Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Backyard Farming Connection #45

 It's moving week for us - which means I am somewhere out there without a lot of internet.  Next week I'll be catching up with extra features, but for now, link up those posts below and have a great end of August!

For more great posts from around the homestead community, check out the links below (if you're reading this in an email, click on the post to see all the links).

I want to know what's happening, in your garden, on your homestead, in the barnyard, and in the kitchen.  Whatever is in your backyard farm and home, I would love to hear about it.

Each week I will share some of my favorite posts on the Backyard Farming Connection Facebook page.  And in case you haven't seen, I have a 'featured button' so if you've been featured in the past, grab a button.

For details on linking up visit the hop page.



(I know, I know - it still doesn't work :( If the HTML for the buttons doesn't work, feel free to just save the photo and link it back to this page).

Friday, August 23, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?

 It's moving time here at our home, so I'm taking some time to make the transition here from this home to our new one - hopefully I'll be back next week with some photos and updates from our new digs!  In the meantime, you can ink up below.

Check out some of these great photos of other people's gardens from this week and share some of your own in the gardening flickr group.

What's growing in your garden this week?
 

Each Friday I share photos from our garden with an update about what we're doing, what's growing, and what we're eating.  I invite you to come play along, I love seeing what others are trying.  You can join the fun in 3 ways:
  • If you blog, I welcome you to write a post or share a post from that week about what's growing in your garden
  • If you aren't a blogger, I invite you to join my gardening flickr group and share photos of your garden from this week - I will try to grab a few photos each week to share on my post.  Please include the date, a general location and your name so I can give you the proper credit.
  • And last - if you don't want to blog or share photos, just follow along and check out all the links and photos and maybe share a comment with your own gardening experience from the week

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Backyard Farming Connection #44

 The first tomatoes are finally getting ripe out there!  We've got a variety of colors coming into the kitchen everyday!  This week's posts are all about tomatoes:

From Let This Mind Be In You, Harvesting Tomato Seeds


From Homestead Living, Canning Stewed Tomatoes


For more great posts from around the homestead community, check out the links below (if you're reading this in an email, click on the post to see all the links).

I want to know what's happening, in your garden, on your homestead, in the barnyard, and in the kitchen.  Whatever is in your backyard farm and home, I would love to hear about it.

Each week I will share some of my favorite posts on the Backyard Farming Connection Facebook page.  And in case you haven't seen, I have a 'featured button' so if you've been featured in the past, grab a button.

For details on linking up visit the hop page.



(I know, I know - it still doesn't work :( If the HTML for the buttons doesn't work, feel free to just save the photo and link it back to this page).

Monday, August 19, 2013

BFC Feature: Mason Jar Cozy


Mason jars are a fabulous, inexpensive way to carry around  your favorite beverage.  These cute cozies are perfect for keeping warm drinks warm and protecting your hands from burns.  For the pattern, visit Plain Jane Remembrances.

Looking for more great posts?  Check out the homestead resource guide.

Are you interested in having your post featured on the Backyard Farming Connection?  Simply submit your post to The Homestead Resource Guide Link Up, join up on the Weekly Hop, or email me (you can find my email in the about section).

Saturday, August 17, 2013

BFC Feature: Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas


Burritos and quesadillas are one of the favorite meals in our home.  Making your own tortillas is not only easy, but they are absolutely delicious!  Try this recipe from Schneider Peeps.


 

Looking for more great posts?  Check out the homestead resource guide.

Are you interested in having your post featured on the Backyard Farming Connection?  Simply submit your post to The Homestead Resource Guide Link Up, join up on the Weekly Hop, or email me (you can find my email in the about section).

Friday, August 16, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow


 Already the air feels cooler in the mornings, and the leaves, vegetables and plants are starting to take on their fall appearance of wild abundance.  Besides the multitude of tomatillas coming in everyday, most of our harvest this year is giving us just more than we can eat.  With our move in just over a week, we are happy the keep this amount of feed coming in, although leaving behind a garden of green tomatoes will be slightly painful. 

It doesn't help that a little scavenger (my almost 2 year old) keeps eating all the cucumbers and peppers before I can get them into the house.  I suppose in the grand scheme of things it doesn't get much better than eating vegetables out of the garden.

Unfortunately all my photos are from my phone this week (and I definitely need a lesson on phone photography).






Check out some of these great photos of other people's gardens from this week and share some of your own in the gardening flickr group.

What's growing in your garden this week?
 

Each Friday I share photos from our garden with an update about what we're doing, what's growing, and what we're eating.  I invite you to come play along, I love seeing what others are trying.  You can join the fun in 3 ways:
  • If you blog, I welcome you to write a post or share a post from that week about what's growing in your garden
  • If you aren't a blogger, I invite you to join my gardening flickr group and share photos of your garden from this week - I will try to grab a few photos each week to share on my post.  Please include the date, a general location and your name so I can give you the proper credit.
  • And last - if you don't want to blog or share photos, just follow along and check out all the links and photos and maybe share a comment with your own gardening experience from the week

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Homesteading with A Sense of Place

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a homestead as: the home and adjoining land occupied by a family.  

For centuries, a homestead existed as a parcel of land and the home built there.  It was a combinations of trees or fields, slopes and hills, and bodies of water.  The land had a specific climate, it was wet or dry or windy, and it had a proximity to other people, towns and transportation.  The homestead that was built on this land was defined by these elements.  In most situations the home and outbuildings were created from the material on the land and designed based on the needs of the land.


At the base of this definition is a sense place.  Place defined the homestead.

In our modern terminology, we've shifted the definition of homesteading to apply to a way of life.  Homesteading has come to mean living a lifestyle that is constantly moving towards self-sufficiency.  Most homesteaders strive to live closer to the earth and to live a simpler, healthier way of life.  While the land is still the location we homestead, for many, the importance of place has shifted.  In the age of the internet and overnight mail, we are able to import animals, seeds, and even knowledge and to change the land in ways not available to people in the past. Yet at the same time, the importance of place is not lost on most homesteaders, and many people find themselves tied to the land in a way hard to understand in our modern transient culture.

As we prepare to move in just over a week, I find myself reflecting on the sense of place we've developed for our small homestead.  We've barely lived in this home for 3 years and yet we've made major changes to our lifestyle and to the land: we've cut trees and planted trees, made garden beds, built a shed, had a child, and cared for animals.  This place where we spend our days is a living reminder of the events and happenings of the last 3 years. 

Despite this attachment, as we pass this space on to the next owners we are reminded of our simple role as stewards of the land.  We may carve out a homestead in this place, but given just a little time, this land would fall right back to the small, wild, natural place it was.  As much as we like to think of our work as lasting, our homestead, whether just a few years old or a few centuries old is fleeting.

I am sad to leave this place, but my sense of myself as a 'homesteader' is not tied to this land, it is portable.  Already my thoughts are stretching forward to the next set of challenges: fences to be built, gardens moved, and all those unknowns that come with moving into an old farmhouse.  Knowing that this new place will most likely be our long term home makes our plans that much more exciting.  

Just as I am sad to leave this space, I am already anticipating those first days and weeks and months when we cement ourselves to a new home, new land, and start to transfer our homesteading to a new place.

Have you moved your homestead to a new place?  How is your sense of place tied to your homesteading life?




Wednesday, August 14, 2013

BFC Feature: Cranberry Maple Bars






These Cranberry Maple bars from Grubs to Grubs - Wing Shadow Farms look delicious.  I love cooking (and eating) anything with maple, so these are on the top of my list!

 

Are you interested in having your post featured on the Backyard Farming Connection?  Simply submit your post to The Homestead Resource Guide Link Up, join up on the Weekly Hop, or email me (you can find my email in the about section).

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Backyard Farming Connection #43

This week we're counting down the days until our moving day at the end of the month.  All our homesteading activities have shifted with this one time goal in mind.  It's amazing how much this has shifted our goals and activities and we're already moving away from out work here to our plans for our next space. 

If you haven't taken the time lately to stop over and link up and check out all the great posts at the Homestead Resource Guide - head over and share.

This week I have two features to share for you:

From Fresh Eggs Daily (a guest post by the Adventure Bites) How to Build a Chicken Tractor



And from These Light Footsteps, Forest Gardening




For more great posts from around the homestead community, check out the links below (if you're reading this in an email, click on the post to see all the links).


I want to know what's happening, in your garden, on your homestead, in the barnyard, and in the kitchen.  Whatever is in your backyard farm and home, I would love to hear about it.

Each week I will share some of my favorite posts on the Backyard Farming Connection Facebook page.  And in case you haven't seen, I have a 'featured button' so if you've been featured in the past, grab a button.

For details on linking up visit the hop page.



(I know, I know - it still doesn't work :( If the HTML for the buttons doesn't work, feel free to just save the photo and link it back to this page).

Friday, August 9, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I'm a little short on photos this week (camera issues).

The biggest exciting news around here is that we got our first ripe tomato. There is simply nothing better that the first one of the season, and if we stop goggling over it, we may even decide the best way to eat it - I'm thinking we'll just slice it and divide it up.

Along with the success of our impending tomato harvest, we've had a few flops this year: including most of our squash (which succumbed to vine borers) and all of our onions (which rotted in the ground).

The one thing that is looking absolutely fabulous this year is our compost!  After many layers of 'stuff' and turning, we finally have an entire load of yummy gorgeous compost ready for spreading.  I am feeling a bit torn about leaving it behind when we move, but somehow loading a cubic yard of compost into the moving truck feels a bit funny.





Check out some of these great photos of other people's gardens from this week and share some of your own in the gardening flickr group.

What's growing in your garden this week?
 

Each Friday I share photos from our garden with an update about what we're doing, what's growing, and what we're eating.  I invite you to come play along, I love seeing what others are trying.  You can join the fun in 3 ways:
  • If you blog, I welcome you to write a post or share a post from that week about what's growing in your garden
  • If you aren't a blogger, I invite you to join my gardening flickr group and share photos of your garden from this week - I will try to grab a few photos each week to share on my post.  Please include the date, a general location and your name so I can give you the proper credit.
  • And last - if you don't want to blog or share photos, just follow along and check out all the links and photos and maybe share a comment with your own gardening experience from the week

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Trusting Nature

Those of us who tend gardens, care for animals, and try to make choices in our lives to live more simply are constantly walking the line between managing the earth and working with the earth.  No matter how subtle we work, we inevitably change the world around us: we pull 'weeds', we build fences, we collect water, we enrich soil , we raise animals in certain spots and leave other spots natural, we build houses: we improve


Lately I've been questioning that line a bit: so often when we homestead it seems like we need to control and do things, so much so that sometimes it becomes difficult to trust in the world around us.

I firmly believe that when an animal comes into our care that we accept the responsibility of taking the best care of that animal we are able to.  But so often it is hard to know just what the best care is.  I've been told that my rabbits will live longer kept in the cool basement instead of outside, but is keeping a rabbit out of site of the sun most of the time really best?  I know that keeping my garden weeded and my plants well spaced is better (it certainly looks better) but is leaving bare soil for other weeds to grow really best? 

When we decide to trust in nature, we often benefit in ways we don't even understand.


This summer our bees have tested our trust in good old mother nature.  When our hive swarmed last month, we ultimately decided to split the hive and formed another new hive.  Since we couldn't find any evidence of a queen in either of our hives, we trusted in our bees ability to raise their own (bee will take brood and make a new queen all on their own).  Sitting back and letting them do their own things was hard - why couldn't I just solve the problem and move on. 

The last 2 times we visited the hive we found no new brood, and finally came to the conclusion that we needed to find 2 new queen quick.

Five days later we still hadn't acted on ordering new queens: call it a hunch or just procrastination, but yesterday we finally went in the hives 'just to be sure' and there was brood - AND we found a queen (see her in the photo above). 

We can help and guide those plants and animals that come into our lives.  We can feed them, and measure their protein intake, or their nutrient needs (and we should) but sometimes the key to a happy, safe, healthy, productive homestead is simply a little trust in nature.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

BFC Feature: Healthy Treats for Backyard Ducks


We all love our backyard animals and enjoy treating them once in a while.  Treats should only make up a small portion of your animals diet, and it is important to know which ones are safe.  Fresh Eggs Daily has some great tips on Healthy treats for ducks.


Are you interested in having your post featured on the Backyard Farming Connection?  Simply submit your post to The Homestead Resource Guide Link Up, join up on the Weekly Hop, or email me (you can find my email in the about section).

You may find affiliate links in this post

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Backyard Farming Connection Hop #43

With August underway, and the business of planting, tending, harvesting and all the other summertime household tasks taking up so much of our time, this week I am featuring two posts that talk about slowing down, taking time for yourself, and fighting burnout!

From Life Less Hurried, Be Still and Rest


And From the Self Sufficient HomeAcre, How to Deal With Homestead Burnout


For more great posts from around the homestead community, check out the links below (if you're reading this in an email, click on the post to see all the links).

I want to know what's happening, in your garden, on your homestead, in the barnyard, and in the kitchen.  Whatever is in your backyard farm and home, I would love to hear about it.

Each week I will share some of my favorite posts on the Backyard Farming Connection Facebook page.  And in case you haven't seen, I have a 'featured button' so if you've been featured in the past, grab a button.

For details on linking up visit the hop page.



(I know, I know - it still doesn't work :( If the HTML for the buttons doesn't work, feel free to just save the photo and link it back to this page).

Sunday, August 4, 2013

BFC Feature: How to Make Butter

Making butter is so simple and tastes so much better then anything you buy in the store.  Here's a post that walks you through making your own butter right at home:

http://everythinghomewithcarol.com/how-to-make-butter/


You can see more posts about making dairy products here.



Online Cheese Making Class

Are you interested in having your post featured on the Backyard Farming Connection?  Simply submit your post to The Homestead Resource Guide Link Up, join up on the Weekly Hop, or email me (you can find my email in the about section).

You may find affiliate links in this post

Feature: Pollen Bound Hive

 Keeping bees is a challenging endeavor, and for us newbies, it can feel overwhelming.  Learn more about a pollen - bound hive over at one of my favorite blogs:

http://www.ourneckofthewoods.net/2013/07/pollen-bound-hive.html




Are you interested in having your post featured on the Backyard Farming Connection?  Simply submit your post to The Homestead Resource Guide Link Up, join up on the Weekly Hop, or email me (you can find my email in the about section).

You may find affiliate links in this post

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Feature: Gardening by the Moon Phases



Gardeners are constantly adjusting their planting to the climatic and weather changes around them.   Have you ever considered gardening based on the phases of the moon?  This post gives a simple explanation on using the moon phases:



Are you interested in having your post featured on the Backyard Farming Connection?  Simply submit your post to The Homestead Resource Guide Link Up, join up on the Weekly Hop, or email me (you can find my email in the about section).

You may find affiliate links in this post

Friday, August 2, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?


I think it might just be possible that I planted too many beans on my bean teepee this year.  The vines are so thick that it takes some serious searching to find those beans.  I'm waiting for the morning when I wake up to find my bean teepee in a giant heap on the ground.  I'm thinking maybe I went a bit overboard on the 'growing vertical' idea this year.

I am waiting quite impatiently for the tomatoes to ripen.  Next year I am going to remember  to plant some early varieties so I can stop drooling over all the beautiful photos of multicolored tomatoes I keep seeing everywhere.  Luckily the tomatillos are starting to come in and I've got some salsa verde and green chili planned for the next week or two.

The patty pan squash are the only ones looking good thanks to the vine borers taking over all my other squash.  Each year I am reminded of the importance of planting a diverse garden.  Last year our cucumbers failed due to scratching chickens but the squash were great.  This year the cucumbers are coming in faster than we can handle but the squash is a flop.  I feel for the folks who rely on a single crop for their livelihood and always wonder if this is truly the best way to farm.






Check out some of these great photos of other people's gardens from this week and share some of your own in the gardening flickr group.

What's growing in your garden this week?
 

Each Friday I share photos from our garden with an update about what we're doing, what's growing, and what we're eating.  I invite you to come play along, I love seeing what others are trying.  You can join the fun in 3 ways:
  • If you blog, I welcome you to write a post or share a post from that week about what's growing in your garden
  • If you aren't a blogger, I invite you to join my gardening flickr group and share photos of your garden from this week - I will try to grab a few photos each week to share on my post.  Please include the date, a general location and your name so I can give you the proper credit.
  • And last - if you don't want to blog or share photos, just follow along and check out all the links and photos and maybe share a comment with your own gardening experience from the week