Farm Fences

As we prepare for winter, it’s time to fix and build farm fences. Here’s an old USDA Farmer Bulletin with sound info on farm fencing.God bless,Bill Michael

Wood Cookstove

This weekend, we found a great deal on a wood cookstove that was still used regularly and in great shape. We loaded the kids in the truck on Friday, and took a ride up into the mountains here to West Jefferson, NC–what a beautiful place! I installed the oven on Saturday and on Sunday, we … Read more

Milking Dexters

Three years ago, we decided to stop milking Jersey cows.  It was partly because of my work schedule, but also partly because of the unnecessary difficulty keeping a quality Jersey bull for breeding and figuring what to do with older cows who were not worth butchering.  We looked into starting a herd of Dexters–and what … Read more

No Need for Curing

It’s common to see farms selling hogs to families, which sales include cured hams and bacon.  I often wonder, “Why?”  First, this greatly increases the price of meat purchases.  Second, it makes no sense in the 21st century. “Curing” meat was a process used to preserve meat in days when there were no refrigerators or freezers.  … Read more

Improving Clay Soil

Here in NC, we have heavy clay soil that’s’ not very deep.  Two and a half feet down is rock, so improving soil is a big deal.  Rather than “deep dig” the gardens, we build them up, deepening the soil by raising the surface.  I’ve been doing this for a decade or so and have … Read more

Old Fashioned Sour Dough Bread Starter

If you’re interested in making bread at home, the best bread to start with is an old fashioned sour dough.  It is fairly simple to make and uses only a few basic ingredients.  Because it is made in phases, it can be made to fit well into a busy mom’s routine.  It’s slightly tangy flavor … Read more

Give Row Gardening a Chance

Raised-bed gardening is in fashion today,  but I believe they’re overrated.   I’ve planted in rows and in beds, and I think there are myths spread about row gardening that are simply false. The idea in intensive gardening is that building beds with compost gives plants the best soil,  and that intensive gardening reduces weeds between … Read more

Feeding Hens

Hens living on a farm aren’t fed a diet of grain and water.   Birds are “omnivores”, meaning that they eat everything.  On the farm, one of their favorite foods is kitchen scraps.   Mrs.  Michael takes out the leftovers and meat scraps to the hens and they devour them, as you can see in the picture. … Read more