Author Archives: Janelle

Electric fencing supplies

 supply list for temporary electric fencing

 

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On our farm, we practice rotational grazing while still getting our perimeter fencing fixed up. This means that we use a lot of electric fence.   We have purchased a lot of movable fence posts, poly wire and reels and have found that they are not all created equally.  If you’re getting started with electric fencing, it’s good to know what do you really need and what works. Here is the supply list of what you need to get started  and our top picks of what we use.

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Woodchucks in garden

How to get rid of woodchucks in the garden

 
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Woodchucks are very destructive to a garden and very frustrating to a gardener.  A woodchuck moved into my garden in last year and I have been trying to reclaim my garden as my own ever since.  I was starting to think that I should just abandon the garden and start over in a new location.  Finally with the help of some experienced neighbors and persistence, I have reclaimed my garden.

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Fall Garden Tips

Tips for a successful fall garden

 

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At the end of this post is an opportunity that you won’t want to miss; winning some seeds from Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds! 

Fall is my favorite season.  It’s no longer blazing hot and the leaves turn into their magical colors.  Have you ever considered growing a fall garden?  The temperatures are more moderate, most of the problematic bugs have gone and a lot of greens thrive in the cooler temperatures.  What’s not to love about that?

Starting your cool weather crops in the summer, whether transplanting seedlings started indoors or direct sowing, can be a challenge.  Some crops need to be started when the sun is still hot.  Those tender seedlings can wither in a hurry if not cared for and protected.

The effort of protecting your seedlings is well worth it!  A lot of cool weather crops taste so much better with the cool temperatures.  Plus going out and picking your own salad in October or November never gets old.  You don’t need a greenhouse to keep your garden going well into late fall. 

Baker Creek Fall Garden seed giveaway

 

What can you do to protect your fall garden?

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Grow Sweet Potatoes

Trick to growing sweet potatoes

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Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite things to grow in the garden.  Once planted, they are low maintenance until it’s time to harvest them. Their vines and flowers are beautiful!  But there is a trick to having more than just beautiful vines and flowers. 

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Milk Kefir

All about Dairy Kefir

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Milk kefir is a fermented milk drink that is usually made with goat’s milk or cow’s milk that is incredibly good for you.  The best way to describe milk kefir is that it’s kind of like a drinkable yogurt, it tastes tangy and a little sour. It is much easier to make than yogurt. Homemade yogurt and kefir are staples in our kitchen, I make them on a weekly basis.

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Guinea Fowl

Guineas on the homestead

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Guinea fowl have a reputation for being loud and going where ever they feel like.   Rightly so, they are constantly making noise and refuse to go into the coop at night.  Despite that, guineas are an essential animal to have on your farm or homestead.  If Guineas are kept right by your house, their noise may be a problem.  We have a large property, so our barn is within walking distance from the house, but not right by the house.  We hear their noise in the distance, but it is just another barn yard noise.  Roosters crowing, cows bellowing and guineas calling.  

why guinea fowl should be a part of your homestead:

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Getting Started Making Hard Cheese

What you need to know before making hard cheese at homeHomestead in the Holler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

One of the biggest benefits of having your own dairy animal, be it goat or cow, is plenty of fresh, raw milk.  An abundance of fresh milk means making dairy products yourself.  Yogurt, kefir, butter and cheese.  Several friends have told me that making hard cheeses sounds difficult and are intimidated by the process.  Not so!

Making hard cheese is really not difficult and quite fun! Once you get started, you will soon want to make all the cheese and may be talking your husband into making your very own cheese cave.  Ahem.

 

Here is what you need to get started making hard cheese.

 

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Homestead Goal: Simplify

Goals on the homestead: SimplifyHomestead in the Holler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
At the beginning of every year we make goals that we like to accomplish for the coming year.  Projects to start or complete, financial goals, adding animals, selling animals and so forth.  This year we have a resounding theme: simplify.
When we started our farm, we wanted to try it all.  Do all the things!  Get all of the animals!  We knew we couldn’t do it all, but wanted to see what we did like.  We had experience with poultry, rabbits, dairy goats and gardening. We added pigs, sheep, cattle, dairy cows and meat goats to our farm.  In addition to the garden, we added an orchard.   Now that we’ve had these animals for a while, it’s time to look at which direction to go.  It’s time to simplify.

Wait, simplifying the simple life?

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Cinnamon Apple Dutch Baby

Cinnamon Apply Dutch Baby PancakeHomestead in the Holler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
It’s the time of year for apples!  We have planted quite a few apple trees in our orchard, but it will be a couple years yet before we will get a harvest.  Good things come to those who wait.  That’s what I keep telling myself anyway!  Imagine my delight when one of our neighbors stopped by with several boxes of apples!  She had canned apple jelly and applesauce and had apples to spare.  She graciously shared the bounty.
We’ve been enjoying all things apple ever since.  There’s something magical when you combine apples with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Yum!!  One of our favorite apple recipes is a Cinnamon Apple Dutch Baby pancake.  Not only is it big on flavor, it’s a quick breakfast or breakfast for dinner meal.  I make it in my cast iron skillet, which is my favorite way to cook!

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Reality of Homesteading

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As I was milking our Jersey, Spark, the other evening, I was thinking about how this was what I dreamed about for years.  Living off the land, growing our food and getting milk from our own cow.  Life is good!  And then Spark swatted me in the face with her tail.

 

Everyone glosses over the realities of homesteading/farming.  They show the good, happy parts of farm life and skip over the not so great stuff that nobody really wants to hear about.  We’re shown the end result, the glass of milk or a clean basket of eggs, and all the stuff that happens beforehand isn’t mentioned.  But isn’t the end result, the glass of milk and fresh eggs, the point?   Yes, it is and it’s certainly the reward for a job well done. However, there is a romanticized view of homesteading these days. The white picket fence, well behaved animals, a perfectly weeded garden, cooking from scratch and still have time to sit on the porch with a glass of lemonade is what’s often portrayed on the internet.  Getting swatted in the face by a cow’s tail or cleaning out the chicken coop that will really start to stink to high heaven if you don’t clean it, isn’t what you read about.  While I love this life, there are some realities that are part of it; sweat, dirt, bugs and poop.  Lots of poop.

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