Thursday, December 24, 2009



Larry, Sharon, Brad, Lizzie, Trum Brum, Becky, Ravis T, & KT

Monday, November 23, 2009


Phew, we've been busy- this is sort of a synopsis of whats been goin' on lately, on the Wiste farm (and of course there is so much more).

This is Roy Rogers-he happened on Saturday.

Do you like our new walk-in refrigerator/freezer?

Love, Mom and Becky

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Getting ready for Italy!!

I had quite the adventure Wednesday trying to get to the Honorary Italian Consulate in St. Paul to have my VISA application gone over. Long story short, I initially went to the wrong address and, after calling the Consulate himself directions (phone number thanks the Tim Blanski - you saved the day), proceeded to walk Becky-while-shopping-style (all of you have experienced this know how fast it truly is) for 2.1 miles. I arrived, late, as usual, got my application signed, and headed back to Grand Ave to explore the new cheese store, get another beer kit, and purchase some delectable truffles. After all the walking it was nice to relax on a bench while enjoying by pastrami and clothbound cheddar on ciabatta sandwich (the St. Paul Cheese Shpo is HIGHLY recommended). The funniest thing about my trip was when I was nearly to Montreal Ave. (and since I don't know this part of St. Paul well I had no idea that I was so near) I saw a road sign for a Rome Avenue. I thought, "I must be near, I just made it to Rome!" Lo and behold, Montreal was the next road. Prophetic perhaps?

I also bought my tickets. SO, I am officially going from Jan. 5 to July 8 - - a long, long time.

Becky, I thought you might enjoy these new found Italian words:
lavorare a maglia - to knit
un diritto, un rovescio - knit one, purl one

See you all at Giorno di Ringraziamento (Thanksgiving)!!!!
Love, Katie

Thursday, October 1, 2009


A few random thoughts...

Picture of my new bowling shoes- We've been bowling for about 5 weeks now, and I think I am progressively getting worse, instead of better. I had a 188 a few weeks ago, in one game, a long with some other pretty good scores (which got my handicap really low); but now I'm pushing to get over 130 again, and have gotten under 100 several times (and with my handicap, it sucks even worse).
My next game is dedicated to my Mummy. She supports me even though I swim crooked and belly-dive, I can't seem to be able to properly use breaks on roller blades or my bicycle, and through my short-lived careers in gymnastics (KT is much better) and wrestling, just to name a few examples of my non-graceful approach to most sports. Needless to say, 188 was pretty amazing, but we'll see how the rest of the "season" plays out (its about another 7 months, so one would think I'd be really really good by that time, or really really bad the way things are going).

We do seem to have a pretty good time, though, so I guess that's the point. We even have our own group of cheerleaders that yell supportive comments at us, as we walk out the door of the bar (Schneip's Bar is our sponsor, and that's where we meet every week).*The stars glow in the dark.

This is the little baby sweater I knit for our friends' baby; we got to meet her last week, and she was about the best and cutest baby I've ever met. She was very laid back and smiley.

And, I realized I hadn't posted Meow since she grew her one white whisker; she's very wise now. She's been a sweetheart since its so chilly- she gets so cuddly when she wants a little body heat.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

The BIGGEST Onion Competition

Well, today was the day.
Here were the entries...

It was a close one, but as you can tell, Steve won with an over 1 pound onion. Now Trav owes his dad a steak dinner (or supper wherever he chooses).

Congratulations :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Weekend on the farm...

These are from two weeks ago, and I just haven't had enough time to do everything I need/want to, let alone blogging regularly. These are kind of for KT, because we were missing her and thought she wouldn't want to miss the new baby. So, without further ado (and there have probably been 4 or 5 calves born since)...

These are just a few of Mummy's crazy tomato crop. I'm not even going to guesstimate what she's got going on in her soil, but her potatoes are so nuts I couldn't even describe them without a picture. Maybe she'll post more of her garden pics (her peppers are also awesome; and with our garden you'd think we'd have a ton, but I actually stole some of her peppers and tomatoes for another double batch of spaghetti sauce- that's why I'm still up right now, waiting for my steam canner to get done).


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's officially fall...

Be prepared to be impressed- Brad actually made the apple grinder and press (including the fancy, and actually very heavy, buckets). And he likes to put a motor on everything (yeah!).


The "Apple Inspectors", feeling a little overwhelmed by the apples that surround them-
Hey! Where's she going with that cup in her hand!?!
(nt. that's actually her old sippy cup, and she's still our little honey baby :)
Overview, before we officially started-
Brad and his famous apple press-
My absolute favorite picture-
Lots and lots of apples (and that wasn't even all of them!)-
The apple grinder at work-

Team work-
And that folks, is Apple Cider Part I...


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mt. Sterling

Check out the most recent post on the Cheese Underground blog (link locate down and to the right). Milk from the goats I just sold is going to this creamery! There are a couple of nice videos that I enjoyed watching that shows two parts of their Jack making process. See you guys soon when I come home this weekend to make apple cider!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A pear is a pear, appearantly...

This picture (though somewhat dark) pretty much sums up my weekend. But, I've finished all of my pears! I guess I still have a batch in the dehydrator, but the real work is done.

To be honest, I can't say my sealing rate, minus the stewed tomatoes, is one hundred percent. I forgot that I also did a small batch of beets, and the one pint I did (versus the rest, which were half-pints) did not seal. Travis was happy about it, though, and ate the whole jar in one sitting:) I think all of the pears sealed, so I'm on a roll now, anyways.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

August Harvesting...

I came home from work one day earlier this month, and Trav had picked me a mini supper. The watermelon had needed to come off, and it was a little green; but how sweet is that? (I figured I better put my hand in for reference, or else who would have known they were mini?)

Here is the product of what I am considering to be my first official "start to canning". I refuse to count the stewed tomatoes I did a week earlier, as that would throw off my current 100% sealing rate. One top popped off (which my mom, with years of canning experience, even thought was crazy). And I (know I shouldn't of, but tried to anyways) used old sealing lids. Oh well, live and learn, and probably don't eat. I then went out and bought new lids (side note: which are silver this year; weren't they gold last year? love the silver but they clash with the gold rings) and resealed. Hopefully they are okay to use, as I read about resealing being fine, but I will definitely use the "smell test" first. The one that popped off smelled horribly raunchy, which does make me worry a little; but I'll label them separately. Maybe I just won't use them. I guess I haven't decided yet- its just frustrating when you put all that work into them, and Trav picked me onions and carrots to go in, which I then had to peel and chop; but it is better safe then sorry, so they say. I guess its not like there's an onion shortage. *Picture above is spaghetti sauce.

And finally, terra masu from my Knit Wits party. We had a fabulous spread, thanks to KT. She went all out, and right down to the black berries that my dad picked, most everything was homemade/fresh from the garden. I regret not taking a picture of my table full of fresh vegetables with homemade dip served in half of a green bell pepper (and not typical dipping vegetables, we had zucchini and peppers too, with teeny tiny tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots). As well as tomatoes and cheese broiled on homemade french bread, and of course the terra masu. Beverages included Spring Grove pop and Honest Tea. KT was worried about an hour before the party that things weren't turning out, but she seriously out did herself from last year, which I did not think was even possible. I then stated, "No way you can do better than this next year." Its just not humanly possible. But, she reminded me she will be fresh back from Italy with all new tricks up her sleeves, so I guess we shall see...

Well, time to prep up a giant feast for Trav's lunch and get myself to work.
*We are now followers of The Lingens' new blog. Check out their tomatoes!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Beautiful Vegetables

First things first, though...

Trav's new ride-

I thought I would catch up on the pictures I have;
before we have produce coming out of our ears.

Kohlrabis and rutabagas from our soup making days-
Green, yellow, and purple beans-
Purple cabbage-
Can you tell what my favorite color is?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hey Good Lookin'

Here's what's cookin' tonight...

Italian Zucchini Casserole
3 medium zucchini, sliced (about 6 1/2 cups)
3 TBS. olive or vegetable oil, divided
1 medium onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained (I used fresh)
1 TBS. minced fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups dry instant stuffing mix
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

In large skillet, cook zucchini in 1 TBS. oil until tender, about 5-6 minutes; drain and set aside. In the same skillet, saute the onion and garlic in remaining oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic salt and pepper; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; gently stir in zucchini. Place in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Top with stuffing mix; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven for 10 minutes or until golden.

Apple Cole Slaw- recipe from

I think Meow is tuckered out from our new schedule. She hardly got up for breakfast this morning, and the whole time I was in the kitchen she was sleeping here on the bed (on the afghan Trav's grandma made :)


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Gardening, Victoriously

On July 18, 2009, Trav and I went down to Seed Savers Exchange near Decorah, IA during their annual SSE's Conference and Camp out. Reason being, Trav's sister (under her father's tutelage) gave Trav a hardcover copy of the wonderful Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch. Ms. Damrosch and her husband are both gardeners and authors (check them out at Four Season Farm), and were both speaking at the conference. We did not attend the conference, but Trav did get his book signed! After waiting in line for about 30 minutes, Trav said quietly to Ms. Damrosch, "It's nice to meet you," she signed the book, and that was it. Apparently Steve had a question for Trav to ask her, but neither of them could remember what it was.
After that, though, we checked out the farm, but because it was so busy we did not get see everywhere. We plan to go back at some point, maybe even for the conference next year as the food sounds REALLY good and is all local; as in everything is grown at the farm, or within a 50 mile radius of the farm.
There were example gardens for making salsa, herb gardens, tons of gardens! and an example Victory garden. I thought the sign was neat, especially after Time Magazine devoted a large amount of space towards Victory Gardens this spring, I think when Michelle Obama started one at the White House that apparently echoes Eleanor Roosevelt's from back in the day, and then there's our very own Victory Garden...
Anyways, the whole premise behind Seed Savers is saving and sharing heirloom seeds; they have the largest non-governmental seed bank in the US- now how cool is that?!? I could go on and on about specific seeds, i.e. how they finally found back a certain type of pure Swiss Chard seed in Australia that they had been looking for 10 years for (of course we purchased it along with sweet chocolate peppers, purple tomatoes, Italian broccoli, two kinds of cabbage, and Wenk's Yellow Hots Pepper). It was pretty inspiring for us, for obvious reasons (now I just have to catch up with the weeding again).
So, without further ado, (a small portion of) Seed Saver's Exchange-

Trav checking out the "example" gardens (By the way, a woman shrieked when she saw Trav's SDSU t-shirt, and was sorely disappointed that Trav has never actually been there. He told her he was just a proud brother, and agreed that his sister also thought the new jackrabbit image is just not as good as the vintage version)-
Myself, in the middle of the herb garden- which I bet would be neater earlier in the year before many of the herbs go to seed; but man! it smelled sooo good in there-

Our very own personal Victory Garden (look familiar?)...

Oh, and by the way, in case you haven't heard- We're famous now, too! You can check out our garden, which is now featured in a wonderfully written article, in the Springfield Advance-Press. (OK, they don't have an online paper to check out as they have a circulation of 1,685 according to the MN Newspaper Directory, and you'll have to ask us to see our copy; but Trav's sister wrote us a rave review, and it was pretty neat :).

Happy Gardening,