Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ice Storm 2013

Ice Storm 2013 hit Maine with a frigid grip. How did the folks and animals living at Lally Broch Farm handle the storm?

Grab some hot cocoa, pull up a chair, and let me tell you all about it.

Sonja ♥

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Talking Dogs and Snow Preparation

Fenn in the middle of telling me what for.
At least, it appears he is smiling. ♥
Fenn, our resident Siberian husky, is never so happy as when the temperature drops into the single digits and inches of snow blanket the ground. He is not so vocal most of the year, but when the conditions are right and he is stuck inside with me, boy! do I get an earful... 

Come on over to Lally Broch Farm for a visit. 

Sonja ♥

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Favorite Things Giveaway on Farm Chit Chat!

Favorite Things Giveaway


Farm Chit Chat!

Enter for your chance to win these handmade gifts

from the Farm Chit Chat Crew!

A few of us over at Farm Chit Chat thought we would celebrate the season with a little giveaway! This holiday we are sharing a few of our favorite things with you (and will be sending all of the items to one lucky winner).

Lisa Lynn from The Self Sufficient HomeAcre is sharing homemade note cards.
Lesa from Better Hens and Gardens is offering honey from the bees they keep on their farm. 
Marlana from the Handsome Homesteader is sharing a sweet necklace. 
Gretchen from The Backyard Farming Connection will create a custom painting of your favorite farmyard animal. 
Janet from Timber Creek Farm is offering a beautiful sign and egg basket.
Cheryl from Pasture Deficit Disorder is sharing a jar with her favorite quotes. 

All of us bloggers over at Farm Chit chat wish you and yours a wonderful save holiday season! 

give 2

Happy Holidays!

Enter for Your Chance to Win!

the small print:  open to US and Canada residents only
Winner will be announced on December 17th on the Farm Chit Chat blog.
Winner has 48 hours to respond to the announcement email that will be sent.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Emu Dreams

Some people throw themselves into farming, homesteading or whatever you want to call it, acquiring entire herds or flocks of animals in a matter of months. Others, plan every addition meticulously, sometimes years in advance. At Lally Broch Farm, breeding and the addition of animals is often planned years ahead. That is, until someone suggests keeping emus...

Emu Dreams at Lally Broch Farm

Sonja ♥

What is Modern Homesteading?

The modern homesteading movement is both a revolutionary idea and a move back to a simpler lifestyle.  Join me as I launch a new series on planning your backyard homestead.  This week I started by exploring the question: What is Modern Homesteading?  Stop over to the Backyard Farming Connection and read more.

Monday, December 9, 2013

How to Cook with a Wood Stove

How to Cook with a Wood Stove

If you are planning to buy a wood stove and would like to cook on it, or you already have one, read this article about How to Cook with a Wood Stove. Information about choosing and using a wood stove for cooking to help you get started!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Advent Days 4-7: Snowmen Ice Cream, Grinch Floats, & Loving a Christmas Parade!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
The last few days have been delicious and fun!  Our advent activities included making Snowmen Ice Cream and Grinch Floats for deserts and the local parade and dinner out with family.  The deserts are both easy but a lot of fun for special holiday treats and our local parade is a family tradition from when I was a little girl.  Come over and visit me at The Egg Basket for our delicious treats and some parade fun!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Advent Calendar with Activities & my Creamy Hot Cocoa Recipe

The Christmas Countdown Begins...

It's that time of year again!  I can't believe it's been a year since I posted about our Advent calendar last year.  So much has happened but it feels as if the time has passed so quickly.  Things are definitely different this year and, for once, I'm on time with my Christmas Calendar Countdown post!  Come on over to The Egg Basket to read more about it!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Give Thanks for Soup!

Thanksgiving Soup made from your Thanksgiving Leftovers!

 Most of us enjoy having a couple of leftover turkey dinners after the Thanksgiving feast is over. Reheated turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberries taste great and let us re-live Thanksgiving for a day or two (or three!). But what do you do when there isn’t enough left for a full meal for your family? How about a pot of Leftover Thanksgiving Soup?

Read More on The Self Sufficient HomeAcre :)

Cranberry Jam!

Make Cranberry Jam for holiday gifts!

Pick up some of those yummy berries on sale now that Thanksgiving is over and make a batch of delicious jam! Not sure what to give your friends and family? How about some homemade jam?!
Read More on The Self Sufficient HomeAcre!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Six Tips For Surviving Winter Emergencies

As we head into the winter season, lets talk about some important events that can make life dangerous or at the least, uncomfortable.  I was never a boy scout, although I was a den mother, but the motto of Be Prepared often comes to mind when thinking about seasonal preparations.   In the winter especially, we can encounter difficult weather related situations where we may wish we were prepared.
It is often the subject of jokes but being prepared for snow storms doesn’t mean standing in line buying milk, bread and toilet paper.  With a little planning, you can have everything you need in house.  Truly being prepared for winter means more than buying these three staples when winter weather approaches
Here is a list of some things that you can think about before winter storms or emergencies occur.
1. Electricity can go out and make you wish for the generator power you now hear starting up all over the neighborhood. The time to buy one of these is during off season sales.  Keep an eye out in early spring, .....
(read more ....)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Winter Weather Prep for Animal Care

In our area winter preparations include preparing for any and all eventualities.   Mid Atlantic weather is unpredictable at best.  We have had early snow storms, mid winter flooding from  rain, and fluctuating temperatures.    Setting up our animal housing for varying conditions  helps us be ready for winter.
Read more about  how we prepare the animals for winter here.....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

25 Handmade gifts under $5

It's that time again!  When we go into near panic mode over all the gifts.  Guess what?  I found 25 handmade goodies all under $5!

Happy Homesteading! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hatching Throughout the Winter & an Outdoor Brooder

As you'll know, I love to hatch- okay, I admit it, I'm a hatch-a-holic!  It's true, I'll cave into the label!  There's something so addicting about bringing those little lives into the world and watching them grow and develop into beautiful birds.  Anyway, as breeders striving for the best birds we can create and getting as close as possible to the Standards of Perfection, a LOT of hatching is required so it's good that I enjoy it. Our challenge has been that my dear husband does not enjoy the dust and dander from having so many chicks inside the house.  Inside the house?  Yep!  That's what he asked, but it's been a necessary "evil" (my evil grin here because I love being able to see the little ones at night) in order to keep them safe and healthy.  Chicks are babies, after all, and they need heat, constant and regular temperatures, clean food and water, and since they haven't yet grown in their feathers, they can't be brooded outside in the winter!  Right?   Check out what he came up with for us to brood all winter outside!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Culling Your Old Laying Hens


Click here for a step by step tutorial for How to Butcher a Chicken.

When to Cull Laying Hens

It can be difficult to decide when to cull your older laying hens. Some people like to keep their hens for a few years before culling them from the flock. Other people choose to cull at the onset of the hen’s first molt. Read the rest of this post here!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Creative Home & Garden Hop!

Mary's Dishes & The Creative Home & Garden Hop #15

I love the design on these dishes from my late Mother In Law, Mary.

Join Us on The Creative Home & Garden Hop!

We'd love to see all of the creative things you're doing in your home, garden, and on your homestead!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Apple Cider Pumpkin Pancakes

Everyone and their mother is posting some sort of pumpkin recipe right now, but I’m not about to let that stop me from sharing these awesome pancakes with you.  How awesome?  My kids are working on not their second, but third helpings.  And they’re doing so QUIETLY.

Find the Recipe at Milking Chickens...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Goat Kids - Preparing Does for Breeding

Fall is the traditional time for breeding goats so there will be kids and milk in the spring.  But, there are some preparations and things that should be considered before breeding. Continue reading here to find out more.


The HomeAcre Harvest Hop is Live!

Stop by and Share Your Harvest and Holiday Posts!

We want to read your seasonal posts! If you have Harvest or Holiday related posts that share recipes, photos, and projects, we would love to have you link them up on our first annual harvest hop! We also welcome the rest of your homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts!
We’ll be pinning our favorite seasonal posts to The HomeAcre Harvest Hop board. Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Google + to see which posts we share!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dressed Up Canning Jars

by Janet Garman- Timber Creek Farm

It seems that I just can’t help myself.  When I get ready to give someone a gift, suddenly I have the urge to make it even better.  A perfectly nice gift of homemade peach jam in a mason jar, seems well, slightly under dressed for the occasion.  What do I do?  Why dress it up, of course!  Here’s a few methods that I use to dress up my gifts of home canned or homemade gifts in jars.  All are easy on time and your pocket book. 
(see more).....

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

No Time - Balancing Work in the City With Life on a Homestead

We are VERY thankful for our jobs that provide us the funds to pay for our beloved pasture, but it's a real balancing act to get everything done that we need/want to get done each week.  Read more about it here.  If you work at a job in the city, how do you find the balance?

Until next time, worms rock, bees rules and chickens are my Zen.

Please stop by for a visit at or

Reusable Shopping Bags From Feed Sacks

Have you tried making these bags?  I want to try one soon!  In the meantime, a coworker got interested and traded sewing a bag for me (she knows what she's doing with a sewing machine!) for a dozen eggs.  I love bartering!  :D

Read more about my new reusable shopping bag here.

You can visit us at or

Friday, October 11, 2013

Autumn Morning on the Homestead

A Bittersweet Time of Year...

Autumn is a bittersweet time of year. The harvest is filling basket upon basket to bring in the house and can, dehydrate, freeze, or store in the root cellar. Our extra chickens and ducks must be processed and roasted or frozen. The chilly mornings give way to gorgeous blue skies with wispy clouds floating by....

Stop by my post An Early Autumn Morning and share your thoughts on this colorful season!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Applesauce Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

A Homemade Treat That's Great for Fall!

Try this delicious recipe with or without the frosting for a great way to use some of your autumn apple harvest! Applesauce Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting...

Join Us on The HomeAcre Hop!

The HomeAcre Hop!

Join us on The HomeAcre Hop and share your homesteading, gardening, homemaking, and self sufficiency posts...or just stop by to read all the awesome posts shared today!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Apples - Which Variety for What?

It's fall - time for apples, but there are so many varieties out there, which ones are best for what?  You
can find out which common varieties are best for snacking, baking, making pies, and more by clicking here. (Farm Website) (Farm Blog)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Loosing Power to Our Brooder


Losing Power in the Barn and Brooder

The power to our barn went out this past week and left us scrambling to keep 43 chicks warm and cozy. Sometimes life on a homestead can be pretty crazy! Stop by and read more at The Self Sufficient HomeAcre!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Busy, busy, busy!

Alright homesteaders, lets talk a sec about what I've been up to. So the Hubby is not only starting a new biz Bent Business Marketing, but he is running for city council (check out his page- Andy Sokolovich). The kids turned 2 and 4 and I am down to just 4 hens. Last month I went to the Livingston County Farm crawl and met author of Homegrown and Handmade, Deborah Neiman (she signed my book!!) I have yet to complete a blog post on that....bad Marlana!! And there is just so much more to talk about. Want to know how I am dealing with all this excitement!? Head over to the Handsome Homesteader and I'll tell ya all about it!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

DIY Horse Toy: Net Ball

Looking for some toys for your horses (or perhaps other mammals) that wont break the bank? I’ve been on the hunt for toys that I can make from items I have laying around the barn or can pick up from yard sales! Today, I’d like to introduce the NET BALL.
Check out the rest of the post [HERE--->]

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Shearing Angora Goats

Abundance Farms had a brand new experience this Fall! SHEARING! Ok, some of you are thinking “uhmmm…you sheared a few goats this Spring, didn’t you?”…well…yes! And we hated it! So, we hired a shearer from Homestead Heritage to come and tend our goat fuzz.

Over the course of two days, our goat herd transformed from majestic, huge, fuzzy, gorgeous goats to…. [Read More---> ]

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Autumn Giveaway!

We’re joined by the hosts from The Creative Home & Garden Hop this week to bring you this awesome

Autumn Giveaway!

Alison @ Mumtopia

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions

Mary @ Back to the Basics and Mary’s Kitchen

Me @ Little Homestead on the Hill

Stop by and enter for your chance to win on one of these blogs, or on The Self Sufficient HomeAcre!

Black Beaty Zucchini from Mary's Heirloom Seeds

Black Beauty Zucchini – Mary’s Heirloom Seeds

Mary’s Heirloom Seeds sponsored a review and giveaway on my blog this spring and I’ve been reaping the benefits all summer long! I’ve already shared reviews on Pink Oxheart Tomatoes, Royalty Purple Podded Beans, and 5 Color Silverbeet Swiss Chard! Well, it’s about time I shared another great heirloom veggie, Black Beauty Zucchini!

Visit my post at The Self Sufficient HomeAcre to read more!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

An Anniversary Gift to Remember...

Some girls want bling on their anniversary. You know, diamonds... rubies... emeralds. Some want to go away for the weekend or out for a nice dinner. Don't get me wrong, I like the fancies, too. But, the gift Sean and I shared his year was (to me) much better than all those things...
Come on over to Lally Broch Farm for a visit. I'll put the tea on.

Sonja ♥

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Some Labor Day facts

Do you know the history behind Labor Day?  Not many people do.  Here are a few fun facts for ya!

Happy Homesteading!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Emergency Planning for Farms


What happens when the farmer gets stranded out of town?  Have you ever taken a day trip and thought you would get home in time to feed and safely put your farm animals to bed, but traffic or something else unforeseen keeps you away?   Follow these steps to have a back up emergency plan in place before you leave home.  Then you can avoid the anxiety of worrying about your farm friends.
Read more here......

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Little Gourd of Horror

Last year before planting our garden, we started seeds in our little greenhouse and nurtured them along the way, until a wind storm took out our greenhouse and the only 2 plants that survived were one tomato plant and a mystery vine type plant that we hoped to be a cucumber. It was not a cucumber, it was a bottle gourd.  I don't know if you have ever grown birdhouse gourds, but beware this plant took over it's little space at the community garden and started working on the neighbor's space as well! (Our neighboring gardener had to put up a fence to keep the gourd out.)  This was really a trial plant since we had never grown them before.

What do you mean your electric and cable are not working....
This is the only big gourd we could find so far
So this year I planted 10 plants on the hill next to our garden, and figured this would be plenty of space for them to grow and not bother anything or anyone. (Sorry community garden neighbor...) Well I have since decided that someone should write a horror story about this plant. They are EVERYWHERE, and the vines are much like strawberry vines in that they put down roots on their off shoots. They are climbing up trees, bushes, and into my watermelon. I even had to pull it off the electric pole!  I'm not sure it would have climbed all the way up to the wire, but I'm sure the neighbors would love us if the power went out because of my crazy gourds. I think we should have a bumper crop of birdhouses to paint next spring if the gourd doesn't attack us first!

It was nice knowing you tree.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Grit and hard work...

Grit and hard work....

It is county fair week here, and Katzya has been working hard on getting Mia (and herself!) ready for the show pen.  This year has been a little challenging for Katzya in terms of showing.  

Katzya loves to show on a local circuit during the year from about April - October, but this year without a horse to show (Mia is very limited on the amount of showing that she will participate in, and to our family she is a companion first and a show horse second...) we sat out this show season.  Holding us back from purchasing a new horse is money currently.  

Showing horses comes with a price, and when you are showing several weekends a month, it comes with a big price.  As a family, we decided sitting out this year was what we needed to do financially.  (There is a valuable lesson in teaching a child that you can't always have what you want, and where we would love to give her another horse, realistically some children don't ever get one horse, let alone two.  She gets it...)  

But slowing down our progress most recently is the fact that Katzya fell off Mia several weeks ago, and was afraid to really commit to her riding again.  It has been a challenge for both of them.  While we leased another horse last year, Mia sat in her stall, unemployed, eating and being content with her retirement phase of life.  She was so content that she decided she wasn't going to lope anymore, and there was really no amount of retraining that was going convince her otherwise!  So for the last 3 weeks, Katzya and Mia have worked tirelessly on finding Mia's "lost third gear".  Finally, after what might have been the most stubborn battle of wills that they have ever encountered in their relationship, Katzya won the battle! 

And I am proud to say all of Katzya's hard work has paid off brilliantly!  I got this picture earlier today on my cell phone, and by the smile on this girl's face you can tell she is proud of all the hard work she's put in.  

Way to go ladies, I couldn't be more proud of you!

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