New Hens For The Urban Farm

New Rhode Island Red hens added to the urban farmTwo weekends ago we picked up a couple more hens to add to the urban farm. This time we opted for two Rhode Island Reds, and once they’re ready, we’ll introduce them to our three Ameraucana hens.

Egg production already averages between one and two eggs a day with the Ameraucana’s. I’m hoping that the daily egg average will increase to somewhere between two and four eggs, in about six months when the Rhode Island Reds start producing. I’m also hoping that the Rhode Island Reds will continue to lay eggs during the winter when the Ameraucana’s tend to slow way down due to less available daylight.

Here are a few photos of how the Rhode Island Reds looked about two weeks ago when we first brought them home. It’s absolutely amazing how fast they grow and change.

After the first week, their wings and tail-feathers had grown about half an inch. Now, after two weeks, their wings are long enough for the little hens to take short flight, and almost all of their down feathers have been covered up by their exterior feathers. So far, it looks like the Rhode Island Reds will have markings equally as beautiful to the Ameraucana’s.

Do you have chickens? If so, leave a comment and let us know all about them.

Pioneer Memories – Family History

Cottages. Jones Island. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mydans, Carl, photographer. Cottages. Jones Island. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Apr. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>

Here we are with yet another letter written in 1943 by one of my distant cousins, Mary Lee Parker, to her cousin Hazel Bolton whom is also a distant cousin of mine. In this letter, Mary Lee gives a general breakdown of some of the pioneers in her family and their experiences. She also retells the funny story about dish rag stew that we read about in one of her other letters. It must have been told a million times over the years. The loose grammar and spelling mistakes are preserved to help convey the full flavor of the letter.

Wichita, KS
April 30, 1943
Dear Hazel
Goodmorning Hazel, Margaret and Richard for I’m writing the three of you at once. hazel, meet Margaret and Richard; and Margaret, meet Hazel (she is your mother’s cousin Jessi’s daughter) and Richard, Meet both.
I also introduce to you all, this morning Deacon Thomas Parker who is our earliest American Parker ancester. He came to America in 1635 and settled at Reading Mass, twelve miles from Boston. There were thirtyfive of his decendants in The Revolutionary War; twenty seven of them were in the Colonial Wars and at least twenty eight fought at Lexington and Concord; and one was at Bunker Hill.

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Pioneer Memories – The Horse Trade

BPLDC no.: 09_06_000090 Title: Broken Arm, Sio...

Image via Wikipedia

Today we reach back into the genealogy archive and unfold more pioneer memories from the farmlands of Minnesota, as experienced by my great, great, grandmother and her sister. These stories are retold through letters that were written in 1943 by one of my distant cousins, Mary Lee Parker, to her cousin Hazel Bolton. Hazel Bolton is also a distant cousin of mine. Spelling and grammar errors are included in order maintain the full flavor of the stories as they were written.

Witchita, Kansas
March 23, 1943

Dear Hazel,

Do hope you are getting my letters. If it is not too much trouble I mean if you can spare the time will you just drop me a card saying the letters are coming through. This is the third I have written. I do not expect you to write me letter in answere(sp) because I know you are busy.

In thelast(sp) letter were stories of some of Grandmother Smith’s experiences in Wisconsin. This is a continuation of Wisconsin sto — No, pardon these are stories of Minnesota. Your Grandmother Bryan and my Mother were both born in minnesota.

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Genetically Engineered Alfalfa Deregulated

Transferred from http://en.wi...
Image via Wikipedia

With around 23 million acres, alfalfa is the fourth largest field crop grown in the United States, and is the primary forage crop for dairy cattle. Well, earlier this week, the USDA decided to deregulate the once banned genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa without restriction.

GE alfalfa is approved for Spring planting, for the first time since GE alfalfa was banned in 2007 when the US District Court of Northern California ruled that the USDA needed to conduct an environmental impact statement (EIS) in order to analyze the impact that GE alfalfa creates for both organic farmers as well as conventional farmers.

What exactly is genetically engineered alfalfa?

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Pioneer Memories – Dish Rag Stew

Farm woman cooking at stove in kitchen

Have you ever wondered what life must have been like for settlers as they landed in American and tried create a new life for themselves? I’m sure it was exactly like it was depicted in all of those fun-loving episodes of Little House on the Prairie right? Wrong! I bet life on the frontier was a good thousand times more difficult then Hollywood has ever led us to believe. If we just had time machines we could go back and check, but since we don’t, we have to rely of the next best thing. Letters, stories, and memories from our ancestors.

So where do we start?

Well, the other day I was thinking about it, and I remembered that in my giant folder of genealogy documentation, I have a half dozen letters written from one of my distant cousins (Mary Lee Parker) to her cousin (Hazel Bolton), which is also a distant cousin of mine. The letters were written back in 1943 and contain many references of life on the farm, as Mary Lee Parker recalls stories that were passed along to her by her Grandmother (Clementine Desmond Richardson) as well as her mother (Mary Lee Smith). I transcribed the letter as it was written, including the spelling and grammar errors. Enjoy…

Wichita, Kansas
Jan. 25, 1943

Dear Hazel,

The sun is shining brightly and the cold wind has abated so I can be warm enough in here to use my typewriter. So here is another annal of one Clementine Desmond Smith, nee Richardson; your Great Grandmother and my Grandmother. I suspect that your Mother and I knew her better then all her other grandchildren. Your mother, in her middle-age and myself in her old, old age : she lived with us from her eightieth to her eighty-ninth year. For a nimber(sp) of years before that she had spent about two months of every year wiht(sp) us.

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Simple Organic Clothing On The Cheap!

If organic living is an interest of yours, than the following instructional video is a must see for you. It’s also guaranteed to help brighten your day.

Proponents claim that while you may not be the best dressed at this years holiday party, you will rest easy knowing that you have not only lowered your carbon footprint, but you have also avoided contribution into any child slave-labor often associated with the manufacturing of clothing.

Watch how one farmer discovers a simple way to produce 100% organic clothing using the resources found on his farm.

WARNING: Please do not try this at home. This video is purely for entertainment purposes only. Any attempt to reproduce this type of organic clothing process is extremely dangerous as you run a high risk of snagging your “kibbles-n-bits” in the machinery. There is also a good chance that you will encounter a rather ungraceful alfalfa enema during the process, whether you like it or not. Again, please do not try this at home!

“Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.”


~ Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.

Did you find this post amusing? Leave a comment letting us know if it brightened your day.