Pioneer Memories – South Dakota Style

Before migrating out to southern California, my grandmothers side of the family pioneered their way around the farmland of South Dakota. That wasn’t an easy life. In the photos that follow, you will see my great grandfather out on the farm as well as two of my great great grandmothers and even my great great grand uncle.

My great grandfather and his team of horses out on the farm in Mitchell, South Dakota.

Out on the farm in Mitchell, South Dakota stands my great grandfather with his team of horses.


Continue reading

Spring Planting: What’s Being Planted In Your Garden?

If you haven’t started already, now is the perfect time to be preparing for your spring garden.

Here’s a list of some of the things we’re planting in our garden…

English: Tomato plants sprouted from seeds. Se...
Image via Wikipedia
  • peas
  • a variety of herbs
  • a variety of lettuce
  • string beans
  • strawberries
  • garlic
  • pinto beans
  • a variety of tomatoes
  • corn
  • a variety of peppers
  • a variety of squash
  • a variety of cucumbers
  • broccoli
  • cabbage

In my opinion the best way to plant seeds is to start them indoors. A great way to do that is to use a Jiffy Greenhouse. You simply get the kit, water the Peat Pellets, plant the seeds, and watch them grow! Then, when spring arrives you’ll have a head start on your garden.

If you don’t want to buy anything, there are many ways to make homemade pots for your seeds. Gardenbetty.com has some great articles showing how to create earth friendly, biodegradable seed pots from things you might otherwise throw away. Make sure to check out her articles on making newspaper pots and eggshell pots. I’ve tried them and they work great. My corn is loving their eggshell starters.

What are you planting in your spring garden? Let us know by leaving a comment…

Made in USA Composter

A relative recently picked up a ComposTumbler from an estate sale for only $35 and then sold it to us for the same price! What a deal! I think our new ComposTumbler will be a great compliment to our other compost piles and our newly built in-ground vermicomposter.

I’m excited to see if the ComposTumbler can really produce usable compost in as little as 4 to 6 weeks, and what’s even better, it’s Made in the USA!

What kind of composting do you do? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Can Your Phone Help You Around The Homestead?

My Android Phone

Image by Mark Lincoln via Flickr

Wouldn’t it be great to organize your busy life and keep track of all the important things that you need to do and remember? Wouldn’t it also be great to have a journal or a notepad with you at all times so that you could keep a list of items you find around your home or farm that require attention, without lugging around a pencil and paper? I mean, a list will probably just end up misplaced anyhow right? What if you could collect and organize all of your important information so that you always had it at your fingertips no matter where you were? Well guess what, just grab your smartphone or tablet because you can do all that and more with one small application. It’s even free!

So what application do I need?

Continue reading

How Do You Chop Your Firewood?

253/365 [chopping wood]

Image by Difei Li via Flickr

As the seasons change and the air temperatures plummet, those of us with pot belly stoves or wood burning fireplaces find ourselves digging into our firewood supply and heating our homes with nice cozy fires. It not only saves a few bucks on the monthly heating bill, but it just feels right.

So this begs the real question…

How do you chop your firewood?

Buying pre-cut wood
Do you buy your firewood already cut and split? This is fine as long as you have a few hundred dollars a year to spend restocking your firewood supply. Hopefully you’re buying it by the cord from a firewood dealer and not by the armful at the supermarket. That can be expensive!

Continue reading

Apples, Apples, And More Apples!

A heaping stack of freshly picked Granny Smith green apples awaits processing
Granny Smith Apples

We have some relatives that have a Granny Smith apple tree that does nothing but produce fruit by the bushel. Recently, while shooting some family portraits, my relatives were kind enough to send me home with some so I ended up bringing home a bushel if not two!

Can you ever have too many apples?

Continue reading

The Brave Little Chickens

Last month, in an article titled, The Chicken and the Beast, I wrote about our 75lb Labrador Daisie and her strange friendship with our hens. Now, I’ve got video to back up my story!

If you’re having trouble viewing the embedded video while using Internet Explorer, you can either try viewing this page with a different browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, or you can view the video directly on YouTube.

I hope you enjoyed the video of Daisie sharing her food with the chickens. This is not a rare sight around here. The chickens try and share her meal every chance they get. I really think these hens are part pig!

What odd relationships do your pets have? Leave a comment and let us know.