Rhode Island Red

Life with "The Girls" Provides Entertainment, Free Fertilizer and Incomparable Eggs

This year my husband and I celebrate 10 years of farming. In 2000, we transplanted ourselves from the Twin Cities to our farm in East Central Minnesota and over the past decade, have gradually expanded our agricultural output. Our primary focus has been growing produce, beekeeping and honey, and making maple syrup. But the one thing that everyone we know has asked us is why do we not have any farm animals?

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Blue Gentian Farm is a Midwest Refuge for Heritage Breeds

When it came time to choose a name for their new farm in Wisconsin’s St. Croix Valley, Darryle and Renee Powers didn’t need to look far for inspiration. Between the marshy pastures and upland fields, they found Bottle Blue Gentians, a rare wildflower whose natural wetland habitats are increasingly threatened by land development. Only a few insects, such as bumblebees, are strong enough to pry apart its closed petals, but it is an effort that yields a sweet reward. In this small yet tenacious flora, the Powers’ found a perfect symbol for their land and a fitting inspiration for their endeavors.

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Chickens: The Perfect Use for the Egg-tra Space in Your Backyard

After years of living in a city, I find myself a bit confused about what to do with the backyard in my new rural home. How do I maximize the space to provide myself with local food in the truest sense of the word? First, I sketched a plan for a garden, which was easy after a seven-month gig working on an organic vegetable farm. But I’m not a vegan, so I find myself wanting more.

For years, I’ve tracked blog posts and articles battling out the pros and cons of backyard chickens. Plus, I learned how to take care of chickens myself during my time on the farm last year. So I decided that the missing piece in my plan for a backyard farm is chickens.

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