Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Training the Hard to Train Dog

by Janet Garman

We often get questions about our dog, Chief.   He is a beautiful dog, large boned, broad head, strong and dark yellow.  He is a registered Labrador and is doing well at the age of  10.  At the farm, Chief is indispensable help in keeping the unwanted, harmful critters away from the flocks and herds.  In fact, most of our farm animal losses  have been when we have been gone for a few days and Chief has not been on patrol.   We spend a lot of time on  the farm with Chief and he has become a wonderful farm dog.  But it wasn’t a smooth beginning to life with Chief.  Read the rest of the story at Timber Creek Farm >>>

Monday, July 29, 2013

Livingston County Farm Crawl

I am so excited about the Livingston County Farm Crawl!  I had the pleasure of asking these gals some questions about their farms and will be visiting each of them in a few weeks.  Their stories are pretty cool and I really hope you take some time to read about it over at Handsome Homesteader 
Happy Homesteading!

Who rescued whom? Critters in need of homes

Fourth of July weekend we adopted a new family member.  There are so many critters in need of homes.  If you're looking for a new pet, I hope you'll make a shelter your first stop.  They really, really do seem to appreciate having a family.  Read more about our newest addition (and our fourth rescue pup) at Pasture Deficit Disorder.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tractor Show- Pick of the Show

by Janet Garman

Tuckahoe Steam and Tractor Show 2013

I have made no secret of the fact that  our weekly date usually includes an outing to a tractor show or competition.  We both enjoy these shows for different reasons.  My reasons for loving the tractor shows are varied.  I love to take pictures of old machinery and tractors usually fit this bill.   I love the country feel of these shows and usually there is a good flea market involved too, where I can search for the vintage farm and vintage kitchen stuff that I like to collect.  This year, just for kicks, I made up some criteria that I will use to judge the tractor show entries.  Want to know who won and why?  Read more at Timber Creek Farm>>>>

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pinspiration Post #1~ Homemade Lara Bars & Granola Bars

Pinspiration Post #1 ~ Homemade Snacks

I have to admit, I enjoy my Social Media.  Sharing photos and chatting with readers, other breeders, friends, and family on Facebook, sharing photos on Instagram, and checking out all of the amazing ideas on Pinterest can be fun and informational.  The challenge is, as a homeschooling mom of 3, wife, homemaker, family cook, blogger, farmer, breeder, youth club leader, co-op teacher, etc. I really shouldn't be "wasting time" on Pinterest, right?  So what's a lady to do?  There are SUCH fabulous ideas on Pinterest that COULD help me out, be enjoyed, and be fun for the family!  My guilt-free idea was that I must at least use some of the ideas I find rather than just drooling over them all and pinning them to boards to never be looked at again.  With that idea came this post, my "Pinspiration" trials whether they are a success or a total failure, I'm going to share them here with you'll!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Swarming Bees (or not)

A few weeks ago, our hive of bees swarmed into a nearby tree only to return to the hive an hour later.  Learn about the lessons learned over at the Backyard Farming Connection.

Friday, July 19, 2013

How does your garden grow?


Join me each Friday as I share how my garden is growing.  Or even better, stop over at The Backyard Farming Connection and tell me how your garden's growing this year!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Growing and Harvesting Garlic

If you're like me, you use garlic almost daily in the kitchen.  Luckily garlic is easy and fun to grow.  Get yourself prepared for the fall planting with this post over at the Backyard Farming Connection.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Baby Donkey Arrival

We've had a new arrival to Abundance Farms! Say hello to this cute little girl.
We still haven't named her, but we're open to suggestions! Comment here or on our FACEBOOK with your name suggestion!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Egg News

Our girls are getting the hang of this egg laying business.  And it's still like Christmas looking to see what they've made for us each day!

Read more about them here.

You can also visit us at or

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Re-purpose a Pallet into an American Flag

One hour craft turns a used pallet into an American Flag decoration. 

It was about a year ago this September when I was introduced to Katie from Maple Grove Place.
Katie shared a post about her American Flag/picket fence project that had me longing for old barn wood and some milk paint. 

There just didn't seem to be time to work on my project,  so I was left remembering the beautiful picket fence flag on Katie's wall, but not making one for myself. Until, one day, some new tires were delivered to our house and they were delivered on A PALLET!!  Not just any pallet but a beautiful, well made but, worn pallet.  I immediately remembered the picket fence flag from Maple Grove, and my creative wheels were turning.   I put the pallet in the corner of the garden and told my family I was saving it for a project. 

May turned to June and June turned to July and I still had not painted my pallet flag. 

July 4th arrived and we had plans.  But before the celebrating began, I actually stole and hour and painted my pallet flag.  The proportions are not as perfect as the picket fence, but it is an interpretation of our flag.  If I had a chance to make another one, there are a few changes I would make but all things considered, I am happy with this one.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cure the Hiccups

This one is short and sweet homesteaders.....

Wanna know how I cure the hiccups?  Click Here and Happy homesteading!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Loving the Lard, An Ode in Four Parts: Biscuits

I’m pretty sure I’ve discussed my biscuit issues previously.  For years, I struggled with them, never finding a recipe I was happy with.  The cut biscuits were always too thin, or too hard.  The drop biscuits were powdery and lacked the lovely ability to separate and cradle all manner of tasty goodness: gravy, butter, jam, etc.  A year or so ago, I finally found a recipe and method I was happy with.  No rolling required, and the only cuts made are with a knife.  The biscuits are treated somewhat like scones, and so use each other to rise and gain height.  They split well, taste great, and have served me well.

Read more at Milking Chickens...

Raspberry Jam Session with Recipe

Saturday morning The Reluctant Farmer declared that we should go berry picking at a local farm that is known for growing the best berries in our area, and since we missed strawberry season, and were dangerously close to being out of jam, I eagerly agreed.  When we arrived at the farm we were told they had black raspberries in season, and out into the field we went. 

The field was very wet and muddy due to the massive amount of rain that we’ve received lately, but with the rain has come cooler temperatures, which is a Godsend for berry picking!  We both took our time and worked up and down the rows of brambles, loading up our baskets and brought home 4 quarts of berries.  I was amazed how beautiful these berries were, and I kept remarking about how perfect they looked, and they smelled even better than they looked! 

As we were leaving the farm my mom called and told us that her neighbor had a huge crop of red raspberries that were going to waste, and wanted to know if we would be interested in any of those.  Not one to turn down produce of any kind, let alone organic berries, off we went.  We were able to harvest an additional 4 quarts of red raspberries off of those bushes.

With 8 quarts of berries, there was little else we could do except have a jam session on Saturday night.  This year’s recipe is both simple, and guaranteed to put a smile on your face when served over vanilla ice cream.  The following recipe is a simple jam recipe that even the most novice canner can master.

Simple Raspberry Jam

5 ¼ c. of raspberries
7 c. of sugar
1 package of powdered fruit pectin (1.75 oz)

Mash berries in a stainless steel pot.  Stir in pectin and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Add sugar, and continue to stir, until mixture reaches a hard boil.  Then stir constantly for 1 minute, afterwards turning off heat and filling jars.  Leave ¼ inch head space.  Process jars in water bath canner for 10 minutes.  Makes 8 half-pints of jam.

When I posted on my Facebook page that we were going to make jam this weekend, I had several people that wanted to learn to make jam, but were afraid to try.  I promise you this is the easiest way to prepare food, and once you get the hang of it you will be amazed by just how much food you are able to preserve with such little effort.  If you are interested in canning, go to the library get yourself a book on canning and start reading.  (I recommend Ball’s Blue Book Guide to Preserving.)  Grab a friend too and you can have your own jam session.  You won’t be able to buy the memories that you create together in a store, and if you need any help or have any questions I’m just one “click” away!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Homemade Bath Soak

“Simple” bath soaking crystals from the grocery store are made from things like sodium
sesquicarbonate, pentasodium triphosphate, etc. – so that I have no idea what we’re really soaking in, plus they’re expensive.   Continue reading here to find out how to make a simple homemade version from every day ingredients that costs less.

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