By Molly Butler

Crabapples are weighing down the trees, pumpkins are ballooning on roadside stands, and the baking aisle is always busy. It’s the season of savoring, and I have so many delicious ideas for your body and soul, so let’s get right to it!

Friday

Are you ready to pamper your palette? “Farm to Wooden Spoon” will take place in the Hubbard House Courtyard starting at 5:30 p.m. Featuring the culinary talents of Wooden Spoon and ingredients from local producers, this event will showcase delicious dishes like Pork Belly over Pumpkin Risotto and a Fruit Tart with Housemade Cream.

Now that the world’s going virtual, any time is teatime! Join the Virtual Library Foodie Club: Tea 101. The Blue Earth County Library and the CuriosiTea House have teamed up for this tasty event. Stop by the library or tea house and pick up your sample, then visit the event page on Facebook for the Tea 101 video. Youngsters can participate in the Virtual Lil’ Chef’s Food Club with their own Blue Mango tea and free instructional video provided by Miss Michelle and Heidi of CuriosiTea. Both videos will be live until Sept. 25, so enjoy on your own schedule. I just recently acquired a new-to-me teapot so I’m very excited to test it out.

Feast your eyes: we’ve got art all over! The 410 Project is hosting South Central Minnesota Pride’s art exhibit from Sept. 2-24. All mediums are accepted, and the art may be Pride themed, or simply work created by LGBTQ and allied people. Charlie Putnam’s exhibit, Personal Space, is up at in the Art’s Center of St. Peter, and the Hillstrom Museum of Art at Gustavus Adolphus College will feature two consecutive exhibits through Nov. 8 around the theme of Cancer in conjunction with their 2020 Nobel Conference, “Cancer in the Age of Biotechnology.” If you want to feed your inner artist, check out the Mankato Makerspace consecutive classes on Glass Torchwork: a Basic Clear Creation course starting at 3 p.m. and a Basic Color course beginning at 6 p.m.

Saturday

Savor the fresh air; there are some amazing outdoor opportunities this weekend. The Ney Nature Center and Lake Washington Regional Park are sharing an Intro to Archery class at Lake Washington from 10 a.m. to noon. This includes an hour of instruction and safety, plus plenty of time to practice new skills with target shooting. It’s only $5, so if you’ve ever thought about giving archery a try, this is the perfect opportunity! Then, the Blue Earth Project is celebrating Sustainability Day 2020 with a Street Clean-Up. Meet at the Riverfront Park parking lot at 12:45 p.m. for this free event to celebrate and practice communities taking action for a better future.

Then you can enjoy your yoga two ways: with a side of wine, or a side of goats. I know, it’s a tough choice! Morgan Creek Vineyard in New Ulm is hosting a Yoga Brunch with Kelly from 10-11 a.m. Her all-level friendly class will be followed by a light brunch paired with Morgan Creek Myst, a yummy white wine. Or, you can head to Farmamerica near Waseca for Fall Goat Yoga! In partnership with Awaken Vibrance in Waseca, these hour-long yoga sessions will feature friendly goats from LR Acres in Cannon Falls. They’ll be there from 3-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Goat yoga is a total bucket list item, so don’t miss out!

Hope you saved room for a feast: Pleasant Grove Pizza and ROUX 32 will host “Boil on the Farm” at the Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm. This Cajun-style seafood boil will include shrimp, locally farmed veggies, wood fired oysters, and of course a side of jazz music. Split a table with friends or family for this scrumptious event.

Sunday

Take home something sweet! Get to Vagabond Village at 11 a.m. for their Mandala Madness Class, including instruction for creating dot mandalas, all materials and your very own take-home mandala canvas. Pick out your perfect pumpkin at the Blue Sky Farm’s Pumpkin Junction, featuring kids games, mazes, concessions and more. Then from 1-5 p.m. Jersey’s Sweet Spot will be outside of Fleet Farm with treats and ice cream.

Bonus: Pumpkin Palooza

I saw a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, so I went to the store to get my puree. Apparently, everyone else had the same idea, because the shelves were empty! Luckily, there are plenty of fresh-off-the-farm pie pumpkins, and homemade puree could not be easier: split and scoop, then bake skin-up at 350 degrees until pumpkin peels easily from the skin with a fork. Blend and ta-da! You’ve got your puree. Now comes the hard part: picking a recipe. Besides good old pumpkin pie, puree can go into spiced lattes, cheesecake crepes, soups, pancakes, pasta, and so many more! I’m making a Pumpkin Palooza Bucket List and baking my way through the season. So, swing by the farmer’s market or your favorite roadside stand and find a new way to enjoy pumpkin!

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Author

  • Molly Butler

    is a writer, gardener, and animal lover. She returned to the Mankato area after completing her MFA in Creative Writing at Hamline University.

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