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Easy Windowsill Herb Garden in Eggshells


you enjoy cooking with herbs like I do, keeping a variety of fresh herbs close at hand is a necessity. This easy herb "garden" is so simple to create and puts your herbs right at your fingers tips on the kitchen windowsill. Not to mention, it makes a pretty addition to any kitchen. So start saving those eggshells!

A Week in Farm Photos June 19th - 25th


It's been an absolutely gorgeous week here in Maine. Nice way to herald in summer! I've enjoyed wandering around our property finding new native flowers and weeds, a hidden blueberry patch that we cleared of debris, another patch of wintergreen, and lots of wild black raspberries in addition to lots of perennial herbs and flowers. We have corn, tomatoes, garlic, eggplant, hot peppers, peas and pumpkins growing in the vegetable garden. Our Littles are almost a month old now and thriving under Annie's tutelage and the Middles are almost ready to join the Big Girls in the run, as they are nearly three months old. Enjoy this peek at our week.

Announcing my New Partnership with Blue Seal/Kent Feeds

As many of you know, my family and our two dozen chickens and ducks moved to a farm in Maine last August. As native New Englanders, we were so excited to finally move back "home" after more than a decade in the South (Pensacola, Florida and Norfolk, Virginia) due to my husband's job with the Navy.

Chicken Keepers Hand Salve with Grapefruit Essential Oil


If you raise chickens, you likely know that there is the potential for them to transmit salmonella and other germs to humans, so washing your hands after handling your chickens is critical. All that hand washing can dry out hands, but this smooth, rich salve feels wonderful rubbed into your hands after finishing coop chores and washing up.  Not only will the coconut oil and sweet almond oil in the salve moisturize your hands, the addition of uplifting, energizing grapefruit essential oil has its own benefits - in addition to smelling wonderfully citrusy.

A Week in Farm Photos - June 12th to 18th

While much of the country is sizzling under heat warnings, Maine remains cool and comfortable. We are so happy to have moved here from Virginia - and so are our chickens.  They're much more comfortable in temperatures in the 70s than in the 90s or higher.  We had a leisurely, slow-paced week just enjoying our chickens and ducks, flowers and all the goodness our farm has to offer. Take a peek at our week! And stay cool, my friends!

7 Ways to Improve your Garden Soil Naturally


Instead of using commercial fertilizers and plant food, why not use some scraps from your kitchen that would otherwise end up in the trash or compost bin to amend and improve your garden soil naturally? Inexpensive and easy, these are my favorite ways to get my garden ready for spring planting.

A Week in Farm Photos - June 5th - 11th


This week I was struck once again by the dichotomy of my life. In the span of seven days, I went from staying at the oldest inn in America (the gorgeous Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck, New York) and exchanging baking tips with Nancy Fuller, Food Network star and author of Farmhouse Rules, at the Country Living Fair to sipping iced coffee on Columbus Avenue with Georgia Pellegrini, author of Girl Hunter and Modern Pioneer, to relaxing at home watching our baby chicks scratch in the dirt with their mom. Quite the contrast! 

I fielded a phone call from my publicist as I was filling water buckets for our ducks, and was pulling weeds in our garlic patch in my overalls as I chatted with a new corporate sponsor. I also proofed the final version of my new book Gardening with Chickens which will be coming out at the end of the year! I feel like the proverbial country mouse/city mouse - equally comfortable in a little black dress or mud-splattered muck boots and a flannel shirt - and loving every minute of it. Enjoy this peek at my week! It was a good one!

How to Plant a Butterfly Garden


Butterflies are beautiful additions to any backyard and are also wonderful pollinators. I make sure to plant things in my garden to attract lots of butterflies each spring. In order to do this, it's important to plant a mix of 'nectar' plants that adult butterflies love - to entice them to hang around and lay their eggs, as well as 'food' or host plants for the caterpillars that hatch - to provide them energy and nutrition as they grow and eventually become butterflies themselves. 

Lemon Fried Eggs


As most backyard chicken keepers tend to, we eat lots and lots of eggs at our house. And not just for breakfast. I  love eggs prepared pretty much any way, but one of my favorite egg recipes is also the most simple. Fresh lemons and the best-quality olive oil you can find elevates a delicious, fresh egg to another whole stratosphere in this recipe which is a twist on a traditional Greek recipe.

A Week in Farm Photos - May 29th to June 4th


This week we welcomed our second batch of Littles! These chicks hatched under our two broodies, Annie the Australorp and Violet the Lavender Orpington. The two ladies are BFFs ( best feathered friends) and my sweetest hens, so much as I had some hesitation about letting them co-mother chicks, so far, they seem to be sharing the duties quite well.  Our first batch of LIttles turned six weeks old last Monday and are now outside in their grow-out pen for a few weeks before they join the rest of the flock. Despite it being June here in Maine, we have still lit the wood stove a few times to take the chill out of the air, but days in the high 70s have meant that we could take advantage of our new kayak and enjoy some time on the lake - and enjoy our first ice cream of the season! Enjoy this peek at our week.

Planting Chicken-Friendly Edible Annual Flowers

There are lots of plants that can be toxic to both humans and animals. Chickens generally know what's bad for them and will steer clear, so while we have azaleas, lupine and other perennial plants that could be a problem if they ate them, I don't worry all that much, since our flock has so much else to eat when they're out roaming the yard. However, when it comes to purposely choosing annual flowers to plant each spring, I do gravitate towards those that are edible. I believe it's best to err on the side of caution.

A Week in Farm Photos May 22nd - 28th

This weekend we remember those who gave their lives to protect our country and it's freedoms. As a Navy wife, I am well aware of the sacrifices our service members make day after day to allow us to enjoy this weekend and every weekend. So enjoy this peek at our week.

Top Ten Signs of a Broody Hen


A broody hen (i.e. a chicken that wants to sit on eggs for three weeks to hatch them) is a God send if you are trying to hatch fertile eggs, but otherwise quite the annoyance. Unless you break her broodiness, she'll hog the nesting box, squawk and squeal and generally disrupt the calm in the coop. So how can you tell if you have a Broodzilla on your hands? Here are the top ten signs of a broody hen.

A Week in Farm Photos May 15th - 21st


Dare I believe it's actually approaching shorts weather here in Maine? It's been in the mid-70s and believe it or not, the chickens have actually been panting a bit and holding their wings out! How fast they forget the near 100 degrees days on end they experienced in Virginia! I organized my new potting shed this week, and we planted raspberry and blackberry bushes plus a few more blueberry bushes, and we found a hidden rhubarb patch. 

I have tomatoes and eggplant seedlings in the ground and planted some sunflower, lettuce, snap pea and green bean seeds. We had our first hummingbird of the season stop by to visit and we have both barn swallows and bluebirds nesting in our birdhouses. We have our first broody hen sitting on a nest of eggs..and the Littles are almost five weeks old. Enjoy this peek at our week.

Landscaping our New Chicken Run


As excited as we were to move to Maine last summer and set down roots in New England again, I was sorry to leave our farm in Virginia. There were so many nice features that had taken years to build/raise/grow/create and leaving them behind was tough. One in particular was our landscaped chicken run.