Could Minnesota finally be climbing out of the deep and dark hole that was winter? While April may still bring snow, it’s time for us to banish cold-weather thoughts. It’s time for spring.
No matter what Mother Nature throws our way this month, we can usher in spring by our menu choices. Goodbye to heavy stews and carbohydrate-laden casseroles. Hello salads, spring produce, and lighter food overall.
Even lighter sweets can reflect the season. Lemony desserts are a rite of spring passage and whether you enjoy puckery lemon bars, billowy lemon meringue pie, or its creamier cousin the lemon cream pie, these high-calorie treats can always be made healthier. (Swimsuit season is on its way, after all.)
Want to know more about a typical dairy farm family? This one was named Minnesota’s Producer of the Year, but they’re not unlike most of the state’s dairy farm families. Meet the Krauses, from Buffalo. And while you’re at it, mark your calendar to attend Breakfast on the Farm at their farm on Saturday, June 21, 2014! Learn more at facebook.com/WCBOF.
Click here to watch a video featuring the Krauses!
Melting snow makes way for visible grass and soil! Soil is one of our most useful natural resources. From the soil we get food, clothes and materials for the houses we live in. Plants rely on the soil to provide moisture and nutrients for growth. The many fruits and vegetables that we eat on a daily basis require fertile soil to grow. Our animal food also comes from the soil. Cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys and many other animals eat grass and grain to gain muscle and remain healthy. Without these plants, which depend on soil for survival, we would not have meat to eat. The animals also supply us with other products that we need for survival or make our lives much easier.
A very small fraction of the planet contains soil available for growing food. This activity helps children and adults visualize the components of earth and the environmental elements that limit land use.
** An adult must be responsible for using these materials!!
- Cutting board
- One large apple
Where else can you learn about Minnesota pickles, roses and dairy cows all in one place? America’s Heartland has introduced viewers to America’s farmers and ranchers since its first episode in 2005. The idea was a simple one – give consumers an inside look at the people and processes involved in bringing food, fuel and fiber to those in the United States and around the world. Since that first episode, America’s Heartland has brought viewers informative and compelling stories about farm families, agricultural technology, consumer issues, animal care, environmental concerns, organic farming and crop sustainability. As the only nationally broadcast program of its kind, America’s Heartland strives to give viewers a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing today’s agriculture.
Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed March 23-29, 2014 as Minnesota Agriculture Week. The designation is an effort to raise awareness of the significant contributions agriculture makes to the quality of life of all Minnesotans.
Dayton says it’s important to recognize the abundance of food, fiber, and renewable resources provided by Minnesota farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses.
This easy turkey dish is an all-in-one dinner solution the whole family will enjoy.
Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 60 mins
Total Recipe Time: 1 hour 25 mins
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1 package (12 ounces) whole wheat penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 cups low-fat milk
- 1 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup dry white wine (or additional chicken broth)
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups sliced white button mushrooms
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups diced cooked turkey breast
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
It took just eight ingredients for home cook Abbie Argersinger of Austin, TX to wow the judges and become the winner of the 2013 National® Beef Cook-Off contest, funded by the Beef Checkoff. Argersinger’s Cali-Avocado Steak Salad – which included boneless beef top sirloin steak, olive oil, salt, pepper, a large navel orange, a fresh California avocado, naan bread (a leavened, oven-baked flatbread similar to pita bread) and mixed salad greens also won the $25,000 grand prize when her prize winning entry was announced at the Metropolitan Cooking Show in Washington, D.C. in November.
A panel of food-savvy judges consisting of food editors, writers and bloggers selected Argersinger’s recipe for its appearance, taste, nutritional balance, convenience and freshness. Entrants also were required to be amateurs, not professionals, and submit recipes designed to meet the tastes and techniques of the home cook while demonstrating the benefits and versatility of cooking with beef.
What do strawberries, cattle, corn and sheep all have in common? These plants and animals, as well as all living things, are made-up of cells. Within each cell is DNA. This DNA contains genetic material that makes strawberry taste sweet and corn stalks grow tall. DNA also affects the appearance of animals. Follow the procedure below to isolate DNA from your cheek cells.
Isolating Animal (Human) DNA
- Gatorade – any flavor
- Clear soap (dish soap, shampoo, hand soap, etc.)
- Rubbing alcohol – chilled or on ice
- Small cups (preferably clear)
More Minnesota school districts are able to offer locally grown foods to students thanks to Farm to School grants from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). More than $250,000 is being awarded across the state to fund Farm to School projects in 15 school districts. The goals of the grant program are 1) to support a healthy student body by providing more fresh fruit and vegetable options at lunch, and 2) create new markets for local farmers.
Groundhog Day came and went and Punxsutawney Phil sentenced us to at least six more weeks of winter, but don’t let that get you down. Let pork help you get cozy with some comforting classics in the kitchen from soups to sandwiches, and pasta to pork chops.
Try some pork chop noodle soup to help warm you up after shoveling snow or treat your family to some bacon pesto mac & cheese the kids are sure to enjoy.