The June/July issue of From Scratch is out (click on the photo below to read), and it’s an issue that I’m really enjoying. There’s an interview with Joel Salatin “Homesteading Advice From The Master” that provides lots of inspiration for both the beginning and more experienced homesteader alike, Duplin Winery and Primal Pastures are highlighted small-scale producers, and there are “how-tos” for homemade yogurt, fly traps, chicken gravity feeder/waterer, and personal care items.
For the personal care items (deodorant, shampoo, and toothpaste), four participants agreed to use the homemade versions for two weeks, and report back periodically on how each was performing. I’ve been meaning to try making [...]
Continue reading Another Free FROM SCRATCH Issue (and Buckeye Profile)
Like many farms, we have a long driveway, and depending on where you’re at in our home, it’s not always easy to tell when someone is coming up the driveway. We’ve talked for years about installing something to alert us to incoming traffic, but didn’t want to run yards of underground wiring to solve the issue. So I’m happy that we recently found and installed a solar-powered device that really seems to work well.
The device is called the Safety Technology International STI-34100 Solar Powered Wireless Driveway Monitor, and it detects when a vehicle enters or leaves the [...]
Continue reading Driveway Monitor
The newest issue of the terrific homesteading magazine “From Scratch” is available online, just click on the button below:
And I’m a contributing author in the magazine, with an article on getting started with goats!
It really is a great magazine with lots of terrific content – check it out and let me know what you think. Also, what would you like to see articles on in future issues?
We recently had the opportunity to visit Italy (part pleasure, part business); but wouldn’t have been able to go without the help of friends – who did a great job farm sitting while we were gone. When we just had cats and chickens, it wasn’t so much work; but now that we have goats too, it’s a morning and evening commitment of significant time every day. With everyone’s’ busy schedule, that can be hard to do, but we sure appreciate the help. This magnificent glass horse in Venice was the closest thing to livestock we saw the entire vacation.
If you’re interested in getting farm animals, [...]
Continue reading Farm Sitters
Rather than writing a post of “how-to” or farm news today, there are several exciting promotional things I’ve come across recently and wanted to share:
Bread Bake Off - the Farm Chicks have gotten together our best bread recipes for a bake-off. There’s nothing better than fresh-baked bread; and the button below will take you to a collection of over 20 of our favorites (with detailed step by step instructions):
15% Off Farm Merchandise - Hobby Hill Farm has generously offered a 15% discount on all merchandise for Better Hens and Gardens readers. They’re the official outfitter for the Farm Chicks, and have a wonderful selection of farm related [...]
Continue reading 15% Off, Free Mag., Rewards Program, Contest, & Bread Bake-Off
2012 was again a good year on the farm, sometimes I forget all the great things that happened, so it’s nice to pause and look back.
Kauai, Hawaii – The year started off with a two-week vacation in late January to Kauai. We celebrated our 30th anniversary, rented/shared a gorgeous home on the ocean with family, and went swimming, snorkeling, golfing, horseback riding, and ziplining. While there, we also toured a small dairy goat farm that produces local cheese and honey for the island - it was very farm inspirational. And, of course, we enjoyed all the wild chickens!
Goats – Springtime brought [...]
Continue reading 2012 – A Very Good Farm Year!
I’m thankful for my husband, family, friends, job, and all that makes up Bramblestone Farm; but, the farm has made me appreciate some simple things that we sometimes don’t even recognize as the blessings they are.
Now that we’ve been harvesting, butchering, milking, and making so much of our own food; I have a much greater appreciation for where our food is coming from and how much work really goes into it. On a small farm, it takes a lot of time and work to milk animals, tend the fields, raise chickens, tend bees; and then to turn the raw materials into food.
So, this [...]
Continue reading Thanksgiving – Counting Simple Blessings
Bramblestone Farm has a new Facebook page – please “Like” it here if you’re a Facebook fan!
I thought it would be better late than never to get going on Facebook. But, then I read this:
So, we’ll just see what happens………………
As we built this house, barn, pastures, etc.; we found so many stones (more like boulders) that we named the place Bramblestone Farm (see The Bramblestone Farm Story). Today, I’m happy to say that we put those stones to good use (you know, if you get lemons, make lemonade – well, we got stones, so we made a wall).
The first picture to the right shows the side view of the finished dry-stacked stone wall – it’s four feet high by one hundred and twenty feet long, and it’s holding back what was once a nasty bank.
The second picture to the right shows more of a top [...]
Continue reading Bramblestone Wall
We were fortunate to visit the beautiful island of Kauai over the past several weeks; and it was just gorgeous - it truly feels like you’re in paradise. We did a lot of relaxing things while there – snorkeling, hiking, horseback riding, and whale watching to name a few; but we also visited several farms (mostly organic) to see if we could learn new techniques or ideas that would apply here.
One farm in particular was very exciting for us, Kauai Kunana Dairy. They’ve worked at it for quite a few years (originally started in 1979) and now produce artisan goat cheese, goat milk products (soap & hair/skin care products), certified organic produce, [...]
Continue reading Farm Inspiration
Now that we have a Bramblestone Farm logo (see Farm Logo), we want to make labels for sale items; but, labels are expensive (unless you’re going to buy about a million of them). So, I decided we should standardize as much as possible on one label (for quantity buying) and that for jams/jellies/pickles, etc. it should be a round label that fits the top of standard canning jars.
The logic for using a top label (rather than side) is that it shouldn’t be necessary to change the label size when jar sizes change, labels won’t have to be soaked off re-usable canning jars, canning jar lids can’t be reused anyway, and we [...]
Continue reading Product Labeling Decisions
Our niece, Tanya, created this terrific looking logo for Bramblestone Farm and farm product labeling. She’s very talented, and the logo turned out fantastic – really better than what we’d envisioned. She has her own blog too, Innovative Creations, where more of her beautiful work is posted. I was easily able to incorporate the logo into a label for raspberry jam; and can envision many labels and uses for the new logo. I’m excited to have a farm logo – what do you think of it?
I like to make lists so I don’t have to hunt things up repeatedly – and so made lists of hatcheries, garden seed and animal health suppliers that are posted here (presumedly so I and anyone else interested could find them). However, I can’t remember (this is bad) what I’ve filed them under in post categories sometimes, and have to hunt around. Therefore, I decided to make a page for sources, it’s in the menu bar above (as illustrated below when you click on it):
Hopefully, this will make it more convenient for finding the links to suppliers, and also for updating those links when they [...]
Continue reading New “Sources” Page for Supplies & Catalogs
I like organized lists because they save time – so here’s my listing of sources and links for Animal Health Supplies (yes, I’m looking for something and having a hard time finding it, which drove me to build this list!). Our needs revolve mostly around dairy goats so this listing will likely be most useful for dairy goat owners (particularly the first two listings); however, all of these suppliers carry things useful for any livestock owner – so it’s a good start if you’re looking for something. The list is simply organized by alphabetical order:
Does in Winter Coats
Caprine Supply (http://www.caprinesupply.com/)
P.O. Box Y
Desoto, KS 66018
Continue reading Animal Health Supplies – Sources & Links