April 25, 2016

Living With Horses

Living With Horses

The French breed of Ardennes is closer to what the breed has been in the past. The Ardennes has always been a stockier type of horse, rude as its environment. Today the breed has dramatically changed into a real heavy horse. The difference between the Ardennes and their “big” sisters, the Brabants in Belgium, or the Trait du Nord in France, has gone.



April 26, 2016

Seed Quality from Two Perspectives

Seed Quality from Two Perspectives

Saving seed is fairly simple to do, but the results from planting those seeds can be very mixed; without a basis of understanding of seed quality, people can be disappointed and confused as to why they got the results they did. Both the home gardener and the seed company must understand seed quality to be successful in their respective endeavors.



April 27, 2016

Build Your Own Butter Churn

Build Your Own Butter Churn

A cheap two-gallon stock pot from the local chain store got me started in churn building. It was thin stainless steel and cost less than ten bucks. I carted it home wondering what I might find in my junk pile to run the thing. I found an old squirrel cage fan and pulled the little motor to test it. I figure that if it could turn a six-inch fan, it could turn a two-inch impeller.



April 28, 2016

Plant Poisoning in Horses & Cattle

Plant Poisoning in Horses & Cattle

There are hundreds of plants that can be toxic to livestock. Some grow in specific regions while others are more widespread. Some are always a serious danger and others only under certain conditions. Poisoning of livestock depends on several factors, including palatability of the plant, stage of development, conditions in which they grew, moisture content of the plant and the part eaten.



April 29, 2016

Changing of Seasons

Changing of Seasons

We are blessed who are active participants in the life of soil and weather, crops and critters, living a life grounded in seasonal change. This talk of human connection to land and season is not just the rambling romantic musing of an agrarian ideologue. It is rather the result of participating in the deeply vital vocation that is farming and knowing its fruits first hand.


John Erskine

A Reverence for Excellence

George’s Boots

A Reverence for Excellence

A portrait of Maple Rock Farm and Hogstone’s Wood Oven, a unique farm and restaurant on Orcas Island where the farmers are the chefs, A Reverence for Excellence strives to be an honest portrayal of the patience, toil, conviction and faith required of an agrarian livelihood.

A Farmrun Production by Andrew Plotsky

the SNARE with Lynn Miller

  • April 21, 2016

    Farmer brings new hope to food producers by developing environmentally friendly alternative to pesticide

    With non-pesticide methods of farming perceived as ineffective, a Norwegian farmer has taken destiny into his own hands to combat the D. radicum ‘cabbage fly’ that destroys Brassica crops including cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. Svein Lilleengen has spent over 20 ...

  • April 20, 2016

    CO2 Shown To Reduce Bee Food Source

    Purdue University reports that rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have reduced protein in goldenrod pollen, a key late season food source of North American bees. Previous studies have shown that CO2 levels can lower nutritional value of wheat and ...

  • April 19, 2016

    Genetic Engineering Falters on the Political Front

    Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety listed, in his article for AlerNet, that Kellog’s, ConAgra, Mars and General Mills have joined Campbell’s to voluntarily label any Genetic Engineering in their food products. This comes in response ...

At A Glance

Third Quarter

Farming by Moon Phase

April 30, 2016 • 9:11pm

Astrologers say it is best to plant all things which yield above ground in the increase of the Moon and things which yield below ground when the Moon is decreasing.


Farm Drum with Lynn Miller & Paul Hunter

From Speculation to Innovation

“When I first began direct-seeding rice and winter grain, I was planning to harvest with a hand sickle and so I thought it would be more convenient to set the seeds out in regular rows. After many attempts, dabbling about as an amateur, I produced a handmade seeding tool. Thinking that this tool might be of practical use to other farmers, I brought it to the man at the testing center. He told me that since we were in an age of large-sized machinery he could not be bothered with my “contraption.”

“Next I went to a manufacturer of agricultural equipment. I was told here that such a simple machine, no matter how much you tried to make of it, could not be sold for more than $3.50 apiece. “If we made a gadget like that, the farmers might start thinking they didn’t need the tractors we sell for thousands of dollars.” He said that nowadays the idea is to invent rice planting machines quickly, sell them head over heels for as long as possible, then introduce something newer.”
– Masanobu Fukuoka, One Straw Revolution

Liquid Manure Spreader Wagon read more…

My Small Kitchen with Kristi Gilman-Miller

Mexican Orange Candy

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cream (1/2 & 1/2)
  • Few grains salt
  • 2 tsp. grated orange rind
  • 1 cup nut meats

Caramelize the one cup sugar slowly in a hot frying pan, shaking pan vigorously to prevent burning.

Add boiling water and boil until sugar is dissolved.

Add remaining sugar, cream and salt and boil to soft ball stage (234 degrees F.), stirring constantly.

Just before candy is done, add orange rind.

Remove from heat, cool, beat and add nuts.

Drop from a teaspoon onto buttered plates and allow to harden.

Yield: 1 3/4 pounds.

April Spotlight: SFJ Farmer's Book Service

  • Audels Gardeners and Growers Guide

    How to Store Vegetables

    Potatoes may be safely stored in bits on a well drained spot. Spread a layer of straw for the floor. Pile the potatoes in a long, rather than a round pile. Cover the pile with straw or hay a foot deep.

  • Horsedrawn Plows and Plowing

    Setting Up A Walking Plow

    Here is a peek into the pages of Horsedrawn Plows and Plowing, written by SFJ editor and publisher Lynn R. Miller.

  • Horse Sense for Plain Farming

    Horse Sense for Plain Farming

    Book Review – The New Horse-Powered Farm by Stephen Leslie: Working with horses is not something you can learn exclusively through watching DVD training videos and attending workshops and seminars. These things and experiences can be very useful as auxiliary aids to our training, but they cannot replace the value of a long-term relationship with a skilled mentor.

  • Starting Your Farm

    Starting Your Farm: Chapter 2

    How do you learn the true status of that farm with the “for sale” sign? Here are some important pieces of information for you to learn about a given selling farm. The answers will most probably tell you how serious the seller is.

the Tip Jar

Sack Filler Funnel