Miss Effie's Country Flowers and Garden Stuff

  (Donahue, Iowa)
Well-behaved women seldom make history
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Another rainy day..............

Lots of fun news.  We have the majority of the annuals planted and they are currently happily growing in the garden.  Unfortunately, the zinnias, strawflowers, statice and ageratum arrived on Wednesday .... in the rain.  We had a great day yesterday but it didn't dry out enough to plant.  And today ..... we are getting a good soaking!!

We have 25 new chicks, 5 new ducklings and 3 new kittens.  The kittens are so new ..... we don't even have names for them!  But all the ducklings were named after Dr. Suess characters...........So remember these names.... Horton, Yertle, Lorax, Lermik and of course, Cindy Lou Who!

Cindy Lou Who will be a big hit .... she is a crested duck and will be adorable.

Flowers should be available by June 1st.  We will have limited number of flowers before that -- if you need a small bouquet -- drop me a note.

Yesterday, we taped a new commercial for the Freight House Farmers Market .... yes, that is me!  And no .... I will not be selling at the market.  We are still running the U-pick from home but you will see me doing classes at the market through out the summer.

Can't wait to see you all.  If you are on FaceBook, drop in Miss Effies fan page and become a fan ..... leave a review before May 31 and get 25% off your first bucket of flowers.

Miss Effie




Rainy days..................

Well -- it is spring at Miss Effie's and the porch is filled with flats of flowers, waiting to find a home in the garden.

 The gardens are currently filled with very fast growing grass and weeds.  Seriously now, how does the grass grow faster than we can get it pulled.  It is moments like these, that I think "Spray!!"  And I will come to my senses and will be back on my knees pulling the weeds!

The new chicks and ducklings come in less than 2 weeks and I can't wait.  I have no idea where I will put them! Cruella Deville and her silkie friends have taken up residence in the "new chick" area. 

Cruella is a black silkie.  Very cute but were hired to help eliminate Japanese beetles from my raspberries. I'm a bit concerned.  The silkies seem to be far more interested in layer mix than dandelion roots, lettuce greens, grape tomatoes. The older and larger girls look at them with distrust.  How can they ignore a grape tomato??

Makes me wonder about their interest in Japanese beetles.

 Oh well, its time to get back to the garden.  Hope to see you all soon.  We plan on opening approximately May 15th.  Watch here and on our website www.misseffiesflowers.com for more information.



Spring is coming.

Spring really seems to be coming to eastern Iowa.  We have cleaning the gardens at breakneck speed.  Of course, this year I delayed delivery of many of our plugs because we have had such late springs!  That will teach me!!

Lots of new things on the farm.  We recently hung 3 barn quilts on the wall of our barn, chicken coop and on a fence.  Another one will grace the potting shed prior to opening day!

The lilacs are pushing buds which is exciting and terrifying ..... all at the same time!  So we hope we don't have any more deep freezes.  And that is all too much a possibility.  The warm weather is a blessing ..........and a curse.

Our organic Japanese beetle control has arrived .......3 silky bantam chickens.  There will be more to come but these are 4 monthes old and adorable!!!  Hopefully, they will enjoy cruising the orchard, looking for those horrible beetles!

 And in other news ..... its a little story ... Miss Effie's will be listed in the May issue of Midwest Living Magazine as a U-pick cutting garden in the midwest.

So be sure to check that out at the news stand starting in May.

Miss Effie


I see signs..................

Spring seems to be making a subtle entrance into eastern Iowa.  She is creeping in... trying not to be noticed.  But we have seen robins in the yard, the tips of the daylilies are emerging a bright green and the geese are definitely flying northward.

So I have a bad case of spring fever!  I am anxiously waiting for the arrival of 6000 annuals.  I have a month before the Fed-Ex truck pulls into the lane with the tiny plugs.  And right now -- with the mud and still cool temperatures -- there is not much to do but wait.

We are looking forward to a fun-filled year.  We hope the fiber studio will be completed this year.  And I want a new look in the gazebo.  The corn-zebo continues to be a popular gathering spot and I encourage you to grab a lunch and enjoy its simple amenities.

Right now -- I'm painting barn quilts for several locations around the farm.  I want to learn how to quilt.  But I really don't need another obsession!! So hopefully, you will enjoy the quilts and I will enjoy creating them ..... without a sewing machine!!

We will be doing more classes this year.  Anyone game on learning how to make mozarella cheese??  This wonderfully fresh cheese can be made at home from grocery store products.  Send me an email if you would like to learn how.

Have a great day.......... we hope to see you soon.  Remember -- the farm is a great place for a bible study, woman's group, book club or date night with your favorite honey!!! 

 Miss Effie




Share the Love

"Share the Love Food Drive"

Davenport Freight House Farmers Market - (Davenport, Iowa)

Valentine's Day is no longer just for lovers! Join the Freight House Farmers' Market in our efforts to "Share the Love" by helping the Central Community Circle Food Pantry. Bring in grocery items, purchase from your favorite FHFM vendors and donate the purchase, or consider buying a Freight House Farmers' Market gift certificate and donating it. The gift certificates make an excellent alternative to fresh foods because the pantry can come in and shop for what they need when they need it! Nothing will go to waste! The certificates come in $10 increments and can be purchased at Full Circle Soap's booth. Cathy Lafrenz, Miss Effie's Flower Farm and our very special Buy Fresh, Buy Local connection will be on hand to help collect the donations and get them to where they are needed the most. Our generous vendors will be donating as well on this day to ensure their healthy fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses and the rest may warm someone's heart and provide sustenance during this long, harsh, winter season. Our newly formed, "Friends of Market," a consumer-based volunteer committee will be on hand as well to help your children design and create one of a kind Valentine's Day Cards. The cards can be taken home to share with friends or family, or even sent along with the food donations to brighten someone's day!
Date:Feb 14, 2009
Start Time:8:00 AM
End Time:1:00 PM
Organized by:Davenport Freight House Farmers Market
Web site:www.freighthousefarmersmarket.com
Address: 421 River Drive
Davenport, IA 52801


Hey!!! I'm on tv.........

Watch me on Monday Jan 12 on KWQC -- TV 6 at 4:30 during Paula Sands Live.  I will be promoting the Freight House Farmers Market's participation in the "Be a Tourist in your own Backyard" weekend.  (Wooo!  That was a mouthful!)

So to check out the event --- set your DVR's and I'll try to show you what is hip, in and new at the indoor farmers market this winter.  And why you should come see everyone.  (Including me...... even though, I don't vend there -- I'm there every Sat possible.) 

And stop in Sat Jan 17 at 10 am and watch me make Italian Potato soup.  Everything straight from the great vendors there.  Yea ..... as Kermit the Frog sort of said ............. Its easy to be green!


Wow! 2009 already??

Winter is moving right along.  In no time, the new orders will be arriving at my doorstep ..... begging to be planted.

Cliff and I continue to think of ways to change the farm and make your experience at Miss Effie's more enjoyable.  The lists are long ....... so many things we would like to do. So little time ........ so little money!!  We all know how that is!!

A couple of quick updates.........

Miss Effie will be at the Davenport Freight House Farmer's Market on Sat. Jan 17 for "Be a Tourist in your own Backyard".  I'll be doing a presentation on local foods and the environmental impact it has.  And to top it off -- a quick cooking demo -- Zuppa Toscano or Italian Potato Soup.  Everything in the soup except the cream will be available at the market.  So remember, our local farmers market is important in January, not just July!!!!

 And I will be a presenter at the University of Illinois Nursery School (Go Illini!!!!) on Feb 28 at the I-Wreless Center in Moline.  Another soup-er demostration (can ya tell I love soup??)  This time, I will teaching some great soups -- tomato, corn chowder and butternut squash soup.  If you make soup by getting your can opener out --- let me change that!!

Life is too short to eat soup from a can!!!

Hope to see you soon.  More up-dates later!

Miss Effie


Pizza - Pizza!!!

We will be hosting a Pizza-Pizza!! class on Sat. December 13.

Learn how to make pizza crust in the bread machine and from scratch.  add some gourmet pizza recipes to your meals.  And get a recipe for canning your own pizza sauce next summer.

Its a fun class with lots of yummy nibbles to try!

Class starts at 9:30 and costs $15. You need to bring a mixing bowl as you will be mixing your own crust and taking it home for use that evening or to pop it in the freezer.

To register -- drop me a line.

Hope to see you.

Miss Effie



Closed for the Season............

To all my dear customers........

 We are closed for the season but should be open again June 1st 2009.

Some exciting news has happened as the farm has now been certified by Animal Welfare Approved (www.animalwelfareapproved.org)  This organization certifies the humane treatment of farm animals.  So you know the eggs you buy are not only from "pretty chickens" but happy, contented hens.

 Eggs are slow this time of year.  I will happily put you on the list and email you when your name comes up!  Hopefully, the girls will be catching up soon!

 We do have lots of jams for sale.  The cherry-almond jam is one of my favorites but the apple pie jam is the most popular.  We just finished another batch of blueberry jam if you are interested.

I am conducting some cooking classes this winter.  It may be the time to catch up on your bread baking or pizza making skills.

Have a great winter and hope to see you in the spring.

Miss Effie


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