Swiss Chard Frittata

Swiss Chard Frittata with Bacon, Potatoes, & Cheese via Better Hens and Gardens

 The Swiss chard is looking beautiful again in the fall garden, and this homey frittata makes delicious use of it.  The great thing about chard is that once it gets going in the garden, it just doesn't quit.  I particularly like this recipe because it uses both the leaves and ribs, and has such wonderful flavor. For filling a frittata like this, chard is one of our favorites for color and flavor; but other greens … [Continue reading]

Published in Chickens Magazine!

Nov_Dec Chickens Mag via Better Hens and Gardens

The November/December 2014 issue of Chickens Magazine is hitting newsstands now and it includes an article on And the Beet Grows On, that I'm very excited to have authored.  We love growing mangel beets to feed our chickens through the winters, so I'm happy to provide the information on growing them - hoping that others will enjoy growing them for their chickens … [Continue reading]

Apples – Which Variety for What?

Apple Season - How To Pick The Right Variety via Better Hens and Gardens

It’s fall, and that means it’s time for apples, but which ones are best for snacking, baking, applesauce, salads, savory dishes, and is there an all-around apple?   There are so many varieties to choose from - here’s a list of commonly available varieties for each purpose: Snacking – the all-time favorite here is the Honey Crisp – it’s juicy, crunchy, and has unbelievable flavor.  The mildly sweet taste of the Red and Golden … [Continue reading]

Pole Bean Thief!

Pole Bean Mystery via Better Hens and Gardens

We usually have a great pole bean harvest when we grow our favorite homestead bean variety (Fortex), but this year things went wrong.  Almost immediately after the seeds started sprouting, something began eating them. A few years ago, I would have strongly suspected deer; however, we fenced the garden with eight strands of electrified fencing on six-foot posts to keep the deer out.  Also, the garden is now almost entirely … [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]