Building a Whizbang Tub-Style Chicken Plucker

If you've ever processed a bird at home, I'm sure you agree: the de-feathering process can be time-consuming, messy pain in the ass. Even though at time of writing, I've processed a relatively small number of birds, I still cringe at the thought of plucking one more chicken by hand. Or, almost as bad, having to clean up the feather storm from our "Power Plucker" ...
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Making room for a new fridge

The refrigerator that came with our house was, for a long time a detriment to our way of life. There was a weird condensation leak that I needed to put a dish under, the freezer was on top and it was tiny. Last June 13 (2015), we pulled the trigger on prepping the kitchen for a new refrigerator. When the house was built in 1956, I’m sure the tiny refrigerator was sufficient. W...
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Get rid of ants overnight – Pinterest FTW!

Trying to make things you see on Pinterest can be pretty hit or miss. There are lots of interesting ideas for pest control, and most of them look really good - take a look at our 'Pest Control' board for yourself. .gallery-slider { overflow: hidden; width: 800px; height: 450px; } #gallery-1 { overflow: visible } #gallery-1 .gallery-thumbs ul, #gallery-1 .gallery-thumbs ul ...
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Fodder Update: Adding clover sprouts

We recently started growing fodder, or sprouted seeds, to supplement the feed for our chickens and turkeys. Its been going well so far, and the results have been very rewarding. Every morning I pull out 6 lbs of fresh sprouted grains to feed our birds, and in return egg quality has gotten noticeably better. Yolks seem to be richer in color, and the whites are denser and les...
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Food for food: our hydroponic fodder system

In an effort to improve the feed for our chickens and turkeys, and cut feed costs, we've decided to grow hydroponic fodder. Fodder is basically sprouted grains, and we're growing ours in irrigated trays without soil. In addition to increasing in weight by simply adding water, the activity of sprouting makes more of the nutrients within the seed available, so it seemed like ...
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Getting started canning

Before this year, I had never canned anything. The process seemed complex, and like a lot of work. That, and we didn't have any food to put in a can, until our hard work in the garden started to pay off. Once it was harvest time though, the kitchen was quickly flooded with much more fresh produce than we can eat, and we had to do something quick. We started preserving our c...
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Simple, Incredible Spicy IPA Pickles

If you like pickles, you need to try this recipe. Our cucumber plants are producing like crazy right now, leaving us with tons of cucumbers to eat or store. I just happened across Imgur user usernameisslreadytaken's post, here, and since the timing couldn't be better, decided to give these spicy IPA pickles a try. The brine mixture will fill about 6 pint-s...
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Building simple raised planter beds

Once we got everything going in the large planter beds, we realized quickly that we were going to need more space for vining things. The cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and the like were all going to need way more space. Since we built the initial beds with a good amount of space in between, we were able to add the lower beds right in between. They are a more simple design and buil...
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Cheap and easy: Hog panel trellises

We constructed our lower beds with the intention of growing our plants vertically, to make better use of the space and to fit more varieties of plants. After the effort of threading 1/4" wire for trellis on the upper beds, I decided the lower trellis would need something simple and fool-proof. It would have to be strong to support heavy fruit, but easy to dismantle and remo...
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Building the road- Fruit Tree Alley

When we bought our property in February 2014, we almost immediately started planting our Fruit Tree Alley. The plan was to build a road the length of the backyard in between the trees. This would (eventually) allow for easy access to the chicken coop and to the planter beds (the planter beds are featured briefly in this post). The road will also serve as extra parking or space ...
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