Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Week in Photos from my #ARStory Road Trip through Arkansas May 14th - 16th

Last week I was offered the fantastic opportunity to tour North Central Arkansas courtesy of the Arkansas Visitor's Bureau as part of their #ARStory Road Trip promotion. Jan from Two Women and a Hoe and I were provided a car, itinerary and map - and set loose for three days to explore Arkansas and share our photos and adventures to help promote Arkansas tourism. I hope we did the state proud! Enjoy some of the photos from our trip! (Oh and as an aside, if you ever decide to visit Arkansas, do NOT throw out the paper map thinking its so 2005 and you'll just use your cell phone GPS to navigate....just a travel tip we learned the hard way.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What Does Free Range Really Mean? Decoding Egg Carton Labels

Most likely when you hear someone talking about free-range chickens, you picture a flock of hens happily roaming a grassy pasture searching for bugs and weeds. You might even refer to your own chickens as 'free-range' even though they are confined inside your fenced-in backyard. Either way, those are some darn happy chickens! 

But when it comes to egg carton labeling, the array of terms can make your head spin. "Free-range", "Cage free", "Pasture raised" and then there's "Organic", "Vegetarian-fed" and "Hormone-free". Hopefully you don't have to rely on store bought eggs, but in case you do, let me help you decode exactly what each term means on that egg carton you see in the display case.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Week in Photos from P. Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm - May 10th to 16th

This past week I had the privilege of returning to P. Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm and attending the Garden Bloggers event. I spent three days with the cream of the crop of garden and landscape design bloggers - reconnecting with old friends and making new ones - listening to speakers talk about garden trends, learning about the latest in innovative garden products and eating farm fresh local fare. Oh and flower crowns, there were fresh flower crowns! Enjoy these photos from the farm.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Can I Feed Potatoes to my Chickens?

Did you know that despite sharing a name and often being prepared in similar ways, white potatoes and sweet potatoes aren't actually even related? They belong to two separate families, and as such, the simple question 'Can I feed my chickens potatoes?' doesn't have a simple answer.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Week in Farm Photos May 3rd - 9th

Spring is in full bloom here in Virginia. It's my favorite time of year. The summer humidity hasn't moved in yet and the damp winter chill is gone. I spent the week working with some new sponsors to bring you information on some new, exciting natural chicken keeping products, and tried to enjoy being outside as much as possible. Enjoy this peek at my week!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How and When to Harvest Herbs

One of the many nice things about herbs is that, unlike fruits and vegetables that ripen and are harvested once, if you snip and trim your herb plants, they will continue to produce all throughout the growing season. In fact, they do far better with regular trimmings to stop them from becoming too 'leggy' and flowering.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Week in Farm Photos - April 26th - May 2nd

Another week spent working on final edits for my book - hopefully in a week or so I'll be able to share some details and maybe even the cover with you! - and watching our baby ducklings grow up. Egg production is in full swing and it's another beautiful spring in Virginia.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

They're Here! Sloggers Chicken Boots!

I've been wearing Sloggers for years. My first pair of Sloggers actually pre-dates our chickens, so that means they are more than six years old - and I still wear them. You can't beat Sloggers for durability, quality or price AND they're made right here in the USA. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Lemon Thyme Herbal Brooder Cleaning Spray

Let's face it, brooder babies are messy. Whether you're brooding chicks or ducklings, you're going to have to be cleaning out the brooder pretty frequently - and the last thing you want to do is use bleach or chemicals for cleaning around your precious little ones. The fumes can be damaging to their lungs and the ingredients aren't conducive to their overall good health. Instead, whip up a batch of my all-natural Lemon Thyme Herbal Brooder Cleaning Spray.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Week in Farm Photos - April 19th - 25th

This week was pretty exciting! Not only did I work on a really fun photo shoot to promote the new chicken boot line that Sloggers will be releasing next week, I approved the finalized cover for my new book coming out this fall. In between I enjoyed all the flowers blooming around our yard and played, tended to...our baby ducklings. They are ridiculously cute - and somehow the original three become five (thank you Erica!). Enjoy this peek at my week, oh and did I mention that our farm is for sale? We're finally heading back 'home' to New England hopefully by summer. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Breakfast of Champion Chicks

Baby chicks need a steady diet of chick feed to ensure that they are getting the proper nutrients during their first few weeks of life, but after watching newly hatched chicks trail around after a mother hen, nibbling at grass and weeds, scratching through the dirt and eating bugs and worms, I believe that adding some nutritious supplements to the diet of all chicks, but especially those being raised in a brooder indoors, can be extremely beneficial for optimal health and growth.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Natural Treatment for Scaly Leg Mites on Chickens

The scales on the legs of healthy chickens are smooth and lie flat. If you notice the scales on your chicken's legs starting to peel up, flake or look rough and uneven, she could be suffering from scaly leg mites.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

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

This week I worked on final edits for my new book coming out this fall, recorded an episode of The Chicken Show, worked on a photo shoot for Sloggers new Chicken boot line, officially became a Duluth Trading Company Ambassador - and of course spent an inordinate amount of time just watching our new ducklings play. 

It's so nice to see blossoms on the apple trees and the wisteria already attracting bees, but sadly, soon we'll be leaving Virginia and returning to New England - where our hearts have always remained. Yup, that's right...the Fresh Eggs Daily Farm is FOR SALE!! Maybe we're nuts. We have a beautiful home and property here, and have made lots of good memories, but its time for us to head to snow country. We're Northerners through and through. So if you know anyone looking for a 6-acre hobby farm in Virginia....

Friday, April 17, 2015

Chatting with Diana Rodgers on the Modern Farm Girls Podcast | The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook Review

-this post includes affiliate links-

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Diana Rodgers, host of The Modern Farm Girls Podcast and author of Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts on the Go and The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook and fellow chicken and duck keeper. We had fun talking about chickens, ducks, gardening and eating healthy. Of course we talked about Diana's new cookbook and a bit about my new book due out this fall. Just two farm girls chatting over cups of coffee. You can listen HERE

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Homemade Peppermint Whipped Hand and Body Butter

Much as I love spring, its a season that's hard on the hands. All the cleaning, and mucking out stalls and chicken coops, gardening and outdoor work turn my hands dry and cracked, instead of soft and smooth.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

How to Plant an Edible Butterfly Garden That You and Your Chickens Can Enjoy Too

Butterflies are beautiful additions to any backyard. 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.