Tilly's Tiny Family Farm
February 25, 2014 Ripe Near Me

My hubbie found a site I have to point out to others and hopefully you shall share it with more.

Ripe Near Me is currently in Beta, but it started out in Australia and has now gone global. However it needs more people to add to it. See Ripe Near Me is a way to find locally grown food. Want to find the nearest strawberries? Look up your zip code and it shows you the nearest stand. The only problem is that people have to sign up their stuff. If people don't list their food on the site, how will it know to tell others? Currently there is no one listed in Minnesota. I hope to change that this summer once we get a harvest started and we know what we'll have to sell. We're hoping to be able to offer Shiitake mushrooms, fresh herbs, pumpkins, squash, and maybe some farm fresh eggs eventually.

So I put a call out to any Minnesotans out there that plan on selling food this summer, or any other season. Post up your corn or your tomatoes and other goodies! Let's populate that Minnesota map with locally grown goodness!

Have fun playing with the site, it's been added to my Websites and Links page.

February 20, 2014 Frustrations

Ever have one of those days that you had planned for the longest time only to find out its all for naught and you get so frustrated you want to scream? Yeah...so far its one of those.

We applied last year for a certificate of assumed name for our craft business. We waited for our papers after paying the fee. And waited...and waited...and waited. Finally I emailed the secretary of state website to find out what was wrong. They sent me a link saying I could print it online. Only it cost me a $15 fee for the privilege. So I paid and printed. Of course then I was broke and could not afford publishing it in a newspaper for 2 days like it requires. Thankfully it said I had til December 2014 to do so.

Fast forward to today when I finally have the fee for that. Only I found out today that this paper I have been waiting to file appropriately is not the papers I need. Turns out the paper they had directed me to pay and print was just a certificate that stated yeah you have a business and this is when it was formed. Both this paper and the others have the seal printed on them like they need so I thought I finally had the paper. If someone answers an email for a government site....shouldn't they actually read what was written and direct them where they need to go?

Well, I shot off another email asking for the papers I already paid for along with the list of problems I have encountered so far. Hopefully I'll get someone knowledgeable this time. If not I might just let the business name go and use my own name in it....then I don't have to jump through these hoops. It should not be this frustrating for a small business to start. Its no wonder many go out of business so fast.

Well, I feel better now, hope you all have a nicer day than mine,

February 17, 2014 Sled Day

snowy trees 2I took the kids outside for the first decent day we've had in a looong time. It was 33 degrees here and the kids got to slide down their snow covered mound for the first time. My uncle plowed the few inches we got and it made a nice little sliding area for my three kids.

My lil girl, having seen the movie Frozen, starting singing about wanting to build a snowman. So we did that too. She wasn't satisfied with the one we made however. It doesn't walk around and talk like Olaf in the movie. I have to say it was quite fun to see them actually playing in the snow, we have not had much opportunity for that this winter with all the frigid temperatures and ghastly winds. My children did not want to come back inside, but they had a lot of fun.

I think we're all in our spring fever mode now. The kids kept asking if they could play on the swing set. You can't really get to it when there is four feet of snow all the way to it. They just shrugged it off and decided to go back to sliding.

I think my favorite part was when they decided it was fun to throw small snowballs at me. "I got you mom!" As they giggle and run away and my pants became covered with snow. They even took their scoop like sleds and used them as shovels to throw a bit at me. I gently lobbed a few small ones at their backs and they just GIGGLED like mad! All and all I'd say it was a very successful outing. Well, enjoy your slightly warmer weather and hopefully its here to stay for a bit longer. Toodles peeps!

February 11, 2014 Chilled Bones and Windy Fields

snowy treesAs our winter continues to stay negative (-24... -12...-40 with windchill) I find myself not wanting to leave the house for anything. So I bat my eyes and smile sweetly at my wonderful husband and ask nicely if I can send him to the local grocery store for essentials... usually eggs. I seem to always be 1 or 2 eggs short for a recipe no matter how many I buy... :). We realized this winter that we go through so many eggs it would probably be better if we raised our own chickens.

As we researched different chicken types, we thought about all the uses we could get out of chickens. Eggs, meat, free lawn care, and free manure. So after careful looking we have decided to get Wyandotte chickens. Evidently they come in a variety of colors and are mostly nice chickens, I hear the pure white ones get a little aggressive. With three children age six and under... I want NICE animals. If my kids don't feel safe around them... they become meat a bit sooner.

We are also looking into goats. Maybe in a couple years we will be able to get a couple, but for now research research research. I like to check out tons of books on whatever new thing has caught my interest. I get a few smiles from the librarians when I have 15 chicken books on reserve or 12 greenhouse books on building types and different style glass or plastic. Goats will be on the next list... but I have 4 chicken books to read yet. I find each author has a different style of raising chickens and I'm interested in the different opinions. I have only come across 1 chicken book so far that actually tells you how to butcher your chicken and any concerns that may arise. I thought that section intriguing as its the first time I've read it.

I do need to ask tho... Has anyone had Wyandotte chickens and what was your experience with them? Where did you get your chicks from?

I have heard Murray McMurray Hatchery has quality chicks and their website is certainly interesting. I noticed they have silver laced and golden varieties and we think we shall be ordering from them this spring. I'm hoping to be able to place my order within the next 2 weeks or they may not have any left. We are also thinking of having ducks and turkey. With recent articles on how bad commercial turkey does on tests for things like salmonella and such I admit to being a bit spooked to purchase them anymore. I noticed a lot of them also have wheat added to their flavoring mixtures and with a hubbie that can't have gluten that is a problem. I usually get Honeysuckle. The ones I got last year were gluten free :)

So I'm off to check on my ham and bean soup! Yummy! Toodles peeps!

February 1, 2014 Spring Fever

marigoldsHave you ever seen the movie Muppet Treasure Island? There is a song in there about cabin fever and a line from one of the songs has been stuck in my head all day. "We've got cabin fever, no if ands or buts. We've got cabin fever, we've gone a little nuts." That reminds me of myself lately except I have Spring Fever! Seed catalogs are pouring in, chicken websites are sending me updates, and I'm in the cleaning mood. Iran squash, Vera lavender, Spearmint, Strawberry popcorn, Catmint, Strawberries, Blackberries, Honeysuckle, Apple trees, and more! Dancing around in my head and not letting me sleep. Wyandotte chickens in Silver laced or Gold. Ducks and turkey. Chirps and tweets! Never had chickens that I can remember so this will be a new adventure this year. Just a few weeks until we start our ordering and then its just a waiting game. Next year we have to look into a grow light or two I think. Get some of these tomatoes started a bit sooner. Tho for now I'll keep getting Black Krims, Golden Jubilees, and Lemon Boys from my mom's greenhouse business in Nevis, MN. She owns Rhodes Garden Center. I love her variety of tomatoes! I took the above photo in one of her greenhouses last year. Shes got seedlings started already for a bunch of her stuff. I love her Juliette Marigolds. They don't seem to be her fastest seller, but I love them! She had Vanilla Marigolds last year that were simply LOVELY! I suppose I should go look at another seed catalog, got another one to go through. I think we'll be getting a bulk of our seed from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds this year. A lot of new stuff to try and a few Minnesota varieties that sound wonderful. So I'm off to look at more catalogs, toodles peeps!

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