Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Suggested Garden and Farm Blogs

My job as a horseback riding instructor means that on a winter-weekly basis I have contact with 25+ students. Nearly all of these students attend school with other kids their age, and the ones that are home-schooled actually all have parents who are school teachers. This huge web of social contact brings a lot of stories, laughs and fun times. We have a great community, and nearly all of my students know each other either through exposure at the barn or through other local organizations. We're closely knit, and oddly enough (especially with the amount of estrogen in this equation) there is very little drama and gossip. The huge drawback to this close community comes once or twice a year when various flu-seasons are upon us, and this is certainly the time of year for mid-winter head colds! I knew it was coming. Every day, at least one student would cancel, or even come to their lesson feeling less than well. I tried to wash well, to not touch my face, but to be polite and professional I had to restrain myself from running away whenever a child started sniffling.

Yesterday began with a tickle.

Today I intend to stay in my wool union suit, tucked into a ball of fleece blankets by the fire. I'm a wimp when it comes to the first day or so of being sick. I'm sure tomorrow I'll be exerting myself beyond good measure, hauling wood and working horses again. Today, however, I reserve the right to be a whiney grouch.

In the process of doing nothing today, I have managed to find a few great new blogs to follow, as well as the few I've already been following. I figured it might be a good day to share them in case anyone else is stuck in a ball of blankets with a box of tissues.

  • Chiot's Run is by far my favorite blog at the moment. It's author, Susy, is from Ohio and she is a fantastic writer and photographer. The best part about this blog is that Susy is in the same gardening zone as I am and she gets much of the same weather, so many of her posts I can directly relate to.

  • Fast Grow the Weeds is another localish blog that I follow regularly. El doesn't update as often as she used to, but when she does it's usually worth the wait. She raises goats, makes cheese, and has built a beautiful outdoor oven. Her blog is full of wonderful photographs as well.

  • Mack Hill Farm is a blog from New Hampshire, local to my parents in Keene. Again, it's nice to read about things I can relate to. I read here to find out just what the weather has been up to in the fickle area of southern NH. Mack Hill also raises Icelandic Sheep, as well as several other species, and I have chatted a bit with Lisa over there to learn more about the wonderful species of sheep that I have involved myself with.

  • Plants on Deck is the last of my staple favorites. It is full of wonderful accounts of container gardening for the urban gardener. Since there is a lot of area here where the soil is questionable, I have used this blog as inspiration to container garden - especially when it comes to planting in 5 gallon buckets!

  • Gardening to Preserve is a blog I discovered this morning. I've read quite a bit of it and it is quickly becoming one of my favorites. The blog is full of recipes for pickling and preserves (hence the name) as well as garden plans and more. There is even an entry about making your own yogurt which really grabbed my attention!

  • Small Wonder Farm is another one I discovered today. I love the crazy pink layout, and while the entries tend to be short they're full of photographs. Maybe I'm just short-attention-spanned, but I really do like to see colorful photographs in a blog.

  • Green Zebra Market Garden is the last of my shared blogs that I discovered today. The author posts a lot of craft centered entries. I haven't delved quite as deeply into this one yet, but so far it seems worth reading regularly!

I admit I borrowed photos from each of these blogs to show a bit of what they're like. If anyone has problems with me posting their photos, please let me know and I will remove them immediately!

What blogs do you regularly follow? Do you prefer instructional blogs, opinion-based blogs or news blogs? Do you personally blog?


  1. Are you a zone 5 or 6? The Mitten is so weird about its zones. Thanks for the link to container gardening. It will definitely bolster my resources. I am not running away to MI for the Faire this year so I'm able to start planning an urban/container garden. We're moving again in may and I'm hoping to land a ground floor place with an outdoor patch. I'm planning for bountiful herbs (I have fickle skin and want to try my hand at soap making), tomatoes, More peas than I can possibly eat, and who knows what else. It'll be a rather large experiment since I've never done any gardening outside of a few potted petunias in this climate. I'm a zone 5-6 but with the fierce sun and dry weather (and spring hail storms up the wazoo! Seriously, I have never seen so much hail in my life!) it'll be tricky. On another note I've been following your blog rather avidly. I have been vicariously living out my sheep ranching dreams through it! It's always a treat to see a new post go up.


  2. Thanks for your kind words! I'm a Philly transplant via southwest Michigan -- I look forward to reading your blog!
    Happy Gardening, www.plantsondeck.com

  3. Thanks for the mention. Ironically, I came across your blog before I even noticed you had mentioned me in your list. I'll be reading...

  4. Thanks for adding my blog, Small Wonder Farm. my family lives in Antrim, NH! I did not grow up there though. Chiot's Run is also my favorite. Keep blogging, I look forward to reading. Hope you feel better.

  5. Thanks for the mention! I look forward to following your blog.