Thursday, July 2, 2015

7 Amazing Benefits of Bananas

Bananas..... They are in every supermarket you go into. They are as common on North American shelves as locally grown fruit such as apples and blueberries, but this was not always the case. Prior to the 1900's bananas were a rare novelty that usually only appeared in port cities. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

(mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop June 29, 2015

Welcome to another week of the (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop!  I really enjoy seeing what you all have been up to! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity with us!

This party is a 
Rules Free Party!!!

We are family friendly, so do keep that in mind. *wink* Share anything you want!!! We love seeing what you are up to! Be it recipes, DIY, giveaways, hops, crafts, funny stories... they're all welcome here!

Each week, I will have a feature(s), which will also be pinned to our (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop Board over on Pinterest!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Perfectly Peachy Peach Cobbler

My hubby likes a good peach cobbler. Not being a big peach eater, I can’t say I have ever had one that really tickled my taste buds, till now! I decided to tinker in the kitchen and come up with my own version that was packed full of peaches for him, with just the right balance of peachy flavor and a little cinnamon punch.

I’ll admit, since I am not a big peach fan, I opted to buy canned peaches. And you know what? That’s alright! I don’t HAVE to do everything from scratch every time I bake. I don’t need to feel any guilt here, right? Well guess what? I don’t, because it turned out so good, I will never make it any other way!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop June 27

simple saturdays blog hop lesa goatWelcome to Simple Saturdays Blog Hop!

This blog hop is brought to you by a group of wonderful co-hosts committed to the Simple way of Life and learning to be Self Reliant in all they do.  Simple Saturdays Blog Hop is a way for each of us to share the various ways we are learning to be more Self Reliant in our homes and on our land. This is all about building community, learning new skills and growing more self-sufficient!

Please join us, submit YOUR Self-Reliant post (maybe even 2 or 3), browse around, visit a site or two and learn some new Simple tips or Self Reliant How'To's!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

12 Myths About Chicken Eggs

When it comes to eggs, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there. So I decided to take a minute to clear up a few of them for you. I used to giggle every time someone asked me about myth 1, but then I had to remind myself, not everyone grew up in the country, or raises chickens. So without further ado, here are 12 Myths (and realities) about chicken eggs…..

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Great Duck Race!!!

Recently our duck, Betty, decided to be sneaky and laid a nest of eggs. You would not believe just how smart a duck can be or just how similar sitting ducks are to human moms with newborns! So of course I had to write about “What To Expect When Your DUCK Is Expecting!"

A friend of mine, Janet, at Timber Creek Farm had a duck who started sitting on a nest the same time Betty pulled her little shenanigans. After talking, we decided to have a little fun with our expectant mothers by holding a duck race!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

What To Expect When Your DUCK Is Expecting

This is a topic I never thought I would be writing about. I collect my eggs religiously, so when Betty the duck started only giving me an egg every other day, I just figured she was slowing down on her egg laying production. Never in a million years did I think she was tricking me. Oh yes, she is a smart one, because you see, she had a hidden nest and would lay an egg in it one day and then give me an egg the next. I never suspected her of being so cunning. By the time I found out what she was up to, it was too late, she had already started to sit (incubate) the eggs and when I candled them, they were already starting to develop!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Why Quail Do NOT Make Good Pets

When you are a parent, all you want to do is make your children happy. Sometimes you don’t stop to think in your pursuit of their joy. An example of this happened recently when we decided to fulfill the oldest country kid’s Birthday WishYou see, all he wanted was a pet quail…… They only cost $2.00…. We rock!!! Wrong!!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Blog Doesn't Make Money (And Why I'm Okay With That!!)

There are many reasons people get into blogging, but for most, it is about making money. Others get into blogging for other reasons and are quickly swept up in the “how to make money blogging” aspects that seem to be everywhere. Well I am here to tell you, my blog doesn’t make money AND I am okay with that!! No really, I am!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Homemade Garden Markers

Every year we plant a garden. Every year I try to label everything, so we can remember when things come up, what they are. But it seems, every year, those darn markers get lost, broken, or just unreadable.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Avian Influenza, What you need to know

By now, if you have poultry or even just watch the news, you have heard about "Bird Flu." But what do you really know about avian influenza? And how will it impact you as a consumer or backyard bird keeper? Take a deep breath and don't panic, we will explain it all to you to the best of our ability.....

Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Birthday Wish Comes True

Ever since he was a little guy, the oldest country kid has had a deep affection for poultry. In the last year he has become obsessed with quail. He will scour the internet for hours at a time watching videos and learning about them. So it came as no surprise that for his birthday this year, when we asked him what he wanted, he said a quail. Well of course he did! I mean what 9 year old country kid doesn't want a quail, right? I'll just pop over to the quail store and pick ya one up. Simple enough, right? Well if you don't know, there is no quail store, chick season at the feed stores is over and not many folks in our neck of the woods raise quail. Oh what to do...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Everyone has their favorite candy bar, for me it is a Kit Kat, but for my hubby, he is all about the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. So in honor of my hubby and his love of chocolate and peanut butter, I hit the kitchen with a mission. I was going to create him a homemade treat inspired by his favorite candy and that is when I came up with Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars!! These are so simply to make with just five ingredients!

Fair warning though, these Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are sweet! A little piece will satisfy that sweet tooth in a hurry!! I cut mine into one or two bite size pieces otherwise my hubby and the country kids would be on a sugar high for days!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

OMG, We Won!!!!

So awhile ago, on Facebook, I saw that Nutrena was having a photo contest and I figured, why not enter. I never dreamed in a million years that my photo of our littlest country kid and good old Grumpy Goldie would actually win, but that is exactly what happened!!!

I have to say, I have some of the greatest readers, because without all of you voting, it never would have happened. So from the bottom of my heart I want to send out a THANK YOU to each and everyone of you who took the time to vote for my little guy and Goldie.

Part of our prize is a YEAR of chicken feed and we could not be more excited!!! We might need to get more chickens! *wink* Just kidding, maybe....

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Five Uses for an Invisible Fence on the Homestead

If you have pet dogs, you may be faced with a variety of extra challenges on your homestead. Perhaps your dogs enjoy “helping” you garden by digging up everything in sight, or maybe they enjoy “exercising” your chickens by chasing them around the coop. Whatever the case, creating boundaries for your dogs may be necessary, and one way to do it is with an invisible dog fence.

An invisible fence alternative system will allow you to create customized boundaries that keep your dogs where you want them to be. You don’t have to chain them, or put up big walls of fence that will hinder your view of and access to other sections of your property. Invisible fences are versatile tools, so let’s look at some of the different ways they can be used on the homestead.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Cherry Sugar Cookie Cobbler

A few weeks back I was grocery shopping, and of course I had to hit the baking aisle for supplies. As I was cruising along I saw cherry pie filing.... Now normally, I make my own, but we have been out of cherries for some time, and seeing the can made me long for a cherry pie, so I grabbed a can and tossed it in my cart.

Weeks passed and every time I thought about making a cherry pie I didn't want to have to make a crust, so the can sat on the shelf. Normally I don't mind cooking from scratch, but pie crusts have never been my strong suit. I finally got fed up and wanted something with cherries in it,

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

We Hatched Chicken Eggs!!!

Late last fall a friend of mine offered us a dozen hatching eggs. Well winter in Michigan is no time to be hatching out chicks, so she waited till spring to send them to us. We have been on the most exciting adventure trying our hand at hatching our own chicks for the first time. I don't know who has been more excited, the country kids or myself!!

When the eggs arrived we put them in the incubator and waited a loooong week before we decided to candle them. Candeling is when you use a light source to illuminate the egg so you can see what is going on (if anything) inside. We were so excited when we candled the eggs and found we had eight of them developing. I wrote all about it in a post called We're Hatching Eggs! There is even video of a chick embryo moving you can watch!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

It is a well know fact that my hubby LOVES peanut butter cookies. My Must Make Peanut Butter Cookies have been a staple around our home for ages. But with two young country kids and spring chores taking up more and more of my time, I don't always have time to make them for him. I needed something just as good (if not better) that I could do in a fraction of the time. So I headed to the kitchen and started tinkering with recipes and came up with these amazing Peanut Butter Cookie Bars!

Friday, April 24, 2015

WonderMix Kitchen Mixer Giveaway

I love to bake, bread, cookies, cakes, it doesn't matter, I love to make them all. What I don't love are cheaply made hand and stand mixers. When it comes to kitchen equipment I want quality or I will do without. Recently I was given the opportunity to take the new WonderMix Kitchen Mixer for a test drive and let me just say WOW!!!

The WonderMix Kitchen Mixer comes with a powerful 900 watt motor. That is the kind of power you find in high end commercial mixers! The direct drive high torque transmission is housed inside a sturdy-no walking-base. That means this bad boy will get the job done while staying put.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Nite Guard Giveaway

I am so excited for today's Spring Fling Giveaway, Nite Guard Solar!!! Why am I so excited? Because if you have livestock or a garden, you have predators and Nite Guard is your solution! Whether you live in a rural or urban setting, there are critters out there and they are hungry. Even if you don't see them during the day, I promise you, they lurk in the dark. Sadly last year we had a weasel get in our coop and it was devastating. We have lived here over 12 years and I had NEVER seen a weasel. We now have Nite Guard on our coop!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chubby Mealworms Giveaway

Despite the recent movement by many chicken and egg producing companies to provide vegetarian fed chicken and eggs..... chickens are anything BUT vegetarians! Protein is a very important part of their nutritional needs. Our birds free range and nibble up all the insects they want, but there is something about mealworms that just make them loose their minds! I swear mealworms do to chickens, what cat nip does to cats!

As you may already know, we have a mealworm farm. Yes, we raise our own mealworms in order to provide a little extra protein to our poultry as a treat. I just could no longer stomach paying $4 for 100 mealworms at the pet store.  But I know many of you are a lot like my hubby and would prefer NOT to raise your own mealworms. And that is why I am so happy that today's Spring Fling Giveaway is for a 5 lb bag of mealworms from Chubby Mealworms!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chickens from Scratch Giveaway

Blogging has brought some truly gifted people into my life. Recently a wonderful friend of mine fulfilled a lifelong dream of writing a book, Chickens from Scratch, and has been so kind as to offer a copy to one of you!!

Author Janet Garman and her family live on their family farm in Maryland, where they raise vegetables and a variety of animals for fiber, eggs, meat and companionship. Janet has written this book from her wealth of knowledge gained by hands on chicken husbandry.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Fermentools Giveaway

Lacto-fermantaion! What is it? It is the process of creating an anaerobic environment in which you get food away from the air by submerging it in a salt brine. The salt inhibits the growth of bad bacteria, while allowing the good bacteria to break down the sugars in the food and preserve it. Why is that good? Because it not only preserves food, but helps your gut bacteria! And it taste yummy too!

Recently I have started using Fermentools, who takes making fermented veggies to a whole new, EASY level! Gone are the days of the big old crock! Don't get me wrong, I still love my crock, it is a beautiful old piece, but with the jars I already have for canning along with the Fermentools kit, I can crank out a lot of smaller batches of various kinds of veggies. And trust me, I have developed a little bit of a fermenting addiction. If it ain't nailed down, I might just chop it up and stick it in a jar!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Kevin’s Quality Clothespins Giveaway

Since today is "Hanging Out Day," we are excited that our Spring Fling Giveaway today is for a set of 20 beautiful handcrafted America made clothespins from Kevin's Quality Clothespins!

What is Hanging out Day? It's a day to conserve energy! Did you know that using an electric dryers can account for six to ten percent of a household's energy consumption!?!? I don't know about you, but to me, that's just crazy!

Hanging your wash out to dry is not only a financially sound way to save money and use less electricity, but decrease your carbon foot print. It makes you feel good, doesn't it (or it will once you start doing it!) Now you can take that good feeling a step further by using a product that is handcrafted right here in America by Kevin's Quality Clothespins.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lally Broch Farm Giveaway

One of the wonderful parts of blogging is the incredible people you meet along the way. At the beginning of my blogging journey, I crossed paths with Sonja from Lally Broch Farm. While she does blog, she is also and incredibly resourceful lady who handcrafts so many wonderful items.

When she first started doing jewelry using eggshell, I was impressed not only with her artistic ability but the medium she was working in. Over the years her talents have blown me away. She is a true artist!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Backyard Poultry Magazine Giveaway

Whether you have poultry or are just dreaming of the day you will, Backyard Poultry Magazine is the publication to read! Backyard Poultry Magazine is a wonderful source of information no matter if you are raising poultry in the country or in an urban environment.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chicken Boots Book Giveaway

Reading is something my hubby and myself have always enjoyed, so of course when we had children, we loved reading to them and buy them books. I do believe, we have more children’s books in our home then our small town library has on their shelves! Of course being country kids, they love books with tractors and farm critters, so when I sat down with them recently to read them Chicken Boots, I was pretty sure it would be a hit.

I don’t want to give away the story, because it is such a cute tale, but I will tell you it is about the relationship between a little girl and her best friend, who just happens to be a chicken. Of course my two boys could relate to the story as they play with our chickens. Even if the young reader doesn't own chickens, the theme of friendship shines through.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wild Signs Giveaway

The amazing folks over at Louise's Country Closet have an awesome new venture called Wild Signs. I already loved the stuff they make and I was not disappointed when I saw their signs! These high quality metal signs will make a great addition to anyone's home. Oh sure they have your typical farm/country type signs, but they also have some humorous ones and you know me, I love a good giggle!

Mandy, over at Wild Signs is such a sweet and generous person. I have known her for almost three years now and you could not meet a nicer person! I was not surprised when she offered to give one of their signs away to one of you, because, well, she is always that awesome. She told me to pick one out, but I just couldn't because there are so many great ones to choose from, so we decided to let the winner pick out any sign they want. That's right, if you win, you get the sign you really want!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Seeds of the Month Club Membership Giveaway

Our friend Mike, who is a 3rd generation vegetable gardener and author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person, has been gardening for nearly 30 years. He is also the founder of The Seeds of the Month Club.

I have been a member for three years now and I love the quality and variety of seeds I receive each month. We have received seeds for many of our favorite garden items, as well as for things we can't find locally or would not have even thought to try growing.

Each seed packet comes with such wonderful information on not only how to grow the seeds but which parts of the plants can be used for different purposes. We have actually gone from just gardening in the summer, to knowing which plants we can put in a second, fall garden.

Monday, April 13, 2015

King Arthur Flour Baking Prize Pack Giveaway

If you have been reading my blog or following my Facebook page for any length of time, you will know, I love to bake.... a lot!! That is why I am delighted that today we are kicking off our 2015 Spring Fling Giveaway event with King Arthur Flour!

America’s oldest flour company, King Arthur Flour, was founded in Boston in 1790. What started as a company providing high quality flour, has grown into an employee owned national baking resource. Today, King Arthur Flour not only provides bakers with quality products, but they provide support, classes and answers to all your baking questions. You can use their online resources, catch one of their traveling baking demos or (my dream trip someday) visit their Baking Education Center in Norwich, Vermont!