Farm Foraging: Smooth Sumac

Smooth Sumac drupes (berry clusters)

I’m always delighted to discover new wild-growing, useful plants on our property. I still remember the first time I spied small green spheres growing in the trees and wondered what in the world those pungent, citrus-scented globes were – hedge apples? It turns out that they were black walnuts! Lesson learned: never assume that a plant is “just a weed”.

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Slow Food: The Terroir Of Pastured Rooster

Truly “farm to table”: hatched here, raised here, and processed here.

With each chicken egg hatch, around half of the chicks will be males. What to do with all of those cockerels? As we mentioned in an earlier post, you must have a plan for them or it can get real, fast: when cockerels’ hormones kick in, they can become a handful.

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Around The Farm: Weirdly Wonderful Wheel Bugs

Big, beautiful Wheel Bug

One of the really amazing benefits of not using chemicals on our pastures is the great diversity of bug life. While some are breathtaking (Monarchs joyfully flitting about), others are troublesome (Japanese beetles making lace doilies out of leaves). Fortunately, the “pests” have natural predators, like the stately and stealthy Wheel Bug.

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Around The Farm: One Sassy Sunflower

Stop and smell that sunflower…it has a lovely fragrance!

There’s a volunteer sunflower growing close to the duck coop. It was probably a stray seed that the fowl missed, a seed that luckily landed in the damp soil where it wasn’t spotted and then germinated. This sunflower turns its face to the sun in the morning, as if to greet the new day. I like sunflowers, and I especially like the ones that just pop up (seemingly) out of nowhere.

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