Blueberry Bran Muffins  
This recipe makes a lot of muffins but leftovers freeze well

Wet Ingredients

6 eggs

1 � cup brown sugar

� cup molasses

� cup honey

4 cups buttermilk

1 � cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla   

Dry Ingredients  

2 � cups wheat bran
(I use Bob's Red Mill)
2 cups wheat germ


4 � cup flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

4 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 � cup chopped walnuts or pecans, divided

2 cups blueberries

Beat eggs with sugar and wet ingredients. Mix together dry ingredients, and 1 cup nuts. Add to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375. Line jumbo muffin pan with liners. Add batter two thirds full. Top with reserved nuts. Bake 30 min. Makes 21 jumbo muffins or 3 dozen regular.



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Branching Out with Faith Appelquist


 Questions, suggestions or comments are welcome.

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


Feeding the Fleeting Butterfly


I was surprised to discover most butterflies only live between 10 and 14 days. Getting a chance to see them during their brief moment on earth makes it all the more special. Not only are these insects beautiful, they're important pollinators and vital to the health of their natural habitats. You can encourage these gentle creatures to visit your garden by using easy-to-make butterfly feeders.

Butterflies love Gatorade.

Who knew? All you need is a natural sea sponge and watermelon flavored Gatorade. Soak the sponge in Gatorade and place in a shallow dish about 4-6 inches higher than the tallest bloom. The color and sweetness appeal to them. Can you blame them?   



Butterflies love Fruit Salad.

Butterflies are particularly fond of oranges, grapes, papaya, nectarines, watermelon and bananas. Place on cut fruit with peel on plates and put outside. These can be hung from trees or in a re-purposed bird bath. The mixture can be kept moist by adding water or fruit juice.Butterflies are attracted to the rotting fruit and will feel like they have hit an all-you-can-eat buffet! Toss any fruit left after three days and replace with a new batch. Another bonus? You may get some fun variety of birds who also want to dine.


 For more information on attracting butterflies to your garden.  


Live Fast. Die Young.


A city forester I know told me after her city's annual tree sale, she was left with an abundance of unsold bur oak trees. This surprised her, as bur oak is a beautiful, native tree. Could it be that bur oaks are perceived as a slow grower and rejected?

Several studies of tree rings have found that the oldest surviving trees are those that have maintained relatively slow growth throughout their lives. This finding is surprising because faster growth makes bigger plants, which one might imagine would survive better, but the cost of faster growth seems to be poorer resistance to stress. Trees that grow fast invest little in wood strength, chemical defenses or strong compartmentalization (closing a wound) response. The strategy of fast growers is to survive as long as they can add new wood faster than decay fungi can digest it. Those that grow fast, live only decades before they decay and die. Slow-growing individuals stored away resources that faster growing ones used in growth and, under stressful conditions, the savers had an edge in recovery over the spenders. Ginkgo, for example, is not bothered by any known disease or pest vs. honeylocust which has a disease rap sheet a mile long. Perhaps it is not surprising that chemically defended species live longer than their chemically defenseless relatives. The rule seems to be "Live fast, die young".

So next time you need to make a decision about what tree to plant, remember faster is not always better.

'Slow' growers:
Ginkgo, hemlock, cedar, hickory, beech, oaks, sugar maple.

'Fast' growers:
Honeylocust, aspen, cottonwood, birch, willow, silver maple,
autumn blaze (hybrid) maple.

For more information on the average and maximum lifespan of native trees

Even though this oak has a decay cavity, it has built a strong wall of wood around it and can remain healthy for years to come.

Willows are poor compartmentalizers and decay spreads rapidly.
The result is a short life.

Thanks for reading. Happy Planting!


Faith Appelquist

President & Founder


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