Horse Illustrated - Feature Articles

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Selecting the Perfect Tractor for Horse Property

Even small tractors are a big investment, so it’s important to get the right size tractor for the work you need to get done. Horsepower is what puts the giddyup in a compact tractor, but don’t get too tied up in horsepower hype. You also need to consider size, weight and overall capabilities when selecting a tractor for horse property. Factor in your future needs when selecting a compact tractor for your horse property and use these tips to select the perfect one.

Horse Illustrated - August 2022

Saddling up and going for a ride typically means riding across open fields or along designated horse trails. Nowadays, it's much less common to see horses and their riders on a leisurely ride along a busy highway. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still occur, and it’s not illegal to do so. It’s essential to know the laws in your area and the general etiquette to safely share the road with motorized vehicles.

Managing Your Horses During Drought Conditions

Abnormally hot, dry weather conditions can cause droughts that pose unique challenges for horse owners. Even short-term drought can create a harsh environment that stresses both horses and their pastures. Horses grazing in sparse, drought-stricken pastures can face disastrous results. It’s crucial to be extra attentive to your pastures and your horses during drought conditions. Use these tips to care for your pasture and manage your horses during seasons of drought.

A Poke for Protection: Learn which vaccinations are important for your horse

Horse owners often find it challenging to keep up with the latest vaccination recommendations and some may not fully realize the importance of vaccines in keeping their equine partners healthy and strong. Your horse needs “core” vaccines and may need “non-core” vaccines based on its usual activities, geographic location and other considerations. Although you might be hesitant to poke your horse, it’s for their protection and vaccines are generally safe. They have been well-tested and many have been used for numerous years. Vaccines should be a routine part of your horse’s life, so make a point of knowing current recommendations, potential side effects and the overall importance of vaccines. Originally appeared in the March 2022 issue of Horse Illustrated

Chips Ahoy! Everything you need to know about microchipping your horse

Having your horse stolen right out of its paddock, lost during a natural disaster or wander out through a broken fence are some of a horse owner’s worst nightmares. Making a bad situation even worse is locating your missing horse and not being able to prove it’s yours. Like the VIN on your car, microchipping provides permanent identification for your horse that’s much less painful than branding or tattooing and helps link you as its owner if properly registered. Although microchipping got off to a slow start in the equine world, primarily due to miscommunication and technology issues, it offers a wide array of benefits and increases the chance of lost or stolen horses being returned to their rightful owners. Originally appeared in the print edition of the November/December 2021 issue of Horse Illustrated

Choosing a Compact Tractor

Even small tractors are a big investment, so it’s important to get the right size tractor for the work you need to get done. Horsepower is what puts the giddy up in a compact tractor, but don’t get too tied up in horsepower hype. You also need to consider size, weight and overall capabilities. When you’re farming limited acres and your budget requires a smaller price tag, but you don’t want your machine to fall short of power and versatility, compare horses without forgetting other vital aspects in the compact category. Appeared in print in the September 2021 issue of Horse Illustrated.

How to Adopt a Horse

Instead of the pitter-patter of little paws, your adoption aspirations may involve the clip-clop of large hooves. Adopting a horse from an adoption organization is a great way to provide a stable home for a horse in need while freeing up space for them to house another. But before you adopt one of these large, lovable animals, there are a few things you need to know. Print Version Originally Appeared in Horse Illustrated April 2021 Issue

Chickens (a Hobby Farms publication) - Feature Articles

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Kitchen Scraps Make Birds Fat – Slated for the Sept/Oct 2023 Issue

Tips To Revive A Chick With Health Concerns

Chickens are relatively inexpensive, easy to care for and small compared to other livestock. This makes them perfect for backyard and urban chicken-keepers. Whether you get your birds through the mail or hatch them on site, it’s an exciting day when your new chicks arrive. Despite their small size and potential fragility, chicks tend to be hardy when provided with the right environment. However, sometimes a chick arrives weak and/or experiencing health concerns. Though this doesn’t mean you’re going to lose it, some loss is to be expected. Use the common tips on the following pages to help revive those weak chicks. This article originally appeared in the March/April 2022 issue of Chickens magazine.

Tips to Revive Weak Chicks

Chickens are relatively inexpensive, easy to care for and small compared to most other livestock, making them perfect for backyard and urban chicken keepers where it’s allowed. Whether you get your chickens through the mail or hatch them on-site, it’s an exciting day when your new chicks arrive. Despite their small size and potential fragility, chicks tend to be hardy when provided with the right environment. However, sometimes a chick arrives weak and though this doesn’t mean you’re going to lose it, some loss is to be expected. Following common tips for reviving weak chicks might save your baby bird. Originally appeared in the March/April 2022 Issue of Chickens

How To Check & Protect Navel Health Of A Chick

Even though a chick hatches from an egg instead of being born from its mother’s womb, it still has a “belly button.” However, the navel on a chick is more difficult to find, especially on a healthy newborn. A poorly closed navel is a clear sign there’s something wrong with the chick. And it may indicate a problem in your incubator or incubation techniques. A chick’s navel is one of the most vulnerable places for bacterial and fungal infections. So it’s important to understand what a chick’s belly button tells you. Originally appeared in the November/December 2021 issue of Chickens

What To Look For When Bringing Home Baby Chicks

When you walk into your local feed mill or farm-supply store during the spring, you’ll likely hear the cheep, cheep, cheep of baby chicks. Those little balls of fluff are adorable! But it’s important to resist the cute factor and focus on health to ensure your new flock or additional flock mates survive. Picking healthy chicks isn’t difficult when you know what to look for—from their peepers to their feet. This article originally appeared in the March/April 2021 issue of Chickens magazine.

Urban Chickens Bring Some Cluck To The City

You don’t have to live on a rural route to own chickens ... City dwellers often have all sorts of interesting neighbors. But one that goes cluck-cluck and scratches around in the dirt probably isn’t the norm. While urban chicken farming has had its highs and lows, lots of people are still interested in raising fowl that are big on personality. The most common reason for raising city chickens is access to fresher eggs. But some are surprised that they also make great pets. It’s typically easy to care for chickens, but before you start your flock, learn more about what’s involved. This story originally appeared in the March/April 2020 issue of Chickens magazine.

Hobby Farms - Feature Articles

Coming Soon:
Biochar Your Way to Better Soil – Slated for the Nov/Dec 2023 Issue

What Items Should You Stock In Your Prepper Pantry?

Prepper pantries help many feel more prepared for the unknown. Stock your own prepper pantry with these items for a well-stocked food supply. Whether you’re concerned about a zombie apocalypse or another unprecedented pandemic disrupting the supply chain, prepper pantries help prepare you for unforeseen events that can cause a very real concern over food shortages at local grocery stores. This article appeared in Living Off the Grid, a 2021 specialty publication produced by the editors and writers of Hobby Farms magazine.

Build Healthy Soil Naturally With Probiotic Farming

Probiotics are good bacteria that are good for people. And probiotic farming can pump up plant health, which is also good for people. Healthy crops start with healthy soil. Probiotic farming not only makes your soil healthier, but it also offers a wealth of other benefits for farmers who want better crops while improving the growing area and the environment as a whole. Probiotic farmers utilize live microbes that are beneficial bacteria, just like the beneficial bacteria people ingest in probiotic foods or dietary supplements. In this sense, probiotics in farming act as supplements for the soil and ultimately the plants. This article originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of Hobby Farms magazine.

Greenhouse Pest Management Is An Internal Issue

Pests can wreak havoc in a greenhouse. Literally thousands of insect species feed directly on the tissues of living plants. The warm, humid conditions and abundant food supply inside a greenhouse provide an ideal environment for pest development on a year-round basis. Natural enemies that keep these pests under control outdoors aren’t always present in a greenhouse. Pest situations can develop rapidly and become chronic without early detection and immediate eradication. Year-round greenhouse pest management can be challenging for small-scale hobby farmers. Here's what to look for and how to keep pests outside. This story originally appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of Hobby Farms magazine.

How To Start A Turf Farm On Your Acreage

Looking for some added profits from your land? Turn your edible crop farm into a sod and turf farm for an alternative way to make some green. Grass can be a real cash crop. Grass is also known as sod, and sodding a barren patch of land is the quickest, easiest way to achieve a lush, green lawn. So growing sod can be a lucrative agriculture commodity in areas with a steady local market, especially during a housing boom. Sod farming, also called turf farming, can be tough to get into, especially if you start from scratch, but it might provide an unexpected alternative crop in the right location. This story originally appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of Hobby Farms magazine.
Moira K. McGhee

Fermenting Success: California Farmers Create Artisan Vinegar

A husband-and-wife team create a new revenue source by finding the niche market of artisan vinegar. In farming, it often helps to have a niche. Some farmers go into business knowing what they’d like that niche to be, while others stumble upon it. Craig Clark and his wife, Cari Bourquin-Clark, ought to know, because a bunch of berries ended up putting their small organic farm on the map. The Clarks own Chaparral Gardens Artisan Vinegars in Atascadero, California. It began with a few bottles for friends and family and went to a line of gourmet balsamic and fruit vinegars known throughout the Central Coast and steadily gaining national recognition. This story originally appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of Hobby Farms magazine.

Purple Reign: The Joy & Value of Growing Lavender

Lavender is an easy-to-grow, high-value crop that offers an excellent return on investment. Here are basics on lavender and how to grow it for profit. Incredibly aromatic, lavender flowers have a soothing scent featured in a variety of merchandise, which provides a range of profitable outlets for small-scale producers. Unlike many other seasonal crops, producers can dry lavender for ornamental flower arrangements, wands, sachets or potpourri, or transform the dried flowers into value-added products such as essential oils, tinctures, soaps or lotions. It’s also useful in baking and makes a tasty honey. Your plans for your harvested lavender will determine which of the many species you should grow, but all the common varieties have fairly simple propagation needs. This story originally appeared in the September/October 2017 issue of Hobby Farms magazine.

Xeriscaping: Capitalize On Drought By Growing Plants That Help Others

In perennially dry or drought-stricken areas, homeowners and businesses often turn to drought-resistant landscaping called xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is a style of landscaping specifically developed for drought-afflicted areas. The fundamental purpose of xeriscape designs is to conserve water, so they require little or no irrigation. These designs also require less maintenance, decrease pollution by reducing the use of gas-powered lawn equipment, reduce or eliminate fertilizers and pesticides, and provide habitats for wildlife. Here are xeriscaping plants you can grow and sell. This story originally appeared in the May/June 2017 issue of Hobby Farms magazine.

When In Drought: How To Help Your Crops During Dry Conditions

Doing rain dances won’t help your farm when it's suffering the effects of a drought, but planting crops that require less water will. Water plays an essential role in farming. Without adequate water, your crop yields might be low, plants may wither and dry up, and in worst-case scenarios, the entire crop can die. Plants need water throughout their life cycle, so lack of rainfall—especially in drought conditions—poses a serious threat to a farmer’s livelihood. This has many farmers, who just want to keep farming, turning to less-thirsty crops to help ensure their farms stay productive and profitable. This story originally appeared in the May/June 2017 issue of Hobby Farms magazine.

Get Started In Vertical Gardening

Go vertical to maximize your gardening space and harvest potential. Vertical gardening—an excellent way to take advantage of limited garden space—is often more identified with urban locales where residents have no choice but to grow up, not out. However, small-scale commercial farmers can also benefit from learning how to use garden space more adequately: Saving space is never a bad thing. In the past few years, hobby farmers began investigating vertical farming on a commercial scale. Going vertical is easier than you might think: It produces more product in less space, and it also has a slew of other advantages, which we’ll take a look at. This article originally appeared in the March/April 2017 issue of Hobby Farms magazine.

8 Unexpected Materials That Make Great Trellises

Building a great trellis may mean looking no farther than the nearest junk pile. While you could buy a pre-made trellis at almost any garden center or big-box store, building your own often has many advantages. Because you can build a trellis out of almost anything, a quick trip to your local junk yard often provides a treasure trove of potential construction materials. You might even find some interesting choices lying around your own property, especially if you possess hoarding tendencies due to a love of reusing and recycling. Best of all, when you use “found” items, they’re frequently free, so you’re saving major money. Here are a few I found noteworthy. Web Exclusive

Add Microgreens To Your Garden Lineup

These tiny plants pack in nutrition, flavor and—maybe most importantly—profits. As one of nature’s premier superfoods, microgreens are easy to propagate and have an extremely short turnaround time. In fact, they’re second only to sprouts as the fastest growing food crop: Some varieties are ready for harvest in as little as seven to 12 days. Unlike most crops, you can also grow microgreens almost anywhere, even in colder climates. Because they take up so little space, it’s profitable to grow them indoors when weather conditions aren’t conducive to outdoor growing. Thus, small-scale commercial growers can profit from 20-plus harvests of microgreens in year-round operations. This article originally ran in the March/April 2017 issue of Hobby Farms magazine.

Start A Cut-Flower Farm Business

Watching flowers grow could be big business. If you love being in the garden and cultivating a variety of beautiful blossoms, becoming a flower farmer might be a great way to supplement your income. Flowers are becoming an ideal seasonal cash crop. Whether you’ve grown them for years or just started recently, you could transform your flower-growing hobby into a profitable venture. Growing specialty cut flowers that transcend the standard floral fare basically involves figuring out what to grow and learning how to successfully market your product. This article originally appeared in the January/February issue of Hobby Farms magazine.

4 Cut-Flower Trends For 2017

Let these color schemes inform what cut flowers you'll grow for market in 2017. As a flower farmer, you aren’t just a farmer, you’re a florist. As a florist, you must listen to what consumers want to stay competitive. Like most retail endeavors, current consumer trends often determine what types of flowers you should plant. The predicted trends for 2017 will see a huge shift, says Jeff Lanman, executive director of the International Floral Distributors and Project Manager of the Flower Trends Forecast, which has been published annually since 2009. Web Exclusive

Living Off the Grid (a Hobby Farms publication) - Feature Articles

Ozarks Farm & Neighbor

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Previous Articles (Written Under Moira K. Wiley)

Emu Oil - So Many Uses

There's oil in them emu and business is booming. The many uses of emu oil make up almost an A-Z list, ranging from acne to wrinkles. With approximately 90 different reported uses, this oil is one of the most versatile products on the market. Emu oil can be used as a food by-product, produced by rendering the fat from a pad on the bird's back. The fat, at room temperature, is a semi-solid fat, meaning it's a fat and oil mixture. This mixture is refined, sterilized, and deodorized and bottled in everything from facial creams to shampoos, and a multitude of other products. Originally Published in Emu Today and Tomorrow, October 2001

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