Simple Saturdays Blog Hop 9/13

simple saturday sheep

  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 building community, learning new skills and growing more … [Continue reading]

Seeds of the Month Club

Seeds of the Month Club via Better Hens and Gardens

I'm happy to welcome “Seeds of the Month Club” back as a sponsor of Better Hens and Gardens.  I just love looking through seed catalogs, but with all the choices today, I’m always conflicted about what new seed varieties to try.  So I'm always enthusiastic when my Seeds of the Month Club package arrives, and for about $2.75 per month, I get to try four new and exciting vegetable, herb, or fruit varieties.  For a … [Continue reading]

Dill & Tarragon Potato Salad

Dill & Tarragon Potato Salad via Better Hens and Gardens

We had a great potato season again in the garden this year; so we get to try lots of recipes using potatoes.  I wasn't very familiar with the taste of tarragon; but like dill in potato salads so last year tried this recipe from Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That" and we loved it - it's a potato salad with lots of flavor!  I've made it now with both Prairie Blush and Yukon Gold … [Continue reading]

2014 Homegrown Tomato Trials

2014 Tomato Taste Trials via Better Hens and Gardens

Each year, we try a variety of new heirloom vegetables and compare them to those we've grown previously, always trying to select those that produce and taste the best from our garden for growing in future years. It's no different with tomatoes and this year, we grew five different red tomatoes - 4 heirlooms and one F1 hybrid.  Particularly with tomatoes, we find that the heirlooms taste so much better than the hybrids, but I still … [Continue reading]

Buff Hatches A Baby!

Buff Hatches A Baby via Better Hens and Gardens

Golden Buff chickens have been bred for generations to be egg-layers, and to be exceptionally good at it too - they are known to be one of the best breeds for producing many large eggs.  They are not; however, hens that have maternal instincts and tend to go broody - those qualities were supposed to have been bred out of them long ago, because that would have a really negative effect on their reputation as great … [Continue reading]

Chipotle Corn Chowder

Chipotle Corn Chowder via Better Hens and Gardens

The sweet, summer corn is coming in, and this soup is so delicious.  If you don’t like spicy soup, you can leave out the chipotle altogether and it’s still very good.  It’s best made with fresh sweet corn, but good frozen corn still makes a great soup.  I like to make batches of it as the corn is ripening and freeze it, it's so good in the middle of the winter!       … [Continue reading]

Fall Chicken Culling

Which Chickens to Cull via Better Hens and Gardens

It's hard to believe, but Fall is almost here again and it's time to think about culling chickens to make room for the pullets that hatched in the spring.  Fall is the traditional time for culling (reducing flock size) because we don’t want to support non-productive birds through the winter, and we can look forward to homegrown chicken dinners all winter long.  The birds to consider culling are any excess roosters, … [Continue reading]

New Goat Addition – Calligraphy

Callyigraphy 8_9_14

The Buttin'Heads dairy goat farm recently announced that they were dispersing most of the herd, after over 23 years of breeding Nigerian Dwarf goats. That was a sad thing to hear, particularly since their herd competes successfully at the National level and is located in Ohio.  Still, I've admired their goats for a long time, so I inquired as to whether any of those being dispersed were also … [Continue reading]

Fresh Cucumber and Onion Salad

Fresh Cucumber Salad - via Better Hens and Gardens

When we have cucumbers and onions coming out of the garden, this is practically a staple in our refrigerator.  Although it's quite simple, it's very refreshing and tastes a little like a "new pickle" to me.      When the cucumbers and onions are first sliced and go into the sugar, water, vinegar and dill mixture, they are firm and hard.  But, as they marinade, they soften while still retaining some … [Continue reading]

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Sun Dried Tomato Dip - via Better Hens and Gardens

We always use tomatoes from the garden to make our own sun-dried tomatoes, and this is a terrific dip for using those tomatoes.  It's one of my favorite dips for chips - but it's also good with crackers and veggies.  It's quick to make and the taste is light-years ahead of grocery store dips.        … [Continue reading]