Hill and Valley Exploration Tour coming here!

Two autumn weekends to explore farm traditions. Area farms open their doors to welcome you, and experience farm living first hand! 

Grab your mud boots and the cooler. Throw the rain gear and an extra sweater in the trunk. Prepare for some good ole, country-style fun – rain or shine. With over sixty events and activities at 14 different venues on the Hill and Valley Exploration Tour, there is something for everyone.

Learn how to shear sheep, harvest honey, groom a show calf, warp a loom, can chutney, buck rivet an airstream, and make wine to name just a few activities on the Hill and Valley Exploration Tour. Along the way, you can fill your cooler with fresh veggies, jellies and preserves, and quality meat purchased directly from the producer at their farm or at our farmers’ market, and shop for vintage goodies.

Find your lunch at the farm-to-fork restaurant on the tour or support one of the local farmers, church groups, or youth groups offering picnic-style food options. For adults, we have evening beer and cheese pairings, wine and cheese pairings, and drawing classes. And to finish off the tour, for the whole family, a barn dance with live music and wood-fired oven pizza! The Hill and Valley Exploration Tour is a celebration of rural living! Learn more at our website:

We will be hosting Fall Color Hayrides Sat & Sun Oct. 7 & 8 at 1 & 3 PM suggested cost $10 /adult or $25/ family with children. Learn canning techniques on Sun Oct. 8 10 AM Canning Chutneys - $20/ person  Add layers of flavor with piquant and spicy condiments, made special with your own produce and by your own hands. We will explore chutneys with hands on learning to can these home preserved condiments to take home. Meet the "girls" on Sat. Oct. 14 with Coffee & Chores - Morning farm chores with conversation and light brunch — Join Dorothy and Don Harms for morning feeding chores on their family dairy farm — hands on bottle calf feeding for kids. Are you curious about a farmer’s job producing milk and meat for the public? Farmer Don is willing to share his lifetime of farming experience with you. (ticketed — cost $15/adult, $7/child under 13)


My new "favorite" go-to breakfast entree

When I get a new breakfast recipe I "really" love, it becomes a frequently served item. So I just wanted to share this recipe with you. To be sure I am making it with farm fresh eggs from my daughter's chickens.


Prep: 20 minutes -- Bake 18 minutes at 350F -- Stand 3 minutes

8 thin slices deli-style cooked ham

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

8 eggs

Ground black pepper

8 tsp. basil pesto (recipe says optional - I would say "definitely")

8 cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved

Preheat oven to 350F. Coat eight 2 1/2 inch muffin cups with cooking spray. Gently press a ham slice into each prepared muffin cup, carefully ruffling edges of the ham. Divide cheese among the ham-lined cups. Break an egg into a measuring cup, and slip egg into a muffin cup. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Sprinkle with pepper. Spoon 1 tsp. pesto onto each egg. Top with tomato halves. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until whites are completely set and yolks are thickened. Let stand in muffin cups for 3 to 5 minutes before serving. Carefully remove egg cups from muffin cups. Makes 8 cups.



Healthy Quinoa Breakfast Parfait

I have been looking to include more "healthy" grains in my breakfast menu and came across this recipe. Quinoa is a "curious" grain to me - its name alone is so different that it begs me to explore its possibilities. It provides a nutty texture to the tastebuds and adds fiber to one's diet. The recommendation for this is to prepare the night before for a quick breakfast go-to. Or you can make it in a 1/2 pint jelly jar and take along for your breakfast on the go.

Quinoa Breakfast Parfait

Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup quinoa

1 cup water

1/2 cup chopped dried pitted cherries

2 (5.3 oz) cartons fat-free black cherry Greek yogurt

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve; drain. Cook quinoa in water in a small saucepan according to package directions. When done and water is absorbed, stir in cherries. Cover, remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.

Spoon quinoa cherry mixture evenly into 4 (8-ounce) parfait glasses or straight-sided glasses. Spoon yogurt evenly over the quinoa. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, sprinkle with almonds.

cooking tip: toasting intensifies the flavor of the almonds. To toast, spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted. Watch carefully so they do not burn.

Quinoa meets Greek yogurt in healthy parfait.

Quinoa meets Greek yogurt in healthy parfait.