Ryder Family Farm- Southern Illinois | Talina
We to a big leap of faith, quit our jobs are moved to the the heart of the Shawnee National Forest to follow our dreams of self sufficiency and to make a go of living off the land… Can we help you feed your family?
Southern Illinois, farm, CSA, Goat Milk, Soap, Eggs, meat, local food
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Author:Talina

Garden murder and more…


As avid organic gardeners, our days are spent waging war on garden enemies. Typically it’s silly stuff like picking cabbage worms or squash beetles (or similar) off our plants and then feeding them to the chickens. The girls are my little gaarden warriors, they assist me in collecting bugs in a bucket…

Life transitions are underway and we enjoy the fruits of our labor.


I wanted to write about all the exciting stuff that is in the near future for us, things like wedding dresses, possible acreage and growing families… but today I really need to tell you this.

Adalyn went to be for the first time last night, without me. In all her almost 2 years of life mommy has put her to sleep by breastfeeding but circumstances have changed and she’s now much more eager to do big girl things like reading a big kid story with her big sister and daddy. So, when asked if she wanted to nurse, because she was already firmly planted in her sister’s bed with a bedtime story- she told me no and meant it.

Murphy’s Law and Such…

There is so much going on right now, some I can share… some I cannot.

You already know, our very belated wedding is nearing, fast. Remember how we posponed it while pregnant with Everly? When it comes to important life stuff…

 “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”.

Except, for us the “going wrong” isn’t really all that terrible, just inoppotune type stuff like infertility clearing up right after engagement.

Reuse and repurposing: Our goal- Throwing less into dumps

There are many ways to recycle, reuse and conserve from day to day. You just have to look at things differently. As I become more and more earth friendly I discover new ways to reporpose, reuse and recycle.
For me, a focus on repourposing and reuse has been what we’ve continued to expand on. Can you believe this family of 4 only fills a regular treash can with dump-bound trash about every 2-3 weeks?
We’ve dramatically reduced the about of stuff that is dump-bound by:
  1. Composting kitchen scraps or giving it to our rabbits & chickens.
  2. Hauling our own recycling to a recycling center once a month.
  3. Basing our buying choices partly on product packaging.
  4. Buying less throwaway stuff, spending less money.
  5. Reusing things like mad.

Since it’s earth day, I’d like to share some of what we’ve got going on here at home where reuse is concerned and I’d love for you to share what you having going too. The more ideas we compile the “greener” we’ll all be right?

Make Midwifery “legal” in Indiana

Indiana's Senate will be voting on HB 1135. This Bill will extend licensure to Certified Professional Midwives so that they can serve home birth families legally in the state of Indiana. If you LIVE IN INDIANA -- we are calling you to action and asking you to contact your Senator and ask them to support HB 1135. Don't know who your Senator is? No problem -- we provide you a search link to click on at the end of the video. We traveled to Tennessee to birth BOTH our girls with "legal" midwives that had the ability to accompany us to the hospital if transfer was necessary. You can read more about the legalities and choices left for Indiana families wanting home birth options here. Lets change the situation here in Indiana for home birth seeking families!...

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Long distance wedding planning & wedding hair styles to consider.

Contracts have been signed, we are having a wedding in 2013. It’s only 3 years belated but now we have two beautiful little girls to share the day with. Spur of the moment we decided to have a wedding with our tax return money, nothing more. Could it be done?

Apparently, our desired venue has NO events booked the month we want to wed and they offered a nice discount to us for booking last minute, so we are committing to make this wedding happen in just a few months!

Milestones and upcoming excitement in 2013

This week has been a milestone week for Everly & Adalyn. They are now playing together, like actually both enjoying the same thing… And they are cooperating. As opposed to parallel play or Adalyn simply undoing everything Everly is trying to do. This is a welcome development. Adalyn has also discovered the joys of trying on her sisters clothes. It was so cute when she came out of their bedroom with an arm load of stuff for me to help her put on.

Everly seems to be really warming to the idea of being a big sister lately. She leads Addie around all day on excursions and she loves to try assisting us in coaxing Addie to do various things (like eat or have a diaper change). We’ve even had a few instances where mom & dad fail to get Adalyn’s cooperation but she’ll do it for Everly. I feel the girls will be conspiring against us sooner rather than later. LOL. One afternoon I even had to intervene as Everly was coaxing Adalyn to wipe her after a poop. It was one for the baby book!

Everly flies solo for Montessori preschool today!

My baby girl went to school on her own for the first time today. *tear*
Addie and Mommy had to drop her off and come back home since Addie has a nasty tummy bug (aka purging from both directions) and a fever. Everly didn’t even seem to care… I am amazed, surprised and very proud of her.

I’ve normally been hanging out there at the home where her Montessori preschool classes take place. Everly was super insecure about starting school this winter and she cried a few times when she couldn’t stay with me as opposed to doing class upstairs with the other kids.The intention has been to gradually ease her in to doing things on her own. Especially in light of the lack of  childless time (aka dates) Nathan and I have had since becoming parents. We’ve left Everly in someone elses care three times total, in almost 4 years.

Auntie Anne’s is celebrating 25 years! #pretzelperfect

Auntie Anne’s is celebrating 25 years with a twist on the classic, introducing the new Honey Whole Grain pretzel.

This makes my mouth water, I’d love to scarf a few Auntie Anne’s pretzels right now! Unfortunately, my belly doesn’t share this sentiment now that we are gluten intollerant.

However, that is no reason why my gluten eating followers should miss out on a sweet offer for some free Auntie Anne’s pretzels in celebration of their birthday…

On sowing seeds, both for the garden and in our lives…

All winter we’ve been helping Everly to sow the seeds to her intellectual future by introducing her to Montessori style learning both at home and once a week for preschool. Adalyn has also been giving some of the activities a try.

I’d always been on the fence about sending my kids off for someone else to educate. I personally wasn’t a fan of the educational system I came up through and expect my girls to be intelligent but perhaps not all that interested in book learning. I suspect, based on how learning has progressed here at home, that a more hands on approach would be needed. The knee jerk response is to just homeschool… however, the Montessori method of learning is both intriguing and it seems to meet our needs.

Throat soothing tea: A natural cold and flu home remedy

We’ve had a case of respiratory sickness, since the week before thanksgiving. It all started when I went to observe a Montessori class in prep for enrolling Everly. The sick kids and germs were running rampant.

First Everly got sick, then Adalyn. Nathan got it next, then they passed it around a bit… I was the last to come down with it, just as everyone was getting better and just as Christmas was coming.

Dear children, Mommy and Daddy just want some sleep for Christmas.

We know it is very exciting to be a newly walking baby and that growing like 4 molars at once is a major bummer but you still must sleep. Especially with us all being sick with the plague!

Sleep is the perfect way to hide from those teeth pains and the unfortunate symptoms of sickness, Everly has it all figured out. She can sleep right through a plane crash I bet cause she certainly sleeps right through your wailing when you wake and your assertive demands to nurse when your dad comes to you in the middle of the night instead of me.

Holiday Stocking Stuffers Anyone? #pgstocking

Is your holiday shopping complete? I am happy to report that ours basically is, except for stocking stuffers (the bane of my existence!). We don’t do lots of sweets here so filling the stockings with candy isn’t the ole fallback. Instead we really have to get creative about things.

Like a typical mom, I toss lots of necessity items in the mix for the holidays. You know, socks, undies, clothing, new shoes for the baby and such… especially in the stockings! Do you?

Emergence in the life cycle of our foods, even with small children

We strive to buy grass fed, free range meats, some of you already know this and also strive for the same thing. We’ve been on the bandwaggon for about four years now, we started by committing to a beef, pork and chicken CSA – it was great. All humanely raised, naturally fed and local.

Since our CSA meat provider discontinued service we have been forced to discover the availability of other meat providers. Remarkably they are often quite affordable too! Admittedly, good, humane meat is a bit harder to find than simply visiting your local grocery store but it really isn’t impossible and is certainly worth the effort in our opinion.

Post turkey day reflections & a new holiday tradition: The Advent Basket

Thanksgiving day Adalyn took her first solo steps. Time is just flying by. Everly starts school this last week. Last week we also had our first snow flurries. We found a butterfly living in our office. I am betting it’s the offspring of one of the many bugs Everly has captured and brought inside.

I cut off a bunch of my own hair and im flabbergasted that Christmas is just a few short weeks away.

I’ve been working hard at planning and prepping for our new advent tradition… The advent basket.

Over 300 lbs of produce, first steps and sleeping at night…

As thanksgiving approaches much reflection and taking stock of things has been happening. The time has flown by with all the gardening, child rearing and the explosion of my client base. There hasn’t been much time for solitary thinking or blogging, until now.

We hauled in over 300lbs of garden fresh produce and about 8 dozen eggs since August for our own enjoyment and sustenance. That doesn’t even count the 3 large boxes and 1 wagon full of green & ripening tomatoes in the garage right now. Prior to August we weren’t keeping record of our harvests but there were pounds and pounds of berries among other things. It’s crazy to see just how much food you can eek out of a garden.