Planning the barn for a homestead is a very important step, and the better you know exactly what you want to do on your homestead, the better you can design your barn to accomodate your needs before building it. Some important things to consider are how big, siting, flooring, electricity and water, livestock accommodations, feed storage, and handling manure. We could have done a better job of planning, so these are some things to think about and lessons learned.
Our barn is 28′ x 46′, and when it was built, I never imagined that we’d outgrow it. However, with 5 dairy goats and more on the way, [...]
Continue reading The Homestead Barn (Important Questions Before Building)
We sell our excess eggs (and they go as fast as the girls can make them), but to comply with Ohio law, the cartons must identify the size and grade of egg, the farm name and address, and the date the eggs were packed. I thought that finding reasonably priced cartons for our eggs that met these criteria would be easy – boy was I wrong!
First of all, our girls produce mostly Jumbo eggs, but they’re not all Jumbos and we don’t grade them. Ohio allows you to sell ungraded eggs of mixed sizes as long as you don’t specify that they’re of a particular grade and specify [...]
Continue reading Finding Egg Cartons
I never really gave it much thought before raising chickens; but to sell eggs in the US, they have to be marketed according to the grade and size standards established by the USDA. The established sizes are Jumbo, Extra Large, Large, Medium, Small, and Peewee (I never knew there was a peewee size!). Sizes are classified according to minimum net weight expressed in ounces per dozen as follows:
In addition to size, all eggs sold at the retail level must be Grade B or Better, with the allowed Grades being AA, A, and B. There is no nutritional difference in the grades; it’s the [...]
Continue reading Selling Eggs – Size & Grade Requirements
In the past, I haven’t been very good at keeping garden records; however, I’m going to do a better job this year. I know it’s important to keep records to evaluate what varieties and techniques work the best; and I really want to start using varieties and processes that produce the best taste and yield, in the fastest – most efficient manner possible.
So this year, I started an Excel garden planting log, where I’m going to record all the pertinent information on what gets planted, where it’s started, how long it takes to germinate, etc. Here’s what gets recorded and why:
Crop & Variety [...]
Continue reading Garden Planting Log (w/downloadable template)
This year, we’re going to concentrate on growing more of the things we enjoy eating every day; and one of those things is baby carrots – but as I was investigating how baby carrots are grown and marketed, I was surprised to learn what the baby carrots we typically buy in the grocery store really are.
Most of the carrots sold in the store as babies are really full-size carrots that were rejected because they were crooked, deformed, or too small. These unacceptable full-size carrots are cut down to look baby-size, and then peeled. Since much of a carrots nutritional value lies in the skin, these pseudo-baby carrots [...]
Continue reading Baby Carrots – Well, Not Exactly