Chicken Enchiladas   

1 rotisserie chicken, skinned, diced

1 stick butter

� cup flour

2 cups chicken broth

8 oz sour cream

1/4 cup diced jalapenos covered with their juice to the top 

1 tsp salt

� tsp pepper

� tsp red pepper

8 flour tortillas

1 onion, diced

2 � cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese, � cup reserved

Sliced black olives, optional


Preheat oven to 375.  


In medium saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook over low heat until browned about 5 min. Stir in chicken broth and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add sour cream, salt, peppers and jalapenos with juice to broth mixture.


To make enchiladas: Along center of each tortilla, spread about 1/2 cup chicken, cheese and 2 tbls onion. Fold sides over filling and place seam side down in greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.


Pour broth mixture over enchiladas. Top with olives. Cover with foil; bake 30 min. Uncover and top with � cup cheese. Bake 10 more minutes.





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Branching Out with Faith Appelquist



Questions, suggestions or comments are welcome.

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



My Weedless Garden


Conventional wisdom says to garden from the bottom up, turning over the soil every spring until your back aches. Ironically, this does such a good job aerating that gardeners spend the rest of the season pulling weeds and replacing the suddenly energized (and easily used up) nutrients. Mother Nature, on the other hand, gardens from the top down, layering undisturbed soil with leaves and other organic materials.


What follows is a simple, four-part system for eliminating weed problems to the point where picking a few weeds here and there becomes just a pleasant diversion.


  1. Minimize soil disturbance. Stop tilling. Weed seeds lying dormant will be awakened by light and air, which is exactly what happens when soil is turned over with a plow, rototiller, spade, or fork.
  2. Avoid compaction.Create permanent areas for traffic and planting. This arrangement might be beds and paver paths, raised beds and/or strategically placed stepping stones.
  3. Mulch. Top down layering is the key. Starting with newspaper and adding organic mulch on top will snuff out weeds. One to four inches of compost, wood chips, wood shavings, leaves, or pine needles can be used and replenished as needed so that bare soil never shows.
  4. Use Drip Irrigation. This directs water where it is needed, to the plant roots and not the paths. It is a more efficient use of water. Program to run once in the morning, once in the evening, at 15 minutes per interval.
This is not to say that with the above four steps - drip irrigation, mulching, keeping traffic off planted areas, and not tilling - weeds never appear. They do. But weed problems do not.

Drip irrigation is laid around the plants before hardwood mulch is applied.

Flagstone steppers are used to direct foot traffic
through garden.

For more information on a weedless garden
Poop on a Stick:


That 'poop' is a fungus, well known among those of us who keep cherry or plum trees. It is known as Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa) and looks a bit like cat poop on a stick. It is a nasty little pathogen causing tumor-like, charcoal growths on twigs and branches.


The first year that the fungus invades it appears as a thickened swelling on a branch. The second year it develops into a blackish growth surrounding the branch.  Eventually larger limbs and trunks may become infected. Cracked and oozing bark are other signs that the tree is badly affected. The infection stresses the entire tree, making it weaken, decline, and possibly die.


The fungus overwinters in the knots. About the time of bud break in the spring, the spores explode from the knots following a period of warm, wet weather, creating new infections.


Because of the long infection process and disease cycle, this disease is often overlooked by home gardeners. The leaves can mask the symptoms until firmly established infections are in place.  


All shoots and branches bearing knots should be pruned out during the winter. Cuts should be made at least 8-inches below the knot. Since the fungus continues to develop in pruned material, this must be destroyed or removed from the site regardless of the time of year the pruning takes place.


Trees can live a long time with this disease. Although there is no cure, the tree often has many good years ahead of it. Keeping growth pruned out and a healthy environment will help the tree cope with the disease as well as possible. Give your trees adequate water during droughts, and keep lawnmowers and weed whackers away from the trunk.

Often the branch or twig beyond the knot either fails to leaf out or wilts suddenly.

Once established, it is very difficult to manage the disease.

For more information on "Black Knot" fungus.
Thanks for reading. Happy Planting!    


Faith Appelquist

President & Founder


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