Tag Archives: heirlooms

What are GMOs?

What are GMOs? Are you avoiding them because someone said they’re bad, or do you actually know what they entail? The Issue of Misinformation Did you know you can now buy GMO-free hummus? When I saw the ad, I gave … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening Articles, Homesteading Articles, Pictures! | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Today, I found this publication, which is nearly 100 years old!  Great information about true heirloom gardening. Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden As Recounted by Maxi’diwiac (Buffalo Bird Woman) (ca.1839-1932) of the Hidatsa Indian Tribe Originally published as Agriculture of the … Continue reading

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What’s the Big Deal about Heirlooms?

Each year, I see the sales ads: Heirloom tomatoes on sale, only $2.99/lb.  Customers flock to them.  The pictures show huge, lumpy, full-color tomatoes instead of the common round red variety.  Whole Foods staffs the produce department with sales people … Continue reading

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When Culling is Forever | Ames Family Farm

When Culling is Forever

Cross-posted from my blog at Backyard Poultry Magazine!

My husband and I have an agreement: When culling or butchering, he does the initial step. I do the rest. If I had to, I would do it all. If my husband was out of town on business and one of my chickens was suffering, I would take that step. But for other times, our agreement works best.

general-tso-8-1

General Tso: RIP after a German shepard attack

 The uncomfortable subject of culling eventually comes up to all chicken owners. “Culling” really means that you’re getting that animal out of your flock, whether by selling, giving away or by ending its life. Because the reason for culling is one that probably won’t change, such as egg eating, illness or deformity, “culling” often refers to the humane ending of the animal’s life.

 The first time we had to cull a chicken, we knew it was the most humane choice. My adorable wheaten ameraucana was so ill that she couldn’t breathe. With a swollen face, watery feces, and the inability to raise her head, she was miserable. I debated. When it’s your first time, you debate for a long time. But I grew up on a farm, so I knew that the most humane solution is often to just let them go. My husband had a hard time doing it, but he also knew it had to be done. Within a few seconds, my bird was out of her misery.

We’ve had to cull a few more sick chickens. When my husband’s dog proved that he could not be trusted with the hens, we took a couple severely injured chickens and ended their suffering.

 “I don’t like doing it,” my husband said.

 “If you did,” I replied, “I’d really worry about you.”

Through my social network of chicken owners, friends learned that we were willing to cull. A few came to me, asking for help. They were owners who loved their animals, and could no longer stand to see them suffer. And though they knew what they had to do, they just couldn’t bring themselves to do it.

nectarine-thank-you

One friend brought two chicks, purchased from an ill-reputed hatchery. One was blind and could not walk straight, and had to be hand-fed. The other, with a tumor wrapping around its neck, was 6 weeks old and still the size of a 1-week-old chick. The owner knew they would eventually suffer and die, but she just couldn’t bring herself to do the task. She told her children that the chicks had gone to live at our farm, and my husband quietly helped the poor animals on their way.

To thank us, the friend also brought a crate of beautiful nectarines for my canning project.

 I rarely talk about culling, except to other chicken owners. People who have never owned livestock tend to condemn others for culling. They haven’t seen the suffering, haven’t cared for the animal, haven’t tried all possible solutions. I’ve glued chickens together, administered antibiotics. I even took one chicken to the vet. Culling is a last resort. We never enjoy doing it, but we’re relieved when it’s done.

And I’m relieved that I have a partner who is willing to take the burden from me if he can.

If you want to learn more about backyard chickens, subscribe to Backyard Poultry Magazine, or subscribe to our email newsletter, or join us on Facebook to stay in touch with the latest information you need.

About Marissa Ames

I’m a working mom, a devoted wife, an author and a homesteader. I spend my free time eating lunch. My homesteading story began 180 years ago, with pioneering ancestors who made drastic changes to preserve faith and values. With each generation the plot repeats: A diligent father works long hours to provide for his family. An innovative mother fills in the gaps while striving to uphold her faith and values. Children follow in their parents’ footsteps, returning to proven methods when modern times fall short on promises of a better life. Now my husband and I live the lessons taught by our parents, working to support our family through conventional careers in addition to urban farming. We raise chickens and other poultry, rely on large-scale urban gardening, and get through the winter with canning and food preservation. In the spring and summer we grow food; in the fall we preserve it; in the winter we make cheese and soap and chronicle the year’s experiences. I began the Ames Family Farm blog on a whim, mostly to secure the name in case I took my talents further and started a greenhouse or an educational system. What came to fruition exceeded my own ambitions. Now I share my experiences through Ames Family Farm, Countryside and Backyard Poultry Magazines, other publications, and social media. I speak at conventions and work with school gardening projects, advocating sustainability and backyard chickens in urban settings. Mostly, I offer what I can as friends and acquaintances seek help with gardening or homesteading endeavors. My current books in progress include Huntsman, the third book in the Tir Athair medieval fantasy series, and a homesteading series to help budget-minded urbanites enhance their living spaces to save money and advocate a healthier, happier way of life. I continue to contribute to Countryside and Backyard Poultry through it all. I believe homesteading is meant to save money rather than cost more. That gardening enhances health and joy as well as cutting costs, that canning and food preservation are keys to self-reliance when bad times hit. That everyone has the ability to homestead. Even if you live in a high-rise apartment and cannot keep chickens, you can make cheese or sew clothing. Even in a food desert you can budget and preserve food to protect your health and way of life.
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2 Responses to When Culling is Forever

  1. ajjrichmond says:

    As a trained Animal Health Technologist I’ve seen all kinds of things. As part of my training I had to work a three week practicum in a large animal veterinary hospital. On one occasion I was tasked with walking through a large free-run chicken barn to cull the chicks that were too sick to move out of the way. It was a difficult task because I realized that each chick I picked up would be given a death sentence. BUT watching an animal suffer is a thousand times worse.

    • marissaames says:

      After posting this on Backyard Poultry, I got a myriad of responses. Only a few condemned culling, and I really feel those few haven’t dealt with an animal that was so sick and in pain. Most were in agreement that it’s a responsible part of farming, when your animal is too far gone to recover.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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Deep Purple Shepherd’s Stew | Ames Family Farm

Deep Purple Shepherd’s Stew

purple stew

No photos were edited for this blog post. If anything, that color is a bit muted.

There’s really nothing special about it. Some lamb, some carrots, some potatoes and onions, parsley and thyme and garlic.

But it’s purple!

One of the joys of growing your own food is the delightful variety. My family loves to focus on color when we plant vegetables. Really, we’re also focusing on nutrition, because specific nutrients coincide with specific colors in produce. For instance, orange and yellow indicate beta carotene. Purple indicates high levels of anthocyanins, a strong antioxidant. The more purple, the higher the levels. That’s why blueberries are so healthy.

It doesn't have to be a ladylike carrot. Just a purple one.

It doesn’t have to be a ladylike carrot. Just a purple one.

First, take a crockpot. Chop up 1-2 pounds of lamb. Pour in a can of beef or vegetable stock. Turn onto low and cook for at least an hour.

Then, chop up 4 or 5 purple carrots and add those in. The deeper purple, the more purple color your food will be. The color in purple carrots does NOT cook out. I’ve had some very lavender curry because I used a couple of purple carrots.

Add a red onion… which is, actually, purple. The color of the onions isn’t going to help the color of the stew much, but you might as well coordinate, right?

Cook that for awhile, until the carrots are just starting to turn tender. Add a few cloves of garlic. What the heck? Make it Italian Purple garlic. Salt your stew. Add fresh herbs. Add more beef or vegetable stock, if necessary, to keep everything submerged.

Rainbow Potatoes, September 2012

Rainbow Potatoes, September 2012

Now it’s time for a pound or so of purple potatoes! I like to grow Purple Majesty because of the intense color. You can see a freshly cut Purple Majesty there. If you cut these then boil them, you’ll get lavender mashed potatoes. If you bake them whole, you’ll get royal purple baked potatoes. Beautiful, aren’t they? Wash and chop your potatoes, and add them to your stew. Cook it all until the potatoes are tender.

Do you like a thick, gravy-like stew? When it’s almost done, add some flour. Either standard flour or gluten-free works fine. Whisk it in, then let the stew boil to thicken up.

Now… invite friends over for dinner, and hope they’re open-minded. Deep purple shepherd’s stew tastes just like the regular kind, but it’s rather shocking to see.

My kids have gotten used to odd food colors. We have green, yellow, and “black tomatoes.” Purple, pink, yellow, and white potatoes. Carrots and Swiss chard in five colors each. Because, when you grow your own food, there’s a reason to do it. If I’m growing to compete with grocery store prices, at least I can produce a rainbow of vegetables that the store can’t even begin to offer!

About Marissa Ames

I’m a working mom, a devoted wife, an author and a homesteader. I spend my free time eating lunch. My homesteading story began 180 years ago, with pioneering ancestors who made drastic changes to preserve faith and values. With each generation the plot repeats: A diligent father works long hours to provide for his family. An innovative mother fills in the gaps while striving to uphold her faith and values. Children follow in their parents’ footsteps, returning to proven methods when modern times fall short on promises of a better life. Now my husband and I live the lessons taught by our parents, working to support our family through conventional careers in addition to urban farming. We raise chickens and other poultry, rely on large-scale urban gardening, and get through the winter with canning and food preservation. In the spring and summer we grow food; in the fall we preserve it; in the winter we make cheese and soap and chronicle the year’s experiences. I began the Ames Family Farm blog on a whim, mostly to secure the name in case I took my talents further and started a greenhouse or an educational system. What came to fruition exceeded my own ambitions. Now I share my experiences through Ames Family Farm, Countryside and Backyard Poultry Magazines, other publications, and social media. I speak at conventions and work with school gardening projects, advocating sustainability and backyard chickens in urban settings. Mostly, I offer what I can as friends and acquaintances seek help with gardening or homesteading endeavors. My current books in progress include Huntsman, the third book in the Tir Athair medieval fantasy series, and a homesteading series to help budget-minded urbanites enhance their living spaces to save money and advocate a healthier, happier way of life. I continue to contribute to Countryside and Backyard Poultry through it all. I believe homesteading is meant to save money rather than cost more. That gardening enhances health and joy as well as cutting costs, that canning and food preservation are keys to self-reliance when bad times hit. That everyone has the ability to homestead. Even if you live in a high-rise apartment and cannot keep chickens, you can make cheese or sew clothing. Even in a food desert you can budget and preserve food to protect your health and way of life.
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Duck Egg Flan | Ames Family Farm

Duck Egg Flan

Not a traditional recipe, this easy flan recipe tastes more like crème brulee and satisfies some of the pickiest flan adversaries. This recipe is cross-posted from Backyard Poultry Magazine, where I blog about all things chicken-related.

flan-closeupThis is my go-to dessert recipe whenever I entertain friends who are unfamiliar with urban farming or backyard poultry. I often serve it after a salad of fresh greens, and perhaps an eggplant lasagne with fresh homemade mozzarella. Really, I mostly like the expressions of pleasant surprise when they taste it. I never tell them how easy it really is.

If you’ve heard that duck eggs are better for pastries …  believe the rumors. They’re true. The yolks are creamier. This adds extra calories to the egg, but when you’re making a flan with sugar and whipping cream, a few more calories per egg is a fairly negligible addition. I find that duck eggs make custards and flans creamier, breads richer and quiches fluffier than chicken eggs.

Since my family loves this recipe and I often have 10 or more duck eggs to spare, I double the recipe and use my springform pan.

Though I prefer the creaminess of duck eggs, chicken eggs may be substituted. Standard evaporated milk may replace goat’s milk, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract may replace the vanilla bean. Additional sugar may be used in exchange for honey.

Step 1 - Ingredients

Mmmmm… ingredients…

Ingredients:

  • 1 and ¾ cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (goat’s milk)
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise (I double the vanilla)
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 large duck eggs
  • 2 large duck egg yolks
  • 7 tablespoons sugar

Preparation:

Combine  cream, evaporated milk and salt in a heavy saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the cream mixture, and drop in the bean. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes. After steeping, remove  bean pod. (If you are using vanilla extract, this step may be skipped. Simply combine cream, milk, salt and vanilla.)

Step 3 - Line Springform Pans to Avoid Leakage

If using a springform pan, wrap aluminum foil around the bottom so the pan doesn’t leak

Preheat the oven to 350F, and position  rack in the center of the oven. If you are using a springform pan instead of ramekins, wrap aluminum foil over the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Have all pans ready to go.

Just starting to boil! It's already amber-tinted from the honey.

Just starting to boil! It’s already amber-tinted from the honey.

In another heavy saucepan, combine the honey, sugar and water. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves completely. (Note: the mixture will already be a light amber because of the honey. If you replace the honey with additional sugar, this mixture will start out white/clear.) Increase heat to high and cook without stirring until the syrup turns deep amber, swirling the pan occasionally. Do not stir at this stage, or the sugar may crystallize. This amber stage may take about 10 minutes after the sugar has dissolved. Keep an eye on the mixture. The change from light amber to deep amber is fast. For candymakers, this will be a soft crack stage.

Not quite dark enough, but DON'T LEAVE THE KITCHEN!

Not quite dark enough, but DON’T LEAVE THE KITCHEN!

There! Don't cook it any longer!

There! Don’t cook it any longer!

Quickly pour caramel into six ¾-cup ramekins, or a small baking dish. If doubling the recipe, as I do, use a full-sized springform pan or equivalent size. Using oven mits, immediately tilt each ramekin to coat the sides with syrup. It hardens fast, so work fast! Set the ramekins in a baking dish that is deep enough that you can pour in water to come up at least halfway.

Swirl quickly to coat the pan

Swirl quickly to coat the pan

The coating hardens fast!

The coating hardens fast!

Separate two of the eggs into yolks and whites. Save the whites for an egg white omelet to eat the next day, to pay for the calories you’ll be eating with this dessert!

The brown bits are from real vanilla pulp. Yum!

The brown bits are from real vanilla pulp. Yum!

Whisk eggs, yolks and 7 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl just until blended. Gradually whisk in the cream mixture, being careful not to create much foam. Pour the custard evenly into the ramekins, on top of the now-hardened syrup.

Fill the pans, then pour in boiling water while it's sitting in the oven. Less sloshing!

Fill the pans, then pour in boiling water while it’s sitting in the oven. Less sloshing!

Set the baking pan in the oven before adding enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Setting the pan on the rack helps prevent sloshing as you carry the pan. You may also choose to set the pan in the oven before filling the ramekins with custard.

It's set! The fork comes out clean, but the middle is still very jiggly.

It’s set! The fork comes out clean, but the middle is still very jiggly.

Bake until the centers of the flans are gently set, about 40 minutes. The flan will still look squishy. If you’re unsure if the centers are set, press gently with your finger. If the top bounces back, it’s set. You can also insert a clean fork. If the fork comes back out mostly clean, the flan is done.

Remove the flan from the water and transfer to a rack to cool. Chill until cold, about two hours, then cover and chill overnight. This flan can be made a couple of days ahead of time. To serve, run a small sharp knife around the flan to loosen, and turn the ramekin over onto a plate. Carefully lift the ramekin, allowing the syrup to run over the flan.

The Morning After

The Morning After

After serving, you may notice glass-like cracks in the bottom of your ramekin or pan. This is simply crystallized sugar from the syrup. Soaking the pan in hot water will dissolve the sugar.

If you try this recipe and enjoy it, please let us know. And if you know how to make it even better, then by all means, please share your secrets!

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About marissaames

I’m a wife, mother, and business owner in Reno, Nevada. As a family we tackle autism, special diets, and life just above the poverty line and just below the cost of living.
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Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar | Ames Family Farm

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

vinegar jars 10-5

Just born and ready to ferment: plum and grape vinegars, made the same way as ACV

Unfiltered apple cider vinegar, with the “mother” still in it, is expensive. But you can make it yourself!

What you need:

  • Apples
  • Wide-mouth mason jars and rings
  • Cheesecloth
  • A warm location
  • Sugar and/or storebought ACV to speed up the process, though these are not necessary

First, cut up your apples.

apples peeled sliced

Those apples went right into the dehydrator. We didn’t waste a thing!

 But here’s a hint… you only need the peels or cores. That’s right… Make your apple pie or dried apples, and save the peels and cores for your vinegar. We used our peeler-corer-slicer, and dehydrated the centers.

 Place the apple trimmings in a bowl, with enough room on top to completely cover with water. Fill the bowl with water. You can add sugar to the water to speed up fermentation, if you wish. Place a plate on the bowl, to completely push all of the apples down into the water, preferably a plate that will fit well over the top and seal out fruit flies.

Place that bowl in a location that can stay around 75 degrees or higher for a week. I used one of my laundry room cupboards, with the door closed.

When the water bubbles out around the plate, you’re ready for your next step. This will be alcoholic at this point.

ACV step 2 11-10-12

Strain out the apples, keep the water.

 This step led up to an in-depth discussion with my 11-year-old daughter. She didn’t want to make alcohol, but I explained that the alcohol was an important step in the vinegar-making process that can’t be skipped. We would just not drink the alcohol.

Strain the apples out of the fermented water, and throw them away. Do not give them to your chickens, unless you want drunk chickens. (Really, I don’t know if they’ll even eat them. I didn’t try it.)

ACV into jars 11-10-12

The pink tinge at the bottom is “mother” from my plum vinegar, for added innoculation

Fill wide-mouth jars with the fermented water. You want wide-mouth if possible, to increase airflow to the vinegar. At this point, you can add a drizzle of existing apple cider vinegar, or part of the “mother” from another batch, to inoculate this water. However, though this does speed up the process, it is not necessary. Alcohol plus too much air makes vinegar.

Cover the jars with cheesecloth or other loose-weave cloth. Secure it in place with the canning ring, or a rubber band. Place the jars in a warm, dark location, like the inside of a cupboard, for 2-4 months. Again, we used our laundry room cupboard.

 Fruit flies will try to get in this, so be sure that cloth is on tight, and the cupboard door is shut, to avoid an infestation. While the alcohol turns to vinegar, you will notice that a slimy layer rises to the top. This is the “mother,” and it’s completely normal. It’s actually a cellulose layer that separates during the process. Don’t throw that away. It helps seal off the rest of the vinegar from contamination.

Don’t worry much about bacteria during this point. Alcohol and vinegar have been used for millennia to protect against bacteria.

Plum vinegar, ACV 6 weeks into the process, and ACV on the first day

Plum vinegar, ACV 6 weeks into the process, and ACV on the first day

 The longer you wait, the stronger your vinegar will be. When you are ready, remove the mother and either throw it away (or in the compost!) or use part of it to inoculate a new batch. Strain the vinegar from the solids that have sunk to the bottom.

At this point, you can use the vinegar, seal it up, or even add herbs for flavored vinegar. Do not use this for canning other foods!!!! Safe canning requires a specific acidity, and homemade vinegars often do not reach that acidity.

apple crepe

Apple Cider Vinegar Syrup

 Take some of your homemade apple cider vinegar and pour it in a saucepan. Turn it on to medium or lower. When it starts to simmer, let it keep simmering until it has cooked down into thick syrup. If desired, add some apple juice to this mixture for sweeter syrup, or some spices.

 This syrup is excellent on top of apple-cheese blintzes! A family favorite!

About marissaames

I am a novelist and freelance writer with multiple works in progress. When I'm not writing, I come home from a daytime job to care for a husband, two teenage children, and an entire urban farm just a mile south of downtown Reno, Nevada.
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6 Responses to Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. ann says:

    I live very close to an apple orchard and I really want to try this!! I’ve heard acv is very good for blood sugar and this might help me. thank you!

  2. Jennifer says:

    I did this about 3 weeks ago and when I strained the apples out it had a rotten smell to it. Kind of sickly sweet and musty. I didn’t know if that was okay or not, but continued with the next step. It has a film on top, but it continues to smell really bad. not like vinegar. I don’t know if I should wait some more or throw it out?

    • marissaames says:

      I would wait at least 3 more weeks. The first 3 weeks won’t be enough to start the vinegar phase, but you’ll be well into the fermentation phase. This is probably why it smells rotten. If there is no mold on it, just a white film, go ahead and keep it. If you do have mold, toss it out.

  3. Dave says:

    I’m working on a batch right now and have a double layer of cheese cloth. Fruit flies have still found their way in. Three or four layers might be needed.

    • marissaames says:

      That’s good to know. I actually used a corner of frost blanket that I buy annually for my garden. The holes were much smaller in that, and they didn’t find their way in unless I created little tears in the fabric from screwing the bands on too tightly.

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Yes, MY NAME IS jo

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Marissa Ames | Ames Family Farm

Author Archives: Marissa Ames

About Marissa Ames

I’m a working mom, a devoted wife, an author and a homesteader. I spend my free time eating lunch. My homesteading story began 180 years ago, with pioneering ancestors who made drastic changes to preserve faith and values. With each generation the plot repeats: A diligent father works long hours to provide for his family. An innovative mother fills in the gaps while striving to uphold her faith and values. Children follow in their parents’ footsteps, returning to proven methods when modern times fall short on promises of a better life. Now my husband and I live the lessons taught by our parents, working to support our family through conventional careers in addition to urban farming. We raise chickens and other poultry, rely on large-scale urban gardening, and get through the winter with canning and food preservation. In the spring and summer we grow food; in the fall we preserve it; in the winter we make cheese and soap and chronicle the year’s experiences. I began the Ames Family Farm blog on a whim, mostly to secure the name in case I took my talents further and started a greenhouse or an educational system. What came to fruition exceeded my own ambitions. Now I share my experiences through Ames Family Farm, Countryside and Backyard Poultry Magazines, other publications, and social media. I speak at conventions and work with school gardening projects, advocating sustainability and backyard chickens in urban settings. Mostly, I offer what I can as friends and acquaintances seek help with gardening or homesteading endeavors. My current books in progress include Huntsman, the third book in the Tir Athair medieval fantasy series, and a homesteading series to help budget-minded urbanites enhance their living spaces to save money and advocate a healthier, happier way of life. I continue to contribute to Countryside and Backyard Poultry through it all. I believe homesteading is meant to save money rather than cost more. That gardening enhances health and joy as well as cutting costs, that canning and food preservation are keys to self-reliance when bad times hit. That everyone has the ability to homestead. Even if you live in a high-rise apartment and cannot keep chickens, you can make cheese or sew clothing. Even in a food desert you can budget and preserve food to protect your health and way of life.

The Puppy and the Toilet Brush

What’s the last present that brought you unlimited joy? Two weeks before Christmas, Russ and I climbed into the zombie truck and took a ride to Bishop, California. We aired up the tires, stashed emergency items under the seats, and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2016 in a Chaotic Nutshell

Have you ever had a task you needed to do? And the more you put it off, the more it caused anxiety? Then months pass and you still haven’t done it? For me, that’s writing a blog post. I write … Continue reading

Posted in Farm Updates, Gardening Articles, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

What are GMOs?

What are GMOs? Are you avoiding them because someone said they’re bad, or do you actually know what they entail? The Issue of Misinformation Did you know you can now buy GMO-free hummus? When I saw the ad, I gave … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening Articles, Homesteading Articles, Pictures! | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hearty Oat-Nut Flatbreads

This recipe came about when I was living off food storage for a month in order to get material for magazine articles. By day 15, all the store-bought bread, milk, and butter were long gone. Eggs would be, as well, … Continue reading

Posted in Homesteading Articles, Original Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resolutions and Feminists (Or: Plans for 2016)

New Year’s Resolutions are like feminists: if you ask most people about intentions behind the concept, they agree it’s an excellent idea. But the name itself has gotten a bad rep. So people use the word less and less until … Continue reading

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What’s Up?

Almost three years after the blog began, Ames Family Farm is moving into the future. Continue reading

Posted in Farm Updates, Gardening Articles, Homesteading Articles, Pictures! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Eat It Like You Grew It.

Originally posted on Finch Lee:
The modern world has gone insane. Atkins, Paleo, hCG. Is your head spinning yet? How do you eat to maintain optimal health? Trust Mother Nature! If you grew every item you consumed, she would align…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Yes, MY NAME IS jo

People always ask what Jo is short for. Short answer:Jo.

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Homesteading Articles | Ames Family Farm

Category Archives: Homesteading Articles

What are GMOs?

What are GMOs? Are you avoiding them because someone said they’re bad, or do you actually know what they entail? The Issue of Misinformation Did you know you can now buy GMO-free hummus? When I saw the ad, I gave … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening Articles, Homesteading Articles, Pictures! | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hearty Oat-Nut Flatbreads

This recipe came about when I was living off food storage for a month in order to get material for magazine articles. By day 15, all the store-bought bread, milk, and butter were long gone. Eggs would be, as well, … Continue reading

Posted in Homesteading Articles, Original Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s Up?

Almost three years after the blog began, Ames Family Farm is moving into the future. Continue reading

Posted in Farm Updates, Gardening Articles, Homesteading Articles, Pictures! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

When Culling is Forever

Cross-posted from my blog at Backyard Poultry Magazine! My husband and I have an agreement: When culling or butchering, he does the initial step. I do the rest. If I had to, I would do it all. If my husband … Continue reading

Posted in Farm Updates, Homesteading Articles | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Deep Purple Shepherd’s Stew

There’s really nothing special about it. Some lamb, some carrots, some potatoes and onions, parsley and thyme and garlic. But it’s purple! One of the joys of growing your own food is the delightful variety. My family loves to focus … Continue reading

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Duck Egg Flan

Not a traditional recipe, this easy flan recipe tastes more like crème brulee and satisfies some of the pickiest flan adversaries. This recipe is cross-posted from Backyard Poultry Magazine, where I blog about all things chicken-related. This is my go-to … Continue reading

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Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Unfiltered apple cider vinegar, with the “mother” still in it, is expensive. But you can make it yourself! What you need: Apples Wide-mouth mason jars and rings Cheesecloth A warm location Sugar and/or storebought ACV to speed up the process, … Continue reading

Posted in Homesteading Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments
Yes, MY NAME IS jo

People always ask what Jo is short for. Short answer:Jo.

Finch Lee

Creating. Growing. Sharing.

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Writer. Teacher. Potter. VisDare Creator.

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Tired of fake reviews? We are too.

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Get outta my head!

A great WordPress.com site

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Just Add Blue

She Writes With Love

Where happy endings live and love thrives...

A.D.Trosper

Ruler of the world inside my head

Pictures! | Ames Family Farm

Category Archives: Pictures!

What are GMOs?

What are GMOs? Are you avoiding them because someone said they’re bad, or do you actually know what they entail? The Issue of Misinformation Did you know you can now buy GMO-free hummus? When I saw the ad, I gave … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening Articles, Homesteading Articles, Pictures! | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Up?

Almost three years after the blog began, Ames Family Farm is moving into the future. Continue reading

Posted in Farm Updates, Gardening Articles, Homesteading Articles, Pictures! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

It’s Time to Think about Garlic!

I’ve already blogged about one of the easiest crops to grow, Swiss chard. Now here’s the other: garlic. Cultivated since ancient times, garlic receives mention in the Book of Numbers in the Old Testament. Many cultures developed their own varieties, … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening Articles, Pictures! | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blue Jade Corn

Today I arrived back from my vacation, and harvested my Blue Jade corn. I was worried that my corn would pass its prime while I was in Idaho, and it did. It was still edible, but a bit chewy and … Continue reading

Posted in Farm Updates, Gardening Articles, Pictures! | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

My $200 Chicken Coop

They call it chicken math. It’s basically the justification chicken lovers use when they buy more chicks. How many straight run chicks should you buy if you want eight laying hens? How much room do you need? Two square feet … Continue reading

Posted in Homesteading Articles, Pictures! | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Three Days of Rain

We don’t get rain very often, so we sure welcome it.  As long as the ambient temperature is over 38 degrees, the seedlings stay outside and soak up the nitrogen.  Some of my plants have doubled in the past three … Continue reading

Posted in Farm Updates, Pictures! | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ducks in the Water

Today, my husband worked on the sprinklers.  He didn’t quite get them going, but the ducks sure enjoyed the process.

Posted in Farm Updates, Pictures! | Tagged , | Leave a comment
Yes, MY NAME IS jo

People always ask what Jo is short for. Short answer:Jo.

Finch Lee

Creating. Growing. Sharing.

Angela Goff

Writer. Teacher. Potter. VisDare Creator.

Amazon Alert: Your Guide to Unethical Authors

Tired of fake reviews? We are too.

T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Blog

A new family-friendly sci-fi, fantasy, or horror story every Monday.

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The Last Krystallos

Its those silly dreams that keep us alive...

CommuniCATE Resources for Writers

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Cubic Scats

a smorgasbord of Northcentric nonsense

Heftyjournie

Welcome! You will have a journey, when you read through these posts.

Voracious Reader

There are never enough books!

Rural Spin

Retro Living in a Modern World. Naturally Sustainable Skills in City and Country

Shutterworks Photoblog

Where Imagination And Technology Collide

Get outta my head!

A great WordPress.com site

Blue Harvest Creative

Just Add Blue

She Writes With Love

Where happy endings live and love thrives...

A.D.Trosper

Ruler of the world inside my head

food | Ames Family Farm

Tag Archives: food

What are GMOs?

What are GMOs? Are you avoiding them because someone said they’re bad, or do you actually know what they entail? The Issue of Misinformation Did you know you can now buy GMO-free hummus? When I saw the ad, I gave … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening Articles, Homesteading Articles, Pictures! | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Weekly Garden Pic: Spring Garlic

Pushing its way through the thick straw mulch, my garlic rests safely beneath a chicken-proof barrier.

Posted in Farm Updates, Pictures! | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Yes, MY NAME IS jo

People always ask what Jo is short for. Short answer:Jo.

Finch Lee

Creating. Growing. Sharing.

Angela Goff

Writer. Teacher. Potter. VisDare Creator.

Amazon Alert: Your Guide to Unethical Authors

Tired of fake reviews? We are too.

T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Blog

A new family-friendly sci-fi, fantasy, or horror story every Monday.

The Freelance History Writer

All things History

Brian R. Luedtke

Madness is the written word left unfinished - A blog about fiction and writing theory

The Last Krystallos

Its those silly dreams that keep us alive...

CommuniCATE Resources for Writers

Empowering, Encouraging and Equipping Writers

Cubic Scats

a smorgasbord of Northcentric nonsense

Heftyjournie

Welcome! You will have a journey, when you read through these posts.

Voracious Reader

There are never enough books!

Rural Spin

Retro Living in a Modern World. Naturally Sustainable Skills in City and Country

Shutterworks Photoblog

Where Imagination And Technology Collide

Get outta my head!

A great WordPress.com site

Blue Harvest Creative

Just Add Blue

She Writes With Love

Where happy endings live and love thrives...

A.D.Trosper

Ruler of the world inside my head

GMOs | Ames Family Farm

Tag Archives: GMOs

What are GMOs?

What are GMOs? Are you avoiding them because someone said they’re bad, or do you actually know what they entail? The Issue of Misinformation Did you know you can now buy GMO-free hummus? When I saw the ad, I gave … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening Articles, Homesteading Articles, Pictures! | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s the Big Deal about Heirlooms?

Each year, I see the sales ads: Heirloom tomatoes on sale, only $2.99/lb.  Customers flock to them.  The pictures show huge, lumpy, full-color tomatoes instead of the common round red variety.  Whole Foods staffs the produce department with sales people … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening Articles, Homesteading Articles | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments
Yes, MY NAME IS jo

People always ask what Jo is short for. Short answer:Jo.

Finch Lee

Creating. Growing. Sharing.

Angela Goff

Writer. Teacher. Potter. VisDare Creator.

Amazon Alert: Your Guide to Unethical Authors

Tired of fake reviews? We are too.

T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Blog

A new family-friendly sci-fi, fantasy, or horror story every Monday.

The Freelance History Writer

All things History

Brian R. Luedtke

Madness is the written word left unfinished - A blog about fiction and writing theory

The Last Krystallos

Its those silly dreams that keep us alive...

CommuniCATE Resources for Writers

Empowering, Encouraging and Equipping Writers

Cubic Scats

a smorgasbord of Northcentric nonsense

Heftyjournie

Welcome! You will have a journey, when you read through these posts.

Voracious Reader

There are never enough books!

Rural Spin

Retro Living in a Modern World. Naturally Sustainable Skills in City and Country

Shutterworks Photoblog

Where Imagination And Technology Collide

Get outta my head!

A great WordPress.com site

Blue Harvest Creative

Just Add Blue

She Writes With Love

Where happy endings live and love thrives...

A.D.Trosper

Ruler of the world inside my head