Hi, I’m Kathy Berget, author and creator of Beyond the Chicken Coop.  

Kathy wearing an apron and standing in front of a tree.

Thanks for visiting and learning about Beyond the Chicken Coop!  I am an elementary school principal and have three kids; ages 18, 17 and 17.  Yep…..we have twin boys and one girl.  My husband and I live in the country on our own little farm.  We have chickens, pigs, bunnies, and cats and dogs.

Pig being sprayed by water.

We try to live off the land and create a lot of our food from scratch, although this is a challenge in our busy lives.  Every year we try to add a bit more of what we can do ourselves. 

A pair of boots on green grass.


My experience comes from years of gardening and cooking, working in numerous restaurants and taking gardening classes, food preservation classes and bee keeping classes from our local extension office. I am a certified Master Gardener and a certified Apprentice Bee Keeper.

Checking a bee hive.

While I currently work as an elementary school principal, my first career was in hotels. My bachelor’s degree was in Business – Hotel, Restaurant Management. Right out of college I went to work for a major hotel chain and worked in their restaurant and housekeeping departments. I later went back to school to get my teaching degree and eventually received my masters in educational leadership. Even though I currently work in education, my love of food and cooking is still thriving! 

Growing up, my dad always grew a huge organic garden and my mom always  canned food. During the summertime we would travel north to my grandmother’s where we would pick cherries, cucumbers, tomatoes and other fresh produce and we would can batch after batch of everything we picked. I still have a few of my grandmother’s recipes! 

A pantry filled with canned goods.

I have always enjoyed cooking and even when I was a teenager I read cook books, just for enjoyment. I have a huge collection of cookbooks and cooking magazines and I still enjoy reading through them again and again. I seem to find something new every time.

Beyond the Chicken Coop mainly focuses on delicious homemade recipes with the occasional post about gardening, farm animals and country living.  My most popular recipes include Oatmeal Banana Muffins, Pan Fried Walleye and Applesauce Bars

Fun facts about Kathy

  • We live on property that my grandfather purchased back in the early 1900s. 
  • My sister lives down the mountain from us in the house my grandparents built
  • I have always dreamed of owning a cow to milk. We’ve raised goats for milk, but never a cow!
  • My favorite food to bake is bread, preferably yeast bread, but I enjoy baking any type of bread and muffins.
  • My favorite food is fresh picked raspberries that are warmed from the sun.
  • I do not like peanut butter! 
  • I have 2 brothers and 3 sisters and although we may live in different states, we are all close.
  • My husband and 3 kids all enjoy hunting and keep our freezers stocked with game meat.
  • My favorite books to read as a child were the Little House on the Prairie Books. If I could pick a time period to live in, it would be during that period. 
  • I have kissed a pig! It was a cute baby pig and it was a prize for my students for reaching a school wide goal! We had a whole school assembly with our local media present to capture the entire event. There were plenty of squeals – both from the students and the pig! 

A stack of sliced bread with pumpkin seeds.

Many of my recipes have been featured in Parade, Feed Feed, MSN, Foodista, Woman’s Day, Red Tricycle, Brit & Co. Yummly, Food Gawker, Buzz Feed and more!

Beyond the Chicken Coop recipes have been featured in many different sites.


This blog hosts musings about what we do. Please take a look around.  Be sure to come back and visit to see what else is happening at Beyond the Chicken Coop!





  • Reply
    September 4, 2020 at 8:54 am

    I have a boat load of tomatoes this year and would like to know if you can can tomatoes in their skin instead of peeling them. I have canned salsa, whole tomatoes, sauce, soup, and juice. There is no room in my freezer so I have to can them.

    • Reply
      September 5, 2020 at 5:38 am

      Hi Deb,
      Lucky you with all those tomatoes! You could keep the skins on, but the skins tend to come off the tomatoes when canned and I find the skins to be a different texture than the tomatoes that I don’t care for.

  • Reply
    July 12, 2019 at 6:59 am

    Today I make bone broth with chicken, this is my 1st time making bone broth, I love to cook healthy soup, its looks nice

  • Reply
    Johanna Streefkerk
    February 4, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    Hi Kathy, Found your recipe for Oatmeal Bars, with applesauce;will try them tomorrow before it gets to hot(Summer in Aus.)
    I have had an american recipe for over 45 years “Applesause Oat Squares, but cannot find it. And I have some delicious homemade applesauce.
    So thanks for posting, will try out your recipe!

    • Reply
      February 5, 2019 at 4:31 am

      Wonderful! I hope you find some time to get some baking in before it gets hot! Let me know how these bars turn out and if how they compare to your old recipe!

  • Reply
    Dennis Clark
    March 30, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Good Day Kathy. I am contemplating making a batch of your sauerkraut in my 3 gallon crock. I am confused by the quantity of cabbage which is indicated as in the recipe: (1 pounds Whole Cabbage 2-3.) I don’t want to make assumptions on the quantity of cabbage as the salt to cabbage ratio may well be off and the cabbage will not ferment properly or it will be so salty that I need to drink a six-pack of beer to satiate my thirst. On 2nd thought, never mind! Just kidding. I am confused about the quantity of cabbage. But then the Mrs. said I am always confused. Thank you for any help you can provide. Dennis

    • Reply
      March 30, 2018 at 9:02 pm

      Oh my goodness! That is confusing. I have adjusted the recipe to read 2-3 pounds of cabbage. Good luck making the kraut! 🙂 Let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    Julia Wooster
    February 11, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Hi, found your website today and tried the zucchini pancakes. I used Monterey Jack cheese as that was what I had and they were awesome!!! We had leftover homemade salsa so we used that for dipping. Will be saving this recipe to make again. Thank you!

    • Reply
      February 12, 2018 at 4:46 am

      These would be great with just about any kind of cheese! Thanks for letting me know how much you loved them! They are one of our favorites too!

  • Reply
    Leana Nitcy
    October 22, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Kathy, I was so surprised to see your face when I brought up your Cranberry Apple bread on Pinterest! I have a lot of apples and was wanting to get some breads in the freezer for Christmas gifts. I made my first batch today and it was delicious! Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      October 22, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      Thanks, Leana! I’ve always loved to bake and cook and this blog just has evolved! Glad you love the bread! 🙂

  • Reply
    Fran @ G'day Souffle'
    October 18, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Hi Kathy,
    This is ‘Fran’ here again from G’day Souffle’. I really like the design of your blog and I am thinking about changing my design a bit. I see that you use Mediavine for your blog design- is that correct? If you prefer to answer this question privately, let me know and I’ll send you my email address. Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      October 18, 2017 at 7:37 pm

      Hi Fran,
      Thanks so much! I just changed my design this summer and I’m so glad you love it! Mediavine is an ad agency – which is fabulous! My theme for the blog is Sprout and Spoon! If you want more information about it, just let me know.

      • Reply
        Fran @ G'day Souffle'
        November 25, 2017 at 6:38 pm

        Thanks Kathy, I hope you don’t mind but I also am now using the Sprout and Spoon theme (except mine is configured a little differently). My old theme was just not working any more and I was eager to find a new one- the designer at Mediavine was very good to work with with!

        • Reply
          November 26, 2017 at 7:33 pm

          I can’t wait to check out your new site!

  • Reply
    Emily MYERS
    August 19, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Hi Kathy,
    I’m putting together a piece for Red Tricycle, a US family events and resources guide, about healthy Halloween snacks and came across your wonderful posts at Beyond the Chicken Coop. Can you let me know if you’d be happy for me to use a photo and link to your post for Halloween Hotdog Mummies. https://www.beyondthechickencoop.com/halloween-hot-dog-mummies/

    Thanks so much,

    • Reply
      August 19, 2017 at 7:58 am

      Hi Emily,
      Thank you so much for asking! I would love to have you share my my photo and a link back to the recipe!
      Kathy 🙂

  • Reply
    Carol Wriight
    August 2, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Hi Kathy, have been hearing about your blog from Peggy and Emily for a while and decided it was time to look around and join. I don’t know how you accomplish so much. You a one busy woman. Was looking for your frittata recipe but didn’t find it. I will stay tuned.

    • Reply
      August 2, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      Hi Carol! So glad you’ve stopped by. The mini frittatas will be posted tomorrow! Now you can make these for your next marathon!

  • Reply
    Phyllis Ponack
    January 22, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Hi Kathy
    Long time no see 🙂 I just had to let you know I love your web page and the recipes are awesome.

    • Reply
      January 23, 2016 at 11:09 am

      Thanks so much, Phyllis. It’s great to hear from you!

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