M “MY FAMILY LOVES TO USE TOMATO JAM ANYWHERE YOU WOULD USE KETCHUP— FRENCH FRIES, BURGERS. BUT IT IS ALSO WONDERFUL AS PART OF A CHEESE TRAY AND IS THE PERFECT COMPANION FOR GOAT CHEESE.”
Makes eight 8-oz. jars
5 pounds ripe homegrown or farmer’s market tomatoes (the Early Girl variety is Caroline’s favorite), cored and chopped (Leave in peels and seeds—they add texture and flavor.)
3 cups unrefined cane sugar
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 pinches ground mace (Mace is very strong, so it is better to start with less and add more.)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
INSTRUCTIONS 1. Combine all ingredients in a nonreactive pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stirring often, simmer for about 1 hour or until the mixture reduces down into a jam.
2. Skim any foam from the top, and remove from heat.
3. Ladle the jam into jars, leaving a ¼-inch headspace. Wipe each jar with a clean cloth, making sure the rim is clean. Place a lid on each jar, and screw band down, but not too tightly.
4. Place jars in a 250°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes to seal. Cool for 12 hours, then tighten bands and store.
“I NEVER THOUGHT I’D END UP BEING THE POSTER
GIRL FOR AN ORGANIC, SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE.”
bought, built or borrowed. The decision of which to choose is almost as complicated. You can find dozens of plans to build coops yourself online. Some specify scrap wood such as pallets and recycled resources, while other designs require a substantial investment in materials and labor.
Ready-made coops also exist in every price range. To save on shipping fees, find a local manufacturer or builder. The least expensive option, however, is to repurpose a shed or outgrown playhouse. Add a few poles for roosting and reinforcement for security, and your chickens will flock to their new home.
For four hens, you’ll need at least a 5-foot-by-5-foot critter-proof enclosure and a 5-foot-by-8-foot screened-in attached yard for outdoor scratching and exercise. If space permits, consider a larger shelter because once you get used to farm-fresh eggs, you will be tempted to add a few more hens to your backyard barnyard.
Coops, like houses for people,
can be bought, built or borrowed.
LEFT: The couple’s two children, Catharine and David, help their mom with farm chores. Collecting eggs is always a favorite. ABOVE: In order to gather a rainbow assortment of eggs, Caroline raises a variety of breeds. BELOW: Salvaged screens block the hot southwest sun from scorching delicate crops. When placed flat, the screens also protect seedlings from birds and stray balls.
TOP LEFT: Study up before bringing home
your first chicks. Daily care and routine attention are required for your hens’ wellbeing. Photo by Lu Tapp. TOP RIGHT: Screen doors provide superb ventilation in these sideby-side coops. One side is outfitted for chick tending, while the other is for mature birds. Photo by Lu Tapp. ABOVE LEFT: No need to spend a fortune on a coop, salvaged tin, shutters and screen doors work fine. Vintage lanterns add a decorative touch to the roofline. ABOVE CENTER: This converted mudroom
serves double duty as a potting shed and a safe haven for a small flock. ABOVE RIGHT: A ramp is handy for large, heavy breeds that can
injure their feet when jumping up and down.