Monday, 25 July 2011

Blueberry Girls fixes things and stuff.....Rattle Nuts

Our chicken delivery day from the kids' point of view.....

The car and the cooler. That was our mission......

Rolling out of the farm. A beautiful day that we did not intend to spend in the car, but Daddy needed our help!

Dressing cute is not optional.

First we met Sarah and she got baby cuddles. She's one hardcore customer to wait for an hour in the heat! 

The girls all played in front of the shops while we waited. Chad was delayed due to weather and traffic accident  travel slowdown on I-80. 

They played train mambo.....

And hide and seek.....

We went from house to house delivering chickens and it rained and we got lost and finally we ended at a friend's birthday party! Water balloon madness was in full swing!

This is Jen. She almost DIED last Spring. I'm not being dramatic either, there was BRAIN SURGERY involved. 

She's an amazing friend and mama. Baby Zap LOVES her. When we were on bedrest and after he was home she'd come and cuddle him and keep me company. Not long after that she was in intensive care with a bleeding brain. So scary. 

Zap says, "It's all good now! I got the cuddles!"

Yes, it is all good.
The kids were good sports about being in the car all day. From the backseat I could hear them concocting plot lines for episodes of She-Ra, "FOR THE HONOUR OF GREYSKULL! I HAVE THE POWER!" Blueberry Girl decided her power sword saves dino-dragons because she is a dino-hero-saurus.....

We had quite the weekend here at the farm. Remember the flour incident of 2010? The girls still have to have their hair deep conditioned weekly from the damage that the flour caused....well, not anymore. Daddy was "watching" them play outside. He was changing the oil.......and they found the cone filter "hat" irresistible. Let's just say they have VERY conditioned hair even after 3 washings. Thanks dad.

The heat wave continues. Heat index still in the 100's. Chad had a minor accident with the tractor, a part wasn't attached and when he went to attach it, the implement pinned him. The motor was running so we couldn't hear him screaming. He's fine, not a scratch. Still freaked me out and Chad got an angry lecture about farm safety and adding insult to injury, I am blogging about it. Sorry Chad! Following our scare last week with Lily......oh my. I better blog that too.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

From Farm to Fork....

This year we decided to raise meat birds for customers and have them processed at a USDA butcher. We chose Poulet Rouge, naked neck chickens, which we got from a local hatchery, Foxhollow Poultry Farm. We raised the chicks in an old stock tank and when they were big enough they moved to a fenced pasture. 

This breed isn't pretty, kind of looks like a  dino/turkey cross. The processor called them Turckens.  Speaking of which, he said that these birds, unlike most heritage chickens he's processed, appeared to be firm and tender. He said it might actually be a good alternative to a cornish cross. Oh yeah. 

So basically, Chad wrangled up the chickens the night before and loaded them into our livestock trailer. The he got up at dawn, did chores and drove 3.5 hours to the Nebraska border with the chickens. Whoo! In a truck with a not working very well AC. The problematic AC is why we didn't go with him on a family adventure. 

So then he called and said everything was late and he would be an hour late to the drop. Some customers didn't  provide phone numbers and all I know them from is FACEBOOK! Ack! So I loaded up the kiddo and drove an hour and a half to the drop to meet people, take their addresses and promise home delivery. THEN Chad was held up even more by the storms and a massive traffic accident on I-80! Good thing I left when I did because I was 10 minutes late to the drop. 

We split the deliveries and I took central metro and Norwalk while he took Altoona. We sold out the day before just by posting on FaceBook.  When we got home we right away put one in the oven to roast. At 9pm we all sat down to dinner. Oh my was it amazing. Totally worth it. 
The whole experience really drives home to us why we have personal relationships with our customers. Why we meet them face to face and they can ask questions and we can answer them, share tips, and talk about our farm.

Talking about our farm reminds us of how good we really have it. Thank you all!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Playing Around Portraits

Heat Wave......

Heat index will be and probably is as I am writing this in the 110-120 range here in Iowa this week.

My husband is prone to heat stroke. He's been hospitalized for it once (even if he claims it was food wasn't). Still he insists on drinking soda in the heat or when he's doing hard labor or both. He's the smartest man I know except when it comes to this. Everytime I start to explain that soda pop actually leaches important minerals and couple that with the excreting of minerals through sweat and you got a whole mess of trouble.

If he won't listen to me say the words, at least I can document it here:

What is heat stroke? 

"How can dehydration be prevented?
Take precautionary measures to avoid the harmful effects of dehydration, including:
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially when working or playing in the sun.
  • Make sure you are taking in more fluid than you are losing.
  • Try to schedule physical outdoor activities for the cooler parts of the day.
  • Drink appropriate sports drinks to help maintain electrolyte balance.
  • For infants and young children, solutions like Pedialyte will help maintain electrolyte balance during illness or heat exposure. Do not try to make fluid and salt solutions at home for children." 
Yikes. Oh there's more. Here:;jsessionid=E6048CB10B8230E2340632FA7161977F.d03t02

and here:

So, please be smart in the heat. Make good choices and stay hydrated. 

Merciless cute kid photos to drive my point home. :)

Saturday, 16 July 2011


The Missoula Children's Theatre came to town and did a one week long intensive theatre camp. We heard about it on Saturday, the auditions were Monday morning, and the performance on Friday. So basically the kids had 4 days to learn the script, the music, and the choreography for a musical called Cinderella.

And they did it, they did it well.

Presenting, Lil'Bug's stage debut!

A rare photo of Mama.... waiting for the lights. Blueberry Girl was really jealous and several times this week marched p to the director and demanded to be included. Alas, she is too young and will have to wait. She was Lil'Bug's biggest fan though and her encouragement and enthusiasm could be heard throughout Chariton.  

Lil;Bug was really nervous. Four days isn't a lot of time to remember all the cool moves and song lyrics!

She was front row pumpkin girl. 

Deep in thought. There was some drama back stage......see? Real life happens outside of school too. 

The older kids in the cast were awesome. They took to Lily and were sweet to her and the little kids. They did an amazing job with their parts too.

My sweet pumpkin.

My sweetie pie. 

The Spring Fed Creek and a Strange Girl Named Emily

We have 10 acres in the wooded part of our farm, to the East of the 8 acre pond.  That pond is a man made water body where a Spring fed creek was dammed off. The excess water from the pond, the drain that allows the level to stay the same, puts the water back into the creek path on the other side of the dam. So the creek, through small most of the time, meanders through our woods and eventually through several other farms, feeding into the Chariton River and Lake Red Haw. 

We rarely go to that part of our farm because where the water drains is a very deep hole and the creek water can be wide and fast. Our kids are too little to safely explore there even with us so mostly that area is left to itself. 

Chad and Lil'Bug took a long explore the other day to document it. So here it is, from the bee path all the way to the underpass where the creek leaves our farm under the road.

Lil'Bug came home and insisted her name was Emily and we found her in the creek bed, sleeping. She insisted I label this post, "The Finding of Emily" and so it is.