Everything I Need to Know, I Learned in my First Year of Chicken Keeping

I first published this essay on my blog last spring. We’ve now celebrated two adventure-filled years of caring for chickens in our backyard. Since writing, we’ve experienced our first molting season. What a nail-biter!! Here’s the version of this essay that aired on WVTF, my local NPR station, and here’s a story I wrote for The RoanokeContinue reading “Everything I Need to Know, I Learned in my First Year of Chicken Keeping”

Scenes of Spring

Now that the days are longer, the calendar has announced a new season and the birds and the bees are here to stay, I can’t help but take a deep happy breath and let a smile stretch across my face as I exhale. I am always elated to put the dark and cold of winter to bed for anotherContinue reading “Scenes of Spring”

Grow With Me

I did not grow up in a garden. I was raised in the suburbs and largely fed from grocery store shelves. Though my father hailed from a nearby dairy farm and his parents still lived on the family land, I have next to no childhood memories of helping anyone dig or plant or harvest. It’sContinue reading “Grow With Me”

Flowers for Dinner

  It’s been a disappointing zucchini year. Nothing like last year’s plenty that left me begging for mercy. But that’s okay. My dad sent me packing back in June with a bag full and my local farmers market tables are groaning with zukes. I feel certain that if I asked around, a few of you mightContinue reading “Flowers for Dinner”

Buttermilk and Blogging

  I feel like I’m falling into a nice posting rhythm this summer. I give you a little intro, then a handful of recipes. We talk about what’s coming out of our gardens and what farmers are bringing to their market tables. It’s all making my brain and my tastebuds and my tummy very happy. So forgive me forContinue reading “Buttermilk and Blogging”

Salad Days

  There’s been a stretch of hot here in Southwest Virginia and it’s spelling the end of what has been a wonderful few months of salad eating. We had red leaf lettuce from our cold frame in the chill of March and since late April we’ve been eating from a beautiful bed of mixed lettuces and endive, arugula andContinue reading “Salad Days”

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

  This dressing is thick and creamy and best when it’s filled with fresh local herbs. It’s a more decadent, flavorful version than what you’ll find on your grocery store shelves. But that’s exactly why it’s worth making from scratch. Makes 2 cups Ingredients 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup buttermilk (I use a local dairy that bottlesContinue reading “Buttermilk Ranch Dressing”

Wisdom from the Flock

Gosh, it’s good to be back. My family and I have wandered our way through some ups and some downs in the weeks since I’ve written. What I’m here to share, today, though, is an essay I’ve written about my family’s first year of chicken keeping. Who could have guessed what an adventure it wouldContinue reading “Wisdom from the Flock”

Horseradish Cream Sauce

  We’ve grown horseradish in our garden for a couple of years now and I’ve come to really love it. I typically harvest it after a few killing frosts in the fall, then grate it and mix it with vinegar to keep in the fridge for the year. (Read more of what I’ve written aboutContinue reading “Horseradish Cream Sauce”