Blogs | Living the Country Life


August 18, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
New adventures often begin this time of year. Caroline is heading to Maryland to help my parents on their farm and look for job opportunities. She made a car magnet for Caroline Freese Designs on Facebook. My garden is out of control. Who knew two...see all
August 16, 2016 | Everyday Gardeners
To me, there’s nothing more satisfying than digging in the dirt with a young person. So I jumped at the chance a few weeks ago to visit an Edible Schoolyard in Brooklyn, New York—actually P.S. 216, The Arturo Toscanini School on Avenue X—to produce...see all
August 11, 2016 | Everyday Gardeners
Seeds surround us. From our morning coffee to the cotton in our clothing, the spices in our foods, and the cosmetics we use, seeds are part of nearly every aspect of our lives. They give us food and fuels, intoxicants and poisons, oils, dyes, and...see all
August 9, 2016 | Everyday Gardeners
A special feature blog brought to you by editor James A. Baggett of Country Gardens magazine a Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publication. Find Country Gardens on Facebook - Search for Country Gardens magazine. Tell us about your...see all
August 2, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
The National Balloon Classic is underway and hot air balloons often go over our farm during the nine days of the festival. They spook the sheep, but it is a good time for the community. The county fair has just finished its run. I entered a dozen...see all
July 20, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
Let's start with the bad part of summer. The deadliest internal parasite for sheep is the blood-sucking stomach roundworm Haemonchus contortus, also known as the barber pole worm. It causes severe anemia and death. Wet grass and hot weather bring...see all
July 13, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
A portion of our 400-acre Iowa farm floods almost every year when the nearby river comes out of its banks. This flooding has become more frequent in the past decade. Changing weather patterns and farming practices upstream may be the cause. Last...see all
July 7, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
Storms that blow in and drop a half inch of rain in July are beautiful.  These soybeans in northern Iowa are as good as they can be. I love visiting farmers this time of year. Here's another booming crop - zucchini! I've learned to pick them...see all
June 28, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
We are not traveling anywhere for vacation this summer. A staycation in my backyard in Iowa can be pretty sweet. My garden provides veggies for every meal, the yard is perfect for reading on a nice day, and the opera is in town!  A bee in my...see all
June 22, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
Caroline came home for Father's Day and Bob put her to work. Be sure to watch the video of her stacking hay in the pasture. It already has more than 135,000 views. He also decided to worm and vaccinate...see all