Tag Archives: Barn

Bois d’Arc Trees are Beautiful & Functional Trees In Texas

by Tammy Taylor~

Isn’t it funny when you’ve lived somewhere all your life you just naturally assume others across the country enjoy all the same stuff you do.  Our daughter was shocked with she moved from Texas to North Carolina & found out they had no Braum’s Ice Cream Stores.  (gasp!)  Or Whataburger.  WHAT?  She soon moved back to Texas, thank goodness.  North Carolina was too far for her to live from her beloved Texas with all its fineries!  LOL

But here on the blog I’ve been surprised that readers say they’ve never seen nor heard of the Bois d’Arc tree.  (pronounced bō-ˌdä(r)k).  They pretty much grow wild here and we have these trees scattered throughout our property.  I love ’em, so I thought I’d write a little about these magnificent trees and how they’re used.

We have several Bois d'Arc trees on our property. Although they're beautiful, they're incredibly functional as well. And how about those crazy-looking horse apples? #TexasHomesteader

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Unlocking The Secret To Long-Term Potato Storage

by Tammy Taylor

Several weeks back a friend & I were talking about gardening.  Her family had a huge garden when she was growing up and they relied on it to keep them all fed.  But because she felt it was drudgery back then, she doesn’t care to garden much these days.  She was quizzing me on the different things I like to plant in my garden and I rattled off all the faves:  Tomatoes, garlic, onion, bell peppers, jalapenos, cantaloupe, squash, green beans, etc.

She asked if I ever planted potatoes and I told her that in the past I’d planted them, but I could never successfully store them long term whether garden potatoes or store-bought.  I know that freshly-harvested potatoes have to be cured but even when properly curing them, they would sprout within a short time.  She was surprised that I had any trouble keeping them long term and told me that they just used to store their potatoes on the ground in the barn and they lasted all season.  I was intrigued…

Storing Potatoes Long-Term: I've heard that you can store potatoes for months on end if you do it right. I need some potato-storage advice! #TexasHomesteader

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MYO Reclaimed Wood Vintage Wall Feature

by Tammy Taylor

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I’ve been revamping our guest room lately. Last week I shared with you the headboard that RancherMan & I made from repurposed barn wood pulled from our 1880’s barn when it was refurbished a few years ago.  I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out!  But now what to do with that wall?  RancherMan & I don’t like much visual clutter so I was in a quandary.  Do we just leave the wall blank?  Well, maybe, but I think it looks a little TOO bare.  What to do…

Then I remembered a great piece of old aged wood that RancherMan had to cut off the original boards we were using for the headboard because it was split. But I loved the split. And the ridges. And the knot-holes. It was a beautiful piece of aged wood. So I asked him to save it for me.  My mind was spinning on ideas to make a meaningful pictorial wall feature.

I used reclaimed wood from our 1880's barn, vintage clothes pins and my favorite homestead photos to produce a wall feature we love! #TexasHomesteader

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MYO Reclaimed Lumber Barnwood Headboard

by Tammy Taylor

When RancherMan & I moved to our NE Texas ranch we outfitted our home to suit our new lifestyle.  We were now empty nesters so our needs only included one guest bedroom for the occasional overnight guest.

But we were basing our probability of overnight guests on the number of overnight guests we typically entertained when we lived in the city.  Back then there were only sporadic overnight visits during the holidays and maybe an occasional weekend.  For the most part our family lives very close to each other. Although we get together often it’s seldom necessary to spend the night.

We made our beautiful headboard using reclaimed lumber from our 1880's barn. Rustic, Shabby Chic, Meaningful & Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! #TexasHomesteader

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Breaking The Moody Broody Hen

by Tammy Taylor

We raised chickens for the very first time last year and they were an absolute blast to raise.  But we sold them all in late fall.  I was afraid that free ranging hens in the winter months would just make them easy prey for predators since food gets more scarce in the wintertime. But the entire time we had them it was so much fun to watch their antics.

And of course we enjoyed those fresh free-range eggs.  There’s absolutely nothing like the taste of a free-range egg, you chicken raisers know what I mean! 

So we were pretty excited to raise chickens again this year.  We contacted a local breeder and purchased 4 hens from her and BOOM!  We were back in the chicken business.  But one of the hens quit laying eggs & became broody several weeks after we purchased her – we’d never dealt with broody hens before.  And with no rooster in our flock it wasn’t helping anyone, her or us.

A broody hen won't lay the eggs that we count on - See what we did to successfully & quickly break the Moody Broody Hen! #TexasHomesteader
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Weaning Day Done Properly

By Tammy Taylor

Aaahhhh spring!  The grass turns a beautiful lush green and the trees start leafing out.  And here on the ranch it also means weaning time for the fall-born calves. Weaning the calves from their mamas takes a huge nutritional drain off of the dams and allows them to regain their proper body condition in preparation for their next calf, an important health step for a vibrant and healthy herd.  We like our calves to stay with their dam until they are at least 7 months old, but we’ve weaned early when the conditions warranted such as during a drought.

There's more to weaning calves than separating calf from dam. Preparation starts a couple of weeks before the separation ever happens. #TexasHomesteader

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A Day At the Homestead

by Tammy Taylor

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I’m often asked what a typical day looks like when you’re both living and working on a Homestead.  Well I can say in all honesty that it’s NEVER boring!  It’s funny how it’s near impossible to plan with certainty what a day in our lives will look like. There are so many variables like weather, cattle illness, fence issues, etc.

But c’mon and tag along today & I’ll show ya what a typical day looks like for us here in our Texas paradise.

Wonder what it's like to live & work on a Texas homestead? Well c'mon down & spend the day with us! #TexasHomesteader

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