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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Those of us who live in cooler climates and who want to get a jump-start on the growing season have been thinking about seed-starting recently. Last winter I shared several informative posts about how and when to start seeds. This winter I thought it would be beneficial to present all of those resources to you in one easy-access post. So without further ado – here are some of my favorite resources for seed starting. Arcadia Farms Seed Starting Plans Here’s […]

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chicken breeds I'd like to own

Wish List Wednesday | Chicken Breeds I’d Like to Own Welcome to another Wish List Wednesday! Though most of us are stuck in a deep freeze, this is the season to be thinking about little baby chickens arriving in time for spring. (Learn more about the how-to’s and benefits of backyard chickens here.) Because it’s chick-shopping season, this month’s Wish List Wednesday is focused on chicken breeds I’d love to own. Blue Orpington Blue orpingtons are as docile and friendly […]

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sprout slaw recipe

Winter is not usually a favored time of year for those of us who fancy eating fresh food from a home garden. Some of us manage to grow a few things indoors while others make it through the winter on garden goodies stored up from fall harvests. Veggies like hard squashes, carrots, onions and potatoes store well enough to make the long trek from September harvests to February meals. Maybe this doesn’t bother you, but I really dislike buying veggies […]

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diy valentine day tea

Ok. Not really. It’s not a potion. No magic here. Just a yummy cup of tea that happens to be full of herbs known for their aphrodisiac qualities. It’s a sweet and simple handmade gift your tea lover will love on Valentine’s Day. If you’re an herb connoisseur you probably have everything you need on hand already. Otherwise, a quick run to the health food or grocery store will provide what you need, including: Round Coffee Filters Bakers Twine Stapler […]

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chicken paddock plants

Last spring’s Chicken Week seems a world away now as I look out onto giants mounds of fluffy snow. That week of posts introducing our first flock of chickens also discussed our plans and tips for chicken keeping. One of the central concepts in our plan is a paddock system. Chicken paddocks provide several benefits, including the reduction or elimination of expenses for commercial chicken-feed. In a nutshell, the paddock system works like this: Multiple (i.e., four) fenced areas can […]

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valentine day

Valentine’s Day is a mere seven days away. We celebrate Valentine’s Day, but not extravagantly. A sentimental card and a few tokens of love are usually the extent of gift giving in our family. Gifts often include flowers, candy, gift cards, special dinners and sometimes jewelry. Although we don’t (usually) give extravagant gifts for this particular holiday, we all (yes, the entire family) are still very particular about giving thoughtful, personalized gifts. Have you noticed how difficult it can be […]

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