Doubly Hot Horseradish Mustard

Doubly Hot Mustard via Better Hens and Gardens

We’ve been making this mustard for years; and when the current batch is gone, it’s not long before someone’s whipping up another one – it’s that terrific and that easy.   Supermarket varieties seem insipid and expensive compared to this.  It also makes a great gift for friends and family; everyone seems to love receiving it.       … [Continue reading]

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract via Better Hens and Gardens

It's easy to make your own vanilla extract rather than buying the expensive little bottles of (often fake) extract at the store.  All it takes are a few vanilla beans, a tall bottle, and some vodka.  Once it’s made, you can keep the recipe going for years by adding more vodka and vanilla beans; and, you get an extra “ingredient” – the vanilla beans.  Just slice open the bean and scrape out all the seeds, they add wonderful … [Continue reading]

Spend Your $’s On These Organics – The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen Collage via Better Hens and Gardens

When I think about “real” food, I mean food that doesn’t contain artificial ingredients, hasn’t been fed antibiotics or growth hormones, wasn’t genetically modified, isn’t covered with pesticides, and most importantly, tastes great. It can be hard to find “real” food today, and the pesticides used on much of the produce in grocery stores contributes to the problem. There is a growing consensus that small doses of pesticides can adversely … [Continue reading]

Preparing the Goat Does for Breeding (2014)

Preparing Goat Does for Breeding via Better Hens and Gardens

Ultimately, the reason most folks have dairy goats is because they want the milk; and for this the does need to be bred and have kids.  Standard size does can generally be bred after they reach 80 lbs. or seven months of age; but breeders often wait until does are older for miniature breeds like Nigerian Dwarves.  In our case, we’ve been waiting until the does are 1 ½ years old; both because we wanted springtime kids and want … [Continue reading]

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup via Better Hens and Gardens

The butternut squash always seems to do well in the garden, and rewards us with lots of squash in the fall.  This recipe is a great one for using the squash, and although my husband says he doesn't like butternut squash, he likes this. I think it's the curry powder that makes it such a great soup.  The ingredient list is very short and it's super easy to make, but the flavor is outstanding.  And since butternut … [Continue reading]

Homemade Copper Bolus Tool

Homemade Copper Bolusing Tool via Better Hens and Gardens

Copper deficiency in goats is a common problem in many areas of the US, and can cause many serious conditions including severe anemia, stillborn kids, mastitis, osteoporosis, and many other ailments.  It's essential for proper development of the goat central nervous system, correct bone growth, and hair pigmentation.  Since copper is so critical to goat health and there are so many deficient areas in the US (see Copper Bolusing … [Continue reading]

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]