Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at farmbleat.areavoices.com.
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HERON LAKE -- They are sweet, they are juicy and, starting this morning, they can be picked at the peak of perfection. Strawberry season is upon us, and Schumacher's Nursery and Berry Farm on the outskirts of Heron Lake is kicking off the berry-picking season today. The strawberry season is relatively short-lived in Minnesota -- generally two to three weeks on average -- but Adam Schumacher is hopeful for an extended season this year after an ideal winter snow covering and fairly good spring growing conditions. "The way they bloomed, we'll have a nice long season and we'll have a lot of ber
Dedication planned during Wednesday's city band concert in Chautauqua Park
LUVERNE -- The weekend schedule of summer festivals launches into gear in southwest Minnesota on Friday, with the start of the two-day Buffalo Days celebration in Luverne. The 26th annual festival celebrates the county's history, having long been home to bison that roam the grounds of Blue Mounds State Park. This year, the Buffalo Days celebration will include some extra special guests -- five descendants of Philo and Malvina Hawes, the couple credited with founding Luverne. The five cousins will serve as parade marshals for Saturday's 10 a.m.
SIBLEY, Iowa -- While most kids spent their final days of the school year sitting behind a desk and watching the beautiful blue skies outside, students in Mike Earll's FFA program at Sibley-Ocheyedan High School were putting their skills to use on a community project that will soon result in campground facilities at Iowa's high point. Hawkeye Point, located midway between Bigelow and Sibley, Iowa, has undergone a transformation in the last couple of years as groups like the FFA chapter work to promote agriculture and tourism in Osceola County.
WORTHINGTON -- The Lincoln-Pipestone Rural Water project is going to cost nearly $1 million more than first budgeted after additional work was written into the project. In a report to Nobles County Commissioners Tuesday morning, Dennis Healy, LPRW chief executive officer, said supplemental funds will need to be secured to cover the added costs. "There were four major items included in the original budget. Those four came in under budget by $2.7 million, so we decided to put more pipe in the ground," explained Healy.
LUVERNE -- An idea that grew out of a meeting with members of the Rock County Composters group has spurred a new kind of growth in Luverne -- plots of tomato, chive, onion and an assortment of other vegetable plants. The community garden features 16, 10- by 10-foot plots, all of which were spoken for in short order prior to the start of this year's growing season.
WORTHINGTON -- More and more farmers throughout the area are pulling an odd form of farm implement behind their tractors these days -- rollers. Commonly used in northern Minnesota for many years, the rollers are catching on with crop producers in this region looking to break up corn root residue and ultimately create better conditions for combining come harvest. Roger Doeden of rural Worthington bought a roller after learning about its advantages from neighbors who had practiced with it. Last year was the first time he took the 42-foot-wide pass, 18,000-pound machine over his newly seeded s
WORTHINGTON -- Ash trees across the city and throughout the area continue to drop their leaves as a result of a fungal disease sparked by recent cool and damp weather. Worthington Park Supervisor and City Forester Scott Rosenberg said area residents shouldn't be too concerned about anthracnose of ash trees -- the fungal leaf spot mainly hampers aesthetics and does not cause the trees to die. "What we've been seeing in Worthington is only affecting the ash trees," said Rosenberg, adding that the leaves of affected trees contain little brown spots.
WORTHINGTON -- The Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District was awarded nearly $36,500 from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council's Conservation Partners Legacy grant recently to enhance the grasslands surrounding Lake Bella in southern Nobles County. The watershed district was one of 35 agencies statewide, and the only entity in this area, to receive a grant.
LUVERNE -- Improvements to the Rock River dam are estimated to cost approximately $90,000 more than the anticipated cost-share dollars available, according to Luverne City Administrator John Call. He presented the information to members of the Luverne City Council during a work session Tuesday night. Call said cost-share dollars amount to roughly $445,000 -- including $300,000 for ecosystem improvements, $75,000 for dam safety and $70,000 for fish passage measures. "The latest estimate that we have is $535,000.