My blog has been suffering. I have been more easy on myself, but I still feel guilt.
Summer is SO busy.
Busy growing, building and socializing.
Hubby and I have been searching for different ways to do things around the farm and there is very little on the internet for what we are searching. As we are discussing WHY there is little info we came to a conclusion:
When you are busy DOING it is hard to find time to SHARE. The people who are our DOING are willing to share and not necessarily keeping their info private, but they are too busy to take the time to share.
This won’t stop me. Delay… maybe.
Stop me? Nah.
That being said… we have had a BUSY few weeks.
Oliver Kelley Farm.
We visited a local farm recently that is run as if it were the 1850’s. I LOVE going there for so many reasons.
A) honestly, it’s #goals. Yes, I am millennial and yes I sometimes own it by speaking in hashtags. But this farm grows the food, raises livestock, and operates mostly like an old farm and I LOVE it. The meals they cook are from the era. They make vinegar and preserve food accordingly.
Would I ever live fully this way? No, but I want to live MORE this way.
B) everyone is in character for the kids and make them work, but carry normal conversations with other adults. They are SO helpful and honestly extremely knowledgeable. I was given farm vet contacts, shared shepherding advice and so much other info. If they don’t know the answer they send you in a direction that will lead you on the correct path. I always have so many questions each year and am always leaving with more information that I was expecting. When the kids are big enough we will definitely be getting memberships.
C. It is easygoing farming. You think farming like 1850’s would be intense and so much work but… no. They work WITH the land and permaculture is a second nature. Nothing is wasted or purchased if it’s not necessary. Working WITH the land and animals and climate vs. against. The fact I don’t have to do everything BY HAND now but can also not NEED to buy large equipment is an attractive idea.
If you are ever in Minnesota and want to visit this beloved farm museum, it is called Oliver Kelley Farm. He started ‘The Grange’ which is farmers working together to provide more and is still effective today and nationwide.
That being said, we were able to decide to fence our field in with less fencing that we expected making it a HELLUVA lot cheaper and less labor intensive.
We also stole a fencing idea using small trees that are taking over our field.
We also took a family vacation to Itasca – where the Mighty Mississippi begins the long journey to the Gulf of Mexico.
Another vacation away from the animals – if you ever wonder how we do it, check out my post here.
It is important to our family to spend time together and get to know our state and history in which we live. We were able to spend time away from ‘life’ and in nature. We went on many hikes, got lost in the woods, biked a few miles, and enjoyed Minnesota’s beauty.
We made it known that our 2 and 4 year old sons are used to ‘living in the ‘country’ because while at a national monument, the 2 year old pulled his pants down and relieves himself right in the middle of the park. Right in front of at least fifty people. He must’ve been holding it for awhile because it felt like a solid minute of stream before he could pull his pants up.
People were laughing. I was fifty shades of red and he is giving everyone the stink eye for looking at him while he was urinating.
Last year I was on our patio grilling and the kids were out of sight.
Then the oldest yells out to me: we are eating strawberries, mom!
Sure as schnitzel, the kids found a wild strawberry patch alongside the house and were devouring them.
Wild strawberries are MUCH smaller than regular strawberries and more sour.
This year I had my eye out for the strawberries so we do not step on or mow them down. When we go outside we pick all the red ones. The two year old picked a mitt full for himself and another for his brother. By the time he got to his brother, both handfuls were in his belly. Oops. 🤷🏼♀️
The Berry Hill Farm.
Our little wild strawberry patch was a signal that the strawberry patches will soon be open for picking!
We were able to get out to the local patch and get a few pounds of berries. The kids ate more than they helped pick, but regardless we got some delicious strawberries.
It is amazing how delicious fresh strawberries are. They truly are a treat. Hopefully next year we will have some of our own!
The four-year-old insisted he use my phone to take pics and I begrudgingly let him. I get irritated deleting 100 pics off my phone, but in all reality it takes ten seconds for an hour of his entertainment.
He was able to capture the above pic of the two-year-old and I with our strawberries. Worth it.
Usually I am behind the camera but he had the idea to take our pic and I love it.
Strawberries are the first fruit to truly signify summer is here! They can be made so many ways and add a taste that brightens anything it’s paired with.
We love strawberry shortcake, jam, bars, and syrup for kombucha or seltzer’s.
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.
My favorite strawberry recipe: Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
The strawberries are so sweet and paired with zippy rhubarb. The jam is perfect with peanut butter, butter or cream cheese. The creaminess with the tangy-sweet jelly is making my mouth water.
I LOVE strawberry rhubarb jam. Plus, it is SUPER easy to make.
1 lb strawberries
1 lb rhubarb
1.5 c sugar
No pectin, no preservatives. Everything besides the sugar is locally-grown.
I asked the Kelley Farm owners how people sweetened their food 180 years ago (expecting to hear the answer of honey or maple syrup) and I got the answer of sugar. Yup. Nearly 200 years ago people bought bulk sugar and flour for baking.
Everything in moderation. Even sugar.
I was able to make 6 jars of jam while I simultaneously got the kids ready for bed and did dishes. Literally takes no time.
Our family of four consumes 9-12 jars a year. I will do one or two more batches because I like to slip a few jars to my father-in-law.
Blue Fricken Eggs.
My family came over for dinner, as they do.
My sister peeks in to say hello to little Footless Phoebe. I am busy cleaning up dinner when she asks, ‘Phoebe lays eggs?!’
uh, no? Why?
Theres an egg in there?
there really is!
if it’s not blue then I don’t want it!
Phoebe laid an egg and by golly it is fricken blue! Easter eggers can lay literally ANY color of egg. I wanted a blue egg, but any color besides light brown would have done me proud.
My little sugar muffin laid a blue egg.
Can you sense my pride?
Not only am I happy for a blue egg, but the fact that she is laying eggs means she is healthy and happy. I was worried she wasn’t healing properly and it was affecting her. She was supposed to lay eggs in April and it is June. Plus she is small for her age.
Little Phoeberoni is a healthy chick and she lays blue eggs.
If you ever have any questions, or ideas for future blogs, comment below or shoot me an email!
From the farm,