Snow Day Egg Sandwiches

A few years ago Jim and I set out to build a chicken house together. The house is designed to be mobile. Since our chickens have free range of the yard and garden, the house remains stationary (far too close to the house, and I find it worrisome that I no longer can tell whether…

Lavender and Laura Ingalls

It has been so cold the last couple weeks, and everything I do seems to be an attempt to stave off the chill. The chickens are drowning in straw. Despite the fact that I purchased an expensive warmer for their waterer, I still check it several times a day to make sure they have clean,…

Easier than Apple Pie

Each year the high school FFA (Future Farmers of America) organization sells boxes of fruit as a fundraiser. I was in FFA when I was young, and I always loved the day the fruit arrived in mid-December. We all piled into the cold shop, wearing Carhart coats and thick gloves. The air smelled like apples…

Beets in Winter

In the summer, I only have to walk a few feet in my backyard to find something interesting to look at: a new sprout, a dragonfly, a fresh turd from a strange animal. I love the cold and snow, but there’s only so much joy I can glean from a dead Queen Anne’s Lace bud…

Time to Order Seeds

It’s time to order seeds. My mother gave me The Whole Seed Catalog for Christmas this year, and looking through it continues to be one of my favorite holiday traditions. My husband and I get cozy on the couch and go through the pages with highlighters like a couple of nerds. This year we have…

Thistle and Black-Eyed Peas

I know a woman who once spotted a beautiful plant alongside a country road,¬†the stalks topped with¬†purplish-pink flowers and lined with short, thin thorns. She drove home, grabbed a shovel and a pair of gloves, and returned to dig up the beast. She planted it in her front flower bed, smack dab in the middle,…