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And The National Maple Syrup Festival Contest Winner Is…

Thanks to everyone who participated in this contest!

The lucky winner of two free tickets to the 2013 National Maple Syrup Festival at Burton’s Maplewood Farm is IndianaAnna!

winner final

 

Congrats! Hope you have a great time!

Which weekend do you plan to attend? I’d love to hear about your visit!

Thanks again to Basilmomma and King Arthur Flour for sponsoring these tickets! I can’t wait to check out all the fun at the festival!

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GIVE-A-WAY ALERT! Free tickets to the 2013 National Maple Syrup Festival!

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****Give-A-Way contest ended, but still check out the festival info below!*****

DID YOU KNOW that the National Maple Syrup Festival is held right here in Indiana? I had no idea!

This unique annual event is held at Burton’s Maplewood Farm, located near Medora, Indiana. Nestled in the rolling hills of Southern Indiana, festival goers can enjoy the taste of country made hot pancakes with 100% pure Maple Syrup all day every day as well as experience a variety of fun-filled events, activities, Live-music & demonstrations are sure to keep you entertained and coming back for more year after year. Maple Syrup Producers from every maple syrup producing state in America are invited to come and share their version of 100% pure Maple Syrup so get your sweet tooth ready!

And this year, YOU can join them! Thanks to my friends over at Basilmomma.com and King Arthur Flour, I am giving away 2 free bracelets ($10 value each) for entry to the festival!!

Here’s how to enter:

1. Share this blog with your friends on Facebook or Twitter and leave a comment below with the link to your post.

For more chances to enter:

2. Follow me on Twitter at @Chelsea_PA and post the tweet below. Then leave an additional comment below with the link to the tweet!

“I want to join @Chelsea_PA at #MapleFest13 with @maplewoodfarms, @kingarthurflour and @basilmomma! #maplesyrup #SVChallenge”

3. Subscribe to my blog! Follow it above if you are a wordpress user, or just subscribe via email. Once you follow my blog, leave another comment saying you did that as well.

BEST OF LUCK! The contest will only be open until Monday at noon so don’t miss it!

(Sorry for the short notice, but we have time to mail you the tickets!)

ALSO………….King Arthur Flour is holding the KAF Sweet Victory Challenge recipe contest and you could win!

SVChallenge

To enter, create a recipe using pure maple syrup and King Arthur Flour and you could win big! The contest will be held during the National Maple Syrup Festival on March 2nd, 9th. There are two divisions (Adult, Youth), with three Categories (Savory Main Dish, Dessert, Breakfast) for each division. Visit http://www.sweetvictorychallenge.com/ to learn more and enter. HURRY THOUGH! Entries for this are due TOMORROW!

FESTIVAL DETAILS

2013 National Maple Syrup Festival

March 2nd & 3rd, 9th & 10th

Burton’s Maplewood Farm

8121 W. County Rd. 75 South

Medora, IN 47260

ADMISSION:

Children 4 yrs old and under: Free!

Youth (5 to 15 yrs old): $6.00

Adults (16 – 64 yrs old): $10.00

Seniors (65+): $8.00

Cool thing to know! – Donate (1) canned good for a $2.00 discount off. All donated food will be given to area food pantries.

Festival Map:

http://nationalmaplesyrupfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/NMSF-Map.pdf

I will be attending the festival as well so hope you all come and join me!

Check out some more info about the National Maple Syrup Festival in these articles!

Mystique Winery & Vineyard – Southern Indiana’s Newest Stop on the Hoosier Wine Trail

As I sit here with all of this warm weather, (SERIOUSLY? 70 degrees in DECEMBER?) I have decided that it would be a perfect evening to enjoy a glass of wine outside and embrace the few hours of daylight we have left. And to add to that, my wine of choice for the night would be the new Hoosier Red I got at the Mystique Winery and Vineyard grand opening event last month!

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Never heard of them? WELL…. Let me telllllll you, they are awesome!

Mystique Winery is a new vineyard, winery, and tasting room that recently opened in my small hometown of Lynnville, IN. Never heard of it?  (Trust me, it exists.)

Lynnville, IN

How cool right?! I was extremely excited to learn that we now had a winery in my hometown!

Mystique Winery is a family venture that started as a dream back in 2008 by the Clutter family with the first planting of vines in 2009 consisting of Niagra, Steuben, Vignoles, and Chambourcin grapes.

(DidYouKnow: It takes 3 years to get a crop off of a vine. Talk about needing to have patience!)

It has been a long journey for the Clutters, but through hard work and dedication, Mystique Winery & Vineyard has finally become a reality.

Patti and Steve's children, Seth (L) and Zeb (R) and their wives Heather and Jennifer are all involved with the winery and were busy bees the day of their grand opening.

Patti and Steve’s children, Seth (L) and Zeb (R) and their wives Heather and Jennifer are all involved with the winery and were busy bees the day of their grand opening.

A couple facts about Mystique Winery:

  • It is Warrick County’s first winery nestled on the knobs of Lynnville, Indiana.
  • They’re also a part of the Hoosier Wine Trail.
  • They have a Mardi Gras themed tasting room that is perfect for visiting with friends and enjoying Mystique’s southern Indiana hospitality. (To learn more about why they chose a Mardi Gras theme, check out the article on them from the Evansville Courier and Press.)
  • They have outdoor seating and a fire pit – this would be perfect for my evening scenario I mentioned at the beginning! (If only I was in southern Indiana right now…)
  • Fact: They have great wine!

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Their Grand Opening was on November 17, 2012 and it was a HUGE success! Owner Patti Clutter said, It was an awesome day and we were so in awe of the support from Warrick County, family and friends. We had over 25 worker bees that worked their tails off all day and the parking attendants said we had over 1200 people and possibly a lot more!”

They had activities all day starting at 11a.m. and were busy even past dark! It was a great time and I definitely want to back! Due to other obligations that day, I didn’t make it until around 4p.m. but it was still a blast! I did miss the Honey Vines who they had perform, but I heard they were AWESOME! I ended up purchasing their Christmas CD so I still got a little taste of their music.

I tried several of their wines and they even had wine slushies! (To. Die. For!) Here were a few of my favorite wines:

If you like dry wine, the Bacchus was good but my favorite of the day was the Hoosier Red! it is a signature wine of the Hoosier Wine Trail and will be good with just about anything.

If you like dry wine, the Bacchus was good but my favorite of the day was the Hoosier Red! It is a signature wine of the Hoosier Wine Trail and will be good with just about anything.

By the end of the evening, my family stopped by too so it ended up being a fun family outing!

I want to encourage EVERYONE to stop by if you are in southern Indiana and pay them a visit! Also, make sure to check them out on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Congrats and hope you enjoyed this cake during your celebration!

Congrats and hope you enjoyed this cake during your celebration!

I want to send out a personal congratulation to Mystique Winery and Vineyards and the whole Clutter family for a GREAT JOB WELL DONE on opening their Winery!

Next time, I definitely have to get one of their T-shirts!

“Peace. Love. Wine. Exit 39”*Exit 39 is the Lynnville exit for all you out-of-towners ;)

“Peace. Love. Wine. Exit 39”
*Exit 39 is the Lynnville exit for all you out-of-towners 😉

Indiana Vino Adventure: Breakfast

Now, some of you might be slightly confused by this title, especially if you didn’t read my post from yesterday. But I have to admit, I did drink wine for breakfast on Saturday (don’t worry this isn’t a regular occurrence) at our first stop of the Marion County Farm Bureau Wine Tour.

I mean technically it was only a few sips during the tasting, and it was more like brunch because it was at 10a.m. but I’d say it still counts – wine for breakfast.

We kicked off our wine tour at Easley Winery in Indianapolis, IN, where we were able to taste several great wines from their collection.

I had never heard about Easley Winery before this trip, being a southern Indiana girl and all, but it was a great little place!

A little history about their winery:

“Jack & Joan Easley purchased the former Fertig Ice Cream factory in downtown Indianapolis and had their first grape crush in the fall of 1974. This facility is still in its original location and is located in downtown Indy’s Cole Noble Commercial Arts District. Today, second generation owners Mark & Meredith Easley continue the family tradition of creating and selling award-winning wines and champagnes made right in the heart of Indiana. Easley Winery offers 20 or more wine and champagne offerings depending on the year and season. Great wines are meant to be shared, and at Easley Winery, we’ve been creating memories since 1974.”

During our tasting, we were taken to their Barrel Aging Room and got to select 7 wines to taste.

Here were my favorites!

I am more of a ‘sweet wine’ person so naturally my favorites were the sweet wines. My #1 fave was the Reggae Red, which makes sense as it is their #1 bestseller! (So naturally, I had to help increase my economic impact by purchasing a bottle.) ♥

They also gave us several good tips on what to pair the wines with. One cool thing that I thought was unique was they gave us recipes to take home for making fun summer cocktails with their wines!

I can’t wait to try these!

Have any of you tried Easley’s Reggae Red or any of their Reggae wines? Let me know what you think if you do!

We had a great time during our first stop and I’d like to say a big THANK YOU to the staff at Easley Winery for your hospitality and great tips!

But I repeat, this was only our first stop. We still had a long day ahead of us, so we headed back to the bus to travel to our next stop on the tour – Oliver Winery!

Be sure to check back soon for Part 2 of the Wine Tour “Indiana Vino Adventure: Lunch” at Oliver Winery! I have a lot of cool things to include in this blog so you won’t want to miss it!

Happy Tuesday!

Oh, and P.S. – did you know that Easley Winery has a Pinterest account? Check it out for some fun recipes, facts, and wine inspired décor!

Indy Adventure – Farm Bureau Wine Tour!

Wow what a great weekend!

My parents were in town, I managed to squeeze in some pool time, and had an AMAZING time at the Marion County Farm Bureau wine tour!

In Farm Bureau, we try to plan activities throughout the year which allow us to tour local agri-tourism sites, learn about different agricultural practices in Indiana and have fun at the same time.  All of the activities pretty much guarantee a good time, but I was especially excited for this one, we planned a wine tour!

Some of you might not have thought that the wine industry was a part of agriculture but it is actually a very big industry and has a lot of similarities to crop farming.

So, I like to consider myself a wine fanatic (and apparently Klout does too?) but I still learned a lot during our vino-filled day!

Did You Know: There are over 6,700 family wineries in the U.S.?

As for the wine industry as a whole, wineries in all 50 states attract 27 million tourists annually, create 1.1 million jobs in America and have a $162 billion economic impact on the American economy. – Wine Institute

If you ask me, I’d say that’s pretty impressive!

During our wine tour we visited five central Indiana Wineries where we tried several different wines, toured their facilities, and made an economic impact on the industry (AKA…buy wine to take home) ♥

Over the course of the day we visited:

  1. Easley Winery – Indianapolis, IN

  2. Oliver Winery – Bloomington, IN

  3. Butler Winery – Bloomington, IN

  4. Brown County Winery – Nashville, IN

  5. Mallow Run Winery – Bargersville, IN

Have any of you visited these wineries?

We had such a great time! I have a lot of neat information to share with all of you but if I tried to squeeze all of our fun into one blog, you would need a nap just from reading it. So in an effort to help you refrain from tuckering out, I am going to re-cap our “Indiana Vino Adventure” over the course of three posts: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. (Who can guess why this relates?)

Be sure to check back for an inside look at these awesome wineries that are right here in our own backyards! And better yet – if you subscribe to my blog by email, my posts will be delivered right to you inbox so you won’t miss a thing!

Beef is red, right?

As I was doing my regular check of the news and social media this morning, I came across an article on “Pink Slime.”  This is has been a viral topic in the news and social media which has been scaring consumers into boycotting beef, even though it is perfectly safe and we have been consuming it for over 20 years with no problems to anyone’s health or safety.

But that’s a whole separate topic… what I was most concerned about was a comment below the article from some reader which read:

“…The next thing that should be looked at is the red dye that is put on meat products either sent to grocery stores or put on by the grocery store to make the meat appear fresh. Real beef steak is not “red” it is grey. It is time to start providing consumers with the “real products” instead of “doctored” products…”

GREY! SERIOUSLY? I was instantly flabbergasted. I couldn’t believe that this person legitimately thought that steak meat was grey.

With all due respect sir, it’s called “red meat” for a reason.

WHY IS BEEF CALLED A “RED” MEAT?
Oxygen is delivered to muscles by the red cells in the blood. One of the proteins in meat, myoglobin, holds the oxygen in the muscle. The amount of myoglobin in animal muscles determines the color of meat. Beef is called a “red” meat because it contains more myoglobin than chicken or fish. Other “red” meats are veal, lamb, and pork.

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There is no “dye” which is used to make meat red. They only way it can look grey is if it sits out for a few days, is cooked, or is vacuum sealed which removes the oxygen. But even then, when you re-expose the meat to oxygen, it will return to its red color within a few minutes.

But this blog isn’t even about that “red vs. grey” subject. Most importantly, I’m using this as an example to highlight the serious DISCONNECT that most consumers have with the agricultural industry.

A large percentage of the public doesn’t even know where their food comes from. They just assume that it shows up magically in their grocery store. That is why they get so scared when media or anti-industry groups come out with dramatic or falsified articles regarding food or agriculture.

Being that I am an agricultural communications graduate, this is one of my most passionate topics. As an industry, we need to continue working to increase the public’s awareness of how things are produced. There have been a lot of programs started to help fix this disconnect such as agri-tourism businesses, farm to fork tours and Ag In the Classroom, but we still need to work harder to share our stories.

We need to work to create a clear line of communication and understanding between the public and our industry so that they can be informed to make educated choices about the food they eat.

How do you help share your agricultural story?

Send me a link to your “Ag-Story” and I will put a list together to post in a future blog. 

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