Four months have passed since I wrote Part 1 of this story — in which I recounted details about the farming lessons and ventures I’d embarked upon with the help of my friend Tiffany. This second post finds me just a little more seasoned, but still with much to learn. In mid-November, my friend Tiffany and I harvested the Splash Orpington meat chickens we’d started in the spring, processing not only the birds, but also our thoughts about the results and what we might do differently next time. [by Sonya Hemmings]
As we prepare to transition out of our current home and start our farm (finally!!!) we have thought a lot about what animals we will seek out. While we have a lot of respect for heritage breeds that have been preserved for a long period of time, a fancy pedigree is not the only thing we’ll consider in our decision-making. In choosing breeds, here’s what’s at the top of our list: ensuring the animals we raise for nourishment are suited to the climate of our new home. So how do we keep our location in mind when planning our farm? In this post, I’m raising the key issues we should all sort out when researching which critters we will bring home. [by Jenny Cutler]
A couple of weeks ago I was in conversation about local foods and resources when I was offered Buckeye honey. I was told this honey is bottled up not far from me here in Northern California. I shrugged and agreed to try it. Having never heard of Buckeye honey, I asked what made it so special. It appears it is rather rare and pretty difficult to find. The reason? It kills the bees. That little bit of information really caught me off guard. I must say I didn’t think it tasted like anything special, and I was a little put-off by the whole idea of killing bees on purpose. Why had I never heard of this before? I decided to do a little investigating. [by Nichole Sawatzky]
After plunging into backyard chickens to rid our yard of chemical laden pesticides, we began enjoying the great benefit of having chickens: the eggs! That was until we read what we were feeding them. Handfuls of words we couldn’t pronounce, nor did we have the faintest clue what they could be. Certainly, I thought, our eggs were better than ones in the store, yet in my mind remained a nagging doubt. Were they really? Through various conversations with people venturing on the same path, and having a few of our friends take the plunge into homemade and nutritious chicken feed, we decided to give it a try. [by Tracey Vierra]
My interest in chickens began long before I even thought about homesteading, way back in the 80s. When I finally married and set up housekeeping my thoughts and daydreams wandered back again to a garden and chickens. Then when we moved to the country and began building our homestead “chickens” was at the top of my to-do list. So I began to assemble a homestead library and read up on different breeds and how to care for them. We built a coop, assembled supplies, and got our chicks. We all settled in, and then the expectations met reality. [by Jenny Cazzola]
When I was three years old, my mother and I were attacked by a disrupted nest of mud daubers — a type of wasp that lives in the west. I was stung multiple times on my body; several times on my tongue and the inside of my mouth, in particular. I can still recall details of the event vividly. Ever since that time, I have been *ahem* not-so-keen on the idea of being near a population of stinging “things” in general. In 2006, all that changed.
The scene is always the same. A tired, overly tan, slightly muscular figure stands in a garden, holding — ever so gently — what remains of a green bean bush. The culprit is the elusive odocoileus virginianus, or more specifically, the deer. Little can be as enraging as battling an aggressive herd of hungry deer. Their stealth and grit go unmatched. They can wipe out a hard-earned crop in a matter of minutes, in the middle of the night, while you slumber pleasantly in your bed. However, with a few tricks, you can most definitely encourage these furry critters to dine elsewhere.
In this episode of Know Your Food with Wardee, my special guest is Scott Terry from North Country Farmer and Christian Farm and Homestead Radio. We talked about Scott’s full-time dairy farm, beekeeping, what a day in his life looks like from season to season, how his family eats like Farmer Boy, raising children who know responsibility, faith during hard times such as drought, how the drought of last year affected his farm, and much, much more… Plus the tip of the week!
Today, my son and I held hands as the hands of my husband held our dying chicken, Caleb’s Girl. Almost five years ago, with two little children in tow, we had proudly picked out our first batch of chicks — six, to be exact. And now, just moments ago, we said goodbye to this last remaining chicken from our original batch. I have heard that chickens are the gateway animal to a more sustainable life. Once one purchases a flock of chickens, they are usually destined to embark on other adventures in sustainability — like raising other animals or getting into other homesteading activities such as gardening or composting. I assumed we were different, but now I know better.