PUMPKINS-THE WALKER HOMESTEAD

25 09 2016

GREETINGS

Last night there were frost warnings.  It missed us but the boys helped me bring in the pumpkins and lots of veggies and herbs from the garden.

 

 

 

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THE WALKER HOMESTEAD

Yesterday was open house day at The Walker Homestead in Brookfield, Massachusetts.  I have wanted to go for some years now but things get busy for me in the fall and I just don’t take the time to do things that I want to do.  This year after being so sick I decided to do more things and make the time.    My small business is changing somewhat and I am doing more primitive things.  Next year while I will still run Whispering Pines Farm and still have all the things like soap , salve and wool I will also branch out  with an addition to the farm which will be called The 1850 Octagon House.  I am hoping to incorporate that with the Whispering Pines site.

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day with a little crispness in the air.  The drive was spectacular through the hills of Brookfield, past The Salem Cross Inn where our annual hook-in will be in a month or so.  I arrived after the morning rush so there was room to park.  It was a  pleasant walk to the gate where I was cordially greeted by a women in Eighteen Century  attire.  Jacob sheep were in a field near the gate and the house and gardens were in front of me along with some vendors.

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The house is a salt box my favorite style and painted a colonial red which is also my favorite.  Everyone there was so delightful.

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There were several herb gardens each one well planned and filled with herbs and flowers.

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I loved The Garden Shed which was filled with garden signs and herbs, hanging swags and other wonderful things.

img_7179The vendors were dotted around the house and in a back field.  It looked like there was a brisk morning business as a lot of their stock were depleted.  So many wonderful primitive antiques, hooked rugs and dried herbs for sale and even an old bath tub!

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I hope you enjoyed my visit to the Homestead, I plan to go back for the December Open House.

Thank you so much for reading my blog on this chilly fall morning.  Carole

 

 

 

 

me vendors.





COSMO-SHINGLES-PUMPKINS-APEX ORCHARD

13 09 2016

GREETINGS

Charlie the chipmunk enjoying all the acorns

Charlie the chipmunk enjoying all the acorns

Much cooler weather has been here for the past couple of days and it is welcomed.  Warm and humid is coming back and the pumpkins will continue to grow.

COSMO

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Cosmo came through his operation with flying colors and looks the picture of health.  The news from the pathology report was not good.  The tumor was cancer and a very aggressive kind.  He will have his stitches out on Friday and the Vet and I will talk about how things will go for him.  He is active and happy and that is all that matters .  We are on this path together and we will  enjoy each other for as long as we can.  He is such a sweet and interesting man.

SHINGLES

This week I am supposed to be on Star Island off the coast of New Hampshire.  A place where I have gone many times and have enjoyed being 9 miles out to sea and the quietness of it.  Sadly I have the shingles and an acute respiratory infection.  In 2012 I had the Shingles shot.  At the time it was expensive and most insurances didn’t cover the cost.  One was lead to believe that it was a lifetime shot and would keep you from getting the shingles.  For those of you who believe that it is not true.  You have a 49 percent chance of getting them.  Now I still would get the shot but its sad that the medical community didn’t communicate this to everyone who got a shot.  I waited 2 weeks to go to the doctors.  I thought the rash was hives as I have been under some stress.  In these time we have to be pro active in everything we do.  Checking everything twice.  I am slowly getting better but it will take time.

PUMPKINS

I just can’t believe these pumpkins.  One is growing on the manure pile and I watch it increase in size everyday.  The large one near the backyard chickens must weight over 50 pounds, I will have to move it out of there with a sled.  These pumpkin seeds were from Baker Seeds.  Their seeds are great and all heirloom.  These seeds were a couple of years old.  The other seeds that I planted were a year or two old but not heirloom and none came up.  Even though they were organic seeds I think Baker Seed Company has a superior seed.

This pumpkin is very big, I have had to move it several times away from Mr. Peepers fence.

This pumpkin is very big, I have had to move it several times away from Mr. Peepers fence

The manure pile is a great place for a pumpkkin to grow!

The manure pile is a great place for a pumpkin to grow!

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APEX ORCHARD opened a new store and  where its located is perfect.     The views look out to New Hampshire and Vermont.  I am looking forward to stopping bu and getting some of their wonderful peaches.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on the lovely end of summer day.  Carole





COSMO-WATCHING PUMPKINS GROW

3 09 2016

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GREETINGS

We need rain so badly , today there is a chance but it doesn’t look like it will happen.  Luckily the hay crops are good and garden still flourishes.

COSMO

Cosmo’s lump has grown larger which is a huge concern for me.  Yesterday he went to Brookside  Animal Hospital and he stayed overnight there and is having surgery this morning.  With his FIV status these things happen.  I am very hopeful that he will be okay.  He really has been through a lot in his life and really hates being put in a carrier.  It was very generous of the clinic to keep him overnight at no cost to me.

WATCHING PUMPKINS GROW

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The pumpkin is an amazing plant.  Watching the pumpkins form and grow is so interesting.  They change every day, growing larger and larger.  This year I used up all my pumpkin seeds and so now I really don’t know what kind is coming up.  They look like Cinderella ones.

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CATNIP

My friend Patti visited recently and brought up more catnip which I am now drying and some wonderful turf and turf houses.  I will enjoy them this coming fall and winter.  I love the smell of a turf fire.  She visited with her two girls who are now integrated into the side yard flock.  SHe and her husband are moving to Ireland in the fall

TUESDAY FARMERS MARKET IN GREENFIELD

If you live near the area and haven’t been you are missing a treat.  Goat Cheese and soap, maple products, fresh veggies, mushrooms, honey and herbal products, Lamb, duck and pork products, all my stuff  fresh home-made soups, farm fresh eggs and  so much more.There are always demo’s going on and many times samples of the products sold.  This week Jill Horton Lyons was spinning from a rabbit and I was rug hooking.  Come on down we are located in the alley way near Greenfields market  Every Tuesday from 1:30 to 6:30 rain or shine.

SKELLIG BY LOREENA McKINNETT

 

 

Her voice is so beautiful.  Haunting music on the cd The Book of Secrets.

Cosmo is home he will have to be quiet for a while.  He was very hungry and glad to be home.  He went around and around looking at everything and checking out his favorite spots.  I won’t get the results of the path for a few weeks.  I am hoping all will be well.  Glad to have him home when one is missing its not the same.  Thanks for reading my blog on this beautiful day. Carole

As you can see his arthritis is bothering him

As you can see his arthritis is bothering him





BUSY DAYS ON THE FARM

25 08 2016

GREETINGS

Hot and humid weather is making another brief appearance.  it will be gone by the weekend though.  we may have some much-needed rain tomorrow.

MEET EDNA

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Edna is a New Hampshire Red.  I have never had one of these types before.  She is shy and sticks with her friend Margaret.  Both are slowly adjusting to the rest of the flock.  She was an escape artist in the beginning  having lived on a farm that allowed her to free range.  Unfortunately with all the flying predators here that is impossible.  She is making the adjustment very well.

BUSY DAYS ON THE FARM

Some hops and hot peppers are in the dehydrator this morning and this afternoon lots of spearmint will be going in.  The dehydrator will be going non stop for days from now on.  The spearmint  will use in teas and for a special blend of herbs for the chickens nesting boxes throughout the winter.  The hot peppers are the hottest, brought on tears and a coughing and a  sneezing spell.  It will make a great arthritis Salve.

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 The hops will go into Dream  Pillows  and some will be packaged up for people to make their own.

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Elderberry syrup was made last week in anticipation of the long cold winter we are suppose to have.

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Morticia is now broody.  Her daughter, Violet spent 3 months int he nest box trying to hatch some eggs.  Now her mother is in there doing the same thing.  Those Banty hens are the greatest little Mothers.  My ratio of hens to roosters isn’t good so no eggs will be hatched.IMG_7084

Lots of beans, cukes and tomatoes coming from the garden, its been a good year despite the lack of rain.  Hope you are having a wonderful day and any thanks for reading my blog.   Carole

 

 

 





THE LINEN SYMPOSIUM

22 08 2016

GREETINGS

It’s a lovely morning with cool temps and cool breezes.  I guess that this will change when the sun comes over the mountain but for now its enjoyable.

THE LINEN SYMPOSIUM

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It was exciting, educational and so much fun.  I saw old friends

Myself Jill who has moved close to be and Jody who I haven't seen in years who lives in Maine.

Myself Jill who has moved close to be and Jody who I haven’t seen in years who lives in Maine.

and met some new ones. I took a small notebook full of notes and lots of pictures.  I participated in the hands on and enjoyed touching fabrics from the late 1700’s.  The Linen Study Group outdid themselves and I thank them for their years of hard work.  The staff  at Old Deerfield Village out did themselves also.  It was the perfect place for this venue.

I especially enjoyed Christian and Johannes Zinzendorf (authors of The Big Book of Flax) who were the key-note speakers and delighted us with stories and linen pieces of the past. I have bought flax seeds and some flax to spin from them and even in our voice  and e-mail conversations they were delightful.    Jeff Silberman shared his experiences in growing flax and the benefits of student help.  He also shared some frightening statistics about how much wool and plant materials like hemp and flax are used here.  The numbers are frightfully low.  Polyester and man-made fibers are in the top numbers.  These materials are mostly made in foreign countries so do not benefit us much..  Cassie Dickson of the John Campbell School ( I have wanted to go there since I started Spinning) and I had a wonderful conversation on how she grows and retts flax, and we chatted about the school  which is about an hour south of Ashville.

I especially enjoyed Becky Ashenden who runs a very famous weaving school in Shelburne Falls.  Her weaving is beyond exquisite .  She talked about how her weaving career started and talked about Keeping Traditions.  A very important thing to me.  This is why I teach spinning and am so interested in the Linen process.  Today there is not much flax grown in the world.  It was quite popular years ago but since the time of man-made polyester its popularity has gone down.  It’s important to keep the knowledge of this unbroken.    In just a couple of generations this knowledge can be lost. Almost anyone can grow flax and I will be among the numbers next year.  Getting the plot ready this fall will be a priority.  

An old friend Florence Feldman Wood author of The Spinning Wheel Slueth  presented a wonderful slide show of Flax spinning Wheels.

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Patricia Bishop of TapRoot Fiber Lab  of Nova Scotia talked at length about her business and when her Flax would be available to wholesale.  In my small business years ago I sold a lot of Flax Stricks and enjoyed spinning and weaving with the hand-spun.  I hope to add that to my online shop when it is available.

Justin Squizzero of The Marshfield School of Weaving in Vermont showed a video of his weaving techniques and showed us  the linen sheets he wove.   He is a great weaver He even wove the material for the shirt he is wearing.  He works on a barn loom.

Justin wearing his woven shirt and the linen sheets he wove

Justin wearing his woven shirt and the linen sheets he wove

There was a coupleof hours  where you could see spinning and try all the steps in getting flax ready for spinning.  We were able to see all different kind of equipment some from the late 1600’s.

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THE FIRE BAG

Another interesting thing from the past is THE FIRE BAG.  I had never heard of such a thing but there were some on display and many pictures of them  They were usually made of linen and kept somewhere where you could grab them in case of a fire.  Usually they were filled with gold coins and your important things and you would grab it and run with it in a fire.  Very sensible.  Below is a poor quality picture of one that had the owners name embroidered on it.

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Those were just a few of the wonderful presenters that talked with us.  In the future I will share more of The Symposium.

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you enjoyed hearing about the Symposium as much as I did attending it.  Hope there will be another one.  Carole  





THE LADY WITH THE BUN-COSMO-THE MOURNING DOVES

17 08 2016

GREETINGS

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Finally cooler weather with less humidity.  Even a cool breeze this morning.  Yesterday was dreadful at the Farmers Market with high humidity and rain.  We still need rain but not the down pours a gentle rain for a few days would fill the coffers.

THE LADY WITH THE BUN

I usually take the back road to Greenfield.  It use to be dirt but now its paved.  On the way into town I always passed this white house with a woman with her hair in a bun. She was always busy in her garden or sitting in her lawn chair.  She would often put things out for sale on a little table.  Bouquets of flowers  from her gardens, raspberries, chestnuts grapes and antique glassware.  I never knew her name but would often stop and we would chat.

Passing her house lately I have had an odd feeling.  I haven’t seen her out  for some time.  On the way home from the Farmers Market I saw a huge green dumpster in her driveway.  In it was her beautiful furniture and all her things almost tumbling out.  A great sadness came over me although I never got to know this woman she became part of my life.  I always looked for her on my way by..  I imagine she has passed on and this made me think of all the people who have come and gone in my life.  I appreciate them for all the gifts and lessons I have learned from them.  

I also felt sad that all her positions were headed for a land fill instead of given to a charity.  This has happened with my Grandmother’s things.  All were thrown in a dumpster  and tossed  without a thought to my Mother who lived far away.  By the time she got there it was gone and I remember her tears.

So to the woman with the bun I thank you for showing the passers-by endurance, kindness and hard work.  You will be remembered.

COSMO

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Cosmo had a doctors visit yesterday.  He has been having problems with one of his legs.  It usually happens with attempts to jump on or off the bed.  The first time it happened he recovered but happening again I wondered if he had something wrong with his leg.   I really didn’t know how I was going to get him in the carrier and down the stairs but it wasn’t as hard as I had thought.  He weights 15.1 pounds and is a hefty cat.  He also has a small lump near where his eye was taken out.  That was worrisome too.  He had an x-ray and pain meds were given..  He had a pedicure and will return in 6 weeks for a repeat x-ray to see how it is progressing.  No brakes so that is a relief.  He is now on a bone supplement which will help him and I will no longer succumb to his pleas  for a 3rd or 4th Fancy feast.

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THE MOURNING DOVES

I am happy to say their are now flying higher with confidence.  But they still remain close to their nesting spot and are still occasionally under the watchful eye of their parents.

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SOME PICTURES FROM THE GARDEN

The pumpkins are forming in the most interesting places.  I wish I had grown more of them but there is always next year.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this day with cool breezes.  It will take this cement house a few days to cool down.   Carole

 





FREEZING VEGGIES-THE HEAT-MOURNING DOVES

14 08 2016

GREETINGS

Yesterdays pickings from the garden

Yesterdays pickings from the garden

I would not be surprised if this is the hottest summer on record.  Lots of thunderstorms with sharp lightning come with this weather. It sure is miserable.  I do look forward to fall with its warm days and cool nights.The chickens have survived with plenty of water frozen peas and watermelon.  The sheep don’t venture out of the barn much and the cats seem to gravitate to the upstairs where it is hot!

FREEZING VEGGIES

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I am stocking up this summer and getting a good supply of string beans from the garden.  I have planted them at two different times and plan to plant a third crop today.  Peppers from The Farm Stand are going into the freezer too.

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 Too hot to dry herbs when it gets cooler I will get to them.

THE HEAT

We seem to be so lucky here.  We have been getting enough rain the last couple of weeks although some comes in down pours which happened last night.  My friend Susan lives some 50 or so miles away and she is in a severe drought condition my friend Debbie lies less than 20 miles away and has water restrictions and a burnt lawn.  Usually my downstairs is cool even when the upstairs is stifling but not so now the downstairs is almost as hot as the upstairs.  Fans are going and it cools it off some.

MOURNING DOVES

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Two teenage Mourning Doves are living in my side yard.  I was surprised to see them having never seen baby doves before.  I know that we have Mourning Doves they can be heard and seen at the feeders in the winter.  I love their sound and the parents have been spending lots of time in the Pussy Willow tree.  It seems that they use Blue Jay nests and there was one in the willow.  I am so grateful the neighborhood cats have not gotten them.

THE FRONT PORCH

I hardly use this beautiful front porch.  This year I am trying to use it more.

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Many thanks for reading my blog of this hot and humid day.   Carole