Tilly's Tiny Family Farm

May 30, 2015 Good Tired

Yesterday was cold and rainy as we set up for Akeley Farmers' Market and it just got colder. At least we had a sunnier day today at the Nevis Farmers' Market. Getting closer to having enough for either a working oven or a bread machine. I have been baking cookies and banana bread in our toaster oven. It works eh?

Checked on our bees, slowly building comb and making a bit of honey. Going to be a while before I can harvest I think tho.

Here's some pics of the free exotic chicks we got with our fryers.

Here's a pic of some of the fryers, lil girl scared em a little and they huddled in the corner.

Below is last week's picture of the Akeley Farmers' Market.

We got a lot of planting done this weekend too, hope to get more done Sunday. Just a good type of tired now. Anyhow, night peeps! Toodles!

May 25, 2015 Busy Weekend

Between Farmers' Markets that started Friday and Saturday and working for my mom at her greenhouse biz, its been a very busy weekend. Thankfully its raining today since I have to go to work at my other job and would otherwise feel guilty leaving mom with a rush of peeps on Memorial Monday. Thankfully shes got lots of backup this year.

Managed to kill my bread machine while I was making gluten-free goodies for the market. I let it cool the required amount of time and it still gave me trouble. Oven has been out all Winter. We got another one only to find out the stove part is the only part that works, even tho it said it had been tested. Thankfully it was only $20 to begin with. Have to hunt down something that is not flattop before Thursday so I can bake for market.

Also need to pick up chicken wire to enclose more of the back yard for the chickens. They've already massacred all the grass in the area we moved the portable fencing to. We'll hav to replant with buckwheat or something just to get greens growing again. New chicks arrived Friday morning before market, so they are all cozy. Few new breeds, mostly butcher birds, but we'll see if there are any roos we want to keep or not. Winding down the incubators. They've been filled 1 last time so we should have our last hatch about mid June. I'll be saving all the hens for making the flock bigger. I would like to at least triple our current egg rate. I can't keep up with demand. With the timing of the birds, they'll start laying about February-April. So that will be perfect.

I have pics to show once I find the camera again, so I'll post those when I do. Have a good week peeps, toodles!
May 16, 2015 New Journey, Bees!

Yesterday morning my family woke extremely early and set out to do two things. Drop off sold chicks and pickup honey bees. Its always nice when you can multi task, tho my husband claims uni tasking is much more productive. Once we dropped off our tiny, healthy babies to their new owners, we continued our journey to Fertile, MN where a few bee businesses thrive. The one we were looking for was Crossroads Apiaries LLC. Armed with directions and ambitious excitement, we made our way to their farm and pulled up to a nice building with a big sign telling us to pick up nucs here. We were greeted by two, friendly, and excited beekeepers. I let my 3 children out and they proceeded to run off to play with this young couple's lil boy. We were invited to try honey candy, honey lemonade, and some donuts from a local bakery. We chatted and discussed a few questions. One being the foggy, misty day they were having and how bees can't fly in this type of weather. I admit I was worried it would be a little misty at home by now too so my husband and I took their advice to heart to make sure they had plenty of food. The gentleman loaded our 5 frame nuc into our vehicle and we soon headed home.

As we arrived home, there was a renewed excitement as we gathered our bee equipment and placed our homemade top bar hive where it will stay for the Summer. I was a little nervous as it came time to open the nuc. I removed the rubber bands off the box and gently removed the lid. Bees started flying everywhere and my nervousness became a strong anxiety in the pit of my stomach. It was not as misty at home as it had been in Fertile. The unexpectedness of the flying bees made me start worrying about stinging and every horrible bee story I had read about the last 2 years. I had not thought ahead to get the smoker ready and the frames were sticking in the box. Where was my brand new hive tool? Hubbie responded it was in the house...with the smoker. So while he cautiously stepped away from the camera and gathered those two tools, I investigated our new adventure with a little trepidation.

Then I realized, they aren't stinging. They don't even seem upset or angry. They just seem confused and thankful to be out of the box and let free again. A few landed on me here and there, but it was almost like they were rubbing against me trying to cuddle. A few left trails of pollen on my gloves. The hubbie returned with the tools, and tho we did light the smoker.. it went out after the initial puffing. I wasn't as worried, since my unsafety geared hubbie was right in the midst of all this and had yet to have any aggressive bees go after him. I used the hive tool to wiggle the frames out 1 by 1 and into our hive. Frames don't fit in top bar hives, but done right they can be placed in their temporarily until all the brood has hatched and the honey eaten up. Then the frames are removed. The 1st frame had our huge, black queen on it. What luck to get a small video of it.

Once the frames were inside and the hive all shut up and secure, my hubbie and I just smiled and started planning the next 2 hives I want him to build for me. A new adventure always starts with risk and a healthy dose of anxiety. After the first hurdle is jumped, it becomes a wonderful memory.

Enjoy the pics. I plan on adding a bee section on the site once it stops glitching on me. Have a lovely week and toodles peeps!

May 10, 2015 Snow?
Early Tuesday morning they are predicting snow. We already have 2 gardens in if you count the small ones to the West of the house as one. I hope it doesn't snow, but at least most of the garden is still under the dirt. I have some cucumber, louffa, and huckleberry plants that I have already planted that may need to be covered and turnips that have started popping up. I really hope it doesn't snow. I have a few herbs that I could plant again if needed and a few flowers too. Hubbie says we should be able to turn the sprinklers on for a few hours if it snows and a layer of frost will form and protect them. We'll try it if we need to, but I wish I had a greenhouse.

Well, toodles everyone!

May 4, 2015 Update

East Garden planted with carrots, onions, beans, peas, rutabagas, turnips, and flowers along with some herbs. Small garden on the West side of the house is almost all planted too. Radish is in and the pickling cucumbers and louffa gourds will hopefully go in tomorrow. I have 1 huckleberry plant that came up so at least that is planted. Hubbie is tilling up the East field garden and we'll get raised beds made out their too. True raised beds where you can plant in the sides as well. I planted my uncle's canoes, which I painted a dark purple since they were due for paint :) , with herbs that get really pretty white and purple flowers that bees love.

Our double flowering plum shrubs are about to bloom soon, I hope it waits until I get my honey bees on the 15th. Pear trees are blooming and the Crabapple trees are about to as well.

Sold a few dozen eggs today and we're getting prepped for Farmers' Market which starts at the end of the month. At the rate its going I won't have any eggs to sell for market :D they keep selling!

Bought rhubarb seed and I now have 25 new little rhubarb plants. I hope its enough. Between selling it as is and jams and jellies it will go fast. Plus there is a rhubarb dessert (the only rhubarb dessert in my family) that I want to make in small batches to sell at the market. We'll see how much time I'll have.

Well, anyhow I need to go write down all the stuff I got planted today for future records, toodles peeps!

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