Spring Amish Greenhouse Visit with Bluffscape Amish Tours in Lanesboro, MN

Spring has finally arrived in Lanesboro, Minnesota! We are excited to put away our winter boots and mittens and soon we will be wearing sandals and garden gloves. After the long winter we look forward to operating our Bluffscape Amish Tours again this year. It’s always exciting to see the Amish folks preparing their greenhouses and gardens.

Amish Flowers
Amish Greenhouse Flower Baskets
Cassia Plant
Cassia Plant – Smells like popcorn!

Lenora Flowers is a greenhouse at one of our Amish tour stops. The greenhouse opened for the season on Saturday. What a treat to see the flowering plants and green foliage. It is a great contrast to the brown countryside sans the white snow. When you step inside the greenhouse the smell of fresh flowers and plants fill your nostrils with a scent of summer to come. They even have a plant, Cassia didymobotrya, which smells like popcorn! When the leaves are rubbed a buttery popcorn scent reminds one of going to the movie theater. Hundreds of hanging baskets with multiple, colorful flowers fill the greenhouse along with other beautiful annuals and perennials. You will also find a few vegetable plants to add to your garden. Lenora Flowers will have beautiful Mums to sell in the Fall, but I can wait a while before seeing Fall once again.

Get out and revel in the beautiful, Spring weather and join us on a Bluffscape Amish Tour in historic Lanesboro. You will enjoy the fully narrated, three -hour tour about our Amish neighbors by our pleasant, knowledgeable guides. The greenhouse is available to browse as well as Fannie’s quilt shop, the Amish bakery, Amish hand-crafted basket shops, and Amish-made wood furniture stores. Soon you will see fieldwork done with horse-drawn equipment, no tractors used in Amish fields. You will also find pickles, jams, jellies, candles, leather goods and remember to pick up a bag or two of the delicious, buttery cashew crunch! Bluffscape Amish Tours depart from the Stone Mill Hotel and Suites in Lanesboro at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Monday – Saturday. Please call 507-467-3070 to reserve your seat on the tour.

Only one more week left in July! It is amazing how fast the days go by when we are busy. Tours have been steady throughout the summer. The Amish are putting up hay and some have oat fields ready for harvest when the shocks of grain are dry. I purchased a bag of green beans at the Amish bakery that the ladies had picked that day. We had the beans for supper last night–there isn’t anything better than fresh garden veggies! The Amish women have been picking berries and canning jams and jellies. They have many different flavors to choose from on their store shelves.

Kirsten had preserved strawberry jam for the first time for 4-H. I had always made freezer jam, but not canned jam. When Kirsten’s jam was finished we noticed that the jelly had separated from the jam. I mentioned this to one of the Amish ladies on our tour, and she told me we need to turn the jar upside down when cooling to prevent it from separating. Kirsten’s 4-H judge at the county fair told her the same information, so now we know what to do next year. Kirsten received a blue ribbon on her preserves and earned a trip to the Minnesota state fair on her photography project. It will be fun to take a day to go to the state fair and buy something greasy on a stick to eat.

Happy Birthday, Andrew Ruen

Happy Birthday, Andrew!
Today, June 14, would have been Andrew’s 22nd birthday. We all miss Andrew very much. For those that don’t know Andrew, you can check the memorial page on my Website for more information on Andrew and his short life with us. Andrew always had a smile and probably would have been golfing and eating chocolate cake today to celebrate his birthday. I think when I am done working at the store today, I will go home to bake a chocolate cake or brownies in memory of Andrew’s birthday. Chocolate pudding may have to appear on the menu, as Andrew loved to eat pudding, especially chocolate.

Happy Amish Children

Last week I guided a group from the Twin Cities and Canada on an Amish tour. They were a gracious, fun bunch! I wish I had my camera along, as they were busy taking pictures at Austin’s Mohair Goat Farm. An angora goat gave birth to twins. Cute as ever!

When we stop at one Amish farm, Dave and I like to give the kids mini carrots, as we can’t give them candy. The Amish forbid pictures taken of them, but I wish I could have had a photo of the kids. They were so precious playing with their baby sister and so happy with their carrot treats. The kids like to come around when we are there, but they are pretty quiet. They just smile a lot and demonstrate how the marble games and brain teasers work at their mom’s store.

When the Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro presents a new play, we volunteer to drive the elderly residents who live in the two apartments in town to the performance. I picked up the residents before the play and Dave brought them home afterwards. We used the mini bus for the first time for this event and it was terrific! One of the ladies uses a walker and if we had brought the van, she probably wouldn’t have been able to attend. Everyone could access the steps and their seats easily. Helping the folks have access to a fun evening out is definitely worth our time.

Thursday Thoughts

Each time I go out on an Amish tour I try to learn more about the families that we visit. An Amish mom was busy in the house making aprons to sell in her shop. She makes adorable children’s aprons. When our girls were little they liked to bake cookies while wearing their aprons. Aprons remind me of my grandmothers. They always had on an apron whenever they were working in the house, whether it was baking time or cleaning time.

This Amish lady told me that her parents built the house where they currently live in 1997. When she got married they purchased the farm from her parents. Her husband learned his woodworking skills from his in-laws and now carries on the furniture business. He does fine work!

At one of the Amish farms there were about 12 Amish buggys parked in the yard. They were having church on a Thursday instead of Sunday. Apparently, they had a visiting minister from Missouri and they had to accomodate his schedule. An Amish mentioned that they had their church service last Friday due to a visiting minister’s schedule, as well. I’m not sure if it was the same minister, I’ll have to check into it.

Please stop in the gallery to visit and check out our new merchandise and art! We have new chocolate treats and scandinavian cookies.

First Blog!

This is my first attempt at writing a blog. I intend to share information about Amish tours, running a small business, family, and daily happenings and thoughts. Today is a beautiful, sunny day in Lanesboro. The trees are starting to show signs of green leaves and the grass is finally turning green from the dull brown that has been visible since the snow melted.

I’m in the process up getting my Website updated, so be sure to check out www.bluffscape.com in a few days for the new and improved site. I’ll be having a link to my blog, so hopefully, that will work well.