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When stopping by the Pine River farmers market held each Friday afternoon, passersby will find variety offered at every stand. There is no question you are receiving quality produce when buying from Grampa G's, one of the popular vendors at local farmers markets. With the farm being just shy of 100 years old, one can believe their practices are tried and true. Louise and Shayne Johnson are the folks running the show at their farm in Pillager. Louise said Grandpa George was the first, starting the homestead, which has continued on through four generations of their family.
Winston Borden was well-known in the area as the farmer who ran Borden Road Farm Market in Merrifield and organized the Crosslake Farmers Market. When Borden died early this year, many people were uncertain of the Crosslake Farmers Market's future. Fortunately, the green thumb runs in the family, especially in Sheila Carleton, who moved into the house that was her great-aunt's to continue the upkeep. Not new to farming, Carleton studied natural resource management and agronomy (crop production) at the University of Minnesota.
Merritt Jewelers in Pequot Lakes is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Much of the business' success, Barb Merritt said, is due to one particular individual: Kevin O'Hern has been the store's goldsmith for 15 of those 30 years. Originally from southern California, O'Hern moved to Minnesota in the fall of 1998 after one influencing visit to his father-in-law's home, then in the fall of 1999 he began working at Merritt Jewelers. "My father-in-law was born and raised in Emily, but moved to California when he was 17 or 18. When he retired he moved here and I came out to visit.
Whether you are health conscious, stocking up to host friends and relatives at the cabin this weekend or just interested in the locals, checking out area farmers' markets are a great gateway to natural, Minnesota grown or made products. Thorson's Farm Fresh Produce is one of the popular vendors that appears in many of the local farmer's markets. With a permanent location in Long Prairie, Thorson's also makes appearances at about 12 markets each week, including the market in Nisswa. The Nisswa farmers' market provides locally grown produce that cannot be found in the typical grocery store.
The Crosslake Lutheran Church youth group underwent a "life changing and amazing experience" through their work with Thirst Missions during a mission trip in Belize, said Pequot Lakes junior Rachel Allen. Thirty-one tenth through twelfth graders from Crosslake Lutheran Church traveled to Belize in June with the intention to make a difference in people's lives. What they didn't expect was the impact that those people would have on their own lives. For eight days, the youth group was able to accomplish a lot in the village of Carmelita.
Wednesdays always bring about a natural bustle in Nisswa with turtle races, Water Wars and shopping. Now, the Nisswa Area Historical Society is part of the fun, offering activities for children and families from 1-5 p.m. Wednesdays at the Pioneer Village. Families are welcome to explore the Pioneer Village, which is home to relocated structures preserving life in the 1800s and early 1900s in Nisswa.There are vintage buildings, many constructed of log. The buildings include a bank, schoolhouse, homestead and livery.
The Nisswa Chamber of Commerce gained a helpful volunteer when it befriended Harrison Waidelich. Harrison, the 8-year-old son of Randy and Stacey Waidelich, owners of R.W. Jewelers in Nisswa, spends his time at the Nisswa Turtle Races every Wednesday and volunteers for various tasks around the Nisswa community.
There are many unique shopping opportunities in Nisswa, and at Wynsum, visitors will find a shop with a cause. Wynsum matches its definition of being "attractive or appealing in appearance or character." Wynsum opened in Nisswa Square on April 1 and is family owned and operated by Tammy Waters, Alese Waters, Meagan Meyer and Anje Smith. Tammy is the mother of Alese and Meagan, and Anje is a cousin. The store offers women's apparel, home goods and jewelry. Most of the goods are made locally by Minnesota crafters with several from other neighboring states.
As shoppers make their rounds in downtown Nisswa, they've likely noticed new retailers and other businesses that relocated. Following is a rundown of some of the changes. bluPaisley As you make your shopping rounds, you may notice a familiar face in the new shop named bluPaisley. Owner Lindsay Topp was the manager at Fun Sisters in Nisswa for eight years.
Attention, all ye thespians! Pequot Lakes Community Theater is celebrating its 30th anniversary. In 1983, what began as a group of friends putting on a variety show blossomed into what is now Greater Lakes Area Performing Arts (GLAPA). The three founders were Judy Larsen, Sandy Johnson and Joelle Burns. Volunteer groups of community members and community education personnel also helped create GLAPA. A year later, PLCT was born and fell under the GLAPA umbrella. "Back when we began the group, it was a nice, brand new theater at the time.