Archived Story

Produce aisle expert to speak at church

Published 10:15am Thursday, June 13, 2013

Column: Creative Connections, by Sara Aeikens

Who would have guessed some life goals set at a leadership workshop could result in the annual Freeborn County Wellness Workshop and a dozen years later, I’d be “going bananas”?

Sara Aeikens
Sara Aeikens

Topics covered over the years include broad aspects of physical, mental and spiritual health. Speakers focused on women’s health issues, aging, fitness for seniors, nutrition, music meditation, poetry, parenting and grandparenting. Most presenters have been Midwest authors and some have come from the West Coast. In the last few years several programs a year were available for a total of 14 speakers since the workshop began.

The workshops take place in the spring or the fall with the help of friends and Albert Lea Area Community Education. This year’s presentation might not have occurred without a coincidental connection in March at Walmart. I could blame it all on the fact that I purchased a watermelon and discovered upon arriving home that it never got to the grocery bag.

Armed with my receipt, I returned the next day to the store’s produce section. I got sidetracked at the watermelon display, listening to a man describe how to select the best produce product. Instead of thumping on a melon, he suggested selecting a sweeter and riper melon by its heavier weight.

The helpful gentleman, Dennis Kihlstadius, travels all around the world as a consultant on ripening and post-harvest practices with fruits and vegetables. I invited him to speak and give a demonstration in Albert Lea for a Wellness Workshop. He smiled and agreed after he told me he planned to attend his Albert Lea High School 40-year reunion in mid-June.

You are invited to come to the Christ Episcopal Church from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday to hear his talk, Going Bananas in the Produce Aisle. Sign up through Community Education at 379-4834 or register at the door.

I was so excited meeting him that I almost forgot to take my watermelon home — again!


Sara Aeikens in an Albert Lea resident.