Category Archives: Hobby Farm

It’s time for a house update and spoiler alert: there’s a video to go with it! My brother made this video for me as a surprise! I’ll be honest, it made me tear up. Sometimes it feels like we will never get moved in. Watching really put all of the work that we have done into perspective. You guys, we are building a whole house! AND IT’S COMING TOGETHER!!! So when we left off last we were working on our fancy triple-pane window installation (they are so nice). Now we have finished our stairs, installed all the insulation, framed Continue Reading →

DIY House Up Date + a Video (April 2017)

House Update 2017

An update on our house build, our plans for a more “green” house, and our energy efficient windows. And lots and lots of mud! We are closing in on our one year mark of our DIY house build, and I thought I’d share some of the progress we have made this winter. A year ago this picture would have just been of our beautiful mountains but now, 12 months later, there’s a shell of a house! We broke ground on January 23, 2016 and hope to move in sometime this year (before Christmas is the goal). Building a house is one Continue Reading →

House Building Update: Energy Efficient Windows + Mud (January 2017)

It’s been way too long since I updated you on the house. This project – oh, this project. We are at a really fun stage of framing and it changes every day. I still laugh every time we tell people we are building it ourselves and then they ask who the contractor is. No friends, there’s no contractor, just Thomas and I and hours and hours and hours of work. My brother moved here in May and has started working pretty often with Thomas on the house, and we’ve had a few friends help out here and there, so we aren’t Continue Reading →

House update: Framing (October 2016)

This summer I have had all kinds of people email me to ask for food and lodging recommendations near me and I’ve also been lucky enough to host multiple families that were passing through my neck of the woods (Hi, Katie!). Living near Zion National Park has it’s perks. I have a dear friend that just remodeled a 100 year old house (the home her husband grew up in, no less), and now it’s a Zion National Park vacation rental. I had the honor of taking pictures of her home, so I wanted to show them all to you just in Continue Reading →

Zion National Park Vacation Rental

You are going to love this simple handy trick that will teach you the best and easiest way to preserve fresh herbs! My garden is a weed-filled mess this year (I say that like that isn’t the norm. Well friends, that’s totally the norm right now in my life.). Even though it looks pretty awful, there’s still all kinds of treasures hiding under the weeds. Such treasures include a wealth of basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, and sage! I love having fresh herbs on hand (and I’m going to love it even more when we live near our garden!). My pasta Continue Reading →

How to Save Fresh Herbs: Herb Bombs

In February I shared a little update on finally starting to build our house! When I say “we are building a house”, I don’t mean we are organizing laborers to do it for us. I mean Thomas is out there as often as he can and is putting a house together piece by piece. I have spent hours moving rocks, using a pick ax to level the ground for concrete forms, picking up trash, and a million other little things. Thomas for sure is doing the bulk of the work (I’m just on the support team), but slowly it’s moving Continue Reading →

Bless this Mess Builds: House Update (July 2016)

Spring has sprung and like me, many of you are thinking about or already investing in CHICKS!!! This is my fifth spring getting new chicks and I just love this time of year. Last year, I tried my hand at using an incubator to hatch my own eggs (much harder than I thought it would be but very rewarding and wonderful for the kids to see), but this year I just got five little chicks from our hardware store. They are currently right next to me cheeping away in their box. They have such fun little personalities and the kids Continue Reading →

10 Things I Wish I Would have Known Before Getting Chicks

Things have been moving slowly along on the house front! Here’s what we have done in January and February of 2016. Building your own house and all of it’s glory! I use the term “we” very loosely. I should really say Thomas. I’m support staff right now. He comes home later than he used to and I try to have dinner ready and on the table. I deliver lots of lunches to building site (which we still haven’t named!), and I run him here or there when he needs to pick up a different large vehicle for something. You know, Continue Reading →

House Update: Houston, We Have a Hole and a VIDEO! (February 2016)

This past weekend was a pretty big deal in our little family. We officially started building our house on the beautiful property that housed our garden and chickens last summer. I’ve been struggling with how to relay the impact, meaning, and depth of this small step in my sphere on the internet. Part of me feels like it’s bragging, or that people won’t care, or that people will think I’m making a big deal out of something small. Friends, this is such a huge deal to me. I’m naturally a nester, a settler, a homemaker, and a bloom-where-you-are-planted kind of Continue Reading →

We finally started building our house! (January 2016)

Welcome to day two of Handmade Holiday 2015. Cassie from Wholefully and I are sharing simple handmade gifts all week long to get your crafty juices flowing! Today I’m sharing simple DIY Beeswax Candles and Cassie is sharing Spicy Black Bean Soup in a Jar. These pair nicely with yesterday’s DIY No Sew Flannel Blanket Scarf and my Sharpie Mugs (that won’t wash off!). It’s been a lot of fun working with Cassie on this and her projects are just beautiful while still being simple. Beeswax candles are so much easier to make than you might have guessed. Not only are Continue Reading →

Simple DIY Beeswax Candles

We spent the bulk of a Saturday in the garden preparing the chickens for winter. We normally move their coop and run around once a week so the hens have fresh grass under them (I have two of each coop/run combo, 4 hens in one, 3 in the other, and Roostio the Rooster just roams free around the garden). When winter comes though moving them around gets a lot harder to do and the grass isn’t there anyways. So we decided we’d stick them right in the middle of the garden (which finally had a hard freeze and died last week). They’ll stay Continue Reading →

Prepping the Chickens for Winter + a video

Remember a few months ago when I told you all working I was with GE Appliances on their Our American Kitchen stories? It’s been a lot of fun and I have another post today highlighting some of the touching (and fun!) videos they have made of real American families living awesome lives with the kitchen as the center of their home. This topic is one that I love because I very much relate to why and how the kitchen is so important to our families and the stories we are making every day. So today I’m highlighting GE’s hard work as well Continue Reading →

Our Kitchen Plans Reveal (plus a giveaway)!

The last time I showed you my garden it was so very young. I can’t believe how quickly it all grows and produces. All that time and effort and weeding turns into food on our table and food in my pantry. The Law of the Harvest in every sense of the phrase is such a neat concept and one I’m glad to be learning about and teaching me kids. Here’s what the garden is looking like right now! The hump of dirt you can see at the bottom was our potato tower. We used some 4 inch square wire to make Continue Reading →

Farm, Chicken, and Garden Tour: September

Melon season is just around the corner and I’m sharing an article on the Hobby Farms’ website today: 7 Ways To Use and Store Melons. I hope you’ll pop over and read it! If you feel so inclined, any pinning from their site or comments are welcome too (I LOVE working with them and I hope they keep my around; let’s show them it’s a good article!). I also have an article about popcorn in their current print magazine! This is my first published article outside of the internet and I feel so fancy being in print. If you happen Continue Reading →

7 Ways To Use and Store Melons

I figured it was high time to get a little garden update going for you! The garden is growing like a weed, weeds included! Here’s what I planted this year: Red onions White onions Potatoes Radishes Carrots Peas Swiss chard Spinach LOTS of green beans (they are the only things that I feel like I have to get in bottles this year, I’m hoping they’ll be ready right when my mom gets here to help with the baby. Convenient!) Corn Tomatoes Assorted Bell peppers Jalapenos Green Cabbage Eggplant Cucumbers Watermelon (2 varieties) Cantaloupe Butternut Squash A million kids of pumpkins Continue Reading →

Farm and Garden Update: June

I’ve mentioned a few times that I was incubating eggs from some of my hens, well folk, this weekend was their big début! This was my second clutch of eggs to try to incubate. The first batch stopped growing when we had an all day power outage and I couldn’t keep the incubator warm enough for the developing chicks. That little hiccup was something I had not even thought of happening and I was pretty disappointed. I decided I could try one more time though and I’m pretty pleased that I did. We had 3 of our 8 eggs hatch Continue Reading →

That one time we hatched our own chicks…

Spring break vacation pictures of families at the beach or at Disneyland were really getting me down this week. We don’t have any vacations planned for this entire year and I was moping a bit about how my kids are totally deprived (we’ve all been there right!). So instead of thinking about things I can’t change,  I decide to focus on all the things that we can do, especially ways to make spring magical for kids. It’s such a fun time of year, even in our own backyard. Here’s a list of 10 things you can do with your kids at home Continue Reading →

10 Ways to Make Spring Magical for Kids

Spring is in the air and I thought I’d show you what we are up to in the farm and garden area of life. All of our trees budded so nicely! Our property is exactly next to my in-laws and they share the same lane, so I’ve been driving past this neglected orchard for almost 10 years now. We’ve been wanting to buy it and talking to the owner for at least the last three, so while we were around we would turn on the water and water the trees once in a while but I never really went over Continue Reading →

Farm and Garden Update: Spring 2015

Spring has sprung in lots of locations and if you are like me, you are thinking about all the delicious things that you’ll be planting and harvesting soon. Swiss chard is on my list to plant this week, it’s a great cold hardy vegetable (here’s a post I wrote about vegetables that don’t mind a little cold). So in honor of spring I thought I’d share 6 Ways to Use Swiss Chard. I wrote this article for Hobby Farm’s Magazine’s blog today. You can visit the whole article there. I love working with Hobby Farms and their website is a Continue Reading →

6 Ways to Use Swiss Chard

Eggs are a really interesting topic to me right now and I thought I would share some egg tips and tricks with you including how to tell the freshness of an egg. Did you know that your average store-bought egg is 3 weeks old but they could very well be months old. Farmers can hold onto eggs for 30 to 90 days before they are shipped off for “packing” (the information that I found for that number varied a lot, so it’s a wide range). Eggs are several more weeks old by they time they are packed, shipped, and then purchased Continue Reading →

How to Test the Freshness of an Egg

Thinking… that laying down in the afternoon has its perks. Sure my house is messier than normal, I’m making a lot of grilled cheese for dinner, and I’m behind on emails, but it also means I take a little more time to slow down and enjoy my kids. On the afternoons Henry goes to preschool, Kimball makes sure we have “quiet time” in my bed. We normally tell each other stories, look through our picture album, or read books, but on this day he fell asleep. I don’t know how long he’ll ask me to hold his hand while he Continue Reading →

Currently: Mouse in the House

We bought some property last summer and we have stewed and stewed over a name for it. We had just about given up hope of thinking of something when Thomas suggested we ask all you guys! Hello! I should have thought of that. You all are the smartest people around. Our first little lot that we discovered our love of hobby farming on has a little dilapidated house on it and we call that property The Shanty. It fits perfectly. We’ll say, “I’m just headed over to The Shanty to feed the chickens”, or “Could you swing by The Shanty Continue Reading →

Help Us Name Our Farm Contest!

Have you ever wanted to sell at the Farmer’s Market but aren’t much of a farmer?! Have no fear! There are all kinds of things that you can sell! Or, if you are a farmer (or a simple hobby farmer like myself), this list is of items that are perfect to sell before your produce is in season. Don’t waste those early market months just because your vegetables aren’t quiet ready. You can find my whole article, 8 Homemade Items You Can Sell at the Farmers’ Market, on the Hobby Farms website today. Get ideas for what to sell, legal Continue Reading →

Things to Sell at a Farmer’s Market that go way beyond produce!

I worked with Emily from One Lovely Life today to bring you a really fun ingredient spotlight on pumpkin. Since chances are good you’ll be downing a piece or two of pumpkin pie this weekend, you might as well know a little bit about them! And if you happen to remember a few of the facts and bust them out at the dinner table you might just impress your great Aunt Sue. Who doesn’t love some good trivia?! I know I’m a sucker for it. Basics Pumpkin is a member of the same family as squash. I mentioned this with Continue Reading →

Ingredient Spotlight: Pumpkin

It’s neighbor gift time and I couldn’t be more excited. As I thought about my favorite food gifts that I have been on the receiving end of, I thought of the few times that people brought nonsweet items over. Don’t get me wrong. I love a plate of cookies as much as the next woman, but in the extra sweetness of the Holidays the savory stood out in my mind. On two occasions I had people bring over homemade breakfast burritos all wrapped in foil. They were ready to be heated up then or stuck in the freezer for a Continue Reading →

How to: Fresh Eggs for Giving

My love of cast iron knows no end and I’ve slowly been building my collection piece by piece. There are SO many benefits to cast iron and so man fun things that you can do with cast iron cookware from a culinary stand point. I wrote an article about cooking with cast iron, specifically making soups, and it’s on the Hobby Farms website today. I had a blast writing it and think it turned out great. I included some practical tips on cooking with cast iron as well as not one, but four recipes! They include a simple stove top chili, Continue Reading →

3 Soups Cooked in Cast Iron

I’m over at Hobby Farms today sharing a fun article I wrote all about pumpkins. I included everything from simple recipes to fun facts and long term storage tips to ways to use pumpkin on the farm. I would love for you to pop on over and enjoy it! Have a great Halloween! Find the Pumpkin Article Here.

Pumpkin Fun Facts and Simple Recipes

Pickle lovers unite! You will fall off your chair when you read this recipe and see just how easy it is to pickle banana peppers at home. No need to can, just pour the brine over the prepared peppers and stick them in the fridge. The best part? They last for months. I love all things pickles and pickled banana peppers top my list. They are excellent on sandwiches, including hot grilled ham and cheese, perfect for salads, and I’d be a fibbing if I said I didn’t eat them straight out of the jar late at night. They are Continue Reading →

Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickled Banana Peppers

The county fair was this past weekend I’m so excited to show you a little peak at all the fun! Come see small town America in all of it’s glory! This was our family’s first year really participating in the fair and it was so much fun! My Aunt Sally is on the fair board and so she asked me to help set up a “country store” where people who brought exhibits could bring extra items to sell. It was the first year doing it and it was so successful. Lots of people brought things to sell and lots of Continue Reading →

The County Fair in all of it’s glory!

Sometimes I sit at my dinner, take a look at the meal, and try to determine what percentage of the meal I produced. It always varies but I get so excited when the percentage is really high. I’ll look over the meal and then I’ll announce to the family all of the things we grew. I love knowing where our food comes from and I want my kids to enjoy the literal fruits of our labors. Pork or lamb roast (animals we raised and processed), green beans and sweet corn (from the garden), and some canned peaches or applesauce (also Continue Reading →

Farmhouse Egg Bake

Morning friends! I’ve been spending lots and lots of time in the garden and really enjoying it all, so I thought I’d show you all how things are coming along including a few new additions to our little hobby farm. First up, the garden. The garden is large and growing and I feel like I’m losing the battle with weeds. I did a great job keeping up with weeding last year, but this year it is quite the mess. I have this mental picture of a weed free garden with nice straight rows and my reality is so far from Continue Reading →

Hobby Farm – Moving Right Along

The hobby farm dream is alive and well this spring. We’ve been living in Southern Utah for just over a year, and starting things for the second time is so much easier than it was the first time. I’m feeling more confident and more comfortable which means it’s a good time to expand the dream. And expand we did! We got bunnies last week! We ran to the next little town over to pick up some more plants for the garden from a man who had grown all kinds of things in his greenhouse. While we were there he opened a Continue Reading →

Hobby Farm’s a Hoppin’

This weekend I set up and ran a stand at our local farmer’s market for the very first time. This was actually the very first time the Long Valley Farmer’s Market was open period and I’m so glad I’m part of the fun. I’ve wanted to participate in a farmer’s market, as a seller, since I first heard about them years ago. I even looked into it a bit when we lived in Provo (and was going to sell gourmet dog treats of all things) but it never happened. So Saturday was a very literal dream come true and I Continue Reading →

Farmer’s Market Fun: My very first booth!

As you might know we raised two lambs this summer for meat. I introduced them, shared our sadness when one died, updated you on them, and then things went quiet. If you’ve assumed the lambs are now in our freezer, you are right! It’s taken me a bit of time to decide on what pictures I should share, process how I feel about the situation, and I had a baby a few weeks before the lambs were killed so I just haven’t made the time. So after a few requests to know what happened to the lambs I’m now ready Continue Reading →

Lambs: The Last Chapter

a chicken shack

I had a long chat with one of my good friends the other day. Since moving away from her we don’t talk nearly enough, so when we do we always have a ton to say. She gave me a list of things she had questions about or wanted to see on the blog. It was SO helpful to hear what someone, who is a distant reader thought and wanted to see more or less of. Here was her list: Announce who won giveaways better/more publicly Fill us in on what happened to the lambs and how the chickens are Show Continue Reading →

Backyard Chickens in the Winter

Hobby farm update! In late September my beautiful garden froze. We weren’t expecting such an early freeze (a full 3 week earlier than the average frost date for our area) or we would have covered a few things to save them a little longer. But the deed was done and my garden was pretty much gone in one night. The freeze wasn’t so hard that it ruined produce… it just killed all the plants. So we went about that day collecting gallons of ripe, partially ripe, and green tomatoes (which ripen just fine off the vine by the way), a Continue Reading →

Hobby Farm Update

We enjoyed an awesome short vacation in Yellowstone and Idaho this weekend. I went to the garden first yesterday when we got home to check on everything and I just couldn’t believe the difference that 5 days made. I picked 26 yellow squash and zucchini, most of which were ridiculously huge, green beans that are as thick as my thumb, and my first ears of sweet corn were ready! I was marveling at all of the changes and weeds when I realized I’d better get this garden post up because the pictures were going out-of-date fast. So here’s a little Continue Reading →

Garden 2013

Sheep update: Backstory: If you are new to the blog I introduced the lambs here and then was sad to announced that one died unexpectedly here. After I wrote last week’s post on Freckle’s unexpected death I shared a picture of the new lamb we got on Instagram. I mentioned that we still didn’t know why Freckles had died but it was nice that the other lamb was happy with his new friend. A friend of mine commented on the picture wondering if it could be the sweet pea plants that were harmful because in the movie Into the Wild Continue Reading →

Can sheep eat sweet peas?

Not everyone needs a post on a DIY chicken water and feeder from 5-gallon buckets, but someone out there does need it! Is it you? Even if you don’t have your own hens yet, this might be something to store away in your “someday” file because you just never know when you might need some great info that will save you a dollar or two! Or you might have a friend who is getting into backyard chickens and you could mention this cool site you found *cough cough* and then they could benefit!   We have to start out today’s Continue Reading →

DIY chicken water and feeder from 5-gallon buckets

DIY portable chicken run- Last Saturday was awesomely productive and we got this puppy built, moved to the Shanty, and put all of the hens and chicks together. The chicks had been living in an upside-down watermelon box for weeks and were excited to have something new. The hens are used to free-ranging our yard and are not excited to have something new. You can’t please everyone one I guess. Here’s how it turned out: The coop to the left I built last year when I got my very first chickens (DIY Chicken Coop Tour Here) and the the “run” or Continue Reading →

DIY Portable Chicken Run

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then this isn’t totally new news, but I feel like it deserves a post of its own. Saturday was an awesome day filled with productivity and check marks next to major projects that have been clogging up my mind and to-do list for way to long. We did some major cleaning and weeding at the garden; I mowed down knee-high weeds like it was my job. We built a portable chicken run (post coming soon!) to accompany my coop and moved all the chickens, young and older, to the garden property. Productivity Continue Reading →

Not What I Expected

I’m so excited to finally share this post with you! We got baby sheep, aka lambs, last week and they are the cutest little critters you’ve ever laid eyes on. I’d like to introduce you to the newest members of our ever growing hobby farm – Freckles and Snow White. Of course Snow White is a boy, and Freckles is a girl but there was no deterring little Miss May from the names. We do call Snow White, Snowy. The land that the Shanty is on is mostly pasture. A bit is occupied by the house and we plowed some Continue Reading →

Raising baby sheep: the cutest animals around

Welcome to the 2013 vegetable garden! This year has been really different for us, so I thought I’d bring you all along for the journey of growing a vegetable garden in Southern Utah. Refresher: We just moved from our remodel to a rental in my husband’s home town. In this tiny town we own a property that we bought in 2009 and call The Shanty. The Shanty has a house of sorts that is falling down and can be seen through, but it is also fenced acre of beautiful apple trees and pasture. We love it because it’s ours. Here’s Continue Reading →

Growing a Vegetable Garden in Southern Utah

I love me some chickens. Last spring we got our very first bunch of new chicks from the feed store, raised them inside our house (because we were in the middle of remodeling), and then moved them out to a coop that I lovingly made from scrap wood. The hens rock (and you can check out an over-view of last year under the Backyard Chickens tab at the top). In August I found my very first egg and it totally sealed my love of backyard chickens. They are so rewarding and make awesome pets. I had 9 hens for the Continue Reading →

New Chicks

Remember that one time I was in a Popular Farming Chickens magazine?! Oh, you have no idea what I’m talking about? That’s because the issue just made it onto shelves!! I’ve been sitting on this secret since the beginning of October when Popular Farming contacted me to see if I would want to be included in the 2013 edition of their Chickens magazine. Yes, yes, yes! How fun. I just answered some questions and sent a picture and then waited and waited. The magazine is a pretty all-inclusive publication that just comes out once a year. It’s big and detailed and I Continue Reading →

Popular Farming Chickens Magazine

It’s been a while since I updated you on how the hens are doing. I wasn’t very prepared for winter. Their coop is fine, but it’s not incredibly warm and is a bit drafty. I did some reading about the general needs of hens in the winter and most things suggested keeping a light or heat lamp inside the coop. Hens typically only lay eggs when there is 12 hours of sunlight in a day. Most of the time they will go into a natural rest period from egg production in the winter months. You can use a typical white Continue Reading →

Backyard Chickens in the Snow

how to collect chicken eggs, broken eggs, eggs from black leg horn chicken

My first resolution for 2013: Stop putting the eggs I collect in my pocket to carry them in the house…

Resolution #1

I have a hard time not calling the remaining three chickens “the survivors” after that tragic day the neighbor’s dogs killed six of my hens (Heartbreak and details on that day here). But survivors they are. After a few days of not laying, due to stress from the incident, they’ve bounced back just fine. One thing I’ve noticed though is that they never leave each other. The remaining three chickens have forged a new bond since their friends died and I rarely see them apart. It’s pretty cute really. I camera-stalked the ladies one afternoon and it was really fun Continue Reading →

Birds of a Feather Stick Together

Friends, I don’t even know where to start… I’ve done too much ugly crying today and writing this post seems like the only thing that I can do now. Two-thirds of my beloved chickens are dead. Six of my beautiful hens were killed for pleasure by my neighbor’s dogs today. A rotten little Chihuahua and Dachshund came into my yard, worked together to killed my birds, and then tried to bite Thomas when he went out to chase them off. Luckily the kids and I weren’t home at the time and Thomas had time to collect the remains and bury them. Continue Reading →

The End of an Era

Chicken update! Do you guys even like to hear about the ladies? I love to talk about them because I love the chickens, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you all want to hear about them. Really, do you mind a chicken post now and again? Well I’ve made some changes to our set-up since I last checked in. I got a few more chickens from a friend so I’m up to nine hens total. They are big and beautiful and they poop. A lot. They took a liking to my porches and sidewalk and I was just so sick of chicken Continue Reading →

Backyard Chickens: All Cooped Up

Let’s talk chickens. Having backyard chickens has been a ton of fun. They are more like pets than anything, but the best part is they provide eggs in exchange for feeding them. I like having productive pets around. They really are like pets. My kids pack them around, pet them, and this little feller likes to catch them, put them in their coop, and shut the door. He’ll go around and collect as many hens as he can in the coop. I’ll notice and ask him what he’s doing and he yells, “I’m trapturing your chitins!” I let him play Continue Reading →

Eggs Shells for Chickens: Oyster Shell Replacement

I shared a few pictures of our trip last week, and wanted to share a few more now. I moved to Utah my sophomore year of collage to attend Brigham Young University. I lived in a small town in southern Indiana before making my trek out west. My parents moved to northern Kentucky since I got married, but Indiana will forever be home. I’m a Hoosier through and through. I grew up just a mile from my grandma and grandpa’s farm. My dad is one of thirteen kids and I have lots and lots of cousins. I spent countless hours on Continue Reading →

Places I love: Grandma’s Farm