Wine Cork Ornaments

Easy Wine Cork Ornament via Better Hens and Gardens

This year, we're trying to keep Christmas buying to a minimum, and mostly giving gifts of food or simple items that we've made here on the farm. So in that theme, here's another DIY item that I resurrected from the past and have been making. It uses leftover wine corks to make ornaments for your tree or to attach to packages as a gift for someone elses tree! One of the nice things about making these ornaments is that they … [Continue reading]

Goat Milk Fudge

Goat Milk Fudge via Better Hens and Gardens

Here's another easy DIY gift idea, and although I use goat milk, whole cow milk can be used instead. I swear this is the easiest fudge recipe I’ve ever made (it’s cooked in the microwave), and it turns out perfect every time.  I found the recipe because I was looking for goat milk recipes, and found it on a goat keeping forum. It can also be varied to make “dark chocolate” fudge by using ¼ cup regular cocoa and ¼ cup … [Continue reading]

DIY Gift Idea – Homemade Bath Soak

DIY Gift Bath Soak via Better Hens and Gardens

Since it's the season for gifting, here's an idea for a simple to make bath soak. Tied up with an appropriately colored ribbon and tag, it can be a thoughtful gift any time of year.     Here's the recipe for this simple bath soak: 2 cups baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) 1 cup Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) 2 tablespoons ground ginger 5 drops essential oil (optional - I used lavender-vanilla) Mix … [Continue reading]

5 Reasons to Choose Nigerian Dwarf Goats for Milk

5 Reasons to Choose Nigerian Dwarf Goats for Milk via Better Hens and Gardens

Worldwide, goat milk is the most highly consumed form of milk and, amidst the varying dairy goat types; Nigerian Dwarf goat milk is increasingly popular.  But why is goat milk and Nigerian Dwarf goat milk in particular so popular? 1) Better For You Goat milk is easier for human’s to digest than cow’s milk.  It’s naturally homogenized, with smaller fat particles evenly suspended throughout the milk.  It contains vitamins, … [Continue reading]

Split Pea and Ham Soup

Split Pea & Ham Soup via Better Hens and Gardens

Grandma made the best split pea & ham soup, it was always delicious. One year (when she was in her early nineties), she gave each of the grandchildren a package of split peas and her recipe as a Christmas gift. It is still one of the most memorable gifts, and I'm so glad she did it! There's nothing difficult or exotic about this recipe, but it produces a great pot of soup. I think the secret is the ham bone and sautéing … [Continue reading]

Happy Thanksgiving from Better Hens and Gardens!

Happy Thanksgiving from Better Hens and Gardens

Thanksgiving is a time to slow down, and remember all the things in our lives that we're thankful for.  This year, some of the things I'm thankful for are my husband, family, friends, and all the critters that make up Bramblestone farm.  We're blessed to be celebrating the holiday with both family and friends, and much of the food that we'll enjoy will contain ingredients produced right here on the farm. Perhaps it's not … [Continue reading]

Best Sweet Potatoes

Best Sweet Potatoes via Better Hens and Gardens

These really are the best sweet potatoes, you won't want to go back to making them any other way. It's more like getting to eat dessert than vegetables! We don't remember where the recipe came from, but know it turned the unappreciated, but obligatory sweet potatoes into a dish that gets requested every year.  It's both easy and delicious!   … [Continue reading]

Keep Coops Ventilated – Especially in Cold Weather!

Ventilate Your Coop (Especially In Winter) via Better Hens and Gardens

Every year, as the weather turns cold, my husband starts closing down the windows of the chicken coop.  He means well, but every year I explain why it’s very important to keep the chicken coop well ventilated, and why it’s even more important in cold weather (notice the windows are wide open - front and back).   Chickens generate a lot of moisture, ammonia, and heat – so it’s absolutely critical to ventilate well to remove … [Continue reading]

First Snow of 2014

First 2014 Snow Garden and Hives via Better Hens and Gardens

This is what we woke up  to in Northeastern Ohio today, isn't it lovely? I'm not actually fond of snow, but have to admit that it can be pretty.  This photo looks down into the valley where we keep the bees, garden, and where hay is grown.   The chickens don't seem to be any worse for the snow, they always take the cold weather well.   Looks like the driveway could use a bit of … [Continue reading]

Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup

Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup via Better Hens and Gardens

We have some nice cabbage coming out of the garden again this year, and one of our favorite uses for the cabbage is this soup. We've made it for years now, and I make it steadily as the cabbage ripens during the late summer/fall and freeze it. With some warm bread, it makes a comforting and hearty dinner for those cold winter months ahead.  It's a great way to use up the cabbage harvest, and make easy … [Continue reading]