THE EGG MYSTERY-SHEARING-PEAS PLANTED

12 04 2017

GREETINGS

I am back after a long absence.  Feeling more like my old self again.  I am now taking a yoga class which is helping me so much.  Spring has sprung and tulips are coming up .  Today temps will be in the 80’s!!!!!!  The Farmers market starts in Greenfield the first week of May so I am busy getting ready for that..

THE EGG MYSTERY

 

Egg production this winter has been good, but recently has slacked off.  The new girl Molly should still be laying  but no eggs were found.   Morticia the black bantam slept high up on a shelf all winter long.  So yesterday while cleaning the coop I decided to check the space and give it a clean and lo and behold I found all these eggs!

I will be check this spot every day now.

THE SHEEP

The sheep have been shorn and look good.  My shearer Steve is retiring  so I have gotten a new shearer Aaron Loux for next year.    We are both on The Massachusetts Sheep Breeders Board.

MAUDE

 

 

 

LUCY, CAROL K. AND SALLY

 

PEAS

It’s pea planting time here on the farm.  I had them soaking for 24 hours and now they are going in the ground.  I plant to put another packet in soon.   The hot peppers and basil are doing well and I plan to repot them soon.   My regular supplier of veggie starts is taking a year off and I will miss all the heirloom starts she had.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this beautiful spring day.    Carole

 

 

 

 





SNOWY MONDAY- SATURDAY ADVENTURES-A PARTING NOTE

5 12 2016

GREETINGS 

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Snowy Monday

It’s not that cold out and the snow looks so pretty falling in the woods.  The sheep are curious and Carol K.  makes a few steps out the door.

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 Sheep are wonderful creatures, they can be loving, caring, nervous, instigators, and  trouble makers.  Yesterday they  did all of these things.  They got frightened while Charlie was cleaning the barn.  I think it might have been the noise of grain bags which makes a crinkling sound.  It sent them into a frenzy of running and Carol K broke down a fence.  This started a day of mishaps and cleaning.   We couldn’t find the post banger inner, now I have two because at one time I could not find the red one.  Both are still missing but in the attempts to find them we saw the new rat family that had moved into the lower part of the barn.   That lead to cleaning and finding out how they were living.  They had three different holes one to the inside walls of my kitchen and two into Mr. Peepers coop where they happily ate the food .  Now I was sure that  Mr. Peppers would go after rats but he is not as brave as I though he was. (He does try to go after me though)  Not having Skunks in resident has caused the rats to move in.  I have blocked the holes and will try to trap them .

SATURDAY ADVENTURES

Debbie and I have been planning out trip to The Walker Homestead for their winter open house and it was wonderful.  The house was built-in the late 1600’s, it’s a salt-box my favorite type of colonial home and its painted a colonial red which is also my favorite color for a salt-box.

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 Smoke was billowing out the chimney when we got there on a crisp late fall day.    The last time I was there  was in September and this time there was a different feel to the house.  One of the resident cats named Cindy, age 23. greeted us in the kitchen looking for a warm spot  near the stove . Saint Nick was there is full dress. Loads of wonderful primitive things were available for sale and there were delightful things to eat.  The house is loaded with wonderful primitives from the colonial times and was very warm and inviting.  Our hosts were delightful.  I will be at the next open house.  The herb gardens were still looking great and the rosemary was still doing well.  The sheep were not in sight but probably in the barn on this day.  I bought some wonderful Juniper branches.  I love the smell of juniper and love the beautiful berries.  These trees are hard to find and I spent many hours on the internet trying to find a couple to plant in my yard, but to no avail.  I will start looking again after the holidays.  There are plenty of juniper trees and bushes but they don’t have the berries.

Our next stop was Sturbridge, Mass just 10 minutes or so from The Walker Homestead.  We visited a few shop, one was The Mercantile which I have been following on face book.

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A bedroom set up with mostly overshot woven things.  A favorite weaving pattern of Den and myself.

All I can say about it is WOW.  It was a fantastic store with so many wonderful things even  custom cupboards.  A whole room dedicated to Rug Hooking.

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 So much to see.  Then we visited two vintage material stores. Material and sewing goods from floor to ceiling.  Now I know where I can get material to repair my Grandmother’s quilts.  It’s not often that I get to do all these wonderful things in one day.  Deb and I plan to do this again.

A PARTING NOTE

This is a scary time for Americans that believe in liberty and justice for all.  I think we are in for dark times ahead and the future looks bleak for lower and middle class Americans.  I hope in the next year to devote some time helping people less fortunate than myself and fight for the things I think made American great in the past.

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

 

 





CONGRATULATIONS UTE-MAUDE’ AND THE CHICKENS ARE OUT-OLIVE

20 05 2016

GREETINGS

Beautiful weather temps me to garden instead of getting ready for The Mass Sheep and Woolcraft Fest .The Lilacs are in bloom and the smell permeates the air.  Baby Robins are peeking out of their nest at the barn door while Mama screams for me to leave. This is my favorite part of Spring.

Congratulations UTE

Board News: Coverlet Museum Adds New Board Members
The National Museum of the American Coverlet is pleased to introduce three new members of the Board of Directors.  The new members bring extensive talent and knowledge of technical and historic aspects of weaving and conservation.  These folks are most exciting additions to the Board.  We are thrilled to welcome them to the NMAC family.
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Ute Bargmann (Massachusetts) – Ute grew up in the German Bavari- an Alps and studied in
Switzerland, Germany and at the Language Institute in Munich where she graduated as a translator.  She met her American-German husband, Robert Bargmann and they moved to the United States in 1965. She bought a loom in 1972 and began studying weaving at the Hill Institute in Florence, MA, three years later, receiving her Master Weaver diploma in 1979.
Ute was an early member of the Early Weaving Books and Manuscripts Group for Complex Weavers and applied her considerable knowledge of German manuscript paleography as well as her lifelong interest in world history to her continuing research and study.  She has translated late medieval German manuscripts from as early as the 1420s on the technical aspects of tablet weaving and has delivered papers on subjects as diverse as “the Journey of Cotton into Germany and Slovakia” to “Counterpanes” at the Handweaving Museum annual conferences in Clayton, NY.
For several decades she has been researching her special interest in the European origins of what became known as ‘colonial’ coverlets. Ute has been a member of the Weavers Guilds of Boston, New Hampshire and Vermont as well as local chapters in western Massachusetts and has spent more than forty years demonstrating
Ute is a dear friend and a terrific and prolific weaver.

MAUDE AND THE CHICKENS

Finally the chickens  and Maude are out.  The only one left int he house is Helen and I can’t bring her out till all the grass and weeds are eaten.  What a job it was to get this all done.  Thanks to David for bringing down the dangerous limb that had been hanging in Maude’s pasture. And also thanks to the Boys, Charlie and Tyler for  helping with the chicken yard.  Everyone  is happy.

Maude has gone out in the separate pasture with Carol Kinnivan.  I went well although it is a pain to let them out.  I still have to separate them and watch them as Carol has pushed Maude.  I can’t trust her yet.

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Tuesday I picked  up Olive   The only remaining hen from a hawk attack.  She is bubbly and talkative.  She was separated from the group by a small fence , she made such a fuss I put her in with the others on Wednesday.  All went well and she even laid an egg.

 The rescue where I got Sammy sent and message out to all their face book readers a few weeks ago warning that there were more predatory birds around this year.  And all small animals such as cats and dogs should be watched carefully when outside.  Last week a small dog got attacked by an Eagle but the Eagle couldn’t lift him.  He was battered but alive.  I have notice just in my small area many more hawks and I heard there was an osprey nest close by.

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





MAUDE UPDATE AND SHEARING DAY-PLANTING PEAS-MAKING SALVE

17 04 2016

GREETINGS

Cool nights and warm days , just my kind of weather. Cleaning up brush and cutting up fallen branches has kept me busy this last week.  I see buds on some of the early tulips and others are peeking out of the ground.  The spring birds are back and I love hearing their cheerful songs.  A person in the neighborhood is trapping  and releasing all the skunks because they are digging up his yard.  I am sure he has gotten Cornelius as I have not seen him. Our neighborhood needs skunks to keep the rodent population down.  i am ever hopeful that Cornelius will find his way back.

MAUDE UPDATE AND SHEARING DAY

Maude has had a few setbacks and is on antibiotics again.    Shearing day took a lot out of her and now I am giving her  added minerals and sheep drench.  My Shearer Steve Marcotte did a wonderful job with her.   Shearing her in her pen so she wouldn’t have added stress.  It will take her a while to recover from this.  How do you like her poodle cut?IMG_6637

Lauren and I had to separate her from the rest of the flock when we saw the sheep doing their spring ritual ramming each other..  Of course this happened at 9 pm!!

The rest of the sheep did well with shearing and look good.  They are now not receiving grain much to their chagrin.

Steve has been my shearer for at least 15 years.  He raises sheep himself and has wonderful fleeces.  I am lucky to have found him after going through shearers who didn’t show up (really famous one) and others that were too busy even though you were on their schedule.  Steve always comes and does a great job I am grateful to have found him.

PLANTING PEAS

It seems its taken me forever to get these peas in the ground.  WHen I first wanted to get them in I uncovered the area and it was still frozen.    I have soaked them and in they go today.

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NOTHER BATCH OF HOT PEPPER SALVE

It seems it’s not quite the time to start another batch of hot pepper salve but I have run out.  I only could find a pound and a quarter of hot peppers and am looking for more.  Another 2 pounds would be good.  I found this salve to work well.  It’s not the sudden action of most pain relieving salves but it does the trick of releiving my arthritis pain. add peppermint oil at the end for a pleasant order.  I love the fact that I know exactly what is in it and its a lot cheaper than most brands of pain relieving salves.

Many thanks for reading my blog and I hope you are enjoying a lovely spring day wherever you are.  Carole

 

 

 

 





LYMES DISEASE-CAROL K GETS SKUNKED-TURKEY ON A BOBBIN-PICKLED BEETS

8 10 2015

The weather is still holding out but rain is coming tomorrow. Picked over a quart of sting beans,I  will get herbs picked over the weekend and dry most and make pesto with the basil.

LYMES DISEASE

I spent most of last winter sick and in bed with an unknown illness.  My family Doctor thought I needed a sleep study! These days you need to be your own physician.  My friend Danielle lent me a book on Lymes and many of the symptom were the same ones I had. Years ago I did get a bite and had the bull’s eye rash and was not treated.  (I no longer go to or would recommend that practice)  I did find someone who listened and knew a lot about lymes but they hesitate to treat unless your testing is positive. Many people have lymes but don’t always test positive.  So life hangs in the balance while I wait for symptoms to show up.  Better treatment can be found near Boston but that is more than 2 hours away.   If you are not treated so many horrible things can happen to you and you would never think about the tick bite.  I wanted to have the tick tested but its $50.  You would think that the state would do it for free considering the epidemic that is happening here.  

CAROL K GETS SKUNKED

Carol is an inquisitive sheep.  She always wants to see what is going on.  When I went up into the barn it smelled skunky but that can happen with a skunk spending some time there.  Yesterday while I was out in the yard she came over to the fence and she was pretty stinky.  At least it wasn’t around her eyes and the smell will eventually get out of her fleece.  It seems that no one else got it, her favorite sleeping spot is near the barn door, that may not be a good spot for her.

TURKEY ON A BOBBIN

I have been want to make these cute decorations for a few years now.  The instructions called for hooked pieces.  I spent some time figuring out how to get it done with wool material and of course changed it up some.  After a few attempts this is how it came out.  I want to make a Christmas tree, a cat and a sheep.  

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Hope to have it stuffed and glued to the bobbin tomorrow.

PICKLED BEETS

Today I spent a good part of the day canning pickled beets.   It’s a process.  First the beets have to be washed and then cooked.  The outer skin has to come off and then they can be sliced.  A mix of vinegar, sugar, water cinnamon and ground cloves was brought to a boil and the beets put  into the sterilized  jars  and covered with the vinegar mix.    They are then put into the canner and brought up to a boil and 30 minutes after that they can be taken out.  I got 2 quarts, 2 pints 1 half pint and a jelly jar.  I am pleased considering I grew beets as an after thought and never thinned them   They were heirloom seeds so the beets are all different colors.    Next year I plant to get more of the half pint jars.  It makes more sence for me to have more serving sizes.  The whole house smells of the vinegar mix.

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Many thanks for reading my blog today.  Carole





AND THE RAINS CAME-BABY ROBINS-SHEEP WAITING

14 06 2015

GREETINGS

Warm days and cool nights, all the flowers are blooming, seedlings starting to emerge, chickens laying lots of eggs, sheep growing more wool, and cats watching chipmunks and birds by day and the antic’s of skunks at night.  We did have a terrible thunderstorm the night before last and the skunk must have been right near my bedroom window.  The sky filled up with light and with a crack of thunder the perfume de skunk came floating in my window.  The cats raced to the window and I smiled.  Even skunks get startled by the noise and light of the storm.

AND THE RAINS CAME

The rains came down in torrents the night before last. Mud and water flowed through the barn.

MUD

MUD

 I will be digging trenches today as more heavy rains are expected tonight.  The downstairs back chicken coop got wet and I did clean that last night  Lauren , Tyler and Charlie came over and  it took them almost 4 hours to get it all cleaned.

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 What a huge help, it would have taken me alone a better part of a week.   My friend Danielle will be over sometime to load it all into her truck and  mulch her garden with it.  I have a never ending supply.

BABY ROBINS

From the hay door the Robins nest can be seen and Tyler took some great pictures.

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THere is always one that wants all the food.

THere is always one that wants all the food.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this sunny June Sunday.  I hope you have a lovely day.   Carole

Carol Kinnevan

Carol Kinnevan

Marley

Marley

 





WOOD, HAY AND SEWING EXCHANGE ALL IN ONE DAY-NEW FREEZER

21 09 2014

GREETINGS

Carol K.

Carol K.

 

It’s a rainy Sunday a good day to get some things done.

WOOD HAY AND THE SEWING EXCHANGE ALL IN  ONE DAY

What a day I was exhausted from it.  Up at the crack of dawn and down to FLorence by 8am.  I didn’t know what to expect but was really pleased by the crowds and next year I will know exactly what to bring.   Susan came up from Ashby and we both had a good day.The Lovely ladies from WOol and Dye WOrks were there and everyone from the CHurch were so helpful.

HAY

It's a good feeling to have a barn full of hay.

It’s a good feeling to have a barn full of hay.

I was only home an hour before Josh called for the hay.  50 bales are tucked in the barn  I really have been fortunate to meet some wonderful people and Josh and his family are some of them.  When they found out that I would be out of hay before they could come his Dad came over with three bales to get me through.

Wood

Mike came about an hour after that with wood.  It will take me about 2 weeks to get it stacked on the porch.  Good exercise for me.  I will do a little every day.  Mike grows shiitake  mushrooms and left me with a small bag of them.  I am going to use them in a stir fry tonight..  He is also making the large knitting needles that I sell.  This year I am going to have him make a smaller version of them and try them out knitting a scarf  I think it will be good.  Easier to manage.

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NEW FREEZER

David took me to get a new freezer on Friday.  The last flood ruined my old one.  And  now I will use it to store grain in.  I hope to reduce my trips into Greenfield this winter by stocking up on all supplies.  The freezer is on the porch till I move some things around in the kitchen to make room for it.  

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This past week has been a whirlwind of activity.  We had a simple but beautiful service for my Mom on Monday with my friend Vicar Jane officiating.  Still some loose ends to tie up but I am hoping that this week the pace of life will slow down here at the farm.  I will be doing another box of tomatoes now that I have the freezer and hope to do more pickles and some pickled beets this week.  

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