Monday, June 20, 2011

Mama Hen and Her Chicks

We have had a bit of excitement today. Our Mama Hen's eggs have hatched. Of the six eggs, so far four have hatched with three living chicks and one that didn't make it. She has gone back to finish laying on the remaining two eggs. We won't know for another day or two if they are viable eggs.
It is just a thrill and exciting to see Mother Nature in the raw. I am truly blessed that we have the opportunity to share this experience with our children and friends.

Bless Bless

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to Rodent Proof Your House Humanely

One of the "joys" of living in the country is having mice as uninvited house guests. NOT!
Since we free range our chickens poison is not an option. We have Kiddos so certain traps are not an options. So, how does one humanely rodent proof the house and garden. It is pretty involved, but I am going to follow the recommendations in this article and see what happens. I have also read that peppermint and cider vinegar are also nice deterrents.
I am open to any other suggestions that do not involve poisons.

Rodent-proof Your House

Bless Bless

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Different Colored Eggs

I love having a variety of different colored eggs. Each of our hens lays a different colored egg. We have two that even lay greenish/blue. These are perfect around Dr. Suess's birthday. Green Eggs and Ham anyone?

The chickens are free ranged so each day is an Easter egg hunt. However, we discovered that hens are creatures of habit and will often lay in the same spot if undisturbed.

Have a good week!

Cedar Ring Circle

I am delighted to share a great resource and community that I love and support. I love this idea of a Co-op of about 40 families who purchase American made toys and items.

"Cedar Ring Circle is a community of Waldorf-inspired mothers in Upstate NY who meet weekly to provide our children with an opportunity to learn together. Out of this initiative, we have created a Waldorf Supply Co-op to meet the unique needs of homeschooling families across the US seeking to educate "the whole child" in the Waldorf tradition." Items ordered from their Co-op are American made and hand crafted. Many items are made within the Amish community, so you know that they will be well crafted.

Check out there link....

Saturday, June 11, 2011

No to Monsanto!

At the recent Mother Earth Fair, I noticed that Willie Nelson's Farm Aide was still active. Willie Nelson started Farm Aide to help the family farms survive during a time when big produce companies like Dole, Monsanto and others were buy huge tracts of land and putting the small farmer out of business. Many that survived deversitified and became micro-farms. We know many as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
To add insult to injury now. Monsanto recently acquired the ability to sue farmers for "Patent Infringement." The seeds Monsanto created are legally protected as a patent. Any alteration of the seed without Monsanto's permission is illegal. Now, corn for example, is pollinated by the wind, birds and bees. If a Monsanto field is planted next to a non-Monsanto field the cross pollination genetically alters both fields. Hmmm! That doesn't seem right! Many CSA farms in the mid west are not growing any corn for fear of the cross genetically breeding and for fear that Monsanto will sue them. Or worse, have them arrested.
This really angers me! I also take it personally. I don't want some huge produce company telling me or my family what variety of corn to eat or feed to our animals.

Finally, families and farms are speaking up against Monsanto's monopoly. Please read the article found in Mother Earth News.

Bless Bless

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Time to Speak Up

It is time to speak up!
I grew up in a farming community in Central California. My Dad worked for a two major produce companies, so I feel a bit rebellious and traitorous going organic and speaking against big corporate produce companies. However, I do feel that it also gave me a front row seat to what actually goes on within these companies and the "research" that is behind many of the genetically engineered foods. I am not sure how many consumers are aware of how genetically modified our food really is these days. I am not speaking about cross pollinating cauliflower with broccoli to make it more frost resistant. But, the adding of Round Up in corn to keep weeds out of the fields for easier harvesting. Fish DNA in strawberries to keep them frost resistant. Heavily, used herbicides and insecticide used in the fields to prevent weeds and bugs. Growth hormones and antibiotics in milk. The continuous cross breeding of Cornish chickens to make them grow so fast that they can't live past 9 weeks. Beyond 9 weeks they die of lung diseases and broken bones. This is the variety of chicken found in the grocery stores. Do I need to go on? Where are all the bees?

Bottom Line: Produce companies are not growing food to feed the nation or the world. They are in the business to make money. Growing produce is a risky and expensive process. Anyone who has tried to coax a tomato plant to produce a juicy tomato knows how much energy and time goes into this process. Now times that by several hundred acres. Speaking of tomatoes; tomatoes are harvested green and then "gassed" to turn red. That is why there is such a huge taste difference between home grown and grocery bought. The produce companies also acquire huge incentives and deals to grow produce for other countries. The cherries grown in Oregon and Washington are mostly shipped to Japan and Asia. Produce companies like, Dole and Monsanto, create genetically engineered produced for quick growth so they can sell it overseas.
This is the scarey part... Dole and Monsanto are behind the Round-up engineered corn and wheat grown for forage. But, that forage grain isn't solely used here in the United States. It is sent to Mexico and else where. I am sadden and angered to hear that many Community Supported Agriculture (CSA's) in the Midwest are not growing the heirloom corns and wheat for fear of cross pollination with genetically modified corn and wheat. In addition to this insult, Monsanto has "acquired" the legal right to sue farmers for "patent infringement" if the fields are cross pollinated. Now, keep in mind that corn is pollinated by the wind, so is wheat. If an heirloom field is planted in the vicinity of a genetically modified field the pollen of the two fields could mix in the air and created a whole new variety. This changes the worth of the grain and the potential worth. Many of these CSA's are "Mom and Pop" farms or small family farms and can't afford to fight against a huge corporation like Dole or Monsanto.
Current research is starting to show that genetically modified produce is having an effect our people. Research is pointing to the increase of Autism, allergies, and other health impairments as the effect of these genetically modified produce.
This is where "We the People" need to step in and support our local CSA's and CSA's in other states. Money speaks louder then words at times.
Support your local CSA's, buy only heirloom variety plants and produce and animals, and if you can or inclined to, support your local meat farms. Write letters to the politicians and activists in support for research in long term safety of genetically modified produce and animals. We should push for laws, like the ones successfully passed in Ohio, to label products containing genetically engineered ingredients. Support through, as one farmer friend of mine put it, the "pocket book" is a loud support.
Lets not let Dole and Monsanto dictate what we can and can not eat.

"If we have a dead ocean, we have a dead planet."~ Paul Watson

Bless Bless

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Our newest Mama! She is currently brooding on six eggs. We discovered that brooding hens are very protective and have a "growl."