Rhubarb in Lanesboro, Minnesota

Today is all things rhubarb in Lanesboro, Minnesota.  Laneboro is designated as the Rhubarb Capital of Minnesota and we are very proud of it!  Each year on the first Saturday in June is the annual Rhubarb Fest starting off with a Rhubarb 5k Run, then heading to Sylvan Park for rhubarb tasting, rhubarb games, and for entertainment listening to the Rhubarb Sisters sing.  The Bethlehem LYO kids sell Rhudogs – hotdogs with rhubarb ketchup/relish.  The Bethlehem WELCA as well as other churches sell baked goods with rhubarb as the main ingredient.  Bethlehem Church also offers hot sandwiches with a rhubarb mustard.  Of course, there will be plenty of rhubarb pie to eat!!

Many people attend the Rhubarb Fest in the morning and ride along on Bluffscape Amish Tours in the afternoon.  A large group from central Minnesota is bringing two coach buses down for the Rhubarb Fest and then we are offering a step-on guide to take them on an afternoon tour with Bluffscape. Since I am guiding tours today, I will have to miss the fest, but my daughters will fill me in on all the rhubarb splendor.

Below is a favorite rhubarb dessert recipe that is very easy to make.  I shared it with an Amish friend last week and she loved it and plans to make more. Yesterday I made the dessert with lemon cake mix and it was very good.  Enjoy!

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

1 box white or lemon cake mix
3-4 cups of diced rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1 pint cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare cake mix according to box directions.  Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 pan.  In another bowl mix the rhubarb and sugar.  Sprinkle rhubarb on top of cake batter. Evenly pour cream on top of the rhubarb. Bake in oven for 60 minutes, test with toothpick when done.

Serve while still warm or chilled.

Plan a Bluffscape Amish Tour in Lanesboro, Minnesota

Now is the perfect time to plan a trip to beautiful Lanesboro, Minnesota.  Be sure to include a tour with us at Bluffscape Amish Tours.  Your tour will depart from Stone Mill Hotel & Suites in Lanesboro to travel the rolling Amish countryside. The Amish are busy working the soil in preparation of their spring planting.  It is always a treat to see the horses pulling a one-bottom plow.  A gentleman on my tour yesterday said it reminded him of his youth as he had to do similar work in their fields years ago.  At the Amish farms we will get the chance to peruse the Amish shops for handmade reed baskets, leather belts, locally made scatter rugs, hand stitched quilts, and much more.  My favorite treat is Emma’s dark chocolate covered cashew crunch–sweet and buttery!  Your guide explains all about the Amish culture and will answer any questions you may have during the tour.

As you can see by the above photo, trout fishing by the Lanesboro dam is a favorite for many folks.  This is a view of the Root River from Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Lanesboro. If the people you are traveling with like to fish and some would rather find something else to do, an Amish tour would be a great way to spend your morning or afternoon!

A Beautiful Ride with Bluffscape Amish Tours in the Fall

After a very busy summer and fall, Bluffscape Amish Tours in Lanesboro is nearing the end of our tour season.  We continue tours daily until November 2 and will tour Saturdays, November 9, 16, and 23. Come to Stone Mill Hotel & Suites in Lanesboro to depart on a tour at 10 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.  Plan to ride along on a tour to learn about Amish living as well as shop for Amish made goods.  As of this writing there are only 61 shopping days until Christmas!  Do you have your wish list started?  Amish crafts make wonderful gifts not only for Christmas, but gifts for any occasion.

If you are not into shopping, you will learn plenty about Amish schools, church, weddings, funerals, and meet some of the Amish families at their farms. View the beautiful countryside as we drive to their farms in Fillmore County located in Southeast Minnesota.  You will love the hillsides covered in fall colors against the bright blue sky.  The golden corn fields next to the dark green alfalfa fields make a large patchwork quilt on the farming landscape.  Amish shocks of corn dot the fields in rows waiting to be harvested.  Listen for the clip-clop of horses’ hooves and the crunching of buggy wheels on the gravel road as we make our way to the Amish farms and shops.
corn shocks henry
Photos by Chris Komor

Tour Guest Reviews Excellent Bluffscape Amish Tour

Summer fun is in full swing here in beautiful Lanesboro, Minnesota.  Our Amish tour guests have written reviews about their experience this summer on a Bluffscape Amish Tour.  Here is one recent review:

“Excellent tour with a very knowledgeable guide (Verne)”

I really learned a lot. My knowledge of the Amish was misguided at best; for 3 hours we were constantly educated by our guide and I have a much better appreciation of the lives and culture of this group. I can’t say I would want to live in that manner, but it’s really interesting to learn about and to see ‘up close and personal’. And of course, Verne added a whole lot to the experience.

Visited July 2013

I was very happy to see Vern mentioned in this review, as he is one of the best Amish tour guides you can have on your tour.  Vern spends his personal time learning as much as he can about the Amish of SE Minnesota, therefore, he can answer many of the questions you may have about the Amish culture.  

Please read more reviews about Bluffscape Amish Tours on TripAdvisor!

Call 507-467-3070 to reserve your seat on a Bluffscape Amish Tour – the best tour in Lanesboro located at Stone Mill Hotel & Suites!

Bluffscape Amish Tours in Lanesboro, MN

If you are making plans to venture to Lanesboro, Minnesota for a family vacation, a quiet get-away for two, or a day trip with your friends, be sure to include a Bluffscape Amish Tour in your itinerary.  Your Bluffscape guide will take you on a fun, educational tour of our Amish neighbors.  This June you may see the Amish plowing and dragging their fields with their horse-drawn equipment and planting their crops as we are experiencing a late spring with many rain showers, therefore, a later than usual planting is taking place.

With all of this rain we have been having, the grass grows fast and that means lawns need mowing.  A lawn mower some of the Amish use is pictured above.  They hitch up their horse and ride along on their “one-horse mower”!  Otherwise, many Amish use the manual push lawn mower on their yards to cut the grass.
Take a break from your lawn mowing and head to Lanesboro to ride along with Bluffscape Amish Tours located at Stone Mill Hotel & Suites and enjoy munching on sweet, buttery cashew crunch, too.  Now, I better check on my lawn . . .

Taking the High Road

While gearing up for a busy Amish tour season with Bluffscape Amish Tours in Lanesboro, I am also getting ready for my daughter’s high school graduation.  As I’m cleaning, I ponder what she will experience at college and beyond.  Kirsten plans to major in international business at college and is excited to start her next journey in life.  As I perused the various business major pamphlets the university provided, each focus requires a business ethics class.  No matter how large or small a business, ethical behavior is required.  Business ethics can cover a wide range of topics, but as a small business owner in a small town, treating your customers well, of course, is the most important aspect in a tourism business.  Also, respecting your competition is also part of business ethics.  I am a true believer in treating everyone fairly and honestly.  If you try to defame another’s business or person, it won’t get you anywhere.  Instead, one needs to find ways to improve him or herself and their business, not hurt others to make them appear better.  As we start the busy tour season, we need to focus on our own business and what we can do to make it better and offer the best to our guests and community.  I’m hoping my daughter is paying attention to how we handle our business practices and that of her employer’s to learn first-hand what to expect in the business world and take the high road on her next journey in life.

On the Road Again with Buffscape Amish Tours

Bluffscape Amish Tours are once again driving down country roads to bring you to Amish farms filled with Amish-made crafts, furniture, quilts, and, of course, sweet, buttery cashew crunch!  Winter wants to hang on here in Minnesota in mid-April, but we will gladly take you out to learn all about the Amish culture to get your mind off the rain and snow that seem to plague us this Spring.  You may want to wear shoes that can get a little mud on them, as we do get out at each farm to enter the Amish retail shops.

One change in our tour this year is the absence of  our non-Amish stop at Austin’s Mohair Goat Farm.  Sadly, Ada, passed away last November.  Ada was an inspiration for many as she always had a smile and greeted everyone like they had been friends for years.  I believe you can still order her famous Mohair socks from her daughters.

Keep warm thoughts and maybe Spring will finally arrive to brighten our days!

Running Amish

As an Amish tour business owner and guide, I’m interested in learning more about the Amish culture.  While I was going through the mail a few days ago I found my daughter’s April 2012 subscription to Runner’s World magazine.  A caption on the front cover caught my eye, “Bart Yasso Runs With the Amish (And They’re Fast!)”.  If you are a runner or not, it is an interesting read regarding Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country Anabaptists producing strong, fast runners.  Anabaptists are Christians that practice adult baptism instead of infant baptism.  They adhere to humility, hard work, and a simple life.  Yasso mentions meeting and running with Mennonites, more progressive Anabaptists, and Old Order Amish, a very conservative branch of the Anabaptists. The Mennonites would wear the usual running apparel, but the Amish men had to wear black pants with suspenders and button-down shirts while running–typical dress for Old Order Amish.  He stated that an Amish lady ran wearing a long skirt and a head covering.  But, they could all wear running shoes.  Another interesting part of the story was that they ran by the light of the moon.

I could tell you more about the article, but I want you to read it for yourself, therefore, I’m including a link to the article:  http://www.runnersworld.com/article/1,7120,s6-243-297–14236-0,00.html

Yasso does a great job of explaining the Pennsylvania Amish culture.  The Amish of SE Minnesota are a more conservative group of Old Order Amish also known as the Swartzentruber Amish.  I’m not sure if their elders would allow them to participate in marathons like the Amish out east. I will have to check with a few of the local Amish to see if any are interesting in running for sport.  If it draws attention or shows pride, they probably are not allowed to do so, but if it is for exercise and encourages others to run for fun, maybe it would be allowed.

All this reading about running almost makes me want to become a runner . . . time will tell!

Farewell to Das Wurst Haus

It is sad to see Das Wurst Haus in Lanesboro close its doors for good.  Arv and Jan had the best German brats and sauerkraut along with a little polka music to go with it.  Above is my daughter scooping ice cream while on one of her last days in the restaurant.  We wish Arv and Jan the best in their retirement!