Category Archives: Food We Grow

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

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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.