Category Archives: Sights

Mixing up the chicken genetics

Got some new babies today, an experiment with full-size chickens. Two Welsummers (patterned ones) and three Turkens (aka Naked Necks). With any luck, tonight I will slip these under the broody hen whose eggs were all duds, and she will accept and raise them. Without luck, we’ll have chickens in the living room for the next month or two.

The “Turkens” are not actually turkey-chicken crosses, they’re just called that because their naturally bare necks, which tend to turn red as they age, make them look a bit like turkeys.

Website makeover!

We’ve finally brought our website into the 21st century, with an updated design and some new features!

One of the reasons we have this blog is to share what we learn with others who are choosing a “simpler” life, just as we’re constantly learning from other homesteaders’ blogs. With that in mind, we’ve changed a few things around to make it easier to find what you’re looking for – while keeping the blog format so people making similar journeys can go chronologically through our doings, which places the whole thing in context.

If that’s not enough for ya, I can probably put a button on the site which when clicked will launch a random slideshow of cute livestock photos =)

Please let us know if anything about the new look & layout is/isn’t working well for you!


Citrus of the North, ale, and pretty mushrooms

The latest batch of beer is a light one, made with amber malt and the pale, growing tips of Douglas fir trees in place of hops. It felt like a dice roll, but turned out to be one of the nicest brews we’ve made yet; light, citrusy (fir even contains vitamin c!), perfect for summer days. After several hours of fencing work today, I drank one and it passed that important test with flying colors.

Here’s the delicious secret ingredient:

Another citrusy plant we’re blessed with an abundant supply of is wood sorrel. A little mouth-puckering to just eat a handful, but delightful in salads, especially ones that also feature the bitterish flavors of dandelion and the like:

and of course, we’re surrounded by vast hordes of mushrooms, almost all of which resist my attempts at identification, but are still fun to look at:




Pretty food and CUTE GOATS!

You just can’t beat eating truly fresh food. Two recent meals:

IMG 3699deckburger
Naturally raised, grass-fed free-range beef from Deck Family Farm, on a bed of our own kale, topped with homegrown tomato, homegrown onion, ketchup Teri made from last year’s tomatoes, and a slice of our own goat cheese.


Breakfast today: fairy tale eggplant, kale, onion, bell pepper, yellow & red cherry tomatoes, squash flower, and sweet corn omelet (all veggies picked minutes before cooking, and of course using eggs and milk from our critters)

Did you make it this far? Good reader! You get CUTE GOATS!

Drama Queen is looking like a football ? she’s due to kid this next week!


Extremely low-res goat cuteness from my old point-n-shoot camera


An evening with the stars

Thursday evening, after dark. A blanket in the orchard. Raspberry wine (for me) and pale ale (for him). Surrounded by a billion stars (some of them shooting). Dog snuffling in the grass. Just us and the Perseids. The show was amazing.