Essential Gardening Tips for Spring (vol. 1)

Essential Gardening Tips for Spring

I have been looking forward to being able to say “Spring is here!” and the moment has finally arrived. Although us New Englanders are still facing some lousy, bitter cold (and even a March blizzard, what gives!), March 20th brought with it the first official day of Spring. My backyard in particular needs a lot of help, so I look forward to documenting its progress as we go! In the meantime, keep these essential gardening tips for Spring in mind:

On a nice sunny day, consider taking these steps to get your yard ready for the peak of the season!

Clean Up the Garden

This is probably one of the least fun parts about Spring- the cleanup! The Fall and the Winter wreak havoc on your precious gardens in the sense that there are leaves and weeds everywhere. Be sure to pull out all of the roots so they don’t grow back.

Revitalize your soil

You want to make sure your soil is moist and packed with nutrients before planting anything this Spring. The best way to do this is by adding an organic manure or compost. To be sure you have the proper treatment you may consider having your soil tested so you can add a customized component. People add fertilizer to guarantee healthy soil and longer life for your plants. We will get more into your options with healthy soil in the coming weeks.

Prune Old Plants

The best way to get plants that survived the winter is to give them a good ol’ trim! It’s essentially jump-starting the plants system so it will thrive in the warm sunny days to come. However, do not do this until Mid-April or early May. As you know, March and early April can still bring some cold spells. Trimming back plants too early will leave them vulnerable and will be more likely to die if exposed to freezing temperatures.


We’ve seen a few debates over which kind of mulch you should use on your garden, but we’ll get to that. Adding mulch to your garden will help prevent weeds, it will lock in the moisture and will help regulate temperature. Be sure to keep the mulch a few inches away from the stem of the plants so they do not rot!

Get Planting!

Once everything is cleared, revitalized and ready to go- you can start your planting of new shrubs and flowers! We would suggest picking up perennials so you do not need to buy new plants next year (annuals). There are many great Spring plants to choose from such as Pansies, Lilacs and Tulips just to name a few. We will be discussing the importance of paying attention to where you purchase your plants from and how they were treated prior to sale- as many corporate home centers sell plants that have damaging effects on surrounding wildlife. Stay tuned!

Essential Gardening Tips for Spring

Now that Spring has Spring your hands are about to get pretty dirty! Give our Gardener’s Friend Hand Scrub Soap a try and enjoy having soft clean hands after a hard days work!


Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Feed Ducks Bread

Why You Shouldn’t Feed Ducks Bread

Why You Shouldn't Feed Ducks Bread

How many times have you found yourself at a public park or zoo and participated in or witnessed people throwing bread in the ponds? Somewhere along the line this became a standard practice but unfortunately it can do a lot of damage not just to the birds but also the waterways. As much as I’m sure the ducks and geese appreciate the gesture, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t feed ducks bread.

Not Healthy

One of the biggest problems with feeding ducks and geese bread is the fact that it gives them absolutely no nutrition. They will fill up on bread instead of sourcing food that keeps them in top form. Preventing them from searching for a balanced diet will inevitably have long term effects on their wellbeing.

Bread isn’t the only human food that can harm waterfowl but it is the most common when it comes to feeding wild birds. We want to make sure these birds aren’t exposed to fatal or disabling conditions as a result of our ignorance. A disease caused Angel Wing, for example, is caused by a nutrient deficient diet- causing deformities like loss of wing use/ability to fly that may leave them vulnerable to  predators.

Water Problems

The obvious issue bread in water creates is a decrease in quality. Do you want to swim in or drink water with remnants of soggy bread? Probably not. Worse than that- it creates a legitimate health concern to all who rely on these bodies of water to survive.

When there is excess bread in the water, it can cause changes in the bacteriological and chemical content, greatly increasing the risk of avian disease. Other life living in the water may also be fatally impacted as a result of these changes.

Safe Things to Feed Waterfowl

Nobody is saying you shouldn’t feed the ducks and geese you see, let’s just do it in a way that helps not hurts our birds and the environment. Here are some examples of what you can feed them:

  • Cracked corn
  • Oats
  • Rice (doesn’t have to be cooked)
  • Birdseed (any mix)
  • Sliced Grapes
  • (Defrosted, not cooked) frozen corn or peas
  • Earthworms and Mealworms
  • Chopped lettuce or other greens
  • Veggie trimmings

Please avoid:

  • Bread, Crackers, Biscuits
  • Chips
  • Popcorn
  • Sugary food – like chocolate


If you’re here, you must care about the wellbeing of the Earth’s creatures! We appreciate that. As you may know, we’re a farm dedicated to raising awareness of rare farm breed preservation & encouraging environmental conservation. We are an educational facility, home to many rare breeds- bringing hundreds of children on tours every year so they will acquire the personal context needed to become protective stewards of our planet. If you are feeling particularly generous, and would like to help us continue to expand our efforts (we’re just a small family owned and operated farm) we would greatly appreciate it. Read more at our Dalby Farm Expansion GoFundMe page.


Bee Thoughtful: Why you should not plant the free Wildflower seeds Cheerios wants to give you

Why you should not plant the free wildflower seeds Cheerios wants to give you

Have you heard about the latest effort put forth by Cheerios? Their intentions are honestly fantastic and we applaud their decision to help raise awareness regarding our very concerning bee situation… but their method of trying to help may have the exact opposite affect.

Cheerios has an active campaign stating they will send packets of various wildflower seeds to people all over the country. Sounds great right? It did until you start to examine what they’re sending and where it could end up.

Free Wildflower Seeds Cheerios

Damaging Reality

Perhaps I don’t have all the facts, but my understanding is once you’ve sent in for a free sample  you are likely to receive any of the following:

Forget-Me-Not, Wallflower, Poppy, Coneflower, Aster, Flax, Baby Blue, Gilia, Indian Blanket, Tidy-tips, and several others. Here’s the problem, if you’re not paying attention you could end up planting something in your region that may not belong there, and may not be welcome.

Forget-Me-Nots, for example, are a banned noxious weed in MA and CT. The California Poppy may be awesome for CA, but move to the southeastern states and you you’ve got an invasive exotic pest plant. The fact that most of these wildflowers aren’t even native to the United States- poses a question of- will it actually have a positive impact on bees in the first place? Who were the people who put this list of flowers together? Did they consider the fact that it could have the exact opposite effect?!

Not all out-of-region plants are ‘Bad’ but…

When a plant is introduced to an area that is outside of its native range, it doesn’t make them a ‘bad plant’ – but it can use up resources the native plants rely on in that region. Disease can spread, and cause physical changes to the areas – creating big problems.

Don’t get me wrong, the effort put forth by Cheerios is a good idea and is conceptually sound but it’s half-assed. Unless there is a team behind the curtain that will be sending certain seeds to certain areas- we need to be careful. We are in this bee dilemma because us humans have been extremely careless with the way we do things. If this endeavor isn’t performed with the utmost care, we could find that we’re doing much more harm than good. My understanding is you’ll receive one packet with seeds of all these flowers. Ahhhhh!

Cheerios is relying on the individual to do their own research- which isn’t impossible but it is highly unlikely. They hear the word free, and the phrase “save the bees” and they think they’re doing something good. It’s half true. Let’s hope we can all pay a little more attention before planting something that may not be long here. While you’re at it, DO look up wildflowers that are native to your home and plant some. Take the spirit of Cheerios idea into your own hands and help create a better world for our bees 🙂

More from Bee Thoughtful to come!

In the meantime, try our delicious honey and help us educate the community on rare breed preservation and environmental conservation!



Why you should be drinking water

Why You Should Be Drinking Water

Are you drinking enough water? There has been much discussion over the years regarding exactly how much water you should be drinking vs. how much you need to drink. While you may not need a full 8 glasses of water a day as you may have heard, you should still aspire to consuming as much where possible. Here’s why you should be drinking water, in short.

Maintains the balance

Digestion, circulation, saliva, absorption, transportation of nutrients, and body temperature regulation are all affected by the amount of water you consume. Our bodies are made of 60% water- which are responsible for making those functions happen. Without consistent water consumption, your body will not perform to its optimal ability. Your brain will essentially tell you when your supply is low, so be sure to listen and act on that feeling of thirst!
You’ll also enjoy more energy- as the right amount will help pump blood more effectively. Speedy transport of nutrients to your cells will do your body good!
When it comes to balance, we don’t just mean the fluid levels – we also mean your digestion. Healthy amounts of water daily will keep you working regularly. If you’re dehydrated it will be harder (and likely somewhat painful) to pass waste.

Control Calories

There’s a reason why people drink a lot of water when they’re trying to lose weight. Sadly, water is not the cure to obesity, and drinking a lot of water doesn’t guarantee weight loss. What it will do, however, is fill you up and cut the desire to eat and drink higher calorie foods / beverages.
Also, food with high water content will often require more chewing, and will take more time to be fully absorbed by the body. You will feel more full and less likely to snack on rich food. Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, oatmeal, beans and broth-based soup!
Water will also help boost the metabolism, which is key to maintaining a steady body weight. Throw some ice in it and your body will work a little harder to process it, burning a few extra calories!

Good Muscle Health

Believe it or not, fluids are an integral part of having a healthy muscle mass within your body. Without proper fluids, your muscles can shrivel- resulting in poor performance and in some cases, painful atrophy.
It is recommended, especially for athletes, to drink at least 17 ounces of water 2 hours prior to a workout. It is important to keep a steady flow of water entering your system before, during and after highly strenuous workouts as to replace what is lost from sweat.
Water helps prevent muscle cramping and works as a natural lubricant to help make toning happen faster.

Better Skin

We’ve mentioned this before, but one way to ensure you have healthy skin is by having a consistent intake of water. If you are too dehydrated, your skin gets really dry and any existing wrinkles appear deeper. Water helps plump up your skin cells, helping you keep a younger appearance. Not only that, but water will help flush out impurities and help blood flow/circulation.


The exact amount of water you need depends on a variety of factors. Your height, size, level of activity, how hot or cold it is outside all come into consideration- as well as how much you exercise and at what amount you sweat. Speak with your doctor if you’re concerned about how much is enough.

Tea counts!

Why You should be Drinking Water

Don’t like plain water? Grab yourself some herbal tea! Tea is a great way to give your body the water it needs. Be easy on the sugar though 😉

Water Conservation Tips for Kids: Get them involved!

Water Conservation Tips for Kids

Water Conservation Tips for Kids

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, small actions can carry a big impact- especially over time. Here at Dalby Farm, we aspire to help children think about the environment with every step they take. You can help enforce our lessons at home by involving your kids in simple practices. Remember, water conservation tips for kids can easily be applied to adults too!

Make it A Game

Before we get into specific ways to help your kids conserve water, consider your approach. Experience has taught us that children are more likely to participate in chore-like activities when it is presented in a fun way.

Design some kind of score card or poster with their names, and spaces for each day of the week (to check off or put a sticker when completed). On the side column, make a list of different simple ways to conserve water. Come up with a small reward system- whether it be ice cream for dessert at the end of the week, or getting to stay up an extra half hour- for each week of completed activity.

This is a great way to instill environmentally friendly life practices with a touch of fun and personal reward!

Look for Leaks

Once a month, send your little one in and around the house to look at all of the faucets and shower heads. You can save a lot of water over time if you catch every leak as quick as possible. Sometimes it’s a simple explanation, other times a plumber may be needed.

Not to mention it serves as early education as to what homeownership is like!


If your children alternate on dish duty- make sure they know to avoid letting the faucet run! Younger kids may enjoy seeing their favorite rubber ducky float with them in the full sink. Getting creative and including unique symbols of green habits can mold the mind in great ways as they grow older.

Brown Grass and Pet Baths

Assuming you have children who you put in charge of washing the dog- take a look at your lawn first! If you see a patch of the yard that could use some nourishment, set them up for the bath there. Drag the hose and the dog to that spot and get a 2 for 1! A clean dog and a watered lawn!

On a hot day, set up the sprinkler before or after to help your kids cool down, water the lawn and get the dog ready for soaping!

Designated Drinking Glass or Bottle

Have your little one pick out a cute drinking glass or bottle, and assign it to them as the only thing they can drink water out of! Doing so will teach them to avoid wanting bottled water, and/or wasting multiple glasses throughout the day. They’ll learn to cut down unnecessary waste! Not only will they save landfills from more damaging plastic, but they’ll conserve the water it’d take to wash all the glasses they’d have otherwise dirtied.

Check back for more ways to help your kids learn to conserve at home!

5 Easy Ways To Have Healthy Skin

5 Easy Ways to Have Healthy Skin

Let’s be honest. The healthy and beauty market is saturated with too many options to keep track of. Google searches are full of paid ads disguised as informative, popular resources. People are paid to leave reviews to mislead potential buyers… it goes on and on. At the end of the day, you’re just looking for ways to keep your skin nice and healthy. Avoid the manipulation of everyone else and take a look at these 5 easy ways to have healthy skin.


It may seem obvious but ask yourself- how often are you putting on sunscreen? No matter where you live, what season it is, or if you plan on sunbathing (please dont!). The best way to avoid having sun-damaged skin is by preventing it in the first place. These days its very easy to find a daily moisturizer that offers varying amounts of SPF.

Clean Make-Up Applicators

If you are not already in the habit of rinsing your makeup brushes and/or sponges every couple weeks, you should be! A little spin in some lukewarm water followed by being pat dry and left to air out can help prevent break-outs!


Sanitize your devices

If you’re frequently on your iPhone or Android, make sure you are constantly sanitizing the screen. Such devices are exposed to many things and become a petry dish of germs and various bacteria. Everything your hands touch, could end up on your face if you aren’t paying attention! All you need are some Clorox sanitizing wipes and use them each day to stay on top of it.


Wash Your Face Before Bed

Don’t leave your makeup on while you sleep or else it may lead to clogged pores, and you could end up with dry skin too. Sleeping with eye makeup could lead to uncomfortable redness and bumps. Take a few moments to rinse your face with warm water and the cleanser of your choosing to avoid these problems!

Moisturizers and skin toners should be used to encourage even more supple skin but should be used immediately after you’ve washed your face with warm water. There is a limited window of time the ingredients that promote moisture can get into your pores before they close up.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water is key to having great skin. It assists in transporting oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells. Dehydrated cells make you look much older than you are, nobody wants that! Studies show 8 glasses of water is the perfect daily amount to help your skin look and feel its best.


Try something new!

Goat Milk is one of the best ingredients to use on your skin. It has the closest PH balance to our skin.

5 Easy Ways to have Healthy Skin

Try our Dalby Farm Goat Milk Soaps and Lotions and see your skin shine brighter than before!

The benefits of drinking Coffee

The Benefits of Drinking Coffee

Benefits of Drinking Coffee Boston's North End Coffee Blend

If you’re anything like my mother or I, you live for your coffee in the morning. There’s a sense of comfort in that mug you won’t find anywhere else. Every coffee lover at one point or another has come across the many claims that suggest coffee isn’t good for you on a regular basis. However, like with most pleasures in life, everything in moderation is a phrase to live by and key for your coffee consumption. There are actually several benefits of drinking coffee that you can learn about below. You may find yourself enjoying that cup more than you ever thought possible!

What is Coffee?

Did you know coffee beans are actually technically seeds from a fruit plant? It’s true! The coffee plant, or genus Coffea is native to tropical regions such as Africa and Madagascar but is now being cultivated in over 70 countries. Coffee plants/trees grow what are called Coffee cherries, which are full of seeds which we call coffee beans. It takes over a year for a coffee cherry to mature, and 5 years before it is in full production- thankfully coffee plants can live for 100 years so the wait pays off.
The part you probably know? The beans from the coffee cherries are ground up and become the coffee you brew with hot water in your machine. Yum!

Here are just some of many benefits of drinking coffee you should know about!

Post Work-out Muscle Aid

For those who work out every morning, first of all- bravo! You’re clearly already on the path of a healthy lifestyle. Do your muscles a favor and drink that coffee up after you exercise. According to the Journal of Pain from 2007, 48% of post-workout muscle pain can be cut out of your life forever from just two delicious cups of coffee. Between that and a foam roller, you’ll be feeling great!

Lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes

From the Archives of Internal Medicine, coffee drinkers who had 6 or more cups a day of coffee had a 22% lower risk of diabetes. Apparently, research suggests the risk decreases by 9% for every cup consumed! More of a decaf drinker? You’ll still enjoy a 6% decrease in risk. Keep in mind, we’re talking minimal (to no) sugar or else you’re basically defeating the benefit 😉

Less Risk of Heart Disease

There’s a reason why you love coffee, it’s good for your heart! Korean research found that those who had 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day lowered the likelihood of showing the early signs of heart disease. Keep in mind, the diet in Korea is extremely different than those of us in America. That may be significant in these findings.

Good source of Fiber

The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reveals that a single cup of brewed coffee can offer up to 1.8 grams of fiber. Considering 20-38 grams of fiber is recommended every day, you could be 10% of the way there by the time you finish that second cup.

Cavity Protection

Brazilian researchers reported that strong black coffee has the power to kill the tooth decay causing bacteria found on teeth. If black coffee is your favorite, you’re in luck! Those who prefer milk, cream and or sugar however, will need to read on. Any additive to your mug of coffee will negate the benefit.


One serving of coffee, believe it or not, contains more antioxidants than an average service of fruit such as raspberries, oranges and blueberries. Those antioxidants may reduce inflammation (and diseases associated with it). Keep in mind, decaf coffee often loses said antioxidants in the process of losing its caffine.

Keep checking back for more educational posts on the benefits of coffee and other popular beverages 🙂


In the mood for a cup now? We thought so. Try out our new Boston Common Coffee Co. blends!


What Men Want for Valentine’s Day

What Men Want for Valentine’s Day

Somewhere along the line, it seems like gifts for men on Valentine’s Day fell under the radar. If you were to google “gifts for Valentine’s Day” most articles will come back with advice geared toward men. Whatever your philosophy may be, we think it’s nice to have the occasion go both ways when it comes to giving gifts. Although us women don’t object to a day of spoils, it’s important to express love and gratitude for the men in your life too. Let us help you figure out what men want for Valentine’s day.

What Men Want for Valentine's Day


Everybody knows the way into a man’s heart is through food! Find an opportunity to feed him his favorites on Valentine’s Day. Why don’t you surprise him with his preferred breakfast or lunch? If February 14th falls on a weekday, make him a special lunch to take to work! It’ll make his day brighter and he’ll definitely be thinking of you (and thanking you) as he pushes through.
If you don’t have dinner plans, ask if he’d like you to cook one of his favorite meals instead of going out.
Does he have a favorite cookie, cake or pastry you could make? 9 times out of 10 the look on a man’s face when he realizes he has his favorite dessert to look forward to is 100% worth it (and priceless!).

A Simple Night In

Most men just want the opportunity to have some quality time with you. They want to shut out the world for a moment. If it’s been a while since you’ve just sat around at home and watched a movie, make that an option this year. He may enjoy the change of pace, avoiding the Valentine’s day chaos and crowds, and it’ll save a few bucks!
Alternatively- maybe you two never get out enough! Get his opinion on the matter and consider a night out at the movies, or an evening stroll in a local park. Find out what would make him happy and be open minded 🙂 You may be on the same page!

Small Comforts: Boxers, Sweatshirts, Shaving kit

I always love to use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to stock my husband up on the items he uses every day. You know, the kind of stuff he never would want to go out and get himself but needs the most. Incorporating small comforts like fresh boxer shorts, a warm sweatshirt or even a new shaving kit could be a cute addition to any gift and the best way to show how well you care about his well being. A little attention to his daily rituals could take you a long way come gift time!


This may also qualify as a small comfort 😉 If your boyfriend or husband (fathers & grandfathers can get gifts too!) enjoys a nice cold beer or drink at the end of a long day, maybe head to the package store and pick up his favorites. He’ll appreciate not having to make the stop himself that week! It may be easier to decipher what men want for Valentine’s Day than initially thought, right?



Gift Cards: Video Games, Restaurant,

If you’re married with children, chances are you and your husband work hard everyday to make sure there is enough money in the bank to make ends meet. That means the amount he spends on himself is probably close to $0. If you have set a budget for each other, give him a gift card for something that he loves but has learned to live without. Whether it’s a restaurant he loves, or a video game, the acknowledgement of his personal taste means a lot.


How to Get Better Sleep – a few tips

How to get better sleep

I don’t know about you but many times a year I find myself struggling to get proper rest. Life can be so stressful when it comes to balancing a work life with a personal life. If you’re married with children, elderly parents and/or a buzzing social life it gets even more difficult to make yourself a priority. One thing that should always be at the top of your list is enough rest- or else you’ll never be fit for anything else you need to do. Here’s a few tips on how to get better sleep.


The best thing you can do for your body is by creating a rest routine you stick to. Try to go to sleep at the same time every single night. Make sure you are actually tired, or else you run the risk of tossing and turning. While trying to determine the right time for yourself- consider when you want to wake up each day and count backwards from that. Most people need 6-8 hours a night to function at their best.

Don’t sleep in

I know it’s tempting when the weekend finally rolls around to stay in bed a couple extra hours but it won’t help you in the long run. It all comes back to being consistent. If you stay up late Friday night and sleep in for 3 more hours than usual Saturday- you will dismantle your body’s sense of regularity. Experts suggest taking a nap mid-day after a late night as opposed to tacking that sleep on to your morning. Remember, your sleep-wake rhythm is what we’re trying to establish and protect.

Stop napping during the day

There’s nothing wrong with 20 or 30 minutes here or there during the day after a really late night. Habitual nappers, however- will want to knock that off as soon as possible.  Research shows people who nap during the day for an hour or more suffer from staying asleep or falling asleep, depending on the time of day the naps take place. You want your body to rely on a good nights sleep for energy, not mid-day slumbers.

Don’t give in

If you frequently find yourself incredibly tired after dinner but you have hours to go before you’d normally go to sleep, don’t give in! Fight through the drowsiness and keep yourself awake until your usual bedtime. Don’t use caffeine or high levels of sugar to keep you going though, that will get your body in the wrong zone and you’ll prevent yourself from actually falling asleep on time.

Soak in the Sun

Every morning, make it a priority to get outside for a little while and soak up the sun. Not only will the warm light help wake you up, but Vitamin D is very important! Melatonin is a natural hormone controlled by light that will help influence your sleep-wake cycle. Light will keep your brain alert, whereas darkness will force your brain to secret more melatonin which will make you drowsy.

Avoid Screens before bed

This one is tough for me because I love to sleep to the TV, and I love to browse my phone before going to sleep. Unfortunately the light from these screens suppress melatonin, keeping your brain more alert than tired. Sleep in a very dark room. If you wake up in the middle of the night, avoid turning on lights if you need to get up. Have some soft night lights in your hallway or bathroom if need be.


Even just 10 minutes of vigorous activity a day will improve your sleep cycle. It may take a few months of consistent daily exercise before you feel the full effects, but it works! Considering people should average 30 min. of activity every other day, it’s a good goal to set whether your sleep is suffering or not.



How to make a bouquet of fresh flowers last

Make a bouquet of fresh flowers last

How to make a bouquet of fresh flowers last

54.8% of  Americans celebrate Valentine’s day, collectively spending over $19 billion on Flowers, candy, cards, and jewelry. Over 190 million roses are produced for Valentine’s day alone, with 34.3% of people receiving them for the occasion. Soon they will all be wondering how to make a bouquet of fresh flowers last, that’s why we’re here.

Adding longevity to the life of your beautiful flowers is a lot easier than you may believe. In fact, most items you can use are common household products you probably already have laying around. Browse through the list we have put together, but when in doubt keep it out! Don’t accidentally kill your flowers by winging it with the amounts. Remember, the goal is to prevent bacteria from growing in the water; if nothing else, be sure to replace the water in your vase every couple of days!

Apple Cider Vinegar

What can’t apple cider vinegar do?! Seems at every turn, this is one product that keeps solving problems of all kinds. Experts suggest mixing the vase water with two tablespoons of apple cider and two tablespoons of sugar before adding the flowers.


If you’re about to polish off a 2 liter of soda, or if you have some left in a can- you may want to make sure you keep 1/4 cup for your flower water. The sugar in the soda will help the blooms last longer on your bouquet. Clearly there are some benefits to the drink after all!


I don’t know why but this one surprised me. Experts say a simple recipe: 3 drops of bleach, 1 quart water with 1 teaspoon of sugar has the power to keep the water from getting cloudy (preventing bacteria growth). Don’t worry, I’ve yet to read about an incident where the flowers turn white 😉


In an effort to nourish the area where the flower was cut, people put a few drops of vodka (and other clear booze) in their vase water, with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Going this route will be a bit more high maintenance though, as it is advised you should be changing the water (and replacing the vodka/sugar combination) every other day.


Described as a tried and true method to preserving your flowers, a crushed up tablet of asprin in the water before adding your flowers is a reliable way to extend the life of fresh cut flowers. I haven’t tried this one yet but it’s the next method I’m going to use come Valentine’s Day!


4 All Natural Remedies for a Cold

All Natural Remedies for a Cold

If it hasn’t hit you already, welcome to cold season. While it’s possible to get a cold any time of the year, studies show most people are more prone to get sick in the Winter as well as the Spring. Fortunately there are many all natural remedies for a cold, though the best cure is prevention through a healthy lifestyle.

Did you know a cold could be caused by more than 200 different kinds of viruses? The most common viruses are rhinovirus (10-40% of colds), coronavirus (20%), RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and parainfluenza virus (10%). Scientists say rhinovirus replicates better in cooler temperatures, thus making traditional winter conditions ideal for it to spread.

The Common Cold

As you probably know, colds are caused by you coming into contact with an infected person or surface. Surprisingly enough it’s even entirely possible to catch a cold from someone else sneezing within your vicinity.

The virus attaches itself to your nose or throat lining, almost instantly triggering the immune system to send out white blood cells to attack it. More times than not the initial attempt to defend the body from the virus fails, and your body goes into overtime trying to get rid of it. As a result your nose and throat get inflamed, produce a lot of mucus, and you’re left physically exhausted. It’s plain and simple misery.


All Natural Remedies for a Cold

The following suggestions are not to be considered medical advice. We are not doctors! However, we have had our fair share of brutal colds and have experienced significant relief from many all natural methods. Mind you, there are so many more than 4 – so be sure to check back as we discuss them in future posts.


I’ve seen quite a few different ways to go about implementing steam into your cold symptom relief. The most popular is to simply take a hot shower with the door closed and allow yourself to inhale the steam for a good half hour. It does a great job helping to clear your sinuses and take the pressure off.

If you’re feeling a little more ambitious the other suggestion I’ve come across may be the way to go. Acquire eucalyptus or tea tree oil (effective anti-viral properties), and put a few drops in the bottom of a heat resistant bowl. Put multiple cups of boiling water in the bowl and get your face as close to the steam as possible without hurting yourself. Steam can be incredibly hot and even dangerous. After a few moments take a clean towel and cover your face with it, as to trap the steam. Have some tissues nearby!


I can’t personally vouch for this method but it is so interesting to me, I figure it’s worth mentioning.

Sources say that finely mincing 1-2 cloves of garlic and putting them in a glass of water will help cure your cold. As odd as it sounds, it does make sense. Garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic, antibacterial and anti fungal ingredient and could be the boost your body needs to kick the unwanted virus out. If you’re sick enough you will not even taste it, but drink it up quick just incase! 😉

No More ‘White Food’

White sugar, grains, milk and cheese all need to be off the table, no pun intended, the moment you realize you have a cold.  All of these foods will suppress your immune system, making it much harder for your body to defend itself. The reality is your body doesn’t need food when it is sick, it needs to conserve energy. Eating too much rich food will waste it’s limited resources on digesting your food over fighting the infection.

Hot Peppers

Everyone always suggests you drink hot liquids when you’re congested- and that’s a valid way to find some relief. Hot tea or soup is always a good option, though for some it isn’t fast enough. Well- if you’re into spicy and heat- go on and instantly clear your sinuses with some hot peppers! We wouldn’t recommend eating too many, especially if you’re working off an empty, mucus filled stomach…
If you don’t want to bite into a hot pepper, consider making (or having your family do it) a spicy broth.


Herbal Teas

Feel more comfortable sticking with something you know, like that hot tea? Check out our line of herbal tea! The Apple Blossom would suit you best because of the cinnamon (a very effective natural antibiotic and antiviral)- though any piping hot cup of tea will help. Feel better


General Water Conservation Tips: To Get You Started

Water Conservation Tips

Water Conservation Tips
There are hundreds of ways to conserve water. As we’ve mentioned in other posts, every little thing you can do to conserve your natural resources will make a difference. It’s all about having a big picture mentality. When people envision themselves cutting back or changing their ways, they imagine it being more difficult than it will be. Consider the following water conservation tips to get you started on more eco-friendly routines:

In the Kitchen

Believe it or not, dishwashers are more efficient when it comes to washing dishes than the sink is. These days with Energy Star and the like- these machines are designed to use less water and energy. Nevertheless, avoid running it when it’s not filled.
If you don’t own a dishwasher, you can conserve water by not leaving the faucet running. Make use of both sides of the sink, filling one side with soap water and the other for rinsing.

Collect the water you use to rinse fruits and vegetables and use it to water your house plants!

Soak pots and pans instead of trying to scrub them with running water.

Even keeping a pitcher of drinking water in the fridge will help ensure every drop gets drunk!

For the Bathroom

Set a timer to 5 minutes for your showers- it may not sound like it but that’s plenty of time! Doing so will save 1,000 gallons of water per month.

Test your toilet once a year to see if there are leaks. Simply put food coloring in the tank and watch to see if it comes into the bowl. As soon as you fix it you’ll save gallons and gallons of water.

Avoid baths as possible- some tubs take up to 70 gallons of water when full! That’s a lot of water!

Not everyone enjoys this motto but it is effective- “If it’s yellow, let it mellow…”

Did you know one second of dripping water amounts to five gallons a day? Check faucets and showerheads for any leaks.


 Overall Lifestyle

Be observant! If you’re in a position where you cannot fix a leak you notice- reach out to someone who can- Whether it be at a friends house or in a school or business.

Play games and give rewards to your children/family as they learn and demonstrate their own water conservation efforts. Make it fun!

Monitor your water bill to make sure you are up to speed with your consumption trends. Make it a goal to see all the numbers go down while not compromising your wellbeing.

Consider speaking with the people you work with to see if you can put together company incentives to limit water waste.

Encourage your local community, schools and government to support, educate and practice water conscious routines.

We will have many more water conservation tips for you over the coming weeks, stay tuned! Do not let these changes intimidate you, they’re easier to implement than you think. Like anything worth doing, it just takes time to get adjusted. It’s amazing how a little goes such a long way when it comes to living more green. Soon you won’t remember it ever being any other way!

Winter Water Conservation Tips

Winter Water Conservation Tips

Winter Water Conservation Tips

Over the coming weeks we will have many tips and tricks to conserving water. We wanted to start the series by mentioning some important ways to save water specifically during the cold winter months. Below are a few assorted winter water conservation tips- in no order of importance!

  • If your home tends to run cold no matter how much you try to keep it warm, or you have outdoor buildings- you may want to drip your faucets where pipes may freeze. Doing so can help prevent a pipe from bursting. To get the most of your efforts stick a bucket underneath the pipe as to collect the water to use for house plants.
  • Do you notice your shower takes longer to heat up in the winter than other times of the year? That’s because the pipes are cold. Instead of running the water much longer than normal waiting for warm water- call a plumber to price out the cost of getting your pipes insulated. You can be saving gallons of water!
    Alternatively you could consider a new, more efficient water heater if yours has been around a long time.
  • A more general note toward shower water conservation, low-flow showerheads are ‘old school’, yes- but they’re the hero of this story. Save those 3,000 gallons by making the switch!
  • Keep up with the temperatures. As you likely already know, the changes in temperate from day to night can wreak havoc on your plumbing. The pipes will expand and contract depending on what temperatures they are exposed to. Leaks are far more likely to develop during the winter.
    Be sure to have a plumber inspect the lines as soon as you suspect a problem, or when the cold is coming to a close.
    You can purchase water leak detection systems if that’s your thing.
  • The winter season usually means a massive increase in dinner parties, get togethers and baking. Try to avoid the massive pile of dishes in the sink by utilizing dishwasher safe dishes, mixing bowls and cutlery.
  • Know where your water shut off is. In the event of any severe, catastrophic leaks you’ll want to be able to stop water flow immediately. Don’t be in a position where you waste tons of time (and water) while searching for it.


Winter Bird Feeding – A Few Tips

Winter Bird Feeding Tips

Winter Bird Feeding Tips

If you’re in New England like we are (or anywhere that gets cold in the winter) you may consider feeding the wild birds if you aren’t already. Ice and layers of snow over the course of one large (or many small) storm has the potential to cut off many of the natural resources birds rely on for survival. The last thing we want is to see hundreds or even thousands of birds starve to death, right?

To ensure a healthy, successful winter bird feeding season check out our tips below.

Use big capacity feeders

If you don’t have any large bird feeders consider putting out multiple medium sized ones. This is important during major storms so there is plenty of food to go around to all the birds in your immediate surroundings. Visit your local hardware stores or wild bird stores- they are bound to have excellent options for feeders.

Offer nutritious seed & plenty of fat

This is a very important winter bird feeding tip! Ideal seed mixes consist of black oil sunflower seed, hulled peanuts, white millet seed and niger seed. Be careful of “filler” seed mixes, where there is more mixed grains with little nutrition than anything else. It pays to read the bags before you buy them.
Also keep in mind that birds burn more calories in the winter as to stay warm. Providing suet is a good way to ensure you’re providing them access to quick energy. Woodpeckers and insect-eating birds will give you special thanks for thinking of them!

Be consistent & feed all Winter

Believe it or not, the birds who find your feeders will likely stick around. Don’t let them down! If you begin feeding on November 1st, keep your feeders full until mid-March or early April. As long as there’s snow and ice, there will be birds relying on your kindness & feeders. Try to pay attention to the food supply and aim to avoid any length of time where they are empty. It only takes one huge storm to negatively affect the bird population if they can’t find enough food to survive.

Don’t forget water

It may seem counterintuitive, but birds can still become dehydrated in the winter even when surrounded by ice/snow. Filling your bird bath or simply leaving a pan of water on the warmer winter days could make all the difference!

Remember the ground feeders!

Do your ground-feeding birds a favor by stamping down the snow underneath your feeders so they can have easy access to the seed that falls. Too much snow will deter the doves, and other birds from hanging around trying to eat the droppings.

Keep your feeders clean

Every so often head on out with some warm water and clean the feeders. Chances are they’ll get a little grimy as the season goes on. Give them a good clean, let them dry- and fill ’em right back up again.

Stock up on seed

I didn’t know this until recently- but go seed shopping over the Fall this year. Places will often discount the bigger bags because they’re making room for their winter merchandise. Buy several bags and never run out, especially in the dead of winter!

Eco-friendly Holiday Practices: Be More Green

Easy Eco-friendly Holiday Practices

A motto around this farm? Waste not, want not. There are so many easy eco-friendly holiday practices you can adopt this holiday season.  Taking care of our environment isn’t hard to do but every bit of effort can help make a difference on a massive scale!

Here are some of the ways we aspire to keep our Christmas as green as the tree in our living room!

Shop Locally-owned Businesses

There are almost too many reasons to shop local mom & pop stores to count. From one of a kind items to directly contributing to your community’s economy – nothing feels better than putting your money where your home is. Not only are you more likely to score unique, high quality gifts but you are also cutting out the need for expensive and wasteful shipping methods.
Eco-friendly Holiday Practices

Recycled wrapping paper

We’ve already outlined the many gift wrap alternatives to consider this year- but it’s worth re-enforcing. Whether you make use of old newspapers, calendars, maps or even fabric- avoiding traditional wrapping paper will bring more joy to the holidays (and the planet). There are many companies that now offer recycled gift paper but we’re partial to the concept of making use of materials you already have lying around. Take advantage of these easy eco-friendly holiday practices – especially when wrapping presents which is arguably the worst part!

Less will be more

How many years do you look at your living room after opening presents and realize you not only spent too much money, but you bought too much junk? Less really can be more- especially when every gift has a little more thought put into it. Consider cutting back on useless spending this year. A helpful tip? Ask yourself if the recipient of your gift will in fact, still be using or loving it in a year’s time before sealing the deal. Sometimes tiny useless trinkets help fill the space under the tree, but don’t last long before meeting the trash can.

Give money to charity or a good cause

A good rule of thumb for every Christmas is to set a budget. What if this year, you took a fraction of that amount and decided to donate it to a charity or organization that could really benefit from your support? Take a moment to consider what you value in life and see who is out there working for it. Whether it’s environmental conservation or sick & terminally ill children– people are out there every day trying to make a difference. Imagine how good you’ll feel when you’ve helped them continue their mission!

All-natural decorations

This one should be obvious but based on what I see everytime I go to the store I’m not sure most people think about this! There are so many ways to decorate your home for the holidays without buying that plastic crap! Wood, burlap, natural pine, poinsettas are just a few of the many natural options available to you.


Use Timers for your holiday lights  & decor

Light timers have to be one of my most favorite inventions of the last 10 years or so. Quite frankly I use these year-round, but they’re especially helpful during the winter seasons! This is such a smart way to ensure you still have your lights and decorations lit during the optimal times. No more will you forget to turn them off before bed- wasting all that energy! Set the timer to come on during the most popular hours of the evening so everyone can enjoy your displays and to shut off after a few hours. This will not only help the planet but it will keep your energy bill down 🙂 This is one of my favorite eco-friendly holiday practices because it only requires your attention for 5 minutes and then you’re set for a good month (or however long you’re set up for the season!)

Make the most of your shopping trips

I’m the first to admit I am not always the smartest when it comes to time management. A few years ago I finally made the most of every single time I got in my car to go somewhere. Christmas shopping is no longer an exception. If you are headed out in search of a single gift- perhaps you could take a moment to consider the other stops you could include on your way so you reduce the number of times you’re buzzing around town? It may add a few moments to the intial outing, but it will save you gas, energy and time down the line!

Recycle all your wrapping paper & filling

If you decide to go with traditional gift wrap, be it paper or plastic- please please please recycle it. Ideally you are actively recycling all of your trash one way or another. Even if you use the wrapping paper to help build fires in your fireplace- at least you’re getting more than one use out of it!

Unique Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Check out this list of unique stocking stuffer ideas

Year after year it can be hard to keep the originality up when it comes to unique stocking stuffer ideas. Certain items like festive candy are staples. However it isn’t always easy to find the knick knacks that will have the desired wow factor.

Check out our take on some unique stocking stuffer ideas below!

Mason Jar Tumbler

Now this is something I know I would love to see in my stocking! Designed to look like an authentic canning jar, these Mason Jar Tumblers are not only cheap but also so charming! What better way is there than to show off your love for all things country with this? Available on Amazon, ~$10 & free shipping!
Unique Stocking Stuffer Ideas via

Touchscreen Friendly Winter Gloves

As a rule here on the farm we don’t necessarily like to encourage device use- but even personal experience shows these gloves would be handy. Nobody likes to need to take their gloves off in the cold weather just to text someone back or make a call. We’ve linked to one option but there are many different kinds to choose from out there!


Cable Keychains

Along the lines of device use and convenience, another handy trinket to consider are these cute cable keychains! Nobody likes being stuck somewhere without the proper cables to charge your phone or tablet! Even better, never again will your friends confuse their chargers for yours! Spice up the style of your keychain with this practical option.

Stress Doll

Widely known as the Dammit Doll- these are all the range among adults these days! These handmade, high quality & clearly very durable dolls are there for you when nobody else is. If yoga or daily exercise isn’t doing the trick, maybe these will. Comes with a complimentary, hilarious poem: “Whenever things don’t go so well, And you want to hit the wall and yell, Here’s a little Dammit doll, That you can’t do without. Just grasp it firmly by the legs And find a place to slam it. And as you whack the stuffing out Yell “Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!”

Bacon Flavored Candy Canes

Whether or not I can explain the phenomena, I think we all know bacon is all the rage. In fact, it never seems to go out of style. You could opt for the bacon cooker alarm clock, but we feel these candy canes get the point across while still endorsing the ultimate love for bacon. I haven’t tried them myself, but they’ve been well-reviewed! Treat a fellow bacon lover to something sweet and unique. The reaction is bound to be entertaining at the very least.

Headphone Ear Warmers

I think this is one of the better unique stocking stuffer ideas on this list. For friends and family who are often walking the cold city streets, riding the rails or outdoors a lot in all kinds of weather- I’m sure their ears get mighty cold. Why not give them the option to entertain themselves as the battle the elements? The link will take you to a women’s fashionable style on Amazon but there are many different varieties available out there.

Unique Stocking Stuffer ideas via Amazon

Good luck!