Thistle Lane Spring Market

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Spring has sprung and none to soon, the much anticipated warm weather is exactly what us Manitobans need to feel rejuvenated after our long winter.

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That being said, we are planning an Amazing Spring Market for June 2, 2018. The Market will be held here at Thistle Lane from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. 
$2.00 admission includes a complimentary coffee.
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We’ve got a great list of local vendors for you this year including:
Country  Perogy Shop – Local business providing a Perogy lunch at our market, as well as selling bulk frozen perogies.
Thistle Lane Flowers- Vintage finds, along with succulents, fresh Bouquets.
Oma Quilt Shop- All things fabric, quilts, aprons, and more.
Handmade with Love- Creating decor and furniture sourcing used materials.
Old Church Bakery- A small batch bakery specializing in sourdough bread & pastries.
Dadirri Naturals- Handcrafted health & beauty products made by a certified aromatherapist.
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Sarah Makes Bracelets- Beaded & leather wrap bracelets.
MA Creations- Inspirational signage.
Joy Bubbles- Handmade bathtub treats.
Then and Now- Refurbishing old and tired furniture pieces.
Caffeinated Crafts- Creating crafts inspired by coffee epiphanies.
Annie Lynn Creations- Wood inspired home and garden decor.
White Daisy Designs- Simple, elegant and modern country inspiration using signage and recycled furniture.
Funk Leather Co.- Leather earrings & cuffs, wrapped metal words.
Oak & Thistle- Reusable beeswax food wraps earth friendly to replace Saran Wrap.
Boutique Sew Chique- Sewing accessories for makeup, curling wands, flat irons, cosmetic bags, etc.
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We hope to see you June 2nd.
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Spring Lambs at Thistle Lane

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Spring is very exciting around Thistle Lane, not only are the days warmer and lighter, and the seeds are well under way for the flower farm, but this time of year is filled with planning and prepping for the much awaited lambing season to begin.
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The 2018 year has us potentially lambing out 38 ewes with 22 of them being first timers. Part of the prepping is turning a portion of their outdoor shelter into about four lambing pens which is connected to a larger corral. This is like a waiting room for the birthing pens.
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We do separate the ewes according to how ready they appear to give birth, being herd animals they do not like to be singled out, so this does require a bit of patience.
Some sheep do lamb in with the rest of the ewes, however if that does happen we do move her and her lamb to a pen for about a day. We do this to ensure they bond and the feeding is going strong.
During the lambing period, my husband and myself tag team two hour checks, just to make sure we don’t miss anything. Through the night we will stretch that two hours depending on how many are in the waiting pen.
Do things ever go wrong? If you don’t check, it is almost a guarantee that something will! We often have to help pull a lamb or to make sure the ewe takes care of her lambs. Occasionally, the ewe will not allow the the little lambs to nurse, they will be searching and she won’t let them latch on.
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The timing of the newborn lambs to receive the first colostrum is crucial, it’s rich in antibodies and minerals and gives the lambs energy for survival, hence the need to make sure this happens.
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Farming with livestock has its challenges, but it’s also invigorating and rewarding. There is nothing quite as amazing as seeing a pasture full of ewes grazing, while their sweet little lambs are running and jumping.
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A Season of Love and Flowers

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As we start thinking about another wedding season, I’m reflecting back on 2017. My interest in the floral wedding industry came as no surprise with my daughter’s upcoming wedding this past October.
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With that in mind and my background in growing flowers, the stage was set for some creative floral designs. This last year it was a privilege to be involved with flowers for several weddings, as well as a beautiful photo shoot at Cielo’s Garden.
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The floral wedding trends are leaning towards romantic garden inspired bouquets. Brides are looking for lush, textured, and seasonally inspired flowers which are perfectly suited for a rustic Manitoba country wedding.
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It seems a natural fit to offer farm fresh flowers as well as a design services for any events including weddings, bridal showers, special events, dinner parties and more.
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We are looking forward to expanding our flower varieties in 2018, which in turn will provide endless possibilities and much creativity.
Book your 2018 event today, we’d love to design and create gorgeous locally grown arrangements for you. 

Photo Credits:

Photos by Lilli
Megan Steen Photography 
Arianna Tennyson photography 
Julia MacCharles Photography 
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Easy Christmas Recipes

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We’d like to share with you, our favourite and super easy Christmas recipes. Your family and friends will love them. Enjoy!
Magic Bars
Magic Bars
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups graham wafer crumbs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or peanuts, your preference
1 (14oz)  sweetened condensed milk

Combine butter into graham wafers, pat into 9 by 13 inch pan.
Sprinkle chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, and coconut over crust. Pour sweetened condensed milk over everything. Bake at 350, for 25min. Or until golden brown. Let cool completely, then cut into squares.

Peanut Butter Crackles
Peanut Butter Crackles
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. Vanilla
Granulated sugar
Chocolate candy stars

In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In large bowl beat butter and peanut butter until well blended. Beat in sugars until blended. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture until well mixed. Shape dough into I inch balls. Roll in sugar. Bake in ungreased cookie sheets, at 360 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and quickly press chocolate star firmly in the centre, cookie will crackle. Cool completely.

Christmas mimosa
Christmas Mimosas- These are so easy and SO good!
2 oz. cranberry juice
1 oz. orange juice
Sparkling white wine to fill the glass
In a Pitcher:
2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup orange juice
1 bottle sparkling white wine
From my family to yours Merry Christmas! Have a safe and happy holiday season.
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A Special Bridal Shower

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One of the very special moments during an engagement is the bridal shower. It’s a way of honouring the bride and lavishing her with gifts and encouragement.
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The scene was set, taking place in a Country Barn strung with vintage patio lights, paper lanterns and the festivities were about to begin.
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The guests had arrived, creating a feeling of excitement as we awaited the arrival of the bride. Her joy was contagious as we celebrated her, alongside family and friends.
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The generous gifts were varied from household items, to camping gear, as well as gardening tools. All of us attending feel an invested interest in her life as a married women, by being a part of this celebration.
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Simply stated, it is more than just gifts, it’s really about supporting the bride in her journey as a newly married woman, and sharing with her all the excitement of creating a new home with love and dreams of a happy future filled with contentment.
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We must never take for granted the role that we play as older married women in the lives of our daughters, sisters and younger women. It is vital that we encourage the next generation in their marriages.
Our Thistle Lane Tips for Throwing a Bridal Shower:
1. Make it about the bride
2. Pick a theme
3. Delegate tasks, don’t try to take it all on
4. Ice breakers for the guests…. activities or games
5. Honour the bride with words of encouragement
6. Personalize your shower, it’s all about the little details
7. Make it fun & relaxed; the bride and guest will appreciate it
Have fun and enjoy every moment!
If you want help throwing your own bridal shower or would like flowers or a venue, contact us. 
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Spring Market Success

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Hosting our first ever Thistle Lane Spring Market this June  left us feeing inspired and encouraged. Together, with a very dedicated committee we managed to provide our visitors with a market filled with 17 vendors for a local shopping experience.

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The country ambience of a farm house bed and breakfast and horse barn setting was the perfect place to display our merchandise. The day could not have been any nicer, the weather was fantastic, the food at the canteen was second to none, and the customers were greeted by the artisans and farmers themselves who were more than willing to show their gifts, talents and products.

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The market hosted just over 300 people throughout the course of the day, with that being said, we will be looking into hosting future markets.

We are excited to announce that plans are already set into motion for our first ever Christmas in the Country Market. We look forward to sharing details on this event soon.

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This brings us to the possibility of an even larger Spring Market in 2018!

Thank you so much for sharing in this day with us. If you missed it, you may get another chance to attend a Thistle Lane Market soon!

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Thistle Lane Spring Market

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Join us on June 3 for our ONE DAY ONLY Spring Market. Seventeen local artisan and business vendors will be showcasing their handmade goods and one of a kind merchandise. This is an opportunity to connect personally with the people who love what they do and most importantly gives us an opportunity to shop small and shop local this spring!

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Our amazing vendors include-

Retro Chique- Take a trip down memory lane by visiting us at the Spring Market. You will not be disappointed by our selection of retro and vintage one of a kind collectives. 

Daisy Thirteen- We aim to bring simple nature inspired designs to your home. Personalized gifts and accessories, designs to make you smile.

White Rustic Woodworks- Building things rustic including tables, benches, book shelves, doors, coffee tables. Rustic inspiration at its finest!

Handmade With Love- Repurposed furniture and handmade home decor, made from pallets as well as other recycled materials.

Grunthal Berries- We grow our strawberries and then make a beautiful heritage jam. The jam tastes as fresh as the summer and is a little runny, just like grandmas recipe.

Sage & Olivia- Unique, expressive, chic and always current. Uniquely handcrafted jewelry, designed with natural stones such as turquoise, jasper, agate, labradorite, coral and many more. Using vintage elements, chains, pearl, leather, and feathers the jewelry is ever evolving.

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Roosties Baby Muks- Re-purposed leather and fabric toddler footwear that is durable with barefoot like comfort.

Then & Now Designs by Wanda- Then & now designs is taking something old and used then transforming it into something new and refreshing. Furniture, frames, blackboards, are some of the items of our home decor line.

Artist Pivot- Arts and crafts, antiques and collectables. A variety of antiques in vintage and retro collectives. Flea markets dream with an assortment of new and gently used items.

Old Church Bakery- Artisans Bread, sourdough cultures and long fermentation give this handmade baked bread its tremendous flavour.

Oma’s Quilt Shop- This little country quilt shop offers fabric along with a variety of ready to sew quilt packages, hand made quilts, and much more. There will be something for everyone, no matter your style or sewing level, you will be inspired by the choice fabrics, and patterns.

Annilynn’s Custom Made- An assortment of home decor items with a modern rustic touch, lanterns, wooden signage, vintage inspired chalkboards and much more are a few items that are being offered.

The Home Workshop- Home, office and commercial design services including project management and furniture sales. Let us help you make your house a place you are proud to call home and a business a pure reflection of your brand and business goals. Connect with us at the Market to dream up how we can make your design dreams come to life.

MA’s Creations- Inspirational signage for home and office, variety of styles and sizes. These beautiful signs are sure to leave a statement, expressing your inner thoughts.

Thistle Lane Flowers- Field to Vase, locally grown flowers, bouquets will be sold weekly throughout the growing season, at various locations. The venue at the spring market allows me a chance to show what we offer, our bouquets, hand tied as well as quart jars will be available for purchase.

Boreal Tree Company- All things made from trees including birdhouses and wooden tapas boards.

Dadirri Naturals- All natural alternatives for health and beauty at your fingertips. Quality ingredients and hand-crafted products that are great for your body and your world.

Lehman’s Log Furniture- Showcasing and selling beautifully hand crafted stools, mirrors, coffee tables, dressers and more. All made from logs for a truly rustic look. 
Design Presentation

We looking forward to seeing you. Follow us and our vendors on social media for sneak peaks, directions and so much more!

Shop small and shop local with us this spring.

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Jumping Into Spring

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Flower farming is definitely moving forward at this time of year, with end of February being the start of the seeding schedule. In all actuality, the year starts much sooner than this, with time spent dreaming, planning, ordering, and reflecting on the past growing year, there is much to think about.

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December and January, we have the arrival of all the new seed catalogues, staying focused on what we want to grow and how much we can grow are often the difference between the dream and reality. Plus the long cold winter days are also the time to catch up on any reading related to flower farming.

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Starting all my seeds under lights in my basement is great for awhile. About mid March I start running out of lights and moving seedlings around the house. Thankfully some of my girls have moved out and I have extra bedrooms, to put the overflow. This is also the time I plant the dahlia tubers (the ones I saved from the fall before stored in a cold room for the winter) and of course we buy more to add to the stash. This cost is justified because I start them and take cuttings off the original tuber and if things go well you can double or triple your collection all from cuttings. Love it! Seedlings growing happily under lights, a few still have their seeds stuck on top.

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All flowers get bumped up to regular flower packs as soon as their true leaves set in, that’s when things start to get really full. We have a little rustic greenhouse that my husband built for me about twenty years ago, that’s where I move all the flowers into, as soon as I see the weather looks stable which is typically the beginning of April.

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The goal is for earliest planting possible, to bring you the best locally grown flower bouquets!

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For the Love of Hobby Farming

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This month we’ve decided to give you an inside look at our little hobby farm, the animals and how we manage the farm during our Manitoba winter months. Every farmer spends most of the summer preparing for the dreaded long winter, making sure you have enough hay, that the fencing is safe and secure and to ensure the run in the sheds are prepared for the wintery blast.

The last few winters, the weather has been particularly pleasant for the most part, with the exception of a few very cold days, during which time special care is provided for the animals with extra grain rations and bedding.

The morning feed for the sheep starts whenever the sun rises, sometimes I think their routine reflects our routine. They literally only exit their sleeping quarters at approximately 8:00 a.m. How perfect for us! They understand the value of morning coffee!

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They wait for us to open their fence, we do lock them up as we are surrounded by neighbourhood dogs, plus coyotes. Once we release them, they are off for their breakfast of mixed grains, lentils and chickpeas. Sheep by nature are followers and they love routine.

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Maverick our future guard dog is much to young to protect his herd, but he definitely thinks he is part of the group!

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The hay bale gets placed in a pen, we hand fork it to the edge, the sheep then eat the hay through the page wire, this system works great for keeping their feed clean and leaves very little waste. It is a win/win!

Sheep are creatures of habit, they love routine and in winter they always travel in single file. They are easily trained and are highly motivated by grain.

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Now for the animals that are near and dear to my heart, in the country during the winter we call them hay burners. Cody and Shadow are our quarter horses and their short sidekick Turbo the pony and Maria the miniature donkey.

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Farm Fresh Flowers

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Let’s start from the beginning, why flower farming? Well, two summers ago I started to cultivate an outdoor riding area which was to be my riding coral. Last summer, I worked my horses in this particular area but something was not quite right, the dirt was very nice. It had a lot of organic matter (old hog manure) which caused me to think, I should really be growing a garden in this location. We can always put the riding ring beside the garden, why not!

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Since vegetables did not pull at my heart strings, that left me with flowers! So the research began and ever since then, I have not looked back. I learnt as much as I could, plus with a little bit of seed knowledge from my young married years, I moved forward with this exciting new venture!

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I began most of the seeds in my basement under lights and by April, I moved all my seedlings into my old green house. Things were starting to look promising.
Early spring, we put up temporary fencing to keep the horses out of the garden and give definition to the space.

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Then, it was time to put the baby plants into the new garden. Planting a few thousand seedlings actually should be classified as a sport, because I felt every muscle in my body and found a few that I was unaware of. Next year the plan would be to train physically prior to this spring time event so that I’m better prepared physically and mentally!

Our Goals-

  • To provide fresh local flowers during the growing season for the Guesthouse, and Horse Barn Rentals
  • To sell locally grown flower bouquets
  • Entertain the possibility of offering bulk flowers for DIY brides and events

Our Obstacles-

  • Heavier clay soil than first anticipated
  • Abundant rain, which drowned out a third of our crop, right off the hop along with a few deer
  • Bugs that were unfamiliar to us, eating my precious Zinnias and Sunflowers
  • My pony Turbo, who is actually related to Houdini and has no problem showing me how he can enter my garden whenever he wants and step on all my flowers

Our Solutions-

  • To continue to learn about flower farming; knowledge is power
  • To bring in extra topsoil to amend the soil and add organic matter
  • To continue to work on organic farming practices to conquer bad bugs and encourage good bugs and growth
  • To educate the consumer on the need for locally grown products; flowers included

Our Joy-

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The first year of flower farming has been a learning curve. It seemed as though germinating, transplanting, and growing in the greenhouse was the easy part. Once the transplants hit the dirt, I thought they would take off; it was not so easy. Learning what kind of soil and its drainage was most important. Eventually, after a slow start we started producing flowers and at times more than my market could use!

Thanks to good friends, they received a few flower gifts along the way. There is a sweet joy that these home grown flowers bring to my soul. I can’t explain it, you can just feel it. The season is almost done, and I can hardly wait to start again next year!

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