Over-Wintering Backyard Chickens in a Cold Climate

My parents had a rooster when I was growing up - Rodney the rooster. He had the nine lives of a cat, and survived outlandish ordeals like being stepped on by a horse. One extremely cold day, my parents found him frozen solid to a piece of metal farm machinery. SOLID. Like, you could touch... Continue Reading →

Garlic Experiment

Garlic might just be my favourite thing to grow. It's easy, low maintenance, delicious, and lasts in the pantry all year long. I started my first garlic patch from my Uncle's cloves. He's an organic garlic farmer, and his garlic is the biggest I've ever seen. Over the years I've grown my collection, growing more... Continue Reading →

Planning and Planting the Fall Garden

It's like Spring all over again, but instead of pulling up brown, decimated skeletons from the previous year's crop to clear space for sowing seeds, I'm pulling up plants that are ready to harvest (like garlic) or have come to the near-end of their productive cycle (like peas). There's a sense of rush, because I... Continue Reading →

Early Summer on the Urban Homestead

Flowers are in bloom, and fruit and vegetables are emerging from dry blossoms as if they grew from nothing overnight. The chickens are laying lots of eggs again now that no one is broody anymore, and they're showing some beautiful new plumage now that their spring molt is almost over. This time of year is... Continue Reading →

Hatching Duck Eggs Under a Chicken

One of our hens, Olive, went broody. For the non-chicken-keepers out there, that means she has decided she wants to become a mama. She has planted herself firmly in a nest box and refuses to leave. She stole some eggs from the other chickens (from me, really...) and the others even started laying their eggs... Continue Reading →

The First Harvest of Spring

It's a sparse first harvest of spring, but it's finally here. And what was the plant that beat all the others to grace our dinner plates? Fiddle heads! This seasonal delicacy is the young, not-yet-unfurled, fronds of the Ostrich Fern. It's a native wild edible, a perennial, and a great component of my food-forest-inspired shaded... Continue Reading →

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