Cast Iron Chronicles: Field Skillet Update

Field Skillet Update

Since we’ve had the new skillets for a couple of weeks now, we wanted to share some initial impressions. While the skillets are definitely lighter than the “standard” cast iron we’ve been using, we’ve noticed that the seasoning (these come pre-seasoned) seems to be wearing off prematurely. Continue reading “Cast Iron Chronicles: Field Skillet Update”

Backyard Bounty: Elderflower Syrup

Elderberry Syrup

It’s that time of year: the delicate and unique fragrance of elderflowers wafts through the air. The creamy yellow-white clusters are now in bloom, heralding the coming purple berries. Having previously tried a remarkable imported elderflower soda, I thought I’d try my hand at making an infused elderflower syrup that could be used to flavor water kefir or create delicious summer cocktails.

First step: pick many elderflowers. The recipe I used calls for a quart jar full of the blossoms. If you’ve seen elderflowers, you know they’re tiny, so that’s a lot of flowers. Fortunately, the bushes have grown large and big clusters of the flowers were within easy reach. The chickens came around when they saw that I had a container in my hand, but all they got were a few unlucky beetles that flew off the flowers. Continue reading “Backyard Bounty: Elderflower Syrup”

Farm Projects: Cooling Off The Coop

Coop Cooling

It’s hot out today. With the heat index, it’s 97 degrees. Sounds like a good day for sitting in an air-conditioned room and taking it easy, right? Yeah, right – it’s the perfect day to add some insulation to the chicken coop to help keep the ladies cool. Happy chickens lay more eggs!

As you know from reading earlier posts, we retrofitted a lofted shed as a chicken coop when we acquired our first chickens. We’ve learned a lot since then and would definitely build our own, rather than try to make a shed work, in the future; that said, the shed wasn’t built with the special features a really good chicken coop incorporates, like excellent ventilation. In addition, the metal roof combined with the very tall loft traps heat. We’ve tried to ameliorate the worst of the heat in past years by employing shade cloth, installing a fan, building a sturdy screen door, cutting in a lot of ventilation, and making sure the ladies have cool water available to them after they’re secured for the night. Continue reading “Farm Projects: Cooling Off The Coop”

Cast Iron Chronicles: The Field Skillets Have Arrived!

Field Skillet Packaging

It’s like Christmas (in June) here: the eagerly-awaited Field Skillets arrived today…in a surprisingly light box!

In an earlier post, we shared why we were looking forward to receiving the new cast iron pans. Now that we have them, we intend to put them to the test and see if they live up to the hype. Here’s what we’ve noticed upon opening the box and taking them out: Continue reading “Cast Iron Chronicles: The Field Skillets Have Arrived!”

Test Yourself: Can You Identify This Insect?

Identify this insect

We often find strange and fascinating bugs out in our pastures, and many times they’re hanging out on the tops of the rabbit tractors. Recently, we saw an interesting insect and it took us a moment to realize what it was because it was smaller than the others of its kind we’ve seen. Do you know what it is?

In case you’re stumped, here are a few hints, courtesy of gardeninsects.com: Continue reading “Test Yourself: Can You Identify This Insect?”