Chicken Satay 


3 lb chicken thighs boneless, skinless, cut into thirds



� cup soy sauce

� cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons sesame oil

3 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon grated ginger


Hot Peanut Dipping Sauce:

1 tablespoon Red Curry Paste

1 tablespoon Roasted Chili Curry Paste

1 12oz can coconut milk

1 tablespoon brown Sugar

� cup peanut butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice


Prepare barbeque grill. Combine marinade ingredients together and add chicken. Allow chicken to marinate for 1 hour or longer. Thread on to kabobs. Grill until cooked through about 20 minutes.  


Meanwhile prepare hot dipping sauce by combining all ingredients in a small saucepan. Warm through on medium heat about 10 minutes. Serve hot with grilled chicken.





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Branching Out with Faith Appelquist



Questions, suggestions or comments are welcome.

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



The Magic of Rainwater  


Doesn't it seem that your garden grows gloriously after a rain? Grass seems greener, flower buds open, and plants look extra clean. Rainwater, it turns out, has some things tap water does not; and tap water has some things that rainwater does not. 


As far as I know, all tap water from municipal sources has chlorine in it.  Chlorine can stunt root development and destroy beneficial bacteria and fungi. Tap water also has fluoride in it (added for dental benefits).  The chlorine and fluoride in tap water can be hard on plant cells, causing necrosis (or brown-tipping of leaves).  None of that stuff in rainwater!  


Despite what some may think, rainwater is not pure water. During its flight through space toward earth, it accumulates a number of chemicals that dissolve into it.  One chemical is carbon dioxide (CO2), which has the effect of acidifying the rainwater. Tap waters tend to be neutral in pH or slightly alkaline.  "Normal" rainwater acidity can be very beneficial for plants. That is one of the reasons why things green up after a rain - the accompanying acidity makes nutrients more available in the soil, especially iron. Another greening characteristic of rainwater is its nitrogen content. Air is mostly nitrogen, so some nitrogenous compounds tend to form in rainwater, and nitrogen is a natural fertilizer. Rainwater also receives an extra atom of oxygen from ozone. Extra oxygen helps plants grow faster, better, stronger.  


Tap water can't beat Mother Nature. She seems to know what her plants need and how they like to be watered.


Water droplets bead up on Lady's Mantle leaves after a spring rain.



After a gentle rain, the Como Park Japanese Garden in St. Paul Minnesota exudes an unearthly stillness and tranquility.      



Information in article partially obtained from Geoff Stein: The Magical Properties of Rainwater.  Click the preceding link to learn more. 


Biggest Losers in a Changing Climate?


Over a lifetime of a species, on the order of millions of years, long term temperature changes come into play. Any species that can't cope with some variation in temperatures is not a species whose fate we need to be concerned about right now, because it no longer exists. Everywhere on the surface of the earth temperatures fluctuate.


How did the trees of an ancient world cope with warmer temperatures? They did so by migrating or staying put and adapting. They could manufacture special proteins, they could change their metabolism, things like that. But thermal tolerance can be costly by requiring energy and time. Warming today is taking place at least ten times faster than it did at the end of the last glaciation, about 12,000 years ago. Things are moving too fast for slow acting forces to keep up.


Some tree species such as spruce, birch, fir and aspen will disappear completely from their current growing range. Global warming is mostly seen as a threat to cold loving species and these trees are adapted to cooler conditions.

How many tree species overall will be capable of moving fast enough remains an open question. In the coming decades we are probably going to learn the answer whether we want to or not.


Predicted Minnesota survivors of climate change:

  • Oaks
  • Hackberry
  • Eastern Cottonwood
  • Boxelder
  • Honeylocust
  • Black Locust
  • Red Mulberry
  • Silver maple
  • Hybrid Elms (ie: Patriot)
  • Eastern Red Cedar
For more information on trees adapting to steadily warming climate.

It is likely that our north woods of pine, fir, aspen and birch will not survive the warming climate. Pictured here is a white pine stand along the Mississippi river in Minnesota. These will eventually be replaced by a mix of other trees like oak and hackberry.


Oaks have evolved a higher tolerance for drought. Healthy trees can better defend themselves against most native insects and diseases.



Thanks for reading. Happy Planting!    


Faith Appelquist

President & Founder


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