Welcome to the farm!

color logo as jpeg                  store-18

Glad you stopped by!

Here is the 2016 Farm Schedule —

*May, September and October – Friday, Saturday and Sunday  10 am to 4 pm

*June, July and August we are open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am to 4pm

*  We will be OPEN July 4th weekend from 10am to 4pm (Thursday, Friday, Saturday,      Sunday & Monday

_______________________________________________________________

Here are a few things you will want to know as you plan your visit.

1) As of this moment we are NOT yet accepting credit cards.  Cash or Check only.

2) NO PETS – that being said, service animals specifically trained to assist persons with disabilities are totally welcome.

3) NO SMOKING – fire scares us…for obvious reasons!

4)  Children are required to have an adult, but adults are NOT required to have children!

________________________________________________________________

A bit about how all of this happened……

The farm has been in our family for 115 years!  My name is Lois and I am the Great Granddaughter of Albert and Augusta Peterson, the original homesteaders.  My little sister Laura lives next door on a piece of the original property as well.  Together we are nearly unstoppable!

For years, my dream has been to find a way to make a living, sharing the farm, and my goofy animals. But we all know how life works, and somehow I always ended up somewhere else, doing something else.

June 17, 2013, I experienced what insurance people (and the therapist) referred to as “a life-altering catastrophic event.” A fire destroyed life as I knew it.

imgres

It took a some time to get myself pulled together and create a plan.  And plan and plan and plan we did!  We officially opened to the public August 28, 2014.  So here we are baby sister, best friend and one amazing community in tow, 18 months “post disaster”, taking on “The Next  Great Adventure”.

Now, if you want to keep up with our daily shenanigans, our Facebook page is the place to go.  If you want the “meat and potatoes” of the place stay here.  If there is something you can’t find in either location, give me a call!

Mission Statement

Our mission is to help society reconnect with each other, animals and the land itself.

Vision Statement

Our greater vision is for every person to have something of nature to connect with – be it animal, plant or even the stars.  I want to save our country and our world.  I want every person to do better.  Consume less, discard less, purchase more wisely, grow something.

****************************************************

I have come to realize that we are always going to be somewhat under construction.   Turns out, I really like to build stuff – I’m not any good at it yet, but I like it!:)

11411_361044610722909_8487796385199175677_n

 Now, let’s unplug and GO OUTSIDE!!

Below this magic line are all the blog posts we’ve written, in chronological order. They are also filed above, under the appropriate tab. Thanks!

******************************************************************************************

screenshotvideo

Pepper and Ivy

So…..on July 4, Lois posted a video to the farm’s Facebook page of Pepper the baby goat and Ivy, a friend’s new Corgi puppy.

We all watched in disbelief as it went “viral”!!  Click here for the Wikipedia page about what constitutes a viral video.

At this time, it has “reached”  over 180,000 people!! It’s been shared over 1200 times!! Thank you to all who participated in this madness. It seems to have spread some much-needed joy around the interwebs. Keep it up!

Facebook Link Pepper and Ivy

screenshotvideo

If you think that’s awesome, check out the one Jill got of my Grandspawn and Pepper. Funny stuff. Here’s a link to the FB videos page for CCC. 

Better yet, subscribe to the CCC YouTube channel. 

Best option of all…come visit!!

  • Make your own amazing memories and take your own photos and videos of the shenanigans down on the farm.
  • Kiss a llama.
  • Keep the goat from eating the hydrangea.
  • Tell Lois you googled “Queen of Poo” and saw her picture.
  • Pack a picnic or grab Subway and meet a friend under the lean-to for lunch.
  • Snuggle Gladys, the Wonder Chicken or a baby bunny.
  • Remind Laura she will always be Employee of the Month.
  • Shop in the Farm Store–upcycled items, antiques, art, jewelry and more goodies to remember your visit by.

You don’t have to have kids to visit. Just get your butt here before you waste the whole summer. Day Pass admission is only $6, and a Season Pass ($25) is a great value.The farm is open to the public three days a week (Thursday, Friday, Saturday in the summer), but can also be rented for field trips, birthday parties, reunions, weddings, proms, etc.

A season pass is also a great way to help support the farm. That $25 can buy a bag of pig chow or llama lunch for this winter. Remember the motto at the Dollar Barn? “We don’t do this to make money; we do this to make friends”? Our new motto is, “We don’t do this to make money; we make money so we can do this.”

What exactly is “this”? Glad you asked.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to help society reconnect with each other, animals and the land itself.

Vision Statement

Our greater vision is for every person to have something of nature to connect with – be it animal, plant or even the stars.  I want to save our country and our world.  I want every person to do better.  Consume less, discard less, purchase more wisely, grow something.

 

Now, LET’S UNPLUG AND GO OUTSIDE!!!!

 

20160704_152535

Guest Book 2014

Wow, what a great weekend!! The farm was open to the public Thursday through Monday, and we had booths at the Cook Area Farmers’ Market and Orr’s Third of July.

This evening I paged through the guest book, thinking I’d start sharing the entries in a blog post.

20160704_152535

Guest book inside 1

20160704_15260520160704_15261620160704_152624

I was hesitant to title the guest book “Volume One”, but maybe you all will fill this one and we’ll need to order another.😀 We can hope!!

Thank you to everyone who has visited the farm so far!

 

 

 

 

 

Spring 2016 Update

Hi!! We prayed and hoped and dreamed that we would be busy at the farm this summer; busy enough to feed and shelter all these lovely beasts and ourselves through another Minnesota winter. I’m no accountant, but it looks like we are on our way!

herd, pony, llama, sheep, cow, cattle, angus, highland cattle

We’ve now hosted several field trips from Cook, Little Fork, International Falls, Hibbing, Nett Lake, Tower, Bois Forte, schools and organizations. THIS is why the farm has been opened up to the public–we believe it is important that children know where their food comes from. We also think all people should know their farmer and where at least SOME their food comes from. When was the last time you ate an entire meal that was grown or produced within 50 miles from your home? That is pretty tricky in this part of the world!

field trip class

 

Farmers’ Markets are a great resource for local food, by the way. We are excited to be a part of the Cook Farmers’ Market. Laura also participates in several craft shows and expos during the winter to spread the word about the Cook’s Country Connection and the Farm Store, where we sell our own handmade items and consign those of other local artisans. This coming Saturday is the first Market Day of the year. See you in the park downtown Cook (by the gazebo). Hopefully, we will have time to sell at other local Markets this summer, too.

travelling farm store

Did you hear that the Junior Prom was here this year?? There are a million great photos on Facebook, and we have TWO weddings booked for the summer.

prom

Click here to see the Prom Album.

Most Thursdays, Mike Hanson will have his team of Haflingers giving wagon rides around the property. He charges $3/person and it is worth it!

Mike Hanson Team -5.JPG

There are lots of new babies to meet this year including bunnies, a baby goat (nickname Totes), and baby birds.

white bunny

Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. SEE YOU AT THE FARM!! Now, let’s unplug and go outside! It’s supposed to be a gorgeous weekend, but this rain has made the zoo area wet. We have lots of extra muddy boots to lend  if you forget.

boots.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Peafowl

Johann and AnnaHere we go again…..  how did we end up with peafowl?

As usual, it started with a phone call…..”Hey Lois….”   (I swear I clearly said…”no more animals…”)

Johann and Anna moved to the farm September 2015.  A few of our fall guests got a sneak peak at the birds before our season ended.  For those folks, I have to say, the birds look SOOOOO much better!!  And if you haven’t met them yet, you are in for a treat!  Talk about beautiful creatures.  (And they sound funny too!)

For more info on peafowl follow this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peafowl

 

 

 

Pinterest Pumpkins

We (Laura) created a Pinterest profile for the farm! Here are a few of the pumpkins I’ve made with our surplus pumpkins. Did I mention that we’re having a “Sick Of Pumpkins Sale”? HALF OFF!! That means small pumpkins are now $1.50, medium $2.50, and large are $4. You can’t afford to NOT try a few new techniques.

First, I headed down to the local True Value and picked up some chalkboard black and chrome, both of which come in SPRAYpaint! I argued with Joe about the value of Pinterest, but don’t think he was having any of it lol.

Then I practiced on some fake pumpkins I picked up last year on clearance. I had a bunch of leftover black and orange lace from the Dollar Barn😦 , but no flat tacks or common pins. I ran to Zup’s grocery and one of their awesome staff pointed me to the tacks and pins. (Cleaning aisle, not office supplies. FYI) They were gold and multicolored, so I just used some of my new spray paint to get them the right colors.

Nailed It 2015 (2 of 5) Nailed it Pumpkins (2 of 18) Nailed it Pumpkins (5 of 18) Nailed it Pumpkins (6 of 18) Nailed it Pumpkins (9 of 18) Nailed it Pumpkins (16 of 18)

 

Nailed It 2015 (4 of 5)

We went to The Big Town (Duluth) and checked Hobby Lobby, where I scored a blingy sticker kit for 40% off. I was so happy that the littlest gems were strips instead of individuals.

Nailed it Pumpkins (18 of 18)

Even the fairy garden got some baby pumpkins. Hope you liked the post and got a few ideas. More importantly, COME BUY SOME PUMPKINS! PLEASE!

So far the cows, pigs, and chickens still eating them, but they will be getting sick of them any day. Check out the Facebook page or YouTube for cute videos of that.

Loveyabye!

KD Images

Who knew Kathy Duame of Cook was such a talented artist?? We didn’t, until she sent us a lovely card with a hand-painted black Angus cow on it. Lois just had to give her a call about selling said cards in the Farm Store. Kathy had several of the originals scanned and printed on postcards, which sell for $2 at the Farm Store at Cook’s Country Connections. The plan is to make them into greeting cards, too. Someday! Also, the originals are for sale, too, for just $7.95 each.

Here’s a sampling:

12041893_10206510903964891_1716149606_n

12032513_10206510911565081_2079537539_n 12041729_10206510907404977_456555142_n
12041959_10206510907884989_1853206159_n 12041965_10206510908725010_1624226976_n 12042241_10206510911525080_2049692482_n 12047578_10206510909005017_1067215837_n 12048492_10206510909405027_1448422808_n 12048552_10206510907044968_146485154_n 12048700_10206510910845063_1834895706_n 12053163_10206510910165046_577723212_n 12053166_10206510907124970_863820840_n 12067215_10206510906684959_1056967287_n 12067233_10206510911285074_1763059136_n 12067281_10206510908284999_1639892869_n 12067991_10206510908685009_1424404990_n 12071903_10206510906924965_534818709_n

What IS Rhubarb, Anyway? (Fruit,Vegetable, or Noxious Weed?)

When our new friend Denyel asked what rhubarb was, we had a hard time answering coherently. That’s a good question, we thought.  Having grown up here, we take rhubarb for granted. Every homestead has a couple of them in the front yard.

“Huge leaves,” I said, holding my arms wide. “Lois uses them to make birdbaths out of cement.”

She still looked lost.

“The stalks are bright red and look like celery…”Lois tried. “And it’s really sour.”

“But don’t eat the leaves!! Or feed them to your animals! They are poisonous!”, I added.

“They’re impossible to kill,” Lois offered. “Can’t kill that stuff with gasoline and hand-grenades. A lot like lilacs! ”

She wasn’t any more convinced. “Just try it!, ” we implored.

I whipped out my “Joy of Rhubarb” Cookbook (yes, it is a real cookbook) after our visit, and learned that it is, indeed a vegetable. (Though a NY court decided in 1947 that it was treated as a fruit, and therefore tariffed as one.)

Wikipedia also adds that it can be used as a laxative. Too bad we didn’t have that info for Denyel, though it probably wouldn’t have helped.

rhubarb 001 rhubarb 003 walking tour 2 023My sister’s rhubarb kicks butt!!

Even when I don’t have the time or energy to bake (or it’s too hot to light the oven), I freeze rhubarb that is chopped into 1/2 inch pieces, two or three cups per bag. Then they are ready to go if I want to bake in the  fall or winter. This year I experimented with Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream Topping and jam, which was a hit at the farm store and Farmers’ Market.

Do you have a favorite rhubarb recipe that you would be willing to share? Paul doesn’t. He says it’s a secret family recipe from his Great great great Grandma, but I call BS; he got it at the Rhubarb Festival /CHUM Bake Sale.

Yes. There is a real, Annual Rhubarb Festival to our south in Duluth, MN. Denyel probably won’t be attending.

 

 

 

 

Why Aren’t You Open 7 Days a Week?

 

1.) Because the animals need a break! Have you seen animals at a traditional zoo; pacing, depressed, anxious?  We didn’t open our family farm to the public to exploit animals for money; we make money so we can continue to feed all those mouths through the winter!  And hopefully along the way, we will educate people of all ages and help them to be better stewards of this planet we call home. We want to teach people to treat animals and the earth better, by being a good example.

2.) We need several days a week to maintain the 119 acres that aren’t open to the public. The four days a week that CCC is closed are the days that Lois and Jill do the actual farming. Things like infrastructure (fencing, clearing land, refilling the tire tower with sand, etc.), as well as maintenance are done on these days.

3.) It’s also important to us to have the time to connect with our OWN families and friends as well as enjoy our individual hobbies. Having the store was really draining and stressful; we want to do better this time with balancing work and home lives.

4.) Finally, the days we aren’t open to the public are the days we schedule special events, like birthday parties, family reunions, field trips, etc. We try to do this in such a way that the animals are in their exhibit pens as little as possible.

Occasionally, visitors can’t make it to the farm on the days we are open to the public; we can be flexible. Private tours are available; call for more info.

Leah

Leah is another Barbados Blackbelly Sheep.  She arrived at the farm on September 21, 2014. Our other sheep BaaBaa was feeling sad when he was relocated into his exhibit pen and had no friends to keep him company. The solution…

leah

Leah!!!

As it turns out, Leah is a pretty good sport and enjoys her new life at Cook’s Country Connection. She and BaaBaa quickly made friends and can now be found playing together in their pen. When visitors come, Leah will come up to the fence, say hi, and eat treats while BaaBaa usually prefers to hide in his house and peek out the window. She is definitely braver than him, which is funny since she’s only about half his size.