April 29, 2012

Cudzoo Farm's Soap Giveaway

If you haven't already you should check out Cudzoo Farm's blog. It chronicles the antics of the goats, rabbits, cats, and dog on a Tennessee micro-farm. The farmer, Sarah, posts new photos and captions each day.

Now she's started "Freebie Fridays". Each Friday she has a soap give-away. Her soap is amazing. Made from her goats' milk, it's lightly scented, smooth, and creamy. I've been using it for years. (If you don't win a Friday Freebie, the soaps are available for purchase)

Here are some of the soaps from my last order.

Yes, that is a flying pig (ginger and bran).

Sleeping Nubian rosemary-mint soap.

I'd show you the spotted doe calendula soap I won last Friday (which was signed and numbered) but it's already in the shower :-)

April 9, 2012

In the Meantime...

Since Poppyseed is still so young (and it's my full time job to take care of him) we're not doing much to write about (after all, this is not a mommy blog). We mostly nurse and change diapers and snuggle and sleep. 

In the meantime I'm doing some blog spring cleaning: sprucing up the look (new masthead), fixing broken links (and making them all open in a separate page), adding some tabs, cleaning up old posts and adding pictures (pretty and also Pin-able), etc. Let me know if you discover any big problems, if your subscription is no longer working, or anything else goes weird. I'll try to check in periodically with links and articles you might like, the occasional picture, or a recipe until things are back to normal.

Here are some shots of the place after nearly a year of neglect!

mushrooms and sunflowers

April 3, 2012

Ruth Stout is Awesome

Lettuce growing in deep mulch in my garden.
11 years ago I read Ruth Stout's "No-Work Garden Book" and it changed my life (which is only a small exaggeration since gardening was 75% of my life). After reading that book I never tilled again (with two exceptions). I've been wanting to review her book for a while but I think this video might give you the idea. Basically she puts down a huge quantity of mulch which improves the soil, keeps weeds at bay, and prevents evaporation so she never weeds and never waters. I will say that growing in NY as she does is very different from growing in subtropical South Texas. Our weed pressure is tremendous for one thing. However, with some modifications, her method pretty much works for me: I pile up the mulch and sit back to watch things grow.

It never even occurred to me that a video of Ruth Stout existed and I'm so glad Sharon Astyk found one and posted it on one of her fantastic blogs.

Watch the video and check out one of Ruth Stout's books too. While you're at it take a look at Sharon Astyk's blogs Casaubon's Book and The Chatelaine's Keys (which in her words are all about "food, agriculture, energy issues and climate change") or one of her books. I've read and can recommend "Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation".