A CHANGING LIFE-SPINNING AGAIN-PLANNING THE GARDEN

19 04 2020

GREETINGS..

We had a rare late snow fall yesterday. An inch or two at the most.  Farmers call snow this late in the season “Poor Man’s Fertilizer”.   Snow does have traces of Nitrogen which acts as a fertilizer.

 

 

 Before and after shots of shearing day on the farm

 

A CHANGING LIFE

Our lives have changed significantly these past few months.  Not seeing Family and Friends is quite upsetting.  Everything seems upside down.   Seeds are hard to find as everyone buys them up and the people who usually plant gardens are wondering what  happened.   Baby chicks sold out in one day at The Greenfield Farmers Co-op which is great for them and there will be more.  There will probably be a glut of hens in the fall as people who just started out find out that raising hens is lots of work and can be costly.                                                                                                                               I am buying canning and freezing supplies now as the frenzy continues there will be a period where they are not in supply.                                                                                    Back in the 70’s before the oil shortage i started to build my food security stash.  A friend who was a Morman talked about having a years supply of food and necessities.  Over a year of buying extras when they were on sale I did have  my supply.  Such a good feeling for a family.  It was simple and came in handy many times.  Unfortunately I didn’t keep it up but now see the value of it all again.  I will work through the year with gardening, freezing , canning and drying to build up a supply just like my family did in the past.  I will continue sharing information with you on the things I am doing and how they worked out,

SPINNING AGAIN

While I never stopped spinning now I am making it part of my everyday life, in hopes of continuing it in the future.  I hope to make up some Rug Hooking Kits with my handspun yarn included in them.

PLANNING THE GARDEN

I have got so many plans.  I am going to set up one of the pallets against the chicken fence to grow cucumbers on.   I hope to start the cold frame this week and plan to grow cold crops in it till the summer heat.  I want to have flowers everywhere this summer so I was able to buy some flower seeds.    Hanging plants and geraniums  all over the porch.  Bouquets in every room.  I still will forage for wild flowers which is something I have always done.  I want to see beauty everywhere.

THINGS I AM DOING 

Every Thursday I am watching Deanne Fitzpatrick on her face book page as she gives rug hooking lessons, words of wisdom and just plan fun.  I am also finishing up projects that have long been overlooked.  Will share these as times goes by,

My friends please stay safe and take this time to find the joy in life.

Carole and farm friends

 

 

 

 

 





WINTERS COLD -SPRING DELIGHT-NEW CAT-NEW BOOK

21 03 2020

 

IMG_8379

GREETINGS

Spring has finally arrived and even though the treat of snow on Monday doesn’t deter me from thinking of gardening. Last night with temps in the 60’s I sat on my porch and watched the sun set, vivid colors of mauve and yellow. The Canadian geese chatting while they were going to their night time resting place. It was hard to believe that a virus is decimating the world.

THE NEW CAT

We have a few cats in the neighborhood who don’t belong to anyone.  Their hard life of finding food and keeping safe shows on them.  There are a few cats that live in my son’s barn.  We tried feeding them and catching them last year to no avail.  This year I tried a new approach.  Feeding them and leaving them alone, then some talking to them at a distance getting closer and closer with myself and the food dish.  Homer was my first  test case.  It took almost 4 months before I could touch him and five months for me to catch him..  I took him to the vets and instead of being a young kitten he was 9 years old.   Most of his teeth were broken, the vet explained that cats living  on their own are like this.  Cat fights and hard food are the cause of the broken teeth. 

Homer who only at a few months ago would not let me within 10 feet of him is now sleeping right near me, talks to me and loves to be petted.  Although he has not blended in with my cat family that should happen soon.

Today I have started the same thing with a female cat that lives in my sons barn.  I feed her everyday and talk to her through the kitchen door.  I have been leaving the barn door open everynight with just enough room for her to get in.  I think that she is staying in the barn at night.  Its cozy in there with hay to sleep on and the five sheep to keep the air warmish.

When people drop off cats they just don’t realize the life that these cats will have.  I am surprised that these two cat have survived.  Predators are abundant here.

Books I Am Reading

This crisis the world is in has caused me so much anxiety.

I came upon this wonderful book and have immersed myself in it and ideas for this and Edible Landscaping. A couple of old windows from a friend , some pieces of wood hanging around the barn and it’s that easy to have fresh, carrots, beets, lettuce and leeks all winter long.

The books is available from Amazon and he also has another book out about skills for self sufficiency which I plan to get.

I am planning on paper how to integrate flowers and veggies in my front yard. It’s all very inspiring and will give me a since of security in producing more of my own food

Finishing Projects

Here are some of the projects I am working on or finishing.

 The Back Coop

 

This is the back of the barn coop. I have finally got all the chickens in groups where the get along. Gladys the large hen has a twisted beak, it doesn’t interfere with her eating or laying wonderful eggs but in the front coop she took a beating for it. She is happy here and the banty’s don’t notice it or care.

I am so glad to be back blogging, I have missed it and missed all of you.

I am taking a class from Deanne Fitzpatrick she talked about a word of the year. Something to work on and practice. My word is kindness.

No act of kindness,no matter how small is ever wasted. Aesop

Carole





WHAT BARN CAMERA’S COST-SHEARING DAY-UPDATE ON THE NEW CATS-THE SIMPLE THINGS OF EVERYDAY LIFE ON THE FARM

17 03 2019

GREETINGS AND HAPPY SAINT PATRICK AND SAINT GERTRUDE’S DAY

I saw my first Fisher Cat last week.  It was beautiful with is shiny dark brown coat and long fluffy tail.  Running across the road from the river to the woods.  I am glad that he is not living near my house but there probably are some in my back woods.

IMG_8380

Typical weather for March, yesterday highs in the 60’s, today flurries turned into a mini snowstorm.  Spring is coming all the sap makers are boiling and its spring tourist season in the hills.

WHAT BARN CAM’S COST

The barn camera that my grandson, Ricky set up cost about $50. for everything.  I took some time to set up and run the wires to the internet, but it  is sure worth it.

SHEARING DAY

IMG_8359

Arron shearing Maude, he commented she was easy to catch and then saw that an eye was missing , she just didn’t see him coming!

Ricky was here to help and Aaron came promptly mid afternoon.  It went very smooth and the sheep all look in great shape.  The fleeces are beautiful and next week I hope to get some of them sorted to go to Green Mountain to be spun into yarn and for some roving.  I am doing the white first then the dark,

Its been a week since the shearing and they are still head butting.  Sheep are so funny.   Its gotten warm enough for them to go out and they did enjoy the warm temps and sunshine.

INKY BROTHERS AND THE NEW CAT (MOXIE) WHICH I AM RENAMING  OWEN

The Inky Brothers have settled in.  I rarely see them and that’s fine after all that they have been through I am not surprised/  It will take a very long time to gain their trust.  Inky 1  is in the window a lot .  They play hard you can hear them running around from downstairs.  They love cat nip toys and are hardy eaters.  

Owen was harder than I thought.  He had been with the same family for years and it was quite upsetting for him to be moved.  He is now leaving the bedroom and roaming around a little and has begun to trust me.  He will be going to the vet soon for a check up.

IMG_8316

                   Owen 

THE SIMPLE  THINGS OF EVERYDAY LIFE HERE ON THE FARM

Simple things happen everyday here on the farm.  Sometimes i overlook them but now I am trying to be more aware of them and will share them with you.

The sheep have to be locked in every night here on the farm.  Their pasture abuts miles and miles of thick forest, where many things such as coyotes, Mountain  Lions, Although the state of Massachusetts says none of these exist here many people have seen them now very close to this farm.  

As I opened the barn door this morning right in front of it was these two grape-vine branches.    A gift for spring.  Soon they will me made into a pussy willow covered wreath   Such a simple thing but its presence on window in the dining room will make me smile and know that spring is just around the corner.

 

IMG_8378

Many thanks for ready my blog on this brisk Saturday.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Carole

IMG_8379

 

 

 





SIGNS OF SPRING-EGGS-WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE BARN THIS MORNING

27 02 2019

GREETINGS

 

The long shadows of winter are now being seen in the woods.  As I travel up the hill the snow in the woods is glistening from the last icy snow.  The birds are filling up with food in anticipation of tonight’s winter weather.

SIGNS OF SPRING

As January turns into February I await the signs of spring.  The first one happened last week.  Driving by Pine Hill Apple Orchard the apple tree trimmers were back.   Each year all along the hills and valleys of western Massachusetts this happens.    I have since seen people in the woods getting their maple sugaring lines in order.  My pussy willows are out and started to bloom last month.    The winds can howl and snows can fly but I know that spring is on its way.

IMG_8335

EGGS

Last summer instead of getting two new hens to go through the winter laying I resu=cued two birds .  I don’t know why I didn’t pursue getting the young hens but I paid dearly for it this winter.  I hate buying eggs.  I like my own eggs period.  But sometimes getting only one egg in a week or two doesn’t cut it.  I am now getting an egg every day or so and I won’t make that mistake again.  I will be looking for a couple of pullets in the late spring and then again in the fall.  THey do sell 6 week old birds but they are very expensive and I am home 24 7 to takecare of baby chicks.

IMG_8339

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE BARN THIS MORNING

IMG_4022 (1)

Having a camera in the barn is so much fun.  The sheep often snub their noses at the hay.  They will walk away and baa, I know what they are saying, we want better hay with more clover.  Well I know the hay that they get is much better then most sheep get and this is what happens shortly after I leave.

Many thanks for reading my blog today I hope your day is delightful.

Carole

 

 

WHAT’S GOING ON AT THE FAIRGROUNDS IN GREENFIELD IMG_8338





OLD SPINNING NEW MITTENS-EGGS AGAIN-SHEARING DAY COMING UP-NEW PLANS FOR THE GARDEN

25 02 2019

GREETINGS

The winds are howling today, the sheep will be staying in until this afternoon when its suppose to be less windy.  We have had a wild winter so far.                            

 My health is slowly improving, I have been on the meds for more than a week and am coughing less and breathing better.  Yea.  Thank you Michelle at Northampton integrated Medicine.     The new  (to me) pellet stove is working great, keeping the house cozy.

OLD SPINNING NEW MITTENS

I spun this wool in the late 80’s  with the intent of making a Scandinavian reindeer sweater.  I still want to make one.  I loved the colors and decided to make something with the yarn.  One can never have enough mittens.

IMG_8327

Shearing Day

March 6th is my shearing day.  When i made the date it seemed so far away.

IMG_8131

PLANS FOR THE GARDEN

I have gotten some seed catalogs and picked out trees and seeds to order.  I do want to get more cover trees for the birds.  We seem to have so many cats now in the neighborhood..   Some hemlocks and spruce and The Greenfield Farmers Cooperative had some miniature pines that would work for the front yard.

For years I have wanted a hoop house and online I saw the perfect one.   Ricky said he would help me install one or two on the back hill.  Perfect solution for a hill which is hard to walk on. I may incorporate the area for the chickens. The quality of the picture isn’t that great  but you can see how they are built into the hill and easily made out of cattle paneling and plastic.

IMG_8331

Many thanks for reading my blog on this windy day.  Carole