A Day in the Life of a (Part-time) Farmer

by Laura Parker Roerden 5:30 am (May 8, 2014).  I’m awakened by my cell phone ringing and the accompanying chime of a left voicemail message. It’s the post office calling: they have my forty baby chicks. The ones that were not supposed to come for three weeks. (Who knew that the post office opens at […]

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Picking Out Chicks!

It’s spring, which means it’s time to incubate and brood baby chicks. But which ones to add to Jo-Erl Farm this year? Normally, we purchase  50-75 new laying hen chicks to diversify and stabilize production. I think of these hens as the workhorses of the farm. Rhode Island Reds and White Leghorns are what my […]

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Salt from the Earth and a Karina Dresses #Frockstar: a Home-Grown Partnership

by Laura Parker Roerden Many of you know that I’ve been a green ambassador for Karina Dresses for some time now—bringing tips for green living to the Karina Nation through their blog. Karina Dresses and Jo-Erl Farm have a lot in common. Founder Karina Cousineau is from Uxbridge, MA, where Jo-Erl Farm has fed five […]

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10 Things About Cows That Will Amaze You

by Laura Parker Roerden 1. Researchers have discovered that cows tend to face either magnetic north or south when grazing or resting, regardless of the sun’s position or the wind’s direction. Why cows do this remains a mystery. 2. Cows have regional accents. After a group of dairy farmers noticed their cows had different moos, […]

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So, You Think You Might Want to Keep Chickens?

by Laura Parker Roerden Even though our fifth generation farm was once a poultry farm, I did not come to chicken keeping easily. A famous story in our family is of the littlest grandchild (ME) collecting eggs in our double-decker chicken barn. My father always laughed whenever he told the story of me chucking eggs […]

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Hidden Treasures

by Laura Parker Roerden I leave magazines in our bathroom. It’s a slightly subversive act because I tend to stock the ones that my three sons wouldn’t pick up and read on their own: National Geographic, Modern Farmer, Orion, Harvard Magazine. I myself have learned some of the most amazing things about the world in these […]

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