There Is A Goji Berry Plant In My Future!

I recently read an article that listed 10 Superfoods and one of them was Gogi berries.

They are full of vitamins and antioxidants.

I have never tasted a Gogi berry but from what I have read,  they are tart-sweet like a cross between a sour cherry and a cranberry.



They can be eaten fresh or dried.


 I LOVE to add dried cranberries or sometimes cherries to oatmeal, quick breads and the trail mix I love to snack on, so Gogi berries would be a great addition to our garden.  If I got enough I bet I could even make jam!


It seems to me I have seen Gogi plants offered from some of the online garden stores I have visited.  Native to China they grow well in my zone and are said to love my high pH soil.



 They can be grown in containers,


as shrubs,


or trained to grow on an arbor or trellis.


Isn’t this an awesome garden?

I think there will be a Gogi plant in my near future.

 I have just the place, over the arbor at the entrance to our asparagus bed.

You can read more about Gogi berries here:

Have you ever tasted a Gogi berry?  Would you consider putting one in your harden?

 I would love your comments.


A Weekend In The Amana Colonies

Let me tell you about my weekend.

I spent last weekend in the Amana Colonies with some friends from the Red Hat group I belonged to in Illinois.


 We had a great time.

Shopping/eating/relaxing/eating/talking/eating….. did I mention eating?

afood 2


We had some wonderful meals.

There are many lovely restaurants and most meals are offered family style.  No one leaves hungry.  The desserts are wonderful and there is a bakery and chocolate shop as well as an ice cream parlor if you want to indulge.

a pcake

a food

  The Amana Colonies in Iowa were founded in 1855 by a group  of people who came from Germany to escape religious persecution.  They voted to pool their resources and live communally so that all the members of their church could afford to come to America.  They continued the communal way of life for over 70 years.

 Not to be confused with Amish (as many people do) the Amana’s did have ‘modern’ convienences such as telephones and electricity when they became available.  Housing, food, and basic needs and an allowance were  provided to everyone in exchange for a days work.  The church elders decided what work you would do and there was farming, furniture making, blacksmithing, and a woolen mill.  They did do business with the ‘outside’ world.  Later they became known for the Amana appliances.

a woolen mill

One of the looms in the woolen mill.

I love that women did not have to marry to be ‘taken care of’ since they too received an allowance and all their basic needs. They could be elders in the church as well.  Women mostly worked in the kitchens and kitchen gardens.  Five communal meals were served each day.

  Work, food and church services filled their time, everyone knew their role in life and it seems a happy and stress free life.

We took a Historic tour and spoke with direct descendants of the original Amana settlers.

 Talk about ‘living history’!

 Many of the original houses and buildings are still standing.

a building

The setting  of the 7 villages nestled in the beautiful  Iowa countryside is beautiful,  especially this time of year.


Everyone we met was very friendly and there were many shops and boutiques filled with lovely items.

a store


I got this adorable egg holder for half off! Doesn’t it look lovely on my cabinet?

There are several wineries where you can sample the wares.

a wine tasting


Since I am always going on about edible weeds, I thought I would get some in ‘drinkable’ form as well!

There are two playhouses, The Old Creamery Theatre, and The Iowa Theatre Artists Company where we took in a cute play in a small 99 seat playhouse.


Megan, one of the owners, is so enthusiastic about the work they have done building the playhouse and bringing small theatre groups to Amana.  She greeted us warmly and showed us around before appearing in the evenings show.

It was such a lovely and stress free time and I hated to see the weekend end.

(Except for being happy to get home to my chickens of course)


Here is a link to the Amana Colonies:

 Midwest Living magazine did an article on things to do in the Amanas:

If you are interested in the History of the Amana Colonies:

Did you have a fun weekend?  I hope you got out and enjoyed some lovely fall weather. 

Leave a comment and tell me about it!











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