• Animals,  Farms,  Projects

    A Day in the Life of a Homesteading Mama

    There’s a poem in the beginning of The Encyclopedia of Country Living about the life of a homesteading woman. I want to share it with you: Mama’s Mama by: Anna Rees Henton Mama’s Mama, on a winter’s day, Milked the cows and fed them hay, Slopped the hogs, saddled the mule, And got the children off to school. Did a washing, mopped the floors, Washed the windows and did some chores. Cooked a dish of home-dried fruit, Pressed her husband’s Sunday suit, Swept the parlor, made the bed, Baked a dozen loaves of bread. Split some wood and lugged it in, Enough to fill the kitchen bin, Cleaned the lamps…

  • Animals,  Farms

    The cost of growing corn free, soy free, free range eggs

    These are our beautiful, farm fresh eggs! We currently have 10 dozen eggs ready to sell. We didn’t sell any through the winter, and I wanted to make sure that we were actually making a profit on eggs, so I did some calculating today. Interestingly, I also read this post today, about how small, local farms are making a huge profit margin on their products (and how that’s unfair to the consumers). I don’t want to over-charge our customers. They’re all working hard to make a living. I want our living to be an honest one. Farming isn’t cheap, though. We’ve been here nearly 2 years, and we have learned…

  • Animals,  Farms

    Chickens on Pasture: A Better Model!

    This photo was taken inside of a commercial chicken house, where chickens are not allowed to live in the light. Yum, doesn’t this make you want to eat more chicken? *photo credit  In Food, Inc., there was a quote about the average chicken farmer being about $500,000 in debt (from building two chicken houses) and only making a net income (off of everything on their farm) of about $18,000 per year. Further research shows that 25% of these farmers make nothing after all of their hard work. Wowie, zowie! That is no way for a farmer to live! There are alternatives to this method! Our first year raising chickens, we…

  • Animals,  Farms,  GAPS Diet & Nutrition,  Health & Beauty

    Low on Vitamin D? Eat Eggs from Pastured Chickens!

    Around the holidays, I had to buy some store bought eggs so that we had enough to do some Christmas baking. I buy “cage free” eggs when I have to buy them at the store. That doesn’t mean anything, though. Neither does “free range.” So what. They have a 1 foot by 1 foot space to roam? They’re still in stinky, cramped chicken houses with little to no outside lighting, no grass, and no bugs. They’re still fed a “vegetarian” diet of soy and corn, when chickens are not vegetarians and would never choose to eat soy or corn on their own. I forgot about the store-bought eggs, and I…

  • Animals,  Farms

    Joel Salatin Chicken Tractor Plans

    We wanted to share with you the rough plans that my husband drew up in Visio to go with Joel Salatin's Pastured Poultry Profits . The book describes how to build the chicken tractor in Chapter 10, The Pen, but in a paragraph form. My husband used that paragraph to draw up these plans.

  • Animals,  Farms

    Butchering Chickens Part 2

    Note that all of the pictures from Day 2 of butchering were taken by Farm Boy 1, our hopeful (but not very experienced) 9 year old photographer. =) Another day of butchering!! The Farmer got up and turned on the scalder at 6:30 am (Brilliant!). We were ready to start processing birds by 9:30 (and the scalder was hot enough then!). This is the lighter we used because the pilot on the scalder kept going out. Maybe wind, or? I’m pretty sure Ma Ingalls never had to buy any playdough. She just butchered chickens & gave the insides to her kids to squish around for a while. =) All of…

  • Animals,  Farms

    Butchering Broilers with a Scalder and a Plucker

    Warning: this post contains actual images of chicken butchering. I wouldn’t recommend looking at this while eating if you have a sensitive tummy! This was the day–we were going to butcher all 105 chickens, plus a goose, a duck or two, and maybe the turkeys. It didn’t go exactly as planned, but it was still a good day! First we borrowed our friends’ flatbed trailer, and used it to rent the equipment. We rented the equipment for $50 for 2 days from Portable Plucker. It included the killing cones, scalder, plucker, and a chilling bath. You can purchase a scalder on Amazon, or both a scalder and a plucker from…