Barred Rocks: One of my favorite breed

Barred rocks are full of characters. They are inquisitive, friendly and easy to manage. They are somewhat early maturing, start laying after about 6 month. They are not very big in size making them ideal for backyard flock.

Leghorn-The egg laying machine

 At 4 lb. full grown Leghorns may not be as good looking as some of the other hens, but don't under estimate their egg laying abilities. Leghorns are bread for their egg laying abilities, most white eggs produced commercially are produced by leghorns. Our leghorns lay one egg a day for almost two years. They are not broody, and do not molt as frequent as the other hens. Since they are small in size, they do not consume a lot of feed, giving you excellent feed to egg conversion ratio.

Ameraucana Laying Hens

Ameraucana hens are fine laying hens, they are calm, non-aggressive and easy to manage. They love to graze, eating weeds and grass clippings or any vegetable scraps. They lay dark yellow yolked eggs. They lay eggs about every other day during their production period.

Sweet and Sour Eggplant

Learn to make the sweet and sour eggplant is well worth the efforts. The basic recipe for a sweet and sour sauce is: 3:2:1, that is 3 Tablespoons of sugar to 2 Tablespoons of vinegar to 1 Tablespoon of light soy sauce. Use a little cornstarch to thicken the sauce. You can add other stuff to suit your taste, I have added sesame seed oil, chopped scallion and crushed garlic to flavor the eggplant.


1 large Eggplant
A pinch of hot pepper flakes
1 thin slice of ginger
Oil for frying

Light and Crunchy Batter:
3 T. rice flour (use all-purpose flour if unavailable)
2 T. cornstarch
1 egg yoke
3 T. rice wine vinegar or dry sherry wine

Easy Sweet and Sour Sauce:
3 T. sugar
2 T. Balsamic vinegar
1 T. light soy sauce
1 t. sesame seed oil
1 t. cornstarch
2 T. water
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 scallion, white part, chopped

Slice the eggplant into 1-1/2" x 1/4" slices. Sprinkle salt and toss. Let the eggplant set for 15 minutes. Squeeze to remove the moisture from the eggplant. Place the eggplant pieces in the batter. Toss to coat. Heat a large frying pan with 2" oil until hot. Fry the eggplant slices until golden, 2-3 minutes. Removed the fried eggplant and place them in a paper towel to drain.

Heat 1 T. oil in the frying pan, add hot pepper flakes and ginger. Cook until fragrance begin to come out. Add the sweet and sour sauce. Stir, cook until thickened. Add the fried eggplant, toss to coat. Slice the green portion of the scallion and sprinkle on top. Serve with rice.

A Good Problem to Have

When the Stallion White Cucumbers were done producing in late August, I removed the vines and cleaned the garden, turned over the soil left it for the winter. I happened to have some Silverbell Sweet Turnip seeds on hand, so I casually scattered the seeds in the spot where the cucumbers were growing. To my surprise, they all germinated and were thriving.  It turned out, the cool weather in September is exactly what the turnip needed to grow. Since I sowed the seeds quite intensively, early on I used a lot of turnip greens to thin them out. They were tender and mild, and I just used it as I would spinach. 30 days later, I started to get golf ball sized turnips, they were the BEST turnips ever, even better than ones I planted intentionally before. Now it is mid November, I am harvesting more turnips than I could ever use, and there is no signs of it slowing down! Turnips must have some sort of antifreeze in them, because the frosty mornings did nothing to damage them. This is one problem I do not mind having. Another benefit of this "ooops" was the turnip crowded out the weeds. This will reduced the weeds pressure in the garden next year. What more can I ask for?!


Holidays are fast approaching, baklava, a decadent Greek dessert is easy to make is an instant hit in any party. You can make two different types of baklava with different nuts filling and shape them differently. It is made by layering nut filling and butter on sheets of phyllo dough, roll the phyllo dough up, bake the baklava in the oven and pour a hot syrup on top as soon as it is removed from the oven.

1 pk. phyllo dough;
1 C. butter, room temperature;
Nut mixtures;

Making the Nut Fillings: Mix together: 1 lb. of finely chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds or pistachios or a mix of the three), 1/2 C. sugar, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. ground cloves. If making two types of baklava, make the fillings separately.

Making the Syrup: Add 1 C. honey, 1 C. water, 1/4 C. fresh lemon juice. 2 cinnamon sticks, 5 cloves in a sauce pan, bring it to a boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes to thicken the syrup. Set aside.

Method: Grease a 9x13 pan. Place 2-3 sheets of the phyllo dough and brush the top with butter, covering the entire sheet. Sprinkle a layer of the nut mixture. Alternating with phyllo dough and nut mixture until the pan is filled up. Put 3 extra sheets of phyllo dough on top and brush with butter. Lightly pat down the unbaked baklava, cut with a sharp knife into small squares, 1-2 inches in size. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Check to make sure they do not burn. Pour the syrup on the hot baklava. Let cool. Place cut pieces of baklava into mini muffin liners for serving.

For the Baklava Rolls: Use different nut mixtures for different types of the baklava, here baklava are made into rolls with another nut mixture. To make rolled up Baklava pieces, spread out 2-3 sheets of phyllo dough, brush with butter, sprinkle with the nut mixture, place another sheet of phyllo dough on top, brush with butter. Using a piece of wooden dowel 1/2 inch in diameter, slowly roll up the prepared phyllo nut stack. Place the rolled up phyllo dough in a baking pan. Cut the roll into 3 in pieces. Repeat until all is done. Bake and top with syrup same way as above.