Oh the ideas you'll find in the places you go!

by Rick Schara, Live Wide Open coordinator

Ever think of a “mobile take” on the Little Library boxes you see around town? If your small town doesn’t have a library, could someone create a Book Bike??

Ever think of a “mobile take” on the Little Library boxes you see around town? If your small town doesn’t have a library, could someone create a Book Bike??

When you’re traveling, do you have experiences that you imagine would work back home? Some of the best ideas out there are simply waiting to be discovered and given a distinct west central Minnesota flavor!

Earlier in May, our family spent a Saturday in Pella, Iowa, to experience their annual tulip festival. I took plenty of mental notes about new activities that communities in west central Minnesota could adopt.

For instance, the parade that day featured a “book mobile on two wheels!” The “Book Bike” was human-powered and I imagine it worked like our bookmobiles, bringing books to those who might not otherwise have access to them. Wouldn’t that work in some of our library communities? Isn’t this like the Little Free Library on wheels?

And then there’s food. OK, you entrepreneurs…who’s going to open our region’s first poffertjes stand?

It’s going to be the next big thing in food! Wikipedia says “Poffertjes are a traditional Dutch batter treat. Resembling small, fluffy pancakes, they are made with yeast and buckwheat flour. They have a light, spongy texture. “

For $4, you get 12 of these small pancakes. For an extra buck, they add a few strawberries and whipped cream.

This “Poffertjes Kraam” booth was run by the local Kiwanis club with proceeds each day designated for a youth charity.

This “Poffertjes Kraam” booth was run by the local Kiwanis club with proceeds each day designated for a youth charity.

But you have to wait. At this event, it took about 15 minutes to get through the line.

So if there’s a service group or entrepreneur who wants to serve up something different at summer festivals, crank up a food truck and try poffertjes!

I might even remember where you can order the grill.

This Dutch treat comes with powdered sugar (my fav!) or strawberries and whipped cream.

This Dutch treat comes with powdered sugar (my fav!) or strawberries and whipped cream.

The griddle used to cook the puffs was custom built by a Pella manufacturer.

The griddle used to cook the puffs was custom built by a Pella manufacturer.