Natural Tick & Lyme Disease Prevention

I am convinced we live in the middle of Tick-Central. Meeting place of the National Association of Wood-Ticks. If ticks had a yearly convention, they might hold it in the state of Wisconsin. And I hate them. I loathe these weird, disease-ridden, blood-gorging, leg-climbing creepy stalkers. I didn’t worry much about ticks when I was little. I played in the woods, rolled around in the …

Lard Bread & Boiled Flour: A Farm Story

A couple weekends ago we celebrated the spring season with Karl’s family. His Grandparents came over to the big city from their small farming town a couple hours away. As usual we had a meal and talked farming with Grandpa. No one can talk farming like an 85-year-old farmer! (That’s him, above in the picture.) Grandma and Grandpa are in their 80s and still farming. Every building …

Old Fashioned Duck-Fat-Baked Potato Chips

Old-Fashioned. Homemade. Duck Fat. Potato. Need I say more? You don’t have to use duck fat; lard or olive oil with also give you incredible results! We’re partial to duck fat here on the homestead, plus- duck fat was made for potatoes… What’s So Great About Homemade Baked Potato Chips? They are thick-cut and crispy, covered in a simple spice and salt blend, and baked in the oven …

Extreme Home Makeover: Beehive Edition!

Wondering how to repair and paint old, used bee equipment? This is for you! One thing at the top of our spring to-do list was a beehive overhaul. My dad raised bees when I was young, so we were lucky to inherit a lot of his old equipment, including some hive boxes that needed a lot of attention. For the past 15+ years, these hive boxes …

Smothered Farmhouse-Chicken

(gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, easily dairy-free) No live chickens were actually smothered in the making of this blog post. I don’t know if it’s because spring is almost here and our chicks will arrive soon, or because our ducks finally started laying eggs– but I just can’t stop making (bad) fowl-related jokes. Chicken is the quintessential homesteader’s meat. You can raise chickens just about anywhere, you …

How to Protect Yourself When Buying a Farm or Rural Property (or any property for that matter!)

What we mean by “protect yourself” is: Make a good investment. Know what you are getting yourself into. Prepare so that there are no surprises down the road. Get exactly what you want from your dream property, farm, or homestead. We bought our first house this past October. The perfect country property with outbuildings, acreage, and an old farmhouse. It took us over three years of …

Preserving the Harvest: Tomato Leather

Preserving the harvest really starts in spring time with garden planning. Which is what I am in the thick of right now! Roma style and paste tomatoes are a big part of our fall harvest every year. We can them, freeze them, eat our weight in them fresh, and even dehydrate them. Making tomato leather was a new tomato preservation method that I tried last …

What Temperature Can a Duck Survive?

First of all, you should know that this story ends happily! This information is for all you first-time duck owners, wondering just what temperature your flock can withstand, and not wanting to do any duck survivability studies in your own backyard. We were in the same position just a few short months ago… We acquired five Peking-Ancona ducks in November 2013. Neither of us had …

Do You Eat Honey? A Message From the Bees…

You’ve heard “busy as a bee;” you’ve probably even said it! But do you know how busy that really is? We will be first time bee-owners in just a few short weeks. I helped my dad raise bees when I was younger, but this is the first time I will be the head-beekeeper. The queen bee, if you will. I always knew that bees were pretty cool, …

Homemade Smokey Taco Seasoning that Makes the Most Velvety Taco Meat

(gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar free, paleo-friendly) How’s that for a title? Homemade is always better, right? Well, I can think of just a few things that I actually prefer store-bought, and for a long time taco seasoning was one of them. Maybe it’s because I grew up on taco meat from a packet, or maybe I just loved the saltiness and the velvety, luxurious-textured meat …