Farm Life There’s nothing like waking up with the predawn crow of a rooster and starting the daily chores knowing fresh eggs and a hot cup of coffee are waiting. Farm life is about making use of gifts others take for granted. It’s about discovery, planning, surprises, & working together as a family- as well as the unplanned moments that make us hold our breath for a moment, or let out a good belly laugh. Welcome to farm life. This is why you don’t name your chickens Chickens can be a great addition to your farm, family or homestead. But there’s an old rule about keeping a chicken… don’t name it Read More → Gardening: In A Coronavirus Crazy World, Control What You Can Control Why gardening can: calm the soul, ease food security worries and lead to self empowerment even as the world seems to be going crazy during the coronavirus crisis. Read More → A Cat Finds A Homestead One dark morning as I flipped the porch light on to walk out to the bus stop, a small shadowy movement caught our attention near the trash can. This stray cat would find its way into our home and heart. Read More → Dilly Beans Recipe, Small Batch A good green bean harvest meant we could feast on dilly beans this year. This was our first season of pretty good success with beans. At least in our eyes. Success looks different to different people. Let me explain that last year we were only able to save 11 ounces of beans… carefully packed away… Read More → Lemon Balm Tea, aka Melissa Tea Herbs have so many uses, you should grow some. Herbs can be used for so many ailments as well as for enjoyment, that’s especially true with Lemon Balm. Our herb garden started out small, with the herbs that were most familiar to us. As we began learning more about homesteading through taking classes, listening to… Read More → Wild Violet Jelly Recipe “How to make wild violet jelly” or “Another weed not to kill in your yard”. Wild violets usher in spring. The dainty purple wild violet flowers carpet the grass and hint of warmth to come. These flowers come in various shades of purple that are so intriguing at a closer look. At your next opportunity,… Read More → Naturally Decorated Easter Eggs Decorating Easter eggs is a family tradition, we experimented with our farm fresh eggs this year and the results were beautiful. Easter eggs, in our house, had always started off as the white eggs we would buy at the store. But as our diverse flock (Rhode Island Red, Barred Rock, Buff Oprington, Black Australorp, Silver… Read More → Farm Eggs vs Store Bought Eggs Yes, you can taste the difference between farm fresh eggs and store bought eggs. We’re asked all the time whether we can tell the difference between the eggs from our chickens and those bought at the grocery store. They come from chickens, how different can they be? Oh… there’s a difference. Since building our coop… Read More → Ms. Olivia’s Sweet Peaches A peach buzz began to swirl. There was a buzz among the locals that a peach truck was scheduled to deliver in our small town. There is nothing like access to good foods that aren’t typical of your area. A friend called to let me know it was coming and we started thinking about all… Read More → Dog Training on the Homestead Progress, not perfection: Farm dog training When we moved to our homestead property, we talked of getting a family dog at some point. Both my husband and I had had dogs growing up and into adulthood (our Black Lab, “Pelé” was our first dog as a couple) but we’ve never dealt with a situation that… Read More → Polar Vortex Hits the Homestead The much talked about “Polar Vortex” made its way into Kentucky Wednesday. While school was called off, farm chores never are. We’re surviving, the animals are doing well and hopefully warm weather will return before too long. We knew that the Polar Vortex was coming for a few days, so we had time to prepare.… Read More → Chore Charts for Children We want more but do we want another chore. With the New Year, we’ve started dreaming of adding more to our homestead. We want to grow more food. We’ve been pondering raising other farm animals too. While these thoughts have been exciting, they have me thinking, “How is this going to happen when it was… Read More → Homegrown Thanksgiving Success Thanksgiving unlike any before. We sat at the table, a bountiful Thanksgiving feast laid out in front of us. The amazing spread of food was more than a reason to give thanks… it was the culmination of a year’s worth of work, sacrifice and commitment. It was a meal to feed the soul as much… Read More → Persimmon Seed Weather Prediction The first year we lived on our property, we discovered we had a few trees with small, orange, crab-apple sized fruits on them. We weren’t sure exactly what they were until, one day in the fall, we tasted one and then we knew exactly what we had- a persimmon. The next year, we worked on… Read More → Beauty in the Fade, Fall on the Homestead Finding meaning in fall. The leaves swirled down from our persimmon tree with a wind rushing up our hill. The chickens have lost quite a few feathers, as a palette of various shades have been wind-blown lining the sides of the chicken run like a tossed feathered boa. Our majestic sunflowers with multiple heads of… Read More → Preserving Eggs for Winter Fresh eggs long after the hens stop laying. People ask all of the time, what do you do with all those eggs? You can eat that many eggs? The truth is, we don’t get tons of eggs all year ‘round. We think we’ve found a way to continue to have fresh eggs in the winter.… Read More → Our First Predator Encounter Not a single predator… until now. A predator is going to come hunting for dinner when you have a farm, it’s just a fact of nature. We’ve taken every precaution to protect our chickens and have been very fortunate… until now. When Chris designed the chicken coop and chicken run, he designed the fence to… Read More → Why We Candle Chicken Eggs What’s going on inside your chicken eggs? We never needed to know what is going on with the chicken eggs we bring indoors to consume, until recently. In fact, we thought we had it all down-pat. I guess when you have more than a handful of chickens, there is a lot more chicken behavior to… Read More → Garden Fresh Tomato Soup Recipe There’s nothing like garden fresh tomato soup. After a couple sessions of canning tomatoes from our garden, and a few rounds of B.L.T. sandwiches, we needed another way to enjoy them and boy did we find the answer with this tomato soup recipe. Our dining room table has become the place to unload our rolled… Read More → Count ‘Em? Never Before They Hatch And now we know why you never count your chickens before they hatch. For the past few weeks we’ve anxiously awaiting the arrival of chicks. We’ve counted down… and kept counting… and counting. Nothin’. Nada. Zip. It’s been a bit frustrating and worrisome. The Black Australorp hen began sitting on eggs more than a month… Read More → Embracing the “F” Word: “Failure” Failure can create valuable lessons on the homestead, workplace or life. This homesteading adventure that we’re on is opening up all sorts of opportunities to face the “F” word… “failure”. In life we try to avoid failure, no one likes to be labeled a “failure”. It’s a brand that’s hard to shed from the psyche.… Read More → Pumpkin Planting Experiment Few things make me smile the way a pumpkin makes me smile. I know, it sounds weird, but I just love pumpkins and have this dream of someday growing a state fair champion pumpkin. In the meantime, we’re doing our best to have a real pumpkin patch this year and are experimenting with a way… Read More → Canning Made Easy How to do boiling-water processing or water bath canning If you’ve never preserved fruits and vegetables by canning, this is a really easy way to get started. You just need a boiling-water canner, which is a large pot with a lid and a rack to help you manage those hot jars. You can also purchase… Read More → Restoring Order in the Chicken Coop Order in the Coop Last October we hatched our first chicks in the coop, “Thursday” and “Friday”. It was extraordinary to watch our little chickens grow-up. We discovered at about 4 months of age that our distinctive young chickens were roosters. We knew we would not be able to keep them, especially since we still… Read More → Perspective: Every day something dies so you may live Where our food comes from has new perspective after butchering our first chicken. We rose well before the sun. It was raining, we couldn’t see the orange glow had we gotten a later start anyhow. But as we prepared to butcher a chicken for the first time, we were met with a range of thoughts… Read More → Unearthing Farm Artifacts in the Garden An evening planting digs up questions and farm artifacts. This evening over an hour was spent digging two holes to place a couple of melon plants. Breaking ground was easy. It was when the earth was turned over that remnants, artifacts of moments long forgotten where discovered buried several inches to a foot deep into… Read More → When Life Gives You Ice, You Fish It’s not often that it gets this cold in Kentucky… but boy was this winter frigid. The gentleman who used to own the farm told us that they had not had ice on the pond like this since the late 1970’s. So when Chris noticed the ice was getting pretty thick, he unpacked the ice… Read More → Farm Family Finds Buried Treasure It started when our son tripped on something sticking from the ground. We’d lived on the farm for about a year when, one warm spring day, our oldest son came running into the house. He said he’d tripped on something metal sticking from the ground near the pond. Chris went to check on the mystery… Read More → . sign up for email updates, videos, exclusive recipes & more! ! ! SUBSCRIBE — Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again. 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