As fall wanes, HOMEGROWN Life contributor Dyan spends time observing and learning from the language of animals on her Maine dairy farm.
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food
Tell us what kind of barns and sheds you prefer for your poulty and farm animals.
Advice on good online plant and animal databases.
Beano, Rancho Cappuccino's resident guard donkey, appears to be experiencing maternal envy. Without a baby of her own, she's taken to borrowing (unasked, of course) the lambs and kids of the sheep and goats she protects.
Choosing from among various heritage breeds can be tough, but finding a breeder can be even tougher. The Society for Preservation of Poultry Antiquities’ Breeders Directory is a resource to make finding reputable chicken breeders easier.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy Heritage has officially defined “heritage chicken.” Find out what a heritage chicken is, learn more about the certification process, and hear — firsthand — what an expert on heritage chickens has to say about pastured poultry and breed selection.
Cotton Patch geese were historically cheap labor for keeping cotton fields clean. They have been used to weed other crops, such as corn and strawberries, too. After making numerous contacts and traveling more than 10,000 miles, Tom Walker found a few gaggles that were fairly representative of the breed. He has carefully selected and maintained these historic weeder geese, saving them from the brink of extinction.
Cole explains the term "dark cutter" as it applies to the effect of stress on meat animals, and eventually, its affect on consumers.
Looking for the perfect horse for on the farm and in the arena? Well, look no further. The Haflinger has it all — size, strength, gentleness and trainability.
This picture will bring a smile to your face and make you think of your own family pet.
Teaching a farm dog — a livestock guard dog — which animals to protect and which animals not to isn't an easy task. Learn about the protector/protectee animal relationships at Rancho Cappuccino, and about how the Rancho guard animals are taught to protect their charges.
It's a challenge to describe the place where I take my livestock when it's time for them to cease being my companions, and to become my product instead. I call Steve's Meats in DeSoto, Kansas, the "packer." And, indeed, when I stopped off there this morning they had about 800 pounds of beef frozen and packed, ready for me to take home. It filled the freezer to the rim.
Cornish cross and heritage chickens are two types of chickens often used for meat. There’s considerable debate about which tastes better, which is easier to raise and which is more “ethical.”
Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch announces the heritage chicken cooking competition. With the right recipe for whole-bird, cut-up, de-boned or barbequed heritage chicken, you could win $1,000. Plus, you'd be contibuting to a worthy cause — promoting heritage breeds.
The winning recipes of the Heritage Chicken Cooking Competition — hosted by Frank Reese of Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch — have been announced! The Grand Prize winner was Ann Knowles of Salina, Kan., with her Baked Chicken a la Tucson. Heritage chicken breeds are an integral component of sustainable farming and add to poultry’s overall genetic diversity, as opposed to industrial chicken breeds that comprise the vast majority of chickens produced in the United States.
Check out this cute video featuring dancing ostrich chicks.
Hints for kidding in the very cold weather.
Check out these photos of some of the animals that attended the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
The best low cost (semi-reliable) options for getting animals and plants onto your homestead!
Members of the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA) are inviting the public to visit their farms and ranches on National Alpaca Farm Days on September 24th and 25th, 2011.
Mara Grunbaum's conversations with and about a hilariously personified "Evolution" provide a running commentary throughout "WTF, Evolution?!" accompanied by really excellent nature photos.
My second visit to the seventh annual Monticello Heritage Harvest Festival.
We can all help to save rare breed genetics for future homesteaders by raising and using these animals ourselves. Furthermore, we can help preserve the animals by sharing their valuable genetics with others.
New baby chicks for our backyard urban chicken flock.
An enthusiastic family helps a rare breed of chickens settle into their new home, thanks to MOTHER EARTH NEWS and American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
We know why we love heritage breed livestock, but why do you?
As antibiotic resistant infections become more prevalent due to antibiotic use in livestock, health advocates turn to the White House for action.
Our experience in living with bears.
Michigan invasive species order takes aim at heritage and Old World hogs.
Fifteen family farms and over 50 restaurants have committed to participation in No Goat Left Behind, a new program developed by Heritage Foods USA.
Check out these photos of some of the animal attendees at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Ilene White Freedman contemplates sharing goat milk with the nursing kid.
Selecting a good potential guardian llama, bringing him home, and introducing him to your stock.
Natural products research firm Compass Naturals predicts shoppers will get savvy; rebel against chemicals, over-packaging, GMOs and animal cruelty; and grow more of their own food.
What are you thankful for this season? Our editors know what they are thankful for, now let's hear from you.
A beginning farmer loses a friend and finds that solitary farming isn't all it's cracked up to be.
That extra hour of sleep was great, but your animals may not think the same thing about that same hour.
Though wolves are commonly misunderstood animals, not all of what you hear is true.
Learn about what goes on at the Heritage Harvest Festival in Virginia and the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania, both held in September.
Over 700 varieties of apples and pears, for $9 each, from Wagon Wheel Orchard, plus the family's crab apple jelly recipe.
With the increase in small-scale farming activities, people are looking not only at backyard poultry but also into raising backyard livestock. This post is about Mary Jane Phifer’s experience with Irish Dexter cattle, a small-sized dual-purpose.
There used to be, from Maine to Georgia and west to the Mississippi river, 20.000 grafted apple varieties. Today, when commercialism is king and the most known apple varieties are the 5 kinds offered in the supermarket those old varieties are worth paying attention to. As with all things around us, diversity is interesting and sustainable.
France puts a premium on preserving its food heritage. Here's one example of that country's many food heritage sites, this one in Brittany.
The next installment of Maddy Harland's blog series on forest gardening. This week how to choose the lower canopy.
Some of the most enduring food heritage sites are those devoted to the basics, eating and drinking.
A sepia photo of a North Carolina family in front of their farmhouse reveals food heritage.
This video slideshow combines photos and video clips of heritage livestock breeds that were present at various MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIRS.
Heritage breed chickens are more nutritious and flavorful than store-bought chicken, but require different cooking techniques. Learn different methods of cooking different age and different breeds of chickens.
The arrival of our first chickens and pigs to the farm, and prepping to head off to my summer internship at Polyface Farm
The third and last of a three part blog on chemical herbicides.
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
Learn how bats can be beneficial for organic farmers, dramatically reducing the need for costly and harmful pesticides.
I am loving my time spent at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington thus far. There are tons of great and interesting people to meet, delicious food, fun and information-packed lectures and demonstrations, and, best of all, adorable anima
A horse trainer once said to me, 'Animals don't think, they just make associations.' I responded to that by saying, 'If making associations is not thinking, then I would have to conclude that I do not think.'
Rachel gets a scare with Daisy the goat - is it bottle jaw or something else? A trip to the vet provides some lessons.
It has been fifteen months since heritage breed hog farmer Mark Baker sued the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to stop the implementation of an invasive species order (ISO). The swine ISO supposedly targeted feral swine but could be applied to any domestic pig not raised in confinement. Baker has yet to have his day in court and it is still not settled when his trial will take place. It is common for lawsuits like this to turn into wars of attrition; the state has virtually unlimited resources while the farmers are bled of theirs over the course of the litigation.
So, what makes a flock of poultry sustainable? What is standard-bred poultry? If you purchase chicks from a hatchery, are they true to the breed? Why does every hatchery sell Rhode Island Reds and they all look different? Why do the Cornish Cross meat chickens have so many problems? Raising standard poultry is the only true way to improve the sustainability of quality local food while preserving the strength of Heritage poultry.
The Department of Natural Resources seeks to fine a family for possession of prohibited swine.
Our mission in preserving food heritage is to research, collect, preserve, and then explain America's food heritage and historic sites likely cannot be done without help. Want to contribute?
Tucked in the pines, this preserved New Jersey food heritage site is where cultivated high bush blueberries were born.
Established in 1879 by an Arab-Israeli family, Abouelafia Bakery continues to make history.
Ancient Florida shell mounds, early days of bar-b-que, and all that.
Heritage breeds are survivors, although some may be in for a very challenging year. The national drought is about to have a huge impact on the American economy and now is the time to plan ahead.
This Thanksgiving consider opting for a pastured turkey instead of a commercially raised bird, and think about buying local Thanksgiving foods, too.
To benefit from the meat of backyard chickens, one must learn to process them. This includes how to kill, scald, pluck, and eviscerate, and then get them into the freezer. This article describes how we are learning to improving this process.
Garlic is resilient, easy-to-grow, highly nutritious, and a natural antibiotic.
While the grinding work of a Romanian subsistence farm isn’t anything that I would choose for myself, there are aspects of the life that are attractive. In particular, the practices that I think of as the circles of life — eating food one has grown oneself, saving seeds, feeding poultry with garden scraps, and then eating their eggs (or them), and preserving a fruit harvest to cement friendships with strangers.
A Chicago food heritage site — a meat-packing plant built in 1925 — becomes a 21st-century, net-zero producer of food.
The past year was a rewarding one for apple discovery, because I potentially found the apple that started my apple search about sixteen years ago — the ‘Harper’s Seedling’ apple.
Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival inspired us to keep at those challenges that frustrate us on the farm.
Jenna Woginrich writes about the beauty of Cold Antler Farm, a small homestead that she shares with Pig, her rabbits Benjamin and Doe and several chickens. Taking care of her animals on cold winter nights is a challenge for Woginrich, but one she gladly accepts armed with a water bottle and affection. Woginrich's modest barn provides shelter for her animals and a useful space to feel at home.
We're getting revved up for winter seed swaps, and planning our tomato plantings to account for all the great tasting events next summer and fall. Find out how to find your own local events, or host your own!