• Animals,  Farms

    Homemade Chicken Feed without Soy or Corn

    When we first bought our property, I wanted to create a chicken feed that would not include soy or corn. I was not able to find a ready-made feed that worked for us, so I researched (a lot!) and came up with this ration. It works great for layers, but it does not have enough protein for growing meat birds. A few years ago, we were able to find soy-free, corn-free feed through Magill Ranch. It is cheaper than this homemade feed, and easier (we get it delivered by the ton). If we had not found this feed, we would still be making our own, with this recipe. 🙂 Note…

  • Farms,  Vegetables

    Organizing Your Gardening Supplies

    I know that there are lots of different methods for organizing gardening supplies. I thought I’d share mine today! In the photo above, you can see lots of garden goodies! On the left is the basket I carry with me every time I go out. In it, I keep plant labels, gloves, big packets of seeds (that are too large to fit in my other baskets), a sharpie, my garden calendar (I’ll post about this soon) and my cell phone. I got these 2 little baskets at the Dollar Tree: I keep all of my seeds in alphabetical order by type (not necessarily by name–all Beans are together, for example)…

  • Animals,  Farms

    Meet Buttercup!

    In lieu of sharing Farm Photos this week, I want to introduce our newest Jersey, who we have chosen to name BUTTERCUP! 🙂 I showed her photo on Facebook and she went VIRAL! You guys loved her! I got more comments than I have ever had on any post-1,255!!! So let me introduce you to Buttercup. She is a BEAUTIFUL cow! She is super friendly and loves to be scratched behind her ears. She’s not afraid of a big bear um..cow hug. She is 2 years old. She has not had a calf yet and is not in milk yet. We had a vet check her out, and the vet…

  • Farms,  Vegetables

    Easy Spring Greens to Grow

    In the quest for self-sufficiency, it is best to start with growing foods that are easy to grow. This builds confidence in the homesteader. When you put simple, tiny seeds in the ground and then harvest lovely greens a few weeks later, you feel like “I can do this!” Not only that, but through little effort, you will be able to nourish your family. I planted all of these greens at the end of March. We did not have drip lines installed at that point, but it was still raining quite a bit here. Ever since early May, I have been harvesting a couple of salads per week off of these…

  • Farms

    Friday Farm Photos 5/24

    I am starting a new series here at The Well Fed Homestead. Every Friday I am going to post photos of our farm from that week. You’ll get to see the progress, and you’ll get to see the reality. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes imagine a picture-perfect farm with rolling green pastures (and no weeds of course), and plenty of leisure time drinking fresh-squeezed lemonade on the back porch. Then I remember we live in Oregon and we don’t have fresh lemons, or many days when it isn’t RAINING to hang out on the porch! 🙂 And, this farming thing takes a lot more time (and money!)…

  • Animals,  Farms

    What to ask when you’re buying a dairy cow

    Buying a dairy cow for the first time is a big deal! We bought 2 cows from trusted friends (thankfully!). Had we purchased from any stranger off of Craigslist, we might have purchased a dud cow. There are so many things to know about a dairy cow and keep the milk safe! Keeping a dairy cow healthy has been a huge learning curve for us. This is what we have learned, and what we will ask the next time we purchase a cow. (By the way, the cow in the picture is Violet, who gives about 6 gallons per day. She’s a Jersey and a good cow!). Has she been…

  • Animals,  Farms,  Food & Diseases,  GAPS Diet & Nutrition

    Want Crohn’s? Buy milk and beef from the grocery store.

      We just purchased a second Jersey. My husband met the previous owner at the vet, where he had testing done, and where he was able to ask a lot of questions. One particularly big concern in buying a dairy cow is Johne’s Disease (pronounced Yo-nees). It’s a disease that is identical to the human disease Crohn’s. Just like a human with Crohn’s, a cow that has Johne’s Disease will have a lot of diarrhea and will not absorb minerals properly. Johne’s Disease comes from the bacteria Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, which is abbreviated as MAP. It is, according to our vet, tuberculosis in the gut. Johne’s Disease in a…

  • Animals,  Farms

    Choosing a Dairy Cow: Breeds

    So, you want to get a dairy cow, but you have no clue what kind to get. There are some things you need to think about when choosing a cow: do you plan to sell the milk? (Is it legal in your state?) If not, you probably don’t need a cow that produces large quantities of milk. Do you plan to make a lot of butter? Then you will need a cow that produces a lot of cream. Here is some basic information about each breed to help you determine the kind of cow that is right for you. Ayrshire   Coloring: red and white Average Weight: 1,200 lbs Average…

  • Farms,  Life,  Values

    Money and Possessions don’t feed you

    I started the year with a goal of reading 1 new book every week. Ha! It’s taken me two months to get through The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck. Not that it’s really a difficult book, I’ve just been busy. It is long, but not difficult. It is enjoyable, for the most part (through part of it, I was just mad at the main character…sorry if that spoils things for you). 😉  Anyways, I took some great quotes away from the book that reminded me of how things are today, and the choices that we all make. I want to share these thoughts with you. Wang Lung is the main character,…

  • Farms,  Vegetables

    What’s in your compost?

    We purchased soil/compost mixtures from two different local companies last month. One of the products looks great. It’s got ground coconut shells, and ground up bark, and  an organic fertilizer. It is fine and free of clumps, and appears ready to plant in. We needed more soil on a Saturday, and the original place was closed. We should’ve had patience… Instead, we purchased from another local place. The price of their soil/compost mixture was about half the price. It didn’t contain the coconut shells, bark or fertilizer, but it was supposed to be clean soil with compost mixed in. The soil is chunky, with large clumps of dirt stuck together.…