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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How to Harvest Milk Thistle Seeds

by Daisy Garden

Make sure all your affairs are in order. Call 911 and get them en route to your location. Don protective gear. Carefully approach the milk thistle. While it isn’t quite that dire, it is almost that dire. Milk thistle has the most aggressive thistles, and they’re everywhere–on the stem, under the base of the flower, […]

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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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Feel Good Biscuits

by Daisy Breads

In an effort to feed my family a better “everyday” biscuit, I adapted a traditional drop biscuit recipe. With oat flour, whole wheat, flaxseed and coconut oil, I think I have a winner. They’re a little bit crumblier than your usual biscuit, but they still hold together quite well considering all the fiber in there. […]

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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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Reishi Mushrooms

by Daisy Garden

Reishi mushrooms, Ganoderma lucidum, have been used for centuries to promote health and longevity and are known as” the mushrooms of immortality.” I inoculated several oak logs over a year ago and put them in a shady spot behind my compost bin, partially nestled into the soil. They just began to fruit this spring. They’re […]

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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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Columba di Pasqua–Re-post

by Daisy Breads

Note:  This is a repeat of a recipe I try to re-post each year.  I want to make another one this year.  (And guard it better from certain people this time). This is a fun Easter bread, Italian style. It’s basically just a rich egg bread decorated with almond paste and almonds but it’s the […]

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More Trench Composting And An Update

by Daisy Garden

The first time I tried trench composting, I couldn’t dig down very deep because of the hugelkulture logs I buried. All was well for a couple of days, then I woke to find the buried compost in the trench had been discovered by some critters. They dug around and brought out some choice pieces of […]

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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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Trench Composting

by Daisy Garden

With the encouragement of commenters, I decided to go ahead and use the trench composting method for the latest delivery of restaurant compost. Trench composting is a way to compost in which the compost is buried directly into the garden beds. First, I dug a trench. The recommended depth for trench composting is 12 inches. […]

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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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How to Make the Best Snow Ice Cream

by Daisy Dairy Foods

I suppose I should have known I was tempting fate when I declared our last snow/sleet as the Last Hurrah of winter. We got about 4 inches of perfect, fluffy snow last night, and today had snow ice cream written all over it. Encouraged by one of my brothers (who got about an 8″ snowfall […]

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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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Building Mulch Basins for Water Retention

by Daisy Garden

I’ve been reading Art Ludwig’s book Create an Oasis with Greywater and decided to use his “mulch basin” technique to plant a trio of blueberry bushes. The concept is to make a basin around a plant such as a tree or a shrub to catch and hold runoff or greywater so it has time to […]

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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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Build A Vintage-Inspired Egg Rack

by Daisy Crafts

This is one of my favorite things around the house. The first time I noticed an egg rack was in a movie. It was Gosford Park, and believe me or don’t believe me, but I was more interested in this thing than in Clive Owen. I froze the movie over and over to get a […]

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Easy Homemade Vegetarian Vegetable Soup

by Daisy Main Dishes

If you’re like me, you salivate over gourmet soup recipes with exotic, esoteric, and expensive ingredients, elaborate preparation techniques, and great gobs of cream and butter. Then you go to the pantry and ask yourself what’s for dinner that won’t clog your arteries, require you to take out a loan, and will be ready before […]

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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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Mushroom Inoculation Day

by Daisy Garden

Sometimes when bloggers don’t post it’s because they haven’t been doing anything worth blogging about. Sometimes it’s because they’ve been doing so much they don’t have time to blog about it; things happen faster than they can photograph them and there isn’t time in-between tasks to sit down and write down what they’ve been doing. […]

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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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Frugal Homemade Gift Guide: Knitted Washcloth Edition

by Daisy Household

For when you really want to give a handknit gift but you’re running out of time: Washcloths Or dishcloths, dishrags, call them what you may. They’re quick and easy and still handknit. Here are a few of my favorites from our site: Honeycomb Dishcloth Hugs and Kisses Dishcloth (my favorite!) Good Grief! Dishcloth: My homage […]

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Frugal Homemade Gift Guide: Stick Edition

by Daisy Household

Every year I get more and more averse to buying cheap, imported stuff; stuff that breaks, gets tossed aside the moment the newness wears off and becomes little more than something I can’t wait to discard so I don’t have to keep picking it up so I can vacuum. Here are a few of the […]

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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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Pumpkin Seed Taste Test

by Ivory Soap Recipes

My husband LOVES Halloween and we have FIVE kids, so that means LOTS of jack-o-lanterns.  And LOTS of seeds. I checked out THIS POST to remind myself how to cook them.  I was really dreading unloading the oven of all my cast iron.  Two dutch ovens plus skillets and lids?  Ugh. Luckily for me, Step 9 of that […]

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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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Reishi Revelation and a Milestone

by Daisy Conversation

Back in 2008, or maybe 2007, we really can’t remember, Deanna and I had a phone conversation that was the jumping off point for this website. As I recall, we took the common blogger recommendation to stockpile a few posts before we went “live” to make it look like we’d been at this for longer […]

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New Strawberry Bed

by Daisy Drama

Of all the typical calamities that befall strawberry beds: birds, squirrels, slugs, drought (and I’ve had all of those), it was unexpected to say the least when an electrical transformer exploded over mine and doused it with dielectric fluid just as the strawberries were getting ready to pick. But I was more determined than ever […]

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The Drips and Dabs Problem

by Daisy Conversation

There they sat, six or eight of them in a small bowl, wrinkled, bruised and sad. Unusable. “Chickens?” my husband asked, pointing at them. A cloud of fruit flies arose at the disturbance. I sighed heavily, a sense of failure coming over me. “Yes,” I said. “Go ahead. Give ’em to the chickens.” They were […]

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Yahooo! Oyster Mushrooms!

by Daisy Garden

Again, THRILLED. I went out this morning to see how much the shiitakes had grown overnight and was amazed to see one of the logs of oyster mushrooms had also fruited. I may have done a mushroom dance. Look at those delicate gills, the soft, felty caps, the blush of brownish gray. These are called […]

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I’m Plotzing!

by Daisy Garden

I can barely contain myself. Something I’ve been waiting for years to happen has happened. In fact, it’s something that helped bring about the formation of this blog six years ago. Deanna and I had been friends for ten years at that point, but somehow we never fully realized we shared a certain passion for […]

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Paradox: On Being A Gardener

by Daisy Conversation

Gardeners are a patient sort. We plant what we know will take years before the time it produces the first harvest. Each year after that, we tend and wait a whole year for that small window of time when we reap the fruits of our labors and our time invested. Gardeners are dreamers and hopers. […]

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Make Your Own Cheap and Easy Plant Propagation Box

by Daisy Garden

When I was going through our local Master Gardener course, we went on a field trip to Memphis Botanic Gardens, where the resident garden manager, Chris Cosby, led a brief course in propagation techniques. One of the methods he described was using a modified styrofoam cooler to make a propagation box for cuttings. I built […]

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Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation

by Daisy Fencepost

After a toxic oil spill in my garden, one of the readers of our blog kindly contacted mycologist Tradd Cotter on my behalf. One of the perks of having a blog with its group of great readers is people like her. First of all, in case you didn’t know, a mycologist is a biologist who […]

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Making Lemon Balm Tincture

by Daisy Body Care

If I were stranded on a desert island one of the first plants I’d go looking for is lemon balm. It would help keep me calm, and considering I was stranded on a desert island I would be in need of a heaping helping of calm. It would also help me sleep which would be […]

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The 6 Commandments of Entrusting Your Housekey To A Neighbor

by Daisy Conversation

Last week, I wrote a post about how to be a good steward of someone else’s housekeys. That got me to thinking about the hows and whys of entrusting your own housekey to someone else. The reasons we need to give a housekey to someone vary. Most of the time it’s for a specific purpose: […]

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The 6 Commandments Of Other People’s Housekeys

by Daisy Conversation

A lot of what I do is all about independence; trying to grow my own food and medicine, learning to make, make do, or live without. BUT, I also value interdependence. I believe getting to know your neighbors and making contacts outside your own family unit can add great value to your life. If I […]

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The Gourd By The Door

by Daisy Conversation

By the time I noticed there was a birdhouse gourd growing in the foundation shrubs by our kitchen door it was already too big to move. I decided to let it grow and see what happened. What happened was, it grew gourds. There are three of them that I can see. I have a sneaking […]

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Three Story House

by Daisy Conversation

My awesome friend Courtney Santo debuts her second novel today, Three Story House, and I am excited for her and very proud of her. She is a beautiful person and a spellbinding writer and storyteller. This article is a great intro to Courtney and her newest book: Courtney Santo Signs Three Story House If you […]

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Lazy Recycling

by Daisy Conversation

I noticed the other day after breakfast this was all the waste left over after the meal: Except for the fruit sticker, it all goes to the chickens where it will be recycled as eggs and fertilizer. It’s not always like this; believe me, sometimes our trash can gets a workout, but whenever we can […]

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Please Excuse Our Dust

by Daisy Conversation

As you can probably see, our blog is having a bad hair day. We’ve been experiencing technical difficulties and are in the process of working things out. In the meantime we’re looking rather frazzled, so please bear with us while we push and shove and rearrange the furniture. At the moment we’ve even lost the […]

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Home Farm Deals and Cool Stuff

by Daisy Fencepost

How cute is this? Seed bombs packaged like luxury bon bons.  From Etsy, $16. Unique hostess gift for that gardening friend. Ready for frost, bugs, or too much sun. Agribon floating row cover fabric, 50 feet long, 83 inches wide, on sale for $22.45 from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. This looks irresistible: Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life: […]

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The Police Are Handing Out Sheep

by Ivory Soap Drama

A week ago, there was a knock at my door…at 8AM.  Police officers. “Ma’am, do you own a white goat?” “Yes.” “Is it missing?  There’s one jumping around on Poplar.”  (That’s our main drag through town.) Nope.  Goats don’t ROAM like a dog that gets loose.  And, they stay in pairs.  So, I was pretty […]

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Chicken Of The Woods

by Daisy Garden

It sounds like a (bad) joke: What kind of mushroom grows in a chicken run? Answer: Chicken Of The Woods! When I posted this photo to our Facebook page asking for help identifying the mushroom that sprung up overnight on a cherry log next to the chicken coop, I got several immediate responses. The verdict, […]

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Bumblebee Moth

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

When we first saw this huge moth feeding on the butterfly bush, my first thought was, “It looks like a cross between a hummingbird and a bumblebee!” It’s actually a Bumblebee Moth (Hemaris diffinis), also known as a Snowberry Clearwing Moth, to the best of my bug-identifying ability. The wings, which are partially clear, can […]

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Herb Harvest

by Daisy Conversation

I can’t get enough of certain herbs. One of my absolute favorites is thyme (right foreground). I love the flavor, and I love that it has such depth and pungency; it holds up to slow simmering while is also perfection in uncooked preparations like cold pasta salad and salad dressing. My only regret with thyme […]

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A Safer Transformer Oil?

by Daisy Drama

Transformers fall into the category of necessary evil. How else to describe something which makes it possible for us to power our homes yet sometimes explodes, leaks, catches fire, and spills toxic chemicals? This is not only the case for those transformers located overhead on a pole like mine, but also those pad-mounted and buried […]

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Transformer Explosion Update

by Daisy Drama

Back in April, during a thunderstorm, lightning apparently struck the electrical transformer in our yard. I didn’t even know transformers contained oil. The smell was the first clue; a strong petroleum odor. Then I saw the oil sheen on the puddles of rainwater. I didn’t know where it came from, but when the repair crew […]

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REAL Smoked Almonds

by Ivory Soap Main Dishes

Mmmmm, smoked almonds.  And not the kind with “smoke flavoring added.”  The real thing. You will need: 2 lbs raw almonds 6 Tbs Worcestershire sauce 3 tsp Onion Powder 3 tsp Garlic Powder 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper 1 tsp Sonny Salt 1 tsp ground mustard 4+ dashes of Louisiana Hot Sauce Mix wet and dry […]

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How-To: Passionflower Tincture

by Daisy Body Care

Besides being appreciated for its fantastical blooms, passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is used medicinally to calm anxiety and improve sleep. It’s thought to increase levels of GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid). GABA regulates the excitability of neurons in the brain. GABA is also suspected to regulate the production of melatonin, which is related to healthy sleep. And, since […]

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Home Farm Deals and Neat Stuff

by Daisy Fencepost

Links to deals and cool stuff I’ve run across the web this week related to home farming and sustainability. Check out this collection of seeds to plant to grow your own chicken feed; corn, sorghum, chard, millet, pumpkin, peas, and more. Made in USA privacy/windscreen attaches to your 6′ chain link fence. $41.98 plus shipping […]

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Easy Blueberry Bush Bird Protection

by Daisy Garden

Many years ago I tried draping deer netting over my blueberry bushes. It was a complete failure. I didn’t secure the netting at ground level so the birds got up under the net, it was a pain to crawl under there to pick, and the birds could sit on the outside and pick berries through […]

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Home Farm Deals and Neat Stuff

by Daisy Fencepost

Wherein I link to sales, deals, and neat stuff in the realm of gardening, sustainable living, and the like I’ve found on the web this week. Made in the USA pottery is hard to find. Love Emerson Creek. Their ceramic iced tea pitchers and appetizer plates are on sale through the Fourth of July. Beautiful […]

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Lemon Poppyseed Buttermilk Pancakes

by Daisy Breakfast

I could eat the same thing for breakfast day in and day out, but my kids like for me to mix things up. Sometimes I grumble a bit about this, but I hunt around and find a new recipe or make something up and then, I confess, I enjoy it, too. A lot. This is […]

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How We Liked the New Nest Box

by Daisy Conversation

What is that thing? What are you doing in there? We all must know. Move over. Hasn’t killed anybody yet. Must check it out. OK, enough of the chicken POV. Initially, things looked promising. They were curious about the new box and kicked the tires around for a few hours, so to speak. When it […]

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Easy Fruiting Ivy Substitute

by Ivory Soap Conversation

I planted these muscadines a few years ago for the photo shoot for our book, Little House in the Suburbs: Backyard farming and home skills for self-sufficient living.  I haven’t touched them since.  I mean, I haven’t pruned, watered, weeded, nothing…ever.  They’re one of the few plants from that photo shoot that survived.  The goats […]

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Roll-Out Nesting Box

by Daisy Barnyard

Chicken Time-Out wasn’t much of a success. First, there’s the problem of having to catch an angry chicken first thing every morning. No amount of coffee can prepare me for that. Second, I think there may be another culprit. My smartypants Rhode Island Red laid an egg on the top shelf of the coop yesterday […]

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Home Farm Deals and Neat Stuff

by Daisy Fencepost

A handful of home farm staples, treats, and neat stuff I’ve run across in my travels across the web this week.I have a giant soft spot for this slouchy, feminine style from the 20’s and 30’s. It makes me think of those cozy English mysteries on PBS I love so much. With 22 patterns to […]

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Asparagus Murder

by Ivory Soap Conversation

My landscape guy cleaned out my asparagus beds.   Considering the below picture more closely resembles my bed last year…. It’s a bit of a travesty.  See below. I think two out of six mature plants survived.  They used to run in a hedge the length of my fence.  I’ve had them longer than two […]

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Home Farm Deals

by Daisy Fencepost

This is a weekly post in which I link to deals, interesting finds, and cool stuff related to home farming and sustainable living. Love the nostalgic vintage vibe of this metal sign from MyPet Chicken. On sale for $9. It’s storm season. “This Eton American Red Cross FRX2 ARCFRX2WXR radio features an analog AM/FM tuner […]

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AMAZING Herbal Smoothie

by Daisy Beverages

I was feeling sort of yuck one afternoon; I think it was the weather, raining one minute and sunny, hot, and desperately humid the next.  Then more rain. Stuck inside the house under those meteorological circumstances wasn’t doing me any good. I decided what I needed was a jolt of nutrition so I went out […]

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Chokeberry: The Next Superfood?

by Daisy Garden

With three times the antioxidants of that other superfood, the blueberry, Aronia melanocarpa, or chokeberry, may be poised to become one of the next superfood sweethearts of the nutrifood industry. Why wait, though, when you can have a chokeberry in your own backyard? If you’ve never heard of chokeberry, you’re in the majority. Not to […]

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Easy Awesome Smoked Ribs/Chicken

by Ivory Soap Main Dishes

Mr. Caswell loves his smoker. He is a smoked meat fanatic.  He has tried every recipe under the sun, taken classes, and even become a barbecue judge for the Memphis Barbecue Network.  Everywhere he travels, he finds the local BBQ masters and picks their brains.  Well, this last trip to Athens, AL paid off big time. […]

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Broad-Headed Skink

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

I was pleased to get this photo of a broad-headed skink sunning himself on a flagstone in my garden recently. By his coloration (the red head) I could identify it as a male. They have that bright noggin in the spring to attract the ladies. The female broad-headed skink doesn’t have the red head. It’s […]

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DIY Soothing Plantain Salve Recipe

by Daisy Body Care

Plantain, that pesky lawn and garden weed, makes a soothing salve for itches, bites, burns, rashes, sore muscles and strains. Using the plantain-infused oil we made in this post, here’s a recipe for an easy-to-spread salve to keep in store for all the times someone in your family says “I’m itchy!” and “Ouch!” PLANTAIN SALVE […]

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DIY Plantain-Infused Oil

by Daisy Body Care

Most people have seen this herb growing in cracks in the sidewalk or marring the monoculture of an otherwise pristine lawn. Before you pluck it out and toss it away, consider that broadleaf plantain (Plantago major) is a nutritious edible plant and a potent medicinal herb. Plantain (especially the young, tender leaves) can be used […]

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Home Farm Deals

by Daisy Fencepost

A handful of home farm staples, treats, and neat stuff I’ve run across in my travels across the web this week. Sale Chicken Crewel Kit from Williams-Sonoma, USA made. Adorable. $19.99 was $34.95. At $28 this isn’t cheap, but since I’m tired of cheap trowels that bend backwards I’m salivating over this hand-forged, blacksmith-made trowel […]

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Great Little Backyard Coop

by Ivory Soap Fencepost

We’ve learned the hard way, that a “free range” chicken is pretty much a “dead” chicken.  Out of 15 chickens we’ve owned.  We have 4 left.  Four were predator deaths.  One was old age.  Six were killed by their own stupidity: hanging themselves on fences they couldn’t quite jump, ramming themselves under fences they couldn’t […]

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Persimmon Attack

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

When I was a kid, persimmon attacks were common, particularly among the brothers in my family. Actually, exclusively among the brothers in my family. I’m under a different kind of persimmon attack now. And while the attack of yesteryear (being pelted with persimmons) is unpleasant, this new kind is bad in a different way. My […]

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Home Farm Deals

by Daisy Fencepost

Gayla Trail of You Grow Girl is offering 15% off her t-shirt designs with code MYSHIRT2014 at checkout. My fav is the Microfarmer T. FREE DOWNLOAD for Kindle owners with Amazon Prime: Permaculture: A Step by Step Guide for Home Permaculture, by Wesley Dios. SEEDS FOR SALE from Park. No GMOs. Free shipping to new […]

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Recipes From Elk River Guest Ranch: Cowboy Beans

by Daisy Recipes

Another recipe from my buddy Bex at Elk River Guest Ranch in beautiful CO, this time a standard of ranch cooking: Cowboy Beans At the ranch after a day of riding, hiking, and biking,  whitewater rafting or fly fishing, this is a SIDE DISH. At home, though, after a day of puttering in the garden […]

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Juneberry

by Daisy Garden

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s almost June. If you don’t believe it either, the proof is in the ripening Juneberries. I planted three Juneberry (Amelanchier) bushes three years ago. They’ve had a slow start not being in full sun, but they’re finally looking like they’re established and poised to give more than […]

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Spring Bloom Timeline 2014

by Ivory Soap Conversation

This spring, for our “nature walks” (read: nature drives, preggers…wait, read: pointing out nature periodically when we’re driving somewhere else), we are tracking the blooms of the season.  Here is the order of appearance. Week One 1.  Daffodils (pictured above) 2. Japanese Quince.  My MIL calls them her “sticks”.  This is the one time of year […]

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Home Farm Deals

by Daisy Fencepost

I love “deals” pages on blogs, and I’ve been looking for some that focus on home farming and sustainability with little success. So I thought why not do one myself? Here are a few tempting deals I’ve seen around the net, specially geared for the person like me whose fingernails are filthy and who smells […]

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Egg-Eater Blues

by Daisy Conversation

About a week or two ago, the daily egg count began to take a dive. I might collect five or six eggs one day, next to none the next day. A couple of days I literally collected no eggs. Some days several, some days one or two. I found a couple of half eaten eggs […]

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Harvesting Madder Root

by Daisy Garden

Back in, hm, let’s check the date stamp on the photos . . . the latter days of March, I decided to dig up the madder plants that had begun to sprout and harvest the root for dyeing. The madder is some I started from seed I bought from Fedco Seeds three years ago.  The […]

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No-Tip Fairy Chairs

by Daisy Crafts

If you have fairies, (and who doesn’t?) you must know a major problem with fairy furniture is that it tips over. What with the uneven terrain, wind and rain, crawling creatures and clumsy fairies, most fairy abodes look like they have barely survived an earthquake. When I decided to make a few chairs for the […]

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Transformer Oil: Strawberry Field or Brownfield?

by Daisy Drama

I feel bad to be shedding tears over this when there is so much truly wrong in the world, but I admit, I have cried over this. Big fat messy tears. I have wondered if I can ever garden this piece of land again, if my loved-to-distraction gardens, the very basis of my contribution to […]

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Transformer Oil Spew

by Daisy Drama

As I sat on my porch this afternoon I was startled out of my chair by the pairing of a clap of thunder and the crackling boom as the transformer on a pole 20 yards away exploded. From the corner of my eye, I saw the flash, and the general impression of things going this […]

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Guilding the Pear

by Daisy Garden

The more I guild, the more lonely the unguilded trees seem to me. In particular, my Asian pear was looking very bare. Selecting plants for a guild can be pretty simple or pretty involved, whichever way you lean. I can go either way depending on what free resources I have available. When I guilded the […]

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