Broken H Farm

Eat Foods your Grandparents knew!

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Compost. Is there ever enough?

Compost. There have been literal books written on the stuff and yet it's still a mystery on how it works and what goes into it for many. If you think about it, every bit of dirt in this planet is the result of composting material over the millennials. 

Composting isn't rocket science but there is a science behind it. You need the right mixture of browns (carbons), greens (nitrogen) and moisture to create heat which in turn breaks down the material

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Spring is here! Let the work begin…

Spring is upon us! This last week we have seen temps at 80 and plenty of sunshine. Time to get those gardens in and start using muscles we forgot we had. 
Lots of babies here at the farmstead. 14 American Guinea hog piglets and 7 baby goats. 21 Dominique eggs in the incubator have started hatching today. All make the hard work of winter worth it and remind me exactly why I put in the hours. 
Potatoes, peas, carrots, spinach and lettuce are all pla

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Building projects

March!  Winter is nearly over. Not much snow this year but plenty of mud. I think the mud will be with us for months yet. No time to waste tho and Muck boots are well, good for slogging through muck, so here I go!  
While the house is getting a much needed facelift with new siding and a metal roof, I have plenty of smaller projects going too. Over the course of last week I built a new smaller chicken/turkey coop and I'm in the processes of building an ad

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Is a Heritage Breed right for your farm?

What is a heritage breed and why choose one? Heritage Breed is a term used to designate livestock and poultry breeds with a long history in the United States. They are breeds that were bred and developed over many years to have specific traits that made them suited to their regional environment. Typically, these breeds were developed prior to industrial agriculture and can trace their founding to the 18th and 19th centuries.
So why choose one? Good question. Typically, these

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Sometimes it takes a Village

Have you ever heard the adage “it takes a village to raise a child”? Ever thought about what that means? To me it means teamwork. Being there to assist, teach, guide, etc. Relying on each other’s strengths at times. No one can or, should, be an island onto themselves. People, like dogs, are meant to work together. 


I hate to ask for help. Hate it! I’m

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What is Enough?

The year is almost over! How does time fly by so quickly? Do you ever ask yourself that? I certainly do. 
I was listening to a podcast today and the question was posed "do you have enough?" That got me thinking as I'm inclined to do on a Sunday, What is Enough? I think we would all answer that question very differently. I know the me of 10yrs ago thought "enough" is very different than the definition I would give today.
Society bas

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What a lovely Fall!

It's been a lovely fall so far. Just enough cool nights to appreciate a nice fire in the wood stove and enough sunny days to get a few more projects complete. The chill is in the air tho and we've had our first snow fall, so winter is right around the corner. 
Speaking of projects, there's always one in the works, is there not? Here I have 3 either started or ready to start. Project 1 is a new winter pig shelter. I have the frame built and most of the roo

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What a busy year!

Been a while since last I wrote. It’s been a busy year. Time is flying past. The garden is wrapping up even though there are still a ton of tomatoes, the first frost is only weeks away per the standard, so the clock is ticking on getting them ripened.

As every good homesteader knows, you always put up as much as you can each year. There are no guarantees on getting a garden in next year or if said garden will even produce. So to that end there’s plenty of tomatoes and beans canned up

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Summer is here

Been a while since I last wrote. Summer is here and that means a busy time.
Garden is in and after the initial dry spell it’s finally come alive. Getting zucchini and some spinach. Having a horrible time with lettuce this year tho. Tomatoes are setting on and I’m looking forward to fresh tomato sandwiches.
Lots of young chickens running around. The hatch rate has been around 90% which is over course excellent. Lots of replacing pullets with young roosters filling the freezer and cann

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Spring has Sprung!

Spring is officially here! No, I’m not basing that statement on any calendar. Horse people know only 1 unmistakeable sign that spring is upon us. When horses start blowing those coats. There’s hair everywhere! No matter how much you brush, more appears.
Last week was beautiful and it started every thing growing. The grass is coming on in the pasture, the apple trees have finally leafed out and they and the pear trees are blooming.
In the garden peas are up and it’s time to get the c

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Soda bread

Today I was looking to make a simple bread that could be used in the case of having no yeast. There is always sour dough of course but that takes weeks to develop a starter and then of course 12hrs plus to get it ready to bake. What does one do when funds, supplies or time is limited and you still need bread? You turn to an old standby. Irish Soda Bread.

It’s actually a very simple recipe and from start to finish, the bread can be done in about an hour. You can add raisins or other

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Babies are here!

Finally! The 2023 kids are here. This week has been a long one with lots of midnight trips to the barn and goat shed checking on expecting mothers, new mothers and new babies. Throw in some very unseasonably cold weather and well…. Stress.

I’m very happy to say tho that 5 of my girls kidded with relative ease. I walked out to find most of the does already cleaning their babies and only assisted in one birth. I’m praying the last 2 girls kid as easily.

I always do my best

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Basic Composting with Chickens Update

Last year I wrote about creating a compost bed in my chicken yard. I dumped manure from the horses and chicken coop mixed with sawdust, leaves, cardboard, grass clippings, etc all summer and fall. I would toss a handful of grain in the bed a couple times a week to encourage the chickens to scratch around.

3 days ago I started to empty the bed and transport it to the garden’s raised beds. The chickens had done their job beautifully and the compost is nearly completely broken down. It

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Surviving the Storm

2023 is off to an interesting start.

I had the highest hopes for this year on January 1. This year was going to be The Year. The year when it all fell into place. When this farmstead was gonna see all the hard work of the past years come to fruition. Less than 2 weeks in and well, I’m having to rethink a lot of things.

Farming/Homesteading is like that tho isn’t it? Our entire day, season or year can derail in a blink of an eye. So much is dependent on weather, our health

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Taking a moment to consider

Winter is fast approaching. Typically this is the time to get caught up on all the little things that one never has time to do during the rush of spring planting, summer gardens and fall harvests. It’s time to look at what worked, what didn’t and plan for the coming year. It’s time to reflect.
Why do I live this life? It would certainly be easier and sometimes cheaper, not to do so. My day job is stressful enough with plenty of long hours. It would be much easier to not harvest wood for th

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope all are enjoying their day and have plenty of good things to eat.

Once again I was blessed with being able to set my table with a large amount of food produced here on the farmstead. The turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans and eggs were all provided by my animals and my own two hands. God has blessed me with the ability and wherewithal to feed my friends that set their feet under the table here at the Broken H.

While all that

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“Barnyard Terrorists” Lol

Well, it’s happened. The annual Barnyard Terrorists have stuck the farmstead. What are these Terrorists you ask? …. The latest litter of American Guinea Hog piglets that have found their way out of the pasture lot and are roaming the barnyard.
They are everywhere! With 8 of them sometimes they move in a gang and sometimes in pairs. When you least expect them, like the dark of pre-dawn, there they are! Where you least expect them, like under the feed bin, they come bursting out to scare you

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Closing out the garden

It’s that time of year again. Sigh. Fall is here and winter not far behind. The first frost, although light, occurred Saturday night, so growing is done.
I spent Saturday afternoon closing out the garden. Pulling sweet potato vines, digging potatoes and picking tomatoes to ripen off the vine. Got a bonus of a nice big strawberry too! Late for them, but no complaints here.
The pigs enthusiastically appreciated the vines and the miniature sweet potatoes I fed them. The garden yielded

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What a busy week!

This week has been a whirlwind! Ton of things happening here as summer winds down and fall says hello.
Last Sunday the farm welcomed the birth of 10 Guinea Hog piglets by a young gilt. As so often happens 2 did not survive the week, but we have 8 healthy and active babies as of today. They are ranging all over the pastured lot with momma promising to be good foragers and great additions to lucky farms.
I was blessed with the opportunity to glean all the sweet corn I wanted to gather

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Gleaning - a lost tradition?

The Bible talks about allowing the poor to glean the fields, picking up products left by the harvesters. This was once a significant way the poor, often women, willing to put in a little effort could feed themselves. It was a sacred Hebrew law and is central to the story of Ruth and Boaz. People were still significantly utilizing gleaning well into the middle of the 20th century in order to feed themselves. We don’t hear the term, Glean, much anymore in today’s time

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Feeding yourself - Cheese!

A few years back after the fiasco at one of the dairy farms highlighting the abuse of calves I decided to reduce, if not completely remove my use of commercial dairy products. I believe Strongly in the ethical treatment of our animal companions and seeing how they are treated by Big Ag sickened me.
I love cheese. A childhood friend joked that cheese was a side dish at my home growing up and it hasn't changed 30yrs later. So to reduce my dependence on commercial dairy, I had to figure out

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Preserving the Harvest

The long hours of tending the garden, orchards and fields is starting to pay off and the harvest is beginning. Tomatoes, sweet corn, blackberries and more are ready for the picking. Time to enjoy them immediately but also time to prepare for winter.
How are you preserving your excess? Here I utilize a variety of ways. Freezing, dehydrating and canning. To do each properly you need the tools and to follow the correct process.
A good canning book is essential to safely process “canned”

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Soap making

My biggest goal is to leave the “rat race” in 2-3yrs and focus on homesteading. In order to do that, not only do I need multiple income streams from my farmstead but I also need to reduce my dependency on outside inputs. The addition of the bees this summer will assist in sugar needs and give an income stream with the sell of honey and wax. The pigs, goats and fowl not only provide food for my household but also income.
The lard from the pigs and the wood ash from the stove can produce soa

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Basic Composting with Chickens

On a properly run homestead there should be minimal waste. Little should be sent to the local landfill. Each item brought onto or produced by the homestead should serve a purpose from beginning to end. The old mantra "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" needs to be the slogan every person desiring a greater degree of self-sufficiency follows faithfully.
Waste food products can be fed to the chickens and hogs, paper products used as fire starters for the wood stove, old clothi

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99 Bales of Hay in the barn!

Happy Sunday everyone!
Its hay season here in Ohio and that means watching the sky and hoping for at least 3 days of dry weather in a row. We lucked out and had some perfect haying weather this week, so my little hayfield was cut and baled. 99 square bales (30# bales roughly 3000# total) off of .75 acres is pretty good in my eyes! It's the best hay yield I've had here and much appreciated. In spring 2021 I did put 200# of commercial fertilizer on the field followed with several applications

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Stay busy my friends!

Spring time equals work. Gardens must be tilled, planted and tended to yield and it all begins now.
I’m focusing even more on being self sufficient with the high feed, supply chain issues and general uncertainty. So yesterday I planted a 50x50 area to heirloom bloody butcher corn. I’ll add pumpkins as the corn comes up and turnips and daikon radish in July. This will provide feed for the livestock and hopefully a little for me too.
I also have a 96x80’ area planted with seed obtained

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Beautiful Sunday

What a beautiful, sunny Sunday today! A little chilly but nothing a light jacket can’t handle.
Spring is slowly showing it’s face and I’m planning on getting the tomatoes in the raised beds this week. Peas, lettuce and spinach are up. We can hardly wait for fresh food again.
Today was a busy one. Started off the day with canning 5# of hamburger in patties with mushrooms added. Then added a dehydrator load of sliced mushrooms I got from ALDIs and made some sour dough bread.
Outs

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Busy times and Hard decisions

It’s planting season here in zone 6 and that means it’s Busy season!
Last weekend was a non-stop work-fest. Moved pigs, built a new shelter, moved fence, tilled up corn, potato patches and a pasture lot, then hand seeded it and planted the potatoes too. Replaced the fence (complete with resetting posts) which was moved in order to get the tractor in there, planted a peach tree, strawberries and comfrey. Also shoveled a literal ton of garden soil into the new raised beds. Add in house work,

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Things I don't Buy/Frugal Ideas

Hope all of you are well on this chilly Sunday in Ohio. I am going to do a little different post today in light of the increasing inflation and supply chain challenges we are facing. Hopefully some of these items will help you on your own homestead journey.
Things I don't Buy or Ways I save money:
1. No TV
We gave up the TV 2 years ago and honestly don't miss it. No more paying for 100 channels only to watch 3. A ton of time gets wasted sitting in front of a TV that can be used fo

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Proud Member of

American Guinea Hog Association Livestock Conservatory