Herb Rx: Natural Remedies for Respiratory Issues in Chickens

April 29, 2013

Chickens have extremely complex lung and respiratory systems. That can unfortunately lead to problems affecting their breathing that can be difficult to diagnose and treat.  Some signs of respiratory distress are labored breathing, wheezing, watery eyes or nostrils, shaking the head, squeaking noises, sneezing or coughing.

A Week in Farm Photos April 201st - 27th

April 27, 2013

We had a fairly typical week. The weather was gorgeous. I baked some awesome dill French bread (in the bread machine of course, it was too nice outside to be indoors kneading bread), the ducklings got a bit bigger (okay A LOT bigger), our berry bushes are starting to flower, and Annie hatched some chicks just this morning...a normal week in our life. Thanks for joining us!

The Incredible Edible Violet - Homemade Violet Soda

April 24, 2013

The arrival of spring is made even sweeter with the emergence of delicate purple violets in our garden. Violets are not only pretty, they are also edible. They contain Vitamin C and can help promote restful sleep, cure headaches, and stop coughs. They make beautiful dessert garnishes and additions to salads. And here's my recipe for an easy refreshing violet soda.

Homemade Strawberry Soda

I am not normally a soda drinker by any stretch of the imagination, but come the summer's bounty of fresh strawberries, I love to make this easy, refreshing, four ingredient strawberry soda.  

Homemade Strawberry Soda
(makes 8 glasses)

What you need:

2 cups of water 
2 cups of sugar (feel free to substitute honey or the sweetener of your choice)
1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
Seltzer (or club soda)
Fresh mint leaves for garnish, optional

In a saucepan over high heat, stir together the first three ingredients and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until strawberries soften and syrup thickens and starts to turn pink.

Remove from heat, strain berries (they make wonderful shortcake!) and cool in refrigerator. Once cooled, pour 1/2 cup of syrup into each of 8 Mason jars (moisten and dip rims into sugar for a festive touch) and then fill each glass with seltzer. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and a whole strawberry, if desired.


Note: you can also use blackberries or raspberries to make different flavors. Syrup will last refrigerated for up to a week.

Fresh Eggs Daily debuts on Ram Truck's The Year of the Farmer Campaign

April 22, 2013

 photo 487783_10151083693834364_1725099782_n_zpsa7b8e83c.jpg
Click on the photo to watch the Superbowl ad if you missed it
I'm sure most of you watched this year's Superbowl game and were completely blown away, as was I, by Ram Truck's commercial saluting the farmer.  Yvette shared the ad on Facebook before the football game was even over and the response was amazing. I posted the link on our blog.  You all loved it.  Ram Truck donated $1 million dollars to FFA.  I figured that was the end of it.

But to my sheer and utter amazement, several weeks later I was contacted by Ram Trucks and invited to write for their blog www.RamZone.com! Over the course of the coming year they will be featuring stories by real farmers....beginning with mine. I was absolutely thrilled to have been invited to write an essay for them. Here it is. I hope you enjoy it.

A Week in Farm Photos - April 14th - 20th

April 20, 2013

Amid all the chaos and events such as occurred this past week, it becomes even more important for each of us to create our own little oasis where we can relax, feel safe and enjoy those we love. Our farm is that place for us. We hope you enjoy the peek we offer you each weekend.

Copycat Free Range Technique for your Chickens

April 19, 2013

Most mornings, year round, rain or shine, after I finish turning out the horses and feeding the chickens and ducks, you can find me out behind the barn foraging for weeds, grasses and edible flowers with our two dogs.  

Oregano - A Natural Antibiotic for Chickens and Ducks

April 15, 2013

It was reported in the New York Times back in 2012 that the commercial chicken farm, Bell & Evans, has been using oregano as a natural antibiotic for their flocks. They have been experimenting with various natural substances to keep their chickens healthy, instead of using antibiotics, and have found that oregano oil and cinnamon specifically seem to work better than anything they've tried so far.

A Week in Farm Photos April 7th - 13th

April 13, 2013

It's hard to believe that there is still snow on the ground in some parts of the country because spring is in full swing here in Virginia! Our favorite time of year, we're collecting more eggs, clipping herbs to freshen up our coop and nesting boxes, watching our ducklings grow (so fast!) and helping Winston continue to get used to life on the farm.  Enjoy a few of our favorite photos from the past week.

Tutorial: Make a Garden Apron from a Repurposed Feed Bag

April 12, 2013

Stop! Don't throw away that feed bag! You can make it into a cute hose-offable garden apron in just a few minutes.

Fresh Breath, Shiny Coat Homemade Natural Dog Treats

April 10, 2013

It's been awhile since I've made a batch of homemade dog treats.  I love making my own treats for our animals because I know exactly what goes into them, and like with our chickens, I want to feed our other pets only the best, most natural diets.  To help welcome our new corgi Winston into our family, I decided to make a batch of treats for both Winston and Bella, our German shepherd.

Good, Better, Best - Smart Chicken Keeping Decisions

April 8, 2013

As with many things in life, there is not just one way to raise chickens.  Talk to ten different chicken keepers and you will most likely get ten different answers about one aspect or another of raising your flock.  But while some decisions are personal preference, in other cases making a bad choice could mean life or death for your chickens, or at the very least illness, discomfort or less than optimal health.

A Week in Farm Photos March 31st - April 6th

April 6, 2013

This past week we spent getting our new puppy settled into our routine, brooding four ducklings in the spare bathtub, hosting an Easter dinner for friends...and I finally am able to unveil the cover of my new book! What a week here on the farm! Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoy my photos as much as we enjoyed the moments they capture.

Transplanting Strawberry Plants into My Little Garden Barrel

April 4, 2013

Yesterday's garden project: Twenty-five strawberry plants all transplanted and ready to yield us juicy, plump berries this summer!  Thank you My Little Garden Barrel for the perfect solution to my 'wandering' strawberry plants.

DIY Brooder Box Herbal Sachets for Baby Chicks and Ducklings

April 1, 2013


When chicks or ducklings are hatched in an incubator and then brooded in a brooder instead of under a hen or duck, many of you like to put bean bags, stuffed animals or eye pillows in the brooder for the babies to snuggle up against. They really do seem to enjoy a soft bean- or rice-filled pillow to snooze on.  Instead though, why not combine the security and comfort of a soft pillow with the health benefits of fresh herbs and make some brooder box herbal sachets.
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