Robert M. Pyle

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I noticed a tall, bushy weed just where Larry had cleared the thistles. What was that ugly plant?
How to repel mosquitoes without using harsh chemicals.
Seeing the many stages of food you grow from soil to table really is magical, especially White Button and Crimini mushrooms.
Mush is a tradition at our house. Anytime the family is together there will be at least one batch of mush.
A funny thing happened to me today.
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.
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.
My favorite salad uses an ingredient all Iowans know.
Check out how social media is a baker's best friend.
How we managed to travel across the country twice only to realize that we left something incredibly important behind.
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.
Are you building your homestead and following a dream? Do you wonder if you can make money from a homestead? I have some tips to help you answer that question.
Take a walk back in history with this bean recipe that originated in the days of the Spanish missions of California.
The first year of our hobby farm continued.
Fond childhood memories stimulated from this month’s Capper’s Farmer Magazine edition.
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!
When you plant many trees, such as nut trees, you plant for the future.
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.
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.
A short dissertation on the differences between modern farming machinery and the ones my grandfather used.
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?
A paragraph or two on what different people consider comfort foods.
This post is about blueberry picking at my local pick-your-own farm. It includes a quick and easy blueberry bread recipe.
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.
A transplant's recognition of the realities of farm life and how to adjust.
I participated in Tie One On Day this year!
A rooster and his hen
What does this dream mean?
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.
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.
I found a way to move heavy countertop appliances. I hope it is helpful to you, too.
I tried growing mustard with the idea of harvesting the seeds to make my own mustard. I wouldn't say it was a great success, but it was still fun!
We make relish and pickles, why not mustard?
A metal sun with a caladium goatee.
My journey about learning to eat healthier and how farm life has helped do that.
The author takes a trip down memory lane when she finds her mother's old jewelry box.
As Girl Scouts celebrate their 100th anniversary, I have taken time to reflect on my camping experiences with the organization; my camping food experiences.
My journey into goat milk and what to do with all this milk.
The first month of hand milking my goat has not been an easy one.
You don't have to be a scientist to make wine, but it probably helps. When you harvest fruit, honey, or other fermentable crops, don't be afraid to try your hand at new recipes.
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.
Memories of Dad and Horses
The Christmas spirit can keep us going even in the roughest of times.
When you are a senior, you need to look for the easiest way to do things.
We all procrastinate and make mistakes, although my husband often says, 'I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong!'
It was a house that most women would run from, but somehow, I was blind to the mess.
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.
Deciding to raise backyard chickens.
My new venture of goat milk soap has many benefits for the consumer.
It is easy and gratifying to make hash browns in small or large amounts for the present or future.
We have zucchini coming out our ears! These delicious muffins help use some up.
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.
Using old-fashioned gardening tools and methods.
Donna Rae shares her experiences from the 2013 Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello.
A look at some country mailbox owners displaying their creativity.
The author notes with relish all the amazing things a homesteader can accomplish with WD-40.
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!
Iron pans are great for every thing on a farm, ranch or homestead.
A recipe for my mom's famous Oatmeal Molasses Cookies.
The farm and rural community helped shape Erin for her future.
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.
The author extols the virtues of a well-functioning mudroom and the beauty of a woodstove on a cold winter day.
May Day, lilacs are in bloom, strawberries and asparagus.
Baking rolls is easy and fun. And they taste better than anything you will find in the store!
A woman finds out the hard way that yes, there are lots of bugs in the Arkansas countryside.
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.
Early spring on Green's Organic Farm and Apiary.
Preparing for spring.
Time spent with an Amish man brings fun and laughter,
How our farm truck turned my day and yard upside down.
A ranch's dirty little secret - the junk pile!
My carefully planned new shipment of chicks came in today . . .and brought an extra adventure with it!
Help this poor postgrad survive another winter!
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!
Gloves might seem like an ordinary object on a ranch or a farm, but this author thinks they are a work of art.
Particularly when traveling. A visit to the American West includes rafting the Colorado River and exploring Mesa Verde cliff dwellings.
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.
It is very easy to look trustworthy; just be a grandma and crochet booties.
A Hearth Warming Recipe for Days when the Weather Traps You Inside
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!
Tips to help you get started working at home.
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.
Shared my delicious blueberry muffin recipe and a little about our blueberries on the farm.
This is how our whole gardening adventure got started.
What are we really eating? Let's take a look into the oil that we cook with.
Another reason we try to eat less processed foods.
No snakes allowed! Ways to keep snakes (and other pests) out of your chicken coop.
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.
Giving our grandchildren their first ever campfire was a joy.
Tomatillo salsa is unusual but delicious and easy to make. Tomatillos are easy to grow, too!
An interview with a real ranch woman who made the switch from executive secretary to ranch wife and loves it.
The author is proud of her accomplishment, and her dried figs are beautiful and delicious!
Figs, figs and more figs. Some ideas about how to use figs.
After gathering lots of old windows to build a greenhouse, life happened. We decided a mini version would be perfect this year!
Learn about fungal diseases that may be affecting your garden and what to do about them.
Rhubarb is a gift that keeps on giving!
Getting ready for spring planting.
Key points in the blanching and freezing process of corn for those wonderful summer tastes at the Christmas or Thanksgiving family feast!
While everything around us changes constantly, memories remain constant. A 'Memory Jar' for 2015 will help you remember the good times.
The story of my chicken addiction.
Trying to look good on the farm in winter.
The author and her husband, a retired police officer, give an overview of firearms for non-hunting purposes for the average ranch or homestead.
A short photo list of what I am thankful for.
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?
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?!
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!
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.
Be healthier and lower your carbon footprint by using alternative water softener solutions.
This post details how you can stay cool in your house during the hot summer without wasting a ton of money and energy.
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.
Making the classic pot pie with rabbit meat.
A smokehouse for the homestead.
We love baking from scratch, especially when we can use ingredients we harvest ourselves, like in this blueberry muffin recipe.
The story of how we got here and who we are.
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.
Visit the springtime pastures of Farm on the Hill as "the girls" are introduced to their new home!
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.
In today’s post I want to tell you about how I first started writing.
A healthy twist on a traditional, classic sandwich.
Making your own sourdough starter is not as daunting as you might think. Follow these basic instructions to get started.
A couple builds a log cabin home in the Maine woods.
A natural alternative for drawing out toxins and boosting your immune system during cough and cold season.
A blog about my memories of apples from childhood, about the struggle to keep more variety options and a recipe for Chunky Apple Cake.
What Chef Elizabeth served for Christmas this year .
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.
The author shares her favorite recipe for the delicious treat known as Indian Tacos.
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.
Sometimes you just need a friend to get you through the greatest challenges.
Growing up with homesteaders, I never thought of myself as one until recently.
Discover some helpful tips for your next outdoor get-together.
Discover how you can get involved in animal-assisted therapy programs.
A Newbie (Urban) Farmer learns how to string onions.
Pumpkin muffins aren't just for the Thanksgiving season. We love these muffins all year round.
Make corned beef the way your mother used to make it.
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.
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!
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!
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.
A home-cooked dessert for comfort and citrus bliss.
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.
This is an initial post introducing some of our local farmers and the great, creative ways they are promoting their farm products.
Restoring a porch glider.
People ask me how I can eat something I've raised. I'll try to explain it here.
On the watch for summer vegetable-eating insects.
Follow along with Lori Havens' tutorial, and learn how to make delicious, low-sugar jam using agar agar instead of commercial pectin!
Old, old canning jars and how they worked, or didn’t.
Farm on the Hill's Egg Mobile inches ever-closer to completion ... watch the progress with us!
My mission to find a billy goat to breed our does.
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.
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.
I worked alongside my dad to build our goat shed.
Join Farmer Bryan and Lori as they introduce their turkeys to the world outside of the brooder!
Making scrubbies is a fast and easy way to recycle and save money.
A blog documents your life, and hopefully entertains, encourages, or helps someone along the way.
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.
Grandchildren certainly liven up the place, and the bonding lasts for a lifetime.
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!
Even the foundations of abandoned buildings can soon be ruined.
There was no way I was going to do the tedious job of preparing gooseberries for a crisp, but I discovered something better.
We have an unusual holiday dessert tradition.
Watching the effects of the drought saddened us.
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.
Homemade ice cream is always a hit with family and friends on holidays or any other day!
Caramel popcorn made in the microwave is easy, fast and good, but you could learn to make the world's best instead!
Along with the land came a house, along with the house came a disgusting basement.
We can let the beauty of our world give us the calmness and rest we need.
We knew about most of the junk that came with the farm, but something nasty happened to us that we weren’t prepared for.
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.
I like to crochet something that will actually be used, so I am crocheting for my future great-grandchildren!
Giving up or even postponing what you love can be a difficult decision.
All you want to know about potato bugs and more.
We are learning not to waste anything, not even rotted trees.
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!
Free Starbucks coffee grounds have a variety of uses around the home and garden.
We discovered you can take the sag out of a barn roof without machinery and very little money.
We were continually working either in the city or on the farm, and loving every moment of it.
We winterized the house and hoped for the best, but we didn’t want to leave.
Sometimes one wonders about why things happen as they do, but there is a plan here and there we wouldn't change.
Querencia, where we feel at home.
The amount and type of junk would overwhelm anyone, but we persisted in the cleanup, and now our land is lookin’ good!
The farm was a disaster, but we were out to save it - one weekend at a time.
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.
When you are in pain and cannot do much, you can always recall memories of happy times.
It is difficult to get in the planting mood in the deep of winter.
We were bone-weary with no place to relax.
Instead of spending money for sweet potato plants this spring, you can start your own and watch the amazing process at the same time.
Raising good children takes time and energy, but many are giving it their all and doing an excellent job.
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.'
With a new front, new beams, and a complete steel roof, the barn was saved!
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.
You never know what will happen when you leave a garden unattended.
Much of our barn needed replacing. On the other hand, much of it could be saved. It was time to take saving it seriously.
We selected our trees, planted them with love, and watched them grow. Then the fun began - beautiful fruit growing on our very own trees!
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.
We married young and moved to the city, where jobs and responsibilities to our four children choked out dreams of any other lifestyle.
Learning to install fence and harvesting our own cedar fence posts proved to be a very gratifying experience.
It is always fun sharing a skill with grandchildren, such as food dehydration.
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!
The springtime workload can get overwhelming, but we try to stay focused and do one task at a time.
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.
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.
You can make unique hot pads for yourself or for presents with little or no cost.
Protecting our gardens from the deer is expensive and hard work.
This building continues to serve us, even after it was razed.
Cleaning up old buildings and saving what you can just makes a body feel good!
If you like the handiness of precooked bacon, you can learn to precook it yourself and enjoy better flavor.
Finding ways to live in our world responsibly can bring us satisfaction and happiness.
Maybe an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but processing them daily certainly makes one tired!
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.

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