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Shawn and Beth Dougherty have been farming together since the 1980s, for the last twenty years in eastern Ohio, where they manage 27 acres designated by the state as ‘not suitable for agriculture’, as well as a monastery farm of 100 acres. They write and travel on farming, dairying, farm-raised animal foods, and off-grid captured water systems. Shawn & Beth are the authors of The Independent Farmstead, published by Chelsea Green Publishing.
Is raising meat chickens a money-saver? There are so many opinions out there! The truth is, like nearly everything to do with farming, it depends. There are lots of ways and reasons for raising chickens for meat, and the economics of doing so vary just as widely. Let’s take a look at the cost of […]
Whether the goal is eggs or meat, folks starting out their country journey seem to go straight for chickens. Managed well, chickens can fit right into the farm ecosystem, providing nutrient cleanup, pest control, and light tillage almost anywhere those services are needed – along with some eggs and drumsticks. But when these benefits are […]
If there is one thing almost universal to all homesteaders, it is the keeping of a flock of laying hens. Most of the time chickens are the first – sometimes the only – livestock on the farm. What says ‘homesteading’ more eloquently than a basket of newly-gathered eggs, still warm from the nest? It’s almost […]
Raising a dairy cow on pasture is one of the best decisions you could make for your homestead… So, you’re beginning to get this homesteading thing down. You grew bushels of tomatoes this year, you’ve got chickens in a tractor, and, filled with inspiration, you’ve almost decided to take the plunge and buy a family […]
Grow your own animal feed right on the homestead! Learn the benefits and how to grow tromboncino squash as a dual-purpose crop for man or beast. With purchased animal feeds going up in price and even getting scarce, maybe it’s time seriously to consider growing animal feeds ourselves. But if you’ve done any real thinking […]
Learn how to grow mangel-wurzel beets as a feed crop to slash your livestock feed bill and gain greater self-sufficiency on your homestead! On our farm, the Sow’s Ear, we hate paying for feed so much that we’ve worked out some terrific feed crops we can grow ourselves. They save us money, which is great, […]