hobbit day party

Happy Hobbit Day 2014

Yesterday our family hosted our second annual Hobbit Day party. In the fictitious world of Middle-Earth, Hobbit Day is the shared birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. In the real world, it happens to be the first day of Fall. Both are great excuses for gathering family and friends for an outdoor gathering. Intermittent rain threatened all day to cancel our plans but the skies cleared by late afternoon, settling into a brisk but lovely fall evening just in time. […]

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apple tree blossom

Photo Update Spring 2014

Wow! Our recent weather in West Michigan has been fabulous gardening weather. Several warm, sunny days with intermittent rain. Not enough rain to keep you indoors all day, but just enough to keep me from needing the sprinkler more than once. I’m so thankful! During this previous winter I realized that I simply didn’t take enough pictures of the farm in 2013. To remedy that in 2014 I plan to, at a minimum, take photos for a spring, summer and […]

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chickens

2013 Farmer’s Report

At the beginning of this month I delivered the final round of produce for our 2013 season. Now that the season has ended, it’s time for me to provide you with our second annual Farmer’s Report. The annual Farmer’s Report is an exercise that helps me analyze what went well, what went wrong and – most importantly – what I’ve learned so that I can apply those lessons to improving subsequent seasons. It’s also a great way for me to […]

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odd shaped egg

Ever since wintery weather began we’ve been receiving one to three eggs each day. After skillful interrogation I still haven’t been able to get the hens to spill the beans on which girls aren’t pulling their weight! Meanwhile, three eggs a day isn’t bad. Yesterday, however, was an extraordinary day. Yesterday was a four egg day. Apparently whoever decided to start pitching in is a little out of practice, because she gave us this… Honestly, the first thing I thought […]

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homemade almond extract

Life, according to my belly, can be categorized into the following seasons: Soup season, grilling season, roasting season and baking season. We, dear friends, are in the heart of baking season! Our household has no concept of portion control loves good food. And while I can’t say that the food we eat is always good for us (it’s hard to claim that cake is healthy) we do strive to make everything with natural, wholesome ingredients. That’s why last year I […]

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custom garden plan image

As much as I am a fan of warm weather and green, growing things, I’m looking forward to celebrating Christmas with friends and family. Perhaps it’s a little early to be thinking seriously about next year’s garden. It is, however, the right season for giving! We’re giving away something that will hopefully bring some Christmas-time joy to the recipient (and maybe even a glimmer of warmer weather to come!) We’re giving away a FREE, fully-customized garden plan including seeds ($80 […]

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canning apple butter

Last month our partner in Arcadia Growers Group gifted us with some fresh, pesticide-free produce. One of the items was a half bushel of red delicious apples. Per their name, they are delicious! But… they’re not very pretty. Pesticide-free means I choose to trade a perfect-looking apple for a perfectly edible apple that might look a little less than appetizing. (They look 10 times better in this photo than in real life!) They polish up decently but with a few […]

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planting fruit trees in fall

Spring is always a busy and exciting time for gardeners. I’m no exception. Logically I spent a lot of time in the garden this spring, planting, prepping and simply enjoying the sights and sounds of nature waking up from her winter nap. One of the things I enjoy most about preparing the spring garden is the sight and smell of our neighbor’s apple tree. Apple blossoms are some of my favorite flowers! This spring, for the first time ever, as […]

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why chickens stop laying eggs

If you live in Michigan then you don’t need me to tell you that the weather is getting cold and the days are getting darker. Our yard has already been covered in a dual blanket of leaves and snow several times this month. Another sign at Arcadia Farms that cold weather has arrived can be found in the chicken coop. Or, more specifically, can’t be found in the chicken coop. No eggs. Our hens have stopped laying completely. We’ve been […]

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