Maybe you’ve heard this before: in order for the sap to flow in a maple tree and harvest it for making syrup, temperatures need to be above freezing during the day and below freezing at night. Well, we’ve been tapping maples to make syrup for several years, and I must say: assuming sap is flowing simply because it is 33°F (1°C) or above is incorrect. There are other factors at play.
Continue reading “Climate Criteria for Collecting Maple Sap” →
There is still time to throw together a thoughtful and unique gift for the folks on your list who want to get back to basics and be more self-sufficient. We threw together 3 lists of items you could easily assemble into a gift basket that will be talked about for the whole year. We have actually used all of these items for years to make our own maple syrup and raise chickens. These are legit. Continue reading “Last minute gifts for self-sufficient folks” →
For those of you following us, you know that we have published 3 books in 2018, with the goal of making it easier for others to live independently and more fully explore the food they eat. For Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year, the eBook versions are all available for FREE on Amazon. Click the books below to grab yours. Continue reading “Download all 3 of our books for FREE (limited time!)” →
If you’ve ever wondered how satisfying it might be to raise your own meat, we’ve got a new book for you to check out. It’s called “Dinner From Scratch: How to Raise Meat Chickens“. And it has everything you need to know, from detailed materials lists, to step by step guidance for every phase, to checklists you can use daily to ensure everything is moving along smoothly. Plus some personal reflection thrown in to keep us grounded. Continue reading “Want to raise your own chickens for meat? Here’s a FREE chapter on determining how many chicks to order from our new book “Dinner From Scratch: How To Raise Meat Chickens”” →
Have you ever wondered how much you’re spending on the eggs your hens lay? Are you saving money by not buying from the store? Here’s an easy to use, FREE calculator to figure out exactly how much you pay for a dozen of your own backyard eggs. Continue reading “FREE Download: Egg Cost Calculator and Hen Productivity Tracker” →
More chicken wings will be consumed during this year’s Super Bowl than ever before. And do you know who we have to thank for this? Chicken marketers? Clever food scientists developing addictive dipping sauces? Deep frying? No, sports fans, at the very core we have the Cornish Cross breed of chicken to thank. Continue reading “How many chickens will be eaten during the Super Bowl? [updated for 2018]” →
I love when artistic gardeners sketch their garden plans, and you can see how these creative folks imagine their yields of summer buzzing with bees and sunshine. I wish I could plan like that, with such grace and aesthetic sensibility. But I suck at drawing and make lots of mistakes. I need a tool for the job of planning a garden. Continue reading “Plan Your Garden with our FREE Garden Planner Graph Paper Excel Template” →
We may be in the middle of winter, but it’s time to start thinking about spring. First on the docket: maple syrup prep. Do you have maple trees and live in an area that has freezing winters? You can probably make maple syrup yourself! And while we have a lot of content on this blog about maple syrup production and how you can use the stuff, the information has been somewhat sporadic and incomplete–until now! We’ve gone deeper, filled in the gaps, and developed a complete guide for harvesting and making your own maple syrup, from start to finish.
Continue reading “Everything you need to know to make DIY Maple Syrup from your maple trees (on a budget!)” →
We raised two very different flocks of chicken this year. Both were raised on pasture in our chicken tractors, both were given organic feed to supplement that lush pasture, and both were the same breed from the same hatchery, the famously fast-growing Jumbo Cornish rock breed that makes the news a lot these days. Everything we did was the same for each flock except for one thing: how much time they had access to food every day. Continue reading “Slowing down fast growing chicken to improve bird health and get better flavor” →
Did you spot our new ducklings on Instagram last week? We now have 10 pekin ducklings that we are going to raise for meat. And after raising hundreds of chickens, we are learning that ducks are a very different bird. We have a ways to go before we feel more confident about ducks, but here are our initial impressions. Continue reading “Trending: Ducks are not chickens” →