Date Cake


1 ½ cups chopped dates

1 ¼ cups boiling water

1 ½ sticks butter (¾ cup)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cup flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda



½ cup sugar

1 cup chocolate chips

½ cup chopped pecans


Place dates in a bowl. Pour water over and let stand until plump about 30 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 9x9 cake pan. Cream butter with 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix flour, cinnamon, salt and soda together. Stir date and water alternately with flour mixture into butter mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Combine chocolate chips, ½ cup sugar and nuts in a small bowl. Sprinkle over batter. Bake 45-50 minutes.





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Branching Out with Faith Appelquist



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Contact Faith at (612) 618-5244 or by email 


Nuts for Fruits!
What to Expect when you Plant a Fruit Tree


What we expect:
Fruit every year; perfect fruit; no maintenance.   


What is the reality:
3 or more years before bearing fruit; biennial bearing or freezing flowers; insects like fruit too; a host of diseases to manage; complicated to prune and messy.  

If you are looking to put a fruit tree in your landscape, consider the following list to aid you in your decision. Here is my rank of fruit trees from 1 (easy to manage) to 6 (difficult).

  1. Tart Cherries
  2. Plum
  3. Pear
  4. Apple
  5. Apricot
  6. Peach 

Parker Pear

Honeycrisp Apple    


For more information on planting and managing fruit trees

Heuchera, Heuchera, Heuchera!


It's the one plant that I can't help myself from buying when I stumble upon a new cultivar (a plant that has been produced by selective breeding). With Heucheras, or Coral Bells as they are commonly called, new cultivars come and go quickly so I am compelled to grab a couple for fear that I won't find that one again. Names like 'Marmalade', 'Plum Pudding', 'Cherry Cola', 'Berry Smoothie', and 'Caramel' make me act like a kid in a candy store, drooling at the possibilities.

Heucheras make great border or accent plants. They come in a plethora of colors, leaf patterns and shapes, are semi-evergreen, and produce clouds of small bell-shaped white, pink, or red flowers which attract hummingbirds. They need moist, well-drained soil and do not do well in dry shade or with landscape rock as mulch. The darker-colored varieties like 'Obsidian' can take full sun, while the lighter shades, like 'Key Lime' will do best in part to full shade. 


Heucheras' root crowns usually frost heave (pop out of the ground) with fluctuating soil temperatures in winter, so they benefit from a winter mulch after the ground freezes. They should have their flowering stems cut close to the ground at the base of the plant when all flowering is finished.


Heucheras do fabulously well packed tightly in containers. 
In fact, I like them best in containers since they can't be beat
for foliage color and interest.


At one nursery in particular, I was overwhelmed
by all the new Heucheras. 


Heuchera make a nice combination planting with fine textured plants such as Blue Eyed Grass.  Photo Credit: Stephanie Town 


For more information on the Heuchera Plant.
Thanks for reading. Happy Planting!    


Faith Appelquist

President & Founder


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