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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rosemary Uses

Wow! I didn't know rosemary had all these uses!


I have both fresh and dried rosemary at the markets! Come see me Thursdays 5-7:30pm at the Port in Burlington, Fridays from noon-5:30 at the Sinclair station in Nauvoo and Saturdays from 7am to 11am at the mall in Keokuk.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Back in Action

Garden building has been on hold for the last few weeks. I slipped while going down some steps and tried to take out a kidney. Messed my neck up pretty badly too. I'm moving slow, but starting to get some stuff done. Grampa Tom and Olivia helped a lot by bringing over a load of compost to finish off some gardens I had started earlier.

I planted several types of flowers around this tree.

Some sunflowers, Indian corn and cockscomb might hide this ugly thing.


Here's some of the packages I've planted in the past few days. After taking this picture, I thought about planting some radishes and beets. I also bought a couple of garden mums at the market last week. I put them in the ground, but don't have a picture.

Quite a while ago I planted this pan full of kohlrabi. It was so full of plants! I've planted about half in the ground. I keep trying to find places to put them, but since they seem happy to stay little in this pan, I'm taking my time, just planting a few at a time. Hopefully that will stretch out my harvest quite a bit.

Put pumpkins in these sunflowers. I plan to kill the grass out front as the pumpkins cover the ground.

Bought some more eggplant at the market Saturday. Put them and some cilantro seed in this little box garden. I'm thinking this might be a great place to stick some of that kohlrabi too!

I have ambitions to plant a little more lettuce and basil too. We'll see. I'm starting to hurt again. Don't want to overdo it!

It's my mom's birthday today. She reads my blog religiously. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Modified Straw Bale Garden

Been experimenting with straw bale gardening. The instructions I read on the internet said to use whole, twine tied bales, but I didn't want to use that much straw. I was basically thinking this would be a good start for a mound garden. Instead  of digging, I could just put batts of straw straw on the ground and then cover it with compost. Later, I'll heap it with more mulch.

I put Jerusalem Artichokes in between and on top of  the batts in this little patch and then covered it with compost.

Thought I'd built a border on the north side of my mound garden.

I bought some asparagus and rhubarb seed last fall at the small farm conference. I planted them here. They are starting to come up. We'll see how it works. Both these crops are usually propagated by digging and separating roots of established plants.

So far, it's been difficult to keep them watered well enough, and I've had some problems with the seed washing off the tops of the mounds and into the pathway (below), but at this point, I'm pretty satisfied. I think in a year or two, these beds will be just like my other ones. 

I had some lettuce and radishes planted in this one, but I didn't get it watered enough and most of the lettuce died. I have some pepper plants in it now and I planted some more radishes and some beets in it today.

It's a whole lot less work than digging a ditch and mounding the soil. I've started a couple of other experimental gardens, but that's enough for one post!

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Monday, May 28, 2012

Farming With a 5 Year Old

My daughter's husband was transferred from England to Scott AFB at the end of April. They found a house, but have to wait till later in June to move in, so Justin took a month of leave and they have been staying on the farm.

Miss Oliva, the 5 year old, has become Grampa Tom's shadow. Every morning it is, "Grampa, you have to get dressed so we can do farm work!" She's a little slave driver! Grampa keeps saying he's not sure if he'll be glad for the break when she leaves or if he'll miss the help.

Today, she helped him bring a load of composted manure to my old farmer's house. She told us all about how boys like poop and girls don't like poop while using a shovel to put the compost on the plants. She was a little grossed out about the fact that plants eat poop, but she got over it quickly. Soon she was talking to each flower as she put compost around it, "Here you go little flower. Here's some food." She is so smart! She figured out all by herself that if the compost had a big chunk that the chunk ought to be broken into smaller pieces, so she made that job her personal mission. 

By the time she got done, she was covered in compost. Grampa washed her down at the hydrant and took her home to get chicken eggs. She keeps him hopping!

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Friday, May 25, 2012

Herb Dryer

Check out my new herb dryer! For several years, I've been using my food dehydrators to dry my herbs, but last year Grampa Tom got this nice new shed. It's warm but well ventilated. Last week, Grampa put a couple of lines for me to hang my herbs on. Isn't it beautiful? 

Does a great job too! I've got several bags of dried herbs available. I was using baby food jars to pack my herbs in, but I've decided to use plastic bags. The herbs stay more intact this way and there's less weight and breakage.

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Field Trip

Last week my daughter invited an online friend who homeschools to our farm for a field trip. We love to show people around!

So for a while Wednesday we were not only blessed with 3 of our own grandchildren on the farm, but Jennifer's 4 as well. They all had a great time playing together and exploring.

They loved the chickens, but the cows were the big hit.

The game of the day was to pet the cows without getting licked. 

It's not an easy thing to do!

Owen was so funny! He really wanted to catch a chicken, but they would startle him so much he couldn't!

And of course, there's this year's crop of barn kittens. Olivia has been working really hard at taming them down for us. Maybe this year we will be able to catch them when they are old enough and find new homes for some of them! Last year, we could only catch 3, and they weren't real happy about that ...

Anyone want a kitten?

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Friday, May 18, 2012

Market Locations and Time

The markets are going! We are at:

The Port in Burlington

Nauvoo Sinclair Station
Noon - 5:30pm

The Keokuk Mall
7am - 11am

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Market News

Don't look to bad do I? Yesterday I had WAY to much fun in the sun. I didn't bring the tent because  it was rainy and very windy when I left. Then it turned off sunny and hot. I should have had Grampa Tom bring in the canopy. Fortunately I was selling my extra aloe, so I was snapping off a leaf every now and then and rubbing it on my face neck and arms. Last night, I was feeling so crispy that I wasn't sure if I'd be able to have Julie Marie massage my neck and arms today, but I did one more aloe rub before I went to bed and this morning, my skin is touchable!

BTW, Julie Marie is the massage therapist in Nauvoo. When I first started going to her a little over a year ago, I was having problems holding on to a pencil. She has helped me so much! If you want an appointment call her at 319-572-7767.

I had a great time yesterday reconnecting with all our wonderful Nauvoo customers! I had planned to go home at 4, but I was having so much fun, I stayed till 5:30. 

Thursday, we went to Burlington and had our best opening night ever! So many wonderful interesting people, including this lady:

I love doing farmers' markets! We have lots of lettuce, kale, chard, radishes, onions, peppermint, thyme, fennel, lambs quarters, parsley and Italian parsley, sage, rosemary, oregano and aloe. We will be at the Port in Burlington next Thursday from 5pm - 7:30pm and in Nauvoo at the Sinclair Station from 10am to at least 4pm on Friday. The Keokuk market doesn't start until the 19th. 

See you there!

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Farming in the Rain

Grandpa Tom and my conventional row garden neighbors are all complaining about how this rain is keeping them out of their gardens and the weeds are taking over.

Meanwhile, in my mound garden the last couple of days I've ...
... weeded almost everything
... established and planted my asparagus/rhubarb bed
... planted spinach, lettuce, radishes, sunflowers, cucumbers, pinto beans, basil and cockscomb
... dug fresh potatoes left over from last years crop

And people shake their heads and wonder why anyone would plant such a crazy garden : D