Category Archive: Chickens

Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder Giveaway

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/05/brinsea-ecoglow-brooder-giveaway/

Hungry for Change – Food Bloggers Against Hunger

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.

Carrotoni and Cheese
adapted from Food & Wine April 2009

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.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/04/hungry-for-change-food-bloggers-against-hunger/

Friends of 1840 Farm – Iron Oak Farm

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!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/04/friends-of-1840-farm-iron-oak-farm/

Your Chickens Magazine comes to the US!

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.

Your Chickens is also available now on subscription at: http://www.subscriptionsave.co.uk/Leisure-Magazines/Your-Chickens/WBYC

The February issue is also available in electronic format, with download options at:

http://subscriber.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/subscribe.aspx?source=4&eid=d656eeb5-3e4c-4383-849c-1f14e198f32b

The website is: www.yourchickens.co.uk.  The magazine is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/yourchickens and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/yourchickens

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: yourchickens@archant.co.uk.”

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/01/your-chickens-magazine-comes-to-the-us/

Gardening For Chickens

Fall Garden Beds at 1840 FarmI 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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/11/gardening-for-chickens/

Farmmade.com Q&A

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?1840 Farm Independence Day
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!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/08/farmmade-com-qa/

New Community Chickens Post: A Playground for Chickens

Read my latest post on the Community Chickens  forum from the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine:

A Playground for Chickens (click to continue


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/08/new-community-chickens-post-a-playground-for-chickens/

Product Review: Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder

Read my latest post on the Community Chickens  forum from the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine:

Product Review:  Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder (click to continue)


Click to continue

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/07/product-review-brinsea-ecoglow-brooder/

New Community Chickens Post: How to Prepare for Successful Chick Brooding – Part One

Read my latest post on the Community Chickens  forum from the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine:

How to Prepare for Successful Chick Brooding – Part One (click to continue)

Click to continue

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/06/new-community-chickens-post-how-to-prepare-for-successful-chick-brooding-part-one/

New Community Chickens Post: How to Keep Your Flock Cool This Summer

Read my latest post on the Community Chickens  forum from the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine:

How to Keep Your Flock Cool This Summer (click to continue)

Click to continue

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/06/new-community-chickens-post-how-to-keep-your-flock-cool-this-summer/

New Community Chickens Post: Necessity and Invention

Read my latest post on the Community Chickens  forum from the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine:

Two Essential Chicken Keeping Tools:  Necessity and Invention

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/06/new-community-chickens-post-necessity-and-invention/

New Community Chickens Post: A Year In the Life at 1840 Farm – Month One

Read my latest post on the Community Chickens  forum from the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine:

A Year In the Life at 1840 Farm – Month One

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/06/new-community-chickens-post-a-year-in-the-life-at-1840-farm-month-one/

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