Simple Saturdays Blog Hop 1/24/15

simple saturday sheep

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]

Chicken Chili

Awesome Chicken Chili via Better Hens and Gardens

This chili is really more like a stew - just full of chicken and lots of red and yellow peppers.  It can be made with chicken breasts from the grocery store, but is really tastiest when roasted heritage* chicken is used.  It's a favorite at our house - delicious and healthy too! It makes a warming winter meal, and is great for any kind of informal winter gathering. Serve with the recommended toppings and … [Continue reading]

Goat Starter List

Goat Starter List 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.    It's hard to believe, but we've had Nigerian Dwarf goats for nearly five years. We started with two, and are trying to keep the herd down to a dozen today. I still remember when they first came home, wondering if we'd prepared and had the basics needed for … [Continue reading]

Feeding Wild Birds and Homemade Suet

Winter Birdfeeding and Homemade Suet

During colder months when there are fewer seeds and berries available for the wild birds, we enjoy feeding and observing them; but we like to stay warm and toasty too.  Fortunately, there’s a window seat overlooking a protected nook that’s perfect for this, and we put a variety of seed and suet in feeders there to attract the birds. Each species of bird has different seed preferences, so the type of seed offered can be customized to … [Continue reading]

Goats – How Much Cold Can They Take?

Goats How Much Cold Can They Take via Better Hens and Gardens

Each winter, one question seems to come up concerning our Nigerian Dwarf goats – can goats take the cold? We live in Northeastern Ohio, so temperatures of -15°F are pretty common. Adult Goats Handle Cold – If Not Wet or Windy If goats are housed so that they can get out of the wind and stay dry (and they're receiving adequate nutrition and health care), then they generally tolerate temperatures that cold without issue. … [Continue reading]

Counting Goat (or Livestock) Blessings

Goat Blessings Collage via Better Hens and Gardens

Why am I writing about counting goat blessings? Well, because I'm intentionally reminding myself that we're blessed to have twelve Nigerian Dwarf goats. I found myself in a conversation with another goat owner recently where I mentioned "getting rid of the goats" several times. And that struck me as very odd. We've worked hard to make a good home for the goats and care for them to the best of our ability, as well as … [Continue reading]

2015 Farm Plans

2015 Farm Goals Collage via Better Hens and Gardens

It's already 2015 and time to think about plans for the year. We don't usually do resolutions, but like to make some general plans so we don't just drift along. I've found that since retiring, it's even easier to just let things go for another day, so one thing I'd like to do is use time more meaningfully in 2015. On the farm, these are some of the things we'd like to accomplish (and yes, some of them are carry-overs from … [Continue reading]

2014 Was A Good Year

2014 Kids Sleeping Day 1 Small

Each year, I try to look back and sum up what got accomplished on the farm – because sometimes we just don’t give ourselves credit for what we’ve done. By looking back, it can also help us think about and shape what we might decide to concentrate on and accomplish in the coming year. These were our highlights for 2014: Retirement Year 1 (Lesa) – Being retired and having more time to focus on the farm, blogging, and other interests has been … [Continue reading]

Merry Christmas from Better Hens and Gardens!

Randy_Lesa_Am_Sun_Charm Merry Christmas

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Christmas Buckling at Bramblestone Farm

Excalibur Right Large

Look what showed up under the Christmas tree at Bramblestone Farm: His name is Wild Wind Farm Excalibur, and he's the new buck at the farm. He was reserved the day after he was born - I love his pedigree and he's polled too! His dam is a beautiful doe with one of the highest, most well attached udders that I've seen. She broke her leg as a youngster but even though that sets her back a bit in linear appraisal, she scored … [Continue reading]