First of many frosts | Views from Instagram

Front porch surprise | Views from Instagram

Special visit from College Possible on Give to the Max Day 🙂

you’re in the right place!

I’ve moved! Not houses (heavens, no). But if you’ve been following me at littlefarmhouseinthebigcity.blogspot.com, this is the new place to be. The blog is undergoing a bit of a facelift as I make the transition, but I’ll continue updates about the farmhouse, share recipes I’m trying and tips I’m learning about home ownership.

If you follow me via RSS, the subscription should have switched over automatically. If you’re seeing the “I’m moving” post instead of this one, though, drop me a note and we’ll see if we can get it sorted out (or try http://feeds.feedburner.com/lfitbc or http://www.littlefarmhouseinthebigcity.com/feed/ in your favorite RSS reader). If you’re one of my email subscribers, stay tuned for a new email subscription option coming soon. Friends with WordPress blogs, time for us to get together and geek out.

winter is coming | Views from Instagram

last mow & mulch of the season

carrot soup and apple cornbread

I tried the most divine roasted carrot + coconut soup at a dinner party last month, and was inspired to try recreating it when I saw a beautiful bunch of carrots at the farmer’s market. Read more…

these apples, those apples, all the apples

This is called Apple Day at the Farmhouse.
It’s a real thing.
Read more…

recipe ghosts | Views from Instagram

Heaven is: opening an old issue of Bon Appetit, only to be greeted by a handwritten note from a dear friend

harvest at the farmhouse

It’s been both a great season in the garden and a meh season. From a late start planting to another drought, my grass and trees are struggling while my squirrels get the best tomatoes! But this summer’s growing experience did convince me it’s time to cut down a few trees in the back to allow more sunlight in the garden. And my lawn has looked great most of the summer thanks to the fancy new mower/mulcher! You win some you lose some.

Here are a few pics from this weekend’s casual harvest. I got a number of tomatoes and peppers a few weeks back, and a lot of the plants haven’t yielded anything (lemon cucumbers, broccoli, chard, brussels sprouts, beets).

nasturtium, oregano, rosemary, lemon verbena, sage, thyme and basil
a great showing for tomatoes and herbs by the back door
poor pathetic lemon cucumber plant (nothing like past years’ monsters)
healthy tomato plants but lackluster basil, beets and brussels sprouts
wimpy basil + weeds
patchy spots in the perennial bed — to be tackled next year
the part of the garden I habitually ignore (and notice that the window box greens didn’t make it, either)
struggling hydrangea tree and patchy grass!

VOLUNTEER | a poem

Not a poem by me, no, I do not write poetry. This was written for me by a dear friend (and a real poet). It is so meaningful to me at this particular point in my life. For many reasons. I just had to share it with you.
 
And when Kelin was visiting last week, we took a walk around the neighborhood and high-fived the plants. /love/
 
VOLUNTEER 
            for lgm
            by Kelin Loe
 
What I want out of a vine is a safe place for insects. 
What I want out of a leaf is a high five.
I saw an ant carrying the still body of a smaller ant across my counter. 
What I want out of a flower is a cutlass. 
My friend has a house in Tuscan. 
She gave me a cactus when I picked her up from the airport.
My friend has a house in Fort Lauderdale. 
She has a plant in her yard with leaves so big we sat beneath one.
My friend has a house in Minneapolis. 
We reached through the cabinet doors for wine glasses.
My friend has a house in Cleveland. 
We stretched out on the new carpet while her dog huffed around us.
Bugs die so much that they must be used to it. 
It is my house, and I am not used to it. 
I do not want my friends to move. 
When the plants get their magic right, I will sleep through the night.

Prairie Home Summer

The last two summers have been full of weddings and travel — California, Georgia, Texas, even Hawaii. All the trips made for some great vacations and reunions with friends.

But this, this is the summer of staying close to home. No far-off weddings, no big fancy vacations. Just a lot of camping, gardening and exploring the awesomeness that is summer in Minnesota. So I’ve declared it to be the Prairie Home Summer. Hey Garrison Keillor, if you’re reading this … thanks. I like your show a lot.

To start it off, we had an epic five-year reunion with my college graduating class at St. Olaf. The two-day extravaganza included karaoke at Froggy’s, just like the old days, as well as dinner in the Caf, a reunion with my fellow a cappella group founders from Agnes, a brilliant lecture from a beloved prof, and a slideshow of embarrassing photos that someone pulled from Facebook (a reminder of exactly what we haven’t taken down since we posted them 8 or 9 years ago…)

June looked like a road trip to Rice Lake, Wisconsin for a colleague’s wedding, with a fun cheese shop stop on the way back …

… another road trip to the same part of Wisconsin for a cabin weekend on Spooner Lake with college buddies …

… and a four-day camping and canoeing expedition in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA), one of the most remote and beautiful wilderness parks left in the country.

No biggie. Just one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the entire world.

Up next!

1. The obvious … as many farmers market trips and lake walks as possible.
2. At least one pizza farm visit (Stockholm or Northfield … choices this year, yo!)
3. Canning, jamming and pie-ing from the garden.
4. A visit to the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum in Walnut Grove, MN, where you can see the place where they made their sod house on the banks of Plum Creek (ever since I read about it a few weeks ago, I’ve been certifiably obsessed).
5. Significant landscaping and garden improvements (underway).
6. Reading in the hammock and the rocking chair, and not just a few times. A lot.
7. My first trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota, for a friend’s wedding.
8. Mini-golf at the Walker Sculpture Garden.
9. At least two golf outings and two waterskiing days.
10. Biking around the Chain of Lakes — Harriet, Calhoun and Isles (I’ve only biked two at a time, not all three at once).
11. Check out a few more local Mpls breweries and new restaurants.
12. Lots and lots of DQ Blizzards (have I mentioned there’s a DQ three blocks from my house?)
13. The Minnesota State Fair! There are 46 new foods this year … yes, really.
14. Camping in Detroit Lakes, MN (for a friend’s wedding … yes, really.)
15. My first trip to the Wisconsin Dells (for another friend’s birthday).
16. A family reunion out at Lake Minnetonka, including waterskiing, speedboating, dock-sitting, fishing and a dinner cruise from Al & Alma’s.
17. My first-ever concert at the famed First Avenue concert club in Mpls.

My parents are coming for a nice long visit this month, so they’ll be helping me check a few items off this list 🙂 And I’m taking about half of July off from work, which will be love-ly.

What’s on your summer to-do list? And who’s coming to MN to help me with mine?

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