Posts Tagged ‘just for fun’

Happy Winter Solstice


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My sister and her family visited us over the 4th of July weekend!

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Cute PiggyThe pigs are here! I’ve posted some videos below, so you can “meet” them, too.

Unfortunately I was not able to set up a pig pen before my parents arrived with the pigs, because the ground is so soggy. The place where the pen will be is dry enough, but getting to it with the tractor is a little tricky. Anyway, the pigs are doing just fine in the trailer for now, which we parked at the end of the driveway where it’s protected from the wind. My dad set up a more enclosed area in the front of the trailer and hooked up a couple of heat bulbs for their nighttime comfort, since it’s been near 32 degrees the last few nights. Their food and water is in the rear of the trailer, and my dad cut an opening in the plywood that divides the two areas so the pigs can go through.

The piggies are a little smaller than we usually have them at this point — I think they’re in the 25 pound range — but that’s fine with me as they’re very cute at this stage!

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The Night Has Ears

NiteRaccoonNiteBunnyWe moved the trail cam at the farm because it took 200 photos of me walking back and forth, but before that it captured a raccoon . . . rabbit . . . and skunk? (The blur on the very left side of the last photo.) It’s kind of fun to see who’s out and about at night.


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DorkyHatCompetitionElden and I (and his mom) just spent a week in Anchorage, Alaska, visiting Elden’s brother and family. One of the highlights was on Saturday, when we walked over to a cross-country ski trail to watch some of the Iditarod teams go by. The dogs seemed very happy to be running, and the weather there was awesome compared to what it’s been like in Duluth. (Who knew, right?) For the record, we saw a moose in the distance while driving one day, but our only up-close sighting was of moose droppings. Not exactly a highlight, but you don’t see moose poo every day, either.

mtnsIt was nice to see a pile of CSA sign-ups in the mail when we got home. We still have plenty of Stone’s Throw Farm CSA shares for sale, though, so if you’re looking to sign up, please do so. I’ll post an update here as soon as we’re sold out, I promise.

If you’re a past farm member looking to renew, our early-bird deadline is March 14, so you’ve still got time. You can even renew after that, but I won’t be holding a spot for you after the 14th. It’s not exactly a race, but you don’t want to miss out, either!



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As I’m starting to gear up for CSA renewals next month, I thought I’d remind myself how appreciative our Stone’s Throw Farm members can be and share a few super-sweet comments from our 2013 end-of-season survey with you:

I thought you all did a wonderful job–thank you. It was more exciting and wonderful than I imagined!”

We’re planning on [buying a CSA share again] next year. We tell all of our friends and it has changed the way we think about food.”

The [snap] peas were FANTASTIC. Each pod was absolutely perfect and incredibly delicious.”

I joined this year after being with a different CSA last year. I was really impressed by the variety and amount of produce . . . I especially love kale, and the variety of beans, and peppers. I was also so impressed by how clean things are. A very user-friendly experience all around.”

We will never tire of the spicy salad mix. It’s what I look forward to the most every season!”

The newsletter helps me keep a pulse on the natural ebb and flow of farming as it relates to weather, precipitation, insects, etc. I enjoy fresh produce for many reasons and being aware of how Mother Nature affects farming is important to me.”

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the spinach! I’ve always been a spinach fan but the quality of your farm fresh spinach is so superior to the store-bought stuff, that there’s hardly any comparison!”

We enjoyed the share this year, especially your newsletters each week. They were very informative and provided great information about the veggies. It helped us identify the veggies we have never seen or used before. We tried several new items this year, thanks to you, and we loved them.”

The pork was amazing. The pigs were very happy and friendly and my 2-year-old loved them.”

We have been thoroughly pleased with our share this summer! I bragged and talked about it through the whole season. It felt like Christmas every week. I’m already looking forward to next season!”

Me too, anonymous farm member–thanks to your enthusiasm.

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"Order" by Emily Gray Koehler, www.studioegk.com

“Order” (c) Emily Gray Koehler, http://www.studioegk.com

“Too Little Too Late” (c) Emily Gray Koehler, http://www.studioegk.com

Elden is my favorite artist, but Emily Gray Koehler is my new 2nd favorite. I found her work at the Park Point Art Fair last weekend and wanted to take the whole booth home. I love both her subjects (mostly the natural world) and the media she uses (woodcuts and collagraphs). She states, “… I hope to convey not only my sense of our place in the environment but also a desire to understand and protect the natural world.” I believe she’s successful, and thought you might enjoy her work as well. Check out her portfolio and shop at www.studioegk.com.

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Fans of our piggies have probably been disappointed in the lack of videos this season — sorry about that! Rest assured they’ve been going about their business as usual. My parents opened up some new pasture for them on Monday, and the pigs seemed thrilled. The first video shows them bounding over from the old side (muddy) to the new grass. If they’re up and about, they usually come running when they see me and I’ve learned from experience that they can knock a person over in their excitement, especially when they get bigger. It’s kind of like someone throwing a 100-pound sack of grain (or two, later on) at your shins. We have a couple of wire and steel gates on the east end of the pen, and it’s a much safer bet to lean over those gates to scratch their backs.

The second video is a closer look at their piggy faces. These are purebred Berkshires, and my dad could tell you all about their genetics and meat quality (excellent!), but on a less technical note, I think the Berks’ shorter snouts are much cuter than long pig snouts.

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My grandpa, Bruce Dominick, was an avid gardener. My grandparents moved to my hometown when I was a little kid, and my grandpa would drive out to our cattle & hog farm nearly every day to help out. As I recall, he kind of took over the vegetable garden plot, which no one minded at all. Grandpa Bruce’s family farm near Pierz, Minnesota, was a dairy farm, but they also raised raspberries, and my mom says that my Grandpa would drive to Minneapolis at 4 am to sell the berries.  I remember that whenever we had a bumper crop of some vegetable or berry in the garden, he would talk proudly about how we really should sell some of our bounty in town. He was an excellent salesman, so I wish he was around to sell my wares today.

This Memorial Day, while Elden sided our walk-in cooler shed at the farm, my parents and I were finally able to plant our potatoes. I know we were all thinking of Grandpa Bruce for several reasons. He was so proud of his part in organizing the flag display in my hometown, and the last photo we have of him was with my grandma Trudy and the flags on Memorial Day, 1989. He died a few days later, leaving us with not only our memories, but also 480 hills of potatoes he had planted in our family garden that spring. We planted 5 or 6 times as many seed potatoes on Monday, but that was for 55 CSA shares! I know Grandpa would have been excited if he was with us, even if it wasn’t as ambitious a planting as he would have undertaken.

When I asked Elden to take some photos of the potato planting on Monday, he responded that you should never take marketing photos on cloudy days, but who has time on a farm on a sunny day during a wet spring?! Most of these snapshots I took with my cell phone, so you can blame me for the poor quality. Our seasonal creek is running and bubbling in the woods, or at least it was the day I took a stroll to check it. The first snap peas are up in the field, and in the greenhouse, a volunteer pea plant sprouted in the soil this spring. I potted it up, just for fun, and found it trying to climb a neighboring tomato plant the other day. I’ll have to find it a better home somewhere; now that I’ve encouraged it, I feel responsible to keep it going.

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