Tilly's Tiny Family Farm
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2016 Blogs

January 28, 2016 Website
I wanted to apologize for all the long gaps in blog posts. I have been doing some massive coding lately. With glitches I have been finding with the free version of weebly here I am reaching my limit as to what I can accomplish. I have dead links here and there that show I have the link set....and its published...only its not working for the public. *cough cough* chicken pages *cough cough* Due to this irritation I am coding an entire new site for Tilly's Tiny Family Farm that will eventually not have any dot whatevers after it. It takes a looooong time to transfer all my blogs, recipes, chicken stuff, and refind all my pictures and move them accordingly. I am still trying to figure out a background thats not too over the top while still lending a hand to our "branding". So please bare with me as I try to get this all done....I'm a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my code.....one wrong comma and it can mess stuff up pretty bad. Thanks peeps and toodles!
February 19, 2016 Computers...Grrr

My computer decided it didn't want to work anymore for a bit there and my wonderful hubbie/computer tech/Jack-of-all-trades man got it up and running for me again. So yeah! Extra brownie points for the hubbie!

We ordered some corn seed from Rareseeds.com so we should have corn this year if everything goes according to plan. I'm really excited to try popping corn since we go through a bunch of popcorn in the Winter.

Eelpout Festival is happening up at Leech Lake and my hubbie and his friend Clarence have been working hard with their fish rentals, making sure everything is set up nice for their customers. They did have a couple cancellations unfortunately. Here's Clarence's site (I need to update the dates on the page yet but ya) BerndtGuideService.com .They are one of the few fish rentals that provide propane for heat and bait.

Hopefully after the festival is over we'll get my counter finished and we can start saving fertile eggs for incubating. We're starting a little later this year now that we know how it all goes. We're hoping we won't have to order chicks to supplement the flock size this year...but this crazy chicken lady is itching for a few new colors to add to her flock. Not to mention my lil girl aka mini crazy chicken lady is just waiting for any chicks. Once the hatch starts we'll get the livestream going....or hook up our new video camera once it gets here....hasn't even been shipped yet I guess.

Anyhoo, I'm off to get some lessons done with the kiddos. Stay warm my lovelies!

February 29, 2016 Saw Mill

We ordered a saw mill from Harbor Freight. Digital coupons are awesome! Saved us $400 on it, plus it was already on sale. It arrived and everyone is chomping at the bit to get it set up. The plan is to mount it on top of a trailer so its mobile. Once the hubbie and his friend get their fish houses off the ice the hubbie and my Uncle Randy can get the thing set up and start her up.

We also decided to try making maple syrup this year. Hubbie is going to get the four maples we have started since this week is supposed to be good flow after today. He did start one maple yesterday and it wasn't dripping....it was pouring the sap into the container. Once its a little warmer I will take some pictures of the tapped trees. I'll also have to get a few photos of the saw mill once its together.

We purchased a video camera on sale (and free shipping yeah!) So we can start taking high quality videos of things we do on the farm and maybe even some project videos!

With the nicer weather, we've already gone into full Spring mode. Felt like we got so much stuff done yesterday. Just a couple weeks until we start transplanting at my mother's greenhouse and I will start my seeds then as well. My squash did so well having them started so early! I almost had louffa gourds last year....until we had a solid week of cold, cold rain....had the seeds out too soon.

We are going to try growing popping corn this year. Also found chocolate mint seeds and the crocus that produces saffron. All kinds of new adventures to try this year. Incubating will begin soon as well. I can't wait until we have baby chicks! We aren't going to order in any from another hatchery this year. Just wasn't enough left to afford them. We had the numbers from incubating last year tho, so I'm not worried. Next year we'll order some more Americaunas/Easter Eggers to replace the four hens we have. I think we're fine with the hens we have right now until we get a barn built.

Anyhoo...tons of stuff to get done so toodles my lovelies!

March 27, 2016 Change of Plans

Have to reinstall some programs on my computer before I can get any pics posted, but the sawmill is done... sap runs for maple syrup are almost done... and we have a change of plans.

We're going to order the frypan special again since we have an order for butcher birds for Fall. On that note... anyone wanting butcher birds can preorder.....currently have an order for 18-24. We are ordering up a run of 100, so we can pad our freezer too. Incubators will start within the next couple weeks....late for us this year I know... but we WILL still have chicks this year.

We got a lot more maple syrup than we thought we would. We are going to refine our process and work on a better filtration system so maybe next year we'll be able to sell fresh, local maple syrup.

Hubbie got an area cleared for the blueberry plants we have on order for this year. We have to order up some fencing to keep the deer out of them and buy some netting to keep the birds from eating them all before we get them. I am sooooo looking forward to trying out the recipe for blueberry butter I found. I think it would sell great at the Blueberry Festival they have in Lake George. Definitely vending there again this year since we had so much fun with the kids last year.

Been working at my mom's nursery next door transplanting Osteospurnum flowers and Petunias.

No bees this year unfortunately. After losing my hive last year to sugar ant infestation...just didn't have the money this year... and we needed a sawmill. Next year I'm hoping to set up three hives so if one starts to fail, I can compensate using the other two. I'm also taking some precautions for next year. I'm prepping the area for next year...this Summer I plan to mulch the area a bit and cut out any overgrown areas to prevent ants from having ways to get into the hive. I'm also going to plant borders of peppermint around the area to persuade the ants to move on elsewheres.

Starting the counter build this week since its Spring Break. Have a few lessons to catch up with the kiddos on and then its work work work. I also almost got the kids' bedroom repainted so we'll be able to move the carpet in soon and move all the furniture back in. Plus hubbie can build the bunkbeds and we'll be all hunky dorie.

We'll let you know when we get the livecam set up for the hatcher and baby chicks. For now toodles my lovelies!

April 2, 2016 Promise of Pics

As promised I have a looot of pics. First the kids' room painting project is done. Each wall had a different movie theme.
1 Lorax
2 Home
3 Inside Out
4 Treasure Planet (Good excuse to use glow in the dark stars!!!!!)

Aaaaand yes I know the Lorax fish are pretty pathetic...but I tried.

Next are pics from when the sap overflowed in the night out of the collectors and froze into pretty waterfalls.

Next is our Molokai Purple Sweet Potatoes we started from last years leftovers.

Gremlin deciding which box he wants. He got big fast....only about 9 months old. His cheeks are so FLUFFY! *imagines Despicable Me scene with the unicorn every time I say it now*

And that my lovelies is a picture update. I already packed away the maple syrup we made but altogether it was over 2 gallons. Not bad for our first year. Toodles!

April 12, 2016 Chickies!

Started our first incubator yesterday. Little late for us this year, but with everything going on its taken a while. Friday morning we should be getting a delivery from Cackle Hatchery as well. Half the fun of the frypan special with the exotics is figuring out what the exotics are!

Have some software to take care of and hopefully we'll start posting some videos for youtube. I'll include links once I have them up and running.

Sorry for such a short update! Toodles peeps!
April 18, 2016 Chickies!

Friday we got our Frypan Special order with 5 free exotics from Cackle Hatchery. We put 2 kinds in one brooder and 2 kinds in the other since you get 4 varieties. In with the ones in the top picture are the exotics. We actually ended up with 119 birds upon arrival. Three years ordering from them and we have never had any dead birds upon arrival.

We have sawdust on the bottoms of these brooders, makes for fun entertainment when they take dust baths.

We also started up the incubator so we will have hatched chicks towards the end of the first week of May. These birds here are the ones we raise for butcher. We usually keep any females that are in there too, but the guys are going to make a fuller freezer come Fall.

We are also working on getting a greenhouse ordered and set up. We qualified for a grant for a greenhouse so we have to get all the paperwork in order for that.

Anyhoo... toodles my lovelies I have so much to get done now!

April 18, 2016 Website Live!

Decided to give weebly a shot at the domain name so there is no longer the weebly.com after our name. We'll test run it for a year and see if I find any glitches I don't like :D


April 21, 2016 It Rocks!

Set up my hand painted garden rocks next door in my mom's shop now that her greenhouse is open for the season. Here's some pictures.

We also started up the second incubator.

April 29, 2016 Transplanting Done!

We got all the transplanting done next door at my mom's greenhouse. Trees were on the list today. Lot of people buying them at bare root or pre-ordered. Between that and the back orders (which we never receive) I'd say she has about half the apple trees she normally does. She got a couple apricots and some gooseberry plants this year that I have my eye on.... first things first is my blueberries. One kind is here and so we can start planting those once we prep the area (fence, soil, etc.). She ordered another 4 varieties. If all them show up I should have about 50 blueberry plants to start the year with. If I save up enough maybe I can get some gooseberries too. Next year I will probably order raspberries and a few more grapes. I plan on getting strawberries and asparagus in this year too. We have a lot of popple trees to take down yet and we might have to fence our garden since its been three weeks and still no meeting with the bank. If I don't get the greenhouse ordered before the end of next week it'll have to wait until Fall.

I can't wait to get my gourds planted. I have birdhouse gourds and louffa gourds started. We are finishing up converting a fish house to a brood house for our baby chicks. Then the frypan special chicks will be going in there right before our hatches start.

I suppose, dishes are calling my name.
Toodles my lovelies!

May 13, 2016 Youtube
To the right you will see a link for our youtube videos. We haven't set up livestream this year, but we're leaning towards youtube instead. We posted a few chicken videos for anyone wanting to watch. More to come!

Thanks peeps, toodles!
May 19, 2016 Just One of Those Days
You ever have one of those days where nothing goes right? For me today was one of those days. Went outside to move the sprinkler this morning and the water wasn't on. Usually the solution is to turn it all off, head to the basement, smack the box next to the water pump, it turns on and fills up, and then we can go back to business. Its not ideal, but its worked until we could get the box replaced. Well, hubbie purchased the new box and was going to replace it. He got the chance today, but the problem today wasn't the box. Because the pump kept making noise, but no water was filling the tank. So hubbie goes to town to look for a part. Yay we found one close enough to make it work...and it was free!

Roll forward to where hubbie gets it put on. That part had needd to be replaced...but thats not whats out this time. Cue dramatic music "duh duh duuuuuuuuh". We actually are unsure of what it is at this point. Hubbie is waiting for a phone call so we can diagnose the problem. Had a couple people say it sounds like some foot thing or other.....I hope not...my Uncle had that problem next door....and he had to have his whole well redug/replaced however that works. I reeeeally don't have $4000 under a rock anywhere. I'm reeeeally hoping it isn't that.

So for now I have a hose going from my front yard to a pump next door because they are family and looooove me. Once we know exactly whats going on we can plan from there. I just really hope I am not working my tail off this Summer for a new well instead of other things we need.

I also need to warm up some of that ice cold water for the chickies that need to come out of the incubator today. So much to do and I don't know where to start...at least I got my strawberry patch weeded...

Have a good day on your end peeps, toodles!
June 21, 2016 Mischief Managed

Sorry to leave you all hanging on such a sour note for so long. Here's an update...the well is out. So after talking it over and estimating what other things need to be done to this old house (insulation, new siding, new windows, addition, you get the idea) we have decided this house would be better off leveled to the ground and start over. We plan on pulling a trailer house in here and doing a few changes in it before moving in to that. Once we have the time and ability we will level this house and fill in the basement. It would be a good spot for a greenhouse or two anyways. We hope to eventually rebuild in the field closer to where our barn for chickens and goats will be eventually.

On that note, my step dad got a baby goat we call Sweet Sally. She lost her mom and is only a couple weeks old. I've been helping with bottle feeding. They even got her a companion wither named Gator. Sally is a Boer goat and Gator is a Nigerian Dwarf. So the start to the goat herd is starting slowly, but surely.

We also have our frypans out in their enclosure now and out of the brood house.

Oh and our cat had kittens. Six adorable little kitties. Here is one my husband took a picture of. Two of them are so FLUFFEH! One is an orange and white striped short hair tabby and three are short haired black tabbies. They are all at that stage where they are learning how to use their hind legs and they adorably skitter across the floor as they romp around and play.

Greenhouse arrived and we are starting to assemble it. Stress is a lot lower now that we have a plan. We have to take down a sick old oak tree and have a propane tank removed, but once that is done we should be able to get some more stuff done.

Weeded my strawberry patch again. Its the first year I've had more than three strawberries and they are actually bountiful enough to steal a hand full every few days to share with the kiddos.

Anyhoo, time for me to check on the Sweet Sally, toodles my lovelies!
November 20, 2016 When It Rains It Pours
Wow...its really been THAT long since I updated.....wow...sorry peeps! Its been one of those Summers where one thing wrong after the other happens. First our well went out in the house, then the electric panel was half dead so we had to shut down most of the house. After figuring out the cost of upgrading the electric and installing a new well....plus that fact all the windows and siding need to be replaced on this old house that has virtually no insulation...yeah. Cheaper to pull in a trailer, knock down the house, and rebuild from the bottom up in the field. So we've been working on pulling apart a trailer for us this Summer. Its almost done. Even though the sky decided it was a good week to dump about two feet of snow on us, the water is hooked up and we're almost done. Feels a little old fashioned to be carting water from the trailer to the house we're in at the moment, but hopefully we'll be in it finally by the end of the week. This house will be glorified storage until we have a chance to go through everything and declutter everything. At least I have a place to put anything I want to garage sale without it getting damaged eh? I can get it all priced and have a garage sale next Summer if I have the time.

We managed to get the frame for the greenhouse up, but with house problems and lack of fund initially for wood we haven't gotten it fully assembled. We have one year from the date we signed to get it up and certified for the grant. It will be the first thing we'll have to work on in the Spring. We plan on punching in some new gardens next year too, though it all depends on what equipment we are able to afford before the season since we are in bad need of a new tiller. The Frankentiller has met its doom I think.

A hen got out right before the big storm and I was afraid she hadn't made it. I found her hiding behind bales when I walked by with feed for the flock. Took me a little bit to get her, but she snuggled into me and cooed happily once I returned her to her family. She was stuck out there for two days so it was no surprise she was the first one into the feed. No frostbite or anything!

With everything going on I had a very disappointing garden season this year. Gardens were put in late so all we really got were a few tomatoes, a lot of potatoes(including purple ones!!!!!), and sweet potatoes. So no canning got done this year...though I have enough jelly, jam, and fruit butters to last be a few years since I wasn't able to do market this year either. Though I'll have to do a lot of canning next year so I have something to sell the next year. I did however find an area of my garden that Huckleberries successfully grow. I had a small crop, but the birds got to them before I did. They should reseed themselves really well next year, but I will have to order more seeds and start some seedlings so I can be sure I get a nice batch for jams next year. I also want to experiment with Huckleberry pie filling. I prefer to can quarts of pie filling so it reduces my prep time for pies later. It also keeps longer and I love having homemade apple pie in the middle of Winter using our produce from the farm here.

I'm hoping to start my youtube videos again once we're settled in at the trailer. I initially wanted to do some videos of my gluten free baking recipes, but the two videos I managed to do wouldn't edit properly and they didn't have very good lighting. Each video I do will eventually have links in the recipes section of this website. I'll post them in this blog first so you know as they update.

Anyhoo, here's my much belated update and I apologize for the time it took. Hopefully I'll be able to update soon! Bye my lovelies!
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