Honey Almond Chia Granola    


This recipe is from Minnesota garden writer and cooking enthusiast Teri Knight. For more information or to read her blog. 



2 cups rolled oats

3/4 cups raw almonds, roughly chopped

1/2 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup coconut oil

2 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg white



Preheat the oven to 300�F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, almonds, chia seeds, salt and shredded coconut.


In a separate small bowl, combine the honey, coconut oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract and egg whites.


Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.


Spread mixture onto baking sheet with sides, so that it is a large, flat rectangular shape.


Bake in oven for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.  




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Branching Out with Faith Appelquist


 Questions, suggestions or comments are welcome.

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


Disposable Landscapes  


In June 2013, Minneapolis lost 3000 boulevard trees when a storm went through.Boulevard trees suffer from the beginning of their brief life.

It's like making an eagle live in a parakeet cage. Surprisingly, tree roots find the area beneath a sidewalk a favored environment to collect the right combination of both water and air, so they tend to congregate there.

Generally, the protruding sidewalk, which is being lifted by the increasing girth of the tree roots, is ground down, the offending roots cut out, and a new slab poured.Or, the large tree that took 30+ years to grow is removed rather than the sidewalk which, can be replaced in two days.


When it comes to urban designs, we have to deduce that engineers and designers really don't understand tree biology, or how big a root system can get. Do they build bridges and building foundations that are not structurally sound?

We know most residential and commercial projects don't get approved without trees. As long as the designers can get away with the small circles on the plans, and photo-shopping in of large trees in their presentations to decision makers, the insanity - doing the same thing over again and expecting different results - will continue. Can we really afford this in a sustainable community?

Who loses? The community and people that are fraudulently sold a tree-lined street that will never happen. You the taxpayer pays the expense of infrastructure damage and lawsuits from tripping hazards. These losses and waste of investments could be avoided by:

  • Bringing a consulting forester or arborist to the table during the design process. Do you ask a sushi chef to design aircraft wings?  
  • Providing at minimum, 10-foot boulevards. Wider is better.
  • Placing sidewalks against streets, then right-of-way, then trees.
  • Not cutting tree roots to repair sidewalks; this jeopardizes stability.
  • Curving sidewalks around trees.
  • Bridging sidewalks over tree roots.


Read about other materials and designs that can be used to reduce the conflicts with sidewalks and trees.


 Thinking differently. Why do sidewalks have to be in a straight line?


The loss of this mature tree will negatively affect property values in this St. Paul neighborhood.  


The jumbled mess of roots in the confined space of a boulevard forces this tree to crack the curb and sidewalk.


The narrow boulevard and sidewalk repair contributed
to this tree failure.

Make Your Own Organic Herbicide (weed killer)

Next time you need to kill weeds, simply open your cupboard and make your own with vinegar and soap.  It's natural, effective and better for the environment. 

  • 1 gallon regular strength household white vinegar (5-6%)
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid Ivory dish detergent
  • 1 spray bottle

Make sure you use Canola oil as other oils become gloopy.

Mix together all the above ingredients. Place in spray bottle. This is a contact (non-selective) herbicide, which means that it cannot distinguish between your desirable plants and weeds. Its best used in a planting bed. Do not use for weeds in the lawn.   


  Natural, effective, better for the environment ingredients. 
Thanks for reading. Happy Planting!


Faith Appelquist

President & Founder


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