It’s a sure sign of spring when the rhubarb pops up; it’s a perennial and is the first thing we can really start harvesting fresh each spring. This is a very simple but delicious way to use that first spring rhubarb, and the recipe can be varied endlessly with other fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, cherries, etc. Simply substitute 1/2 of the fruit quantity with whatever other fruit you’d like to use. We also like to double this recipe and that fits perfectly into a 13 1/2 x 9 1/2 inch standard baking dish (the crisp shown in the photo is a double recipe of 1/2 [...]
Continue reading Fresh Rhubarb Crisp
Springtime is definitely the best time of year to get new chicks; and for us getting them in early May is probably optimal. Many breeders and hatcheries have sold out of birds early in recent years, so now it the time to get chicks on order if you want to be sure of getting your picks. I was trying to compare options from several hatcheries but couldn’t find a condensed listing of them, so came up with this one for easy reference.
These are all larger, reliable hatcheries that also have catalogs you can request or view on-line; but, this isn’t a listing of breeders. It depends on what you want the chickens for to determine whether to get [...]
Continue reading Time for Chicks – Free Hatchery Catalogs/Links!
Well, the original “dates” that our Nigerian Dwarf does Hot Tea and Jewel Box went on didn’t work, so we took all four of the girls on new dates on either November 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Based on past experience, my best guess is that Hot Tea will freshen at 145 days, Jewel Box at 146, Tinker Bell at 146, and Honey at 147; so we should be seeing kids on March 25, 27, and 28. If they’re pregnant this time, we’re going to be very busy that week welcoming kids.
We utilized the services of bucks from Wild Wind Farm again; specifically Hot Tea, [...]
Continue reading Nigerian Dwarf Kid News – Again
Two of our Nigerian Dwarf goats, Jewel Box & Hot Tea, went on dates this weekend; so more kids should be arriving in spring. Jewel Box (click here for her pedigree), went on Friday, and we’re expecting that she’ll deliver kids on February 28th – 146 days after her “date”.
Hot Tea (click here for her pedigree), went on Saturday, and we’re expecting that she’ll also deliver kids on February 28th – 145 days after her “date”. Nigerian Dwarf does tend to take the same amount of time each year to freshen, and for Jewel Box that’s 146 days while for Hot Tea it’s 145 days.
Their dates were both with Old Mountain Farm [...]
Continue reading Goat “Dates” = Spring Kids!
As I talk with chicken keeping friends, I’m surprised that some don’t know that most chickens will cease to lay eggs when day lengths fall below 14 hours in the fall. As we move further into fall and shorter days, chickens will naturally reduce egg production. They lay eggs based on day length; long days and increasing day length mean spring to a chicken – time when they should be producing many eggs and raising chicks. The declining day length and harsher environment in fall and winter aren’t optimal for raising chicks; so chickens will naturally stop egg production, molt, renew their egg laying resources, and [...]
Continue reading Maintain Winter Egg Production – Add Artificial Light
I thought our plan for breeding the goats was all worked out – I’d monitored their heat cycles so we knew exactly when to take them back to Wild Wind Farm for breeding; and we were going to have goat kids by March 30th next spring (see Goat Kids – Preparing for Breeding). However, I forgot to ask the goats if the plan was ok with them; and we’re currently wondering whether we have pregnant goats, and if so, when they’ll be kidding.
While at Wild Wind Farm, Jewel Box and Bit ‘O’ Honey never obviously came into heat, so our [...]
Continue reading Goat Breeding Plan – Hah!
The fact that “whole” foods are beneficial and that “white” refined products can lead to increased levels of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancers have been well documented; so we switched to baking 100% whole wheat breads a few years ago. We found that dense, heavy, unappealing 100% whole wheat breads are not the norm – light, nutritious, nutty tasting breads are entirely possible using 100% whole wheat; it just takes the right ingredients and equipment.
Describing everything we learned about how to bake light, delicious whole wheat products would be an extremely long post – so I decided to break it [...]
Continue reading 100% Whole Wheat Bread Baking (Part 1) – Wheat & Milling
Here in Ohio, it’s been a long winter, and we’re more than ready for some spring color. So, it’s a good time to start pruning spring-blooming trees and shrubs; and force the branches to bloom indoors. The benefits are color and scent inside, and the pruning gets done while plants are dormant and their form can clearly be seen. Anyone living where trees and shrubs go through a dormant winter chill can force indoor blooms.
Trees and Shrubs for Forcing
Almost anything that blooms in spring can be forced. Varieties to consider include crab apple, flowering cherry, flowering pear, eastern redbud, willow, pussy willow, cornelian [...]
Continue reading Forcing Spring Flowers