Blogs | Living the Country Life


November 8, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
Caroline is a sophomore in the Design College at Iowa State University. Her paintings, including this self portrait, were selected to hang in the gallery of the Memorial Union on campus this fall. If you visit campus, stop by and take a look! She...see all
November 7, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
Guess the year. I love the guy to the right with the unsnapped shirt. Classy. I want to build a slideshow of your throwback photos to feature on our site. Send them to Thanks! see all
November 4, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
Fall color has peaked on our Iowa farm. I harvested the last few cabbages and made a giant bowl of cole slaw. In the front lawn, in a circle around our sign, I dug a trench and planted 140 tulip bulbs. I did not rake leaves; high winds on Sunday...see all
November 1, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
By Betsy Freese The story of Bob Christensen is tragic in many ways, as is the story of anyone who dies in the prime of life. How his family and his farm business, one of the largest pork production companies in the U.S., reacted to his abrupt...see all
October 29, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
Three years ago I planted three horseradish plants for Bob's birthday. He loves horseradish sauce. On Sunday we dug, cleaned, peeled, and processed the roots. The results are delicious and have perfect heat. Here are some photos. You can also see...see all
October 28, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
We let the ewes into the cover crop of radishes and turnips yesterday. They didn't know what to make of it. A few looked at us as if to say, "Are you sure we should be in here?" You can see the size of the roots below. I've heard that when the...see all
October 24, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
Last spring I told you how we reseeded the bank of our pond. Despite a dry summer, the effort was worth it. Here are some before and after photos. It was a good year for our pond. The water stayed clear of algae (the young grass carp are doing their...see all
October 24, 2013 | Lisa's Kitchen
I love fall, and I love my slow cooker, and I love tater tot casserole. I have made TTC, as we call it at my house, with ground beef several times, but this was the first time I used chicken, and it was a hit! The best thing about TTC is that it's...see all
October 24, 2013 | Lisa's Kitchen
What's the difference between a cupcake and a muffin? Is it that cupcakes have frosting and muffins don't? Can we just call a cupcake a muffin if we want to make it seem healthier? What's the deal? I did a little research and found that a cupcake...see all
October 21, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
Last winter, our son Nowlan sent Bob and me DNA kits from Personal DNA testing has come a long way and the price for a kit has dropped to $99. All we had to do was spit in a small tube and mail it back in the postage-paid box. I...see all