• Farms

    How to Set up a Farm Store

      I miss our Farm Store. I want to share with you today how we set it up–what we included, what we learned, and what made it successful. Start with a Cozy Space This might be difficult to come-by on a farm. We used a room that was part of our home that had an outside door. We locked the door between our home and the Farm Store and put an alarm on the door. Other ideas are to: Convert a shed Use a room that is attached to a barn (though there might be laws about storing food in such a space…and even if there aren’t, some customers may…

  • Farms,  Stewardship

    From Farm to Neighborhood: A Different Kind of Life

    photo credit We sold our farm in February, and moved to an apartment for 2 months. In April, we moved into our home, in a neighborhood, on a 1/4 acre lot. Last weekend someone asked us what the biggest difference was between living on a farm and living in a neighborhood. Can I just share a few with all of you? Food Scraps On the farm, all of our food scraps went to the animals, and even chicken bones got buried in a big compost pile. In a neighborhood house, we have a garbage disposal! It is way too easy to waste away all of those great food scraps into the sewer.…

  • Farms

    Fact: Most Farmers Are Not Rich

    photo credit: Rosewoman If you don’t know my story already, let me share it with you in brief: We bought a farm, worked it hard, tried to do the full-time-farming thing. We poured so much into our farm–time, energy, money, debt. We had good products, great customers, and yet, we didn’t make it. The farm didn’t pay for itself. My husband had to go back to work, and we decided that we were unable to continue farming and maintain my husband’s career, the commute, the debt, and a healthy family life. We sold eggs for $6.50 per dozen and though we sold out, we didn’t make enough to cover our…

  • Animals,  Farms

    The Cost of Raising Broilers without Soy, Corn or GMO’s.

    We just sent out our first e-mail, offering to raise chickens with soy and corn and even GMO’s, only because we are not finding many customers who are willing to pay the price point for our chicken. It feels like we’re going against our own standards–buying a conventional type of feed, with soy and corn, and whatever else they fill it with. We understand, though, that there’s IDEAL and then there’s REALITY when it comes to people’s ability to spend money on food. Many people look at our chalkboard at the farmer’s market like “Really?! $5.50 per pound for chicken?” Yes people, that’s the cost of our chicken. For those of you who are curious, I want…

  • Farms

    Should you wash your chicken eggs?

    This is a question that is up for debate! There are different theories on the subject. The short answer? No. Chicken eggs have an invisible membrane around them called a “bloom,” and as long as the bloom is intact, bacteria (good or bad) will not get into the egg. If you wash your eggs, you risk the chance of making them more porous, so that bacteria can get inside of the egg. The bloom protects the quality of the egg and keeps it fresh longer. If you plan to go camping and do not want to refrigerate your eggs or stick them in a wet, icy cooler, don’t wash them.…

  • Chickens,  Farms

    How many eggs does a chicken lay per day?

      If you’re thinking about getting chickens, you might be wondering how many eggs they will give you every day. This is a good question, and the truth is, it varies! I think that there are a lot of misconceptions about laying hens. People think that if they get 3 hens, they’ll have 3 eggs per day. This may or may not be the case. How many eggs you get from each chicken every day depends on several factors: The time of year The breed of the chicken The age of the chicken Whether or not you have lighting in your chicken coop If your chicken is molting If your chicken…

  • Farms,  Homesteading

    Should Chickens Eat Soy?

    When we first moved to our farm, I had a vision: that we were not going to feed our chickens soy or corn (more on the corn part another day). At first we found a a soy-free feed that wasn’t corn-free, and we went with it. Then we had the feed store make a soy-free, corn-free feed for us, but it was a little pricy. Then we found a feed company that made an organic, soy-free, corn-free feed, and we were stoked. It’s still expensive. It costs a lot of money to feed chickens right. When we’ve looked at the cost of the conventional, GMO-soy-filled feeds, we’ve been tempted…ok, my husband has…

  • Farms,  Politics

    Our first time selling at Farmer’s Market

    Whew! I’m tired! We went to our first farmer’s market today! We brought only 1 out of 4 kids, since we weren’t sure what the market would be like. The others were watched by my friend & hung out with her kids. This is us with our son Noah at our booth. Noah was our little helper & he really seemed to enjoy his special time with Mommy & Daddy. 🙂 The details: We wanted to get into a big market. We started applying in January. We are on the waiting list for some of the big markets. We got into a smaller, weekday afternoon/evening market instead. The Saturday market…

  • Farms,  Vegetables

    Where to Buy Vegetable Seeds

      I asked on Facebook, “where do you get your garden seeds?” And of course, since “everything I need to know, I learned from Facebook,” I decided to share this information with all of you! This is what people said: Adaptive Seeds Adaptive Seeds is located in Oregon, and they specialize in “artisan quality, public domain, open-pollinated seeds, grown without the use of synthetic chemicals and with ecologically mindful methods.” They sell a wide variety of vegetable, herb and fruit seeds. They offer bulk quantities of beans, grains, tomatoes and more. They sell garlic bulbs and a small selection of root crops. American Meadows American Meadows is located in Vermont,…

  • Animals,  Farms,  Real Food

    The Cost of Producing Raw Milk

    I recently asked y’all  on Facebook how much you spend on raw milk. The prices ranged from $3 per gallon up to $20. The break down is like this: 43% pay $7 or less per gallon 45% pay between $8 and $13 per gallon 12% pay over $14 per gallon We have 2 dairy cows, but only one is in milk right now. Our other cow just got “serviced” last month and we hope that she is pregnant! I am going to break down our costs for you, to show you how much we spent in the month of May (2013) on our dairy cows, and how much we made…