Grass Roots.........................30 years old        Join Me on Facebook


"Thanks for a Great Season
I feel rewarded by the fact that all of you are in my Grass Roots life."

We are planning for  2015 changes to our business and input from you is welcomed.  We can expect this from you; you know how verbal and interactive we are.  Three of them are: 

1. Relocation of Deb's Gift Store from the "FairyLand Building" to the New Location in our Garden Center.  (See picture below...we are just finishing the rough cut White Oak Floor.  It will be very different (as you would expect from us). Stop by this fall before snowfall and let us share of vision of it with you....and then expect you to give us feedback..)

 2.  Revisit the environment themes that Grass Roots has helped.  We have used our "World's Largest Dragon Fly" as a symbol of our Themes and were very successful in the 90's  The Big Stuff Project- World's Largest Dragonfly  and'     Why do we need you.  We have several collaborations at play within the Grass Roots.  We are initiating a Collaboration amongst our neighbors...however far pick the new Themes,  Plan the Marketing Program for them and taking part in packing and selling The Dragon Fly as the  symbol for  ............?........  (See picture below)

3.  We are getting old in our Grass Roots Paradise.  I am 70 & and not being the only one who is feeling the age and weighing it against our love of what we do.  "New Employees Needed for next year".   Us older folks need to work less hard:  We are looking for two part time  people.  One of you to work with us at the new Gift Store and Garden Center and one of you to work with us/Pam from Mid-April to Mid-June, during our Peak Flower Season. Get ahold of me.  You know how to do that."   Tom

Wine Makers. Notice! If making some WaterMelon wine is on your mind, is cheap time to come to my Grass Roots and buy some seedless Red Melons. Dana (Bahr) is finishing his Melon season by offering an end of year customer appreciation melon sale. $1.00 for each Red Melon. There is no more convenient way for you to take a try a making Watermelon wine. Open 10 to 5 all weekend. We have about 30 melons let 20 years ago we made this Steel Representation of a Dragon Fly and found ourselves with an attraction. Ripleys "Believe it or Not" gave is the title of the World's Largest Dragon. Over the years we have tried to use him/her has a symbol of our struggles for Clean Environment.
It has been perched at the junction of #78 and #54 and today moved back home to our Grass Roots. Stop and Visit. We are completing our survey of local Environment issues and planning strategies for 2015...Join us.




Call Tom @ 1 218 367 2503


Here's a link to the Splendid Table (.org) and is an excellent guideline on use of apples. Note that few of the apples we grow are on her list. Sad but true that our northern Minnesota apples get shorted in the real world, whether it is the uncaring world of Minnesota breeders or the culinary folks. Having said that: we can have our own non-corporate fruit (your own) by just planting some trees. Some will die and some will live. The ones that live will give you all kinds of tastes and uses. Fall is a good time to plant some. If you can't handle the occasional Apple tree dying than your only choice to buy the industry apples at the store.

With 7,000 varieties, how to select the right apple for the recipe

Go to her Web Side at Splendid and check out her thoughts on Apples Use.



Information on a meeting of locals that continue to be interested in Aerial Spraying.............


:There are 50,000 acres of potatoes planted in Minnesota every year. And while conventional, chemical-intensive production is the norm on many of these acres, it's not the only way that potatoes can be produced. Organic and sustainable potato production is possible; in fact, Minnesota farmers are already doing it. Please join the Toxic Taters Coalition to learn more about organic potato production. Larry Heitkamp and Kent Solberg will give us a tour of an organic potato farm and share information about cover cropping; soil health; insect and disease management; and their efforts to move towards no-till practices.


 Over lunch, members of the Toxic Taters Coalition will share information about their campaign to protect local communities from pesticide drift from RD Offutt's potato fields.

 When: Saturday, September 13th, 10am-1pm Lunch will be provided at noon. Directions: From Sebeka, MN, take Hwy 12 East for 7 miles. Turn right (south) on 201st Ave (a dirt road). Go 1/4 mile and take a left into the potato field. We'll have signs up on the road to help you find the right place. RSVP: Please RSVP to Lex Horan (, or 651.245.1733) if you plan on coming. **This event is free. Feel free to invite anyone who may be interested


Congratulations to Perham, Henning and Battle Lakes business communities and schools for sponsoring this new piece of curriculum that gives these kids a change to take a look at Entrepreneurship. Led by Jim Kraemer. It is a year long program called Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities. They will be visiting area businesses and holding Daily classes. Thanks for visiting our Grass Roots Yesterday.

Lots of uses for Apples.

Note to Apple Tree Growers: We (Grass Roots) are sponsoring a 'get - together' to discuss your individual practices for successful or unsuccessful growing of Fruit trees up here in the northland. After Years of discussion with all of you on your techniques for growing Apples trees; I feel that we all would benefit from listening to each other....Bring you experiences to our Grass Roots farm (In our seminar building) at 5pm ...Saturday late afternoon on Sept. 27. No Speeches...just trading experiences. Bring your own beverage to drink.

Growing Apple Trees Get-Together

What are your Techniques for getting an Apple Tree (Fruit Trees) to live and Have Fruit? 

Come to our Grass Roots at 5:00pm on the 27th (Sept) And share your Techniques.  We have been disappointed with the messages from the professionals (but) impressed by the many years of conversations with you who grow Fruit Trees

More Info on Apple Tree information Exchange

Call Me.........Tom

218 367 2503

Natalie Eating her first Tomato of her young life.


Dead Apple Trees

Lots of Dead Apple Trees  
from the winter of 2014)


As Best As I can figure the following circumstances contributed to this killing of our Fruit Trees this Spring.

1.  Our Drought in the fall (August/Sept) didn't help matters

2.  The leaves fell of as they are supposed to in Sept. (synapse)  but the time to harden off was not long enough and  Winter started with early cold in October.

3.  The winter was not extraordinarily Cold but the length of cold spells was longer than  average.

4.  Apple Trees are marginal up in the this zone to start with.  This is why I have told you all for years....... that if Apple trees were hardy here .....we would have orchards.  Note:  No orchards in our area.

5. The plant breeders research and select for many traits:  taste, yield, Color, disease resistance but not for hardiness.  Why?  The guys with the money to sponsor research are not from our zone.  We need to change this.

Can You have apple trees that bear fruit every year......YES................. but you have to face reality that as your trees die you have to keep planting them.  It that bothers you:  Buy your apples from the store or go to the orchards down south.  Don't Whine about it.

It is not your fault or mine that these trees die.

Action Plan

Grass Roots sponsoring a 'get-together' of all of you apple growers to trade notes, discussion of culture practices and to organize efforts to approach the 
U of M  or SU to begin to do serious work on Breeding for Hardiness.  

Keep in Touch.....Make Suggestions.

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Standard Apple Trees Now on Site at Grass Roots

(See Video on FaceBook)

Why Standards?

Call me (Tom)  @  218 367 2503)

You Wanted Them.... Now I have them.


World's largest Dragon Fly before the new paint job.

Varieties:  Fireside Haralson, Honeycrisp, NW Greening,  StateFair, Sweet 16 and Yellow Transparent.....  Supple limited (only 50 trees)

Fresh Veggie Season has started with us: (Grass Roots)
Radish, Lettuce, Rhubarb, Greenhouse Tomatoes and Cukes (supplies limited, because we are just starting) Onions, Herbs. 

Why the NO CSA pix below?

Because we are an old fashioned framers market, open everyday for You to come and select what you want...........We don't care for industrial approach to fresh veggies.


Apple Trees On Sale 

6' to 8'

$35 and up

FireSide, Haralred,  Haralson,  Honeycrisp, Red Prairie Spy, State Fair,  Sweet Sixteen, Winecrisp, Snow Sweet, FireSide,  Connell Red,  Centennial, Northern lights, Norland, Haxan Goodland, Cortland, Chestnut Crab, Frost Bite.    Everything is Semi-dwf expect we have a bunch of Chestnuts on  Standard rootstock.

Keep Checking

Large Standard Varieties will be on site One June 20

See List Below.

News for This Week

Jun e 15

Jim Brown is Back. He has designed and constructed the building on the Grass Roots Farm Site. Today we started constructing the 'Grand Staircase' that will get you up to our Coffee Shop and Seminar Areas......Come by and see. WE welcome your input to help put this together.

*Herb Bar is now Open.  Cut your own Fresh Herbs from our Herbs Collection.  Fill a Baggie  $3

*1000's of Flowers are mature and ready for you to plant in your containers.

$5 Perennial Sale has started.  

Containers of Flowers, designed by Pam, who  you does artist quality arrangements.  Prices range from $30 to $100.




Ellie our 2013 Kittie is growing up.


Experiment with veggie planting this year. Pepper comparison. I have seeded and grown an awesome crop of Pepper Plants. 30 Varieties. If you have the space: Buy all 30 for $3 each. They are regular $3.50 and then let me know how they do at the end of the summer. Save $15. Why Not.

Peppers: Sweet Pickle, Early Sunsation, Atris, Caribbean Red, Cute Stuff Gold, Orange Sickle, Orange Blazed, Jalapeño  Szegedi, Ornamental Peppers, Sweet Banana,  Super Chili, Cajun Belle,  Tiburon,  Karma, Thai Hot, Anaheim,  Parks early ThickSet,  Calf. Wonder, Cayenne Long Slim,  Hungarian Hot Wax (organic), Early Jalapeño, Carmen, Habararo, Yellow Cheese,Redskin, Super Red Pimento





"...everything is pointing to the fact that planting fruit trees is a good idea both for You and Your generations to come....this fits into your picture of passing on something of value."

Info site from University of Minnesota for Apple Trees

Enter Here



























Info site from University of Minnesota for Apple Trees

Enter Here


Difference between Standard and Semi-Dwf Apple Trees


Tom's Grass Roots Ottertail, MN.

....where you can purchase MN Hardy Apple trees.  Will most of the Apple Trees you buy from me Live?

No Guarantee but if you want to eat your own homegrown apples,  then you have to plant them, don't you?

   Join Me on Facebook

Email Tom for questions.
If you have  Horticulture questions,  "I do so love this part of having this Grass Roots Business."  Tom

Apple Tree Death 
"Why don't we have  Apple Orchards in northern Minnesota?

Most of the Apple Trees we get from the Breeders don't live where we live so they don't select for Hardiness....
...these days they mostly live and the 18 varieties We sell do OK and do have track records up here in the Northland.  If you want to eat your own apple...then you have to plant Apple to me."

Check out  New Grassroots Video!

Info site from University of Minnesota for Apple Trees

Enter Here



$1000 for our complete Grass Roots Fruit Tree Orchard.  These are Apple, Cherry, Pear and Plum trees in Containers.  All at least 6 feet Tall. 


This is a list:  Honeygold, State Fair, Wodarz, Wealthy, Wolf River,  Whitney Crab, Red Prairie Spy, Goodland, Haralred, Snow Sweet, Sweet 16, Centennial Crab, Zestar, HoneyCrisp fireside, Prairie Magic,  Yellow Transparent,  Jonathan, Red Barron, Haralson, Frost Bite, North Star Cherry, Compass Cherry Plum, Black Ice Plum,  Pembina Plum, Toka Plum, Alderman Plum, Metero Cherry, Bosc Pear, Mt Royal Plum. 


There are 31 Fruit Trees.  Ready for you to plant this fall

Call Tom @ 1 218 367 2503




Thanks to Jim Brown for the design and re-construction of our Grass Roots Barn Roof, that is destined to become our coffee shop in 2014.

The View will be  beautiful.  "I would like to have your impute...what will a roof top Coffee shop include here at our Grass Roots. Let me know either by facebook or email links on this page."tom



Arrangements by Pam


Pam's design work is worthy of their own Room

At Walker


We are Complimented how You use Pam to design your plantings and hope You get as many Compliments as we do.

Thanks to all of you who have purchased the creations by Pam.  This was a wreath she designed and constructed made from an assemblage of antique water and garden artifacts

Check out  New Grassroots Video!



...a new Grass Roots partnership to deliver the most comprehensive herb Program to our neighbors......You!!!

Go take a Look

"click here"

Sweet Pea Currant Tomato Organic


62 days. We instantly fell in love with this delightfully tiny tomato. Its miniscule leaves, flowers and1/4 inch, ruby red fruit are the teeniest we've seen. Deceptively big on sweet, current flavor, they are a treat in salads, as a garnish or right off the plant by the handfuls! Sweet Pea is a charming, indeterminate plant with a low, spreading habit that lends itself to container living and especially to hanging baskets. Available  from Your Grass Roots this spring

"I do love this tomato."  Tom