Tag Archives: Farm Animals

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things…

If you would have asked me 25 years ago if my life would be anything like the way it is now I would have ‘laughed-out-loud’.  That’s the funny thing about life though; it evolves, molds, and paves ways most of us wouldn’t have chosen.  I can say that I LOVE my life and I couldn’t fathom a life any different than the one I am living.  However, this life was given to me by many circumstances that was completely out of my husband’s and my hands.

My husband has been a home builder for over 20 years.  We have moved and started from scratch six times over the past 13 years.  Starting from scratch isn’t for the faint of heart.  Packing, storing, keeping the houses ‘show ready’ and never being able to put down roots hasn’t always been easy.  We have lived in barns, fifth wheels, and campers while we would establish our property enough to live ‘properly’ in.  My husband would joke and say that we were the 21st century pioneers.  We have homeschooled for 10 of those years, making our ‘moves’ even more challenging, but we always managed to land on our feet.  With each home we learned so much.  Sure, I would dream that each home could be our last one but God grew the ability of detachment in me as it was all vanity.  Through the years, we have learned to simplify our needs and to focus on our healthy lifestyle.  The path that led me to study as a Holistic Practitioner was due to a few personal health issues and a very personal vaccine injury in my family.  This really made me focus in on how I am raising my family and how I can help to improve their health.  My main focus through the years has led me to live as natural and toxic-free as we can.

I am very happy to say that, Lord willing, we have found our final resting place and even though we are starting from scratch…..again, we are thrilled that we finally get to call a place “home”.   We have taken all the lessons over the past 20 years, downsized our dreams just a bit, and are fulfilling our current dreams that have been placed in our hearts.  My husband, the provider, has worked very hard to allow us to live debt free.  Me, the country hippie, animal lover, and garden dweller…well, I have the dream of running a year-round, organic-producing farm.

With that being said, I have put a list together of a few of my favorite things that I couldn’t live without. Whether you live on a farm or not, these products have made my top ten list and I know you will love them too.  These products have made our lives easier and healthier and I can’t wait to share them with you.

My Top Ten Must-Haves


#1  NurtiBullet

The first product that I would be lost without is my NurtiBullet.  This is a new product to me but it has changed my life.  While studying to be a Holistic Practitioner, one of the key health points we learn about is the importance of REAL, raw, organic, nutrient-dense  food.  Smoothies have been a great way for my family to eat raw foods (and the kids don’t always see what goes into those smoothies).  Smoothies are also a great way to detoxify and help your body to run smooth.

#2 6 Quart Icecream Maker

This is a summer treat that my family absolutely loves.  This product allows me to make a completely organic treat for my family.  I don’t have to worry about unwanted ingredients and harmful chemicals like Polysorbate 80. This is a toxic ingredient found in many ice creams.  It has been shown to negatively affect the immune system, cause infertility issues, and it is also an ingredient found in some vaccines.

By making my own ice cream I don’t feel guilty because I know exactly what is going into it.  Yes, it is an occasional indulgence , so don’t overindulge.

My handed-down recipe for homemade icecream is here:

The World’s Best Homemade Ice-cream


#3 Mortar and Pestle Set

If you are a culinary extraordinaire (or at least you pretend to be), a hobbyist herbalist, or even just beginning to learn about how important herbs are, you are going to want to invest in a good mortar and pestle set.  From muddling mint for mojitos to grinding dried  pepper flakes, this set will be your best friend.  Plus, it makes a killer guacamole.


#4  Cast Iron Set

Once you move to ‘the other side’ of toxic-free living, you will soon learn that you need to ditch the ever-so-popular, non-stick cookware.  Yes, cast iron cookware does need some attention and love but they are worth it.  If you think about how often you cook with contaminated cookware, it would be cheaper to buy a set of good cast iron and worth the maintenance to keep it nice than a heavy metal detox….and speaking of heavy metal detox…. if you’re needing one, let’s talk Cleansing Options. 

#5 Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System

I really shouldn’t have to talk about the importance of good, clean water, but, alas….here we are.  You should be consuming half your body weight in ounces of pure H2O every single day.  If you’re not, you are backing up one of your body’s main elimation pathways.  No…..coffee, tea (not even green tea), energy drinks, etc. do not count towards your daily ounces of pure H2O.  City water treatment plants are not as healthy as you think.  Depending on the level of chlorine, you might even think about putting a filter on your shower head to block out the chlorine.  Heating chlorine is NOT your friend. We are blessed to have our own well drilled, but as soon as our living arrangements are finalized, this filtration system will be in place.


#6 Coffee Press

We are now living three months with no electricity except with the occasional treat that the generator gives us.  I invested in a good coffee press right away.  I only drink a cup a day and I make it super charged.  Sitting outside, sipping on some coffee on warm summer mornings while overlooking our beautiful pond and thanking the Lord for another day is one of my favorite times of the day.

My Morning Coffee

Colombia Jo


Organic Turmeric

Organic Cinnamon

And, either a splash of organic half and half or coconut milk.


#7 Diffusers

Talk about diffuser withdrawal while being off-grid.  I run them when ever I can while we have the generator running.  But, when we have permanent electricity, I do have a diffuser in every room.  They have wonderful effects on our limbic system.  They help support not only or physical needs but also our emotional needs.  There are some tips and tricks to using EOs and diffusers.  One thing most people do not know is to NOT over diffuse.  We tend to think, the more the merrier.  This is not the case with essential oils.  You can become sensitized to them and actually develop an allergy to them.

If you need some EO education and support on how to use this wonderful modality, I would love to help.

Online Aromatherapy Class


#8 Etee Wraps

Ditch your plastic and keep your food fresher, longer.  Toxic plastic wrap, storage containers, and aluminum foil are no longer needed thanks to my washable Etee Wraps.  I use them to wrap up sandwiches, cover bowls, and store food safely in the frigde.
100% Hand made and 100% all natural, organic, non-GMO.

#9 Is My Top Farm Products

This could have dominated my list of favorites so I combined them into a sub-category.  I have had to learn a lot about running an organic farm and I am sure I still have LOTS to learn.  The care and products my animals receive are very important to me.  After all, they are giving us great nutrition in return.

1) Diatomaceous earth, Food grade

Whether you are maintaining a parasite-free coop and stable or ridding parasites naturally, DE is one of my favorite products to have on hand.  There are some health precautions to know about with handling DE.  Make sure it is food grade.  Do not inhale while dusting animals or the stable floors.

2) Colloidal Silver

Silver is always with me.  It is in my tack room ready for any occasion that I may come across,  I recently was able to help a new chick that had developed some congestion with silver along with helping a badly injured leg from one of my does.  When it comes to fighting off infection, this is my go-to product.

3) Apple Cider Vinager

Okay, really, what can’t ACV do?  All the farm animals get ACV in their water. It is especially helpful for chickens in egg production and helps feather growth when molting season arrives. For more on what ACV can do read my blog https://myfitfarmlife.com/2018/07/09/apple-cider-vinegar-uses-on-the-farm/

#10 Dyson V7 Motörhead  

I never knew I could love a vacuum so much.  This is a workhorse that can go from carpet to floor to couch with no conversion necessary.  I love that it is cordless and can be converted to a handheld in seconds, which works great when I use it for the cars.  Even my kids enjoy vacuuming because it literally takes minimal effort!

I am always on the lookout for new ways to make our lives simpler, healthier, and easier.  What are your favorite must-have products that make your life easier, but healthier?

As always, I am here for any questions or health concerns you have. Feel free to email me and don’t forget to follow me of FB, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Stacey Upchurch, CNHP
Star Member through Young Living

All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

*This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. This means I earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links.*

Why Grow Your Own Barley Fodder

Recently my family and I had a field trip to a large, organic farm.  I honestly do not know who was more excited…me or the kids!  With a fresh litter of 13 Great Pyrenees puppies greeting us as soon as we walked into the yard, it was hard to find any motivation to play with any of the other animals.

Our tour was simply fabulous.  We played for a couple hours with puppies, goats, ducks, chickens, and mini donkeys.  As fun as all the new babies were, our trip wasn’t just about seeing the animals.  It was equally about learning  more about organic-farm nutrition.

On one stop of our tour, we were guided into their fodder room.  A well insulated, larger room that had layers of shelves with a very thought-out irrigation system.  I was taken back!  I had never seen the process of sprouting barley before so I was instantly intrigued.  Our host then explained to me the process, and more importantly, why they have decided to supplement fodder into their organic feed routine.

Well, our tour was wrapped up and it was time to say goodbye.  Needless to say, our girls were ready to start their own zoo (as if they don’t have enough critters).  I loved the ride home and listening to their favorite parts of the day.  I was just as excited as they were, but for different reasons.

As soon as I got home, my research on sprouting organic barley began.  WOW! I just loved the information I was finding.  Just a few of the advantages I found were:

Feed Savings-  by sprouting grain, your grain portion quadruples!  That is a win-win for everyone.  Fodder does not need any special lighting to sprout as it is very economical to grow.  You just need some space and time.  Check out this barley fact sheet for more nutritional value, cost breakdown, and nutrient comparison.

Nutritional Value-  as soon as the grains sprout, the nutrient level grows extremely high. When the seed is spouted, it releases many vitamins and minerals that would have been lost if seed stayed intact.  Over time, you should see an improvement in the condition of the hoof and coat in the animals.  For dairy animals, it can show an improvement in milk production as well.  Many studies have shown that barley grass improves the digestion and immunity of the animals which is so important when raising any herd.

Greens All Year-  even in the dead of winter, your critters can enjoy the crunchy nibble of greens.  And the best part, no need for any special soil conditions.  If you’re in a drought or flooding season, you are in control of your crop.

Good For Us-  sprouts, when given to farm animals, have shown an improvement in our overall health too.  Especially in the increase of Omega-3 levels.  When consuming the meats, eggs, or milk, that nutrition is carried right over to us.

Fodder is not just for chickens and goats.  Horses, cattle, rabbits and sheep all benefit from those crunchy grains!!  You will have to do your own figuring on the exact amount of grains you need to sprout for your critters depending on the size of your flock/herd.

With my mind made up that growing my own fodder was the way to go, it was now time to put my plan to action.  I couldn’t wait until I could begin sprouting my own barley. Of course, I ran into a few hitches….First word of advise, do not buy hulled barley.  Buy whole barley grains (husk intact).  I tried to sprout hulled grains and….. nothing.  Second, draining is critical.  You do not want any mold to develop on you roots.  Third, keep moist.  You will need to find a balance in keeping your grains not too dry or not too wet.

What you need to grow your own fodder:

-Bucket or Large Bowl
-Organic Barley Seeds (husk intact)
Growing Trays (with drain holes)
Growing Trays (with NO drain holes)
Drinking Straws
Spray Bottle
-Temperature between 63*-75*

That’s it!  How simple is that?  Now, obviously there are full-growing systems available. But for starters, this is a great way to go.
Step 1-  Pre-soak your seed.  This is a very important step.  Some people like to use a bucket for this but with smaller quantities, a large bowl will work just fine.  Place your dry seed into a bowl/bucket and fill with water at least 2″ above seed line.  Soak seeds between 12-24 hours.  Some people like to add 1-2 drops of bleach into the bucket to discourage any bacterial growth.


Step 2-  Drain the seeds and place them into the growing tray with drain holes.  If your seeds are deeper than 1/2″ you have too many seeds for your tray.  We do not want mold in the fodder.


Step 3-  Place (3) straws into the tray that has no holes in it.  This will act as a platform for the fodder tray to drain into.  Place the fodder tray inside the solid tray.


Step 4-  Mist several times a day.  For the first 2 days, I cover the tray with a clear germination lid.  This helps the moisture stay in better.  If you are getting too much water into the drain tray, simply dump it out.


This is such a fun process and it is exciting to wake up every day to see how much your sprouts have grown.  Around days 7-9 (when sprouts are about 6″ tall) you may start harvesting (remember, when first introducing any new feed to animals, start out slowly).


Now time to feed!  Rip apart desired amount a give the entire mass (roots, seeds, and sprout) to your critters.

Happy sprouting!