Simple Saturdays Blog Hop 4/25/15

Dillinger Simple Saturday

Join us for ideas on living a Simple Lifestyle and being Self Sufficient! Welcome to Simple Saturdays Blog Hop! This blog hop is brought to you by a group of wonderful co-hosts committed to the Simple way of Life and learning to be Self Reliant in all they do.  Simple Saturdays Blog Hop is a way for each of us to share the various ways we are learning to be more Self Reliant in our homes and on our land. This is all about … [Continue reading]

3 Steps For Building Beautiful Garden Borders

Building Beautiful Garden Borders via Better Hens and Gardens

I really admire beautiful mixed flower and foliage borders like the top photo here (confession - none of mine look like this), but have difficulty creating borders like this around our home.   As the seasons progress; there's either too little foliage, too few flowers, the colors don't mix, or the textures don't work together.  To combat the problem, last year I started with a new improvement … [Continue reading]

Rhubarb – An Easy Grow Perennial

Rhubarb, An Easy Perennial For Every Homestead via Better Hens and Gardens

As I was walking through the garden this weekend, I noticed that the rhubarb plants were up, but also that they were putting up flower stalks.  When rhubarb emerges, it's a sure sign of spring! Rhubarb is super easy to grow, comes back every year, and makes fantastic pies, custards, and crisps (so every homestead should have some), but you actually grow it to eat the stalks, and the flower heads need to be cut off. Here's all you … [Continue reading]

Essential Oils Revolution


It seems like advertisements and claims about essential oils are everywhere you look today, but I'd been sort of ignoring all the hype. Then one day, my sister-in-law gave me a goat milk and essential oil lotion that cleared up a skin problem I'd been having for years. I'd tried all kinds of man-made concoctions prescribed by my dermatologist, but nothing worked until I used this simple lotion. That's when I started noticing … [Continue reading]

New Stronger and Configurable Goat Pens

Reconfigurable New Goat Pens via Better Hens and Gardens

  The original pens that we used for our Nigerian Dwarf goats were actually horse stalls that had solid walls; however, we found that goats are social creatures, and they much preferred walls that they could see each other through. So, we had the inner walls of the horse stalls replaced with 2" x 4" woven wire, and the goats enjoyed being able to see what was going on and interact with each other. However, the welded wire fatigued (from … [Continue reading]

Goat Kidding Supplies

Goat Kidding Supplies via Better Hens and Gardens

Here's our list of supplies to have on hand for goat kidding.  Each year I go through this list making sure it's up-to-date, and that we have everything on hand.  I try to have supplies on hand to handle all reasonable possibilities – one year I would have sworn that we wouldn’t need supplies to tube feed a kid.  Guess what?  We learned how to tube feed a kid in a hurry, and I was so happy that I’d prepared and … [Continue reading]

More Bramblestone Farm 2015 Nigerian Dwarf Kids

Snickers Left Large

Another three Bramblestone Farm Nigerian Dwarf goat kids arrived over the weekend, and they're super cute too! *M SG Wild Wind Farm Bit 'O' Honey *D freshened (on April 3) at 146 days, and she had a chamois buckling, black caped cream buckling, and black caped brown (w/white overlay) doeling. They were 2.9, 3.1, and 3.7 lbs. each at birth, and all are polled! The first buckling was a breech birth, but everything went ok and they're all doing … [Continue reading]

Chickens Don’t Take Water Baths – They Take Dust Baths!

Chickens Dust Bathing via Better Hens and Gardens

Note: Several readers have requested posts on topics that have already appeared here - this is one of those posts that has been updated and republished. One of the funniest chicken behaviors to watch is dust bathing (but it's often disturbing the first time new chicken keepers observe it) .  The chickens find some warm, dry, loose material like dirt, sand, or mulch; and proceed to dig themselves in.  They’ll dig and dig, … [Continue reading]

First Bramblestone Farm 2015 Nigerian Dwarf Kids

1st 2015 Goat Kids via Better Hens and Gardens

The first Bramblestone Farm Nigerian Dwarf goat kids began arriving over the past week, and are as cute as ever! Bramblestone Ruby was the first to freshen (on March 26th) at 145 days, and she had a chamois doeling, black caped buckling, and chamois buckling. They were 2.8, 4.2, and 4.3 lbs. each at birth, and we believe both of the chamois are polled! They are doing well and get stronger each day. Old Mountain Farm Hot Tea just freshened … [Continue reading]

Crustless Quiche

Crustless Quiche via Better Hens and Gardens

This is an easy Quiche recipe that tastes great, and doesn't even require a crust.  Another nice thing about this recipe is that although the original recipe calls for bacon as the meat, swiss cheese for the grated cheese, and spinach for the vegetable; over the years I've substituted different meats, cheeses, and vegetables with pretty good success.  For the meat you can substitute crumbled, cooked sausage or finely chopped ham; … [Continue reading]