Archive for December, 2009

From our house to yours,
We hope your day is blessed.

This is a picture of our Christmas tree
before we cut it down.

This is our last regularly scheduled CSA delivery. We signed up for 2 more boxes in January and then are ready to wait until the 2010 season begins!

Week 29 of Harmony Valley Farm‘s CSA (blog) contained the following:

  • Garlic,
  • Red & Yellow Onions,
  • Shallots,
  • Sweet Potatoes,
  • Baby Beets,
  • Parsnips,
  • Rutabagas,
  • Celeriac,
  • Beauty Heart Radish,
  • Daikon Radish,
  • Sunchokes,
  • Carrots,
  • Red Savoy Cabbage,
  • Scarlet Turnip,
  • Festival or Kabocha Squash

We had some delicious Butternut Squash soup this week!!

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Can you read this sentence? Probably.  That is in part thanks to an educational system that you spent at least 12 years in.

What about your neighbor who is new to this country?  Many of our neighbors in Minneapolis struggle to read and write in English.  They have arrived for many reasons – but that isn’t important.  Despite stereotypes to the contrary, many are trying to learn English.  English is important for their survival and sense of well-being.  Actually a surprising number of “regular Americans” those who are native born with a multi-generational presence here struggle with literacy.

The Minnesota Literacy Council recently posted some statistics from a 2003 study.

The highly-regarded National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) study of 2003 reports nearly one third of Americans need help in reaching their literacy goals. The study broke literacy performance into four performance levels: below basic, basic, intermediate, and proficient. More than half of the U.S. population tested at basic or below basic proficiency levels in quantitative literacy tasks such as balancing a checkbook or comparing item process per ounce. In written literacy,

  • 14% of the population tested at below basic proficiency, meaning they had minimal to no reading and writing skills.
  • 29% tested at a basic level, meaning that they are minimally prepared to decode information in a simple pamphlet or medicine bottle.
  • 44% of adult can perform intermediate tasks, such as determining facts from reference material.
  • 13% of the U.S. population tested as proficient, meaning they are capable of reading and comparing editorial viewpoints.

As a state, Minnesota outperforms national averages; however, many Minnesotans are still tragically left behind in reaching their literacy potentials. For example,

  • 12% of Minnesotans over the age of 25 (381,345 adults) lack high school diplomas or equivalents according to the 2000 U.S. Census.
  • 8% (254,230 individuals) of Minnesota’s adult population is at the lowest of five levels of functional literacy.

With approximately 200,000 Minnesotans needing ESL classes we are happy to be able to make a small dent in that number with our Somali neighbors.

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TC veg 11.19.9
The next to last week of our regular CSA season contains the following:
  • Garlic
  • Red & Yellow Onions
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Baby Beets
  • Parsnips
  • Celeriac
  • Cabbage
  • Rutabaga
  • Beauty Heart Radish
  • Sunchokes
  • Sweet Scarlet Turnips
  • Carrots
  • Flowering Kale or Tat Soi
  • Festival Squash
  • Kabocha Squash

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Below is the obituary that ran in the Dec 2 issue of The News Leader:


World War II veteran

Services are planned for Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. at Good Shepherd Christian Church in Macedonia for Robert Henderson McIntyre. Mr. McIntyre, 85, of Macedonia, died Nov. 21, 2009.

Mr. McIntyre was born to Henderson and Minnie McIntyre on April 9, 1924, in Lakewood. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was a graduate of Fenn College/Cleveland State University and worked as an accountant, comptroller, and vice president of finance before retiring. He was very active at Shepard Road Christian Church (now Good Shepherd Christian Church) and Bethany Christian Church in Florida, serving in many capacities, including elder and lay pastor. He was a long-time resident of Sagamore Hills before retiring to Florida and returning to live with his daughter in Macedonia. Before moving to Florida, he was a volunteer representative for endowment fundraising at The Cleveland Christian Home.

Mr. McIntyre was the husband for 62 years of Gladys Russell McIntyre, deceased.

He was the father of Janice (Gene) Bittner of Macedonia and Nancy (Paul) Kinsey of Frankfort, Ohio.

He was the grandfather of Timothy (and Christi) Bittner, Rebekka Bittner, Nicholas (and Christy) Cross, and Megan Alexander and great grandfather of Austin and Michael Bittner and Holly Golden.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made to The Cleveland Christian Home, 222 Prame Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44109. Go to for information.

With people in town we had some more fun hitting the highlights of Minneapolis and the holiday season. Which included the Holidazzle Parade, no pictures this year since we sat in a skyway. And eating Jucy Lucy‘s at their home – Matt’s Bar.

All visitors are required to pose with the cherry at
the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

A new and strange sculpture.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without visiting Santa
(Macy’s 47th Annual Santaland)…

… or sending Santa mail

even if it crushes the poor mailmen.