Northland Farming – Part 2

The sun was shining and the temps were in the 40’s today we went out to our friend’s house to work on the big garden.  In Northern Minnesota/Wisconsin there are lots of little and big critters that love to eat your garden, especially when you live out in the middle of the forest like our good friends do.  The guy’s project was to build a fence to keep the critters out and boy did they hit it out of the park. They had an idea of what they wanted to do and then they scavenged and built as they went along with what they had on hand.  Super resourceful!  My BFF and I are married to some really talented guys.

garden 8

We have two tilled plots.  A 16×16 and a 12×12.  They found a dog kennel and are using it as the fencing for the 12×12 plot.  For the 16X16 fence they are using boards from a deck that was torn down last fall.

They didn’t get completely done, but what they did get done was spectacular!  It just needs the last wall with the gate and some extra supports to finish it up.  My BFF and I are going to stain the wood and add some hanging plants that deer and other animals don’t like as an additional measure to keep them out of our garden.  Stay tuned for finished project pictures. As there is more snow expected tomorrow night, we have plenty of time to finish this project before we can plant.

I just love these pictures.  I am so impressed with how awesome they did.  I can’t wait to start growing our vegetables.  Now we just have to get the weather to cooperate.

garden 2

garden 6

Northland Farming – Part 1

As I sit here typing this it is 33 degrees.  The sky is alternating between showering us with rain, snow and these little ice pellets that hurt your face.  There is actually snow on the green grass!

snow picture 1

I shouldn’t be surprised.  It is only April 26th.  In Northern Wisconsin. But seriously, the day I was planning out this post it was 70 and sunny and beautiful.  My son spent the whole day outside playing with the neighborhood kids.  The dog laid on her dirt pile next to the house and sunned herself the whole day.  People were out taking walks, working in their yards soaking up the warm rays of sunshine.

I am digressing.   This post is called Northland Farming not the ramblings of a deranged vitamin D starved person who is really ready for summer.

When we lived in Iowa we had a huge garden.  We loved growing things and we loved the fresh veggies all summer long and the ones we froze and canned all winter long.  We also had chickens.  And eggs.  Farm fresh eggs.  There is nothing better than farm fresh eggs.  We’ve miss all of that so much, we decided who cares if we live in the city we can have a little Northland farm right here.  We checked out the regulations and made our plans.

Saturday we were up early and we headed out to Dan’s Feed Bin to get all of the needed chick necessities and the chicks.  The nice thing about chicks is they can live in a box in your home for at least 3-4 weeks.  Plenty of time for us to build a coup.  These are our 5 little ladies.  Henrietta, Pikachu, Bat Chick, Squirtle and Gengar.  Yes, we let Noah (9) name the chicks.  He’s a great chicken mama.

chicks6

We also started our herb garden.  Adam built me a planter for herbs years ago and we finally took all the shoes out of it and are using it for its actual intended purpose.  This planter is great because we can move it inside when it gets cold out and have herbs all winter long!

Peppers and tomatoes are on the list too.  We’ve started our seedlings and as soon as the weather starts to cooperate we’ll be getting these adorable babies in the ground!

plants1.jpg

We have plans for a raised garden or two.   Right out there.  Once the snow is gone.

snow picture 2

We also have plans for an expanded garden at our friends house, but that I’ll share and the chicken coup building process in another Northland Farming post.  Until then let’s hope spring returns and winter goes away for a for quite a while.

The Paleo Life…

I have started a new adventure, journey, lifestyle…whatever you want to call it.  Just don’t call it a diet.  To me diet means a temporary change you make to lose weight.  Though when I googled what it means none of the definitions said the word temporary, but that’s what the word diet means to me.

I started transitioning to a Paleo way of life about 3 months ago.  I say transitioning because I didn’t want to waste the food I had in the house.  So instead I ate it all and as I ate it I replaced it with Paleo approved food.  I’ve been completely compliant for 4 weeks! Yay!

Now my boys are still eating what is normal for them and I am the only one eating Paleo in my house. This can make it super hard, especially that first few weeks when your body is going through withdrawal from the sugar and grains.  Watching my son munch on Cheese Its and my husband enjoy a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup made me realize I needed to have some Paleo go to foods that would curb that cravings and help me not to grab the box of Cheese Its out of my son’s hands and run to the bathroom, lock the door and eat the whole box.
I don’t eat these products everyday – but in the emergency moments where I am craving something salty or sweet these are my go to’s.
plantain chips
Roasted Plantain Chips from Trader Joe’s
When I am craving salty, crunchy goodness I used to turn to potato chips or the fore mentioned Cheese Its, now I turn to these and they are amazing.  They totally knock out that craving for salt and crunch.  The only problem with them is that I could probably eat the whole bag.  I’m obviously working on my portion control issues too.
larabar
Lemon Larabar’s are my sweet go to.  They have other Paleo compliant flavors too like apple pie and pecan pie but I LOVE lemon. Lemons, lemon curd, lemon bars with that flaky crust, anything lemon. The sad fact is that most lemon stuff that I love has something in it that isn’t Paleo compliant so finding these Lemon Larabar’s was a huge win for me.  So now when my hubby is munching on a Reese Peanut Butter Cup and that super strong craving for something sweet hits I run and grab a Lemon Larabara.
Stay tuned for more on my Paleo life.  Next time: Why Paleo?

A is for Art

One of the joys of my northland life is getting to be friends with an amazing artist by the name of Nissa Wick!   She is a local up and coming artist here in the Duluth/Superior area and she is just oozing with talent. Her paintings of local sights are just breath taking! From the Northshore to Canal Park to Fitgers she captures my northland in all its beauty.

WALL NISSA LONG

Nissa has had two shows at Red Mug Coffee in Superior, WI and last night I had the privilege of helping set up her display for St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth,MN!  The display is located in the hallway between Building A and the main hospital.  Building A is located off of 2nd Street between 10th Ave E and 12th Ave E.  Here is a little visual aid to help you identify the building.

Building A

The display has a mix of canvas originals and prints of other original paintings she has done.   All the paintings and prints in the display are available for purchase.

Wall 1 no nissa

She also does custom painting.  She is currently working on one of the Pomeroy, IA (where we used to live) corn fields and windmills for us.  She also did this amazing piece from a picture I gave her of Brooklyn, NY. This girl is talented!

brooklyne

Come and check out her display at St. Luke’s if you can.  Her paintings are way more amazing in person than in my pictures.   If you live too far away to come see the display make sure to check her out on facebook.com/nissaellenart or at her webpage http://www.nissawickart.vistaprintdigital.com.  You can also email her at nissaellenwickart@gmail.com.