Tilly's Tiny Family Farm
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2018 Blogs

January 4, 2018 Yay

So it's been entertaining this Winter. I say that sarcastically in some instances. Someone managed to syphon fuel out of two of the vehicles here leaving us practically stranded until the hubbie could get the gas can filled. Some of our gas cans have disappeared. My uncle that lives next door has a missing, brand new chainsaw missing. I'm seeing a pattern. This pattern usually happens in the Summer when a certain person is 'visiting' his mother. Tho usually its the gas in the tractor. The magnetic block heater for the tractor got taken this Summer. Yay.... stuff to replace.

At least the greenhouse is done. I've been planning on dividing it into fourths ground wise so I can do rotation planting between the four sections. My big tomatoes will move to one quarter of the greenhouse to give them a longer warm season. Our sweet corn seed from Baker Creek will go in another quarter since we need to plant and harvest a year before we have enough of the good seed to plant larger spans. I have peanuts to try for planting in my mixed quarter. Peas and beans will go in the last quarter. Anything else mixes in with wherever I can fit them. I don't have a lot of peanuts to plant so brassicas will probably go with them. I'm looking forward to multiple plantings of peas and beans without the deer and rabbits eating them all. I only got to freeze 4 sandwich bags of beans last year.

Going to build an actual rabbit house for the meat rabbits. They are sheltered for the Winter, but once we expand on our mama rabbits we'll need a lot more room. One of our future mamas hops out of the cage and cuddles the hubbie's boots before jumping back into the cage after he fills her water. She is adorable. Her name is Molly. We have one other female right now named Chippy (My youngest named it and it looks like a chipmunk/squirrel with rabbit ears). Our only male right now is fluffy and gray....so Thumper. He likes cuddling me. We can't seem to find the cord for our camera so no pics, but when we locate it I have chicken and rabbit pics for the Fall 2017 as well.

Right now we're just trying to outlast this cold. Sometimes the tahoe wouldn't start, but hubbie fixed that problem (battery). I'm hoping to pick up some extra days at work since the end of semester is winding down and the kiddos don't have as much lessons for me to supervise. Well, I think thats it for now. So toodles my lovelies!

January 16, 2018 Youtube Monetization

So starting February 20, 2018 Youtube will be making changes to it's monetization of it's videos. Unfortunately I no longer qualify and the little money I have made is now stuck in limbo until I achieve 1,000 subscribers. Thankfully I already have people watching 4,000 hours of my videos within a year, but I only have 22 subscribers. 22..... out of 1,000. If anyone is feeling generous please click on the youtube link at the top of my blog page to go to Tilly's Tiny Family Farm and subscribe. It takes a lot of views to make any money at all and I was hoping to at least make enough to fund this website. Unfortunately I have yet to hit the $100 minimum cashout at all and I finally got my account 'verified' only to run into this hurdle. I kindly thank any of my lovelies who add me. I hope to be able to post more this Summer video wise as the greenhouse is done and I have a few peeps who like my monthly updates....if I can remember to post them with everything else we're getting done. I apologize for those update videos sound....wind is loud in one. I have no video editing software that actually works so I'm open to suggestions if anyone wants to leave some on my facebook page. On another note I can't seem to respond to comments on my videos... so the hubbie goes on his account to answer any questions on the video links themselves. Thanks my lovelies!

February 11, 2018
I want to say thank you for all those who added us to their youtube subscribes! Up to 32 now... so 968 more to go! We've been adding more videos more often. We have a pregnant bunny, but we're not sure if any of her first batch will survive. Tho bunny videos and our February update are up. We finished the new bunny cages just in time. We did manage to catch two feral bunnies, but those ended up in our freezer. Found out Molly is actually a boy so now its Maulder... as in Scully and Maulder. Next doe sooooo needs to be Scully. Below are photos of the finished cage which will house two does. Now that we know the grey one (Maulder) is male he will get moved to another cage to make room for another doe once we have one. Yesterday Chippy (our brown doe) lost two of her babies. They look a bit big and this is her first batch. She wasn't sure what was going on evidently as she had them both outside her little den. By the time hubbie checked on her they were both dead. We think she's not done yet but they can take awhile to have them all. Hopefully she has a couple inside the box this time. We might be buying some bunnies to add to our group soon. We have only one doe so far and we're hoping eventually to be able to have ten does and three bucks for breeding. If we get any living babies I'll definately update you guys more. I am also working on updating our animals page to include pictures of our bunnies. Well, I have to go feed animals and check on mama bunny so toodles peeps!
March 13, 2018 Bunnies
So a lot has been going on around here and I forgot to update. Bad Tilly bad! We got three new bunny rabbits. Velvet Rex breeds. All three of our does are pregnant at the moment and could give birth anytime. My mom says her goats should birth soon as well so baby videos will be on the list of things to do once they come.

So Topleft is Sully to complete our Sully and Mulder set. Topright is Inara and Left is Mal, as in Inara and Mal from Firefly. We love our sci-fi!

So bunnies bunnies everywhere! Well soon anyhow......

Got a few big snowstorms so all of our wood is covered at the moment. It started melting as well so hopefully soon we can build more cages. Think I want bigger cages for the bucks as well. They seem happier in bigger cages.

Transplanting starts soon at my mom's garden center next door. Falls the same week as my kids have state testing for school so we'll see how this goes.

On top of all of this, my father in law passed away this weekend. My hubbie and his brother have been ironing out all the details and all that entails. The kids are pretty sad about it too. Thankfully kids bounce back quick.

That's all I have for you all my lovelies. Springtime is here tho so we'll be sure to add more as we go. Bye peeps!

March 18, 2018 Bunnies and Goats Oh My!
Any day now we could have baby bunnies, tho we now have baby goats. They're actually my mom's goats, but she had one of her ladies give birth to two yesterday. Mama's name is Lucy. Mom also got a 7 month old pure Boer goat lady named Daisy. Picture bottom left is Daisy. Picture bottom right is Lucy and her babies! We also started a Dtube channel for TillysFamilyFarm. Same videos as on youTube, but we're actually making a few pennies off of Dtube. It should add up faster since I don't qualify for youTube monetization at the moment. We got the watched hours... but not 1000 subscribers. So if anyone reading this hasn't subscribed to our channel, please do. Anyhow, hoping to update the blog more since I can copy it over to Dtube and get credit there as well. Talk to you later peeps!
March 19, 2018 Baking and Animal Care

Sooooo busy few days ahead. Doing a lot of baking and dessert making for the after service lunch?....dinner? of my father in law's funeral. I'm making the gluten free goodies. So far I have Dreamsicle Fudge (AWESOME Stuff!), Chocolate cakes, and banana breads. Tomorrow is cookies. My feet definitely hurt after running around all day.

Then there was taking care of the chickens, who got an oatmeal raisin treat. They LOVE their chicken treats.

My mom has a goat farm called Happy Boer Farm here in Nevis, Minnesota. My mom's goat Sara had two babies today. One boy and one girl. Daddy's name is Rowdy. They are adorable and two hours old in these pics. I suppose that's it for today peeps. Goodbye my lovelies!
March 20, 2018 Sick? No no no, can't get sick it's Springtime. Too much to do!
Well, our chickens certainly like their scrap bucket. Bread that has gone bad, extra fruit the kids didn't finish from dinner, and so on. They mob it every time. Bottom right is one of my Easter Eggers posing.

I just can't get enough of these baby goats. My mom has two more ladies that could give birth anytime. Sally and Ivy. Sally looks like she might have three or four babies. She is awful big!

My throat has been bothering me the last couple days. Hope I'm not getting sick. It's Springtime so there is so much to get started on and I have a bit of cabin fever. I need to make cookies today and another loaf of banana bread. Kids begged to get into one of the other ones and the puppy dog eyes won out. Just feels like I can't get enough water and my allergies are flaring. Maybe I just need to start on my teas and allergy meds again. I don't want this to flare up my asthma more than it has to.

I took a ton of video and pictures yesterday so I saved some for today. I hope I remember to bring a carrot out to the rabbits. That makes for an adorable show. Plus Mulder was giving dad the cold shoulder when he didn't bring a treat. I actually got video of that. We're trying to find Thumper a home. He's the fluffy gray one. I keep wanting to hold him and say 'He's so fluffy I'm gonna die!' just like in Despicable Me. He's not really the type of rabbit you want when you're trying to breed meat rabbits. He was free so it was okay at the time, but I think he'd be happier in a 4H home or as a pet. No bites on his craig's list post yet tho. Not sure what the husband posted for him.

Slept horribly last night and it's still early morning....I got up to get the hubbie up. State Testing for two of the kiddos today. I might very well go back to try and get some sleep tho. I feel achy and I don't want to get sick. It's a bad time. Then again it's always a bad time to get sick. I will definitely try to stay hydrated tho.

Anyhoo... off I go my lovelies, bye peeps!

March 21, 2018 Food Delivery, It's Not Digiorno
Well after the kid's second day of state testing I get to run all the food I've been making the past three days up to Bemidji for the after service lunch or dinner. Sounds like a lot of friends and family are going to show up to the funeral for my father in law. I managed to get some more stuff baked up yesterday. I got another pan of fudge, this time chocolate, and two kinds of cookies. Gingersnap and chocolate chip. All the food I made is gluten free so win win. Still no baby bunnies, but my mom's other two goats Sally and Ivy both had their babies. Three boys and one girl so it brings it to a grand total of four boys and four girls. I'll have to post some pics and videos after Thursday.
So hard not to dig into all the goodies, but at least I got a few 'botched' ones that flattened badly....tasted yummy tho. Later peeps!
March 22, 2018 Funeral, Food, Friends, and Family

My father in law said he always wanted a simple funeral. No viewing, no casket. Just cremate him, say a few words, and spread his ashes over the old family farm near Malmo, Minnesota. I think I did more baking for the after service meal than John would've expected me to. I find that some funerals can be a lovely time to catch up with family and remember good times long gone.

I have been at the kinds of funerals that last three hours and spout smoke everywhere, which is terrible for my asthma, and find that most of the details had been prepaid by someone with deeper pockets. I have nothing against fancy funerals or long services.

People believe different things. What I don't appreciate is when everyone tries to force their beliefs and practices on others. When I'm gone, I want to be cremated and buried under a fruit tree. I won't take up space in a cemetery that eventually no one will visit and I'll be useful for a tree. Win win. My husband is of the same mentality. I just hope when we go that our children or other half are not pushed into something they do not want. Why should my child pay an extra $2,000 for something that I didn't want? I understand the funerals are more for the family in some cases, but why should someone go into debt just because a couple people in the family are uncomfortable with you excluding something. They want to pay? Maybe I'll consider it, but I am by no means a rich person. I don't have much debt, I don't need to make a lot of money. Why work forty hours a week and spend my free time tired when I can spend it teaching my kids life lessons and growing my own food? My kids learn to budget, to save, to not buy everything you want. Do I really need a second television if we barely use the one we have? Nope. So the simple life is where we find our niche, our happiness. What's better than eating fresh sweet corn or petting little bunnies? Witnessing the miracle of life as eggs hatch into chicks and watching small goats grow big? My children know where their food comes from and that naming a chicken doesn't mean it saves them from the food table.

I have to say I've never been to a funeral where there is ongoing commentary from the audience. The jovial, loving, and humorous atmosphere was something I hadn't experienced in such a large way... at a funeral. My husband gave a small speech sharing fond memories and quoting a couple scriptures his father loved. He talked a bit and then his aunt read a letter she'd written to her departed brother. Then his uncle told some hilarious stories from their youth, swearing it'd be a short story. Don't ever trust a Rowland to give you a short story. He had a few hilarious memories and experiences. Another aunt got up and tried to speak, but the poor dear was too teared up to get far. His brother got up to say a few words. The main message that was shared was this: This family is precious and loved.

We're thankful to reconnect with our loved ones. Most of all today was about remembering my father in law. Journeyman steamfitter, certified electrician, master marine tech, engineer extraordinaire, family man, loyal friend, and just all around great guy. A jack of all trades and master of few.

We'll miss you John.

March 27, 2018
So yesterday we got eight inches of snow. A bit warm today so it's all turned into a sticky, muddy mess around here. That's okay tho because the bunnies and chickens are loving the weather! Bunnies had to be given snow in a second water bowl since it was getting a little too hot in the greenhouse where they are temporarily hanging out until we can get them outside when it's a bit safer. No bunny babies yet and it looks like two of the mama's stopped pulling hair. Chippy is going full boar pulling on hers tho.
Then there are the chickens. I had some lettuce and other table scraps that were needing to go out so they were having a wonderful time in the snow. Even chickens love cheerios. We threw some stale ones in the bucket and they just ran right over to the pile I poured for them.
Other than the animals we've just been cleaning up the house after having that funeral last week. Things tend to get left behind when your stressed, depressed, or just plain busy. Anyhoo, that's our update my lovelies! Be safe peeps!
April 10, 2018
The kids got to hold their first bunny. This baby bunny rabbit is a Velvet Rex from Inara mama. They were nothing but smiles and giggles as they pet their soft fur.
April 16, 2018
Mom's Boer goats spotted me as I walked up to the gate. All of a sudden all the mama goats come outside and the babies with them. It was adorable. They were sunbathing in the doorway.
I believe this was my first orchid from my hubbie. Instead of buying me a bouquet that would die in a couple weeks, he buys me orchids randomly throughout the year. I currently have 5. All in different color varieties. It's just his way to surprise me and let me know he was thinking of me. They bloom twice a year for me and never fail to make me smile. We joke that he's working on wife rep (reference for you gamers out there).
April 15, 2018
Isn't he just precious! He acts more like a combination of a needy puppy and kitty then a rabbit tho. Loves his pets and scratches under his chin. He MAY be a little spoiled.
April 17, 2018
Two of my mom's baby goats on Happy Boer Farms in Nevis, MN. When I opened the gate to go inside, all four mamas and their total of eight babies came outside. Good day for sitting in sunbeams.
April 18, 2018
One of the baby goats kept staring at me. I love it's adorable ears. It's dad has the same ears. They look so soft!
Pink Jumbo Banana Squash has finally poked through the soil. I didn't get anything off the plants last year, but I'm hoping if I plant them in the greenhouse it'll have a long enough season. I'm just really excited for my first seedling babies!
April 23, 2018
Rhubarb jelly, apple jelly, apple butter, crabapple jelly, pear butter, and pear jelly. In that order. I canned these last fall so we could sell them this Spring in my mom's shop right next door. Rhodes Garden Center. My huckleberries unfortunately didn't do much last year so I didn't get any of those canned.
April 26, 2018

Last Fall we got the high tunnel greenhouse up just in time for the snow to fall that night. It is a 72 foot by 30 foot gothic style equaling 2160 square feet of growing space. We signed up as part of the USDA NRCS grant program. They grant us so much money per square foot to a max of 2180 square feet or $6000. We then report what we grow and harvest along with what we use as fertilizers or chemicals over 5 years. We do not use chemicals and we only use manure as fertilizer so that's always easy. We're excited since this is the first time we get to plant IN the greenhouse. We had to plant in the area we used for two years prior so the soil is already nice and rich in nutrients. Plus there is a healthy helping of rabbit poop everywhere.

Well here is what we started with for this Spring. Photos are facing East, so left is North and right is South. First we had to take some scaffolding from the build and move it out of the way since we have nowhere to store it at the moment.We also had to clean up various tools and rabbit stuff since we were using the snowless area to build rabbit cages.
Then the hubbie got the tiller out.He started with the South side so we could get our buckets of lil plants in the ground. They were in these buckets all Winter long and most survived.
12 lil plum trees that were free from the base of two different plums. 3 or 4 Forsythia shrub babies. Pretty sure they're the Golden Forsythia. 1 Westcott self pollinating Apricot. We want them all the have a chance to grow before the deer decide they're tasty.Tilled the North side.
First couple beds.Most of the rest of the beds. Still some room behind me in this photo, but we have to finish cleaning it out. We wanted the bunnies out of the elements, but they are going outside tomorrow since it's going to be buggerly cold tonight.
Irrigation in and ready to go, now I just have to plant the beds. I wanted to wait until after the cold night tonight. Meanwhile some of my seed babies are snug in egg cartons for now. You can barely see the white or blue containers in the top left corner along the North bed that will hold maple trees soon. We have found that two of the trees we get sap from for maple syrup make REALLY good maple syrup. So when the maple seeds start flying we're going to plant the seeds in the greenhouse. After 5 years we'll transplant them along the South property line near the slowly growing orchard.
We're hoping to replace the fabric doors with garage doors eventually. Should be a lot less hassle.
April 27, 2018
The baby bunnies are now weened and we wanted to put them in their own cozy little hutch. We finished this on the evening of the 26th and moved our two adorable babies over. They spent the first couple minutes just jumping in the hay. Cuz why wouldn't the baby bunnies jump on their bed right?
April 30, 2018
I have some loose chickens that seem to think it's okay to fly over the top of the fencing. They are always lighter in the Spring so its easier for them to do.
Sorry for the messy yard, we haven't done our Spring cleanup yet and the neighbor's trash seems to float over here in the wind...plus my hubbie keeps parts of just about everything.
May 1, 2018
Two Summers ago our wheelbarrow handles literally rotted apart. Thankfully last Summer the hubbie set aside some oak that he got as payment for a sawmill cutting job.Our two youngest kiddos decided to follow him for the day, tho the youngest here was around more.
Dad used it as a teaching moment and taught them hot to sand the handles. https://d.tube/#!/v/tillysfamilyfarm/v7brzokvLil girlie got to try too. https://d.tube/#!/v/tillysfamilyfarm/ua901l9b
Then I had my nice handles. Having a woodworking hubbie is great!The old wheelbarrow.
Another photo of the old wheelbarrow.So hubbie had pink or black spray paint. Since our farm biz colors are purple and pink...he used pink. Isn't it cute!?
We've already put it to work.
May 12, 2018
Chippy and Sully have both had babies this weekend!Chippy had 3 we're thinking and Sully looks like 4 or 5 here.
May 15, 2018  
Goats are weaning off and the boys have been banded. My mom felt bad since they fall over a lot after being banded. She said it was one of those funny, but guilty moments. But it's something that needs to be done.
May 16, 2018  
Close up of some of Sully's babies. They are nice and cozy in her extra fur fluff.
May 27, 2018

It's that time of year! The yellow swallowtail butterflies are hatching left and right. They love to go in my mom's greenhouse and make their pupa under her tables. Unfortunately once it hatches, it's stuck in the greenhouse. Not all of them find their way out on their own. So some days while I'm stocking flowers... I'm also gently catching butterflies, dragonflies, and redirecting hummingbirds out into the cooler air.

This one didn't want to leave my mom's hand.

May 17, 2018
Mama Robin is happy in the greenhouse still. She loves all the free water from the sprinklers and the worms in our black soil.
May 29, 2018
Scully's baby bunnies are bebopping all over the place They are Velvet Rex Rabbits
Two are reserved for some friends who traded us some Australorp chickens, we're letting them pick the ones they want once they're weened They currently fit in the palm of our hands
May 30, 2018  
These Velvet Rex Rabbits like to cuddle. They make a cute little pile of fluff.
June 3, 2018
We planted our greenhouse sometime in April and our radish are mostly all ready and ripe for the picking. I planted quite the variety of radish. The pink ones here are called Pink Beauty. The gold and purple ones are Zlata and Malaga... tho I don't remember which is which. My Pink Beauty were planted too close to the purple ones so they are just as hot. Usually they taste like a strong kohlrabi. Hubbie and kids were excited to have fresh vegetables out of the garden already tho so no complaints.
June 4, 2018
This is one of our freshly weened Velvet Rex Rabbits. It loves scratches!
June 9, 2018
I planted thai striped peanuts in my greenhouse. I thought for sure they hadn't come up. Turns out four plants did! I'm excited. I've heard homemade peanuts and peanut butter are delicious! It's also something we buy a lot of from the stores, so if I can grow our own in a big enough quantity... it's one less thing to buy.
June 23, 2018
First round of hay gave us 65 bales off our field. Apparently using a disc to scratch up the fields first benefits the grass. The thatch was loosened and more grass was able to grow. We also had less weeds which is awesome! We baled a bit of my uncle's field too. 26 bales there. We gave them to my mom since it was better quality and she needed hay for her goats. Hay prices have skyrocketed so it's hard to afford it right now. Thankfully we have equipment. Next cutting will probably be sold since this is all we need for our chickens and meat rabbits.
August 10, 2018
Jack(brown and white) and Parker (black and white) two days before we sent them off to freezer camp.
We ended up getting about 140 pounds altogether. The kids had goat meat for the first time and now officially LOVE it!
These are Boer meat goats. My step dad kept them on something called Big Gain I think it was called. It helps them to maintain a lean meat instead of bloating up with a ton of fat.
We were sad to see them go, but our freezer and tummies are full. Have a nice night peeps!
September 17, 2018
On the 17th we had our first major harvest.
This is the largest tomato I have ever harvested. It was a Brandywine from a tomato plant in my greenhouse!
First round of harvesting wasn't so bad eh?
First year for gourds as well. They normally don't produce. The squash, gourds, and pumpkins took over the greenhouse with their vines! It was insane. I had to pull them all out Monday in order to get it ready for tilling for the Fall. Monday's harvest pics coming soon.
September 28, 2018
Friday the threat of freezing temperatures had our family of five scouring the garden and greenhouse for anything above ground that may need to be harvested.
There was one more crate of green tomatoes and twice the red tomatoes in this picture when we finished. Not sure what I'm doing with all the pumpkins that crossed with my patti pan squash (aka starburst squash). We had some interesting varieties this year. Unfortunately the Jumbo Pink Banana Squash got too much of a late start and was in a spot that didn't get as much water coverage. I'll change that next year. That pale orange squash in the second from the right crate was the largest one we got. All in all a productive year. We still have to harvest the potatoes and onions from outside and the carrots and peanuts from inside the greenhouse. For now I have to empty some crates....I ran out.
October 4, 2018

Out of the 28 peanuts I planted, I had 1 plant that made it. Guaranteed... I didn't get to weed that section as often as I'd have liked. I had 4 plants growing, but this one is the only harvestable one. Not much on there.

So I'm calling this one a fail, but what is a failure but a learning experience. Next year I'll plant them again, but with having a headway on bales I should see an improvement with the crops. I use sheaves of them for the pathways. Makes for a lot let weeds and maintenance. As a bonus, I get newts and more worms. Less aphids.

October 9, 2018
The last harvest of tomatoes was green. They are slowly turning colors and revealing a rainbow of colors. They still make awesome tacos!
November 30, 2018

I find that balancing everything in our lives, especially during Fall, can be a hectic thing to try much less succeed at. We have three children who do online public school (I'm their 'Learning Coach'), a hobby farm (with meat rabbits and lots of chickens), and my hubbie and I work. He bids on IT jobs like credit card machine installations, register installs, security camera installs, and... well.. you get the idea. He may not have regular work, but he also does snowplowing and lawn care for their respective season. I work my two weekend days to keep a regular income while helping the children learn during the week.

People say I need more 'ME' time. What's 'ME' time? It's like they're speaking a foreign language I am not familiar with. I spend quality time with my children during the week. I know what they're learning. What they're struggling with. What I need to help them learn. We paint together for art class, look up famous people from history (since two pages of info is never enough for my history interested children), and play outside looking for sticks, rocks, and soil in the name of science. They love to rake the leaves simply to jump in them before I take them off to the compost pile. I love to chase after them just to listen to that high pitched squeal/giggle that is addicting to listen to. Who needs this 'ME' time they speak of.

Instead of buying a new part, my hubbie goes to the salvage yard when he can. He can fix everything from the tractor and it's equipment to the computer I have somehow got infected again. It's become a line around here... 'Honey I broke it...can you fix it?' and he'll look at me with that knowing smirk while he shakes his head. He may not say it...but he can and he will no matter how frustrated I make him by asking the same questions over and over again WHILE he's fixing it. I am a bit forgetful at times...but who these days aren't when they have three small demons...er....children of joy running around? Who needs this 'ME' time when I can spend it with my hubbie talking about tractor parts I'll never remember and what the cats...er...I mean bunnies did that day when he went to feed them?

Our Spring, Summer, and Fall may be filled with garden work, structure building, fence mending, and harvesting... but my children know they are loved and their work appreciated. Winter is filled with learning and more time together baking. My youngest loves to help me in the garden to get his mommy time, my oldest loves to count the pumpkins when we harvest them, and my middle child loves helping when it comes time for flowers and other 'pretties'. I may not have much 'ME' time... but I wouldn't trade the time I've been having with my family for anything.

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