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Yummy Giveaway + Organic Black Tea & Lemon Jelly Recipe

by Daisy Canned, Dried, Frozen

UPDATE! THIS GIVEAWAY IS OVER. THE WINNER HAS BEEN NOTIFIED. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ENTERING! I’d never heard of tea jelly before I started seeing Davidson’s Organic Tea demonstrate how to cook with the stuff.  Such as . . . White Pomegranate Tea Jelly Gastrique Earl Grey Eggnog Cookies Then I started thinking of […]

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Perfume Makes Me Stink

by Daisy Fencepost

I wanna buy ya everything Except cologne ’cause it’s poison. –Train (If It’s Love) I have an odd history with perfume. When I try on a perfume (parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, it doesn’t matter), as soon as it touches my skin it starts to smell horrible. Acrid, cheap, nauseating. Any perfume, any […]

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What I Like Best About Home Farming

by Daisy Fencepost

First, let me say I’m always a little reluctant to use the term “home farming” when describing what I do, because I know what I do is negligible compared to what true farming is. Although I spend several hours a week in my garden and working on projects associated with growing things, I’m not out […]

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How to Brew Fresh Ginger Tea and a Discount Code For You

by Daisy Beverages

I’m a tea drinker. I brew a pot of tea every day, just for myself, sometimes two pots. If that isn’t enough, there’s tea bags to brew it by the cup. Several years ago, my blog partner/bud, Deanna, had one of her babies and we had a shower for her. Surprise, surprise, I picked the […]

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Still Winter

by Daisy Fencepost

I’m starting to wonder if this is going to be one of those winters that never happened. Yes, we’ve had some freezing temps, but all in all, above-normal readings nearly every week. Nature noticed. The peach tree surprised me today by busting out some of its crepey pink blossoms, which I greeted with consternation because […]

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Latest in Transformer Oil Spill News

by Daisy Drama
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Back in 2014, the electrical transformer in my yard blew up during a storm and the lid came off and the oil inside sprayed over part of my garden. You can read more about it here. I sued the utility company to recoup the money I spent to replace the plants, etc. I sued them […]

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Flirting With Solar

by Daisy Conversation
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Who wouldn’t love to say goodbye to their electric bill (or most of it) and get your electricity from the sun? I think I would, but the high cost, the complexity, the fact that it always seems like the next big breakthrough in solar is just around the corner (will I be stuck with clunky […]

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If It Weren’t For Volunteer Tomatoes

by Daisy Conversation
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. . . I’d have no tomatoes at all. Weird year for tomatoes. We had plenty of spring rain and mild weather so the tomatoes I planted in the garden got off to a good start. Unfortunately, by the time the first few tomatoes started to ripen, drought set in and the new blossoms started […]

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Are You Gross Like Me?

by Daisy Conversation
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I et a stinkbug yesterday. That’s an exaggeration. I chomped down on a stinkbug by accident and spit it out. The thing is, I wasn’t fazed by this, and for a second I was separating out the bits of stinkbug from the bits of mulberry in my mouth (because that’s what the stinkbug and I […]

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Fruit Bagging Experiment Results

by Daisy Conversation

A while back, I decided to try bagging one of the three Asian pears my tree successfully produced this year. I wanted to see if it made any difference in pest damage prevention. Here are the results: This is the unbagged pear: There’s no internal damage, no worms burrowing, but I see some superficial damage, […]

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Gearing Up For Gifting: Suggestions, Please

by Daisy Conversation

I’m getting into the gift-making spirit. My favorite type of gift is homemade, and I love gift baskets, as evidenced by the entire chapter on homemade gift baskets in our book. However, as much as I love those ideas, I like changing them up a bit every year. I have some new knitted washcloth patterns […]

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Home Farm Finds and Neat Stuff

by Daisy Fencepost

It’s time to check out a few Labor Day sales in luscious yarn, southern grapes, my favorite cheesemaking supplies, and my new favorite pastime. Hint: it has nothing to do with labor: Down on the farm thoughts are turning to knitting, but it’s still too hot for wool here. KnitPicks has 30% off cotton yarns […]

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Why Is Everything Round?

by Daisy Conversation

As I looked at today’s harvest of passionfruit, eggs, figs, and (not in the pic), muscadines, I couldn’t help but think about the roundness of it all; four very different things, none of them perfectly spherical, but definitely on the rounded end of things. Berries, stone fruit, grapes, mushroom caps, the list goes on. I […]

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Home Farm Finds And Neat Stuff

by Daisy Fencepost

If you’d like to save a little money on seeds for next spring, now’s the time a lot of seed companies are slashing prices. Many seeds save very well for years, but only if you do it the right way. Here are some good seed-storing tips from Rodale. And here are some of the seed […]

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To Electric-Fence or Not To Electric-Fence?

by Daisy Conversation

When I was a kid, my dad strung an electric fence around our horse pasture. It was seldom electrified, so I suppose the horses learned pretty quickly to avoid it. I don’t ever remember the horses getting out, so I’d call it a success. I will also never forget the feeling of grabbing ahold of […]

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Home Farm Finds And Neat Stuff

by Daisy Fencepost

Do you know what this is? A handmade solid wood tortilla press! I’m imagining home-milled organic corn tortillas, hot off the griddle. These are handcrafted in a workshop in Santa Maria, California, called Central Coast Woodworks. Pur-tee. And this is impossibly cute. The Let’s Jam Recipe Kitchen Towel is almost too cute to use. I […]

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My Shame in Being a Homemaker

by Daisy Conversation

As far back as I remember, all I’ve ever wanted to be was a homemaker. And for all that time, I’ve been ashamed of it. Perhaps I was born at the wrong time. During the era when I was growing up, in the 1970s, being a homemaker was being devalued. It’s never been a high […]

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Bagging For Bug-Free Fruit

by Daisy Conversation

Did you know you could keep the birds and the bees and still have no spots on your apples? Fruit bagging is an age-old practice in Japanese orchards. After the fruit clusters have been thinned, bags are carefully placed around the remaining fruit as soon as they are big enough to resemble fruit, when they’re […]

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Home Farm Finds and Neat Stuff

by Daisy Fencepost

I just got these from High Mowing Organic Seeds in the mail. I couldn’t resist ordering a few “new” seeds for this fall/winter season instead of hoping the ones in my aging stash were still good. They probably are, mostly, but I was out of kale seeds and while I was at it, couldn’t resist […]

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Gearing Up For Fall, Fingers Crossed

by Daisy Conversation

I’m very insecure about my fall gardening game. Whenever I’ve had a good fall/winter garden, it’s been largely by accident. Yay! I’m eating spinach in December! How did that happen? The trouble with accidental success is that it’s very hard to recreate. I often think what I really needed to become a confident gardener was […]

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Home Farm Finds and Neat Stuff

by Daisy Fencepost

I was jealous when I heard about the school system in California that decided to feed it’s students only organic, non-GMO lunches. Happy for them, naturally, but sorry it was such a groundbreaking initiative; this should be on the table, literally, of all school systems. So it’s back to the daily grind of figuring out […]

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Home Farm Finds and Neat Stuff

by Daisy Fencepost

This week’s thoughts turn to early preparation for fall and winter gardening. I know, I know, it seems like we just kissed last winter good-bye and good riddance, and we’ve got a good bit of summer left, but to get a jump on fall gardening it takes some advance action. Later in the post I’ve […]

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Too Much of a Good Thing

by Daisy Conversation

Of course it’s wrong. It’s misguided. It lacks discipline and demonstrates poor planning, shows impulse control and neglect. I’m letting passionfruit vines take over my yard even though I know it will end badly. This vine is establishing a subterranean network that’s getting out of hand, popping up in all places. In all of the […]

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Book Review: The Unsettling of America

by Daisy Fencepost

This is a book I’m ashamed to admit I only recently read. The Unsettling of America was published in 1977, which means I could have read it as a child, again as a teenager, a young adult, and many times throughout my adulthood, and it would have probably changed my life. I might have been […]

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Lessons on Survival and Resilience I Could Learn From Weeds

by Daisy Conversation

If there’s one good thing about weeding, it makes the world slow down. You can’t work on the computer, or your phone. Unless you’re a bluetooth person. Nothing against bluetooth people . . . You can listen to music, but I don’t. Sometimes I wish I were listening to music, mainly to uproot some other […]

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The Home Farm Breakfast Game

by Daisy Conversation

This morning, after a couple of hours of weeding, I was starving so I decided to play one of my favorite games: Breakfast From The Yard. It’s exactly what it sounds like: See how much of my entire breakfast I could harvest out of my suburban yard. Garden groceries. Metropolitan meals. Lawn licking. Maybe not […]

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I’m Being Overtaken By Weeds

by Daisy Conversation

Great garden weather and all. But it also means great weed weather. When the phone repairman was here, he briefly considered digging a trench to put in a whole new underground line all the way to the house and looked down a long bed between the back fence and a row of espalier where the […]

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Sunflower Fort Update

by Daisy Conversation

It seems like yesterday when I planted this sunflower fort, but it was really only mid April. Less than 2 months later, the sunflowers have grown up over my head. With the tropical-like rains we’ve had, interspersed with plenty of sun, all the plants in the garden have taken off like rockets. In the sunflower […]

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Misadventures in Urban Plantsmanship

by Daisy Fencepost

I bought a pineapple guava plant through the mail. I was lured by promises of tropical beauty and exotic flavor. It was around midnight, and I had fallen down an internet rabbit hole of off-the-beaten-path edible shrubs, vines, and other fantastical fruits. My eyes locked onto pineapple guava and I was mesmerized. Apparently, the petals […]

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Lately Around the Farm

by Daisy Conversation

  It’s been a practically perfect spring for gardening. Plenty of rain, but not too much rain except for about a week there when we wondered if we should start looking for a source for gopher wood. Everything is blooming or fruiting, so I took some pictures of the garden with the glow of spring […]

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A Shared Passion(fruit)

by Daisy Conversation

It all started with a sad day, a walk of hope. I wrote about it here. It ended with a bumper crop of passion fruit, not a bad outcome, at all. That passion fruit I planted is back, with a vengeance. The thing is, it moved. It moved underneath the fence, to the sunnier, southern […]

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Carrot Woes and Wins

by Daisy Conversation

First for the win: I have delicious carrots! I have dozens of beautiful carrots, all in a row. I used seed tape, store-bought this time, although you can make your own. I kept them watered, almost daily, which I think is the secret, along with loose, rich soil and a relatively cool, long spring growing […]

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Overseeding Your Lawn

by Ivory Soap Conversation

A lush green lawn is the perfect welcome mat for your home. But despite your best efforts, it’s not always easy to keep it in top shape. Bare spots, or weak, thinning or patchy grass can appear seemingly overnight due to compacted soil, poor drainage, weed infestations, or just plain weather. To bring your lawn […]

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Suggestions, Please: Promoting Green Lawn Care in Your Neighborhood

by Daisy Conversation

Every spring when I step outside and the stench of my neighbors’ lawn care service chemicals hits me like a bad memory, I have the same impulse: convince everybody to go natural! This year, with the increased popularity of Nextdoor.com, I was hoping I might have more of an opportunity to reach a few people […]

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Guess What? Chicken Butt!

by Ivory Soap Drama

You know how some people say to “leave it on the field” or “leave it on the dance floor?”  My chicken left it “in the yard.”  Her chicken butt, that is. If you’ve never been awakened by a screaming 13 yr old at 5:30 AM, “A fox is killing the chickens!” You haven’t lived.  That’s […]

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What A Face

by Daisy Conversation

We brought the buns home last night. They’re getting settled in, getting more than their fair share of cuddles. More photos later, and a pic of the other sister soon. During this photo shoot she was napping in the hidey box so I left her alone. But seriously, folks. Check out this mug. That is […]

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1000 New Pets

by Daisy Conversation

As I write this, I can hear the sound of newspaper being ripped in long, thin strips in the next room. According to the USPS Tracking system, 1000 of my newest pets have already arrived at my local post office and are probably being sorted and loaded on a mail truck right now to arrive […]

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Rabbit Hutch Progress

by Daisy Conversation

The rabbit hutch is coming along. Its basic carcass is plywood and 2x2s, plus the Curb Whisperer rescued a bunch of old cedar fencing and I’m using it for siding and for the door. It’s got that “old barn” feel. All we need is a roof, a floor, and some door hinges, and the basic […]

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New Additions to the Farm

by Daisy Conversation

Having a blog with a blog partner is great. I can safely say we couldn’t do it without each other. I, Daisy, am technologically disastrous, have no sense of organization, and truly cannot/will not research and devise any formulae more complicated than pancake recipes. Deanna, on the other hand, can engineer scientifically-based laundry detergent, design […]

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Garden ShapeUp Along: Musings and More Afters

by Daisy Fencepost

Now the rains have called it quits for the time being and things have had a chance to dry out, I’m back in the garden evaluating and wrapping up the first phase of my ShapeUp. All but two of the items on my list have been ticked off.  Hopefully I can get to them today. […]

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ShapeUp-Along: Monsoon Edition

by Daisy Fencepost

I’ve called a temporary halt to my garden shape-up due to inclement weather. We’ve had over 10 inches of rain over the last few days and it’s raining right now. I’m eyeing one of the garden eyesores with new respect: I’m joking, sort of, but there have been some water rescues not far from here. […]

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Guess Who, Haiku got a STAR!!

by Ivory Soap Conversation

Review **STARRED REVIEW** “Over all, a superb introduction to this potent poetic form, teaching pre-readers both the evocative power of description and the reward for listening closely. Not to be missed: gorgeous poetry, vibrant illustrations, and masterful use of the page turn.” (Kirkus) “Whether reading out loud to kindergartners as an introduction to this perennially […]

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Garden ShapeUp Along: Before and After II

by Daisy Fencepost

I’m back with some more progress to report. Above pic is the asparagus bed; taken over by renegade blackberry vines, deadnettle, hairy bittercress, creeping charlie, peppermint, bermuda grass, overly enthusiastic bee balm, dead leaves, and general mayhem. It was so thick I put it off forever and barely knew where to start. In the end […]

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Garden ShapeUp Along: Before and After

by Daisy Fencepost

It seems like all I’ve been doing lately is gardening. I’ve really enjoyed it, although on the inside-the-house front the kitchen surfaces are sticky enough to perform double duty as flypaper. (While I was typing that last sentence someone dropped an egg on the floor). I have some before and after photos to show for […]

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Garden ShapeUp-Along: Observations

by Daisy Fencepost

One thing I’m learning as I do this ShapeUp is the importance of my master list. When I was writing that list, I deliberately focused on things that would make a big impact from an outsider’s viewpoint. There’s a big temptation, however, to get sidetracked away from the things on the list by other garden […]

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Garden ShapeUp-Along Step 3: Carrot and Stick

by Daisy Fencepost

Getting our gardens in shape is its own reward, but it never hurts to have a little extra incentive; a dangling carrot and/or a motivating stick. Now we’ve got a master list and a plan to carry it out, the next step is to pick out both a carrot (a reward for all this hard […]

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Giveaway! Favorite Cookbook, EVER

by Ivory Soap Fencepost

Years ago, I read through all of Rachael Ray’s 365 something-or-other cookbook. I made a standard pantry list. I could cook almost anything in the book on the spur of the moment. My pantry was massive! And Rachael didn’t really help with breakfast or lunch. Also, I found out I was unable to digest grains. […]

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Garden ShapeUp Along: Step 2

by Daisy Fencepost

We’re getting our gardens ready for spring, step by step. We declared our intention. Then we got out our paper and pencils and even cameras and made a master list and took Before pics of our most pressing garden problem spots. Taking photos is optional, but I’m digging it because as I work on a […]

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Garden ShapeUp-Along: Step 1

by Daisy Fencepost

In case you missed the first post on this Garden CleanUp-Along, here’s the link to review. To re-cap, I’m going to post periodic garden tasks (sometimes weekly, sometimes more often) to help get our gardens ready for spring. If you’re like me, you’ve spent the winter pretending the garden elves were going to take care […]

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Spring Garden ShapeUp-Along

by Daisy Fencepost

Does your garden look like something snaked out of the J-trap under your kitchen sink? Do you refer to it as “the wasteland”? Did a location scout for a post-apocalyptic movie just ask to film a scene in your backyard? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re in the right place. No, […]

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February

by Daisy Conversation

I’m not a winter person, but I get more knitting done between the months of December and March than I do the rest of the year combined. The fireside and knitting go together very well, except when I knit so late I’m in peril of nodding off and falling into the flames. I also get […]

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Persimmons!

by Daisy Conversation

Quite by accident I discovered a persimmon tree Tuesday afternoon. I was in a hurry and could only pick up a handful of the soft, ripe “sugar plums” to take home. It’s been years since I tasted a persimmon, and when I did I was transported back to my youth–my childhood yard was filled with […]

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Amazing Kamut Blueberry Muffins

by Daisy Breads

Any muffin with this amount of blueberries in it is bound to be at least good. Add tender, sweet, freshly milled kamut flour, vanilla and almond extract, freshly laid eggs, coconut oil, and a sprinkle of organic cane sugar, and well, you’ve got the picture. Here’s the lineup: Combine the lovely, fluffy, kamut flour with […]

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Foraging

by Daisy Conversation

I don’t usually assemble it on a plate like this, but I did it today to be able to see it all at once. Typically, this sort of forage food is eaten while walking around the yard, a fig here, a leaf of mizuna there. This “meal” is never the same; it changes with the […]

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Labyrinth

by Daisy Conversation

A friend’s furchild was going through cancer treatment and it wasn’t looking hopeful. She wanted to walk a labyrinth. I’d heard of one so we agreed that I would meet her at her house and we would go together and find it. When I walked in the door I could see in her face, in […]

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Another Rant Plus A New Grain Mill

by Daisy Fencepost

Remember back in the day when we just ate food? Any food. Didn’t really think about it that much. To me, there were two basic types of food: A) Food I Liked B) Food I Didn’t Like It wasn’t about organic or conventional, raw or cooked, paleo or low carb, gluten-y or gluten-free. Food was […]

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What are these plants?

by Ivory Soap Conversation

Curly Dock? I have tried several avenues on this one.  All dead ends! This next one is huge!  There are two pictures. Lastly, this oneThoughts?  

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More Weeds? Yes, ma’am!

by Ivory Soap Conversation

Black-Eyed Susan.  It seems that it has multiple medicinal uses.   I think this one was in the mix of wildflowers we tried to sow.  This and the Blanket Flower below were the only takers. Burnweed, erechtites hieraciifolia.  Possibly edible, possibly permanent liver damage. Must be in large quantities.  Seems to have medicinal uses galore. […]

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I’m in the New York Times!

by Ivory Soap Conversation

Bookshelf: Gone to the Beach By MARIA RUSSO JULY 29, 2015 New picture books take children, animals and a T-Rex on getaways to the shore. Beach House Written by Deanna Caswell. Illustrated by Amy June Bates. The story begins even before the title page of this warmly satisfying book, capturing a family’s unabashed eagerness to […]

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Guess Who Has Baby Goats?

by Ivory Soap Conversation

ME!!!! Let the healing begin. Their names are Taco and Steve.  (Taco has the “sauce” on him.)  They’re wethers.  Snipped.  Fixed.  Anyway, they’re adorable! We got them from Osborne Farm in Burlison, TN.  It was an HOUR away.  Steve rode in my daughter’s lap. Taco rode in mine. He left me some sauce. He’s not […]

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Ain’t No Party Like a (Lawn) Weed Party

by Ivory Soap Conversation

Cause apparently, it does not stop.  I had such a good time on this website, I went in search of the rest of the species around the neighborhood.  Above, we have violets and yellow sorrel (the heart-looking clover.) Violets are generally considered non-toxic, but the roots will make you sick.  Since most violet species are […]

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(Lawn) Weed Party

by Ivory Soap Conversation

It’s a jungle out there. When I was in high school. I wanted to be a field biologist.  But I had a SERIOUS phobia of dead things.  One dead frog and I was hyperventilating.  Especially if it “snuck up” on me.  Dead things can’t sneak, but I mean that it was “unexpected.”  If our high […]

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Overwhelmed

by Daisy Conversation

Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. Outnumbered. There’s fluoride and prescription medicine in the water. Glyphosate is in everything. Even “organic” food isn’t organic. Milk is contaminated with hormones that make children reach puberty too fast. The fillings in our teeth are poisoning us, root canals will kill you, and those wisdom teeth extractions, tonsillectomies, and […]

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Weed Flower ID: The Results Show

by Ivory Soap Conversation

Round One:  White clover, FALSE DANDELION (thank you, commenters), purple clover, fleabane, narrow leaf plantain. I found this great site about plant uses called Eat the Weeds.  Here are the files on each of these guys. White Clover, not poisonous in general.  Also, not good.  Apparently, you should never ferment it.  Fresh or dried only.  […]

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Pre-made Coop, not worth it

by Ivory Soap Fencepost

Remember that coop? 12 months later…. The ramp fell off the first week, but we didn’t worry.  Hens easily leap a foot up.  But now it seems like it was an omen. Thoughts? Seriously!

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Weed Flower ID, Please?

by Ivory Soap Conversation

As I said before, our goats passed and we have been avoiding our yard. We don’t want to mow. And, if you’ve been on this site for a few years, you know that we LOVE plant and bug identification. I couldn’t catch the cool zebra-looking dragonfly with my camera, but I did grab a bunch […]

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New book in GERMAN!

by Ivory Soap Conversation

Our book is now available in GERMAN.  We are international, folks. If you speak German, this book is for you! It should be noted that the cover image of me with the goat was taken by DAISY.  She is now an international cover photographer.  She’s so fancy! I’m not sure she will take my calls… […]

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New Potato Harvest

by Daisy Conversation

For pure, childlike, visceral pleasure, no garden task beats digging potatoes. You stick a fork in loamy soil and tight-skinned, waxy nuggets of red and tan and gold and maybe even blue pop out and spill onto the surface. They dangle like baubles when lifted by the plants and roll onto the soft dirt. I […]

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I’m in USA Today!

by Ivory Soap Conversation

RIGHT HERE! I have a new picture book, Beach House, from Chronicle.  Didn’t the illustrator do an AMAZING job? How cute is that? And this? If you need the perfect summer book, I highly recommend this one by Amy June Bates…and me.  Ha! Here are the reviews from the fancy folks that know picture books: […]

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Peaches in Peril

by Daisy Conversation

I was just over at my neighbor’s house and he mentioned in passing that the raccoons had stolen all his peaches. A cold chill ran up my spine. Actually it was a very warm, humid day and my clothes were plastered to my person, so I would have welcomed any sort of chill. What I […]

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The Sheep and the Goats

by Ivory Soap Drama

Lots of you told me that the sheep was sick.  Bowling ball poop is not normal.  I believed you, but I didn’t take it seriously enough to DO something.  But now, it’s too late.  Sylvie and Lily are gone.  It was a parasite.  A month after the sheep was gone from our yard, so were […]

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Back on GAPS/SCD

by Ivory Soap Conversation

So, I have been KINDA off of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or GAPS diet for a few years.  I had quit shunning all sauces with modified food starch.  If something had a gram of sucrose, that was okay.  Still no GRAINS or MILK, ever.  I miss you, buttered garlic bread!  I dream about you, biscuits […]

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In Tribute

by Daisy Conversation

Early Saturday morning, a week ago, my beloved mother passed away at the age of 83. While we are heartbroken, this is also a time of loving reflection on her life and her impact on her family. A hallmark of my mother’s life was her deep adoration for my father. Indeed, the highest form of […]

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I Heart Strawberries

by Daisy Conversation

  No, life is not a bowl of cherries. Sometimes it’s a bowl of strawberries. I feel a bit greedy harboring lethal thoughts about the gang of squirrels which has been spending recent days making trip after trip to and from my strawberry patch. On one hand, I have lots of berries in my freezer […]

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Trench Composting: I’m Sold, See What You Think

by Daisy Conversation

When I first tried trench composting; that is, digging a trench, filling it with compostables, and covering it up, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if I would have trouble with varmints. I did have some minor digging, but that was solved by planting a little deeper. I also didn’t know if […]

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Misadventures in No ‘Poo

by Daisy Fencepost

Ever since I stopped using shampoo, I’ve tried several different approaches to having presentable hair: apple cider vinegar rinses, brushing it out with a natural bristle brush, and essential oil-baking soda scrubs. After giving up on baking soda after hearing it was too harsh for hair, I’ve relied on hot water and vinegar rinses almost […]

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Transformer Oil Spill Update 2015

by Daisy Drama

  If you’ve been following the saga of the transformer oil spill in my garden, there have been a few developments since last I wrote on this topic. If you haven’t heard about it and would like to know what I’m referring to, you can read about it here and here and here. The latest […]

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Iris Time With Chickens

by Daisy Conversation

Another overnight rain. The garden slurped it up with gusto. Especially in the spring, when if it rains, it pours, I’m reminded of the value of raised beds, whether in boxes or in rows. Nothing gets submerged in puddles, nothing gets washed to oblivion, no matter how much rain the garden gets. There’s a reason […]

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April Garden Tour 2015

by Daisy Conversation

When the weather forecast was for thunderstorms again last night with the possibility of hail and damaging winds, I feared for my garden. Particularly the tall-necked, tender petals of the bearded iris. And of course I paled at the thought of hail tearing into the spring salad greens. But it didn’t happen. The thunderstorm happened, […]

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Discovery Park Of America

by Daisy Fencepost

On a recent trip we took the kids to the Discovery Park of America in Union City, Tennessee. Basically in the middle of nowhere is a colossal multi-theme park (not amusement park), complete with real trains, log cabins, barns, farm equipment, a 100 year old chapel, recreated small town America . . . It’s impossible […]

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Seasonality

by Daisy Conversation

When all you know is the year-round availability of everything from the supermarket, it’s easy to forget the reason why, for example, eggs are an emblem of spring. When you have your own hens, though, and after a long, eggless winter your hens are finally producing at top capacity right at Easter/Passover time, it becomes […]

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No ‘Poo For Me

by Daisy Conversation

Did the people who named the shampoo-free movement “no ‘poo” really think that one through? Besides being confusing (it’s hard to communicate that apostrophe in spoken communication), it’s a bit inelegant. But what’s done is done. I’ve gone no ‘poo and I think I’m sticking with it. It’s been about three weeks and I’m liking […]

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Restaurant Compost Update

by Daisy Conversation

As I wrote about before in this post, I’m composting the kitchen scraps of a restaurant in town. Every Friday I get a wheelbarrow full of pineapple skins, shiitake mushroom stems, spoiled avocados, tomato trimmings, corn shucks and cobs, kale stems, spent tea leaves, onion skins, and the like. It’s high quality stuff. Every time […]

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Spring Garden Plans

by Daisy Conversation

With the recent snow all but completely melted, I hope to be back in the actual garden very soon. It’s been a very wet March so far, over 2.5 inches in the first week, so the soil is completely saturated. Once it’s adequately dried out so I can dig into it, I have plans to […]

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Last Hurrah

by Daisy Conversation

It snowed yesterday, temperatures wavering just below freezing. The snow fell on a thin crust of frozen ground, below which oozed a molten muck of the kind only a week of thawing sleet and ice can create; the kind of mud ordinary shoes are hopeless against, the kind of mud you take one sliding step […]

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What I’ve Been Building This Winter

by Daisy Conversation

I love to build. I also love to “design” building projects from scratch. Sitting down with a pencil and some scrap paper and a few ideas is one of my favorite ways to wile away a winter evening. Then, starting to put things together, working out problems along the way, researching, adding on, tweaking the […]

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Scary

by Daisy Conversation

Boo. In an attempt to prevent the loss of the peach and plum buds which were just starting to swell, I inadvertently created a couple of ridiculous ghosts in the backyard yesterday. In what can only be described as a random act of horticultural cruelty it went down to 9 degrees FOR ONE NIGHT. It’s […]

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Composting Partnership

by Daisy Conversation

My hometown has an organization called Project Green Fork. You can read all about it here, but briefly, it’s a way to encourage food service providers to reduce or eliminate the amount of waste they generate. They oversee a six-step certification process. Upon completion of the steps, a restaurant can use the PGF logo to […]

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January

by Daisy Conversation

I remarked recently on Facebook that the thing I like about January is that it’s as far away from next January as possible, and that’s pretty much the truth. However, there are a couple of other things I can stand about January: New Year’s Day grub, like blackeyed peas, , , , . . . […]

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All Time Best #1: Secrets of the No-Sew Rag Rug

by Ivory Soap Fencepost

In honor of our 1000th post in October 2014, we are counting down our most popular posts of all time. Each has received over 100K hits, and this one is well over 500K! This week, at #1, is Secrets of the No-Sew Rag Rug! In honor of our 1000th post in October 2014, we are […]

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All Time Best #3: Homemade Lotion Bars

by Ivory Soap Fencepost

In honor of our 1000th post in October 2014, we are counting down our most popular posts of all time. Each has received over 100K hits, and this one is over 350K! This week, at #3, is Homemade Lotion Bars! What is a lotion bar? It is a soap-hard manifestation of moisturizer you can make […]

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All Time Best #4: 10 Things You Should Know Before Making Homemade Laundry Detergent

by Ivory Soap Fencepost

In honor of our 1000th post in October 2014, we are counting down our most popular posts of all time. Each has received over 100K hits, and some as high as 500K! This week, at #4, is 10 Things You Should Know Before Making Homemade Laundry Detergent! I have spent HOURS on the this database researching all […]

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Frugal Homemade Gift Guide: Skin Care Edition

by Daisy Fencepost

These are favorites around here. Both Deanna and I give these things as gifts and people love them. I deliberately formulated most of these to use the same ingredients so I don’t have to buy a bunch of different exotic oils and butters, just the basics. Lotion Bars Lip Balm Liniment Peppermint Foot Slather And […]

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All Time Best #5: Making Hot Process Soap in a Crock Pot

by Ivory Soap Fencepost

In honor of our 1000th post in October 2014, we are counting down our most popular posts of all time. Each has received over 100K hits, and some as high as 500K! This week, at #5, is Making Hot Process Soap in a Crock Pot! I made famous soap today. Well, my soap isn’t famous, […]

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All Time Best #6: Quick Homemade Cheese

by Ivory Soap Fencepost

In honor of our 1000th post in October 2014, we are counting down our most popular posts of all time. Each has received over 100K hits, and some as high as 500K! This week, at #6, is Quick Homemade Cheese! Ivory’s Totally Yummy Soft Cheese 1/2 Gallon Whole Milk (Goat or Cow) 1/4 cup white […]

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All Time Best #7: Knitted Dishcloth Pattern #1–Blackberries

by Ivory Soap Fencepost

In honor of our 1000th post in October 2014, we are counting down our most popular posts of all time. Each has received over 100K hits, and some as high as 500K! This week, at #7, is Knitted Dishcloth Pattern #1: Blackberries! This pattern is inspired by our first decent year for blackberries. Now, I […]

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All Time Best #8: Aluminum Can Ornaments

by Ivory Soap Fencepost

In honor of our 1000th post in October 2014, we are counting down our most popular posts of all time. Each has received over 100K hits, and some as high as 500K! This week, at #8, is Aluminum Can Ornaments! Today’s post began where so many of our posts seem to originate: The Recycling Bin […]

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Changes

by Daisy Conversation

Much of the garden writing I do includes a whine or two about how little sun I have in my yard because of all the huge trees. As our town’s favorite son was often heard to sing, a little less conversation, a little more action, please. (Now that’s a chain saw). I’m having a few […]

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All Time Best #9: Newspaper Seedling Pots

by Ivory Soap Fencepost

In honor of our 1000th post in October 2014, we are counting down our most popular posts of all time. Each has received over 100K hits, and some as high as 500K! This week, at #9, is Newspaper Seedling Pots.                         I tried the […]

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All Time Best #10: Weed Killing!

by Ivory Soap Fencepost

In honor of our 1000th post in October 2014, we are counting down our most popular posts of all time. Each has received over 100K hits, and some as high as 500K! This week, at #10, is “Weed Killing!” It’s an herbicide drift eliminator! Ever try to kill something lame and accidentally injure your awesome […]

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