Monday, February 3, 2014

Surviving a Minnesota Winter...

Happy February!!

For most of the world, this month is filled with red hearts, sweet candies and appealing commercials for Valentine's Day. But this year at the Bar Five homestead, February looms in our mind as just another busy, cold winter month going into 2014.

Already, some parts of MN have received an annual amount of 10 inches in 2014! But with record snowfall hitting the Mid-West, nothing can stop the Bar Five family from doing what they love. 

Below is a hardy, mother goose...taking shelter in the hallow part of a hay bale. Talk about free range in winter! Dedicated to her babies, she sits on her nest of 6 eggs that will be hatching in late February. No matter how much snow mother nature pours down on us, this mother stays with her babies through cold, wind and lots of snow! We created a walking path for her to easily access fresh water and food. 

So how does a farmer in MN make it through the winter... or their animals make it? From the littlest animal to the larger animals, we take many precautions when feeding, bedding and watering in the cold temperatures. These baby ducklings are only 1 week old... we offer them warm water three times a day to keep them warm from the inside out! Around their heat-lamp we also put straw and hay bales, this is to ensure the heat stays close to the ducklings and blocks any drafts. From the happy expressions on their faces, I think the ducklings are pretty comfy! 

Sometimes new born babies need a little help with all the snow and cold temperatures. Jake, the youngest member of the Bar Five Family, found this little shivering lamb in the hay.
We made a warm bed under a heat lamp in our home, where he was bottle fed and dried off for the first couple days to become stronger before we placed him back with his mother. What a great new addition to our family!

We hope you've enjoyed our blog on keeping the family and farm going in the cold winter. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and check us out at the Winter Farmers Market.

Location                                                            Days                                                             Time
Minneapolis (HWY 55 & Lyndale Ave N. )  Every other Saturday starting Feb 1       9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
St. Paul          (Downtown 5th and Wall St.)   EVERY SATURDAY!!!                      9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For any questions or ordering please call, 507-964-5612.

Thank you!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Small Business... Why Support Local?

After the recent 2009/2010 "Big Business Scandal", many individuals and communities are pushing for everyone to "buy local", "support small businesses" and "be local".

But why? Here are today's top 10 reasons to! 

  1. Buy Local  = Support yourself: Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms -- continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community.
  2. Support community groups: Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.
  3. Keep our community unique: Where we shop, where we eat and have fun -- all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place. Our tourism businesses also benefit.  “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust
  4. Reduce environmental impactLocally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
  5. Create more good jobs: Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our community, provide the most jobs to residents.
  6. Get better serviceLocal businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers. 
  7. Invest in communityLocal businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
  8. Put your taxes to good useLocal businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
  9. Buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy: A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.  A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
  10. Encourage local prosperity: A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.


How does buying local help small businesses? 

1. Cheaper is not always better.2. Cheaper is not always cheaper.3. Mom and Pop, "Family Owned" shops care about you – yes, you.4. It’s an economically, morally smart move.5. They give your city character.6. Community Well-Being7. Local Decision Making8. Keeps Jobs and Wages within the Community9. Fuels Entrepreneurship and More Unique Small Business Opportunities10. Invites New Product Diversity