I am sorry I missed posting my weekly farm photos this past Saturday. I was at Moss Mountain Farm outside of Little Rock for a couple of days last week giving a workshop on natural chicken keeping at the bi-annual Poultry Workshop, so I thought instead of photos of our farm, I would share some photos of P. Allen Smith's beautiful farm and chickens. I had some time after the workshop to stroll around the gardens and farm taking photos. Enjoy!
According to legend, during the Black Plague in Europe a band of thieves roamed towns and villages pillaging the homes and graves of plague victims, protected from falling victim to the Bubonic plague themslves by an herbal concoction that one of the thieves who was an herbalist had concocted.
We are so excited to partner with The Original Muck Boot Company for a fun giveaway! We agreed to help them launch their new fall line and they agreed to send a pair of boots to each of two lucky winners!
During the summer months when egg production is at a high, we often find ourselves with excess eggs. In order to ensure we have enough eggs for holiday baking and other recipes through the winter when production drops, I have started freezing eggs to save them for the lean winter months so we don't have to go buy icky store bought eggs.
What a wonderful week! The weather was perfect: cool and sunny - so I was able to get the garden prepped for my fall crops of broccoli, kale, chard, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, spinach - basically a duck's dream garden! Enjoy these photos of our week!
Borage! I was so excited to see this month's Seeds of the Month Club assortment included this pretty flowering herb. I've been reading quite a bit about borage lately and meaning to plant some in my herb garden for ages. So here the opportunity was dropped right in my lap.
As planting season comes upon us, it once again becomes important to protect small plants from the chickens' scratching feet and their nibbling on the tender leaves and stalks. An easy way, of course, is to fence in your entire garden area, but if you just have individual plants here and there you need to protect, these chicken wire cloches are the answer - and so easy to make. These are great to keep plants from being trampled by your ducks, nibbled on by bunnies and generally safe until they grow a bit larger.
Animals are cute, funny, beautiful, curious and smart. They are fascinating to watch, especially watching the different species interacting. I derive so much joy from our farm and all our animals. I love spending time outside gardening or building something, and of course having a pasture full of animals just makes any day better. Despite lots of rain, we had such a pleasant week with our feathered and furry family members. Take a peek!
During the fall molt season, your chickens will benefit from additional protein in their diet to help them grow in nice new feathers for winter. Since many of you are vegetarians or otherwise don't feel comfortable feeding your chickens meat or fish scraps (although chickens are true omnivores and will eat all kinds of animal protein on their own including toads, lizards, snakes and bugs), I thought I would share a list of plants and herbs that are high in protein and will provide your flock the much-needed nutrient during their molt as a healthy alternative to meat protein.
As Fresh Eggs Daily® becomes more popular and well-known and I am beginning to field more and more offers to write and speak and appear, I am finding the delta between my personal life and 'professional' life narrowing and often times downright colliding! The daily dichotomy just makes me shake my head. I go from cleaning horse stalls while speaking with tv producers in New York, to making travel plans for speaking engagements with my hands sticky from kneading bread dough. I often speak with editors and publishers wearing mud-splattered muck boots, with a pocketful of eggs and straw in my hair.
I often have to stop writing an article to take a puppy play break, or pause from working on my next book to bring the chickens a treat. I've done many podcasts and interviews with the chickens clucking in the background because its feeding time; and have signed on new sponsors with a cacophony of ducks playing in their pool in the background.
Sunup to sundown, I find myself writing and rewriting, snapping photos and editing them, jotting down new ideas, going through photos on my cell phone as I stand filling water buckets, or working on a blog post as I stir a pot on the stove with the other hand. But I do love it (most of the time!) and feel so fortunate that all of these newfound opportunities allow me to share what Fresh Eggs Daily® is all about and promote natural chicken care to an ever-widening audience.
It is true that when you love what you do, you don't work another day in your life. However, I make sure I take time to relax and knit, bake or read for pleasure on a regular basis because these are the things that feed the soul. And of course country living is the absolute best destressor. Enjoy this peek at my week - and thanks for coming along for the ride.
Earlier in the year, my husband tilled a new garden for squash and melons. The area measures roughly 20x28 and I planted a variety of squash, cucumbers and melons in the nice rich soil that had been fertilized by our horses for more than a decade. Fenced in, our garden was safe from deer and rabbits. Although we practice organic gardening, our bug damage was minimal and we enjoyed quite a nice harvest from our little garden.
Several years ago we lost some rather large trees to a storm, so I've been coming up with creative DIY projects and asking my husband to cut me stumps for the run for our chickens to stand on in the winter and more stumps to make the chickens an awesome dust bath spa area. Last fall I used a fallen limb to make a chicken swing. But my latest DIY project required only a thin slice cut from the fallen tree. Check this awesome Chalkboard Sign I made!