Knowing how the summer calendar fills, here's a heads-up on an event that proved popular in its debut last year. The Eat Local Farm Tour, sponsored by Twin Cities area food co-ops, gives the public a chance to tour farms on July 21. Last year, 11 Minnesota farms within 100 miles of the Twin Cities took part. All tours are self-guided and free. A detailed guidebook with maps, hours of operation (which differ from farm to farm), suggested tour routes and activities can be picked up free at these co-ops: Eastside, Just Food, Lakewinds, Linden Hills, Mississippi Market, River Market, Seward, St. Peter, Valley Natural Foods and the Wedge. For more info, visit www.facebook.com/EatLocalFarmTour.coop.
Today's word is "spurtle," a Scottish word for a wooden dowel used to stir oatmeal. Thus, Bob's Red Mill's Spar for the Spurtle 2 Oatmeal Recipe Contest, which seeks videos demonstrating a unique recipe with Bob's Red Mill's steel cut oats. Three finalists will be flown to Portland, Ore., for a live cookoff, with the winner receiving a trip for two to Scotland, including $2,500 in cash, to be on Bob's team in the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship. Deadline for video entries is July 20. To enter, visit www. sparforthespurtle.com.
Laboe took the cake
Rosalie "Doll" Laboe was known for the fab cakes she decorated for the Lincoln Del bakery, then at Rainbow's End bakery and finally at It Takes the Cake, which she and husband Jack opened in the 1990s. Laboe died last year, and her artistry is being honored in an exhibit at the Hennepin History Museum, 2303 3rd Av. S., Mpls. The exhibition ranges from a look at her elegant chandelier and swan wedding cakes to a cake representing all of St. Joseph's Hospital in miniature. An opening reception will be at 1 p.m. June 10. The exhibit runs through Sept. 10.
Literally, a jerkface
The Minnesota State Fair has portraits rendered in seeds. The Mall of America has portraits rendered in beef jerky. In honor of the first National Jerky Day on June 12 (the first, really?), mosaic artist Jason Mecier has been commissioned to create artwork made entirely of Jack Link's Jerky. The beef creations will be displayed from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Bloomington mall's rotunda. Come hungry; there'll be samples.