Chicken Homesteading In the Kitchen Rural Life

The beginning of my homestead journey

She’s a novice, but already quite knowledgable. As the frigid winter months trudged along, she taught me most of what I know about the topic of homesteading. And now that we are blessed with delicious fresh eggs daily, we love making homemade egg soufflé the way Great Grandmom used to make it. For that amazing recipe, read on…

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While fascinating facts about the ease of feeding range-free chicken and the nitrogen content of rabbit manure filled the short, dark days between Christmas and Easter, as well as filling dozens of hand-written pages in her Homestead Planning Notebook, the details also helped her keep a positive eye on the promise of spring. And while she is an avid reader about homesteading, in reality she learned more than a book could ever teach by watching the gardener nearest to my heart. The gardener whose summer hands I always remember as having dirt caked under the nails and dryness surrounding the knuckles.

She inherited her homesteading passions from my father, a down-home country boy.

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In fact, both of my parents grew up living a rural farm life. So I guess I was already indoctrinated into the homesteading lifestyle, I just didn’t know it until my 14-year old reminded me, with her youthful excitement the day we brought home the first of our livestock.

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The next morning, gifted with her first-ever farm-fresh egg, well, she was beyond ecstatic.

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Crazy enough, her fascination with rural life started when our family of 6 lived on a tiny plot of land shaped like a lopsided, narrow canoe beached in the middle of suburbia. The canoe was almost tipping over from the height and depth of the sprawling home placed on it. A home we had added on to, doubling its size.

Her homesteading fascination reached full velocity, and she was reading tomes on the subject–from title page through to index–when we announced we were leaving the congested life for the rural life. Mind you, we had always loved our location, 30 minutes south of the city of brotherly love, 90 minutes north of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, only a few hours outside of our nation’s capital, and–most impressively–a brief walk or bike ride to both sets of grandparents. But God called us to move.

We had no plans to move. No plans to leave our convenient life, where we were very blessed. No plans for change whatsoever.

But He told us otherwise. When we ignored, and tried to continue as normal, with our own version of what we thought was right for our family, my husband and I had no peace, either collectively or individually. When we followed His leading, as crazy as it sometimes seemed, we had peace. It was an arduous, long process; it was complicated enough that when it all fell into place after 6 years of (sometimes reluctantly) praying and (painful, confusing) waiting, we had no doubt it was all of God.

None of us had ever known any other lifestyle. But He was leading us to a new one. And He gave us comfort and assurance every step of the way.

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So we followed. We moved from a new-addition giant of a home to a little 215-year-old Cape Cod with an old red barn that is almost bigger than it. From our lopsided, dry-docked canoe of 1/4 of an acre, to a stretched-out, piece-of-pie-shaped land that sits where the lake spills over the dam. Fourteen acres that meander up a rocky, wooded hill by the bend in the river.

The move has been a blessing. While not all 4 daughters are avid students of homesteading topics, they all love the intimacy we now have with New England’s nature.

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If you too have a child interested in discovering more about nature, please print my FREE Insect ID page here to help guide you both in the learning process.

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Bike rides, hikes, swimming, and walks are enjoyed more, in our new rural life. And, from kayaking to snow shoeing, we’ve added a few new exercise options to our days.

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We’re not happily ever after. We’re not problem-free. And we’re not living a perfect life. But my daughters are happy to rise early and care for their three beloved hens. (For 10 Fowl Facts that we’ve recently learned, definitely check out this post.) And we are blessed every day with three delicate, miraculous reminders that God provides.

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And we know we are exactly where God has placed us. And that is perfect enough for us.

Those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Psalms 34:10

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Great Grandmom’s Cheese Souffle

Now that we are blessed with delicious fresh eggs daily, we love making Grandmom’s Souffle.DSC_1765

4 slices bread, cubed * 1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese * 4 eggs * 2 cups milk

Put 4 slices of bread cubes in ungreased pie plate. (We keep all our older bread in a bag in our freezer to use for this purpose.) Grate 1/2 lb. cheese over this. (We like playing with different kinds of cheese, whatever we have on the homestead on any given day. We like sharp or mozzarella the best.) Beat 4 eggs slightly with 2 cups of milk. (We only ever have skim on hand, so that’s what we use and enjoy it.) Pour eggs and milk over bread and cheese. Cover pie pan and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or better yet, overnight. Remove cover and stir before baking at 350 for about 1/2 hour, until it puffs and turns a pretty light brown on top.

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If you would like more Nature Study resources, be sure to follow along right here, on SoulyRested.com! (Just enter your email and click the “FollowThisBlog” in the right-hand column. A few times a month I’ll share tips on Keeping It Simple from my New England homestead.) It’s super easy, and then you won’t miss any of the fun nature study resources that I’ll share right here on SoulyRested.com. And—coming soon—a complete nature study resource for even the least science-oriented parent (or grandparent) ever. Really.

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If you’re considering getting chickens but you have a beloved pooch who may not find your hens as lovable as you do, definitely read this post—>

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If you’d like be “in the know” on the 10 “Fowl Facts” that everyone should be aware of before they decide to raise chicken, read this post—>

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