Friday, April 25, 2014

Eight Acres' most popular posts so far

I think most bloggers will relate to this, it is always a surprise to see which posts become the most popular!  It is never the ones that I think will be the most useful or interesting or funny, or that I've put the most effort into!  If you don't have a blog, you might be interested to know that, behind the scenes, there are lots of statistics that we bloggers can look at to figure out how many pageviews a post has had, the country people have come from and even the search terms used to get to our blogs.  I probably look at the stats more than I should, but I find them fascinating.

Here are the most popular posts of all time on my blog at the moment:

Chicken Tractors
I don't know why my chicken tractor posts have been so popular!  I'm sure plenty of others have written about them too.  When I realised that the first post had a lot of page views, I wrote some more posts to explain the concept in more detail, I was also asked to do a guest post on chicken tractors, which helped me to answer even more questions about chicken tractors.  And one more post with step by step instructions showing how we build a chicken tractor. We are really happy with the chicken tractors we made, we now have four big ones and two small ones.  The best part is that we never have to clean out a chicken pen, we just move the tractor to fresh ground and we have seen a huge improvement in the pasture that the tractors have moved over.  We let the chickens free-range from the tractors, but if we need to keep them locked up for some reason, we can just move them more frequently.  The tractors are predator proof, and if we notice any evidence of digging around them, we just move them over (we don't have anything that can dig under in a night).

How to use a chicken tractor  May 7, 2012

Chicken tractor guest post    May 29, 2013


Worm farms
I first got the worm farm and a handful of worms from a friend in 2012, but the most popular post has been about getting the compost out!  I wonder if people are struggling with this aspect of worm farming?  I wrote a follow-up post about worm farm maintenance.  I really do think that if you're not confident with compost, a worm farm is the easiest way to transform garden and kitchen scraps into compost, worm wee liquid fertiliser and chicken food (worms).  The worm farm does not require much effort at all, it has survived through heat waves and frosty nights, and the only problem I have had is invading meat ants eating the worms.

Worm farm compost   Apr 22, 2013


Guinea fowl
I first wrote about guinea fowl when we brought home ten day-old keets.  That has been the most popular post, although I wrote about them again about 6 months later when we started them free-ranging, and again just recently as an update on their progress.  Guinea fowl have been a real learning experience for us, not like keeping chickens at all, and not very happy in their chicken tractor!  We have hatched some more though, so we will probably be keeping some around the farm for a while yet.  I still don't know if they eat the paralysis ticks though!

Guinea fowl keets   Jan 30, 2013


Tallow soap
The idea with the tallow soap was to both use up a waste produce from having steers butchered on our property, and to make something that we usually have to buy.  I know many people make soap using oils, but that never seemed sustainable or self-sufficient to me, I wanted to use raw materials that we could make or grow ourselves.  The tallow soap recipe still uses some olive and coconut oil, but I think you could make it all tallow if you had no oils.  The soap does not smell like fat.  Not at all, and I made one batch without any essential oils just to be sure.  Making soap does take a bit of time to set up, and it needs to be done carefully and without distractions so you don't make a mistake in the ingredients.  I think it has been worth the effort, I've made four batches since the butcher was here, and that's been enough to use up all the tallow and to provide our soap for the year.  I also wrote more about my soap recipes (one for washing dishes and one for bath soap) after I had more practice.

Making tallow soap  Jan 23, 2013


Chickens
I have written so many posts about chickens, but the one people come back to is the one about figuring out your chicks' gender!  I hope it has helped have some photos to refer to.  I do find its easier to distiguish between them when you have a few of each and you can clearly see that the roosters have thicker legs and longer combs compared to the pullets.  If you only have a few chicks it can be tricky.

Determining the gender of young chickens  Jun 25, 2012


Woodstoves
We have a special woodstove installed at our house.  It has an oven below the firebox, which we can use to cook anything from roasts and casseroles through to cakes and bread.  I have heard that the old style stoves can be difficult to control and do not heat the house well (I suppose they were designed with summer cooking in mind!).  Our stove controls temperature well and heats the house in winter (we use the BBQ for most cooking in summer).  Installing the woodstove was a bit of a drama because we were supplied with not enough flue, but once that was sorted it has been great and very easy to light.  The thing I love about the woodstove is using a renewable resource to both heat and cook, and not using any electricity or gas.  Our property at Cheslyn Rise has lots of wood, both standing trees and piles of long-dead trees, which means we have both a carbon sink and plenty of firewood, and no guilt about using it.

Winter Woodfires: Cooking in a woodstove  Apr 20, 2011


Are you ever surprised by which posts are popular?  Do you have any favourites to share (from any blog)?

4 comments:

  1. I agree, my stats confuse me as well. i wrote a post way back at the beginning (which was only Feb last year) which was about texting, acronyms and acronyms and how it was another language for those of us middleaged. That post included some links to sites with the whats what of acronyms. The stats on that post outweigh my others by X10. Its crazy, every week i get about 50 views. I was really just having a go at myself for being so ignorant of this new language. Now im ROFL with the best of them.

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    Replies
    1. Gosh my typing is bad. Im on my new tablet my husband gave me. I want my keyboard!!!

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  2. Even though I haven't blogged on Spades and Spoons regularly for a while now, my post on Strawberry Guava Jelly made in 2009 keeps the pageview numbers ticking over. Who'd have thought? Not me!
    As an aside - is your oven a Nectre? I think we have the same fireplace, but haven't mastered the oven yet. The oven temp always seems to be a lot more than indicated on the gauge, and I've burnt a few things in there. I can cook quite successfully on top of the stove though!

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  3. I know what you mean about top posts not being what you think. The ones I think are good get hardly any comments or views, ones I chuck together always do well!
    Id love to find a good stove for cooking on where I can still see the fire.
    You've got some good posts on there.

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Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, if you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

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