Blogs | Living the Country Life


October 9, 2013 | Lisa's Kitchen
It's amazing how food really connects us. Families pass recipes down from generation to generation, like jewels. Certain foods remind us of loved ones, or of places or special times in our lives. Food is more than just sustenance. It's a way to...see all
October 9, 2013 | Lisa's Kitchen
One of my favorite parts of my job is putting recipe slideshows together. It's so much fun to look through all the photos and recipes here at Meredith, and choose the ones I think sound best. I recently posted the slideshow 12 Easy Slow Cooker...see all
October 7, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
Every fall I write an exclusive report on the swine industry for Successful Farming magazine called Pork Powerhouses. This is the 19th year I have collected data on the largest 25 pork producers in the U.S. There is always a new issue confronting...see all
October 3, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
My dad loves to go to auctions. He and Bob went to a few last week while we were visiting. Dad's specialty is tools -- he buys boxes and tubs of tools, sorts through them, and creates sets that he resells. He also buys items for the annual church...see all
October 1, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
I was visiting Mom and Dad on their Maryland farm last week. Mom and I cleaned the attic. Cough, cough, sneeze, sneeze. We found lots of junk and some really fun stuff. My favorite was a box of old postcards from the early 1900s. More on those in a...see all
September 19, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
Our home is almost 100 years old and it came with a root cellar or storm cellar, which we've never used. Cracks under the door allowed raccoons and feral cats to go down there, so I stayed out. This month I decided my potatoes needed a better...see all
September 16, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
My tomatoes were late this year, so that means they are booming now that everyone is tired of them. Fresh garden tomatoes are so yummy in July and August. By September people run when they see you coming with a basket. I love to make a simple salad...see all
September 12, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
It's so dry that camels have replaced cattle. It's so dry that our final cutting of alfalfa was a few measly bales full of foxtail. This is the second droughty summer in a row for Iowa. Many farmers in our area have run out of pasture and pond...see all
September 10, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
Happy 53rd anniversary to Mom and Dad, Phil and Ruth Ann Johnson! Here they are in their berry barn at Walnut Springs Farm this summer. (Thanks to my niece Meghan Brumbley for the great photo.) I will see you soon! see all
September 9, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
I grew beets for the first time this year and had good luck, winning the beet category at the county fair. I pickled them using cranberry juice cocktail instead of water and sugar in the recipe. Betsy's Beets 3 pounds beets, boiled and sliced (or...see all