Coturnix Quail Prosper At Bushel And A Peck Homestead

A pandemic furlough led Courtney Shorr to start an old-fashioned adventure with Bushel And A Peck Homestead—complete with quail!

by Phillip Mlynar
PHOTO: Bushel And A Peck Homestead (@bushel.and.a.peck.homestead)

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused Courtney Shorr to be furloughed from her teaching job, she followed a love of “getting my hands dirty” and jumped wholesale into the homesteading lifestyle.

“We only live on one-sixth of an acre. But we added everything we could afford to our homestead at the time,” recalls the Utah-based Shorr, who broadcasts her adventures via the Bushel And A Peck Homestead Instagram account. “I became beekeeper, started raising Coturnix quail, planted a micro orchard and tore out a third of the grass in our backyard to expand our garden.”

Looking back on the period of change, Shorr says, “It not only kept me busy during a stressful time. But it all made me happier than I’d ever been.”

We spoke to Shorr about how to avoid food waste and the joys of teaching children to appreciate nature. We also got the scoop on adding quail to your suburban homestead.

Forging a Food Connection


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“There is something so special about eating the food you grew, raised, baked and worked so hard for,” says Shorr. “It gives you a connection to your food and health that is hard to find when buying the things you eat.”

Shorr adds that she’s noticed how her children become excited to “eat the things they planted and watched grow.”

Read more: Take your growing to the next level with ecosystem gardening!

Pride in the Old Ways

Embracing the joys of old fashioned methods is a key part of Shorr’s homestead. Case in point: When Shorr and her kids bake bread together, she’s noticed how they “get to feel that pride that comes from working on a skill that people have been living by for thousands of years.”

Tips for Avoiding Food Waste

Minimizing the amount of food that goes to waste is something Shorr is passionate about. “Besides loving our compost pile, we always try to save our vegetable scraps to make stock,” she explains. “As we use various vegetables in our regular cooking I freeze the extra bits in our freezer until I’m ready to make a batch of bone broth or chicken stock. It’s a great way to add flavor with the parts of the plant that most people typically waste.”

Appreciating Coturnix Quail

Shorr and her family live in a suburban neighborhood that’s subject to homeowner association (HOA) rules. So she and her family can’t raise backyard chickens.

“But I was determined to add an egg food source to our home,” says Shorr. “So I did a lot of research and discovered that there are no regulations in my area against Coturnix quail. Win!”

Talking about raising quail, Shorr characterizes her “wonderful little birds” as a great egg source that doesn’t take up an abundance of space. “They are quiet, healthy and easy to care for too. We think they are the perfect addition to any suburban homestead if you’re looking for an alternative to chickens.”

Read more: For some people, quail just work better than a flock of chickens.

Loving an Old-Fashioned Lifestyle

“There are so many things that I truly love about our homesteading journey. But I think the most rewarding part for me is seeing the change it has brought to my children,” enthuses Shorr. “They are less interested in the digital world and have become true lovers of nature.”

Summing up the benefits of their homestead setup, Shorr adds, “We love living an old-fashioned-on-purpose-lifestyle. And we are all excited for whatever comes next!”

Follow Bushel And A Peck Homestead at Instagram.

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