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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mouse pie recipe

While doing some research for a future post, I ran across this gem of a recipe and I knew immediately I had to share it with you! The original recipe was posted here by Micah68, who recommends substituting sausage for field mice in a pinch, but personally I’m thinking those pesky moles terrorizing my front yard would work just as well. Micah68 posted several other, equally unique but decidedly more… palatable… recipes. Mouse Pie Recipe 5 fat field mice 1 […]

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how to make maple syrup

I was sad when I realized that the best thing for our family was the discontinuance of our CSA. All the same, it was a peace-filled realization. However… I recently had an experience that was easily the saddest, most disheartening experience of my homesteading life to date. Imagine my dismay when – three days before I was to process it – I discovered that 50 gallons of pure maple sap stored in my garage was… spoiled. Sour. Unusable for syrup. […]

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deer netting fence

One of the farm’s Facebook friends recently asked about keeping deer out of the garden. I don’t know what kinds of pests you deal with in your neck of the woods, but in Southwest Michigan this is a very poignant question! There are lots of supposedly repellent chemicals and plants you can purchase to protect your plot of veggies from deer. However, most gardeners I’ve spoken with find these don’t do an adequate job of keeping deer at bay. I’ve […]

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Inside Portage Magazine Arcadia Farms

While we were on vacation the first week of April, this came in the mail… It’s a copy of Inside Portage Magazine… with a picture of our peas (2013) on the cover! I thoroughly enjoyed sharing our micro-farm’s story with Inside Portage. It was a great way to further introduce our farm to the community. If you live outside the Portage area, you can still read the same information by clicking here.

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dandelion wild flower smoky mountains national park

It appears that spring has finally sprung in Southwest Michigan! There’s still a cool nip in the windy air, but the sun is shining and temperatures are reaching up into the sixties at midday. It’s a welcome sight! I’m so glad that things have warmed up around here because after returning from a trip to sunny, spring-has-sprung Tennessee, I don’t think my heart could have handled super-cold and snow. We had a fabulous time on our family vacation to Gatlinburg […]

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how to freeze eggs

The winter of 2013/2014 was our first snowy season as chicken owners. I say was with a small amount of sarcasm since the snow just doesn’t seem to want to let go. (The three-foot-deep mounds in our backyard have melted to nothing in some places, but every few days it snows it again. Meanwhile Easter is only weeks away…) We were prepared for a reduction in egg production and made a plan for getting as many winter eggs as possible […]

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