Organically Raised Chicken

Reflections on “Free Range”

For the past year, our hens have truly ranged freely on our land.  In the morning we open the door to the coop and leave the gate of the run wide open.  Without much hesitation, the hens hop out of the coop and exit the run, beginning a day of adventurous scavenging and exploration.  But recently, while the hens were ranging around in the woods about 50 feet from our house in the middle of the day (while we were outside!) we heard a… commotion.  All but one of our hens came sprinting and panting to the house.  My heart froze when I noticed a buff orpington was missing her tail feathers.  I walked around in the woods for a few minutes and then I found the feathers of one of our plymouth barred rocks scattered in a few circles.  Predators.  Continue reading “Reflections on “Free Range””

one moment

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One moment from the week, inspired by Soulemama.com. If you are interested in joining us with a picture from your week, post in the comments!

A Cool Dip in the Lake

It is time.

Floating in cool water

washing away the sweat and sticky

every pull with my arm bringing me further from shore

swimming through the darkness

I relax, blissfully sinking down into cooler waters, just below the surface

sighing, my pulse slows down

body temperature drops

supported.

Harvesting Wild Bread Yeast from the Top of a Mountain

Bread is just one of those things, isn’t it?  The more you learn, the better it can be.  Go from a factory produced white bread peanut butter and jelly sandwich to an authentic french baguette with some brie and your world view changes dramatically.  Take the leap from letting a bread machine and store bought yeast create your bread for you to feeding and caring for a sourdough culture, then handling the supple dough with your palms and fingers, and now the bread has a story to tell.   Continue reading “Harvesting Wild Bread Yeast from the Top of a Mountain”

5 Best Things to Buy At Early Season Farmers’ Markets

The leaves are green! The birds are singing! The sun is bright and warm!  Spring is shifting to summer and that means the farmers are coming out of the woodwork to share their goods at your local farmers’ markets!  But hang on, tomatoes won’t be ready for weeks, what on earth is there to actually buy at these first markets, anyway?  Continue reading “5 Best Things to Buy At Early Season Farmers’ Markets”

For the love of baking

Some people meditate and other people run in order to clear their mind and relax. When I start baking for other people, to share this lovely science experiment of salts and sugars, my body relaxes. My mind clears. The day is gone and all is simplified to a cup or a teaspoon, stir or chop, mix, then pour, and bake until the knife comes out clean.  I have been asked many times where I learned how to bake, or where I was trained.  Why do I do what I do? Continue reading “For the love of baking”

one moment

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One moment from the week, inspired by Soulemama.com I you are interested in joining us with a picture from your week, post in the comments!

Free Range Chicken

Is Organic Meat Really Better?

Chicken and other livestock raised for meat qualifies for USDA Organic certification if it meets the following guidelines: all feed consumed by the animal needs to be 100% organic from early in life, they must never receive any antibiotics, hormones, or other treatments, and they must have access to the outdoors on untreated, organic land with sunlight and shelter available (source).  From my research and experience, it would seem that organic practices alone don’t ensure the meat is tastier or even more nutritious than non-organic.  So what is the difference? Continue reading “Is Organic Meat Really Better?”

hügelkultur diy raised garden bed how to

Hügelkultur – How to Easily Make Free and Sustainable Raised Garden Beds

Say it 3 times fast: Hügelkultur! Hügelkultur! Hügelkultur!  That’s right, that “u” has an umlaut, so you know we mean business. But just because we’re going to get down and dirty doesn’t mean hügelkultur is difficult. In fact, you can take any patch of lawn on your land and convert it to a raised hügelkultur garden bed in under an hour.  Seriously! I did it while our almost 3 year old threw constant distractions my way and started up conversations with every worm she found. Continue reading “Hügelkultur – How to Easily Make Free and Sustainable Raised Garden Beds”