A dusting of snow

Like so many in Wisconsin and Minnesota, I woke to snow this morning and quickly bundled up for morning chores. I pulled up thermals and pulled on my purple balaclava, and braced myself for the cold. What a wonderful surprise it was to open the door to a gentle daybreak. It was calm and felt absolutely balmy.
There was barely a quarter inch of snow on the ground as I headed up the short hill to the tractor. The snow was already dripping down the windshield facing into the sun, and the diesel started right up. The dogs played tug-of-war with a stick as I speared bales and slowly moved them to a distant pasture, and i could hear the rooster crowing from within the coop. I’ve already fed and watered them, but I’ll wait until a few hens have laid eggs in the nest boxes before letting the small flock range the farm for the day.
Now to bake bread.

Deep Roots Radio w Jim French, rancher and ag advisor to Oxfam America

Connecting the dots between what we eat and how its grown

A long-time Kansas rancher, Jim French is Senior Advocacy Advisor for Agriculture to Oxfam America. He has traveled the world in Oxfam’s efforts to work with local communities to create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and social injustice.
Jim has come to believe that you must meet people where they are in their efforts, tap their local traditions and support their goals for prosperity. It’s not about exporting US agricultural products to foreign countries, but rather supporter their abilities to boost their local food production and economies.
I hope you enjoy this interview. For more information about Oxfam, visit www.oxfamamerica.org.

Podcast: Deep Roots Radio w John Jeavons, author, educator, eco-farm guru

Climate change, intensifying droughts, depleted soils, population growth – how will people feed themselves? In this Deep Roots Radio interview, John Jeavons describes a solution – Biointensive Mini-farming methods now at work in 151 countries.

Continue reading

Podcast: March Hungry Turtle Weekend of seed starting, birding, maple syrup-making/cooking

In this Deep Roots Radio show, we chat about the March 13 and 14 Hungry Turtle Weekend in Amery, Wisconsin. It’s a fun-filled event complete with music and book signings as well as a first-ever maple cook-off MC’d by yours truly. Sign up, and use the code “110Maple” to get … Continue reading

Morning break after a three-dog night

It hit -28 last night at Bull Brook Keep, and that’s without taking windchill into account. After pulling on my flap-earred hat, long-johns and heavy jacket, I fed and watered the chickens and fully expected to find frozen eggs in the nest boxes. Today’s harvest was small and cold, but … Continue reading

Feb. 21, 9-9:30AM Central -live with The Nourished Kitchen’s Jennifer McGruther. Getting to traditional cooking

I get it: you want to eat healthy foods. You want to cook delicious meals. You want to get back to what’s real, and you want to do it yourself! But you’re apprehensive about where to start. And you wonder if you’ll spend the rest of your life in the … Continue reading

Feb. 14, 2015, 9:00-9:30AM CT – live – the movement to take back our lives

Why all these DIY classes in “how to build this,” “how to get better gas mileage,” “how to be energy independent,” how to can and how to freeze, how to cook and how to grow your own food? Is it only about unleashing our inner creative selves or is there more?
Are we, as a society striving to relearn how to regain command of our own lives?
Yup, we’re into reflection and practical how-to’s this morning on Deep Roots Radio.
Tune in.

What: Deep Roots Radio on “taking back our lives”
When: Today, Feb. 14, 2015, 9:00-9:30AM Central
Where: Broadcast and streamed live at WPCA Radio 93.1FM, www.wpcaradio.org

Hope you’ll tune in.


The timekeeper – a noisy video

Our free-range chickens are built to forage for themselves

Our free-range chickens are built to forage for themselves

I’m typing away at my desk and then it comes, the crowing that says, “Hey, it’s 11 AM. There are things to do.”
My free range chickens seem to be thriving in the cold and snow. They peck at any patch of dirt or brittle grass blade they find, which is why they love to hang out under my office window. In addition to being out of the wind and facing into the sun, they love scratching through, and nestling into, the mulch around the bushes. It makes for happy hens, and a very vocal rooster.

Stir Fry – a with twist

It was what was in the fridge: organic brown rice, half an onion, butternut squash-kale kimchi, and eggs fresh from from the coop. I stirred the egg in hot butter over medium heat till it was just set. I moved this to a bowl. Then it was chopped onion into … Continue reading

Chickens and apples. Not a recipe.

Our free-range chickens are built to forage for themselves

Our free-range chickens are built to forage for themselves

No, this isn’t a recipe for chickens stewed with sautéed apples. (Though that does sound like something I’ll try.) It’s a very short video demonstrating just how hardy free-range chickens can be. Because our chickens are breeds that forage for themselves, and are well suited to our cold winters, they happily leave their coop in the mornings and begin searching for any blade of grass or dried fruit that might be exposed in the snow. These happy hens get lots of natural sugars and fiber from apples I pull out of storage. These are wild apples grown without any type of chemical. (When just picked in the fall, I make cauldrons of applesauce and rich apple butter.)
Our small flock get sun and exercise every day (as well as fresh grain every morning). Dave and I enjoy their antics (I had no idea chickens could be so entertaining), and lots of nutrient-rich eggs.