THE BARN-NEW BOOK FOR MAKING A NEW COOP

31 05 2013

Hello,

Minnie joins me every time I write my blog and now I have to share a small amount of tea with her!

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THE BARN

The barn is in worse shape than I thought so I had to cancel my trip to Cranberry Moon Farm till Monday.  I have just finished raking all the wet hay from Sadie’s side, and tonight my son will be figuring out just what we need to fix the situation.  The water went downstairs too so that needs cleaning up too.

NEW COOP

Reinventing The Chicken Coop by Kevin McElroy and Matthew Wolpe  by Storey Pub.

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Yesterday while picking up  some shavings I saw this book on how to make coops.  Now I have several books on how to make a coop but you have to be a master carpenter to do it.  This book has one I think I can make if I take my time.  Some things I will have to do a little differently but all in all it looks like something I can manage.  The hens in the middle coop need to spend the summer and fall outside.

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It will probably be a month-long project.  Next week I will get what I need to make the floor and get that done.  I think it will be better to do a little at a time.  I have the perfect place for it in the side yard under the willow tree.  Their yard won’t be huge but it will be enough for them.  I can’t wait to start it, of course it will be painted bright yellow!

This book puts a lot of imagination into building coops, one coop even has a roof that is v shaped and their drinking water runs down the v into a funnel and into water storage.  There are coops made out of wooden crates.  If you are interested in making your own check this book out.

PIANO COMING HOME

Dick Damon has fixed my piano and its coming home on Thursday.  I can’t wait to have it here and to maybe play a little tune after he leaves.  I certainly don’t want to embarrass myself in front of him!!!!!!

THE HEAT

We are in the second day of a heat wave.  It will end on Monday and I will be glad.  I dislike hot weather.  My ideal temp is 60 degrees or a little under that.  Irish weather suits me well.

I hope you have a wonderful day and thanks for reading my blog today.                    Carole

 





THE FLOOD-SWEET CICELY-THE STORE

31 05 2013

Hello,

I thought I had time to fix the drainage problem in the barn and now drainage problems down the hill.  Mother Nature showed up and Last night was a night of violent thunderstorms and a deluge of rain.  All coming into the barn with mud or going down the hill.  Now I am very sorry that I didn’t get someone right away to fix it.  Now I face days of heavy clean up when I have a mountain of other chores to do. This is part of running a small farm.

Sweet Cicely

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Someone gave me a plant of this a long time ago.   If you need a herb to spread this would be the one to get.  I am now trying to keep it contained in three different places in the yard.  I do love the flowers and have lots of bouquets of them at this time of year around the house.  If anyone wants seeds please e-mail me and I will send you some at the end of the summer.  But remember you have been fore-warned!!!!!!

The First Rose

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Today I found my first Rugosa Rose of the summer.  I do love them so, the delicate flower and fragrance.  They are easy to take care of and bloom all summer.  In the fall there are the biggest rose hips.

THE SHOP

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My neighbor is opening a shop in Turners and has asked me to put a few of my things in it.  I will be renting a small hutch with shelves.  It will be great to have my things there all the time.    This is a picture of the space, it looks so cute.  I don’t know the name yet.

 

CRANBERRY MOON FARM

Tomorrow I will visit this farm in Cummington.  The owner Lisa and I talked at the fair.  My favorite sheep in the whole world  are Border Leicesters.  I only have one now, Sadie, but at one time had a whole flock of them.  They are easy keepers, easy to handle and are intellegent.  Their fleeces and despostions are wonderful.  They also live long lives.  I am going to look at her farm and some curly locks which I need for Camp Wool.  Pictures tomorrow.

Many thanks for taking the time to ready my blog and I hope you have a wonderful day.     Carole





THE STRAWBERRY PALLET-SWEET ANNIE

29 05 2013

Hello

Today is a dark, rainy day at the farm and it looks like the next 4 or 5 days will have intermittent rain.  I don’t mind rainy days, they give one a chance to catch up on other things.  I have already done some garden work .

SWEET ANNIE

 I found lots of Sweet Annie growing in a pathway to the side chicken and garden area.  It’s good weather to dig these up and transplant them.   I remember throwing an old bouquet of them over the porch last winter, they seeded themselves.

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They have a wonderful smell and I will use them in my Moth Chasers and hang them in bunches around the house in the fall to deter moths and other insects.

THE STRAWBERRY PALLET

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A few of the plants have strawberries on them and many others have flowers.  Some plants didn’t make it but it was only a few. All in all I am glad that I did this project and think next year I may make another one.  I would like to have enough strawberries to make jam and freeze.  We will have to see how they survive the winter.

ANOTHER MILK SNAKE

My son found it in his yard.  Last year I never saw one snake, now within a period of a week we saw two.  This one was smaller than the other.

Another strange thing is the sightings of Mountain Lions.  If you are looking for how many are in Massachusetts the wild life department will say none.  There have been many sightings and some actual pictures of them.  

TURNERS FALLS STORE

Soon some of  the farms products will be in a store in Turners Falls.  I will let you know the details soon.  Because the shows are harder and harder for me I have had to give up some of my favorite ones.  I am limiting the shows  I do now to Massachusetts  and only doing 4 a year.  Having things local will be very helpful. 

Its been foggy and damp here all day, I had to go to Holyoke and South Hadley today to bring flowers to the cemetery and it was sunny and humid there.  I guess we will get that weather tomorrow.

Hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog..     Carole

 

 

 

 

 

 





POTTERY PIECES – MASSACHUSETTS SHEEP AND WOOL

28 05 2013

Hello,

As  I mentioned yesterday each year I add or replace broken pieces to my pottery.  I use these dishes every day so occasionally a piece might get broken.  This year I bought a casserole dish and a small piece to put Sadie’s molasses on.  Now I have two of them, they do get messy if I am in a hurry and don’t wipe off the molasses jar.  I am so happy to get the casserole dish.   I will use it for making baked beans and other things.  I do have a small casserole dish but  It takes so long to make proper New England baked beans that I want to be able to freeze a quantity of them.

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Potatoes

Today I am putting more mulch on the potatoes, they really have grown.

IMG_0450Some of the wonderful sheep at the show, the first two are Shetlands and the others are Suffolk.

PRIZES AND RIBBONS

At most sheep and wool festivals you get to see what others have been doing.  There are prizes and ribbons for yarns, clothing, sheep pictures and lots of other things. I especially enjoyed the  4 Seasons of a farm in needle felting and the hooked  horse and carriage.

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Many thanks for reading my blog and I hope you have a wonderful day.     Carole

 

 

 

 





MASSACHUSETTS SHEEP AND WOOL FESTIVAL CONTINUED

27 05 2013

Hello,

HELLO LISA’S MOM

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My friend Lisa Merian has a shop and farm called Spinners Hill.  The farm is located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains.  She comes to the Mass. show every year and  many others on the east coast. Her Mom used to come to the shows with her and she spent lots of time helping me learn to hook properly.  She is 90 now  and doesn’t go to many shows anymore but I found out recentlyshe follows my blog.  So a Big Hug to you And I miss our talks at the show.

Lisa has beautiful hand dyed rovings, handmade jewery, local pottery, rug hooking supplies and much more.  Below is a picture of the pottery.   My friend Charlie gave me a set many years ago and each year I try to add a new piece.

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Evergreen Farm

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Louise has been coming to the show for many years.  She raises Angora Rabbits.

GOING HOME

IMG_0480This is Susan dog Ted.  He loves to come to shows but is always ready to head home.  He is a rescue dog, so loving and kind.  Everyone at the shows just loves him.  He rides in the front seat on top of a mound of doggies beds and blankets.

David , Lauren and baby Lil came to the show yesterday.  Her first Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Fest!

Many thanks for reading my blog and I hope you have a wonderful day.     Carole

 

 





MASSACHUSETTS SHEEP AND WOOL FESTIVAL – JUDGING THE FLEECES

26 05 2013

Hello

JUDGING THE FLEECES

In past  shows judging the fleeces was an easy job, there were clearly winners and  those that didn’t place.  I was pleasantly surprised yesterday.  There wasn’t one fleece that shouldn’t have placed.  Farmers have learned that cleaner and well skirted fleeces bring in more money.  The prices for fleeces went from a low price to over $10. per pound.

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While judging I met a wonderful person Alice.  She works with the sheep at the University of Massachusetts.  She and I are going to work on a skirting and rolling up fleeces day at the University Farm.  A chance for farmers to learn  to add more money for their fleeces.

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It tool me over 2 hours to do the judging.  Each Fleece has to be tested for strength and illness of the sheep.  If a sheep was ill during the previous year the fleece may be weakened.  Checking the length of the staple, the crimp of the staple and how clean it was.  People still have to work on skirting and presenting their fleeces but all in all it was a 100% improvement since the last time I judge.  On each fleece I wrote comments.  All of them were good comments about the fleece and if there was a flaw I would let them know how to fix it.  I feel there is no sense in just judging the fleece without helping people improve them.

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After the ribbons were put on the fleeces I came back from my booth and gave a talk about the judging process and answered questions.  There was a good crowd.  I felt good about the whole process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weather was brutal.  Heavy rains and some winds with temps in the low 40’s.  Even though I had woolen clothes on I was chilled to the bone.  Cindy and the boys surprised me with a visit.     A hot bath and a warm bed revived me for another day.  Rain this am  and sun this afternoon with warmer temps.  Hope to see you at the fair.

 





MORE RAIN-NEW POSTER-THE SHOW

23 05 2013

Hello,

More and more rain then temps in the 50’s.  At least there won’t be any humidity.  I will have to make sure I have warm enough clothes for the show.    Cummington is in a cold pocket and sitting around all day doesn’t help either.

CAMP WOOL’S WOOL ON ITS WAY

With the damp weather its been really hard to get the dyed wool dried.  I sent what I finished out today and will get the rest done and mail it the end of next week.

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NEW POSTER

For some years now I have had a small poster about my farm at shows.  SO many things have changed since the last one was made I decided to get another one done.  It makes it more of a personal experience when people know what I do, what kind of animals I have  etc. 

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The Show

Tomorrow morning I will pack up the car and set up at the show.  It’s an old fashion fairgrounds and the sounds of the sheep will be music to my ears. It’s a place that holds many wonderful memories for me.  I participated in many spinning contests, I used to be a very fast spinner, Enjoyed the sheep to shawl contents and would even camp out there overnight.  Sitting around after the show with people I only see a couple of times a year but have remained friends with for all those years.  It’s good to see them, to find out how their lives are going what new creative things they are doing.  I met Susan at this show.  She had a booth, and I loved her things we struck up a friendship 25 years ago and e-mail each other almost every day now.  We found over the years that we are kindred spirits, like the same things, been through a lot of the same life lessons.  We usually see each other once a year and like doing shows together.  If you are in the area Saturday afternoon or all day Sunday stop by and visit us. 

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.           Carole