What is the quintessential music to pair with farming? Maybe your gut is thinking country, which seems to pair so well with the image of the robust singer in a cowboy hat or people even riding horses in music videos. I love John Denver, but face it, if you think country is the ultimate farming music, you’re wrong. Continue reading “5 Reasons The Blues is the Only True Farming Music”
Midday chicken chores have me and the little girls running from one side of the yard to the other with water, food, and entertainment a few times a day. We fill up the food for the broiler chicks, who are doing really well in their bigger pen. I haul water, refill and clean waterers, and my three-year old pokes sticks and weeds into the fencing, for her entertainment and theirs. Today, however, we had an escape! Continue reading “How to catch a cockerel”
Wild mushrooms are in a class of their own when it comes to culinary usage and self sufficiency. They can pack unique flavor and aroma, vital nutrients, and maybe even some medicinal potential, so it is no surprise there are so many avid mushroom fanatics out there. Chefs will fight over a rare find, expert mushroom hunters will relish the chance to bring dinner to new worlds of flavor, and casual amateurs like me will feel a thrill at having something uncommon and wonderful to share with the family. But how do you know whether a particular mushroom will taste good? And more importantly, how will you know it isn’t poisonous? Continue reading “Amateur Mushroom Foraging for People who REALLY Don’t Want to Eat Poison”
Oh the little babies are doing so well! They had their first big adventure riding in the car with our daughters home from the store, singing and peeping to us the whole way. Continue reading “Broiler Update”
Everyone that goes to Walmart is looking for solutions to their problems. And there are two types of problems Walmart solves. Real problems like a needing an oil filter for their car or maybe some needing some groceries. Then there are the imaginary problems that Walmart convinces you that you have and the products you buy that you didn’t need in the first place. Continue reading “Thoughts after walking around in a Walmart”
Chickens need space to move around and forage in order to provide the healthiest eggs and meat, but as we’ve learned there is a trade-off in giving these plump, docile birds unrestricted freedom: predators. For the chickens we raise for meat we have always been more careful and use fencing (for heritage breeds) and chicken tractors (for cornish x) to keep predators out. Our meat birds do not have a traditional, solid wood “coop” and thus their living space needs to be secure through the dark summer nights when those sharp toothed sly beasts lurk with large appetites. We’ve learned a few tricks along the way and since we’re about to put up a lot more fencing to keep the free range hens safe I think this is a great opportunity to review the tricks and best practices for chicken security measures. Continue reading “Fencing Tips to Keep Your Chickens Safe from Predators”
We love beans! As soon as they start coming we love to eat them raw and barely cooked with garlic, and of course we like to put some away in the freezer. Last year, we were pretty successful with our bean harvest in the beginner hügelkultur mounds. But I did not realize the importance of supporting the great abundance that comes from a tiny bean seed and many of the little stakes and branches I used to pole them up fell over last year. We could have had so many more beans! So, I decided to start the beans out right and build a teepee! You can too if you need a beautiful and functional support system for your beans! Continue reading “Pole Bean Teepee”
It’s rhubarb time! My favorite crop is growing and I am noticing it popping up all over town. At the market it is being sold for a pretty penny and there is talk of strawberry rhubarb pie for dinner. This is my favorite summer treat too, but aren’t there more things you can do with this quasi-fruit? I thought so and rather than just throwing it into brownies or making muffins with it, we have been seeking out the very best recipes for this strange plant. Please read on for our favorite rhubarb treats… and definitely don’t eat the poisonous leaves!!