamins, you can get your vitamins the old fashioned delicious way. And it’s really simple:
1) Grab a bunch of spinach leaves high in vitamin C (and E)
2) Throw some cherry tomatoes on them. – high in vitamin E
3) Sprinkle sunflower seeds (or almonds or hazelnuts, or peanuts) – all high in vitamin E
4) Eat em all.cheesetomatoesbasil

With your belly full of these important nutrients (and delicious food), your body will be able to better fight against UV damage (which can lessen the damage from sunburn). My wife loves to make little spinach, cherry tomato, and mozzarella cracker towers. They’re awesome and can help fight the sun as well. (Avocados are a great source of Vitamin E, but I would never suggest you eat that awful tasting fruit!)
If you want variations on the salad, produce high in vitamin C are: peppers, broccoli, and of course citrus fruit. Other produce that are high in Vitamin E are: olives, apricots, kale, and papayas. Experiment and enjoy your weekend!