Bean Bake
1 lb ground beef
½ lb bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
½ cup ketchup
½ cup barbeque sauce
1 tsp salt
4 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp pepper
2 tablespoons molasses
2 16 oz can kidney beans
2 16 oz can Pork and Beans
2 16 oz can butter beans

Brown ground beef, bacon and onion. Drain excess fat.

Combine all other ingredients except the beans, mix well. Add beans and combine thoroughly. Bake 1 hour at 350.

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Nature's Healing Power
If you're like me, you're probably feeling worried and anxious about the future; COVID-19, the upcoming election, losing money in the stock market, losing your job, what to do with the kids all day, and bare store shelves. When you feel fearful, the stress hormone, cortisol gets released. Some of the repercussions of this include compromised problem-solving and immunity. There are innumerable sources of stress for most of us, but for our own health and sanity it's important to try to de-stress on a regular basis. Family isolation doesn't have to be indoors; o ne way to get happy brain chemicals released is to get outside.
Contact with nature has proven benefits to human health and wellness. Trees emit airborne chemicals called phytoncides that protect them from insects. These are antibacterial and antifungal chemicals, and when humans breathe them in, our bodies respond by increasing white blood cells, which is of course a good thing. In addition to benefits for the immune system, studies have also shown that strolling through the forest can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, increase energy and improve sleep. Amazing!

Look for (and sniff) the resiny fragrance of pines, spruce, and firs. Listen for the birds singing and squirrels chattering. And there's music when the wind moves through twigs or rattles the leaves of quaking aspens.
So put down your digital devices, and go on a bike ride, walk the lake, stroll through a nearby park, play catch with the kids, start a nature journal and breathe deeply. T ake advantage of nature's free-of-charge, built-in health and wellness center in the woods.

Out in the woods and enjoying the spring sunshine. Also hiding from COVID-19.

For more ways  to harness the healing powers of nature during this pandemic.
Guerrilla Wildflower Bombs
You can throw them out of a moving car, from a bicycle, on a hike. But before you go launching wildflower seed projectiles into empty lots and medians, start with a solid recipe. You'll need a mixing bowl and baking sheets. Add one-part native wildflower seed mix to four-parts powdered clay and five-parts compost. One cup of wildflower seeds makes dozens of seed bombs. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly and stir in water slowly until you have a thick bread-dough-like consistency.

Take a small pinch of seed infused mud and roll it into a quarter-size ball. It's like making snickerdoodles. (If you start with a cup of wildflower seed, you'll end up with dozens of seed bombs.) Set the balls on a cookie sheet and let them dry out in the sun. Toss them out in the spring or autumn, into a sunny spot, preferable on bare soil, before a rainfall. You'll be tempted to pitch the thing but a gentle lob is more effective; intact, the ball shields seeds against the elements and hungry creatures.

It's a good idea to ask permission to bomb private or public land. And make sure your seeds are native to your area. You don't want to go spreading invasive species around. My wildflower mix in Minnesota includes: blackeyed susan, butterfly weed, sky blue aster, lead plant, prairie spiderwort, coneflower, sideoats grama, blue grama and little bluestem.
In Texas, some of the highest concentrations of wildflowers can be found along highways, thanks to Lady Bird Johnson, the former first lady. She advocated for their planting and was instrumental in passing the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, known as Lady Bird's Bill. "Ugliness," she once said, "is so grim."

There is something satisfying about the idea of tossing seeds of wild flowers into an impoverished area with the hope that it will magically turn into a flowery meadow. Pictured here, lead plant (Amorpha canescens) and prairie grasses.

Seed bombs are portable, covert, and require only a decent throwing arm to use.

For more information on making seed bombs and going wild with flowers

Thanks for reading.  
Happy Planting!    


Faith Appelquist

President & Founder


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