You can find Grama Sue's Rainbow Eggs at:

The Hy Vee on Agency in Burlington, IA


Wednesday - Friday 9am to 1pm at the farm 1/2 mi east of the Nauvoo-Colusa Jr. High then 3/4 mile North on 1050.

Wednesday 3-7 pm at the Painted Corners on HWY 96 in Lomax, IL


7 - 11 am Keokuk Farmer's Market at the mall

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Wow! What a week!

We bought all these 3 week old chicks for 2/3 of the price we would have spent on day old chicks.

Then Grampa bought a hog for $100. We butchered it and ended up with 125 pounds of meat and a fantastic feast for the dogs and the chickens!

...Then, Grampa took some lambs to market yesterday. They wound up weighing a lot more than what he thought they would so he came home with a check that was about 50% more than he expected.

We went out for supper last night!

Now, if only we could get the garden planted. We are excited about the spinach that made it through the winter. At least we'll have something green to sell at the markets.

I also think I may have found a USDA plant that processes chickens this weekend. That means we'll be able to sell fryers and broilers at farmers markets and stores soon! We've had so many people request them, but we've been restricted to selling them from the farm only.

Oh, oh, oh! We are also buying 4 more adult geese from a neighbor.

I'm so excited! The last couple of years have been pretty rough, but slowly things have opened up for us and the prospects for this year look really good!

God Bless You All!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


This winter we have had the longest continuous freeze I can remember for quite a while! About a week ago our garden was covered with several inches of snow. It's quite a change, but some things are coming to life! Spring has sprung!

Late last fall, we planted some spinach. It didn't do much last fall, but it looks good now!

I peaked into the garden we kept under plastic last winter.

Swiss chard under plastic:

My garlic is starting to come up:

I checked out the bees. One of the two hives made it through the winter, but it seems pretty weak. I'll feed it and see if I can nurse it back. The other hive had a little honey left. I brought the frames in and have been working on draining them. It looks like I'll get about a quart. I don't have an extractor, but I cut the combs open and am draining them into a bucket.

After they drip for awhile, I separate the honey from the wax by straining through a colander.

I think I'm going to get about a quart from these 2 frames. It is taking quite a while. Hope the ants don't wake up and invade my house before I'm done!

We were blessed with 50 more adult hens! Farmer's markets are coming up. We were having problems keeping up with the demand at the stores so they are greatly needed.

The assessing is already done for the year. That's like a miracle! I have a little time, so, I am working on budgets and financing while waiting for things to dry up. Thank You LORD for computers! Grampa Tom hates them, but they make life so much easier. I've been able to learn so much, shop for supplies and do my own book work for the most part. Not only that, but I get to communicate with all of you! What a blessing!

God Bless You All! ~Grama Sue

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blessed Woman

Back in action! I've been lazing around doing boring stuff like assessing for the last couple of months ... no markets, but last weekend I had the opportunity to set up at the WIU Farm Expo! I had such a great time! Got to meet with so many great people. Many were excited to discover that free range eggs were available at Hy-Vee. Occasionally someone would recognize our egg carton. It is so satisfying to have someone be excited to meet the real "Grama Sue"! Makes me feel like a celebrity! Thank you!

We got our taxes done. When we started this, we did not expect to show a profit for at least 3-5 years. After all our deductions and everything, we wound up with a loss of only$55! Last year it was -$8,000 some. We will need to do some more investing this year in buildings, land and equipment, but it won't be long till we have to pay some taxes on the business. I'm looking forward to it :) It's not like we haven't paid any taxes. We did pay taxes on our off farm part-time jobs. And ... when you figure deductions we were able to take that we would have had to pay tax on if we had not been self-employed, we are doing OK!

Last year, eggs, baked goods and produce were our big income makers. We plan to continue to expand in these areas. I am working to develop a craft market and Grampa would like to create a pastured poultry meat market and start milking miniature cattle. We need more ground and a processing plant. We exploring ways to do this.

Last month, we talked with a small business advisor. Dan Voorhis gave us lots of good info. I would recommend this type of service to anyone in business. The WIU site is: http://www.wiusbdc.org/ It is a service of our local state university. If you aren't from around here, there's probably a similar program near you.

As I was headed for Macomb on Friday, I was marveling at how awesome my life is! Between assessing and the spring and fall work Grampa gets, we have enough to pay our basic expenses and whatever we make on the farm can be plowed right back into it. It is very rare that I have to get up to an alarm clock and for the most part, I love what I am doing! Not many people are able to live the way I do. I do not have a six figure income or a big bank account, but I am a blessed woman! Many people who have these things don't live as richly as I do!

God Bless You All! ~Grama Sue