Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our Weekend in Duluth

Duluth's farmer's market was our first stop of the day on Saturday. I was curious as to what the local produce was at this time of the year here in the north country. There was a fair representation of most of the usual vegetables, including corn. Tomatoes have not done well because of the cool wet summer. Most of our time at the market was taken up talking to a farmer about the wild rice of Minnesota. We had seen rice plants in a pond on our trip along the north shore and were curious as to how it was cultivated. The man we talked to seemed very pleased that we were interested and enlightened us on the whole process. He had been harvesting the grain on his reservation since he was nine years of age. Over time he has made his own tools for processing the rice as augers and roasting ovens to remove the hulls. He also has a special type of broom to sweep the seed into his boat during harvest. And to keep the level of the water high for the rice plants he has to regularly go out and destroy beaver dams. He stressed that wild rice is really a form of grass. His final product has a price of $10.00 a pound, I certainly have a better understanding now of why it is so expensive! After the market we drove over to the Glensheen mansion on the historic Congdon estate.
The picture of the mansion above is of the side of the house which faces Lake Superior. Chester Congdon,  and his wife Clara, had it built in 1909 to model an English country estate. The 39-room mansion is typical of the opulent 19th century homes which we toured in Galveston, Texas. We enjoyed our tour of this home as it still has its original furnishings, artwork and family treasures. The gardens of this estate are maintained by the University of Minnesota, and currently quite resplendent in their summer beauty.
 Today, Sunday, we drove to the home of Paul and Luella Boseovski which lies south of Duluth. Luella is the mother of our brother-in-law Cal. We had heard so much of her over the years and were the recipients of many of her delicious jams. She also makes quilts and does a variety of other needlework. Besides gardening, Paul keeps busy with woodworking.  They prepared a lunch for us and gave us a tour of  their rather large garden. We spent a wonderful afternoon with them and left loaded up with fresh vegetables.

1 comment:

  1. (It's Heather, btw)

    Glad you had a good time with Grandma and Grandpa! :D They are so sweet...and always load their visitors up with goodies..