Farm News

It hasn’t rained for nearly two weeks.   We were blessed with a trickle last night, but it isn’t enough to green things up.  I think the plants sense the approach of fall and the begining of their long sleep.

The Tomatoes are withered, as are the squash vines.  The chickens are doing well.  We butchered three of our Brahmas, leaving one very lonely rooster left.  He doesn’t fit in with the rest of the flock and the dominant rooster- a Blue Andalusian named Gryphon- doesn’t take his antics lying down.  We kept one of the Brahma roosters to see if he would make a better rooster than Gryphon, but I think he’ll end up in the pot as well.  He doesn’t care much for protecting the ladies- just harassing them.  He sounds like a lot of men I know 😉

Our daughter’s birthday is tomorrow and I’m going into town to buy some supplies for her cake.  Since her name is “Midori” which means green and melon in Japanese, I’m going to make her a melon patch cake.  I’ll be sure to post pictures of it when it’s finished.

Until then, I hope your garden’s growing well and your canning is going smoothly!


I wrote this poem a few years ago, and even though it’s pretty kitschy and the alliteration is all off- I love it. Each time I read, it I remember the first nature walk Stuart and I took after we were married. Since fall is officially here, I thought I would share it with you.

A Walk in the Woods with my Darling

Gliding through the colored paths,
Where leaves have hid the way.
A perfect place for lovers’ pause,
A kiss, a perfect place to stray.

To tarry in this autumn scene,
And breathe the misted air,
As falling leaves twist and turn,
To frame your golden hair.

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Rowlands, John J.  The Cache Lake Country. W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., New York, NY. 1947 2nd Ed 272 p.p.

When I was about fourteen, I plucked The Cache Lake Country out of my father’s collection of outdoor books.  It was winter vacation, I was bored and it had appealing illustrations.  The book was written in an informal, chatty, tone I couldn’t resist.  I devoured it in two days.

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Photo Blog


The sunflowers we planted in the spring are almost ready to be picked.  Luckily the birds haven’t found them yet!  For a desktop sized version of this photo please click here

To apply the image to your desktop, right click on the image and choose the “set as desktop background” option.


The forest is quickly overtaking this old corn crib.  It looks as if it’s straining away from the trees to regain it’s freedom.

How Not to Buy a Freezer…

Stuart and I have been eying the large chest freezers for sometime now, picturing all the wild game and produce we could put away. So when I saw an add for a “Large Chest Freezer 100$” on our local Cheapcycle YAHOO! group I pounced on it. When Stuart talked to the owner he asked her if the freezer worked, when she got it – you know the questions you would normally want to know when deciding whether make a purchase. She said she got it a few years ago, it ran great and was in great condition. Based on this information, we decided to go for it. We took out 100$ cash and went to pick up our new -used- freezer.

When I first laid eyes on the freezer, I felt a bit ill. It was rusty and very obviously not a few years old. It wasn’t plugged in, so there was no way for us to determine if it really worked. But, being honest people we decided to go for it anyway. OK, well really it was the fact that we had already driven over thrity minutes to see the darn thing. We heaved it up into the truck and ponied up the cash.

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Seymour, John The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It. DK Press, New York, NY. 2003 1st American Edition 312 p.p.

This was the first book on Self Sufficiency that Stuart and I bought and it’s still probably my favorite. While it’s not the most comprehensive book out there on the subject, it is an easy and enjoyable introduction to the concept. With wonderful illustrations and a thoughtful progression of topics, The Self-Sufficient Life, is the perfect book to pick up for that friend or family member you’ve been nudging about sustainability. I’ve loaned the book out to most of my family and I’ve yet to find anyone who was able to resist its charms. Its simple explanations and beguiling illustrations make even the staunchest “grasshopper” contemplate the joys of planting a small garden. It’s great for those of you in the city as well; with special sections for people who live in the city, homesteading anywhere is possible.

My favorite part about this book is that it features plans for all types of gardens and farms for those of is in all situations, from the countryside to the inner city. Full page plans for urban gardens, community gardens, one acre and five acre farms greet the reader, proving that this is a homesteading book for everyone. Sections from the book include:


Chapter 1: The Meaning of Self-Sufficiency

Chapter 2: Food from the Garden

Chapter 3: Food from Animals

Chapter 4: Food from the Fields

Chapter 5: Food from the Wild

Chapter 6: In the Dairy

Chapter 7: In the Kitchen

Chapter 8: Brewing and Wine-Making

Chapter 9: Energy and Waste

Chapter 10: Crafts and Skills

Chapter 11: Things You Need to Know


This book really ought to be in every homesteader or wannabe-homesteader’s library. If for no other reason than its handiness in explaining the homesteader lifestyle and ethic.

The author, John Seymour, has written over forty books on the subject including Forgotten Crafts, which is written and illustrated in much the same style. While containing information on many subjects, The Self-Sufficient Life manages to give each a fairly in-depth coverage; something quite lacking in many homesteading books. No, owning this book won’t make you an expert, but it will help you learn the basics and then direct you on to other more specialized books.

Farm Snap-Shot

The Chickens enter adolescence and accordingly begin to develop and attitude:

Chickens with an attitude