Raised Bed Gardening Plans

Raised Bed Gardening: Winter Planning

Maine has a short growing season and there are many methods gardeners can use to extend the days to get the most of your hard gardening work. As a long-time small gardener and grandchild of Maine small farmers I have taken all these methods into consideration. With an eye on budget and ease of construction and use I have decided to construct a complex raised bed gardening system this spring. Winter Planning Tips How much room do you have that is in full sun? The answer to this question is the key to what plants to choose, how large your beds will be and bed {read more}

garden 2017

Top 4 New Garden Varieties for 2017

Top 4 New Garden Varieties for 2017 is by Amanda Pelletier, Alton, Maine In the depth of a Maine winter there is nothing better than kicking back by the woodstove with a hot coffee while flipping through garden catalogues. If this isn’t your dream—you might be on the wrong website. To kick off this cozy hobby, I’d like to offer up my list of my favorite new garden varieties for 2017. Opal Creek Snap Peas I’d like to introduce Opal Creek Snap Peas sold right in Maine at Pine Tree Seeds. These pale yellow pods will pop out and holler to {read more}

get more eggs in winter

Get More Eggs in Winter with Light and Diet

Get More Eggs in Winter with Light and Diet is by Amanda Pelletier, Alton, Maine If you’re chickens are anything like mine they go on vacation near the winter solstice. For a week before and a week after they will reduce egg output due to the shortening of daylight and colder temperatures as Maine plunges into the heart of winter. There are many measures an avid chicken owner can undertake to get more eggs in winter. How Many Eggs Does a Chicken Lay? The first thing to understand to get more eggs in winter is chickens are hard working creatures. Your average year old {read more}

small maine farm selling beef

Maine Farm Selling Grassfed Beef: Best Practices

Maine Farm Selling Grassfed Beef: Best Practices is By Kassie Dwyer, Eden Farm, Athens, ME Running a Maine farm selling grassfed beef effectively takes planning, practice, and perhaps most of all trial and error.  You must create a product that is valuable to the consumer and devise a practical way to get it to them. As a farmer, you have options for distributing your product: Farm stand Farm store Direct purchases Meeting customers locally Farmer’s markets Mail order Online sales  Local stores Restaurants The Best Practices on our Maine Farm Selling Grassfed Beef . . . Here in Eden, we rely on {read more}

domestic duck health resources

Duck Health Resources to Keep a Happy Flock

Duck Health Resources to Keep a Happy Flock is by Amanda Pelletier, Alton, Maine Reputable and Educational Duck Health Resources Ducks are adorable and fun to watch waddle around your homestead. To keep them healthy and happy, make sure you know how to care for them if they become ill. Here is a list of resources and information of duck health resources. Safety of Duck and Goose (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Duck_&_Goose_from_Farm_to_Table/index.asp) Consumer Education and Information, Food and Safety Inspection Service, USDA U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (http://www.poultryegg.org) A source of information on the poultry industry in general, education, food safety, etc. Poultry Science Association. (http://www.poultryscience.org) The {read more}

hatching turkey eggs at home

Best Homestead Turkeys: An Introduction

Best Homestead Turkeys: An Introduction is by Amanda Pelletier, Alton, Maine The best homestead turkeys are easy to keep, care for, breed and hatch. They are very friendly, social birds who get along well with most farm animals and pets. When hatched on premises and handled from a young age by their future primary care giver they will stay close to home and do not require fencing when you are out and about in the yard. Turkeys are curious creatures who enjoy exploring the yard, investigating new scents, and greeting incoming visitors. If you are planning to buy fertile hatching eggs, you’ll {read more}

All Season DIY Poultry Coop insulation in wall and nesting boxes

DIY Nesting Box: Bucket Board

DIY Nesting Box: Bucket Board is by Amanda Pelletier, Alton, ME Above is a photo of two light colored fluffed up hens our family hatched last year. The photobomber was hatched just this summer and hasn’t laid any eggs yet. Behind the photobomber hen is a line of rectangular buckets with plastic handles—my DIY Nesting Box project. Buckets like these are very common. They can be picked up at most large food service outfits and grocery stores. We can get them locally at the WalMart deli for $1.00 each (just go over to your local deli and ask) or at a bakery {read more}

caring for ducks in winter

Caring for Ducks in Winter

Ducks, like any other homestead serving animal, require work and dedication. Caring for ducks in winter is no cake walk. Their wellbeing and survival through the brutal winter months depends on your ongoing daily care. The proper use of feeding methods as described in this article can improve and simplify that care. If you are gone for extended periods in the winter months you will need someone to come care for your ducks. Leaving ducks without access to fresh, unfrozen food and water with temperatures below zero can cause low egg production, poor weight gain, weight loss or death. Facts I Faced {read more}

Indian Runner Duckling Hatching

Indian Runner Duck Eggs: Incubate at Home

Indian Runner Duck Eggs: Incubate at Home is by Amanda Pelletier, Alton, Maine Indian runner duck eggs are easy to come by in rural areas with local farming communities. They are popular ducks and prolific egg layers. My family located, hatched and raised a dozen mixed breed indian runner ducks this summer. We listed a “looking for free fertile duck eggs” post on a local poultry group’s Facebook page and located 14 free eggs the following week only ten miles from our home. Below is a complete guide to successfully hatching your own brood. Quick Indian Runner Hatching Facts: Incubation Period: 28-29 days {read more}

Randall Lineback

Randall Lineback on the Homestead

By Kassie Dwyer, Eden Farm, Athens, ME Heritage breeds are unique, historical breeds of livestock that generally meet homestead needs more effectively.  I’d love to share with you my absolute favorite breed of heritage cattle: the Randall Lineback.  While modern breeds of cattle like the popular Angus and Holstein certainly have their place on the homestead (the majority of my own herd is purebred Angus or Angus influenced), their modern traits can leave something to be desired.  Or maybe, you don’t want a whole herd, but just a cow or two that can provide both milk and meat for your family. You have probably {read more}