STRANGE EGGS-FRIDGE DILL PICKLES-THE SHELBURNE GRANGE

31 08 2015

GREETINGS

These past few days have been wonderful with slight winds and temps in the low 80’s.  Net week the humidity comes back and that’s okay as it won’t stay.   Tomorrow I will pick up a box of tomatoes and get them in the freezer.  This year I plan to dice them with garlic and basil.

STRANGE EGGS

IMG_5682Every once in a while a strange eggs happens.  There is no rhyme or reason for it.  This little one is very cute with little dark dots all over it.  I have no idea who laid it but it was in the big girl coop.

FRIDGE DILL PICKLES

I have gotten one jar made up and hope to get another 3 or 4 in the fridge.  That should keep me in pickles till Christmas.  They are easy to make and only need a few ingredients.

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THE SHELBURNE GRANGE FAIR

Springfield Weavers

Springfield Weavers

I stopped by the Shelburne Grange Fair yesterday to visit my friends from The Springfield Weavers Group.  It had gotten much smaller this year which was sad to see.  They still had nice exhibits in the hall and someone playing music and of course the great lunch but much more use to go on  I was told that they need more help and I am hoping to get involved.  I have grown up with Granges and  think that they are a very important part of  New England.

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

 





WATER WATER EVERYWHERE-HAZEL AND MRS. BROWN-SIDE YARD CHICKENS

27 08 2015

GREETINGS

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Another  beautiful day is on the horizon.  The humidity has gone and cooler temps are here with a nice breeze.  How lucky we are.  Next week the humidity is back with temps in the 90’s.  Thats New England for you.

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

Croc's won't do in this weather

Croc’s won’t do in this weather

This week we had some terrible rains.  More than two inches came pouring down an hour.  It was in sheets and I spent the entire morning bailing out and digging more trenches.  Some mud and water came in the barn but not much.  My efforts saved the day

Lucy was wondering what was going on

Lucy was wondering what was going on

. The best thing I did was to dig a trench on the side of the barn down to the end.

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The garden flourished with the rain and it seems like the jewel weed grew a foot taller!!  It seems like this is how its going to be now, this summer we have not received many gentle rains, its comes down in torrents and dumps so much that there is flooding everywhere.  This is now the norm.

HAZEL AND MRS. BROWN

Hazel has really improved and is eating well again Mrs. Brown is laying an egg every day now and building elaborate nests.

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SIDE YARD CHICHEN AREA

The Hops, Morning Glories and other flowers have outdid themselves this year.  I do hate the netting I have up though, and hope that next year I can put up the trellis work it will look nicer and be easier to walk under.

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Many thanks for reading my blog today, I hope you enjoy the day.  Carole

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WOOLGATHERES REUNION-HARLEQUIN FLEECE AND SHEEP-THE CUCUMBER PATCH

24 08 2015

GREETINGS

Its cloudy this morning with humidity seeping in, tomorrow there will be a cold front moving through bringing cooler weather. The Hummingbirds are very active with the flowered Jewel Weed near the computer window.

WOOLGATHERES REUNION

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I hosted a reunion of the Spinning group Woolgatheres that I belonged to in the 80’s and 90’s yesterday.  When I learned to spin in the early 80’s spinning was not very popular.  You only saw it at places like Old Sturbridge Village.  Then  I heard of the group called Woolgatheres. My friend Deb and I wandered through the wilds of western Massachusetts attending these wonderful meetings.  We met the most down to earth, nicest gals who shared with us everything they knew.  We learned more about sheep and wool at theses meetings then anywhere else . In the late 80’s the group changed as many of the earlier members went back to work.  We had dye parties and loads of fun.  Newsletters went out and the group got larger.  As in life things changed and the  group stopped meeting.

For the past few years I have wanted to have a get together.  Some of the old members have passed on so the need to meet again was greater for me.  I sent out post cards to people I knew and could find .  It was a wonderful day , many wonderful memories were relived and the inspiration to revive Woolgatheres came to life.  We will be having a dye party next summer and meetings are being set up as I write. More members will be found.  Another great adventure in life.

HARLEQUIN SHEEP

 

Joan one of the members of Woolgatheres brought in two bags of fleece one was Icelandic and the other was Harlequin.  I have never heard of a Harlequin sheep before.  I investigate it and they are very interesting.  They are a small breed under 24 inches and are very easy to handle and hornless.  Their fleece tends to be spotted and it is fine to medium texture.  Joan gave me some and I am anxious to spin it.  Although they look like a Jacob sheep the wool is much finer.

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THE CUCUMBER PATCH

Planted late but working out very well.  I put a fence for them as I had read how they do well growing vertically.  Next year I will plant them on the long fence in the garden.  

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Many thanks for reading my blog today and if you are a former member of Woolgatheres please get in touch with me.  I hope you have a wonderful day.  Carole

 

 





HAZEL-FREEZING PEPPERS AND SQUASH-MAKING PESTO-THE CAT SELDOM SEEN

21 08 2015

GREETINGS

We had lots of needed rain last night and I  had dug a deep trench so no water in the barn.The sun is out now and some of the humidity has come back.  Hoping that we get a little cooler weather.

HAZEL

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Hazel is improving slowly,whatever happened didn’t affect his ability to crow.  I am hoping his recovery continues.

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FREEZING PEPPERS AND SQUASH

Today I froze scallions, peppers and a small squash.  These will all go into soups and stews this coming winter.

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I have string beans to pick and when the weather cools a bit I plan on picking all my beets and pickling them.  They will taste so good this winter..  I have had wonderful luck with the beet crop which was planted late and was an afterthought.  I never thinned them but they grew anyway.  The cukes have started coming in and I hope to make some pickles.   The Farm Stand called and said that the tomatoes were ready, I can’t take a box till next week..

MAKING PESTO

I have been using the same recipe for Pesto since the late 70’s.  Its simple and quick and freezes well.

2 cups basil (thick stems removed )

1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts (I do prefer pine nuts but they are very 

expensive)

I give these two items 3 or 4 pulses in my food processor

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Add 4 garlic cloves minced 

Just a little less than 3/4 cup of  grated Romano cheese

Pulse again a couple of times

1/2 cup of a good Olive Oil

Turning your processor on slowly add the olive oil

 I like my pesto textured but if you like it more like sauce keep checking till it’s the right consistency.

It takes less than 10 minutes.  I put it into Zip lock bags and flatten them out and put the in the freezer.  That way I can take out the packet and use just what I need.

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THE CAT SELDOM SEEN

9 years ago I got a frantic call from another cat lover.  Please take this kitten she needs a home.  I tried to explain that I had over 10 cats at that time, which was already a lot.  Then she told me the story of this little mite.  Mother and siblings eaten by something she was found hiding and terrified.  Thrown in a cage and was brought to the vet where she got some shots and a clean bill of health.  Then in another cage.  I agreed to give this little one a home.  Somehow in my wildest thoughts I thought that she would just adjust.  She promptly found all the hiding places in my bedroom and I didn’t see her for a month then only her tail.  So for the past 9 years I have only touched her maybe 10 times.  I have tried to get her to the vets with pills in her food but it never happened.  She made friends with the other cats and lost them along the way.  Yesterday she was sleeping in the hut and I was able to take a picture of her for the first time.  Last month I saw her upstairs for the first time.  She has had to make changes as the cat population here has dwindled.  There is still hope for catching her and getting her to the vets for a check up and shots.  Meanwhile she is safe and warm here.  Little Marion also know as Baby.

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HAPPY PESTO MAKING

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

 

 

 

 





HAZEL-A BOOK I AM READING-JEWEL WEED

19 08 2015

GREETINGS

The heat and humidity are still here, it can’t last forever!

HAZEL

He really looks like he go into a bad fight.  Thing all this damage was from him pecking the hardware cloth.

He really looks like he got into a bad fight. Think all this damage was from him pecking the hardware cloth.

Poor Hazel something happened in the night.  Mrs. Brown is perfectly fine. After getting them both back in the house and cleaning him up I found a hole under the fence.  My son and I both feel that something tried to get them and he was protecting her. Nothing was done to the cage.  He is still quite feisty and crowing.  I will get some baby food  for him and I won’t put them out again.  He will need time to heal.

Much has been said about rooster.  I am glad that I have them.  Their brave instincts are amazing.  Protection and making sure the girls eat are  priorities.

The love that these two birds have for each other is a sight to behold.  He called out to her while I was taking him upstairs and she was pacing back and forth talking to herself.  They were so happy to see each other.

A BOOK I AM READING

STILL LIFE WITH CHICKENS  by Catherine Goldhammer

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I have had this book for a while, there are some books that need to be read over and over.  Each time taking something new away from them.  It’s a memoir of starting over.  Her marriage ends and she takes a huge tax bracket dive.  Life changes for her in so many ways but with the addition of chickens and a new life she perseveres.   I highly recommend this book, life has twists and turns this book shows something good can come out of the worst of times.

JEWEL WEED

The jewel weed outside my computer window is now over 12 feet high.   Hope to get to puling that soon.

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Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope that its cooler where you are.  Carole

 

 





JEWEL WEED-DEMO AT NOFA UMASS

16 08 2015

GREETINGS

Shorty cooling off on a hot morning

Shorty cooling off on a hot morning

Another heat wave, temps soaring into the 90’s and humidity is at the oppressive level.  We have a had rain so the garden won’t dry out.

JEWEL WEED

I am still pulling up jewel weed  It’s over 10 feet tall in many place.  Thank goodness the sheep and chickens love it.  It attracts bumble bees and humming birds so I am enjoying that outside my computer window.

Jewel week through the barn window at least 12 feet high.

Jewel week through the barn window at least 12 feet high.

SPINNING AT NOFA

NOFA is the Northeast Organic Farmers Association and every summer it has a conference at UMass.

members camping out by the pond

members camping out by the pond

Under blazing sun and humidity I did a spinning demo  yesterday afternoon. I met a lot of wonderful people and was busy for the entire time, showing people how to spin and explaining  the process and sheep and wool types.

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It was a lot of fun and i hope to return next year.  Lots going on including a demo on working dogs rounding up ducks by my friends Jim and Jill Lyons.

Jill

Jill

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Jim

Jim

An unexpected stop on my way home

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this sultry day.Hope its cooler where you are.  Carole 





THE NEW HEN-THE RAINS-KING-FERDINAND JOINS THE FLOCK

13 08 2015

GREETINGS

Another beautiful day is in store for us .  I am spending the afternoon sorting a fleece at my friends, Jane and Harry’s farm with the rest of the spinning group.  What fun.

THE NEW HEN

The other night I went to close the side yard hens up and she was not in her nesting area as usual.  She was walking around the Caravan looking in.  Then she walked to her house and up ran Rosie who hadn’t been so nice to her, they both look into the house and Rosie walked back to the caravan and hoped in.  Along comes Gladys and she walks up and jumps in too..

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I learned early on with chickens that they do things in their own time.  They have accepted her and she is an equal with them.  All is good in the side yard.  Hazel and Mrs. Brown have return outside in the dog house and will remain there till  till the middle of September  when they will come in for the winter.

THE RAINS

I thought I was prepared for the rains, Chris redug the ditch and I dug up near the barn door but late Tuesday night when i went into the barn it was raining downstairs again and the water had come through the barn again.  I had a complete meltdown, I was so worried I would lose the hay.  Lauren, Tyler and Charlie came over the next morning and we moved the hay.  Only 6 or so bales were affected and I was able to save a portion of them.  The barn is drying out and the problem should be fixed soon.

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A NEW MEMBER JOINS THE FLOCK

While moving the hay around Lauren noticed this little guy in the sheep area.   I have seen him when he was quite smaller in the garden.  I have name him King Ferdinand he is the biggest toad I have seen here.  He was escorted back to the garden .

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Hope you have a wonderful day and thank you so much for reading my blog.  Carole

After Breakfast

After Breakfast