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March 2012 Chickens in the Road Newsletter

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IN THIS ISSUE:

*Feature: Donkeys in the Driveway

*Kitchen Extra: Studio Kitchen Update

*My Favorite Thing Right Now: Fence Me In

*Recent Highlights: White Pickets, New Lands, Agritourism, and More

*Sneak Peek: Patriot Is Coming!

*Farm Bell Recipes: Freezing Cake Batter

*Blast from the Past: Feeding Baby Birds

*Feature: Donkeys in the Driveway

Yesterday, I finished painting my new gate posts. Dave and Matt hung the gates back up. I closed the gates and–

–went to tell the donkeys. Only they paid no attention to me! Or the open gate!

Donkeys are a hard sell. I had to get come cookies for them and THEN they strolled on out.

And started mowing!

I think it might take them a while to get the job done. They aren’t very efficient, but they fertilize.

And they’re quite picturesque!

Eventually it was time for the farrier to arrive, so I got a couple of apple treats and took them back to the barn. I’m going to get a lawnmower this week.

I have not mowed a yard since I was 12 years old. I was always the one who had to do yard work with my dad. Whenever it was time for yard work, my sister would coincidentally put her hair in curlers. Our suburban yard in Maryland was small and relatively flat. I never put my hair in curlers, but my dad must have felt sorry for me because he stopped making me mow. The funny thing is, I don’t remember really hating it. I remember hot summer days, wearing shorts, pushing the mower up and down the little rectangles of grass on either side of the driveway in the front yard. If I’d kept mowing, I wouldn’t dread mowing now. I’d be an experienced mower! I’d be like, a yard to mow, awesome! I would think it was great exercise and a meditative, zen event. That I don’t think that way is– My dad’s fault! Because he stopped making me mow! I haven’t thought of something I could blame on my parents in years! Oh never mind, he just felt sorry for me. I probably whined.

Like….now.

However! I have a solution. I’m going to put curlers in my hair and make Morgan mow! I don’t want her to hate me later!!!

Though Morgan has declared she won’t mow so she may beat me to the curlers. Then we’ll have to bring the donkeys back. I wouldn’t bet against the donkeys…..

Do you or don’t you mow? (Particularly asking women here.) I started a topic thread on the CITR forum for encouragement and women-friendly mower/weedeater suggestions. I need to get over my mower fear. Check it out and tell me your thoughts: Do You Mow? Tell Me.

*Kitchen Extra: Studio Kitchen Update

The new walls are up!

Renovations for the Studio at Sassafras Farm are well underway. Thank you so much for your support! For those of you who are studio contributors–please keep an eye out for emails from me regarding rewards. I will be handling each reward one at a time, so also please don’t worry if it’s a few weeks before you hear from me. Each reward must be ordered and shipped individually, and I don’t want to make any mistakes.

Yesterday, I got a letter in the mail from the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department saying, “The document you submitted is complete and thorough.” Yay! The letter states that my Food Establishment Plan has been approved. That is the first step toward getting a permit. The Food Establishment Plan is a thick pile of paperwork I had to fill out, specifying in detail how I would be operating my kitchen in accordance with code. The next step is to apply for the actual permit, which will be followed by an inspection upon the studio’s completion. I’m getting there. I’m excited!

*My Favorite Thing Right Now: Fence Me In

I’m all about fencing!

I’m fortunate to have many fields at Sassafras Farm, but I’ve been limited to the fields directly around the barn because of repairs needed in the other fields. With grass growing, I’m fencing left and right, with a slew of handy helpers. Fencing went up quickly this week, but there is much more to be done. I can’t wait to see animals spread across green, green pastures. Follow my progress on the blog as Sassafras Farm meets its first spring! It’s gonna be a busy one!

*Recent Highlights: White Pickets, New Lands, Agritourism, and More

Barn: Beulah Petunia and Glory Bee are Away on Studcation! Morgan and I went to see A Rescue Horse, and back at the farm, I’m Discovering New Lands. Find all my farm animal stories here.

Cooking: Bread in a fancy mold–you have to see this one: Another Day, Another Bread Idea. I’ve also been a little bit, slightly, obsessed with Julia Child lately–check out Suzanne and Julia. Also, watch for my posts showcasing some great BBB alternatives with all-new giveaways. Don’t miss a thing in my kitchen! Get all my recipes.

Country Living: Come with me on my Day with Agritourism as I prepare to open the studio. If you’ve ever been in a difficult relationship, see my very personal story in Snap, and please celebrate with me when Finally! I Can Tell! about my new book deal! See all my country living stories.

House & Garden: I made my Pre-Spring Assessment, which was followed by 30 bags of mulch and White Pickets. I’m also collecting your suggestions for Giving On–so please stop in there to add your favorite charity to the pot. Browse all my posts in house & garden.

*Sneak Peak: Patriot Is Coming!

We are excited.

Patriot is tentatively scheduled to be delivered to Sassafras Farm on Monday. Don’t miss it! I’m also happy to report that Patriot’s adoption makes way for Heart of Phoenix to rescue this poor little mare. Adopting a horse means you don’t just save one, you also save the second one you make room for them to rescue. (In this case, three, because this mare is pregnant.) Once rehabbed, this mare, and her foal, will be up for adoption. Visit the Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue here.

*Farm Bell Recipes: Freezing Cake Batter

Who would think of that? Community member CindyP, of course! Always have cupcakes on hand. Or save last-minute preparation time in advance of big events. Freeze the batter instead of the cake for better results! See the post on Farm Bell Recipes here: Freezing Cake Batter, and while you’re at it, try out CindyP’s Moist Carrot Cake.

To submit a blog post and enter to win the latest contributor giveaway, go here. The prize for the April contributor giveaway will be another Sunbeam Donut Maker.

The March contributor giveaway winner for a copy of the 50th anniversary edition of Volume 1 of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking was mom2girls.

March 2012 Farm Bell Recipes blog contributors:


anabFreezer Labels University
CindyPOur Life Simplified
copgrrl
JerseyMom
Mary JSmashing Dishes
mom2girls
murphalaFlourWaterYeast&Salt
Robin from RurificationRurification
tsmith

THANK YOU! Please give them a visit!

*Blast from the Past: Feeding Baby Birds

A few years ago, Morgan took a stroll down to the river and came back with four wild baby birds.

img_3824img_3824

Read my adventure with caring for them until I could get them to a wildlife rehabber. See the whole story, with video: Feeding Baby Birds.

***

Know a friend who would enjoy receiving the Chickens in the Road newsletter? Send them over to Chickens in the Road and tell them to sign up with the newsletter link in the sidebar or send them this handy link.

And, always, feel free to forward this newsletter!

Thank you for your comments, your support, and just for being there. Here’s hoping to see you on the Chickens in the Road Forum (make friends, have fun, come join us!) and every day on the farmhouse blog!

Love,
Suzanne

*More Handy Links:
CITR on Twitter
CITR on Facebook
CITR on Google+
CITR on YouTube
CITR on Pinterest

What are you fixing for supper tonight? Browse the goodness at Farm Bell Recipes — your cooking community!

*I’m giving away books on preserving so don’t forget to watch the blog for The Ball Blue Book Project days.

Go to Chickens in the Road now.





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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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