Monday, April 29, 2013

Goat Kidd Milk Replacer Recipe

Bottle feeding your goat kidd can be difficult and expensive. There are many commercial powder goat milk replacers, but my experience with those have almost always ended with scours and unhealthy kidds. A little while ago, one of my Navajo Angora does had twins. She kept the doeling, but had rejected the buckling in the most violent manner I had ever seen. Any other kidds that had been rejected were simply ignored by the mother. Instead, the Navajo Angora mother began to headbutt the rejected buckling and would not let him anywhere near her or her doeling. It was obvious that we would be bottle feeding a goat for the next few months.
To get our Milk Replacer Recipe, Continue Reading Here --->

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wry Neck~ Understanding What It Is and Treatment Options

Wry Neck or Crook Neck~

Have you ever heard of this? 

Wry Neck, or Crook Neck as it's sometimes called, is an unfortunate SYMPTOM in chickens that causes their necks to become twisted.  Often times they start with the appearance of a "crook" or a hook shape in their neck, hence the name.

Want to learn more about this condition and its causes?  Interested in treatment options?  Head over to The Egg Basket's post here.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Three Sisters Garden: An Edible American History Lesson

There are innumerable ways of planting corn, beans, and squash in the garden.  My favorite method is the Three Sisters Garden.  Not only is it incredibly efficient, it has the added benefit of allowing me the opportunity to have a living, edible American history lesson right in our vegetable garden.

Three Sisters Gardens are the ultimate example of companion planting.  Each crop helps to benefit the other two varieties.  The corn serves as a natural trellis for the beans, the beans help to feed the soil, and the squash deters both pests and weeds. Together, the crops are stronger for being planted together.

Visit 1840 Farm to learn more about the Three Sisters Garden, the individual heirloom, non-GMO varieties that we are planting in our garden this year, and how you can plant your own American history lesson. 

You're always welcome at 1840 Farm.  Join in the conversation with the rest of The 1840 Farm Community on our blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Flickr.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Composting with The Worm Factory 360 (overview and setup)

When I hear the term "worm compost" it brings back memories of a friend who used to use the term "worm dirt" as a way to describe someone less than desirable. Whether you use the term worm compost, worm dirt, worm castings or worm poo, all are referring to the same thing : Vermicompost!  

Click >here< to see more!

 "Vermicompost is the product or process of composting using various worms, usually red wigglers, white worms, and other earthworms to create a herterogeneous mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast.  Vermicast, also called worm castings, worm humos or worm manure, is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by an earthworm.  These castings have been shown to contain reduced levels of contaminants and a higher saturation of nutrients than do organic materials before vermicomposting.  Containing water-soluble nutrients, vemicompost is an excellent, nutrient-rich organic fertilizer and soil conditioner.  The process of producing vermicompost is called vermicomposting."Wikipedia

Thursday, April 25, 2013

What's So Great About Nigerian Dwarf Goat Milk Anyway?

Worldwide, goat milk is preferred over cow, and within the US, the popularity of Nigerian Dwarf
goats and their milk is rising significantly.  Find out why so many are adding these little goats and their milk to the homestead and loving it here. (Facebook)


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Meal Worm Farming! Raising Live Feed for our Chickens.

We started with 1,000 Large Meal Worms
This three drawer bin gives us a drawer for each stage
of development.
1.) worms 2.) beetles 3.) eggs (as you can see, no eggs yet!)
Sections with beetles and worms gets potato
slices, carrots, etc. for moisture once a week.

For the bedding I am using is a mixture of oatmeal and wheat germ.

This process is so slow, but I think once they start laying eggs it should move faster. 
I keep the container in my garage so that it never got cold during the winter. They need the warmth to grow. 
The chickens go absolutely nuts when they see the container of meal worms coming toward them! The absolutely love it, and they are very high in protein!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What To Do With A Rooster Gone Made

You have a rooster. His name is George. He was a cute little guy. You have pictures of him on your computer. On your office wall. On your coffee mug. George. Oh, you beautiful Red Shoulder Cuckoo Marans Orpington. How you love him.
(“The Pop Art Chicken” by
One day George says “NO LONGER”! He is tired of watching you chase his hens so that you can get another cool Facebook photo.

If you have a "rooster gone made", continue reading this at Abundance Farms -->

Easy Farmer Cheese Recipe!

Last year, with only one Momma goat-a-milking, we horded each precious drop of milk produced. We experimented with soaps, cheese and yogurt. When they worked well, we celebrated. It was crushing when a recipe failed. (All that wasted MILK!) Eventually, we found a fool-proof, EASY recipe that our friends and family raved about. With 3 does in milk this year, we are making cheese every week, sometimes twice. And, it is time for us to practice making more advanced cheeses in the months to come. As excited as I am about expanding our knowledge, I think I will be hard-pressed to find a recipe I love as much as this one.

It is too good to keep to myself. I shared it HERE.

Sonja ♥

Farm Animal First Aid Kit

I recently shared a list of things I keep in my feed room for emergencies with a group of new chicken owners. Most of these items are readily available from your local drug store.  Having these things in your feed room or supply area, can save you much stress when an emergency occurs. Read the complete list and reasons why some of the items are important on Timber Creek Farm blog

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Eyes of Wonder

Eyes of wonder

The week we got a visit from the Hampshire boys and their mom.  They came to pick up some tomato and cucumber seedlings, and of course were smitten with Andy the bunny and Maggie the chicken.  (I should have kept those kiddos around a little longer to help me in the dirt!)  To see the world through the eyes of a child is a magical thing!

Andy the bunny enjoying the sunshine and carrots from the boys.

Hyacinth, so heavy that it is collapsing on itself, but still gorgeous...

The Reluctant Farmer got me this garden stone last year for my birthday.  It is a reminder that not everything has to be perfect all the time.  (I struggle with this sometimes...)  We will have another day tomorrow, and we can pick up our messy house then, but today is for gardening and playing outdoors!  Photo bomb from my muck boot...

 Grown from seed, indoors!  Flawless!

Love those daffodils!

I hope you are taking the time to stop and noticed all of the new life and wonder going on around your homestead this week.  It is an amazing sight to be seen, and the spring show that mother nature puts on for us, is nothing short of a miracle.  Stop and look at it thorough the eyes of a child.  You will be amazed at the wonder!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Keep Part of Your Yard Natural

As homesteaders we often talk about maximizing the productivity of your land.  This year, consider setting aside some natural space in your yard, even if it's just a corner.  Read more at the Backyard Farming Connection.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Legband Identification for Chickens

(20 Multicolored Spiral Leg Bands from for $4.49)
I don't know about you, but I have a lot of chickens. I have a lot of chickens of the same breeds. I have a lot of chickens...that I can't tell apart! That's where legbands come in. There are many different types, colors, and sizes. At first, it can seem overwhelming! I'm here to help you out with that today. Read more at Abundance Farms

Spring Kids Mean More Chores

When the Spring kids arrive, along with an increase of "cuteness" around the homestead comes more chores. Fresh goat's milk means lots of soap and cheese making in the months ahead. And, that is not all... come on over for a visit and we'll fill you in on all of this week's many activities.

Lally Broch Farm

Sonja ♥

To Dig or Not to Dig

How do you prepare your garden beds?  Soil is the foundation of a successful garden and yet there are so many thoughts about the best way to prepare the soil.  The Backyard Farming Connection shares a few thoughts on digging your soil.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Homemade Butter Using Goat Milk

Getting our own goats wasn't just because we wanted another pet (the stranger, the better!) but we wanted to have our own milk, make our own cheese and even try our hand at butter. I really didn't research much into the butter part of it because who would have thought that making something so simple could be so difficult? Well, turns out it wasn't quite as hard as I thought it would be!

Check out how HERE!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Maybe Baby?! Indeed!

Several times I have been invited down to Millennium Quarter Horses for a "Maybe Baby" party.   What is a  "Maybe Baby" party you ask?!  Well, a "Maybe Baby" party is where you gather with several of your friends at an expectant horse owner's house and stay up all night waiting/watching for a mare to deliver a baby.  (It's done so you can assist in the birth, because foals don't just fall out I learned...)  In the past I have been to several of these parties, but there has been no "baby action", and it appears that Tammy's horses know exactly when I am on call at the hospital, because they only foal when I am NOT available.  Last night was slightly different.  I was on call when Tammy asked me if I would like to come visit, however there was babies this time and lots of them!

We originally went for the labor and delivery of Tammy's American Bulldog, Penny.  She had 6 puppies (#7 was born after we left...), and it was exciting to see her have puppies and to assist in the delivery of them.  They were so cute, and I was excited and amazed that I got to see that.  And then, as soon as we got Penny tucked in with her new brood, I heard the Reluctant Farmer say: "You better hurry or you are going to miss the foal being born!"  Seriously?!  Puppies and a pony?!

We quickly went out to the barn, and Tammy and Jeffrey (owner of said pregnant horse...) were just starting to help deliver the foal.  I honestly thought that a mare was like a giraffe, and expected that she would just squeeze a few times and out a baby would fall.  Wrong!  The mare didn't really want to push to help deliver the baby, so Tammy and Jeffrey had to stick their hands inside, pull on it's legs, and guide it's head out.  Holy vagina, did it look painful!  The little bugger's tongue was hanging out, and I thought he was dead at first as I stood there holding my breath. Jeffery and I  were pulling like a mad on this slippery rubber-esque leg, until suddenly the baby slid out and started breathing just fine.  It was the single most amazing thing I have ever seen!  The mare was so proud of her new baby, and I was so excited that I got to see such a miracle!

I was so excited about this miracle that I even had to tell the police officer about it when he pulled me over at 3:30 am on my way home.  (I had a head light out....)  He wanted to know what we were doing out so late, and I had to explain that I had just witnessed the birth of puppies and a horse!  He seemed perplexed as to what was so exciting about that, and let us go on about our merry way with a warning.  He did ask us why we were out delivering puppies and foals, and wanted to know if we were traveling veterinarians, to which the Reluctant Farmer chuckled and replied "In this car?!  Please...."

DIY Orange Candle: 99.9% Orange, 100% Natural!

We are having a hefty snowstorm here in Colorado over the next two days for a total of 6-14 inches of the wet, white stuff!  I was itching to have a dose of fresh, summer-y smell around the house today, so we made these easy and wonderful Orange Candles!  These are my kind of projects-quick, fun and easy with results that you can benefit from immediately!  Read More at Fresh From Home

Win A Sun Dried Tomato Prize Pack!

My blog post on making homemade sun dried tomatoes generates a lot of interest, so I was
intrigued when Lisa from the Bella Sun Luci® Company contacted me to see if I’d like to review their sun dried tomato products.  In the end, I did review their products, and liked them so well that we’re having a giveaway!  Continue here to read the review and enter the giveaway for one of two Bella Sun Luci® sun dried tomato prize packs (like the one shown in the photo).

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

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chicken Gardening

 Planting a garden for people and chickens

I often get asked the question, what kinds of vegetables should I plant in order to supplement my chicken flock's diet?  Our flock of chickens ducks, turkeys and guinea hens, love all sorts of vegetable products and scraps. So what do I plant to keep both the humans and the poultry happy and well nourished?  Read on to get some gardening tips on growing veggies for chickens.

Friday, April 12, 2013

New Baby Goats

The four mature Nigerian Dwarf goats at Bramblestone Farm all gave birth two weeks ago, so now 
we have 13 adorable baby goats running around.  I'm convinced the world would be a better place if everyone had a baby goat to hold, as it's impossible to maintain a bad mood while holding a loving little baby goat.  Click here to meet the new babies at the farm. 

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

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Straw Bale Gardening

Have you ever planted a straw bale garden?  This year we built a straw bale castle and we're experimenting with a few new growing methods.  Come learn more at the Backyard Farming Connection.

All Natural Mint and Blueberry Dog Treats

With all the pet treat recalls and unnatural ingredients in most of them, I prefer to make homemade treats for our animals using natural ingredients as often as possible. Here's an easy recipe for dog treats that calls for fresh eggs, blueberries, oats, molasses and fresh mint that will give them shiny coats and fresh breath. [Click HERE for the recipe]

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Storing Eggs, Setting Breeds Apart, and Organizing Incubation

Keeping track of eggs can be difficult, especially if you find yourself getting ready to incubate a couple dozen or more. You may have several different breeds of chickens in your barnyard and need an easier process for storing and incubating. Read about how we handle our eggs and incubation at Abundance Farms.

All Natural Homemade Weed Killer!

So, spring is officially here. As are dandelions, onions, and all sorts of annoying weeds. However, before you reach for a chemical based weed killer or herbicide, lets consider an all natural version that is safe for the animals.

Weed Killer Recipe
1 gallon distilled vinegar 
1-cup household salt 
1 tbsp dish detergent 
Spray bottle

Heat this mixture on the stove, only till you can get the salt to dissolve. There is no need to boil the mixture, just heated enough to dissolve. Then transfer to the spray bottle. You can also use a large pump sprayer to cover more area.

This mixture will kill the vegetation it comes in contact with. Do not let it get on your flowers or grass, at least grass that you intend to keep. 

This mixture will be safe for you, your children, and your animals. Another good thing is that it is much cheaper than the chemical alternatives.
Give it a try. 
Sometimes, I have to use this mixture more than once, but it is well worth one extra spray to avoid dangerous chemicals and ensure the safety of my flock!


Monday, April 8, 2013

A Garden Challenge to End Hunger. Are You Ready?

Hunger is America is very real. In fact, more than 48.8 million Americans are food insecure, not knowing where their next meal will come from. What can we do to help? I'm joining with other bloggers to support Food Bloggers Against Hunger...and we have some ideas. Hope you'll join us!


Julie, Growing Days.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

He's here!  Our little prince! 

Head on over to the homestead to check out our newest little member <3

Friday, April 5, 2013

Sticky Chinese Pork Recipe

I love Chinese food. You have no idea how much I enjoy non-fish Chinese food! Over the last year, I have been trying to learn more and more about preparing my own dishes. Most of the time, I just go 100% by the recipe. Recently I found a Chinese Sticky Pork recipe on the Majestic Wine Blog and thought “well, sounds pretty good”. From there, I made what is now my favorite pork dish! I adjusted it to yield more sauce, took out a few things that I didn’t have on hand, and added in some stuff I did have…BAM! Prepare yourselves for tastiness! Find the recipe and follow along HERE

How to Create an Alphabet Garden.


How can we grow our next generation of gardeners? Plan and plant an Alphabet Garden with our littlest dirt diggers! Find out how at Growing Days.

Happy Gardening!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Why We Need Real Money for Modern Times

 Okay, so no pictures of  cute furry animals,  but I think this post can help you be more prepared when taking care of your farm or home.

I've been talking a lot with people about readiness and preparedness.  One thing I have taken notice of, is that many people do not carry any cash with them.  The debit card is King.  I find this to be very troubling and it has almost  become my latest soapbox issue.  Read more about why I think you should carry some cash, even if you use a debit card. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Breakfast Recipe Week & Healthy Zucchini Raisin Muffins

It's Breakfast Recipe Week at The Egg Basket with an amazing Giveaway from Asheville Girls Vanilla!  Today's recipe is Delicious & Healthy Zucchini Raisin Muffins! 
Welcome to Day 2 of our Breakfast Recipe Week with Asheville Girls Vanilla's Vanilla Giveaway over at The Egg Basket!  Don't forget, there are four easy-peasy ways to enter and to hop on over to get today's healthy AND delicious recipe~ Zucchini Raisin Muffins!  They're one of my family's favorite "go to" recipes!  Come on over here to grab it and enter!
Tiffany~ The Egg Basket 

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Time is Right

The time is right to achieve your homestead dreams now.  If your stuck in the mud, stop over to the Backyard Farming Connection and hear some thoughts on moving forward.

First Hike with the Goats

We have a trail to an old abandoned State of Maine granite quarry within 5 minutes drive of our home. The road to reach it is still passable most of the year. It makes the perfect trail to take the goats for a short hike. Yesterday, we went for the first time this year and brought Jane and Hadassah with us.

After all, how much trouble can two goats get into on a marked trail with three humans to watch over them?

Come on over to Lally Broch Farm for a visit and see for yourself.

Sonja ♥

Welcome Spring Signs

It is beginning to look a lot like Spring around here!  My crocus have been blooming for weeks, Daffodils are going to bloom any day, Multiple Vegetable starts are thriving under indoor lights.  I just planting my first round of cold-season vegetables in one of the raised beds this week (Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Lettuce and Spinach, Tatsoi and Macha/Corn Salad).  Odice, the 10-month old Flemish-giant rabbit, says to go ahead and fire the ground-hog; He's so excited to say that Spring is on the horizon that he left some eggstra special surprises in the collection basket today!

Breakfast Recipes Week & Asheville Girls Vanilla Giveaway!

Welcome to The Egg Basket's Breakfast Recipes Week Featuring an Asheville Girls Vanilla Giveaway

Last week I mentioned how much I LOVE baking with the Asheville Girls Organic Vanilla so this week I'm going to share my favorite Breakfast Recipes each day that require (Farm) Fresh Eggs & (Asheville Girls) Vanilla! Along with that, the generous and kind ladies of Asheville Girls Vanilla have offered my readers a couple FREE bottle of their awesome, organic Vanilla for a sweet Giveaway!  Hop on over here to enter and grab today's Breakfast recipe, Buttermilk Blueberry Coffee Cake!  YUM!


Russian Blini

Today we had a bit of a different breakfast here at our house. We love to try new foods. This one was given to us from our son's Russian language instructor. Blinis with the mixed berries I froze up last year. Yum!

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Did you know that making your own homemade vanilla extract is as easy as brewing a cup of tea?  The process is simple and the results are amazing.  I have been making my own extract for over five years and I can't imagine going back to store bought extract ever again.  

My homemade vanilla extract delivers a rich, delicious flavor and wonderful aroma to every recipe it is added to.  Making my own vanilla also allows me to ensure that there are no unknown allergens in my baking recipes and that they are safe to serve to members of my family who have food allergies.  Add in the money I save by making my own extract, and its no wonder that I continue to make the homemade variety.

Visit 1840 Farm to learn more about how I make my own extract using our 1840 Farm Vanilla Extract Kits.  While you're there, you can see a few of my family's favorite recipes featuring our homemade vanilla extract.  It won't be long until raspberry season is upon us and a recipe for raspberry crumble bars just might come in handy!

You're always welcome at 1840 Farm.  Join in the conversation on our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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