Home & Garden
Living The Country Life

Living The Country Life Spring 2016

Whether you live on a small acreage or just dream of it, this magazine collects and celebrates everything you love about the lifestyle. Outdoor entertaining ideas, farm-to-table recipes, inspiring real gardens, and home decor ideas that showcase modern farmhouse style—Living the Country Life delivers inspiration for every aspect of your home and property.

United States
Meredith Corporation
Back issues only
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$14.01(Incl. tax)

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

Greetings and welcome to the first issue of Living the Country Life® magazine on newsstands! I know you’ll love all the homegrown topics inside these pages, including country decorating, gardening, animals, recipes, and much more. Let me introduce myself. I grew up on a pick-your-own strawberry farm in Maryland (strawberryfarm.com) and now live on a sheep farm in Iowa. My husband is a veterinarian, and we love raising livestock and taking care of our 36 acres, which include a large pond, a restored barn, and a remodeled farmhouse. I am passionate about gardening, especially raising vegetables, and enter my produce at the county fair each summer. Every chance I get to relax, I sit in my backyard with a magazine and a cold glass of lemonade (or a homemade mojito with mint…

2 min.
reader letters

This is the first issue of Living the Country Life® magazine available on the newsstand. We’d love to find out more about you, our readers—whether you’re new to the magazine or familiar with the brand. Answer our reader survey at LivingtheCountryLife.com/zeroturn. You’ll be entered to win a lawn tractor to make your summer chores easier. See page 17 for details. I found a bluebird nest (above) in my blueberry bush. A sneaky cowbird also laid an egg in it. —Nichole Dunlap, White Plains, Kentucky I wanted to share this handy tip for easy canning labels: Adhesive labels for canning jars can be a real bear to remove when reusing jars. And the printing on most labels fades or runs in the humidity on the farm stand. A better solution: Simply print your labels on regular copy…

3 min.

Q:We just bought a small acreage with a beautiful pond, but now it’s all covered with lime green slime! What can we do? The lime green, slimy pond scum you see is algae, which often bloom in the early months of spring. Pond algae can be found either f loating on the pond surface or attached to aquatic plants, bottom sediments, or other hard surfaces. Microscopic algae are the most common type of algae; excessive blooms of the tiny, free-f loating algae give pond water its characteristic green color. It’s always best to stay ahead of any algae problem, and there are several things you can do before algae get out of control. Algae need three things to grow and “bloom”: nutrients, sunlight, and warm water. The nutrients can come from fertilizer,…

3 min.
for the birds

Free Coop Plans VisitLivingtheCountryLife.com/building-plans You can’t get eggs fresher than those gathered right outside your door. In addition, a f lock of chickens can provide you with endless hours of free entertainment. But first you’ll need a smartly designed chicken coop that not only serves as a cute addition to your backyard but also makes tending to your feathered friends easier. We designed a build-in-a-weekend coop that is perfect for a f lock of three laying hens. A combination of secure indoor and outdoor spaces allows the birds to scratch, exercise, and feed outside and lay their eggs and roost in the enclosed portion of the coop. Special features include a chicken access ramp placed beneath the coop to minimize the structure footprint. Gathering eggs is made simple with a hinged access door. You’ll…

6 min.
pickled perfection

Open a jar of pickled food, and the past pours out. The fresh, pungent f lavors recall harvest days and salty spears savored under a shady tree. On pickling day, the sharp smell of vinegar fills the house. Large quantities are put up, preserving whatever bounty this year’s garden has provided—baby carrots, green beans, or cucumbers by the bushel. Then the cooled jars line up shoulder to shoulder on the pantry shelf, a reassuring reminder that the snap of a pickled cucumber or the spice of corn relish is just a twist away. Pickling Basics Pickling isn’t difficult, but it does require careful attention. Complete the process safely, producing food free of contamination. Gather these items: RIGHT STUFF Use clean jars, free of chips and cracks, and twopiece lids made for canning. Sterilize them.…

3 min.
getting started with chickens

Dear Purina: My friend Laura is an amazing mom. Her kids are always running around outside, enjoying the fresh air. She says the secret is backyard chickens. Her kids helped pick out chicks and decorate the coop. Now they spend hours together watching what she calls “Chicken TV” – what a hoot! I live in a suburb and Laura’s the only person I know with chickens. She has me thinking about getting a flock of my own. Is this a crazy idea? - My Kids Need Fresh Air Dear Fresh Air: You and Laura are among one million U.S. families who have joined the backyard chicken revolution. Chickens make good backyard pets. They take up a relatively small amount of space and the hens are typically very quiet. That’s certainly the case on our…