Saturday, June 29, 2013

Easy Peel Hard-boiled Fresh Eggs

It’s very frustrating to try and make hard-boiled eggs the traditional way using fresh eggs – they’re
next to impossible to peel.  But after much experimentation, I’ve found that there’s a way to make hard-boiled eggs from fresh eggs - that peel easily and perfectly.  Follow the link here to find out how.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Bumblefoot- Single Caretaker Treatment Strategies

Have you noticed your chicken limping?  Did you take a look at her feet and see a swelling on the bottom with a dark scab in the middle.  It could be Bumblefoot, a common infection caused by the staph organism.  But don't panic.  Even if you are the only caretaker for your flock, you can take care of the infection in most cases, by yourself.  Veterinarians who will treat poultry are few and far between, so it pays to have a first aid kit stocked and to know how to handle common ailments and infections.  Read more about treating Bumblefoot by yourself on Timber Creek Farm.

Swiss Chard: Competition for Spinach?

Frequently, at the farmers' markets, I am asked about Swiss chard - "How do I cook this?" Having a somewhat elusive reputation - Swiss chard deserves some attention.

Belonging to the chenopod family makes Swiss chard kin to beets, spinach and quinoa. Often used in Mediterranean dishes, it is not only versatile, but nutrient dense as well. This article is a good resource touting the benefits of this terrific green.

Come on over to Hope Farms and red the rest of the article - you just might want to find some Swiss chard TODAY!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Keeping Your Chicken Coop Smelling Fresh

Are you holding your nose when you go into your chicken coop?  Wish that you could keep chickens and not have to deal with that awful ammonia smell?  It is possible.  A little preparation and simple upkeep will make the job a breeze.  And no harmful chemicals need to be used.  Read more here>>>>>

Quick Tips for Tick Prevention

Taking a walk through the woods, camping out under the stars, or checking fences in the back forty?
Stop here first at The Horseless Housewife for some quick tips for tick prevention this Summer!

Also on Facebook: The Horseless Housewife

Monday, June 24, 2013

Best herbs for your Garden

 The herb garden is the hub of our backyard farm, and hardly a day goes by that doesn't involve clipping something from the plants.  Which are the top herb and how do you grow them?  Stop over at the Backyard Farming Connection and find out.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Successful Hive Inspection

After last year's bee disaster, we decided to try again this year...although not without apprehension!


Read all about our first hive inspection here:

Successful Hive Inspection

Monsoon: Our New Jacob Ram

Recently, John and I decided to invest in a new Jacob ram. Last week we came home with this cute guy! His name is Monsoon and he is a very handsome Jacob born this year. He's pretty skittish, but I'm sure that he'll calm down once he learns that we're not big, bad, mean people. On the right side of the photo, you can also see Thunder in the background. He looks a little unhappy about not being the center of attention.
Do you have any animals that just crave being the center of attention? Or are most of yours also pretty skittish?

Ethical Foodie-ism

I took the above picture of what is arguably the only product of any wild foraging I’ve done.  And I didn’t even do it.  I was just driving the car when my husband said “Hey!  That was wild asparagus.”  I maneuvered the vehicle, he did the pointing and the cutting.  We both took pictures...

Read more: Milking Chickens: Ethical Foodie-Ism

Friday, June 14, 2013

The conclusion of my bee saga...or is it? Read what I have to do next in an effort to preserve what is left of my hive. Kathy~The Horseless Housewife

 No Bees? The End of the Beginning

Raspberry Time!

The raspberries, at Timber Creek Farm are just about to burst forth with summer flavor.  Stop over and read why these raspberries are special to us

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vacuum Sealing Summer Berries

The summer berries are starting to ripen; do you know how to preserve their freshness for use in the
cold winter months?  Continue reading here to find out how! 

Lesa (Farm Website) (Farm Blog) (Facebook)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Growing a 'Green' Yard

My yard is not a pretty place.  This year as we scaled back our yard space we also looked for ways to keep the yard green and weed free without dumping on heaps of chemicals. Stop over at the Backyard Farming Connection for some tips on keeping your yard 'green.'

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Making Jam

After a two year absence, we finally made some jam again this weekend!  Read more about it at:


Monday, June 10, 2013

And The Rain Goes On...

I forgot how much it rains in Northeast Ohio.

Like, really.  It rains a lot here.  The ducks love it, my plants love it, and I love it.

Read more at Milking Chickens: And The Rain Goes On...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Beekman Boy's Garden Party

Several months ago I was reading the Beekman Boy's blog, and noticed that they were again hosting the annual Sharon Springs Garden Party and giving tours of their farm.  Well, this was an immediate no brainer for me.  Upstate New York, gardens, farming, and a chance to see the Beekman Boys?!  I was in!  

We purchased our tickets, got our vacation days approved, and then we decided that due to our new budget, we shouldn't go.  In my head I could hear all of the excuses:  We should be saving money.  We have our own gardens at home that need tending right now.  We should stay home and clean the house.  The list of reasons why we shouldn't go went on and on.  Neither one of us was happy with this decision though.  So, at the last minute (yesterday morning) we decided that we would indeed head to Sharon Springs and the trip would be funded mostly by our recent plant sales.  This was the best decision we have made in a long time!  

We left home last night at 11:30 pm and drove straight through to Sharon Springs, arriving here 12 hours later, and we hit the town for some shopping and history, as soon as we arrived.  (Tomorrow this town is supposed to host over 30,000 people and I wanted to make sure that I got my shopping in without fighting the crowd!)  Our first stop in Sharon Springs was The Cobbler & Co.  The Cobbler & Co. is an absolutely charming little store with more unique merchandise than should legally be allowed.  I could have spent serious amounts of money here.  I wanted one of everything!  

Our second stop was The Beekman 1802 Mercantile.  The Mercantile was simply amazing and the highlight of the day was meeting Brent.  I know he was busy getting the store ready for tomorrow, but he was so kind and genuine.  He came out to talk with us, allowed us to take pictures with him, and thanked us for visiting.  He invited us back to visit again tomorrow, and we will be touring their farm which I am so excited about.  

After a few hours of shopping and wondering around Sharon Springs we needed to eat lunch, and the friendly young woman from Beekman 1802 recommended that we eat lunch at Black Cat Cafe.  We both had the turkey pesto panini and the Blaack and Mac macaroni and cheese made from Brent and Josh's goat cheese.  It was delicious, and the owner was so nice.  We sat on the patio, spoke with him for quite a while, and watched the people of Sharon Springs bustle about.  

It is easy to see why the people of Sharon Springs love their town so much.  It is quaint, quiet, and you instantly get the feeling that you have stepped back in time,  to when people were more genuine and friendly.   I can't wait to go back tomorrow!  

Leftovers are my friend...and two recipes

I used to hate leftovers.  But no more!  We struggle to get an actual meal put together for weeknight dinners.  Now big batch cooking and leftovers are a working-in-the-city farm girl's best friend.  :D

Read more at: Leftovers are my friend and two recipes

No Bees...(The Plot Thickens by Rejection)

 In a world where life and death hang in balance amongst the walnut trees; one little hive stands alone.
Will their Beekeeper be able to save the hive in time for a honey crop? Can there really be enough black raspberries to make jam? Find out when you read the next installment of...The Horseless Housewife

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Urban Chicken Run

So lets say you are an urban chicken keeper……who rents.  You want to raise chickens and have a cute little coop in mind but want an easy run that can be disassembled quickly and neatly.  I have just the thing for you......

Read more over at the Handsome Homesteader.

Singleton Fiber Processing - Where Our Fiber Goes to Become Yarn

There is a process to life on a fiber farm.  Feed the wool producing animals and they will grow fiber and wool.  At Timber Creek Farm we raise two different types of fiber animals.  Our lovely Border Leicester Sheep grow pounds of warm thick wool all year round.  We shear the wool two times a year, but then what happens?  Read more  to  and learn about the rest of the process of wool fiber becoming yarn.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How to Help Hatch a Chick

It is our opinion that nature knows best.

In our experience at Lally Broch Farm, allowing the hens to incubate and hatch their eggs gives us a better hatch rate and usually one that requires no assistance from us. (I'm not against using an incubator, we just have not had as good results from them.) Sometimes, interference is necessary and can be life saving. When it's a choice between certain death by suffocation or a slim chance at life, we make that call on a case by case basis and hope that we make the right one.

So, how can you give your chick the best chance at survival? We have some tips for you and a video of it being done at Lally Broch Farm.

Sonja ♥

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Creating Beautiful Container Plantings (thrillers, fillers, and spillers)

This is the time of year that I like to combine annual plants in containers for our decks and patios, and
am usually able to create some stunning combinations that look beautiful through the summer.  That's because I use the thriller, filler, spiller concept (something I learned years ago) to pick the plant combinations for the containers.  Learn how you can create beautiful container plantings too by clicking here.

Lesa (Farm Website) (Farm Blog) (Facebook)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Did You Win???

Did you win??? 

Tiffany, from The Egg Basket has a dozen hatching eggs for one lucky winner.  You will be glad to win this selection from one of the most meticulous breeders we know! Retail Value $70.00

Winner: Jenny M.

Sonja has donated a one-of-a kind Mosaic Eggshell Pendant hand pieced from the shells of her own hens eggs. Lally Broch Farm, located in Maine, sells the beautiful jewelry on their Etsy shop but you might win your own unique piece. 

Description: "Crimson & Clover" Our layered diamond inspired pendant measures approximately 2.5" x 2.5". The base diamond is hand painted in shades of emerald green. I painted the top diamond in a varigation of rich garnet red. . This piece is painted black on the back and signed. The ornate silver toned bale is secured with a jump ring fastened through the top of the diamond. This pendant comes with a 24" inch, silver tone, link chain that closes with a silver tone lobster clasp. Retail Value $25.00

Winner: Beth Wing

Another reader will win one creamy, 5 oz, Goat's Milk Soap bath bar from Lally Broch Farm. If you win, which scent will you choose: Lavender, Baby Powder, Peppermint, Citrus-Mint, Cinnamon, or Jasmine? Retail Value $7.25

Winner: Barbara Moore

Marissa has painstakingly blown out some gorgeous eggs.  This is truly a  breathtaking art form from Abundance Farms.

Description: 6 blown eggs. You will receive a colorful assortment of three Black Copper Marans, one Yokohama, one Easter Egger, and one carved Pekin duck egg. Each egg has been collected from our various breeds and blown out for your decoration or crafting purposes. Eggs are blown out by using a needle to poke two holes at each end of the egg and then the egg is cleaned out. Very rarely do I make my Easter Egger's (her name is Waldo and she was my first hen ever) eggs available for purchase. She lays one of the most beautiful green eggs I have ever seen. So, why not take a little piece of Abundance Farms with you?

Winner: Robin Shake

Janet raises  sheep and the wool is locally spun into yarn.  The Border Leicester yarn from Timber Creek Farm is 2 ply and knits and crochets beautifully.   The 150 yard skein is plenty of yarn for a long scarf or maybe a pair of hand warmers or mittens.

Winner: Brenda Messer

Gretchen, not only raises everything from kids to garden vegetables to farm animals but also paints!  This absolutely stunning painting from Gretchen at The Backyard Farming Connection is on 6 x 6 canvas and sure to be a favorite with any chicken lover.

Winner: Laura Dietrick

Lesa from Bramblestone Farm is donating a beekeeping book.  Many people  have recently realized the benefits of owning bees and harvesting honey.  This book will be an often used resource in your homestead library.  Read more from Lesa on Better Hens and Gardens, too.

Winner: Bryan Twidwell

Our FarmHousewife, Sheila made a rustic rag rug for the giveaway.  I don't know about you, but I love these rugs.  The workmanship that goes into something like this makes it all the more valuable. Visit Sheila at Hope Farms.   (the rug color and pattern may vary)

Winner: Vanessa Moran

The Handsome Homesteader, Marlana makes some lovely jewelry.  Nothing like a handmade necklace to add just the right touch to your outfit.  Or maybe share with a friend, as a special birthday gift?

Winner: Holly Harper

And to sweeten the pot a little more, we have donations of  Chris Mclaughlin's book Vertical Vegetable Gardening and two seed packets from Page Seed Company. 

Winner: Darlene Owens Bonaccorsi

Congratulations and Thank you so much for participating. Winners, please check your email for instructions on how to claim your prize. If we do not hear from you by June 8, 2013 a new winner will be chosen.

(Please use a valid email that you check frequently.  We will contact the winners twice by email, announce the winners on the facebook page and blog page.  If we don't hear from the winners within a week we will choose a runner up winner for that prize. )  All prizes must be sent to a valid street delivery address and not a PO box.

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