Celeste’s Garden Delights Is Delightful Reading

celeste's garden delights

I am so overdue on writing this post. I have been feeling pretty cruddy the last couple of weeks so I am behind on stuff. But, today is the day! This book rocks and I need to tell y’all about it.

So I met Celeste via email when I was setting up interviews on an article I was doing for a client. It took me a while to realize she was the same Celeste Longacre that writes for The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Duh! Just so happens I made the connection the same day her book arrived in the mail. Continue reading

C – Chickens on the Homestead

Chicken Collage

Today’s A-Z Challenge post is the letter C. Chickens seemed like the natural topic because they are easy to keep and, in some places, you can have a few in your backyard even if you live in town. Raising chickens is a step toward being more self sufficient.

Chickens are pretty easy to keep. They need a draft-free coop as well as clean food and water. Food can be commercial feed from the farm store or it can be kitchen scraps, grass, bugs, worms… chickens will eat pretty much anything. Continue reading

Chicory: Uncommon Uses for a Common Weed

chicory

You have probably seen it all over the place and never gave it a second thought. Chicory grows wild along roadsides and in fields all over the country. Albeit pretty, it is considered a weed. But as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”

I am sort of in the “If it’s green let it grow” camp. I am okay with weeds all over the lawn. I don’t need that perfect illusion of civilization where we have to control Nature itself. I find all plants fascinating. So when I found the tons of chicory plants all over our fields, I had to find out what I could do with it.

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The Great Egg Hunt

Our Flock 2013

No, not for Easter. This is sort of a year round thing on the homestead. Currently, we have 14 layers and, even though my husband built them a beautiful nest box, they seem to like laying eggs in odd places.

We have found eggs in the bushes, in the other barn in an old… um… I don’t know what it is. Some sort of contraption that should probably be in the trash.

My husband even found some in a box of stuff for electrochemical bore cleaning. (Do NOT ask me what that is. I have no clue. I asked Jeff what it was. That’s what he told me. It belonged to his dad so I assume it is related to guns. That’s all I can tell you.) Not necessarily a great place to lay a pile of eggs.

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Bountiful Burdock: Benefits and Uses

Burdock is more than just a weed. It is a useful herb with a variety of uses. That’s a good thing since we have tons of it growing around the pastures. If you are not sure if what you have is burdock, Edible Wild Food has a great page to help you.

Burdock has purple flowers much loved by bees.

If you’ve ever walked through a field only to end up picking burs off yourself or your dog, you may think of this plant as an annoying weed. And you’d be right. It annoys the heck out of me when I have to clean burs off the goats and dogs.

But would you be surprised to learn that burdock is actually a useful herb? More than just natural Velcro, it offers several health benefits.

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