25 10 2016


Fall here in Colrain has been beautiful.   We avoided the drought that everyone else had this past summer, so the colors were spectacular..  The air has a chill in it these days letting us know winter is not far behind.  The gentle sound of the sheep happily munching on their hay this morning reminded me just why I continue to do this.  Their coats are now getting heavy with wool .  Cosmo is doing quite well, acting more like a kitten than an older cat..  The chickens are almost done with their molt and ready for the dark days ahead.  I am hoping to get a small hoop house done for them but time is fleeing and it may not get done.  Today is the last day for the Tuesday Greenfied Farmers Market to be outside .  We will be inside on Main Street.  Look for our signs.


I saw this quilt pattern  years ago and decided it would make a great rug.    I dyed the yarn from the flock and  changed the pattern slightly.  I have to finish whip stitching it and put a backing on it.



I was asked last year to teach the Springfield Weavers how to hook with yarn.  A couple of Saturdays ago the day arrived.  It was a wonderful Day with new friends and many old friends.  I was a weaver many years ago, taking a 4 year class at Hill Institute.  This group was a group that I had belonged to.

We had a wonderful day and fun was had by all.  They all hooked and  many I think , will continue to do so.  I haven’t woven in years and got rid of my looms.  But maybe I may do some weaving again only on a smaller loom.  I do long to do some overshot which was my favorite weave and would love to make some hand towels to sell.  Who knows what the future will bring.

The leaves are mostly gone in the woods now with the wild winds of this past weekend.  I did get my garlic planted and plan to spread manure on a new area where I plan to plant flax in the spring and pumpkins and gourds to sell at the  market next year.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this crisp fall day.  Carole




16 10 2016






We have had a couple of very cold mornings and some frost hs touched the pumpkin leaves.  The beans and flowers are still doing well.  This year the frost has come late.


The chickens are all in their winter spots,

On these cold nights Morticia is looking for someone to cozy with!

On these cold nights Morticia is looking for someone to cozy with!

and I am thinking of making a hoop house for the front chickens.  I can use cattle panel fence  which I have and I will need some cement blocks, and heavy plastic.  I was told I could probably find some heavy plastic from a greenhouse.  I will have to have some ventilation and a door that I can get in and out.  I have been wanting to do this for years and often thought of a glass green house and started collecting windows for this purpose.  I think this is easier.

The cats are all well.  Cosmo shows no sign of the cancer bothering him yet although the lump is back.  He is frisky like a kitten now.  Happy days for him.



Shorty, the elusive Baby and Willie taking their morning nap

Shorty, the elusive Baby and Willie taking their morning nap





Sammy prefers the bed for a cozier nap

Sammy prefers the bed for a cozier nap









The little lamb that was suppose to come to Maude was sickly and died so she will spend the winter separated from the sheep.  She seems okay with that we will see how it goes.

I have been busy gardening canning and freezing and making things for shows and the farmers market.

garlic waiting to be planted and bread and butter pickles

garlic waiting to be planted and bread and butter pickles









 I am thinking of growing  mushrooms for a cash crop next year so am reading up on them.  I still plan to plant flax and more pumpkins and gourds to sell at the market.



These are the stairs that go up to the barn.  I carry hay and 50  pounds of grain up these stairs and have done so for the last 18 years.  I have felts quite lucky to have not fallen down them as there are steep.  Well last Saturday I did fall down 4 of the stairs.  I bent my unbendable knee and hurt my back.  I am fine but will take more care now.  Lesson learned!!!!!!!

A couple of these may be in my future!!!!!


Many thanks for reading my blog on this cool fall morning.



25 09 2016


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.



















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.






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


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


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!


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.


13 09 2016


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 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.


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.


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!


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.


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


3 09 2016



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’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.



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.





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


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.




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


25 08 2016


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.



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.


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.


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


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


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





22 08 2016


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.



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.



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.




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.


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