Monday, June 16, 2014

Breaking News - Farm Wife Moves Blog to Five Frugal

This blog has been moved to a new address:

To receive new posts to this blog from Missus, please subscribe by clicking this link to Five Frugal Acres Subscription

Once at that page, click on "Subscribe to this Feed" near the top of the page. Thank you!

If you are already subscribed to Escape to the Farm (bless your hearts) you will need to subscribe again to continue to receive post emails.

Future post categories include recipes, money saving tips, and more farm life stories.

See you there!

All the best to you,

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Getting Ready for the Farmers' Market

Farmers' Market, 2013
Like love and home renovation, getting ready for the farmers' market does not happen overnight.
We start in early March when we first start planting seeds in the greenhouse. Three months of watering,  transplanting, seeding and weeding give us our first crops ready for market.
But even when the vegetables are picked, washed and packed, we're not quite there yet.
We have to bring all the items necessary to set up a temporary stall at the market. Tent canopy, tables, tablecloths, cashbox, scale, and bags all go onto the truck as well.
It's sort of like camping, but without the s'mores.
Here are 6 tips for shopping at your local farmers' market, from the other side of the table:  
  1. Come up close to the tables and look everything over. There is no obligation on you to buy anything. (Even if we smile at you and say, "Hello".)
  2.  If you have questions, ask them. Part of the reason farmers go to markets is to share their enthusiasm for their product with customers.
  3. Go early for the best selection, and to avoid the disappointment of sold out stock.
  4. Bring your spending money in small denominations.
  5. Most vendors will have bags for your purchases, but you may find it easier to bring a large bag, backpack or wheeled cart to hold all your goodies.
  6. Please don't bring your dog, though I'm sure he or she is adorable. In many jurisdictions, government food safety rules prohibit animals in markets.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Birds' Nest

Killdeer Nest with Four Eggs

We noticed the bird, a killdeer, hovering around the corner of our driveway. She would make herself scarce every time we came by.

Since we work at home, “every time we came by” was quite often.

My daughter Kitten and I were biking together when we first noticed something was different. The killdeer raised her wings when we came near, but didn’t move until the last second.

The mama bird was laying four tiny speckled eggs in her nest in the rocks.

They’re difficult to see.  Nature is clever that way.

The expectant mother bird put on a show every time we wandered over.

She would leave the nest once we came within a few yards, and “pretend” to be injured by dragging one wing.

What an actress!  She was trying to lure us away from her eggs.

It’s a killdeer thing.

It didn’t sit right, though. That mama took off whenever we were near, leaving her nest exposed.

“She’s not much of a mother”, I muttered sanctimoniously one afternoon as she left the eggs on their own again.

But I came to reconsider that view.

By instinct she had one card to play, and she never ceased to pull it out.

It might not have been my way, but it was hers.

She was marching to the beat of her own drummer.

We all have a card to play. We have diverse points of view.

We are good at different things.

Our individual differences colour who we are, and as a group provides the texture and the light. 

Of course, things don’t always work out the way we might wish.

Things happen.
Empty Killdeer Nest
Coyotes happen.

Our job or relationship may not always turn out the way we want.

All we can do is try again next time.

A little wiser perhaps, a little scuffed around the edges, a few feathers missing.

I’m sure that mama bird will try again next spring.

Maybe she’ll hide her nest better next year. Maybe she won’t.

But she will try again.



Thursday, May 29, 2014

Save Money Tip – Complete the Survey on the Back of a Sales Receipt

My husband Big Guy and I were standing in a sales register line at a clothing store.  
Soon his one-minute-man-patience for standing in a lineup ran out, and he abandoned me for the solace of our truck and his Prairie Oyster CD.

He had declined to purchase a replacement pair of work shorts (though sorely needed) due to their price. I was waiting to pay for one sale-priced item for myself.

I noticed consternation and furrowed brows at both cash registers while I continued to wait.  

I couldn’t tell if they were doing returns, or trying to send up a rocket.

When it was finally my turn, I was just hoping to get out of there as quickly as possible.

At the close of the transaction, the cashier said to me, “blah, blah, $10 dollars off, blah, blah, back of receipt”.

I don’t know what else she said, but the “$10 off” part came through loud and clear.

Roger that.

At home the online survey regarding our visit took 7 minutes to complete. (If you don’t wear bifocals, it will likely take you less time.)

The four digit code from the company was in my email in a couple of days. The code was good for $10 off any subsequent purchase of $40 or more.

Big Guy now has new work shorts.

The sales receipt for the work shorts had the same offer on the back. It's a gift that keeps on giving.

Big Guy now has new work t-shirts.

And so on, and so on, and so on…

The fine print:

Note all the rules on the back of your receipt.

For example, the survey may have to be completed within so many days of your transaction, and there may be a limited time for you to return to the store to use the offer code.  There may be a minimum purchase amount requirement.

Keep your receipt for details like store number, date and time of visit.