About The River

Friday, October 22, 2021

Marigolds for the Hens


Lolly, Holly, Molly, Dolly and Polly are all doing well. They have enjoyed summer evenings out in the Chicken Tractor. As winter approaches, we will winterize the chicken coop and our hens will be snug.


This season I have been drying marigolds. I plan to toss the petals into the coop for a touch of summer in the  middle of the winter.


I have two large coffee cans full of marigold petals. Each time I open the can, I will smell summer.

For more about marigolds and chickens click here. 


Advice From a Chicken

Hatch good ideas ♥ Cackle with your friends  ♥ Give your sweetie a peck ♥ Start from scratch ♥ Stick together ♥ Look after your brood ♥ Don't let life ruffle your feathers ♥

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

A Lovely October


We have enjoyed a beautiful October. As I write this post, we have yet to have a kill frost. The above  photo is the hanging basket our son Atticus gifted me for Mother's Day. It has done so well, it is still blooming!


The zinnias continue to bloom as well. The colors are just lovey! 



Adding pumpkins to the ever growing  flowering pots.


Adding corn and pumpkins to my red, white and blue summer display, to make it an autumn display.


The real show stoppers of my autumn display are the orange mums. Orange mums are my favorite.

The Best Things in Life Are Not Things

Monday, October 18, 2021

Decorating for Autumn Indoors


 This Sunday, October 24th we will host our Annual Pumpkin Carving Party. To get all ready, it is time to decorate for Autumn and Halloween.  My mom gifted me my Pumpkin Man many, many years ago. It is one of my very favorite decorations.


Pumpkins, ghosts and more.


This amber candle holder was a recent  .99 cents thrift find.


I collect nutcrackers. I created this display on top of our fireplace.


The wind kicked up today and I can feel the change in the air. The October winds are officially blowing Autumn in.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Potato Harvest


Hello Friends,

Do you remember my spring post about growing potatoes in pots? 

Click here to read Growing Potatoes in Pots 

We harvested our crop and I am happy to report it was successful.

We enjoyed Potato Soup for dinner last night. It brings a smile as you cook, knowing you grew what you are going to eat. We are very pleased with our growing potatoes in pots. We plan  to do it again next season.

The bottom of our bushel baskets did rot away. I think I can plant potatoes in the baskets again next year, but that may be it for for the bushel baskets, they are falling apart.

Our potatoes on our drying rack.

Did you try any new way of growing something? Please share how it did for you. I enjoy learning new ideas, tips and tricks from you all.



Wednesday, October 13, 2021

It is a High Five's for Farmer's Hodgepodge!


It is Wednesday and that means it is the Hodgepodge. It is a High Five's for Farmer's Hodgepodge. High Five's to all those farmer's who produce the food we enjoy at our table.

 On to the Hodgepodge.. Joyce asks the questions .. we answer the questions.

 Click here to join the fun!

From this Side of the Pond 

 1. What obligation do you believe you have to your country? 

I believe I should do my best each day to make our country a great place to live. How I do this is, to be a responsible citizen. Doing my best each day as a wife, mother, friend and kind stranger to others.

 2. October 12 is National Farmers Day? Do you know any farmers? What do they farm/grow/raise? Are there any farm stands where you live? Do you shop there? 

 Farming is in our blood. I was born and raised on a Wisconsin dairy farm. My sister and her husband work and live on a cranberry farm. I grow and sell fresh cut flowers.

The Flower Shack.. my farm stand.

Cranberry Harvest 2021 .. our son Sam in a sea of cranberries.

I do shop at other local farm stands. We enjoy knowing where our food comes from.. Know your farmer.. Know your food.. I am very passionate about farming and real food.

3. What's a skill you think everyone should have? Tell us why? 

I think everyone should be able to read and write. I witnessed the pain of someone who could not do both. I realized quickly not to take reading and writing for granted. 

 4. Favorite thing you've purchased this year? 

We had central air put in our home this spring. We use to have window box A/C units. Having central air  this summer was refreshing.

5. What's your favorite place to visit in the fall?  

Our local pumpkin farm and the Chippewa Valley apple farms.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Paul Harvey ~ So God Made a Farmer 


Monday, October 11, 2021

Cranberry Harvest 2021

 Wisconsin Cranberries

Hello Friends,

My sister and her husband work and enjoy living on a Wisconsin cranberry marsh. This season our son Sam helped with harvest. I am sharing a few photos from harvest and a video. I encourage you to watch and share the video, it is always a good thing to learn how our food is grown and harvested.



Copper River Cranberry Co. Merrill, WI  ~  A member of the Ocean Spray Cranberry Cooperative... Yes, Ocean Spray is a Farmer-Owned Co-Op, not one of the big beverage corporations. So when you're picking out that fruity beverage, help out a local farmer by buying Ocean Spray Brand! Copper River Cranberry Co. is a family-owned farm near Merrill, WI doing their best to provide you with the highest quality cranberry juice available. Thanks for watching!



Our son Sam, in a sea of Wisconsin cranberries.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Cameron Chronicle July 2021 Article

 Hi Friends,

Today I am sharing the article I wrote for the Cameron Chronicle, "The Little Paper With Personality."

This is the article for the July issue. We were in the middle of a drought, I shared tips and tricks for watering and dealing with unwanted visitors in the garden.


When Gardening is Not all Roses!

By Carla TePaske of Cameron, WI ~ The Little Garden That Could

A good rain in June sets all in tune. Well, we all know that is not how our month of June was for us living in the Cameron area. June has been hot and dry. Here are a few tips on watering your hanging baskets, containers and garden.

Hanging baskets can dry out quickly from the wind and sun. A daily soak is recommended for hanging baskets. Water until you see water drain from the bottom of your hanging basket. I keep gallon milk jugs around the garden filled with water, it is convenient if you see a plant stressed to give it a quick drink. Another trick I learned from my neighbor who had many hanging baskets around his home is the following. Purchase a kiddie pool, fill it with water, each evening place your hanging baskets in the pool. The roots will soak up the water during the night. The plant will be all hydrated and ready to go in the morning as you hang them up for the day.

Watering your container plants daily in dry windy conditions is recommend.

When watering the main garden using a sprinkler system, use a tuna can to measure water. One inch of water is a good amount when watering your garden, using a tuna can, you can see that yes, you are reaching the one inch amount.

Deer, Rabbits, Squirrel, Oh My!

Many of us deal with unwanted visitors to the garden. Here is a stinky recipe that will help keep those unwanted visitors away.

You will need:

A gallon jug

Spray bottle




Dish Detergent

Cooking Oil

Stinky Solution

1 cup of milk

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon Dish Detergent

1 Tablespoon Cooking Oil

Add everything (except dish soap) whip on high in blender. Let settle, add dish soap, pour into gallon jug. Fill remainder of the jug with water. Let the solution sit in the sun to get stinky.

After the solution has had time to get stinky, pour into your spray bottle, spray the boarder of your garden and plant area. Must reapply after each rain.

A garden is a thing of beauty and a job forever. Richard Bries

Friday, October 1, 2021

Roasted Tomato Sauce


The following recipe is from Frances Palmer. I did a book review of her book ~  Life in the Studio ~ Inspiration and Lessons on Creativity by Frances Palmer

I am going to share her Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe, it is wonderful!

Roasted Tomato Sauce

3 pounds of tomatoes

5 garlic cloves

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Mixed fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and basil

 Preheat oven to 400° F

Spread the tomatoes and garlic in a small roasting pan or shallow ovenproof dish.

Pour olive oil over them, then sprinkle with the salt and red pepper flakes.

Scatter the herbs over the top. Roast for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until the tomatoes begin to collapse and the tops are a nice blackened brown. Let the tomatoes cool until they are at room temperature.

Place food mill on top of large bowl. Scrape everything from the roasting pan into the mill. Puree the mixture. Pour into freezer containers.

 On a cold January pull out of the freezer to use in beef stew, pizza, pasta and soups.

And the taste of summer will be back warming you.


Monday, September 27, 2021

Joy List Monday


Joy List Monday

 ♥ a weekly ritual ♥

a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day


 ♥ amazing autumn weather

 ♥ still eating fresh tomato, green beans and eggplant from the garden

 ♥ new blue jeans

 ♥ pancakes with maple syrup

 ♥ walks along the river


Friday, September 24, 2021

Cameron Chronicle August 2021

 Hi Friends,

Today I am sharing the article I wrote for the Cameron Chronicle "The Little Paper With Personality." for the August issue.

Enjoy the Bounty

By Carla TePaske of Cameron, WI ~ The Little Garden That Could

August is here and it is time to enjoy the harvest.

Keep harvesting your vegetables to encourage production into autumn.

Dig up your potatoes once the vines have dried and the tops brown.

Plant autumn vegetables, lettuce, kale, radishes and spinach.

Weed! Continue to weed before weeds go to seed.

Continue to feed those hard working plants like zinnia, dahlia, squash, cucumber, zucchini and beans.

Did you know you can feed your plants with your own plants!

Using your own garden weeds and grass, you can make homemade fertilizer tea.

Making Fertilizer Tea

  1. Next time you are weeding the garden, throw chopped weeds into a bucket or trash can, chopping them up as you go.

  2. When the container is about half full, fill it with water. Rainwater is the best (also free!).

  3. Screen the top to keep mosquitoes out. You can use a piece of screening or row cover.

  4. Stir daily for 3 days to 2 weeks. Or, pour it from one bucket into another to mix things up and keep it aerated. 

  5. Strain off the liquid to use as a fertilizer or foliar spray. After you strain off the liquid, return the solids to your compost pile. It can be diluted or used full strength on established plants. Since plant leaves tend to absorb more nutrients more quickly than roots, foliar feeding is an efficient way to fertilize versus a soil drench.

And don’t forget to share your bounty with family, friends and neighbors.

Monday, September 20, 2021

What has The Little Garden That Could been up to?


Our local museum, Pioneer Village Museum had a garden tea with Inga Witscher. Inga Witscher is the host of Around the Farm Table on Wisconsin Public Television. The Little Garden That Could donated a bouquet for the event. All of the ladies who wore garden hats to the event would have their name put in to win the bouquet after the program.


Here are a few photos of the bouquet I created and donated to the museum.

 It was a lot of fun to create this bouquet for this special event.




Friday, September 17, 2021

Writing for the Cameron Chronicle

 Hello Friends,

One of the new adventures I have taken on is writing an article for our Village of Cameron newspaper, Cameron Chronicle.. "The Little Paper With Personality."

I started to write garden tips for the Cameron Chronicle in June.  

My first article.

Butterfly Garden Essentials and The Story of the Black Swallowtail

The month of July's article was all about, when gardening is not all roses. Our area was in the middle of a drought. I shared tips and tricks on watering and tackling unwanted visitors to the garden.

The month of August I shared about enjoying the bounty of the harvest.

The month of September I shared how to keep the garden going into autumn.


Late Summer in the Garden

By Carla TePaske of Cameron WI ~ The Little Garden That Could

Late summer is here. We can see the change in the daylight hours, cooler evenings and the hint of autumn color. Now is the time to start to collect seed pods. If you have never done this before start with something easy like poppy, marigold or zinnia. Collect the seed once the flower has began to fade at the close of the season. Be sure to dry the seed head, once dry, spit the seed head and harvest the seeds. Envelops work well to store your seeds. Be sure to remember to label your envelope.

Keep up with weeds. Although weeds will be growing more slowly than in spring, it is good to keep up with them for a good start into next spring.

Now is the time to look at your garden borders and note any gaps or congestion that you will want to rectify.

If you have not already, start a garden journal. I have been keeping a garden journal for years. It is so helpful to look back year to year at my notes of what worked, what did not work, what mistakes did I make and how did I learn from them. Write down your goals for the 2022 garden season. Do you have a new plant variety you want to grow? Change your borders? Design a new garden.

If you have not already, now is the time to order and purchase spring flowering bulbs. We will be discussing preparing the garden for bed and thinking spring in the next edition of the Cameron Chronicle. Until then enjoy all the beauty late summer has to offer.

I just submitted my article for the October issue. 

Putting the Garden to Bed


Planting for Spring 

 I will share my past and future articles here on the blog. If you have any ideas for me to write about for "The Little Paper With Personality." do share with me.


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Young at Heart and it is the Hodgepodge!


The above photo was taken of Marv and our son Sam last summer. Marv is 92 years old in that photo. His life long lesson was to keep moving and keep learning!

Now it is time to do the Hodgepodge..

Joyce asks the questions.

We answer the questions.

 Click here to join the fun!

From this Side of the Pond

1. How would you define 'old'? I would define 'old' well loved.

 At what age is someone old? I will have to say it depends on the person. Our friend Marv was 92.. but you would never have guessed that. He was passionate about life and doing his best everyday. If you are new to The River, Marv was a dear family friend, who passed away May 2021. He was a Korean War Hero.. his stories could make you question how he could be so positive in life.. but he decided early that life is .. 10% of what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

2. A place you've been that's old? Tell us something about your visit there. 

The Alamo.. it was very moving. We visited in 2012. At that time RESPECT for the Heroes who died was enforced by Texas Rangers. I was moved that how we were in the city of San Antonio, yet, when in The Alamo, I did not even realize city was all round me.





3. Something you miss about the 'good old days'? Thinking back to our visit to The Alamo, I miss respect. When were they anyway? I am not sure.. but I do know respect is something missing in our current times.

 4. In what way are you a 'chip off the old block'? Or if you'd rather, in what way is your child a 'chip off the old block'? 

I will go with our boys are 'chip off the old block' .. My husband and I both are patriotic. We know America is a true miracle. Our boys feel the same way.

5. Old fashioned, Old Testament, old timer, same old same old, old glory, good old boy, old wives tale...choose an 'old' phrase that relates to something in your life or the wider world currently and explain. 

Old Wives Tale.. currently we are hashing out what kind of winter it will be in Northwest Wisconsin. An abundance of crab apples..  the acorns are big and already dropping..

 6. Insert your own random thought here. 

This week I listened to an interview with Yeonmi Park. 

She has an amazing story! 

Yeonmi Park, a North Korean defector, suffered unimaginable horror on her journey to freedom. Desperate from starvation and oppression, she managed to escape to China, but had been sold. Several years later, she escaped through the Gobi Desert into Mongolia and then finally to freedom in South Korea.