Welcome to the farm!

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2021

I think it is safe to say that 2021 will not be the miracle “back to normal”  we were all hoping for.   And in light of that fact, take everything you find here with a grain of salt.

Our tentative opening day will be Saturday May 1st.  (Last year our opening was delayed until May 22nd so who knows what’s going to happen!)

No matter what should officially happen, we need your help to keep our little farm and our community safe:  If you are sick, please stay home!  If you have been around someone who is sick, stay home!  If you are afraid of getting sick, please stay home!!  (And this goes for everything from the flu to Covid 19…. I don’t have time to get sick!)

Getting that off my chest, here are some of the changes from last year, that we are planning to implement this coming year too:

We are limiting access to the big red barn.  We ask that no more than ten people at a time be in the barn and we have closed the inside play area for the time being.

We are asking people to keep a llamas worth of space between your groups (if I hear “social distancing” one more time, I may barf)

The outdoor playground is open but we ask that you use it at your own risk.  (One report says that sunlight kills the virus, the next report says “no”, so you figure it out lol)

We will be requiring hand washing before seeing the animals AND after visiting the animals, and probably a few times in between!!

I had considered adding the link to the whole CDC website, but frankly, if you haven’t heard all the reports by now, you must have been under a rock since February 2020 and its likely that you won’t have gotten this little update either.

All that being said…..see you at the farm!

~Lois

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

1) At this moment we are NOT accepting credit cards.  However; we do have an ATM!!! (How cool is that?!?!?)

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

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

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

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A bit about how all of this happened……

The farm has been in our family for 121 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.

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.

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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 …. one amazing little farm community, “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 or text ~ 218-780-8611!

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.

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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! 🙂

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 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!

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Adopt an Animal!

Looking for a unique gift?

An Animal Sponsorship package is a great gift for the animal lover in your life!

Sponsoring an animal is a unique way to acknowledge special people on special occasions!  We will mail your sponsorship package directly to the recipient or you can pick it up at the farm.

With any animal sponsorship of $25 or more you, or the person you designate, will receive a personalized sponsorship certificate, an animal fun fact sheet, and the satisfaction of supporting the critters at Cook’s Country Connection!

Adoption Levels and Benefits

  $25 $50 $100 $250
Personalized Adoption Certificate
Animal Fact Sheet
4×6 Photo of sponsored animal
Two farm Day Passes  
Farm T-shirt    
Season Pass and special access to behind the scenes farm happenings      

All sponsorship money goes for food, treats and toys for the critters!

*Camelid Family:  Alpacas & Llamas         *Bunnies      *Cows

*Birds:   Chickens, Turkeys, Peacocks, Guinea Fowl, Ducks              

*Equine Family: Donkeys, Ponies & Horses        *Goats         *Pigs      *Sheep

*Our More Unusual Friends:  Zuko the Yak, Gideon the Parrot, Screech the Tortoise

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

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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.
  • 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 $7, and a Season Pass ($30) is a great value. The farm is open to the public four days a week (Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday 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 $30 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!!!!

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 or text 218-780-8611 for more info.