Category Archives: Uncategorized

Welcome to the farm!

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Glad you stopped by!

Sunday October 27 was the last day of the 2019 season and what a season it was!  I cannot begin to thank all of the farm friends that make this place possible!!

Winter is a time for plotting and planning another summers worth of family fun!  Make sure to check out our Facebook page for the full scoop.

For now, there is a ton of work to get done!  See ya soon !

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

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

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 118 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.

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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 baby sister, best friend and one amazing community in tow, “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.

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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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Farming after the Fire

Thanks, Jared and Caitlyn for doing such an awesome job telling our story!

He Sowed She Sewed

The Pajari Sisters Press On after Last Summer’s Tragedy

(Originally Published in the Cook News Herald; Sep. 17, 2014)

By Jared and Caitlyn

The question was never if the Pajari Sisters would continue to grace the Cook area with their friendly laughter and quirky entrepreneurship after the loss of the Cook Dollar Barn, but when. And now we know the answer. With roughly fifteen months behind us since the tragic loss of a historic Cook building containing two businesses and eight apartments, Lois and Laura Pajari are back at it – this time with a real barn and plenty of other animals alongside their two beloved Corgis.

The farm that hosts one of Cook’s newest businesses – Cook’s Country Connection – is actually one of the oldest places in the area. And even though they officially opened on August 28, 2014, the Pajari sisters’ family has been working that…

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POO!

This was my first official blog post, almost two years ago. Please check it out. It tells all about why you can Google Queen of Poo and Lois shows up. 🙂 Oh, and fun facts about fertilizer are also included. Welcome! Loveyabye

Pajari Girls

Don’t be scared…it’s only fertilizer.

So my sister and I were sitting by the bonfire tonight, talking about all the by-products we use from The Funny Farm (now Cook’s Country Connection), and naturally the talk turned to poo.  Her critters produce a LOT of it. And since we are both avid gardeners, this is a good thing. The trouble is, all poo is not created equal. Thus, I decided to share an overview of the poo we fertilize with, and why. (Please note: NPK is the amount of Nitrogen, Phosporus, and Potassium in fertilizer. Most synthetic fertilizer is 20, 10,5. However, we prefer the organic, homegrown type that comes from all the critters. It takes a bigger volume of fertilizer, but it’s worth it. And free. And we have to something with all that poo!)

  • Horse/Donkey Poo: Little Bit, Itchy, Squirt, Toby and Jack eat a LOT. Horses are less-efficient at digesting than other farm…

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More trouble with chickens….

This farming stuff is tricky business.

I like having my chickens free to do as they choose during the day.  They eat bugs and seeds and they look kinda cute bopping around the farm.

The problem with chickens being loose, is that a few of them have it in their heads to lay their eggs outside of their nest boxes.  This makes every other day a bit like Easter.  We have enlisted the help of local kids to stalk the chickens like little ninjas to find the day’s haul.

Once the nest is located it is best to put a “dummy egg” or two in the nest .  Chickens are dumb, but they aren’t that dumb.  If they go to lay a second egg in a nest and find the first egg gone, they will move on and find another spot to lay….this results in more  ninja neighbor kids stalking chickens…  You can see the problem.  For crying out loud, I have a zoo to build….I can’t keep hunting down dang eggs every day.

Most of the summer we have had a chicken with a cozy nest spot in the corner of the old root cellar nestled in my lilies.

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Lately though the dummy eggs were coming up missing…what the heck?  Is there a fox stealing the eggs?  Some other predator?

Sissy and her trail cam to the rescue!  Within minutes we had our perpetrator.

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That fuzzy little butt looks awfully familiar….GUSGUS!!!!!

Remember what happened to the chicken caught eating eggs….

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The trouble with chickens…..

For months now we have had a Rhode Island Red chicken eating eggs.  UNACCEPTABLE!  I have chickens so I can eat the eggs.

I promptly Googled how to stop chickens from eating eggs.  One recommendation was to fill an empty egg with mustard.  I did it and it worked….for a while.

Another was to place a golf ball in the nest box. Tried that, too.

We even tried using the trail cam and critter cam to catch the guilty party.

Nada. Nuthin’. Bupkiss. Goose egg (haha).

chicken in the pot

This method will work for longer than “a while”.  Done negotiating with chickens.

Turkeys

How on earth did we end up with turkeys??  I am discovering “that these things just happen.”

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I don’t know anything about turkeys.  I have never had turkeys.  I like turkey on the grill.  I  like roasted turkeys.  I have never in my life met a turkey.

Turns out turkeys are pretty cool.  I really like the noises they make.  Henry makes this  weird sound that is really more vibration than noise.  And “the girls” chatter and coo.

They certainly add to the farm.  And as a matter of fact, we might just try to hatch some baby turkeys.  Why not?

A warm welcome and howdy-do to “Henry and the girls”.

 

 

Squirt – An Equally Naughty Pony

Squirt is another naughty miniature horse on the farm.  He isn’t even mine – technically he belongs to Laura next door.  (Not that that changes the situation,  but  I just wanted to clear that up from the start — because really ??– who in their right mind has three miniature horses?)

Squirt

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking….”but he’s so cute”.  Well guess what?  He’s lucky he is.

squirt in the yard

He is the only horse trained to do anything around here but you’ll rarely catch him.

mini paint pony

If you have a zoom lens, you can get some good pictures.

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If not, this is what he will look like. Short. And far away.

Pat Laura Itchy

Could be because he gets sick of hauling our butts up and down the driveway using his little cart.  He has been a “project animal”, so who knows, maybe this summer I will have the time to persuade him to cooperate.  Bahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

So how did we end up with this little guy?  Laura waited 20 years to go to the world’s largest draft horse auction in Waverly Iowa. (Where Disney World and such go to buy the beautiful, majestic teams you see at their parks.)  And THIS is what she came home with!!

PS:  We now believe the auction term “Amish-Broke” means “Hard to Catch”.

PPS: UPDATE! Just tried harnessing him yesterday. Read about it here!

PPPS: UPDATE! A video of him eating watermelon…