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For the love of salsa

Mistelle Wetzel has taken her love of gardening  to the next level -- last summer she planted more than 36 tomato plants to can salsa for sale.

Her partner Loren Mayer had never made salsa  before, but he really enjoyed it and together they launched M&L Salsas. They recently sold their products at craft/vendor shows in Dickinson, with four varieties available for sampling.

“I wanted to participated in the farmers market, but I never made it,” said Wetzel. “I have a full time job at Runnings, but I like canning as an extra income and I like pleasing customers out there.”

Wetzel credits her mom, Marian Jordan, for fostering her love of gardening. She purchased plants and started some on her own. The tomatoes were planted in their garden spot behind their house in  Dickinson.

“The only thing we did was plant them too close, but they still grew 4 feet tall,” she said.

They made four flavors of salsa -- mild,  medium, hot and extra hot. The extra hot resulted mostly by accident when Loren left the seeds of the jalapeno peppers in the sauce.

“The most we ever made at one time was over 100 pints. All together Loren and I have made 300 pints,” she said.

“I tell customers that chips are best served with the salsa, but I like mine on pizza,” she said.

They are already talking about next year when they plan to plant a few more tomatoes.

“Next year, I think we’ll try making spaghetti sauce, pickled beans and pickles,” she said. “I’m trying to talk Loren into building a greenhouse so I can grow tomatoes and peppers all year long.”

Anyone wishing to purchase homemade salsa can reach Mistelle by messaging her on Facebook.