Tilly's Tiny Family Farm
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2014 Blogs

January to December
January 5, 2014 Cold Weather

So it is supposed to get anywhere from -30 to -50 degrees F at the last check I did for tomorrow. Radio station is saying it hasn't been that cold for 40 years. That is without windchill. I have to work Monday, so I hope my car starts. Going to dig out the scarves and wear double or triple layers.

I find it ironic that on the worst weather days...people are in the stores clearing off shelves. The day has already hit and people are still shopping in panic because they might run out of canned beans or something later that day. I mean really people? Its one thing if its a blizzard...get your stuff get home. When its just temps..... stay home unless you have to get something. Then send someone else to the store if you can. I see families in the store, young kids with cheeks that look like they're almost frozen or are improperly dressed for this weather. So please don't freak out over the temps. Keep your kids home, warm, and safe. Toodles!
January 12, 2014 Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies

oatmeal cookeisMy husband came up with a recipe for oatmeal cookies, I tweaked it a bit and came out with another kid favorite. This recipe is now listed with my other recipes with a nice lil picture. So enjoy the new link for Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies. Happy day and toodles peeps!

January 24, 2014 Chicken Soup & Recovery

chicken soupBeing sick is not one of my favorite ways to spend a blustery, chilly week. Especially when two of my children and hubbie share it as well. Thankfully my lil girl escaped without so much as a headache or cough. In fact she made us feel more tired with all the jumping, skipping, singing, dancing, hopping, giggling, and other stuff she was doing. Thankfully she picked on daddy more than mommy since I had two full nights without sleep. Keeping temperatures down on my oldest was tiresome but rewarding. Hes in recovery mode as well as the rest of us. No way do I want to have to take anyone anywhere when its so chilly and windy. They would just get worse.

One thing I learned how to do this week was homemade chicken noodle soup. I mean I've made it before, but try making it gluten free and from scratch? THAT was a first. I managed to do okay until it came time to make up gluten free egg noodles to add to the pot. I managed to botch and waste a good amount of rice flour, cornstarch, oil, and eggs. After getting highly frustrated, and after two days with not much sleep (naps... good luck with that when the youngest wants to cuddle!), I finally arrived at a consistency I liked. It didn't smell bad either. So crossing my fingers and tossing the dough into the pot lil by lil I waited impatiently to steal a cooked piece for taste.

I was surprised, even tho my soup ended up lacking some flavor or punch, the noodles tasted excellent. My first set of homemade gluten free egg noodles off the cuff. I had basically thrown the recipes I printed offline into the garbage after my 3rd bowl of botched dry paste and just started throwing things together. That doesn't happen often and I'm still trying to figure out how I did it. I know what I put in it, just not how much of everything. So next time I make it, I'll measure. Then I'll post it up for you peeps to read and try.

After doling a bowl out to each kid and the celiac hubbie I managed to hoover my bowl down between hacking coughs. I have to say I was coughing less by the end of the bowl and the children kind of picked at this 'new' invention of mommy's. My oldest ate all the chicken pieces, my middle child ate a few bites, and my youngest kind of hoovered it before abruptly stopping, wiping his mouth, and says in a small voice "Mo? Mo please?" He ate a few more bites after the refill. Hubbie demolished his as well and now we're all a bit better and on the road to recovery.

On top of this school was canceled for my oldest for his online public school because of the weather, so no homework! Healthy day to all of you and 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 left 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!

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 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 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 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.

March 7, 2014 New Gluten Free Flour

So I ran out of Bob's Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour. I have to special order it in 25 lb bags which save me about $40 in the long run. Hmm.... what to do in the mean time since I am absolutely out and broke for the most part? Well, I was ad matching at Walmart and found King Arthur flour which also says its a gluten free all purpose flour. Time to try something new.

Made pancakes this morning with the new flour. Turns out its almost the same, not quite as sweet, but still not really a noticeable difference. So all is good until I can order again. The best part of the pancakes this morning? My lil girl decided she was going to dump the ingredients in the bowl and stir for mom. She was doing well until she got bored of stirring and ran off to play with her lil brother. She kept coming back to check up on me tho to see if the pancakes were done tho. I actually had a few leftovers to freeze for later :D.

Thats all for today folks, toodles!

March 13, 2014 General Update

So much going on! Silver laced Wyandotte chicks are shipped on the 24th so we have to get everything ready for them. Averaging between 30 to 40 degrees this week so the snow is melting like crazy and the driveways are a marsh of get-stuck-ed-ness. Have all my items for making soap now, just have to make an apron and clear out a good area in my kitchen. Might have to get the hubbie to finish my new kitchen counters first, then I think I'll have enough room to start. Perfect timing since the weather is getting better and I'll need to ventilate the kitchen well.

Hubbie finished tearing apart one side of my pantry/laundry room and I have 3 times the space on that side now for all the goodies we can and buy with coupons. I am not an extreme couponer, but I do watch the sales and stack the coupons. None of the local stores double or triple coupons so it doesn't get too intense for that. I do however use ebates.com and do any shopping I can online. Walmart.com is on ebates and usually has 1 to 2 percent cash back. So if I order pullups and cat food and select the pick up today method, I can get my stuff later that day when I'm in town and still get 1 to 2 percent cash back online through ebates. It adds up after awhile. Amazon.com is usually where I get my books and movies...they usually have 3 percent cash back, but sometimes its limited to only certain departments. Make sure to watch that fine print. It changes often throughout the year.

Hubbie fixed my sewing machine, so I have caught up with mending and general sewing projects that were stacking up. All that is left is a skirt or two and an apron!

Anyhow, off to town to pickup pullups and cat food, toodles!

March 17, 2014 Monarch Watch

I read an article in Mother Earth News on MonarchWatch.org and I just had to look it up. You can get certified as a Monarch Waystation after going through the application process and paying a small fee. The Monarch Butterfly is in danger and many are creating small areas for them to survive and flourish. I didn't realize my own lil homestead, which is chemical free, qualified as a waystation. Tho not certified, it's nice to know I'm making a difference somewhere.

Hopefully you will find a way you are too, toodles!

March 21, 2014 Facebook

I created a facebook page for this website I have here, it has no content at this time, but feel free to like it. https://www.facebook.com/TillysTinyFamilyFarm
When we get our chicks next week I will be updating a little more, I have added a chicken page, but there is nothing there just yet. Will post garden photos as well once all this new snow is gone.

March 23, 2014 Frost Dates

Farmer's Almanac for this area says the frost has a 50 percent chance to end on May 9 and 50 percent to start on September 28. That gives us about 4 1/2 months for the growing season if its accurate. On the list for next year is grow lights. I unfortunately do not have any at this time so we won't have a head start on any produce we plan to sell. Some of the starter plants we usually get from Rhodes Garden Center next door will get planted if the frost doesn't fake us out this year. (The frost a few years ago wiped out a good portion of already planted tomatoes and she sold out pretty quickly)

I am hoping Winter lets go on time or sooner. Hopefully you are all staying warm! Toodles!

March 25, 2014 Chicken Update

Chickens weren't delivered this morning. Due to the cold, our shipment was held back so our chicks wouldn't freeze. Supposed to be a nice day tomorrow so I hope its nice enough for our chicks to get here. I want to get them all set up with warmth, food, and water. Toodles!

March 26, 2014 Chickens!!!

chickensOk, first off... don't freak over the dead looking chicken on the left in this picture... its not dead. Its only MOSTLY dead... (yes that was a Princess Bride reference)

So around 8:45 AM we received our long awaited phone call from our local post office saying our chicks had arrived. My husband made a mad dash for them while I got the warm water ready, filled the feeders, and turned on the heat lamps.

As soon as he walked out the door, my lil girl woke up asking where daddy was. I told him he went to get the baby chickens and she proceeded to jump up and down going "chickee chickee chickee" loud enough and repetitious enough to wake her lil brother (the oldest slept through all of this).

Then daddy arrives home, hero of the day since he brought in the chicks and his lil girl is beaming with all her pretty smiles. He takes the top off the box and I snapped this picture. My husband started to look over the chicks and put them in the temporary brooder as he counted them (they did not need to be led to the water or food, they ran to it and devoured quite a bit with no help before using the long box as a runway). Hubbie assumed the lil chick on the far left in the picture was dead. So me never having chicks before and too softhearted for my own good, got a lil teary.

Then I saw it twitch.
"Hon, that chick just moved," I said.
"No, its gone," said my hubbie.
So I proceeded to watch it closely. 10 seconds later it moved its head.
"Hon, it moved again."
"Naw I don't think so."
A minute later it moved its whole body a bit.
"Did you see that?! It moved! Its alive hon! Will it make it?"
He watched the chick as it moved a bit and said, "Well I'll be darned."
He picked it up and mentioned it was awfully cold and probably wouldn't live long. Both lil girl and me gave him watery eyes over this poor small creature dying in our midst. He handed me the chick and told me to keep it warm. He went back to counting chicks and getting the rest settled.

The cute little thing burrowed into my hands gently and kept tipping its head backwards into my thumb. I kept getting nervous about it dying in my hands. Hubbie finished with the other chicks (we ordered 75 and they send an extra per 25 in case of deaths...so 78 total we had counting the one fading). He took the chick to keep it warm and try to coax some warm water into its beak.

I headed next door to work for my mother at her greenhouse business (its transplanting time of year). A little before noon I get a call on my cell from the hubbie. Apparently my little peeper survived. First it started to stand, then bounce around his lap, then opened its eyes, and then he put her in with the others. It ran for food and water and he lost track of which one it was. He thinks he knows which one from the markings, but she has blended well with the others otherwise.

So 78 baby silver laced Wyandottes, yay!

Side-note: Hubbie asked lil girl what she wanted for lunch. She pointed at the chickens and said soup. He had himself the biggest laugh!

April 1, 2014 Chicken Update

All 78 still alive and growing fast. Hubbie has to finish the coop outside so we can move them soon. My lil girl has taken to calling the chickens Soup. Anytime I can't find someone in the house, I wander over to the brooder and inevitably that missing someone is sitting on a small stool next to the brooder. Lil girl bounces up and down saying "Chickee chickee chickee" on and on and on. She's adorable. More pictures to be updated on my chicken page as soon as I get a chance to sit down and get it done.

Toodles peeps!

April 6, 2014 Chickee chickee chickee!

Gave my uncle and aunt their 16 chicks from the 78 we had so we have 62. Thinking we might have to order a batch of 100 once its warmer so we can be sure to have enough chickens for this go round. They've gotten quite big and are in fledgling stage already. Awkward chicken stage for most breeds. These are still cute to me.

Ok, have to feed the babies, toodles!

April 12, 2014 Busy busy busy

Ok, with all the stuff we've been up to lately I almost forgot to share my new pantry photos. My hubbie worked pretty hard with supervised assistance from our little girl. I think I have four times the space now. So here are the before pictures of the space.

And here are a couple pictures of afterwards, some with food so you get the jist of the size.

So there is my new pantry...well the right side. We're saving up to do the other side of the pantry/laundry room. Mwhahahahahah...cough cough.... er.... hi. Well, I'm going to go update my chicken page now.... So you can go to that page after this... toodles

April 17, 2014 Technical Difficulties

You know that feeling you get when all of a sudden your computer freezes up or your internet doesn't work? How about when your children spill liquids onto your keyboard? Well.... its been that week. Thankfully my hubbie is a wonderful technician. Tho my keyboard has some keys that are no longer functional... my computer has been disinfected from something my oldest child accidentally downloaded off a popup on one of his educational game sites. Its times like these when I'm glad my hubbie is a Jack-of-all-trades guy. Computer tech, mechanic, farmer, plumber, woodworker, and more....insert exclamation point here....that's one key that doesn't work lol. So until I get a new keyboard... not so many of those lil marks poppin up...lol --insert smilie-- Toodles --insert exclamation-- lol

April 20, 2014 Chickens in Their New Home

Chicken coop is all done and chickens were moved into it last night. It got a little frosty overnight, but the hubbie checked the chickens to find them all cozy and running amok happily. They have plenty of room to stretch their wings now and the alpha hen has decided the top of our 3 gallon waterer is now her roost. She bats away anyone not getting a drink. Pictures to follow once they're settled in better. Only bad part was my lil girl's quivering lip as we took the chickens out of the brooder in the house to take them outside. She seems to think this means she can't see the chickens anymore. We're putting up the rest of the fencing today so that will be squared away as well. So toodles for now--insert exclamation point--

April 27, 2014 Promised Pics

So here are the promised pics of the coop. This is a temporary coop for them. We wanted a coop that our layers could be in or that would be a nice place for the smaller chickens until they got big enough to fend for themselves among the others...once we have others. The fence is temporary as well. We have a lot more fence to put up, but ran out of time... and then its been raining and blustery all week... and it snowed a few times to mock us.

We had one nice day, and we had some small trees to take down and brush to clear for our fruit trees. They are supposed to arrive Wednesday or Thursday, but may have to be delayed if the weather doesn't cooperate since they are shipped bare root. Apple trees, apricot trees, cherry trees, pear trees, and crab-apple trees. Total of 18 if they weren't back ordered or exchanged for other types. We will probably post some before and after pics of the area we are planting the trees, tho hubbie didn't find the camera until after he had brushed out some of the smaller trees that are in the way.

Below I also posted a pic of our little mascot Soup the Chicken.

Well, enjoy and toodles everyone! (yes I have a better keyboard now :) )

May 3, 2014 Fruit Trees

Almost done planting fruit trees. I pre-ordered bare root trees from my mother's greenhouse and they arrived this week. Yesterday we started clearing out some Poplar trees to make room for all the fruit trees. Most the Poplar will be used for various wood projects and some mushroom starters. Altogether we ended up with 2 cranberry bushes, 2 pear trees, 2 crabapple trees, 12 apple trees, and 4 cherry trees.

We planted 5 apple trees and 2 apricot trees last year, but we're not sure if the apple ones are going to make it. 4 of them were gnawed on during the winter by a bunch of mice. So the bottom 20 inches of each of 4 apple trees has had the bark stripped. We tried the honey and tape method so we'll see if it works. Evidently if you spread honey on the area, the honey is supposed to heal it. But you need to put something over top of it so nothing eats that off too.

We have the cherry trees and 2 Honey Crisp apples left to plant and then we can start tilling up our East garden. Potatoes, turnips, carrots, and other root veggies are going in that one this year. Depending on how much we get tilled up in the west field, will depend on how much of other stuff we can plant. Although I have a spot for perennial herbs this year so I am excited about that! I have starter plants for Lovage and Lemon Balm. I plan to get some Echinacea this year too. My mom got a new pink one that looks neat and my other Echinacea didn't survive a few winters ago. Then there is Catnip, Borage, and more! (insert evil, maniacal laugh) mwhahahahahahaa! er...hi...

Anyhow, off to plant the rest of those trees! Toodles lovelies!

May 11, 2014 Lots To Do and Rain Rain Rain

Ok, above is the area we were clearing for our fruit trees. Its all done now and is mostly cleaned up, but the important thing is all of this years trees and bushes are planted and ready to spread their roots!

Then it rained a lot over a few days and I helped my mom out at her greenhouse for a couple days.

Today we started this (slaps up photo of our East garden). What we call True Raised Bed Gardens. The left 2 rows are Pontiac Red potatoes, next row is Crapaudine Beets and Golden Beets, then it will be Turnips and Rutabagas with a bed of Mustard greens and seeds. We will have a row of Radishes and a lot of carrots. We bought seed for 8 different varieties of carrot this year so we'll see what wonderful colors we can get to grow in Northern Minnesota.

Next we have another view of the garden and my darlings helping me cover potatoes. They took turns helping me cover them up and were so adorable while they did it!

We also doubled the fencing for the chicken coop and extended the top netting (we have eagles around here eyeing our chickens already). I haven't taken photos of that yet. We are supposed to get rain for the next couple days, so it might be Wednesday before I get to finish planting this garden. We also need to till our other sections up and plant them, plus till the field that we haven't used before. Busy busy busy year I think eh?

Farmer's Market starts the last weekend this month in Nevis Minnesota. Last year it was 9am to 1 pm. I am assuming it will be the same time, but I will probably call and check to be sure. Well, that's all the updates for now my lovelies so toodles!

May 13, 2014 Ebates.com

For anyone who buys things online or shops at Walmart, I suggest signing up for Ebates.com for cash back at many popular stores. I usually do Walmart's pick up today for things like pullups and Amazon.com for a lot of movies or books. The nice thing? I can get 1 to 6 percent cash back on those pullups if I catch the right day or event through ebates. They send out quarterly checks if you're over $5 cash back. You can also make a few dollars for referrals, if they buy $25 worth of stuff online within a year using ebates, you get money too. So for those who haven't rushed to sign up... here's my referral code
Referral Code

So clicky and sign on up to save some money in the long run. I just got a check for $10.31. It may not seem like much....but that is a lot of pullups I bought..... and that is almost another pack of pullups :D So smile and sign up if you are inclined.

Toodles peeps!

May 16, 2014 Painting, Gardening, and Shopping

pink step stoneI finished a couple stepping stones I had for my craft business. I have a pink pansy and 2 purple pansy ones. They are available at Rhodes Garden Center in Nevis, MN along with a nice selection of my painted garden rocks.

I also got a few more rows planted in our East garden. Rest of the beets, turnips, and rutabagas are in. Hopefully tomorrow evening and Sunday we'll get the carrots and radishes in (we have 8 varieties of carrots to try this year yay!) We already had the Pontiac Red potatoes in and a couple beds of beets. Want to plant some more potatoes if we have room in this garden. Maybe if this weather holds out for next week, we can get the West gardens tilled up and ready for planting.

We ran to our local L&M Fleet and picked up some chick feed and a part for the chipper/shredder. They must have just gotten a new load of chicks, they were so tiny and cute! I could not resist! Had the whole family with and the 3 kiddos were smiling at the chicks. Then I saw they had Americauna chicks... yeah.... came home with 10 pullets. Set the brooder back up quick and hubbie got rid of any pasty butt the chicks had. Was worried about one of the chicks until it finally...unloaded. It looks much happier and comfortable now. We sat on a foot stool next to the brooder a lot tonight. Anytime my lil girl was reeeeally quiet... she was sitting still watching the chickies. They are smaller than the Wyandotte chicks when we first got them, but aaaaawe so cute!

Here's the only decent pic I have of them so far. Oh and here's a pic of one of the purple pansy stepping stones. Enjoy and toodles!


May 18, 2014 Poor Thing

Well, yesterday we lost one of the yellow chicks. A few of them had pasty butt when we got home... many at the store did so it looks like someone was not taking care of the chicks first thing after arrival. We cleaned up our chicks, but the one was so stopped up it just didn't have the will to go on. Wouldn't eat or drink after we showed it where the food and water was. We got it to take a few sips, but the poor dear passed out a huge pile and still it wasn't enough to save her. I'm not good with the deaths of small creatures. I know it is a part of farm life, but my daughter and I still got the watery eyes and just hugged each other. It makes you appreciate the other little things in your life. So hug your little ones. Toodles.

May 25, 2014 Gardens

Busy weekend! Made it to my step-brother's graduation, worked for my mom for the weekend at her greenhouse (and by weekend I mean Wednesday to Sunday....lol), and got my tomatoes planted. We also got our East garden planted with all of our root vegetables and a few lettuces and oriental greens. Pictures will come soon, once I recover from a little sunburn....and yes... I even had sunblock on almost all weekend.

Kids are loving the nice weather. Playing in the sandbox, running through the sprinkler, playing on the swingset, and dumping green weeds into the chicken coop run. So far they are more interested in the chickens.

Well, I'm going to go eat some nice grilled burgers and relax for the first time all weekend! Toodles peeps!

May 31, 2014 Farmer's Market!

Today is the first day of our Farmer's Market season for Nevis, Minnesota. So stop on by and see what we have for sale. I will have a variety of my hand painted garden rocks and a purple pansy stepping stone while my hubbie has a small selection of baby and adult crocheted hats and napkin/card holders in a variety of colors.

90% chance of rain today too, but if you are as excited as I am....stop on by anyway! Toodles peeps!

May 31, 2014 Rain and Farmer's Market

It started raining as soon as I got to the Farmer's Market this morning... I arrived a bit early and waited patiently until a truck pulled up. The rain lightened up to just a small sprinkling, so we started getting stuff setup. I have to say I met a lot of wonderful people today and had a lot of positive input about my rocks. For a first day of the season we had a nice amount of people pop over to see us.

Not only did I have a lot of fun, but I made some new friends too! I also met a lot of people that know relatives or knew me when I was knee high and my grandpa was alive. He used to call me "Shortpants" and a few of them chuckled as they recalled. I also got the nicest compliment today. That I laugh like my mother. Everyone calls her "Sunshine" and a few call me that too.

So off to bed for me. Toodles!

June 19, 2014 Updated

Been a couple weeks since I updated... bad Tilly bad... lol

Too much rain and wind for last Saturday's Farmer's Market, so I spent the day being productive. Came out with some new turtle designs for my rocks.

We started tilling up the new garden in the field. Because of rains this year and this being a new garden, we won't get corn planted in it this year. We're aiming for grains, peas, beans, pumpkins, squash, and other veggies we haven't planted yet.

The buildings are a friend's fish houses, he rents them in the Winter and is going to start keeping them here so its easier for him and my hubbie to get them on the local lakes next Winter.

We added on to the coop's fenced in area, we have to move it around again already, but here is the size of it at the moment. They ate the grass down pretty fast, maybe 2 days to finish it all off. Its a good thing I pick them fresh greens everyday. We live right next to a highway so letting them loose isn't really an option. We also take into account the 2 families of Bald Eagles that nest on the DNR property a few acres away. They like to circle above our chickens and then fly on.... thankfully.

Friendly hen clucking up my hubbie.

First chicken tractor design, rested a few boards along it to keep more rain out. We had a few get sick and die. They have a heat lamp in the enclosed area now tho and are doing much better.

Chicken tractor version 2. These are our Americauna. We have 9 of them and they are very skittish at the moment. First day out of the brooder and and I'm snapping photos of them. This was just yesterday.
Tractor 1 Tractor 2
Our South garden, mostly herbs and kohlrabi. The only garden we have to plant yet is the new one in the field, which we're hoping to do tomorrow. We also have a partial row of tomatoes we're adding to the East garden once we get more dirt hilled up.

East Garden, far right row is going to be more tomatoes and we're going to add Sweet Potatoes.

We also plant a lot of these tires. This year we planted Kale in all of them, except one. One has Rhubarb.....mmmmm!

Here's an update on our mascot chicken Soup. On the right you can see 2 of his 3 girlfriends with him. They follow him almost everywhere and he will give them choice pieces of dandelions. We're going to keep these 4 for breeding.

I think that catches up most of what we've gotten done, except a picture for the completed West garden which has garlic, onions, and some lettuce.

So, have a wonderful day and toodles my peeps!
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