I have written before that molting season is the time that tries a chicken keeper’s soul. It seems cruel that just as the weather turns cold and the days turn dark, we find ourselves without any eggs waiting in the nest boxes as a reward for our chicken keeping chores. Feathers abound, but eggs become scarce or nonexistent.
Today, I made the most wonderful discovery when tending the chickens. After eight egg free weeks, there was a beautiful brown egg was waiting for me nestled in the straw lining one of our nest boxes. I let out such a commotion that our girls couldn’t leave the coop to go outside fast enough! Now I’d like to share the celebration with the entire 1840 Farm Community by having a good old fashioned Facebook page giveaway.
Visit our Facebook page to vote for the prize that you would like to have a chance to win. I’ll tally the votes over the weekend and share the giveaway with you on Monday morning. You never know, if I keep finding eggs in the nest boxes and comments on the post, I just might feel the need to offer more than one prize. I can’t wait to hear what you would like to win in time for the holidays!
Lisa has been a trusted friend and mentor for well over a year. I have been following the progress of her work on this book since it became a reality last year. I have often joked with her that I was as excited as she was to finally see her book in person!
Last week, these beautiful books were waiting for me in our mailbox. From the moment I saw the cover, I couldn’t wait to read it from start to finish. As I read, I recognized the hallmark style that I have come to expect from Fresh Eggs Daily. The whole book was warm in tone and presented the information in an encouraging manner.
The information was extensive, covering a range of topics from planning your first chicken coop, natural strategies for the daily maintenance of your flock and discouraging pests of all kinds. Common chicken keeping challenges such as molting, coop cleaning, and potentially dangerous foods and plants are also covered in detail.
If you’re a Fresh Eggs Daily fan like I am, then you’re already familiar with their collection of posts containing tips and suggestions for raising and tending your flock naturally. I am constantly learning new techniques from their blog and Facebook page and sharing their content on our own page.
Now Lisa’s natural chicken keeping knowledge has been assembled into a beautiful book. Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally will teach you how to implement effective and simple strategies like drying herbs fresh from your garden for use all year long. Lisa offers common sense tips for helping prepare your flock for Mother Nature’s extremes and handling inevitable chicken keeping challenges. She also includes several recipes for natural concoctions and several DIY projects including creating your own brooder. This book covers such a wide variety of topics that it is sure to be your go to chicken keeping resource for years to come.
I wish that I had been able to add Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally to my bookshelf when I was beginning my journey as a chicken keeper. Within the pages of this book, I would have found the information I needed to ensure that our first flock had the very best chance of thriving here on our farm.
Luckily, I can add it to my chicken keeper’s library now and so can you. Whether you are in the beginning stages of planning to become a chicken keeper, tending to your first chicks, or have already earned your chicken keeping stripes, I know that you will enjoy reading this book as much as I did.
If you already follow 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook, then you have already earned a few entries. Simply click on the buttons below to claim them. While you’re at it, you can claim a few more entries and increase your odds of winning.
In fact, I’d love to hear where you are in your chicken keeping journey in a comment below and grant you another entry. I ‘ll go first and share that we have been keeping chickens for three years. Now it’s your turn to share: tell me about your chicken keeping experience. I can’t wait to read all about it!
After you have claimed all of your entries in our giveaway, visit the other stops on The Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Tour by clicking on the links below. You can read other chicken keeper’s reviews and enter their giveaways to increase your chance of winning your own copy of Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally.
I live with my family in a house that is over 170 years old. I plant heirloom seed varieties in our gardens and raise heritage breed livestock. I guess it’s no wonder that I always stock Goodwinol’s VetRx Veterinary Remedies in our farm medicine cabinet. These formulas have been around for over 100 years. They’ve stood the test of time and I can’t help but respect that.
VetRx is an amazing line of products offered from our sponsor Goodwinol Products Corporation. There are VetRx formulas for a wide variety of animsls from hamsters to horses. VetRx can safely and effectively treat a host of conditions, particularly respiratory diseases.
Here at 1840 Farm, we stock the rabbit, poultry, and goat & sheep remedies You’ll find VetRx in our barn medicine cabinet just in case we find a need to use them to treat our animals. I love knowing that each product can be used to treat a variety of conditions.
The Rabbit Remedy is useful in treating colds, pneumonia, snuffles, ear mites and ear cankers. The Goat & Sheep Remedy is useful for treating coughing, sneezing. rattling breathing sounds, and ear mites.
The Poultry Remedy is safe for use on chickens (including bantams), ducks, quail, turkey, geese, and game birds. It is an effective treatment for colds, scaly leg, and eye worm. It can also be used as a health tonic during times of stress such as breeding and showing.
You can learn more about Goodwinol and VetRx by visiting their website or Facebook page. You can also enter to win a bottle of VetRx formula for your medical kit. Leave a comment telling us which remedy you would choose as your prize and follow Goodwinol and 1840 Farm on Facebook for a chance to win. Three winners will be selected and given the opportunity to select the VetRx Remedy of their choice as their prize. Good luck to all who enter!
Earlier this year, Ruth from Little Hawk Farm in Baldwin City, Kansas contacted me about ordering a custom egg basket in her favorite colors. We worked together to select the colors for the fabric and thread. The basket arrived before her hens had begun to lay, so I waited in eager anticipation to hear that happy news that her little basket was being put to use.
That happy pronouncement arrived a week ago. Doesn’t it look as if her hens created eggs just to match her basket?
LOVE my basket that you made for me. My hens are finally laying! The cute little pullet eggs match the basket, too.
You can order your own custom basket in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy. We always have a rainbow of fabrics and thread on hand and we’d love to work with you to create a truly one of a kind basket in your favorite colors!
Angel food cake was one of the first recipes that I taught myself to bake. I was around twelve years old when I first separated a dozen eggs and followed the recipe in one of my mother’s cookbooks. I marveled at the egg whites as they were transformed into a light and airy meringue and baked into a delicious angel food cake.
That was decades ago. Now I find myself with my own daughter who is twelve years old. We love to spend time in the kitchen baking and cooking together. I also find myself as a chicken keeper with a supply of fresh eggs to use in our baking recipes.
It’s the chicken keeper in me that shies away from making traditional angel food cake. My reason is simple: I can’t bear the thought of having a dozen egg yolks that are purposely cast aside from a recipe. I make an exception when it comes to meringue cookies. It’s no great feat to find a way to use the three egg yolks left behind. Twelve egg yolks left from an angel food cake are quite another thing.
Luckily, I don’’t have to. Earlier this year, my Mom shared my Great grandmother’s handwritten recipe for daffodil cake with me. Instead of twelve eggs, it called for only six. My great grandparents were farmers and chicken keepers. Apparently they didn’t want to cast aside twelve egg yolks either.
Instead, they baked Daffodil Cake. As soon as I read the recipe, I understood why. The technique was altogether simple and brilliant. This cake would allow me to celebrate the best of both the egg white and egg yolk in one delicious cake.
My daughter and I gathered in our farmhouse kitchen this spring to make our first daffodil cake. I watched the look on her face as she whipped the egg whites into a beautifully made meringue. We worked together until the cake preparation was complete. She slid the cake into the oven, set the timer and we wondered aloud how the finished cake would look and taste.
I am happy to report that we loved both the taste and appearance of the daffodil cake. The color of the egg yolk mixture was a strikingly beautiful yellow. The texture was light and airy and the flavor was everything I love about an angel food cake and more.
The egg yolks added a delicious richness to the cake without compromising the lightness of the meringue. It wasn’t a fancy cake. Instead, it was the cake of a farmer, the dessert of a chicken keeper. This cake celebrated the beauty of fresh eggs. Each bite reminded me that I was proud to be a chicken keeper and collect fresh eggs from our coop every day.
More than that, the whole experience created a memory that I will hold close for a lifetime. Standing in our farmhouse kitchen with my daughter baking a cake from a recipe in her Great great grandmother‘s handwriting was a moment that connected the generations of my family past and present. Having a delicious cake to share around our family table was merely a bonus.
Daffodil Cake Makes 8 servings
The light, airy texture of this cake depends on a properly beaten meringue. A mile high meringue is easily achievable with one easy step. Simply wipe your mixing bowl and beaters with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar before beating the egg whites. This will ensure that your bowl and beaters are free of any traces of fat. Fat residue jeopardizes your ability to whip the egg whites into a meringue with stiff, glossy peaks.
To prevent batter from falling into the center tube as you are transferring the batter to the pan, place an overturned cupcake wrapper over the tube. Fill the pan, remove the wrapper, and bake as directed without letting any of the batter go to waste.
6 large eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cup (144 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons warm water
½ cup (96 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Position the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
Separate all six eggs, placing the egg whites in a large bowl that has been wiped clean with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.
Add the salt to the egg whites and beat at medium-high speed using a hand mixer or stand mixer until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat at high speed, adding the ¾ cup sugar a few Tablespoons at a time until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. Set the meringue aside as you prepare the egg yolk mixture.
Add the warm water to the egg yolks and mix on medium speed using a whisk or mixer. Add ½ cup sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, and flour. Mix until the batter is completely smooth.
Using a spatula, gently move a portion of the meringue away from the side of its mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and ½ cup flour to the space created by moving the meringue. This step prevents the weight of the flour from deflating the airy meringue. Using the spatula, gently fold the meringue until the flour and vanilla extract are fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
Transfer two thirds of the meringue mixture to an ungreased angel food cake pan, spreading lightly if necessary to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the egg yolk mixture to the pan. There is no need to spread the yolk mixture or completely cover the meringue. Add the remaining meringue to the pan. Using a skewer or toothpick, lightly swirl the two batters by moving in a random pattern around the pan.
Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. When fully baked, a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out with crumbs attached. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cake to cool.
Once cool, run a sharp knife or small metal offset spatula around the outside of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert the cool cake onto a plate. Slice the cake into slices and serve plain or dressed with fresh berries and whipped cream.
In my experience, cooking with great ingredients requires more restraint than technique. The better quality the ingredients, the less needs to be done in order to make the final dish extraordinary. In fact, having the best, local and seasonal products from our farm and neighboring farms allows me to prepare simple meals that deliver incredible flavor without extra effort.
This was definitely the case earlier this week. My husband had visited Butternut Farm and came home bearing the gifts of freshly picked strawberries and a few early season slicing tomatoes. The strawberries were destined to be enjoyed with my Great grandmother’s Daffodil Cake, a delicious way to welcome summer’s arrival.
As soon as I saw a tomato, I knew that it would be featured on our dinner plates. We also happened to have fingerling potatoes on hand from a recent visit to Rosemont Produce Company. Add in the fresh eggs collected from our beloved heritage breed hens and baby lettuce from the heirloom garden and dinner was indeed beginning to take shape.
I sliced the fingerlings into thick coins and sautéed them in a hot skillet with a generous Tablespoon of butter and rosemary, sage, and thyme pulled fresh from the garden. I harvested our first Stuttgart onion and sliced it thinly before adding it to the potatoes and herbs. I sautéed them for approximately 20 minutes, turning occasionally and seasoning liberally with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.
I transferred the pan into a preheated 425 degree oven and began preparing the tomato and eggs. I sliced the washed tomato into thick slices and placed two on each dinner plate. I would usually season the tomato with sea salt and fresh pepper before I placed the egg on top. Then I remembered that I had a new seasoning waiting to be used in the spice drawer.
As the potatoes were nearing the end of their time roasting in the oven, I placed a cast iron skillet on the stove top over high heat. Once the skillet had come up to temperature, I placed a large pat of butter in the skillet and swirled the pan to cover the entire surface with melted butter. Cracked eggs were added next and each was seasoned with salt and pepper.
I placed the lid on the pan, reduced the heat to medium, and removed the potatoes from the oven. As soon as the eggs were barely set, I removed the pan from the heat. I topped each tomato slice with a sprinkle of Pollen Ranch’s Zen-Sational Blend. An egg was placed on top of each tomato slice and then I decided to add a dash of Zen-Sational to each egg for good measure. As soon as I did, the intoxicating aroma of fennel began to fill the farmhouse kitchen.
The roasted potatoes were added to each plate and dressed with our favorite roasted potato topping: sour cream and sriracha, Once a salad made with greens harvested from our garden was added, dinner was served. It was simple and delicious. The fennel was a perfect pairing to the acidity and earthiness of the tomato and richness of our fresh eggs.
Everyone agreed that this was a dinner plate we wanted to see more often on our family table. Lucky for us, heirloom tomato season is fast approaching. I know that I’ll be making this simple and delicious dinner all season long.
Heirloom Tomato and Eggs with Roasted Potatoes serves 4 as a main course
The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity. You can substitute your favorite herbs and use the best of your locally available, seasonal produce.
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Raising baby chicks is a wonderful experience. Here at 1840 Farm, we have counted ourselves lucky enough to enjoy the process twice. Each time, we were captivated by the sight of the tiny birds in our brooder. We couldn’t help gathering in our barn to watch the little, fluffy birds mill about.
Both of our brooding experiences were positive. The day old chicks matured into young pullets, moved into their coops, and went on to become beautiful, egg laying hens. The major difference in our brooding experiences was our use of my favorite piece of brooding equipment: The Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder.
I can’t say enough about the quality and effectiveness of the EcoGlow. The EcoGlow provides the warm environment that chicks require without bringing the danger of a brooder or coop fire to your farm or homestead. Instead of worrying about the brooder’s temperature or our safety, we could simply enjoy the experience of raising our chicks, content in the knowledge that all was well.
Now you can do the same. Our sponsor, Brinsea Products has generously provided a Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder for this giveaway. We’re proud to share Brinsea and their line of high quality line of products with our readers. We use Brinsea products here at 1840 Farm and believe that they are the best products on the market.
I know that you will be just as happy with the Brinsea EcoGlow as I am. You can learn more about the EcoGlow by reading my posts at Community Chickens detailing our experience using it here at 1840 Farm. But first, take a moment and enter the giveaway to win your own EcoGlow Brooder. Good luck to all who enter!
As a mother and a farmer, I spend a great part of my day feeding my family and the animals that call 1840 Farm home. Six people representing three generations of my family live here at 1840 Farm. We all tend to the daily needs of our three Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats, seventeen heritage breed hens, and two pets.
With that many living beings residing here, someone or something is almost always asking for a meal or reminding me that they are hungry. I quell that hunger with the food that we produce and the items that we purchase off the farm. By the time I turn in for the evening, I feel content in the knowledge that all of us will have a night free from the pangs of hunger.
I can also allow myself to take comfort in the knowledge that tomorrow will bring another day that follows this predictable cycle. People and animals will be hungry and I will assume the role of ensuring that everyone is fed and well nourished. This is the continuous cycle of life here on the farm. The work of today ensures the production of the food that will grace tomorrow’s dinner table.
But what if it wasn’t? What if I couldn’t answer the call when my children told me that they were hungry? What if we didn’t know where tomorrow’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner would come from? My family would spend their days suffering from hunger and I would spend my nights worrying about the challenge of putting wholesome food on our family’s table.
Sadly, many Americans spend their days in this terrible cycle of hunger and despair. According to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign, one out our every five children in our country live in a household that is at risk for hunger. Statistically, that equates to over 16 million American children.
This issue takes center stage in the documentary A Place at the Table. The film profiles three families who struggle to put food on their tables. It is a call to action for all Americans to stand together and tackle the problem of hunger in together.
I haven’t had the opportunity to see the film yet. I have been following its progress since last year when I first became aware of the film and began following their Facebook page. I will be front and center later this month when it is finally screened at my local performing arts center. It’s the same hall where I first saw Food, Inc. It’s the place where I first decided to make a drastic change in my life
My relationship with food had begun to change before I saw Food, Inc. I had immersed myself in the work of learning more about food, its production, and the changes that had come to our modern-day food supply. I read books as fast as I could turn their pages. By the time we left the theater when Food, Inc. had ended, I had made a decision. I was going to take back control of the food served at our family table. As a family, we were going to hold our food supply firmly within our grasp.
Months later, we were building our first chicken coop and expanding the garden. We have continued to increase the amount of food that we produce for our own table and animals that we raise to produce eggs and milk for our family.
Many Americans don’t have that option. For a multitude of reasons, they don’t have the ability to plant a garden, build a chicken coop, or visit a farmer’s market for seasonal, regional produce. In fact, many of them live in food deserts where they don’t even have access to a store that carries fresh produce for sale. Instead, they are faced with a dizzying array of super processed packaged food that contains empty calories and little nourishment.
Many of these families are beneficiaries of government assistance to help them bridge the gap between their paycheck and the cost of putting food on their table. The benefit amount can be as little as $4.00 per day towards paying for their breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That isn’t much, and doesn’t go all that far, but it’s a start towards addressing the problem of food insecurity.
Unfortunately, even that small bit of assistance is at risk. With governmental budget cuts looming large, these children and their families might see a reduction or total elimination in their benefits. Fortunately, we can all do something to help.
This morning, I sent my personal message to Congress asking them to protect the programs that ensure that our nation’s children are insulated from hunger. I encourage you to do the same.
I also encourage you to take measures to ensure your family’s food security. Use the same tried and true methods our grandparents did. Plant a garden, build a chicken coop, purchase goods from local farmers and seek out restaurants and locally owned shops that do the same.
I believe that we all need to deepen our relationship with the food we eat. By doing so, we strengthen our nation’s food supply and the society that it supports. We also take a bold step towards raising a new generation of Americans that understand the true value of food. I hope that they will be hungry for change and will literally take matters into their own hands.
Those hands have the power to help solve this problem. They can refuse to relinquish control of their own food supply. Hopefully, they will also refuse to let other Americans suffer from hunger. I’m hoping that my two children will be part of that solution.
So, when I go to see A Place at the Table later this month, I’ll have my oldest child in tow. I’ll hope that by the time the movie ends, she will have made the decision to forever hold her food supply firmly in her grasp and help others to do the same.
As part of The Giving Table’s Bloggers Against Hunger Campaign, I am including a recipe in this post that provides a nutritious, healthy meal for a family with a tight budget in mind. This pasta recipe is healthy, delicious, and cost-effective.
Instead of the typical heavy macaroni and cheese sauce, this version utilizes carrots to bring richness and nutrition to the dish. Carrots are inexpensive, less than $1.00 per bag at my local grocery store for an organic brand. They are also available year round.
Fresh fruits and vegetables can be difficult to afford on a tight budget, but carrots are a great value. They are also full of nutrition and have a lengthy shelf life. They are a wonderful way to dramatically increase the nutrition on your family’s dinner plate without seeing a noticeable increase in your grocery bill. Pasta is inexpensive and readily available. I like to use sharp cheddar when making this recipe, but another cheese could be substituted in order to stay under budget with equally delicious results.
It took me several attempts to get this recipe just right. While the original recipe calls for baking the dish in the oven, I find that baking the pasta leads to a drier macaroni than suits my taste. I prefer to skip the baking step and enjoy a creamier version of this dish. Either way, the end result tastes delicious and is packed with beta carotene, vitamins, and minerals. If you have fresh or dried thyme on hand, adding a pinch to the sauce provides a lovely accent for the carrots.
16 ounces carrots, peeled and sliced
8 ounces vegetable stock or salted water
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
12 ounces dry pasta
salt and pepper to taste
Combine carrots and vegetable stock or salted water in a medium-sized saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 15-25 minutes until fork tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the boiling water. Add pasta to the pot and return to boil. As pasta is cooking to al dente, remove 1 cup of pasta water.
Add pasta water to carrot mixture. Using blender, immersion blender or potato masher, process the cooked carrots until smooth. Add cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Taste and season accordingly with salt, pepper, and fresh or dried herbs if desired. Add cooked pasta to the mixture and stir to combine. Serve hot.
This post is long overdue. Truth be told, I have considered Iron Oak Farm to be a friend of 1840 Farm for years. I first came to know Jennifer Sartell in the fall of 2010. She was merely a name behind an Email address back then. We had both been selected to be among a new batch of contributors to the Community Chickens blog. More than two years have passed and I am happy to say that I have learned so much about her and from her during that time.
I have learned that we share much more in common than our first name. We both love the daily life on our farms. We both keep chickens, goats, and rabbits and love sharing the experience with our readers on our blogs. We are also passionate about gardening and enjoy learning more about heirloom varieties.Jennifer and her husband Zach are also both talented artists. The Iron Oak Farm Etsy shop is full of Zach’s fantastic hand forged steel items and Jennifer’s original photography, artwork, handmade goat’s milk soaps, and fiber produced by their goats and rabbits.
Our shared love of heirloom vegetables led me to ask Jennifer to join me in bringing The 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection to life. I was thrilled when she agreed to participate. I was awestruck when I saw the amazing artwork she produced. I am so proud to have such beautiful artwork to accompany the seeds in our collection. I know that you will be just as impressed with her talent as I introduce you to each variety in the collection and each piece of art that she so lovingly created.
I follow Iron Oak Farm’s blog and Facebook page to make sure that I don’t miss out on their fantastic handmade products or the adorable animals that call their farm home. From Oliver the dog to Ichabod and newborn Harriette in their goat herd, there seems to always be a photo in my newsfeed that makes my day.
I hope that you will take a moment to visit Iron Oak Farm, and follow their blog and page. As you can see, you won’t want to miss the photos of all of the adorable goat kids that have been born at Iron Oak Farm over the last few weeks!
If you have been following 1840 Farm, then you are well aware of how much I enjoy sharing my family’s experience with my readers. A few weeks ago, I was given the amazing opportunity to share my story with Your Chickens Magazine from the United Kingdom. Days later, I learned that 1840 Farm would be included in their inaugural issue distributed here in the United States. To say that I was honored would be an immense understatement.
To add to the excitement, I am joined by a few of my favorite henkeepers in the issue of Your Chickens. There are new friends there and some that I have known for years. Somehow, seeing their chicken keeping story next to mine makes this whole experience even more rewarding.
The issue has just been released in the UK and will be available at Tractor Supply Stores in mid February. I can hardly wait to pick up a copy and read the stories of the other American Henkeepers that will be profiled there. In case you would like to learn more about Your Chickens, you can join them on Facebook, Twitter, and their website.
Here’s the text from their press release announcing the introductory US issue. They are still accepting submissions from US chicken keepers to include in future issues. Read the press release to learn how you can submit your story!
British chicken magazine goes on sale in the USA
Your Chickens, a glossy magazine from Britain, is about to go on sale in the USA. An estimated 500,000 people now keep chickens in their back gardens and yards in the UK, and the magazine has been well received since its launch two years ago.
The February issue will be available in Tractor Supply Company stores across the USA from mid February. It will include stories from henkeepers who follow this blog from all over the States, from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles and Michigan to Georgia. There will also be an introduction about henkpeeping USA-style and the National Poultry Show.
In addition, there is plenty of news and advice about henkeeping, as well as lots of features; there is even a popular club for children – Hattie Hen’s Kids Club – with puzzles, photos and activities.
Content editor Simon McEwan says: “We are delighted to be a launching in the USA and would like to thank all those American henkeepers who have contacted us. We have had a fantastic response. We would be very pleased to hear from more of you, with about 200 words and a high-resolution photo of you with your chickens. Just email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
I have read a lot of great posts about gardening with free ranging chickens. Our chickens don’t roam our gardens as free ranging isn’t an option for our farm. We live too close to a busy state highway and a neighborhood that would prefer that our hens stay within the confines of our property. That doesn’t mean that we don’t garden with our chickens in mind.
In fact, we share a lot of our garden produce with our flock. We even grow crops specifically for the purpose of treating them to fresh greens. Now you can do the same with a package of Chicken Salad Seed Mix from My Pet Chicken. You can earn up to four entries below. One winner will be randomly selected and notified by Email. Good luck to all who enter!
1840 Farm was selected to be Farmmade.com’s Featured Farmer this week. As part of the process, I completed a Q&A. Yesterday, the answers were shared with the Farmmade Community on Facebook. In case you missed it…
Farmmade.com’s Featured Farmer this week is Jennifer Burcke of 1840 Farm! Jennifer and her family produce as much of their own food as possible on their 3.2 acres suburban farm in Dover, New Hampshire. Thank you Jennifer for taking time out to share your farm story with the FarmMade community of farmers and friends!
FARMMADE: WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND 1840 FARM? JENNIFER: The original farmhouse and barn were built in the 1840s. At one time, the farm encompassed over 100 acres of farmland. Over the years, it was subdivided little by little. By the time that we purchased the farm in 2005, the farmhouse and barn were situated on just over three acres. Over a decade ago, three generations of my family made the life changing decision to move from our home in Kansas to the Seacoast of New Hampshire. A few years later, we purchased what was then an abandoned farm and began the difficult work of bringing it back to life. It’s no coincidence that it is located a mere 100 miles from the dairy farm that my great grandparents proudly called home.
I spend my days living and writing about my passion to embrace the traditions of my past. I wasn’t raised to be a farmer and I would have never imagined that I would feel the gravitational pull to live a country cottage farming lifestyle. Yet here I am, living on a farm with my parents, husband, and two children. Today, it is hard for me to imagine living any other way.
FARMMADE: WHO INFLUENCED YOU TO BECOME A FARMER? JENNIFER: I was inspired to become a farmer by my family past and present. The memory of my grandparents and great grandparents inspired me to dare to attempt to become a farmer. The daily encouragement and support of my husband, children, and parents motivates me to continue to improve my skills and develop my craft. My goal is to raise food for our table while raising two children who will always hold their food supply firmly within their grasp.
FARMMADE: WHAT DO YOU GROW AND RAISE AT 1840 FARM? JENNIFER: We keep a flock of 17 heritage breed hens, three Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats, and a French Angora rabbit on our farm. We also tend a large heirloom vegetable garden as well as blueberry and raspberry fields. Last winter, we made our own maple syrup for the first time, collecting 123 pounds of Maple sap before boiling it down into syrup. During the last year, we have collected over 72 dozen eggs and harvested 300 pounds of fruits and vegetables from our gardens. Following the birth of our first goat kids last October, we officially became dairy farmers and have since collected over 40 gallons of raw goat’s milk.
FARMMADE: WHY DO YOU LOVE GROWING FOOD & RAISING FARM ANIMALS? JENNIFER: I love living and working on our farm with three generations of my family. The work of producing our own food and tending our farm feeds my soul and produces delicious food to be shared while gathered around our family table. The fresh, homegrown food on our dinner plates is the most meaningful reward I can think of for a job well done.
How about biting into a piece of warm 1840 Farm’s Berry Pie or freshly baked Blueberry Gooey Butter Cake? Jennifer shared two delicious seasonal berry dessert recipes in last Friday’s FarmMade newsletter. Check out yesterday’s post for those recipes and enjoy making one (or both!) of these summer time treats in your kitchen for dessert after dinner tonight!
Meet the farm animals of 1840 Farm and see what’s growing in the garden. JOIN US TOMORROW FOR A TOUR OF 1840 FARM!