Archive for the ‘Garden Life’ Category


Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year… the annual Seed Savers gathering at the Oliver H. Kelley Farm in Elk River.

Each year expert heirloom seed gardeners share their experiences and passion for maintaining the integrity of seeds from the 1800’s. It is a beautiful thing.

This year the Oliver H. Kelley Farm’s buildings are under construction so we met in the portable trailer that has been on the site since last summer. It appeared to me that twice as many of people showed for this years event compared to last year. This put a huge smile on my face because that means that more people are thinking about what they are eating in terms of fruits and vegetables. (I personally, cringe at the sight of GMO,Genetically Modified Organism, foods. )

That is why I love the Kelley Farm.  They help people understand the importance of saving our history through seeds and crops.  They want us to be able to enjoy the same vegetables as Oliver H. Kelley did when he was farming.

Here are some of the seeds that I received yesterday:

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This was one of the many tables that was set up for people to share their heirloom seed knowledge and to share seeds.

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While the grown ups learned more about heirloom seeds, the children were invited to make seed art.  Here is one art piece by G.

March 13, 2016

We were also told about the new buildings that are being erected at the farm.  This building was designed to be available year round for meetings and workshops.  I was given the impression that this will be were the 2017 Seed Savers gathering will be held.

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This is the main visitor center.  Visitors will be able to partake in culinary classes, workshops and other hands on activities inside this building.

March 13, 2016-4 Another view of the main visitor center.  I love how there is a porch that overlooks the Kelley farm house and the Mississippi River.March 13, 2016-6

After I took the above photo, I turned around and saw one of my favorite sights… kids running down the dusty dirt path towards the Kelley house.

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As always, the annual Seed Savers gathering made me extremely excited to get outside and for the garden season.  I cannot wait for spring!


Every year in September we get together with some of our super close friends and head to our favorite apple orchard.

We use to go to orchards that offered rides, jungle gyms, petting zoo and hayrides; but Jon wanted something more low key one year so we decided to try a place that was “just” an orchard. After our first visit to JQ Fruit Farm we were hooked. The owner is so kind and easy going. She welcomes our high energy kids with eagerness. This past summer she told me that many farms in the area are starting to request that kids stay home because they damage the plants sometimes. She disagrees with this idea. She feels that it is important to let kids learn where fruit comes from and that it is important to encourage families spending time together. I couldn’t agree more with her.

Another reason why we love this fruit farm is because they try hard to avoid spraying herbicides and pesticides on their plants. When they do have to spray, they go the extra mile to make sure that they spray with organic chemicals only. I love her integrity.

The orchard has a wide variety of apples. Of course they have the Minnesota favorite, Honey Crisp. They also have Snow Sweet, Beacon, Haralsons, Sweet Sixteens, Connel Reds, Honey Golds, and a few other varieties. I personally really like the Sweet Sixteens to munch on and the Haralson’s to make pies with. Mmmm Mmmmm Mmmmm

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September 20, 2015


Never in my wildest dreams did I think that Jon would let me slowly change our perfectly manicured yard into an suburban farm.  I remember him becoming saddened when I let someone drive a car on the grass to deliver firewood back in the day.  Now he is letting our chickens roam around the yard fertilizing it.  It is pretty cool watching him adapt to our families’ needs and interests.  He has become a supporter and encourager through this transformation.

I looked for over an hour on my computer for a picture of our old pool.  I know that I have them, but I cannot find one.  Sounds crazy right, but I have probably close to 100,000 pictures saved on my server because my night job is a photographer (my day job is Mom).  Someday I will run across a photo and share it with all of you.  Until then, here are some real pictures of my yard.  You will notice that I really need to weed the garden.

August 04, 2015

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 Here is a closer look at the coop that Jon and his good friend Aaron built for our hens.

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