Browsing the archives for the Urban Homesteading category.

Brewing Homemade Kombucha: A DIY Healthful, Homesteading Adventure Shared

I am pleased to share the next step in our homemade kombucha adventure and our recipe. If you are wondering what got us started on the kombucha and fermented foods craze you can find out more here or why kombucha is known as the miracle health elixir read more here.

As I wrote about previously, before you can brew your own batch of kombucha you need a starter. You can either buy one somewhere online (which apparently isn’t as good since live bacterias are killed off in transport), get one from a friend/ company locally or simply grow your own.

Since a kombucha SCOBY is a raw live bacteria culture that can easily be contaminated with unknown mater I felt better being 100% responsible for the growth and sanitary conditions of mine rather than trusting the technique and working conditions of another person I didn’t know. What you decide to do will depend on your own comfort level of course.

I shared my own recipe, photos and experience growing my SCOBY here if you want to grow your own.

Before you start your brew be sure you have a large, unleaded wide mouthed jar to hold your brew. Also take time to sterilize your jar and materials so your brew and SCOBY aren’t compromised.

Once your slimy starter is done you can follow the steps below to begin brewing.

To Make 1/2 Gallon of Kombucha

  1. In a large 1/2 gallon, non-leaded glass jar or container begin your brew with 8 cups of hot water and 4 tea bags. Brew your tea and let it cool to room temperature, preferably overnight. You can use green or black tea from what I’ve read. I used black tea for mine.
  2. Sweeten your tea with 1 cup of sugar and mix till dissolved. I used Sugar in The Raw for mine since I had it on hand to use up but my recipe called for white sugar. Note, more natural sugars will work differently than white sugar. I believe my brew needed a bit more time since I didn’t use white sugar but it still worked out great.
  3. Pour 1 cup of the reserve kombucha (that your SCOBY grew in) in your sweetened, brewed tea. Reserve your SCOBY’s leftover fluids though (and recover with a cloth), it will grow a backup SCOBY on top and will later be your SCOBY’s “hotel”.
  4. Transfer your SCOBY from it’s growth jar to the sweetened, brewed tea jar. Place on top but know it is fine if the SCOBY sinks or floats. Mine was floating initially and then sank but then came back up.
  5. Cover with a cloth, secure cloth and wait 5-7 days for it to brew. Taste test it from about day 5 on. If it is too sweet it needs to brew longer. It will go from sweet to vinegar like as it brews so frequent taste tests will allow you to end the initial brew when it suits you. Mine was ready at day 6 this round. Don’t let it get to vinegar like, you may not be able to stomach it. It should taste like the unflavored kombuch sold in stores but without the fizz. The fizz and carbonation happens in the next ferment.

Secondary Fermentation & Flavoring Your Kombucha

Your secondary fermentation happens once you bottle your Kombucha and add any flavorings to it. Here is how we did ours:

  1. Sanitize about 6 swing-top/ flip-top bottles or you can use regular mason jars.
  2. Move your SCOBY and about 1-2 cups of kombucha back to your kombucha “hotel”. A new SCOBY will likely have begun to form on top while your kombucha was brewing, this is great. Just reach in and grab your SCOBY even if it appears to have a thin milky film on top of it.
  3. Once your SCOBY is out of the brewed kombucha it is time to add some flavoring. The easiest way is to add fruit purees to the kombucha. We added a kiwi, strawberry, banana puree this time. Add about 3/4 cup for your half gallon of kombucha and mix. Don’t be alarmed about foam and any bubbling reaction. Ours produced quite a bit of “head” on top of the kombuch once the puree was added, we just bottled it that way. We also didn’t opt for straining the fruit puree before adding, this did result in quite a bit of fruit pulp in our kombucha but we think the added fiber and nutrients are great. Strain if you prefer a less pulpy drink.
  4. Next siphon or use a funnel to fill your jars with brew. My half gallon of kombucha ended up making 5 bottles of finished brew. Or fill your mason jars and cover them with their lids.
  5. Allow the flavored, bottled brew to sit out on the counter for an additional 3 days for the secondary fermentation process. This is when the brew becomes carbonated.
  6. Once your 3 days of secondary fermentation is up transfer the bottles to the fridge for a minimum 1/2 day so the carbonation settles a bit and your brew gets cold. Opening the bottle prematurely is reported to cause major kombucha sprayage much like a shaken soda does so you’ve been warned ;P
  7. Lastly, enjoy your kombucha and start a new batch

Be aware that refrigeration will slow fermentation, but it will still occur – so if you drink your kombucha over months instead of days or weeks, be sure to release the pressure and excess carbonation every few weeks, and realize that it will continue to consume sugar and grow more tart, even vinegar-y, over time.

We learned this the hard way with some older bottles of brew. I am still cleaning off the walls and ceiling!

Stay tuned for other fermented food adventures shared like saurkraut, kefir and cheese. You can subscribe to the blog updates at the very bottom of this page.

“Change Comes to Dinner” and thoughts on eating locally.

I just started reading a new book titled Change Comes to Dinner, I’m only halfway done and I’m already in love! It’s an inspiring book about all the individuals across America working to make local, sustainable, natural foods more of a realistic option.Eating locally is no doubt important to us as many of you already know but it can be hard to do. During these bleak winter months, it is no doubt difficult to find fresh food options locally. The limited availability of fresh food is a bummer in winter and I’m not ashamed to admit we are in serious food rut as a result.

Regardless of the limited availability, we still believe investing our food money locally is the best option. Actually, I stubbornly refuse to hand over our hard-earned money (whenever possible) to companies that truck in, mass-produced fruits and vegetables. You can read more about why here.

The 1st chapter of this book shares the story of an individual whose mission is to make locally produced foods a viable buying option for community members. He does this by filling an old school bus with produce and other local food items, essentially he is operating a rolling–school–bus–farmers–market in his area.

How cool is that? It actually reminds me a lot of the types of people you would find living at The Farm in Summertown Tennessee since many arrived at The Farm on a school bus caravan of sorts when the community was established.

Heck, I would even be willing to buy and operate a rolling–school-bus–farmers-market of my own here in the area.

The lost art of local food is a total shame. And I wish more people would understand why and get on board to support their local farmers.

Not only is it good business to support local food growers but it also protects the community from suffering the consequences of any unforeseen fallout or production issues or contamination that may occur at one point or another on the few large-scale farms that basically monopolize the agriculture business and provide us with all our food.

If you are curious about eating locally or if you are jaded about the state of our country’s local food affairs this book is a must read.

Garden woes and thoughts of fleeing the homestead to have a baby…

It is not easy to up and leave in the middle of your season harvest after putting in all the hard work and anxiously awaiting the payoff.

We are fixing to abandon the garden now and turn our focus to the upcoming birth of Baby Sister. It isn’t as bad as it could be considering the garden hasn’t been all that productive. It’s been an off year for us, probably because Nathan isn’t ever home to tend the garden and with me all big and pregnant things weren’t planted to tended to as well as they should have been.

[POPUP=IMG1]The disappointments for us this year were peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, squash and potatoes. Squash vine borer and squash beetles killed off our plants right after the first setting of fruit. We had zucchini, pumpkin, gourds, butternut squash and they were all destroyed right away. It was the year of pest attack for us, I guess we weren’t proactive enough in the beginning cause the bugs pretty much killed off all the stuff we had going out back beyond our yard. Other than the tomatoes, beans and corn.

The successes are of course tomatoes, our favorite lemon cucumbers, pretty popping corn, lettuce did well, beans (soup and fresh ones), okra, swiss chard, radish, turnips, strawberries, collard greens, carrots, grapes, sunflowers and blackberries have done great.

We figured out the mystery of our Etna Bush Beans and were happy that the early ones we picked turned out okay. Apparently, the pods get white with red stripes (much like the beans inside the pod). They are best picked for drying and soup making once the pods show red and have turned white and begun to dry out.

Another Etna Bush Bean note is that once the first round of pods are removed, the plant will re-flower and set new pods… or at least our have begun to. This is a welcome surprise since our 8 plants didn’t yield as many as we had anticipated and many more will need to grow before we are making soup with them.

I was hoping to get a quart mason jar filled with soup beans this year, you know to grow a pound or two of soup beans for winter… Not sure how many rows and rows I’d need to plant for that. I’ll keep you posted though.

 

Mmm Blackberry Sorbet: A From Scratch Recipe Shared

Our well appreciated thornless blackberry bush is producing ripe fruit now. This is it’s 2nd year since we stole it from an alley way where it was forgotten and buried under weeds behind our crappy rental house.

This time last year (the first year it fruited) Miss Everly enjoyed gobbling up every single ripe berry she could get her hands on. She loves her raw fruits!

This year, after picking several unripe ones against our advice she’s not chomping at the bit to eat freshly picked ones. Big surprise huh?

She does still love the responsibility of finding and plucking off the ripe ones, even if she’s not going to eat them. She is really taking an interest in deciphering which are ready and which are not, this also applies to other garden goodies like the grapes, squash and tomatoes.

Last week when we came in with an entire bucket of fresh blackberries I knew it was time to find a recipe for them, rather than letting them spoil in the fridge.

In light of our recent heatwave I was thinking some homemade sorbet really sounded good so I did some hunting and found a recipe that looked great and also worked great for us and it is even works without an ice cream maker if you don’t have one. It was actually easier without one, and we have one.

Ingredients:

1 cup of water
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1 pound fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice

The recipe calls for “simple syrup” or basically a sugar and water mixture of 1 cup water and 1 1/4 cups of white sugar. Then you take about 1 pound of berries and puree them up good, combine them with the sugar syrup and remove the seeds by straining them well. Then you add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the syrup and berry mixture, taste test and freeze.

The Joy of Baking says you can add more sugar or water to the mixture before freezing to obtain the preferred taste and sweetness if you find the above measurements leave your sorbet too sweet or too tart. I thought ours was just right though.

We froze our mixture in a plastic yogurt container and would check on it each day to give it a quick stir and to keep it mixed well as it froze. It does take about a day to freeze and isn’t a super hard freeze (at least for us) but we like our sorbet soft and keep it near the opening of the freezer door and not in the coldest part of the freezer.

Oh, I must confess I didn’t have the heart to toss out all the perfectly good blackberry seeds that we strained off so… I am drying them now and they can be planted I guess according to the internet. Not like blackberry bushes need to be sprouted from seed but I hate to waste anything.

Now that we have a second round of berries harvested I’ll make more sorbet I think. It really is the perfect yummy and healthy treat for a heatwave, summer day.

P.S. Like the well placed bucket in the photo of her picking berries? She loves running around naked these days. Ha, ha!

 

To harvest or not to harvest? Etna Bush Beans that is…

Google has led me astray. I’ve got my hands on the soup beans I’ve been coveting, the Etna Bush Bean but there seems to be no consistent information about the proper harvesting of these beauties. Google has failed me this time…

(more…)

Updates and happenings at 34 weeks pregnant

Last night Nathan and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary with a dinner out. Nothing real over the top since date nights and getting super keyed up is something I lack the energy for these days being that I am 34 weeks pregnant now.

Everly was along for the dinner and we all had a great time, baby sister enjoyed the steak dinner too! I am loading up on the red meat these days thanks to mild anemia remember?

Everly grows up before sister arrives: Miss Everly is quite ready to meet her baby sister. Have I mentioned that she’s in the process of potty training herself in these last pre-big-sister days… Well she is!

We had no desire to force her to grow up any faster now that a new baby is on the way. I didn’t want to rush her to wean but she did so herself, I didn’t want to force a toddler bed but she really let us know it was indeed time and now she is adding potty training to the mix. It really blows my mind.

When looking back, I guess her pattern has always been to dive right in to the next stage when she was ready. Like when she stole noodles right off my fork one day and started her solid food journey at 7 months old.

We’ve been explaining that Baby Sister in in my belly all along and have been talking about what will happen when she gets here. While it doesn’t seem like she gives it much thought I guess she really does comprehend more than we think. And her instincts and development are pretty right on.

With all her self led transitions we’ve been a little slow to realize and have had some rough patches as a result. In the instance of potty training it’s been this constant battle of her wanting to be naked and stripping herself and then having small accidents.

The thing about her (and I guess myself also) is that when an idea is planted there is no stopping the forward motion or going back. So letting her run naked is all we could do. We are working on the big girl undies and keeping them on, she still struggles with pulling them up and down a bit but that will come with time.

Everly has had all sorts of potty success all on her own this week. One day she just asked me to help her open up the potty chair lid, I did so and walked away to finish the dishes. She sat there for a bit, peed and then came to get me so I could see it.

Yesterday she asked me to bring the potty seat out to the deck for her and she peed and pooped, several times. Today has been more potty success so it seems we are on the right path. Fingers are crossed that she doesn’t revert to non-potty-chair-use when baby arrives, but if she does that will be fine too.

Pregnancy news & updates: I am 34 weeks pregnant. Baby Sister was “sunny-side-up” (or posterior) and head down over the weekend and I am NOT dilating or effaced which is good.

We aren’t stressing over her orientation in the uterus because babies turn themselves all around even during labor for best positioning. Besides my midwife is confident even if baby stays in the same position labor wont be an issue for me. They would even attend my home birth if she was breech, so position is not an issue.

Also, with the lack if dilation and no thinning of the cervix my fleeting thoughts about labor beginning before I get to The Farm are history, for now. I was advised to lay more, to chase Everly around less and to chill with the homestead tending… but I am stubborn about these things.

My energy levels just don’t permit me to lay idle and someone has to care for Everly but I am taking it easy on the outdoor work and am tuned in to my body for signals to call it quits.

Been trying to get life to a good stopping point. That is laughable huh? There is blogging and website work for clients I want to get all squared away. The house, pets & garden all need loose ends tied up before we leave and come back with baby. My home birth kit and newborn supplies/ gear aren’t all gathered up or even purchased. I am dreaming about someone doing a meal train for us when we come home. I’d love to have some readers register here and be guest bloggers while I am on hiatus too!

I am revamping the “Updates from The Farm” page to create a hub for those of you looking for labor/ birth updates when my hiatus begins in a month. I think that is all I have to report. Now what is shaking with you this week?

Wait, chickens fly?

Our three hens have gone out to the backyard where they permanently live in our garden space. The reasoning behind this is so that they can help control the garden pest population naturally thus keeping our growing food happier and also providing us with some super nutritious organic eggs.

Did you know chickens that forage the majority of their food lay healthier more nutritious eggs?

My mother has been raising backyard chickens for several years, hers are in a fully enclosed run because in the boonies of Arizona the hawks, mountain lions and various other predators will pick your chickens off before you can blink.

Here in Indiana, in a subdivision, the list of daytime predators is slightly smaller. Actually our biggest predatory concern was our own dog and we worried about annoying the neighbors dog (a bird dog) on the other side of our shared fence.

Our dog, Dixie, did manage to grab the bird Everly calls “blue-red” when we attempted to let them both become acquainted. Luckily, Dixie only had feathers in her teeth, no chicken meat in that instance.

Since then the birds have been in the garden so there is a good solid fence between Dixie and chickens. Every few days we put Dixie on a leash and we let the chickens have run of the yard while supervised. The garden pathways quickly become picked clean of bugs, weeds and other chicken food. This is why lawn and yard time is also a must for them. The curse and blessing is chickens eat what they have access to, even my flowers and berry bushes when they get board with the lawn.

I mentioned a while back that we had many of our garden beds lined with salvaged window panes thought the winter, to protect plants and extend out growing season. A makeshift coldframe basically. Nathan did a similar vlog about the garden here.

This spring we haven’t gotten around to taking the window panes down and in the meantime they served as a great barrier between the chickens and the feverishly growing plants, until the chickens flew over them this week.

Holy crap, chickens can fly?

Yes, I know they have wings and that using them shouldn’t be that shocking but in all the years of my mother’s chicken keeping none of them ever flew higher than a foot or so…

In my pregnancy haze I became much more upset by this setback than needed and felt at my wits end about adding chickens to our homestead. Then we clipped their wings after sourcing this website.

So far they haven’t flown over the even lower fencing Nathan installed in place of the window panes. Yay the old window panes are out of the garden! But now they are stacked on the lawn, must find a place in the garage for storing them ASAP.

What a relieving fix to the chicken flying issue! Now if we could just keep the flies and gnats away… I bet if people didn’t let their lawns grow 4 feet tall we would have less bug issues, that and the meat dumping out by the pond’s edge… Well, I am off to search for some homemade fly and gnat remedies now. I’ll leave you with a glimpse of the garden this year:

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Eating from our own community inspires change. Are you on board?

Early May brings us the first tastes of our garden handiwork. This year was not exception.

Last night I found myself with several radish, some turnips we got at the store a while back, salad greens and a desire to make something wholesome for Nathan’s overlooked birthday. Well, it wasn’t really overlooked… Just had to be rescheduled since our schedule is basically jam-packed right now.

After pawing through the available locally raised meat in the freezer I choose two packages of chicken breasts for grilling. Meat is the easy part, it is being creative with the side dishes and garden vegetables that take real brain power. Especially when you are faced with a radish or turnip.

I raked my brain for the distinction between a radish and a turnip (what? I blame pregnancy brain). Last season a blogger friend turned us on to a dish of mashed root crop called “Neeps and Tatties” (a similar recipe variation can be found here) that will now be a regular sidedish offering in our home.

The problem was… did it use radish or turnips…

After some intense google searching and a quick note to said blogger friend I arrived at the conclusion that it used turnips and potatos.

Virgin Neeps & Tatties (Talina’s way)

  • 2 large turnips, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 3 large potatoes, cut in chunks skin on
  • Generous helping of butter (2-4 tbs)
  • Garlic, salt and pepper to taste

You just boil the turnips until soft and mashable, in a separate pot boil the potatoes. I boil the turnips for longer than the potatoes by and hour or so (on low). When both items are soft to the touch drain them and transfer to a food processor, bowl or blender. Mash to desired consistency adding seasonings and butter as you go. I usually transfer my mash back to a pot to keep warm on the stove before serving.

With the turnips taken care of I turn my focus to the pinkish/ red radish that also need to be consumed. I don’t like radish very much, like many people. I seem to recall giving Nathan a hard time for once again planting these foods that would be such a challenge to consume… but I was seriously doubting why that was (remember the pregnancy brain?).

I resolved to wash and taste a slice of one to decide if they would go in the salad or if they needed to be cooked somehow, I needed my memory jogged about this dislike of radish. Let the torturous experimentation begin. You know kind of like sticking your tongue on a battery just to check.

Bleah! The spicy bite of a radish after the hard, crunchy texture just wasn’t my idea of a good time. In my mind crunchy should be followed by a crisp, fresh and even sweet aftertaste. Not a spicy one.

It was decided, I would cook the radish as a side dish. Rumor has it cooked radish lose the bite they are so well known for. I’d put this to the test.

Grilled Radish and Garlic

  • about 12-15 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cube ice
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the grill for high heat. Place all ingredients on a double layer of aluminum foil large enough to wrap contents. Season with salt and pepper. Tightly seal foil around contents. Place foil packet on the grill, and cook 20 minutes or until radishes are tender.
I am pleased to say, the familiar spiciness does go away when a radish is cooked. There is no way I’ll be gnawing bunches of raw radish in my salads over the next few months. Nathan and Everly can, if the want but I’ll just pass on that.
To finish the meal we clipped about three small bunches of lettuce from the garden, topped them with some shredded carrot and some dressing and had ourselves a very good, super satisfying and almost 100% locally raised meal.
My goal this year is a bit more specific than just eating better. I want to really commit to the locally raised idea and get rid of as many trucked in items as we can. With gas prices on the rise this is one significant way we can decrease our dependency…

Stop being a slave to mass produced foods that come from all over the country!

Why does it matter? Well, here is my thought process:

Those out of season bananas, they come from outside the country. The oranges, the strawberries, potatoes, corn… Your store bought meat that was inhumanely raised on feed lots or worse… Chances are they all traveled more than 100 miles to get to your dinner table.

Just think of where they were raised, then they needed to be taken somewhere for packaging or processing, then they are shipped off to your grocery store where you buy and then drive them home. How much oil/ fuel was used just in the process of transporting those food times?

Don’t you think the fuel to transport groceries comes from the same “pool” we consumers tap to gas up our cars? And in buying foods that come from so far aren’t we encouraging more and more usage of fuel that in turn drives up the fuel prices?

If we stopped buying this stuff from afar they would eventually stop shipping and trucking it in, they would lose money without us fronting the expense. Then our local farmers would have their communities to feed and the bigger corporations wouldn’t be squeezing them out and so on…

Each choice we consumers make is like a vote for those companies and their business practices. Money speaks and I am afraid we are sending the wrong messages… and we are suffering the consequences. Those companies aren’t suffering, we are!

If you do some research and really commit you can either produce or support local farmers that are producing what you need without relying on fossil fuels to get food to your table.

Furthermore, eating locally tastes better and it helps your community by keeping those grocery dollars reinvested in the area and not in the large, faraway corporations that could care less about your community and your neighbors.

It only takes one step at a time to influence a huge change. Just commit to swapping one non-locally produced item a week or month for one that is local. Think of the local farmer’s family you’ll be helping to support, the amount of gas your food wont be guzzling to get to your table, the amazing taste of fresh food…

What one item can you obtain locally that you aren’t already?

There is a first for everything…

It has been raining off and on for days and days. Many roads are closed as the river banks are overflowing with water and generally the rain fall has nowhere to go. While we don’t live riverside (where the below photo was taken) and aren’t really in any danger of flooding we are still feeling the dampness of the situation.

Driving conditions are definitely impacted and there is a good amount of standing water pooling in the backyard. It is kind of hard to ignore all the water falling from the sky and the weather radio going off several times a night for various warnings, watches and alerts.

This afternoon, when Sesame Street was talking gouaches and rain storms it inspired Everly to wear her own rain boots that she got from her grandma. She was proudly putting them on when it occurred to me I that I too would need some rain footwear to make it through the swamp that is our backyard today…

Now, I’ve always thought the novelty of wearing rain boots or (gouaches) was reserved for little girls dressing up in mismatched clothing. So,  when Nathan snagged me a free pair from somewhere and was so excited I politely accepted them. but had no intention of wearing them. We moved them here from Arizona several years ago and they have basically been stored and gathering dust or housing spiders for years now…

Hell finally froze over because I busted those dusty rain boots off, checked inside for spiders and pulled them on for some tromping though the mud to harvest some greens for dinner. Yep, we have greens ready for harvest already :)

I wont be winning any best dressed awards in these babies but I wasn’t really trying anyway with my ill fitting mismatched clothes. Being pregnant does funny things to your wardrobe. Good thing simplicity and low frills is how we roll around the house. No vacuuming in heels and pearls here. Ha, ha!

The trade off (personal primping time for time spent tending the homestead) sure does make for a better dinner though. All the time, preparation and work totally pays off when you have so much yummy goodness growing right out in your yard (even if it is a swampy mess at times). What is even better is we have free food that is organic, right at our fingertips. Anyone can do it too!

Just start small and pick a handful of items that will do well in your area with the space you have, perhaps something that will return year after year so your hard work and care will provide more enjoyment over time… Like our blackberry, grape, raspberry, rhubarb, asparagus and many herbs that return year after year once planted.

What are you trying to grow now or what would you like to grow for yourself this spring & summer?

Homestead dreams of harmony and such…

Our hens got their first taste of outdoor spring fun today. They are just a few weeks away from being old enough for outdoor life and today was their first glimpse of the outdoors. Boy were they unsure in the beginning but they eventually took to chasing bugs and having fun in the yard.

There were rabbits, chickens a cat and Miss Everly all roaming the backyard together today. Everly was naked too. She unsnapped her diaper during nap time and remained naked the rest of the afternoon. I kept Dixie in her kennel while the hens roamed the yard since Nathan wasn’t yet home to help me keep and eye on her.

Dixie has some “bird dog” tendencies and we’ve known she would be overcome with the urge to try getting the chickens. We’ve divised a system so the chickens can forage the garden pathways, be separate from the dog and also be kept from destroying the garden. Unfortunately, that system isn’t already in place, it just exists in the mind for now…

The chickens will help with garden pest control, their poop will add nutrients to the compost and in turn to our garden soil and they will lay eggs for us to eat so they are well worth the trouble, once we get our system up and working.

Eventually, the hens, rabbits, dog and yard cat would need to all meet and possibly learn to co-exist. Today was the day to try for it, once Nathan was home to assist. It is a good thing I waited for him too!

Dixie was good for about 30 seconds before lunging for and catching one of the girls in her mouth. Nathan was quick to grab her and I got the chicken, who was only startled and luckily unharmed. Everly yelled “oh no!” and began crying and the rabbits just hopped around the yard ignoring us all.

Dixie and the hens will always have to be kept separate. Doesn’t seem like she’s shaping up to be a very good farm dog after all. It is sort of surprising since she doesn’t harm the cat or the rabbits but natural instincts are unbreakable and we suspected this. Now we know to keep the always separate and closely supervised.

Maybe one day when we have several acres of farm land Dixie can be free to roam at the same time our chickens enjoy their designated space, perhaps she’ll be too busy with the other farm animals to care about chickens.