We are giving away 2 tickets to the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, PA this month! Our geese have randomly selected one lucky winner to attend for free next weekend and that winner is... drum roll please...
Erin said, "Glad to have found your page! Mother Earth News fair is my "vacation" this year. Tickets would be awesome!"
Well, my new friend, I certainly hope you enjoy this event and learn 10 new things before you come home again.
Thank you all for playing, and for liking us on the Facebook. We wish you luck on future drawings!
Seven Springs, PA: September 20 - 22
Wow! there are so many workshops I want to sign up for this year! Joel Salatin and his son of Polyface Farm will be giving several workshops; American Livestock Breed Conservancy is giving a few (heritage rabbits!!); Managing Your Homegrown Food Supply
, Financing Our Foodshed: Growing local food with slow money
; Mushrooms for Fun, Profit and Companion Planting
... Pennsylvania Schedule and Program Guide for 2013
OK, I could seriously go on for ages!
These tickets are for the full 3 days so go camp-out nearby for a long end-of-summer weekend or give it a go to book at the resort because it's really a lovely place.
Today I'm offering 2 tickets to this awesome learning experience. Here's what you need to do: like us on Facebook and leave me a comment here on this blog post before September 8th, 2pm EST.
Yep. That's it. You don't have to yodel, do bird calls, or show me your best yoga inversion.
Winners will be randomly drawn from the feed bowl by our very own Moose Manor Geese. Be sure to leave your email address in the appropriate comment field on this post so I can contact you for further delivery information (this info is totally between you, me, and the geese - but I'll warn you that the ducks are pretty nosey).
Sugar Cane on Flickr by c.mcbrien
Did you know that the bags of sugar you’re buying at the grocery store can be made from two vastly different plants? They taste about the same in your coffee but they cook up differently. And that’s not the only reason to be certain that your granulated sugar is pure cane sugar and not made from sugar beets…
Since 2008, all North American granulated sugar, except cane sugar, is made with GMOs. Sugar beets are primarily controlled by Monsanto and are a Round-up Ready
seed. Scientists have not yet made genetic modifications to sugar cane so you can avoid the GMO’s in your sugar by checking that your label indicates that the product is made from sugar cane.
Current labeling law doesn't require a cane or beet designation on sugar and there are only a few large producers who are labeling their sugar with the vegetable source as pure cane: C&H, Domino, and Dixie Crystals are a few notable brands. While some producers are letting consumers know that they’re not using sugar beets to create their product, other refiners decline for various reasons.
For store brands the primary reason is simple: they don’t produce the sugar and they base the chosen refinery on commodity price... so the cheapest supplier wins the store branding. If beet sugar is cheaper that’s what goes in the bag, if cane sugar happens to be less expensive the following week then that’ll be bagged up instead. It's totally random so the stores just can’t say on the label which refined sugar it contains from one bag to the next.
Miriam Morgan at the San Francisco Chronicle did a blind taste test
just to see if average folks could tell the difference between beet sugar and cane sugar. There appears to be an overwhelming response that cane sugar tastes better. So whether or not you care about genetically modified foods, you might still care about flavor.
But I encourage you to do a blind taste test of your own. Decided that you really prefer the beet sugar? Beets are super easy to grow so get some non-GMO seeds and get them started in your garden... here’s how to make your own beet sugar:
Sweetheart Blue Cochin Hen
Hogs? Certain breeds of chickens - you bet!
Let me tell you something about poultry... chickens will eat a lot more grain than ducks and ducks will eat more than geese when they have access to pasture. Some chickens can be pigs.
But recently, I noticed a serious uptick in grain consumption. Mind you, I'm raising a few turkeys for our Thanksgiving meal, several guinea fowl, and I have about twice as many juvenile chickens out there right now as "on staff" layer hens so I, naturally, thought that those babies (and those dang turkeys) were seriously gobbling up the chicken chow. I would fill all the bowls each morning and when I returned in the late afternoon the bowls were licked clean. The most surprising thing was that when I came into the henyard with the feed bucket I was mobbed by starving birds.
I thought... wow! that's over 25lbs of feed just in the morning, but I put out an extra tray of kibble for them.
Things are finally beginning to slow down a tiny bit here since breeding season is officially over this week. I can once again find a few moments to enjoy my tiny farm. The weather is absolutely perfect this morning... sunny, 68*, gentle breeze. Not like any other August I've ever experienced in Southern Maryland!
Enjoy the rest of your summer! Here's a quick video of my Sunday morning:
This year we embarked on our first bee adventure. We bought 2 complete hives and one package of Carniolan bees from our good friends at AzureB in Marbury, MD
. My MainSqueeze MooseHerder built these beautiful hive stands. The single leg makes it easier to keep out hive pests like ants and beetles by giving them only one route which we can guard by wrapping it with tape (sticky side out) and liberally applying cinnamon at the base. They're also tall enough to make it comfortable to manage the bees with out a lot of bending and, most importantly, to keep skunks from scratching and eating bees at night.
We also ordered a nuc of Russian Bee's from Pristine Valley Farms in Harford County, MD
in order to try out two different races of bee's and see which overwinters better. Eventually, I suspect we'll end up with just one race and we understand that there's a possibility that it will be a hybrid of the two. All I really care about is making sure I have strong, healthy bees that are sustainable without chemicals and thrive in my specific ecosystem.
Here's the photojournal of our recent hive inspection to see how all the ladies have been doing so far:
My twin cousins Chase & Carley are participating a class project called “Flat Stanley”. Originally a 1964 children's book written by Jeff Brown, Stanley Lambchop’s adventures were the inspiration for the Flat Stanley Project, launched in 1994 by Dale Hubert of Ontario, Canada. It’s similar to the old Pen Pal Program but with a fun new twist.
As described on the site
: “The basic principle of The Flat Stanley Project is to connect your child, student or classroom with other children or classrooms participating in the Project by sending out "flat" visitors, created by the children, through the mail. Kids then talk about, track, and write about their flat character's journey and adventures.”
This is also a great way for kids to understand, through their connections with friends and family, the world around them - or at least their own motherland - and interesting spots in a loved-one's hometown (not everyone lives in a capital city and obscure might be far more intriguing!).
So Miss Carley chose me to be the recipient of her Flat Stanley so that I could show him around DC and send back photos of all the adventures that Stanley and I had while he was here. I immediately got on the horn and called up my FoodNewsie
and he met me downtown after work with camera in hand to make sure Stanley and I didn't get into too much trouble as we gallivanted around our Nation’s Capital - the 3 of us would roam as far our little feet could carry us in a few hours before dark.
It should be noted that Stanley was a quiet and considerate guest and I enjoyed spending time free-ranging all over DC taking fun pictures and having a treat from the ice cream truck on a warm spring evening. Here’s our story along with a brief history of DC:
Reilly at 8 weeks
After putting in a request to Wrights English Shepherds and waiting over a year for her, Miss Reilly the Farm-Pup has arrived! She's a tri-color girl with interesting markings and some really cute freckles on her snout. Born on a horse ranch in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia, she and her sister, Korie, came home with me this past Saturday. Korie is a very pretty clear-sable color with a nice blaze on her forehead and a bossy attitude to go with it! She'll be going to live and work on Kelley Creek Farms in Birmingham, AL where she'll be managing horses, chickens and geese... we will keep up with her activities in the blogosphere.
While Flynn The Wonder Moose Mastiff girl has been a very good protector here and she makes her rounds of the fencelines like a good guardian should. However, I'm very excited to have a traditional farm dog to help me work the livestock and look forward to doing some farm-trials herding ducks with Reilly also. I know that she'll very quickly become an indispensable part of getting the work done around the home-place!
The girls together their first week at the farm:
I'll be there peddling ducklings, hatching eggs, and anything else I can shove into the Subaru. My friend Erin Moshier sent this great information about her swap. Don't miss out!
Hi there, peeps.
Now that we're seeing some warmer days, the farm animals are having babies and eggs are fertile and most breeders are hatching like crazy. Spring is here! Our spring swap meet has been scheduled for Saturday, June 8th 2013 http://mdpoultryswap.blogspot.com/
Along with the Huge sales area filled anything farm related, homemade, handcrafted, used, recycled, vintage, we will also have fun stuff for the whole family. Kids will enjoy pony rides, a poultry show, the moon bounce, ice cream and aisles of bunnies, sheep, goats, peafowl, chickens, baby chicks, turkeys and more. We will also have a pig roast, concession stand and a live bluegrass band playing from 10-2.
Anyone is welcome to participate as a vendor. It's a $15 flat fee to sell. There is no registration necessary but, there are a few regulations regarding the sale of livestock. Please check with our website for more info! Show up before 7:30 with your tables/chairs/canopy or just tail gate with you items. Folks selling poultry with 5 birds or less can sell for free.
Vendors: Please contact me with what you are planning on selling so I can compile THE LIST in which I use for advertising purposes.
New this year: We are now charging $2 per person for admission. Kids 17 and under are free. Due to us getting bigger, we are now in need of traffic control as well as parking attendants and this helps to cover those costs along with logistics, entertainment, advertising and kid's activities. I hope you understand. Camping is always free for swap goers (shoppers and vendors)
Also new this year: On Father's Day weekend, we will be hosting "Homesteading Days." This weekend will be filled with seminars featuring many aspects of sustainable living. Learn about goat soap making, canning, bread making, dutch oven cooking, harvesting rabbits, poultry processing, wine making, gardening and composting and we will have a seminar on "prepping." Experts in their field will be traveling to Green Hill Farm to share their knowledge and send us home with some goodies.
Please see our website for pricing and how to attend. Prices vary due to equipment needed and cost of googie bags. There will be free camping during that weekend for seminar goers.. so feel free to help in the garden, help feed the animals in the morning or just relax. You can build a fire and cook outdoors and just enjoy the day. http://mdhomestead.blogspot.com/
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask,
Green Hill Farm
5329 Mondell Rd.
Sharpsburg, MD. 21782