Consider this recipe as intense tomato essence.
This season we built raised beds and brought in fresh soil and worked so hard to plant the tomato and leek crops, and they failed.
I guess I will always be the black sheep of the family. I have a great fondness of eating wild game and enjoy trying something new.
An easy dessert makes a person feel better when there's trouble.
Adjusting our work for our age isn’t easy. Our minds want to do one thing, but our bodies rebel. At the same time, it is our work and goals that keep us going and interested in life.
Bring your hammer and your "eagle eyes" and join Lori and her son, Farmer Bryan Havens, for the fourth and final installment of the story of their major land restoration project, a journey that takes them back into the past in order to launch them into the future!
Beat the end of summer heat with this cool and delicious ice box cake recipe!
Land is never really owned, just used. We are trespassers, stewards at best, and might as well try to fit into its ways.
How we decided to get guinea fowl, why it works for us and if it could work for you.
It is that time of year again when my garden is bursting with zucchini. I turn my back for a moment and the zucchini have doubled in size.
The author goes mano a mano with monsters in her garden.
Use up your cucumbers with this easy and delicious pickle recipe.
More on my fascination with steam engines.
My first (real) trip to Kansas.
This year I tried to stay calm and go with the flow during the birthing season. It was a lot easier knowing a little more and being ready with a milking stand if I needed it.
Put your mud boots on, grab your shovel, and join Lori and her son, Farmer Bryan Havens, for part three of the story of their major land restoration project, a journey that takes them back into the past in order to launch them into the future!
You can save money on back to school supplies, without going bankrupt. These ideas will help you save money, and even the environment, by changing the way you do "Back To School."
My enjoyment going to sales.
Join Lori and her son, Farmer Bryan Havens, for Part 2 of the story of their major land restoration project, a journey that takes them back into the past in order to launch them into the future!
Use up some of your extra summer squash with this easy refrigerator pickle recipe.
After many small-town movie theaters closed, Arapahoe, Nebraska, high school students and a league of volunteers came together to reopen their old theatre and provide a safe place for the young people and the community to be entertained.
Join Lori and her son, Farmer Bryan Havens, as they undertake a major land restoration project at their 100-year-old farm that takes them back into the past in order to launch them into the future!
And save money with these easy recipes for mayonnaise and barbecue sauce.
Antique lawn mowers at tractor shows prompt memories.
I don’t have any idea how many berries I picked on those August days, but I do remember it was hot out there!
A look at how much sugar we are consuming and whether or not we should be.
This handy dandy little concoction is great for soothing cracked dry summer feet and a host of other problems.
It hasn’t been easy getting to know them as they are leery of us non-Amish folks. I would say now we are friends.
Our struggles to keep our new turkey poults alive.
We would all be running around like crazy trying to fill the jar with as many fireflies as we could catch.
An auction is a good place to go if you want a lot of choices in used equipment or livestock.
Unlike most tractor shows that I go to, the Red Power Round Up is an International Harvester only show.
When ready to make tortillas, heat cast iron griddle or pan to medium/medium-high heat.
Who in our generation would ever have dreamed that we would be able to go online and download a whole book or books from the library onto our personal gadgets?
Little Free Library book exchanges are a way to share a love of reading with your neighbors. Find one or start one today!
It wasn't until years later, after I left home with Bogie, that she learned to say 'hello' and mimic my laugh.
Since there's only a small likelihood that I will ever be able to catch up to their expertise in my lifetime it seemed that I needed some mechanical assistance.
A realization would sneak into my thoughts now and then – the knowledge of the reward of previous hard work, and it brought happiness to my gardening heart.
I am going to share with you an unusual salad that is right in season and absolutely delicious.
The cake recipe is so simple and makes a delicious and moist cake. The real time-consuming element is the assembly.
A family leaves a fast-paced life behind to slow things down on a small farm.
Having four gardens means that there’s always something to do in at least one of them.
My dog's fascination with shoes.
Sometimes it seems mint comes to save the day.
A short story about the F-20 tractor at home.
I take a drive down Memory Lane to see the beloved little signs by the side of the road.
Easy recipes to create a personalized scrub.
A short essay on the farmers' markets in Macon.
This is an easy-to-make no-bake recipe for yummy frozen Nanaimo Bars. Canada's Favorite Confection!
Learn to properly soak your grains with this whole wheat muffin recipe.
A story about my cat.
Fresh lettuce marks our first harvest of the year. Hopefully the start to a successful gardening season!
A unique way to make moist tasty cornbread plus a quick side dish to go with it.
A recipe for Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins.
Rainy days in Missouri.
Why we have chosen the Dexter to be our family cow.
Memories of grilling
Homemade sauerkraut is very easy to make and good for you!
Childhood memories of my grandmother canning.
My mother and mother-in-law were true hard-working women of the past.
What goes into the making of an old timber-frame, post-and-beam handmade barn?
Acid-loving plants, using coffee grounds in the garden, and the great coffee grounds pH debate.
We take a much needed, weeks-long vacation to the Southwest.
My adopted 'grandmother' who came with the family when I married was one of the sweetest people I have ever known - and taught me valuable skills to boot!
Discussing growing up with my child shows two different perspectives.
An alternative method to threading a needle and tying your thread when preparing to hand sew.
This is a story about my journey into ducks.
Growing greens is easy and doesn't require a lot of space. Fresh lettuce is delicious!
Planning summer trips.
My soap journey has given me new knowledge of essential oils, an important part of staying healthy.
Zinnias are beautiful and functional companion plants in the kitchen garden.
A recipe for simple refrigerator pickled asparagus.
Peas are easy-peasy to grow and taste great. No need for fertilizer, just sun, space, water and perhaps a fence.
When our children and grandchildren visited us, we had so much fun, we smiled for days afterward.
My stepdad trying to get one of our antique tractors to run.
Shearing season is upon us, and with it the need to process all that fiber. Ever wonder how it's done?
Boots are not in short supply at this farm house.
We can never quite finish our loaves of homemade and artisan breads, so toasting those leftovers into croutons turns any salad into a gourmet treat.
Our solution to having two hens fighting over one nest.
My Facebook friends gave me some good advice on what to do with the piles of greeting cards I have saved during the 55 years of our marriage.
A recipe and hints for making German Goulash.
A walk around the neighborhood with my dog.
The little chicks that joined the farm this winter have grown up! Join Lori as she returns to the farm after a month away to care for her parents, and enjoy her favorite way to prepare farm-fresh scrambled eggs!
Reminiscing about Easter: Easter service, Easter dinner and the fun we had afterwards.
My comparison of the Cornish Cross and Pioneer meat chicken breeds.
Spring's enticing sunny weather can lead us into temptation and planting too early. Mind your frost dates, hardiness zones, and plant requirements!
The author shares her experiences with ticks on the homestead and offers some advice.
These waffles would make a great treat for Easter brunch or a special occasion.
A bucket list of outdoor sites I would like to visit.
My childhood favourite pecan pie.
An introduction of my family and life to Capper's Farmer readers.
By wrapping soap in natural fibers - like wool or alpaca - you can create a felted washcloth around the soap itself.
A nostalgic look at my childhood visits to my grandmother's home in a small rural town on the Oregon coast and how she continues to influence my own garden and life decades after her death.
This fermented milk drink is very easy to make and so healthy for you!
My attempt to catch a pesky mouse.
You were asked what you would do with another hour on your childhood home and your answers were heartfelt.
This feeder is easy and cheap to make, and it is safe and effective for your livestock.
My dogs playing in snow.
You never realize how much you already know about the self-sustaining lifestyle - until you start doing it on your own!
Four years ago I sold my car and I haven't looked back since!
Two bloggers realize they live in the same city and decide to meet.
Reminiscing about my grandparents' garden as I wait for spring to get here.
Are rummage sale bargains really bargains?
Making your flower bed attractive to monarchs is a great way to interact with nature.
You don't actually need to "play" in a state tournament to have a great time. Here are my memories!
A story of a girl who loved small town 6-on-6 Iowa girls' basketball.
A step by step of rendering lard beginning with the skin and fat from a scalded hog to the gallons of fresh lard in your freezer and all the cracklins in between!
Sometimes it's not about the success of what you're trying, but the fact you tried at all – and learned something from it.
For some of us, all we have left of our childhood homes are memories.
Small successes in keeping the cat out of my houseplants.
The author talks about her own experiences of bad winter weather and tells a few stories of tragic Great Plains blizzards.
In today’s post I want to tell you about how I first started writing.
Winter is a great time to plan your spring and summer garden.
Take a walk back in history with this bean recipe that originated in the days of the Spanish missions of California.
Grandma always used hankies. I use some I inherited from her to keep the tradition alive!
It is very easy to look trustworthy; just be a grandma and crochet booties.
Iron pans are great for every thing on a farm, ranch or homestead.
Raising good children takes time and energy, but many are giving it their all and doing an excellent job.
A home-cooked dessert for comfort and citrus bliss.
This is my journey about cooking with lard for the first time ever.
Dealing with medical issues on the farm causes farmers to become the first responders. Are you prepared with the proper medical supplies for the barn?
The second part of how to crochet rag rugs. Here we start crocheting the actual rug and learn how to finish it simply.
Nothing stays the same in this world, and just as the small bookstore and the family hardware business, it is my opinion that the traditional funeral home may also be on the way out.
A recipe for french onion soup and hints for success.
Instead of spending money for sweet potato plants this spring, you can start your own and watch the amazing process at the same time.
We love casseroles in the winter - they warm us up and fill us up! This one uses homemade tomatillo salsa from the canning cellar.
What if there were a few changes you could make to your home that would save you a large amount of money each month? To get started, here are five ways to conserve energy without inconveniencing your lifestyle.
Making custom soaps, with ingredients you have, is easy and fun!
Get started making your own rag rugs from materials you have on hand.
Finding ways to live in our world responsibly can bring us satisfaction and happiness.
In the wake of the housing crisis, more people are investing money in their homes when buying a new one is not an option. Here are some of the best ways to save money on your home projects.
Give up paper towels and substitute homemade "un-paper" towels instead!
If you haven't built your hoop house yet, you can still have fresh homegrown salad greens.
I found a way to move heavy countertop appliances. I hope it is helpful to you, too.
Easy to make, easy to carry, easy to use. Hard lotion bars are all of these things, AND they work great!
Rewebbing lawn chairs is a fun winter project.
Ways to use the convenient packages of broccoli slaw found in supermarkets.
A new suburban gardener plans the New Year with projects and plantings in hopes of great success!
My husband bought me a dry blade container for my Vitamix, but I put off using it. When I finally did, I couldn't believe how simple it was. Why did I procrastinate?
We finally complete our much anticipated and ballyhooed chicken pen extension.
Getting ready for spring planting.
Pumpkin muffins aren't just for the Thanksgiving season. We love these muffins all year round.
A healthy twist on a traditional, classic sandwich.
When it's time for cows to calve, we need to be there. How do we know when calving is imminent?
Recipe for guacamole and ways to use it.
Getting my first pair of snowshoes has been great for starting my resolution of getting healthier in 2015.
Using natural fibers and felting needles, designs can be made in felt. With a few tricks, anybody can learn to do this.
This apron is one like my grammy used to wear. It is simple and easy for a beginner, but advanced sewers like it, too, because they can finish it in two shakes of a lamb's tail!
While winter weather can beat up our skin, so can the synthetic ingredients in many skin care products. But I've found effective and economical alternatives right in my own kitchen.
Lots of projects can be made with felt, and it's not that hard to create your own. With wool batts and a little muscle, you can make your felt exactly the way you want it.
Ideas about how to organize your kitchen.
The basis for success in your garden is right at your feet!
It is easy and gratifying to make hash browns in small or large amounts for the present or future.
A couple builds a log cabin home in the Maine woods.
What Chef Elizabeth served for Christmas this year .
A list of resolutions to apply to your approach to food and how you cook and eat.
I've learned to do so many things on the farm this year, I couldn't wait to share with everybody for Christmas. From soap to pickles, everything was homemade!
An old-fashioned ginger cookie recipe inspired a tasty new version!
A simple recipe for an uplifting fragrance using holiday ingredients
Homemade foodie gifts have always been a hit with my family over the holidays. This year, I tried something a little different - homemade hot drink mixes.
After searching for three years for the perfect modern sewing machine, and never really finding exactly what I wanted, my parents surprised me with an early Christmas gift of a 1961 Singer Slant-O-Matic 500.
My new venture of goat milk soap has many benefits for the consumer.
How to take the stress out of gift giving.
It's the middle of winter and we appreciate that nature has thrown us a bone in the form of abundant water. We look forward to lengthening days.
Chef Elizabeth prepares for Christmas on the farm with family.
"Bluebarb" wine is delicious and well worth the effort!
Caramel popcorn made in the microwave is easy, fast and good, but you could learn to make the world's best instead!
Time spent with an Amish man brings fun and laughter,
You can make unique hot pads for yourself or for presents with little or no cost.
A natural alternative for drawing out toxins and boosting your immune system during cough and cold season.
Did you know that homemade marshmallows are really easy? They're also super-yummy, you can make them different flavors, and they melt like magic in your hot cocoa. Perfect for the holidays!
Here's an authentic recipe for buttery cookies using the addition of almond flour.
These tasty cookies make excellent Christmas gifts.
When our family gets together, I am always asked to make our mom’s homemade rolls. These rolls are so easy and so delicious, especially hot out of the oven. Now that I am sharing our family recipe, you have no excuse not to make them yourself.
Using re-purposed stones, see how we built our pit.
Making your own sourdough starter is not as daunting as you might think. Follow these basic instructions to get started.
You never know where life is going to take you, so it’s a good idea to be ready for anything. My family once had a different life, but circumstances changed, there was a period of flux, then we came out better than ever.
Being thankful for more than items and other tangible things is important. As well as a brief introduction about my lifestyle.
If you like the handiness of precooked bacon, you can learn to precook it yourself and enjoy better flavor.
New Orleans inspired the recipe for BBQ Shrimp.
Reading about housekeeping a century ago makes me grateful that I live now!
The author extols the virtues of a well-functioning mudroom and the beauty of a woodstove on a cold winter day.
Found fruit scavenged from 'our' urban apple tree and our backyard quince made a delicious Thanksgiving pie.
Thanksgiving on the farm and a recipe for Turkey Potpie.
Sometimes you just have to take out time to do something you’ve always enjoyed, such as sewing. A fun project for your granddaughter makes it even better!
This time of year brings the drumbeat of commercialism, but we try to resist buying things we don't really need.
Inspired by a Danish friend, I give you step-by-step instructions to make authentic Danish sourdough rye bread.
This delicious breakfast takes a little while to make but it's worth the wait!
Farm on the Hill's pastured turkeys received an unexpected 'stay of execution' when a freak early snowstorm prevented safe travel to the processor! Read along and see the challenges that Farmer Bryan faces as he works to keep the birds safe and alive for one more week out on the winter pasture!
If these aren't the best comfort food, I'll eat my hat!
My journey about learning to eat healthier and how farm life has helped do that.
Join Farm on the Hill's Lori Havens as she shares some inexpensive ideas for decorating your autumn table with the simple beauty of nature!
We all procrastinate and make mistakes, although my husband often says, 'I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong!'
A recipe for delicious biscuits perfect for serving with the Comfort Foods of Fall.
The author comes up with some surprising facts about Daylight Saving Time.
Kale chips are easy to make and delicious! Save money by making them at home.
Tips on types of wood for firewood, chimney upkeep, and how much firewood to store.
The change of seasons has me reflecting on the words of Ecclesiastes this week.
We can let the beauty of our world give us the calmness and rest we need.
Tracking wild turkeys in their habitat as preparation for hunting.
Tomatillo salsa is unusual but delicious and easy to make. Tomatillos are easy to grow, too!
A blog about my memories of apples from childhood, about the struggle to keep more variety options and a recipe for Chunky Apple Cake.
For those living on large tracts of land such as farms and ranches, the threat of intruders carries more danger than for those in urban environments. These common forms of home protection offer the best way to secure your property.
My favorite salad uses an ingredient all Iowans know.
My journey into goat milk and what to do with all this milk.
We may run a big farm in the country, but our urban homestead friends sure do know how to grow it.
Planting an apple tree appropriate for your zone, pollination and disease resistance is a science. Thankfully, the Stark Bro’s catalog gives all the information needed.
Restoring a porch glider.
We love baking from scratch, especially when we can use ingredients we harvest ourselves, like in this blueberry muffin recipe.
Daily lessons taught by your goats and how to best serve those goat lessons.
It is always fun sharing a skill with grandchildren, such as food dehydration.
A short story about gathering hickory nuts in Central Iowa.
A delicious quick and easy recipe for pancakes.
Maybe an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but processing them daily certainly makes one tired!
Seeking out abandoned apple trees is worth the effort. With a little time and energy, you can harvest many pounds of free fruit!
The time machine is in our heads.
Rock your homemade pizza with sauce made from fresh garden tomatoes.
It's time to bring back line-drying clothes. Save money, help the environment!
My mama's hen laid a double yolked egg. My Minnesota poultry expert friend explained how it happened.
A great recipe for that Indian summer bounty.
The author shares her experience in taking care of older horses and keeping them healthy and happy.
Capture summer in a jar - make Spicy Tomato Jam.
Harvest time has arrived and, as I pick the last of the tomatoes, I have mixed feelings. One of the wonderful things about farming is the lessons you learn along the way.
Canning relish is very simple. You get to use up excess zucchini and the taste can't be beat!
To all the beauty of fall that we've enjoyed in the past, thanks to our little farm, we have added the joy of the harvest!
Join Farmer Bryan and Lori as they introduce their turkeys to the world outside of the brooder!
Memories of corn de-tasseling.
In reading books of yesteryear, when a young girl was about to marry, her mother purchased yards and yards of material and sewed for days making all the linens she would need for her bed, kitchen and table. Sometimes these would already have been made and waiting in her hope chest.
The author notes with relish all the amazing things a homesteader can accomplish with WD-40.
The masons worked hard to repair the crumbling and leaking barn walls at Wisconsin's Farm on the Hill ... could Farmer Bryan build the brooder room fast enough after they were done to have it ready for the turkey poults?
Particularly when traveling. A visit to the American West includes rafting the Colorado River and exploring Mesa Verde cliff dwellings.
It's tomato picking time on our homestead. What better way to preserve the harvest than canned salsa?
There is always something new you can learn or try, even if it is just a vegetable such as Swiss chard. Experiencing it with a granddaughter just adds to the pleasure!
A rusty patio swing that was left in our yard by a family friend initially caused reactions of horror. But a second look, some paint, and new lawn chair webbing gave the swing an astounding facelift.
Gramma tells a story about a mistake she made and what she learned from it.
As a chef and farmer, my days are full of work, and yet I always stop and make time to enjoy seasonal produce as it comes to market. I have such a fondness for anything raspberry - my love for this fruit goes a long way back.
A memory of longing for an ice cream cake as a child pushed me to finally try to make one, with much success!
The author shares her recollections of storm watching in the 'olden days.'
The author is proud of her accomplishment, and her dried figs are beautiful and delicious!
Spinning my own wool was just a dream for my retirement years. But Lily hopped unexpectedly into my life and taught me that dreams don't always have to wait.
What if the clouds covered the sunrise while they were here? But then, probably nothing can dampen new love! We would just have to wait and see.
Figs, figs and more figs. Some ideas about how to use figs.
Grandchildren certainly liven up the place, and the bonding lasts for a lifetime.
Homemade ice cream is always a hit with family and friends on holidays or any other day!
Using an old-fashioned apple press for great apple juice.
The best use for all those zucchinis taking over your garden are brownies.
Gloves might seem like an ordinary object on a ranch or a farm, but this author thinks they are a work of art.
A metal sun with a caladium goatee.
There's no shortage of synthetic mosquito repellents on the market intended to keep those vampire-like pests away. But I've been successful making my own from natural ingredients.
If you've become disheartened about the human race in general, you should come out to visit us and meet some of these nice country people who are always ready to give a helping hand.
The author and her husband, a retired police officer, give an overview of firearms for non-hunting purposes for the average ranch or homestead.
This blog is about handling “suprise” guests on your farm - something new to a city girl. It gives you a quick, simple and traditional recipe to have on hand for unexpected guests.
You never know what will happen when you leave a garden unattended.
A ranch's dirty little secret - the junk pile!
A blog documents your life, and hopefully entertains, encourages, or helps someone along the way.
Like all occupations, farming has its challenges. For that matter, so does life. In the midst of our busy days, we need to notice those good moments.
Thanks for listening, friends, and let's meet here soon. In the meantime, enjoy being able to do whatever is before you. Yes, work is a good thing!
The author discovers that seed saving is not such a mysterious process when she starts by harvesting sunflower seeds.
Homemade pickles and relish are staples around our house, but growing cucumbers can be a real challenge.
With the wedding season upon us, I'm sharing a few DIY tips my husband and I used for our nuptial to put a unique spin on our wedding while staying debt-free.
A rainy day on the farm is a great opportunity explore the fluffy delicious French classic dish made from farm-fresh eggs.
What are we really eating? Let's take a look into the oil that we cook with.
The author envisions the summer of 2014 as the summer she spent in the cold shower.
We try to use the least harmful solution to get ride of garden pests and weeds. This easy-to-make weed killer really works!
The author has an unabashed love affair with the hat, which is in her opinion an indispensable tool on a small farm or ranch.
We finally hired a mason after seeing the problems with the 100-year-old stone foundations ... join Bryan and Lori for a look at the before and afters in the 100-year-old house and barn!
Summer is the time for outdoor celebrations and family gatherings. The simplest ones can be the most fun!
When you are in pain and cannot do much, you can always recall memories of happy times.
No snakes allowed! Ways to keep snakes (and other pests) out of your chicken coop.
A story about how I learned that not every rose smells like a true rose.
On the watch for summer vegetable-eating insects.
The author's newest hen is a challenge when she becomes broody.
Growing a delicious salad on your own front or back porch is easy. Once you've tried your own homegrown salad you'll never want any other!
This post is about blueberry picking at my local pick-your-own farm. It includes a quick and easy blueberry bread recipe.
The first month of hand milking my goat has not been an easy one.
Life and death are a daily reality on a farm. Join Farmer Bryan and Lori as they try to help a hypothermic chicken after a night of storms.
Giving up or even postponing what you love can be a difficult decision.
Bim Bam and Cockoo clocks are part of my family history.
Deciding to raise backyard chickens.
May Day, lilacs are in bloom, strawberries and asparagus.
The author got more than she bargained for when she decided to try growing Walla Walla onions.
A small bench near a quiet pond on a cattle ranch. A Bible and a cup of tea.
Even the foundations of abandoned buildings can soon be ruined.
Building berms around trees and shrubs is important for water-wise watering. Mulching is mandatory for water retention and helps keep weeds down. Manure berms are especially functional.
Another reason we try to eat less processed foods.
These hamburger buns will replace your storebought ones.
Native Americans planted "three sisters" together in hills hundreds of years before scientists proved it was a good idea.
Rhubarb pie, rhubarb jam and rhubarb muffins are all on the menu in our kitchen at this time of year. What better way to eat locally and get Vitamin C then by picking and eating your own rhubarb!
All you want to know about potato bugs and more.
This is how our whole gardening adventure got started.
My journey of raising sheep as a kid and again now 20 years later. Lots of old pictures of me back then.
The author takes a trip down memory lane remembering the days when she rode horses with her friends.
How to repel mosquitoes without using harsh chemicals.
Sometimes one wonders about why things happen as they do, but there is a plan here and there we wouldn't change.
The author's husband - with a little assistance from the author - transforms a regular bed truck into a flat bed truck.
A lifelong love of rhubarb.
I have recently undertaken the task to see if I can make everything I typically purchase from the store from scratch and have it taste as good as or better.
Spring is the most precarious time of year for gardeners; we put our small seedlings out into the elements and hope for the best
I like to crochet something that will actually be used, so I am crocheting for my future great-grandchildren!
The story of getting our first pig this spring.
The author takes a trip down memory lane when she finds her mother's old jewelry box.
We are trying to eat more 'greens' and found that buying organic can get costly. I planted plenty this year in hopes of having a good crop to make many green smoothies in our new Vitamix.
I worked alongside my dad to build our goat shed.
Spring is planting season. As everything around us greens up, so does our garden as we slowly get our plants in.
When you are a senior, you need to look for the easiest way to do things.
The author gets basic instruction from another country gal who is adept at an old timey craft called needle felting.
Follow along with Lori Havens' tutorial, and learn how to make delicious, low-sugar jam using agar agar instead of commercial pectin!
The springtime workload can get overwhelming, but we try to stay focused and do one task at a time.
Maximizing garden space in a small city yard is a constant challenge, but I've found that window boxes aren't just for windows.
The author, worn out from an extraordinarily busy week at the ranch, offers an easy chicken recipe. Great for when you're worn out or know you are going to be.
To name or not to name your chickens?
A chance buy at a church rummage sale has turned into our gardening bible.
With a new front, new beams, and a complete steel roof, the barn was saved!
These garden beds fertilize themselves the natural way!
An update of spring tasks and happenings at Green's Organic Farm and Apiary.
Early spring on Green's Organic Farm and Apiary.
Visit the springtime pastures of Farm on the Hill as "the girls" are introduced to their new home!
An interview with a real ranch woman who made the switch from executive secretary to ranch wife and loves it.
Simple to put together, chicken tunnels make for safe free ranging.
Shared my delicious blueberry muffin recipe and a little about our blueberries on the farm.
My mission to find a billy goat to breed our does.
Making granola in the slow cooker is easy and it tastes great.
There are many common sense ways to be kind to the planet (and the wallet), but here are a few other simple ideas.
Much of our barn needed replacing. On the other hand, much of it could be saved. It was time to take saving it seriously.
The author shares her favorite recipe for the delicious treat known as Indian Tacos.
A family tradition making Hot Cross Buns.
This year was the first year we had babies born on the farm.
A story of the first time we used our woodstove.
We got our peas in over the weekend. Peas are easy and rewarding to grow - plant yours today!
Farm on the Hill's Egg Mobile inches ever-closer to completion ... watch the progress with us!
Querencia, where we feel at home.
Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to save the world, to make things better, to be a hero. Well, I've long since accepted that I'm no hero, but I never forgot what an old farmer told me, "You wanna change the world, honey? Then start where you are, use what you've got."
After gathering lots of old windows to build a greenhouse, life happened. We decided a mini version would be perfect this year!
Horse ownership from the perspective of a long-time owner.
Discover how you can get involved in animal-assisted therapy programs.
How our farm truck turned my day and yard upside down.
What better destination than farm and wine country!
We discovered you can take the sag out of a barn roof without machinery and very little money.
This is my journey of moving to the country and becoming a stay-at-home mom and hobby farmer. I was raising three small boys so why not add some animals to the mix.
We go into how a hobbyist can actually make her own olive oil with a modicum of patience and the right equipment.
It's that time of year again - empty milk jugs, egg cartons and plastic containers pile up to serve as temporary greenhouses for young seedlings.
Transforming old spool racks into a lovely wall decoration for jewelry.
People ask me how I can eat something I've raised. I'll try to explain it here.
Our writer visits a local premier olive oil producer to see if they can offer tips on making homemade olive oil.
Giving our grandchildren their first ever campfire was a joy.
Our hobby farm in the Sierra Nevada foothills has seen a few goats come and go.
We think you'll be inspired to keep your old buildings when you read about Todd's ingenuity, perseverance and hard work while saving the old chicken house.
Rural living involves a lot of learning by trial and error. Our plan to make big money from sheep went awry, but if we don't ever fail, it may mean we have quit trying anything new or challenging.
Lori Havens brings us along as she bakes bread using fresh-ground Einkorn Wheat, an ancient grain.
This building continues to serve us, even after it was razed.
Three years ago we went from two cars to one. Being a one-car family has challenges but it's worth it.
Be healthier and lower your carbon footprint by using alternative water softener solutions.
When I couldn't find the right sized tablecloth just a day before having 12 people over for a ministry meeting and lunch, I had to figure out how to make one with materials I keep on hand. Because the nearest department store is an hour away, buying one wasn't an option.
We have an early, frightening incident with our dog.
Check out how social media is a baker's best friend.
Cleaning up old buildings and saving what you can just makes a body feel good!
Discover some helpful tips for your next outdoor get-together.
An easy way to thwart gophers by using common materials and no killing.
We converted a 1947 disabled water well house into a usable potting shed.
This post details how you can stay cool in your house during the hot summer without wasting a ton of money and energy.
We read that one need not be hasty in destroying old farm buildings, especially if you can’t afford new ones, as they can often still be used.
Simple pleasures help soothe the complicated pressures of life.
Flowers and herbs you'll want to plant near or in your garden.
Lori and her farmer son, Bryan, assist a neighbor with an otherwise overwhelming job on their farm, and rediscover the tradition of bartering. Money isn't the only thing that has value!
I was fortunate to be among the last of the generations that benefited from the skills taught in home economics classes in public school. Will it make a comeback?
Super easy to make and ever so scrumptious - a recipe from the old farm.
The farm and rural community helped shape Erin for her future.
Construction on the Eggmobile and Chicken Tractors is in full-swing at Farm on the Hill, while a surprise in the brooder throws a monkey wrench in the preparations for the arrival of baby chicks this month!
Preparing for spring.
The Kidding Season has begun at Green Spot Farm in Southeast Kansas.
One of the first veggies of spring happens to be one of my favorites, peas.
Pick up a copy of Walden (from the library, of course!) for a bit of frugal inspiration this week.
Weather predictions - when is spring going to be here?
Keeping bees without breaking your back.
It is difficult to get in the planting mood in the deep of winter.
We overcame rocky soil and built a decorative fence.
Perhaps bee stings aren't the best thing on which to try out home remedies. Life in the country has its risks, but common sense usually wins the day.
We are learning not to waste anything, not even rotted trees.
We vaccinate and doctor our heifers and castrate our bull calves.
A kind gift prompted a reconfigured limoncello cake recipe.
Winter farmers' and gardeners' markets have sprouted (pun intended!) up in my area, giving customers more access to locally grown produce throughout our long, cold winter.
Learning to install fence and harvesting our own cedar fence posts proved to be a very gratifying experience.
Re-purpose old louver doors into a lovely bookshelf in just one day!
Lori shares some of winter's wonders from her Wisconsin farm.
A Hearth Warming Recipe for Days when the Weather Traps You Inside
It's time to remember that 'frugal' is not a dirty word. Doing things for ourselves feels good and makes us less dependent on big companies to have a full life.
Reading someone else's blog lead Mary to learn new things like cleaning and seasoning cast iron, and then making toast on a wood-burning stove.
A transplant's recognition of the realities of farm life and how to adjust.
We have endless varieties of cereal to choose from, some good and some not so good, but for years, I've just made my own healthy, economical granola.
Trying to look good on the farm in winter.
Making the classic pot pie with rabbit meat.
There was no way I was going to do the tedious job of preparing gooseberries for a crisp, but I discovered something better.
The time-honored tradition of re-purposing lives on.
Mush is a tradition at our house. Anytime the family is together there will be at least one batch of mush.
Protecting our gardens from the deer is expensive and hard work.
Beat winter's chill with this delicious, made-from-scratch chai tea!
A Wilson family tradition - homemade cinnamon rolls.
A goal of trying not to eat fast food fries turns into making them at home.
Baking bread is not difficult, just time consuming, and very rewarding!
Few things break up the winter doldrums like the arrival of the seed catalogs. Yet it's easy to get carried away ...
Watching the effects of the drought saddened us.
When space is at a premium, creating a multi-use structure is a must.
Rhubarb is a gift that keeps on giving!
Butternuts are plentiful in our neighborhood. This year we stole a few from the squirrels for ourselves!
California has had the worst drought year in recorded history. If we don't get some rain, farmers won't be the only ones crying the blues.
Let me introduce myself in this, my first blog, for the Capper's Farmer family.
Old-World archways create an elegant, open flow from one space to another and are much easier to create than you might think!
When you plant many trees, such as nut trees, you plant for the future.
Lori learned to oven can her dry goods to keep them safe from mice this winter, and in the process linked a young man with his great-grandfather.
Make corned beef the way your mother used to make it.
Just because you live on a homestead and work hard doesn't mean you can overlook your calorie intake. Believe me, it can get out of control very quickly! Noticing subtle changes in how you feel and how you look in the mirror can keep you on track!
We selected our trees, planted them with love, and watched them grow. Then the fun began - beautiful fruit growing on our very own trees!
Using old-fashioned gardening tools and methods.
A special spot on my farm where the warm wind blows.
Simple instructions for two versions of a sewn towel topper - an easy afternoon sewing project.
A short history of a few Red Currant bushes at the ranch where my husband and I live.
Rather than choosing one variety of seed, let your little micro-climate choose it for you by growing a landrace!
Getting a tractor would mean we could keep up with the weeds and thistles, claim new areas, dig post holes, and a whole lot of other needed jobs.
Seed catalogs and garden plans are the first steps to an abundant harvest.
We refer to our first year at the farm as the cleanup year. Now, we would begin the second which soon became known as 'the planting year.'
The Christmas spirit can keep us going even in the roughest of times.
There is always tension between so-called "civilization" and "where the wild things are" as Maurice Sendak said. Rural living on the edges of wilderness teaches us that we can live in that tension but it's not always easy.
A funny thing happened to me today.
Making scrubbies is a fast and easy way to recycle and save money.
My mother's battered copy of "The Settlement Cook Book" provided a wealth of unique and traditional recipes, as well as a fun crash-course in food history.
Heating the rural farmhouse with propane is outrageously expensive. We are learning the art and science of heating with wood ... sometimes the hard way!
From a table-top to yard. How our Christmas tree became a living Christmas tree.
In times of plenty or want, a homemade gift given with love warms the heart of the recipient. This Christmas, an easy-to-make, yet unusual “gift-in-a-jar” will find its way to our family and friends.
I finally taught myself how to make a Christmas wreath from leftover fir trimmings - with a very rambunctious 1 year old to help.
A quiet winter evening, sipping cocoa, dreaming of next year's garden, and enjoying the company of four furry friends.
I canned apple pie filling using the apples from our 'urban foraging' expeditions.
What do you do when you have baby sheep running around your house because it is too cold outside? Diapers!
We winterized the house and hoped for the best, but we didn’t want to leave.
Extreme winter weather.
How we used burlap sacks for everything imaginable.
We found a place under the pines where the hives would be out of the 110-degree heat, so we started a free hive recovery service to build up our hives. Beekeeping brought us a number of surprises this year!
A celebration of family for Thanksgiving.
They are frosty crisp white puzzles of delight. Living with the cold, but no snow. There are such beautiful sculptures in nature.
I started hanging clothes five years ago, shortly before we bought the farm, and I just can’t go back to using the dryer again.
Sarah attended what she thought would be an ordinary farm-to-table dinner event at a local farm, but this was anything but an ordinary experience.
Feeding the Wild Birds in the Winter
For my inaugural blog post for Capper's Farmer, I'd like to take a few minutes to explain myself. Trust me, I need to.
There may be free fruit in your own neighborhood - just keep your eyes open.
We were bone-weary with no place to relax.
From bright and sunny to dense black fog.
A short photo list of what I am thankful for.
The first year of our hobby farm continued.
Delicious and beautiful beet relish - tastes sweet, spicy and tart!
Suzie plays crack the whip.
Fall Honey Harvest
We have an unusual holiday dessert tradition.
Reminiscing about winter and the times when Santa would visit.
We plant winter rye as fall comes to an end to help add "green manure" to our garden.
Seeing the many stages of food you grow from soil to table really is magical, especially White Button and Crimini mushrooms.
My daddy's mix of chickens and pig
Baker Creek Seed Catalog Arrives
I noticed a tall, bushy weed just where Larry had cleared the thistles. What was that ugly plant?
A visit to an old barn that brings back memories and reveals many treasures.
Country life isn't always easy, but it has great rewards. Hard work brings a deep sense of peace and contentment.
We knew about most of the junk that came with the farm, but something nasty happened to us that we weren’t prepared for.
A tale of two imaginative children.
The arrival of fall means time to sow our garlic crop on our urban homestead.
The amount and type of junk would overwhelm anyone, but we persisted in the cleanup, and now our land is lookin’ good!
PIGS AND POTATOES DO NOT MIX. Why?
A rooster and his hen
Highly productive small gardens that produce huge yields
Fond childhood memories stimulated from this month’s Capper’s Farmer Magazine edition.
The farm was a disaster, but we were out to save it - one weekend at a time.
Grandma and Grandpa had a spring piped into the house, with the help of a neighbor we have resorted to other means.
Susan finally learned to appreciate homemade mincemeat after becoming a homesteader and canner. Bringing back wonderful memories of childhood, mincemeat is now a holiday staple at her house.
Tips to help you get started working at home.
The pre-Halloween ritual of finding the perfect pumpkins for carving, pies, and seed roasting is as much as part of autumn as jumping in a pile of freshly-raked leaves.
Memories of Dad and Horses
Fall has arrived and with the change in season, it changes our work. We begin to prepare the summer beds to mostly lay fallow during the rainy winter months. Also, the season’s change means our menu planning changes as well.
Some of the varieties of free fruits available for the taking. All it takes is a little time, a little work, and some scouting of the area for what grows in your neck of the woods.
An Introduction To Our Old Place Farm
We were continually working either in the city or on the farm, and loving every moment of it.
Dealing with bugs, snakes and oil.
How personal experience and observation can save your sanity
Sometimes you just need a friend to get you through the greatest challenges.
How we managed to travel across the country twice only to realize that we left something incredibly important behind.
What happens when you try to show a teenage boy something and you are a preteen girl.
Along with the land came a house, along with the house came a disgusting basement.
This is an initial post introducing some of our local farmers and the great, creative ways they are promoting their farm products.
Re-discovering the simple things in life that really do make it better!
An easy way to make beautiful and tasty pumpkin pickles.
A Newbie (Urban) Farmer learns how to string onions.
Wisconsin's freakishly mild autumn seasons in recent years has extended the laundry-hanging season, and I've added some of my Grandma's techniques for fresh-scented laundry.
Free Starbucks coffee grounds have a variety of uses around the home and garden.
Karen shares her favorite seed catalogs that offer specialized seeds.
A paragraph or two on what different people consider comfort foods.
What happened to the crafts of the past?
Help this poor postgrad survive another winter!
The skunk turns around and heads straight toward me.
It was a house that most women would run from, but somehow, I was blind to the mess.
A lesson on folklore and why it is sometimes true.
I got home today from town and found a mess. The pigs had broken out of their pen and proceeded to tear up my pasture. The llama was on alert and hidden behind the dirt pile, sending out her warble of appeal. The sheep were huddled up into groups of four or six.
Donna Rae creates and tests two styles of handmade dishcloths.
An abnormal fear of accidentally poisoning people from home canning mistakes has kept me from trying to preserve my garden and farmers' market goodies. This season, I've decided to overcome my fears and test the waters.
We are not impulsive people. We are also opposites, so it is not like us to both want the same thing and at the same time. Yet, here we were, both wanting to buy a piece of land that we had only read about on the internet. Twenty acres with a small red barn.
A short story about what happens when you turn two boys loose in a peach orchard. Even when they are supervised.
A story of hidey holes and the hows, and whys, of finding them on old farmsteads like my cousin did at her in-laws place.
With all of society’s conveniences within easy reach, we are choosing to do things the hard way. Now, why on earth would we do that?!
A short dissertation on the differences between modern farming machinery and the ones my grandfather used.
You don't have to be a poultry farmer to have an appreciation for the hard work that went into this 1924 edition of The American Standard of Perfection.
Growing up with homesteaders, I never thought of myself as one until recently.
Nina learns the hard way - yet again - that Guinea chicks are crafty.
Donna Rae shares her experiences from the 2013 Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello.
Karen walks you through what to do when dealing with viruses or parasitic nematodes in the garden. She also provides a quick overview of her previous posts on vegetable diseases.
Key points in the blanching and freezing process of corn for those wonderful summer tastes at the Christmas or Thanksgiving family feast!
A small family farm seldom makes you wealthy – there aren’t too many trips to Europe and the retirement plan can be pretty “iffy.” But farming brings its own rewards, those that in the end mean far more than the lights of Paris.
We married young and moved to the city, where jobs and responsibilities to our four children choked out dreams of any other lifestyle.
Old, old canning jars and how they worked, or didn’t.
As fall begins to settle in, Donna Rae fondly recalls those first back-to-school days as a child - as well as those experienced by her father.
Learn to can your own homemade soups and always have a hot, hearty meal waiting in your pantry.
How to diagnose and treat bacterial disease in your garden.
Kellsey loves everything about summer, with the exception of triple digit temperatures. But even the dog days of summer help her dream about the future.
Raising heirloom tomatoes, like all farming, is full of challenges. This year we have battled blossom end rot and the war's not over yet.
We have spent many days working outside from dawn to dusk while others our age are golfing, playing cards, and taking life easy. For us, there is immense fulfillment in growing our food.
Let me share with you the finer nuances of canning using recipes that have been handed through the generations.
This is the second part to the story of a woman who finds out the hard way that yes, there are lots of bugs in the Arkansas countryside.
Looking back on how I came upon this urban farming way of life shows a journey full of twists and turns ... and I couldn't be happier for it!
Learn about fungal diseases that may be affecting your garden and what to do about them.
This post is about the prolific growth of the garden over 16 hot, wet July days when we were away on vacation in the Yukon.
My mother's lessons in the garden, and my eventual understanding of the soul that is in gardening.
A woman finds out the hard way that yes, there are lots of bugs in the Arkansas countryside.
A trip to the garden to grab some cucumbers for a delicious down-home salad sends me on a trip down memory lane. Do you remember this recipe from your grandmother's kitchen table?
I am a young woman who has finally found her niche. One bachelor's degree later, it turns out to be farming.
As a frustrated country-girl-wanna-be living in town, I've known since I was a little girl that I wanted to move to a ranch as soon as possible. It finally happened when I was a grandma.
A former city slicker learns the pitfalls - or should I say "poop" falls - of becoming a country chick.
What to plant in a fall garden and how.
Winter is finally ending and the hope of spring is in the garden.
Discovering a new word to me in a old book has led to rambling thoughts about food and reading.
A letter to Santa requesting Christmas miracles
At first glance a dinner party and hunting knife don't seem to go together but then you probably don't know Ethan Becker or his mother or grandmother.
Some things are a mystery; especially some older kitchen tools. These two didn't come with directions but I managed to solve both mysteries. One tool seems quite useful, the other not so much.
What does this dream mean?
You can find thousands of recipes on the internet but you can't find your memories. Recipe cards remind of friends and family who shared their best recipes with us; generations of love on handwritten cards.
Cave men knapped glass knives for hunting. During the Great Depression glass knives became quite the item to have. Glass knives cut cleanly and didn't tarnish like carbon knives. They were a perfect in the kitchen and at cutting cakes for tea.
Questioning why we still have zoos when it is available on-line and documentaries on TV.
Watch out for the heat over this fourth of July. Don't be a hard-headed person like me.
Peach Cobbler, it's a Southern classic and so easy to make. The basic recipe is so easy a child can make it but you can add your own flair with special spices or even change the fruit to what's fresh and available in your area.
Food kept FDR's Tree Army working to preserve America's outdoors. Here in Part 2 of CCC Food are a few more stories about these men who later headed to WWII as part of the Greatest Generation.
At the end of any road can be a surprise, but especially on gravel roads.
Before the young men of America were part of the Greatest Generation many had been part of FDR's Civilian Conservation Corp. (CCC) The work was hard but the food was good.
A look at some country mailbox owners displaying their creativity.
Fannie Farmer was a superstar chef before "superstar" was a word. She's one of my heroes. If you love baking, read why she should be your hero too.
The Pillsbury Bake-off has been an American institution since 1949. Although network food challenges seem to be everywhere after 60+ years the Bake-off still spotlights cooks and their creative recipes.
The tale of the life of Baby Banzai.
I can live without television but I can't live without a library card. Even when I am not looking for food related information my library surprises me with how many food tidbits are waiting to be discovered.
The story of my chicken addiction.
The Raptor Research Project has followed a pair of Eagles near Decorah, Iowa, for many years. The first of three eaglets is expected to hatch between March 23 and 25. Our family is fascinated watching this bit of nature we couldn't otherwise see.
My carefully planned new shipment of chicks came in today . . .and brought an extra adventure with it!
As Girl Scouts celebrate their 100th anniversary, I have taken time to reflect on my camping experiences with the organization; my camping food experiences.
Food is part of all our lives, a daily chore that has to be done to feed a family. Now that the family has grown it's time to explore food from all angles: history, new tastes and new cooking methods. Food is now a relaxing hobby.
It's a good thing my neighbors are great people - even the ones I haven't met yet. Thanks to them I have my horses back!
The adventure of catching an escaped black horse at dusk.
The epic saga of me getting stuck in a snowdrift after we moved to our farm.
The story of how we got here and who we are.