Foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum) receives its common name from its unique bushy inflorescence, or flower, which is similar in shape to the tail of a fox. This flower averages about two to five inches long and is soft and greenish or purplish. Its fluffy appearance comes from the awns, which can measure up to three inches long. Each yellowish-brown seed typically has four to eight awns, and it is also armed with tiny barbs along the edges. Read More
Spring brings new chicks!
If you will be receiving baby chicks in the mail this year, it’s best to be prepared. There isn’t a tremendous amount of work required to get ready for chicks, but you certainly don’t want to bring them home only to discover that you forgot something critical. We recommend creating a checklist to refer to in future years. Read More
The Toggenburg is yet another ancient Swiss dairy goat that has enjoyed success wherever it has traveled. This breed took its name from the Toggenburg region in the eastern part of its native country and has been known there for centuries. It has been registered and recorded since the 1600s, but definitely traces back considerably further. Read More
If you are new to gardening, you definitely need to give mulch some consideration. There are good reasons that many experienced gardeners use mulch. In short, mulch is good for both you and your plants. Here’s why. Read More
Heritage chicken breeds may not reach the egg or meat production levels of commercial hybrids, but they are often healthier and hardier, not to mention more attractive. For a free-range situation, heritage breeds can’t be beat.
The Livestock Conservancy has a very helpful and accurate chart to assist new poultry keepers in choosing the best breed for their circumstances. This chart displays key characteristics of each breed in an at-a-glance format: Read More
The Tennessee Fainting Goat goes by many names—Myotonic Goat, Nervous Goat, Wooden Leg—and receives its claim to fame from its strange habit of falling down stiff when startled. As befits its status as a strange curiosity among goat breeds, it traces back to a small herd owned by a man who was a strange curiosity himself. This man was John Tinsley. Read More
Another traditional dairy breed of the Swiss mountains, the Saanen (pronounced SAW-nen) takes its name from its native Saane Valley located in the canton of Bern. It was in this region that the Saanen was bred to produce milk in abundance on the summer mountain pastures of Switzerland. However, it is interesting to note that the Swiss did not select exclusively for production or for hardiness—they also bred for the hallmark white coat. Read More