Tag: Links

Pick-a-Chick
The Farm

Pick-a-Chick

Pick-a-ChickLooking for the best breed of chicken to raise this year? How about a heritage breed?

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

4 Reasons We Use WordPress.com
The Business

4 Reasons We Use WordPress.com

4 Reasons We Use WordPress.comHomestead on the Range has come a long way since we launched our website almost five years ago. Our site was originally self-hosted, but about a year ago we moved to WordPress.com, and we haven’t looked back.

If you are considering launching a new website for your farm, small business, or personal enjoyment, or if you have been dissatisfied with your current arrangement, you might want to consider hosting your site on WordPress.com. Here’s why:

  1. Security. No site is immune to being hacked, and maintaining the integrity of a self-hosted site, especially one that uses a database, can be an absolute nightmare. Our previous setup was an amalgamation involving WordPress.org (the free open-source version), a theme, and a multitude of plugins. In short, a patchwork quilt of sometimes incompatible pieces, all regularly requiring updating and all regularly breaking when updated. WordPress.com is a complete package, and it updates in the background. No supervision required. (And no vetting of plugins to sort the good ones from the malware!)
  2. Intuitive design process. The WordPress.com interface is incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. You don’t have to know anything about coding in HTML or CSS to get started (although learning these two languages will give you greater flexibility). Pick a theme that looks nice to you. Then use the drop-down menus and drag-and-drop widgets in the Customizer to change fonts, select a color scheme, upload a header image, and set up sidebars and footers. It’s really that easy.
  3. A plan for everyone. WordPress.com offers four plans, so there is something to fit every budget. The basic plan is free. For a custom domain name (e.g., myfarmwebsiteexample.com instead of myfarmwebsiteexample.wordpress.com) or for a little more flexibility about how your site looks, select from one of the paid plans. The highest package offers almost total control over all aspects of your website.
  4. Excellent documentation and support. Have a question? WordPress.com offers extensive and easy-to-understand documentation to guide you every step of the way. Plus, if you get into a real bind, you can browse the support forums or contact their extremely responsive staff.

And then there’s a whole host of nice features we use daily and love, such as the diverse selection of themes, the built-in share buttons and contact forms, and the attractive gallery feature (check out this page from our gallery). The entire system is novice-friendly and super easy to use.

Highly recommended!

Territorial Kansas Online
The Sunflower State

Territorial Kansas Online

Territorial Kansas OnlineLooking for an extensive depository of digitized primary source material related to the turbulent territorial days of Kansas? Try Territorial Kansas Online, a project developed by the Kansas State Historical Society and the University of Kansas.

Territorial Kansas Online displays a wide range of artifacts dating from 1854 to 1861, including:

  • Letters.
  • Speeches.
  • Articles.
  • Pamphlets.
  • Photographs.
  • Legislative acts.
  • Meeting minutes.
  • Sheet music.

There are several ways to browse the content of the site:

There is also a helpful timeline of major events in Kansas territorial history along with links to relevant materials.

Please note that this impressive collection of documents represents a wide range of perspectives, some of them unthinkable or offensive to the modern reader. However, studying primary source materials is essential for an accurate understanding of history and of the events that unfolded in Bleeding Kansas. Territorial Kansas Online is an excellent, easy-to-use way to experience these primary sources.

Merry Christmas 2017
Updates

Merry Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas 2017It’s Christmas time once again!

Thank you for another great year at Homestead on the Range! We are looking forward to bringing you even more helpful country living information in 2018.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for some helpful resources to start the new year right or just for a little interesting reading, allow us to make a few recommendations.

 

Best of 2017

From Homestead on the Range

3 Ways to Stay Posted3 Ways to Stay Posted

 

The Worst Jokes I Know (and I Know a Lot!)The Worst Jokes I Know (and I Know a Lot!)

 

 

Posts

Introducing Cowboy PoetryIntroducing Cowboy Poetry

 

Pros and Cons of Niche MarketingPros and Cons of Niche Marketing

 

Keeping a Garden JournalKeeping a Garden Journal

 

Winkler CraterWinkler Crater: A Kimberly Pipe in Kansas

 

What is a Landrace Breed?What is a Landrace Breed?

 

Seeds From the TombsSeeds From the Tombs

 

8 Reasons to Memorize Scales8 Reasons to Memorize Scales

 

The Wonderful Wizard of OzThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz

 

5 Tips for Improving Your Writing5 Tips for Improving Your Writing

 

British and Continental Cattle BreedsBritish and Continental Cattle Breeds

 

 

Series

Ox Yokes and CollarsOx Yokes and Collars

 

Dog BreedsDog Breeds

 

Pros and Cons of Hot CompostingPros and Cons of Hot vs. Cold Composting

 

The Agricultural Adjustment Act in the Great Plains: Part 1The Agricultural Adjustment Act in the Great Plains

 

Kansas GovernorsKansas Governors

 

 

Resources

Web Soil SurveyWeb Soil Survey

 

Murray McMurray Chick SelectorMurray McMurray Chick Selector

 

Stockdog SavvyStockdog Savvy

 

How to Master the English BibleHow to Master the English Bible

 

ScrivenerScrivener

 

Food PreservationFood Preservation

 

Top 10 Marguerite Henry BooksTop 10 Marguerite Henry Books

 

Cover Crop Decision ToolCover Crop Decision Tool

 

An Introduction to Heritage BreedsAn Introduction to Heritage Breeds

 

Kansas Ag ConnectionKansas Ag Connection

 

 

Supplies

Luster Leaf Rapitest Soil Test KitLuster Leaf Rapitest Soil Test Kit

 

Pick PunchPick Punch

 

 

Photos

Shetland SheepdogShetland Sheepdog

 

Kansas Ag Connection
The Farm

Kansas Ag Connection

Kansas Ag ConnectionLooking for a good way to keep up with daily agriculture-related headlines? Give Kansas Ag Connection a try!

Subscribers to On the Range, our weekly country living update (read more), may already be familiar with this site as a source for some of our headlines. There’s a reason for that. Kansas Ag Connection is a clutter-free aggregator of news stories and press releases of interest to farmers small and large across the state.

Kansas Ag Connection offers a way to keep up with the latest stories on:

  • USDA news.
  • Updates from the governor and state legislature.
  • Health issues currently affecting Kansans.
  • KU and K-State research on health, nature, and agricultural topics.
  • Press releases from Kansas-based companies.
  • State and regional crop and weather reports.
  • Conferences and workshops coming to Kansas.
  • Ron Wilson’s Kansas Profile column, featuring Kansas entrepreneurs with rural roots.

Links are also provided to more headlines from neighboring states, across the nation, and around the world.

Highly recommended!

Cover Crop Decision Tool
The Farm

Cover Crop Decision Tool

Cover Crop Decision ToolLooking for the right cover crop? Give this Cover Crop Decision Tool from the Midwest Cover Crop Council a try.

First select from one of the following states:

  • Iowa.
  • Illinois.
  • Indiana.
  • Kansas.
  • Michigan.
  • Minnesota.
  • Missouri.
  • Ohio.
  • Ontario.
  • Wisconsin.

Then choose options that take into account your growing conditions:

  • County (for frost/freeze date estimate).
  • Planting and harvest dates.
  • Drainage situation.

Finally, fine-tune your choices by noting your goals:

  • Increasing nitrogen levels.
  • Building soil.
  • Fighting erosion.
  • Fighting weeds.
  • Creating a new source of forage for grazing or harvest.
  • And more!

Once you’ve found a cover crop or two that meets your needs, click on the name of the crop to learn more about about its pros and cons, as well as its planting and termination requirements.

An easy-to-use way to choose the right cover crop for your unique growing conditions!

5 Handy Resources for Writers
The Skills

5 Handy Resources for Writers

5 Handy Resources for WritersEvery writer has a preferred modus operandi, including diverse details such as when we write, where we write, and what we use to write.

For those of you who write in a research-intensive style or genre, here are a few tools that can make your life easier:

  1. Microsoft OneNote. And its equivalent, Evernote. You will doubtless have your own preferences about the connectivity of the software you use that will determine which version of which program works best for you. In any case, there is nothing like this note-taking tool to organize everything from new book ideas to outlines to project to-dos.
  2. Scrivener. For really big projects, we cannot recommend this organization assistant heartily enough. Import research documents, take notes, write your manuscript—all in one place!
  3. Zotero. And if you need a bibliography, let this free database program do the hard work for you. Just enter the necessary information about your source. Zotero comes preloaded with several useful citation styles, and more can be added. Works seamlessly with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, or LibreOffice.
  4. Newspapers.com. For those of you with a historical interest, there is a searchable goldmine of information just waiting for you here. You may be able to access the database through your local library. If not, try the free site Chronicling America from the Library of Congress.
  5. ALT Codes for Windows. Depending on what you write about, you may have occasion to use a lot of strange foreign characters. Penn State offers tables to help you find keyboard shortcuts for some of the most common. Accent codes for Mac are also provided.