About the Author

Gail Damerow

Gail Damerow is the author of The Chicken Encyclopedia, The Chicken Health Handbook, Hatching & Brooding Your Own Chicks, Storey’sGuide to Raising Chickens, Fences for Pasture and Garden, The Perfect Pumpkin, Ice Cream! The Whole Scoop, Your Chickens, and Your Goats. She is co-author of Draft Horses & Mules and The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals, and is a regular contributor to Backyard Poultry and Countryside magazines. Gail lives in Tennessee where she and her husband Allan keep Nubian dairy goats as well as poultry, tend a sizable garden, and maintain a small orchard and a large woodlot. On their diversified small farm they seek independence and sustainability by growing and preserving much of what they eat and feed their livestock. Gail’s interest in gardening, canning and food preservation, and keeping poultry originated with visits to her maternal grandmother, who maintained a sizable garden and a large flock of laying hens. As a youngster Gail looked forward to having chickens of her own. At the age of ten she thought she was realizing her dream when a department store Easter Bunny handed her a small carton containing a single chick. At the time she and her family were moving cross-country in a travel trailer, and sharing the cramped space with a chick in a cardboard box did not sit well with her parents. When Gail came of age she sought out a place in the country where she could indulge her passion for poultry. She has been gardening and keeping chickens and other birds for more than four decades. Over the years she has raised many different breeds of bantams and large chickens, as well as guinea fowl, pheasants, peafowl, ducks, geese, and swans. She enjoys sharing the knowledge she has acquired over the years via her blogs, books, and magazine articles.
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Articles by Gail Damerow

An Old Fashioned Mustard Pickles Recipe
September 2, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

What do you do with those renegade cucumbers that hide under the vine until suddenly they appear — huge and yellow? You could, of course, relegate them to your compost …

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Gardening Tips: 12 Common Gardening Mistakes to Avoid
July 11, 2019 · · Growing

Gardening can be a fun and easy way to put food on your family’s table. But it can also be frustrating when things don’t grow as you expected. Here are …

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5 Homestead Fencing Mistakes to Avoid

No matter what project my husband and I decide to tackle, it nearly always comes down to the same thing: homestead fencing. Garden fencing to keep groundhogs and cottontails away from …

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Remote Simplifies DIY Electric Fence Maintenance

One morning when my husband and I went out to feed and milk our Nubian goats, we were horrified to discover the bucks paying an unscheduled visit to the does. …

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Installing a Backup Hand Pump
March 13, 2019 · · Self-Reliance

By Gail Damerow One of the disadvantages of having an electric well pump is that when the power fails, the pump stops de­livering water. If the water from your well …

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Beyond Kraut and Kimchi Recipes
March 13, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

Preserving vegetables by adding salt and setting them aside a few days to ferment, like with kraut and kimchi recipes, is part of our family tradition. Before fermentation food preservation became all the …

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How to Make Homemade Granola
March 13, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

Running out of homemade granola during blueberry season is a capital offense at our house. One of the reasons we tend to run out is that homemade granola is so …

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A Guide to Using Steam Canners
March 13, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

Steam canners have been around since at least the early 1900s, but for many years the United States Department of Agriculture maintained that steam canning is unsafe. Last year, the …

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Water Bath Canners
March 13, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

Two canner styles are suitable for processing high acid foods: water bath canners and steam canners. Either type is a good starting place for anyone just learning to put up home …

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What You Can, and Can’t, Can
March 13, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

Just about anything you would grow in your garden may be preserved by canning. Only a few foods cannot be safely canned at all, some may be canned in one form …

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Choosing and Using Canning Lids
March 13, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

Artwork by Bethany Caskey For canning food in jars, only lids designed for the purpose will provide a safe seal. Lids for home canning come in one of two diameters, depending …

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How To Select Canning Jars
March 13, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

By Gail Damerow Canning jars come in two main categories, depending on the diameter of the opening. A narrow mouth jar, also known as a regular or standard jar, has …

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Why Can?
March 13, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

By Gail Damerow Whether you are a veteran home canner, or have just begun taking your first tentative steps into preserving your own homegrown food, you already know many of the …

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Beyond Kraut & Kimchi
March 13, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

By Gail Damerow Preserving vegetables by adding salt and setting them aside a few days to ferment is part of our family tradition. Before fermentation became all the rage, it was called brine pickling. When …

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Portable Electric Burners and Other Heat Sources for Canning
March 13, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

  Whether your kitchen has all the modern conveniences or you live off the grid, for canning purposes, some heat sources work better than others. When I bought the cooktop …

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