Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Blogging for Manna Pro

I'm so excited to share that I've been asked to write for a new blog by Manna Pro Called the Hearty Homestead! For those of you unfamiliar with the Manna Pro name, they provide quality feed,  supplements and other products for all species of livestock.

I will be writing all about goat care for the coming year. My first two posts are up and ready to read just in time for Kidding Season to begin!

Caring for Pregnant Does Part 1

Caring for Pregnant Does Part 2


Monday, March 2, 2015

Photographing Chickens

In this post I share some of my experiences photographing chickens, and what has worked for me. Also learn how you can enter a photography contest and giveaway from Nutrena!

Photographing Chickens

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bee Keeping Tools of the Trade

Check out my latest Keeping Backyard Bees post to learn about the basic tools you need to begin beekeeping. Tools of the Trade

Friday, February 27, 2015

Maple Syrup Guide

According to the 7 day forecast we could experience day time temperatures above 32 next week! Time to get out the maple taps and the drill! Maple season is coming...I promise it is. So I've collected a bunch of posts, videos and recipes from the past to help you make the most of your Sugar Shack!

Sugar Bush Season
This is a post I wrote for Grit Magazine which takes you through the different processes of Maple syruping. From determining the right temperatures to start, how to identify trees in the winter, drilling, collecting sap, boiling it down, and finishing the syrup.

Tapping the Trees Video
This video discusses the best place to tap the tree. Which side of the tree, where (in relation to the roots and branches) and in which direction.

Old Fashioned Maple Kettle Syrup 
This post is all about collecting and boiling. 

Finishing the Maple Syrup
Here I discuss how to filter the finished syrup and how to determine when the sap has become syrup using simple kitchen items that you probably already have! 

Indian Springs Maple Syrup Demonstration
We take you on a tour of a Maple Syrup Class we took. I discuss some of the history behind maple syruping, some tricks for remembering which trees to tap and other interesting facts. 

Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber Tap Maple Trees, or Wait, is it an Oak?
This is a funny story about Zach and my first attempt at tapping a tree.

Maple Syrup Success! 
Our first successful boil using a Red Maple not s Sugar Maple. 

Spring Creeping
Come spend a day with us as we sit around the fire waiting for the sap to boil.

Maple Sugar Candies
Use extra or older syrup to make Maple Sugar Candies!

Brandied Vanilla and Maple Creme Brulee
Use your delicious syrup to make this unique custard dessert. 

Chickens 101

This post is your guide to all things chicken! Everything from why you should raise chickens, different styles of rearing, choosing breeds that are right for you, designing a coop, keeping you flock healthy and raising chicks. It’s the perfect place to start if you’re just starting out with your first flock, or are interested in raising a flock in the future. Be sure to check back often as more posts are being added. Community Chickens wants to help you raise a happy, healthy flock in every way we can. Visit Chickens 101

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spring Chicks

The brooder is set up and we have our first spring chicks! Here are some photos from their first day home at Iron Oak Farm. The breeds we have so far are Buff Orphington, Gold Laced Wyandotte, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Jersey Giants, Light Brahma, and Easter Eggers. Still to come are some Colombian Wyandotte, and I think I've located a Jersey Giant cockerel and a Buff Orphngton Cockerel. These are the two breeds that I'd like to breed next year. We are also looking forward to our Narragansett Turkeys and our Bourbon Red Turkeys!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wild Wednesday: Nature Photography

I thought I would share some photos from a recent visit to the Howell Conference and Nature Center. Sunday was my birthday and we were supposed to go to Bluegrass practice, but Zach got home late from work and we didn't make it. So instead we spent the day at a local wildlife rehabilitation center. 

All the animals in the center have some sort of permanent injury and can't be released into the wild. So the staff care for them, provide safe habitat and in turn, the animals raise awareness and provide education to the public.