Blogs | Living the Country Life


June 19, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
I planted a pollinator garden this spring and it's doing okay. It's weedy, but flowers are starting to peek through and bloom. By leaving the back half of my garden to the bees and butterflies, I have enough time to weed the vegetables in the front...see all
June 15, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
Bob and I hosted the Meredith Agrimedia staff -- Successful Farming,, Living the Country Life -- last week at a summer kick-off party. There was a fishing derby at our pond and BBQ dinner in the farm shop. Thank you to Bob for...see all
June 9, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
Last week I toured Blood Dairy, a third-generation farm in central Iowa. Kevin and Holly Blood, along with their son, Alex, and his wife, Melissa, own and operate the business. I was especially interested to tour this farm because my husband grew...see all
June 5, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
On Thursday morning, June 4, a line of women snaked out of the National Pork Board tent on the Iowa State Fairgrounds concourse in Des Moines. Inside was Chris Soules, star of three reality television shows -- The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and...see all
June 3, 2015 | Lisa's Kitchen
This spring, my mother-in-law invited me and my mom to a Mother's Day lucheon at the senior center in her town. She has lunch there almost every day, and has made some great friends.  I was definitely one of the younger moms in the room, and it was...see all
June 2, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
Bob cut the alfalfa on the last day of May. It was way past full bloom and weedy, but a wet spring left him no choice in timing. In fact, the weather forcast is now calling for storms tomorrow, so it will probably get rained on before he can bale...see all
May 26, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
We let the ewes into the clover. Not even a snake in the grass (me) could spook them from munching. "Split Ear," a former bottle lamb, was watching the lambs climb the compost pile. Rip and chew, rip and chew. So good.  see all
May 21, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
I traveled with Bob to the McNay Research Farm in Clariton, Iowa, yesterday to attend a beef cattle research day for veterinarians. Much of the material could be helpful for anyone with a cow-calf herd. Here are some highlights. 4 Steps to...see all
May 12, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
Everything changes so rapidly in the spring. The lambs grow quickly, the irises bloom overnight, the garden gets choked with weeds before you turn around. Here is a random assortment of photos from the past week to give you a glimpse of the fun!...see all
May 5, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
There are so many wonderful sights to see in May, things to smell, things to do. I traveled on farms in Illinois and Missouri last week, collecting photos and interviews for Living the Country Life. There is nothing better than seeing the...see all