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

 

 

 

 





SNOW SNOW AND MORE SNOW-THE FARM IN WINTER

13 02 2017

GRETTINGS

SNOW SNOW AND MORE SNOW

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The howling winds are blowing snow into mini twisters this morning.  Snow is piled  almost up to the porch floor and I am running out of places to put it..  More expected on Wednesday.  I used 1/2 of a cord of wood in less than a month just to keep the kitchen pipes from freezing.  I liked last winter so much more.  Although I must say the chickens were out a lot this winter but of course since the snow is now up to their doorway they are in to stay till spring. The sheep are in today too as the winds from the mountain will fill the barn with snow.  

THE FARM IN WINTER Read the rest of this entry »





SHORTY AND WILLIE – BREAD MAKING TIPS

21 01 2017

 

 

 

The Man EDDIE

The Man EDDIE

GREETINGS

We have had more snow and warmer weather but still not enough to melt the ice that is outside the barn door.  Maybe this coming week with temps in the 40’s it will happen.  

SHORTY AND WILLIE

Willie the elusive Baby and Shorty resting on the sofa

Willie, Shorty and a good shot of the elusive Baby aka Marion

 

Both had had an appointment at the vets.  Willie was quite the ham and loved all the attention given by the Vet and the Vet Techs.  Shorty on the other hand hated the whole ordeal and screamed and snarled which is so unlike him. When animals get older one has to make decisions for them.    Shorty is almost 20 and is entering into kidney failure.  The vet suggested he be on the kidney food and so far I have not done anything about it.   It would mean moving him to his own room and away from everyone else.  He enjoys his life with his friends.  Morning naps on the sofa and afternoons spent eating and relaxing on my bed.  I see taking him away from all this and him going down hill very fast.  I am giving myself a little time thinking about this and would appreciate input from other older cat owners.  Willie is being treated for his respiratory problems that he has had ever since he came here.  He will be on antibiotics for a time and then he is scheduled for a dental procedure.

Because of his age Shorty isn’t taking care of his fur as well as he should, so constant combing and brushing is called for.  At the doctors they had a battery operated  mustache/beard trimmer and off came the mats that I had spent so much time on .  I will be getting one of these soon.

BREAD MAKING TIPS

 

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I love making bread and have been doing it since my children were young.  I just learned a new tip.  I use normal  bread pans and my bread never seems to look like the pictures .  In looking up bread recipes on the King Arthur Four site I found that using a smaller pan will cause the bread to rise higher in the pans thus the beautiful large loaves!!!!!  Learn something new every day.  I will be looking for slightly smaller pans soon.

I am planning to start my hyacinths today.  Looking forward to the sights and smells of spring soon.  The chickens have enjoyed going out most days this winter, which is great for them. Many thanks for reading my blog today and for all the kind comments.  I really appreciate them..  Carole

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WINTER SIGHTS-MABLE AND EDNA- CRANBERRY-ROSEMARY VINEGAR-COSMO

15 01 2017

GREETINGS

I have been out of commission for a few weeks with a wrenched back.    Getting back into the swig of things again.    The weather has sure been fickle and  there are many bare spots now.  We are in for a cold snap of zero temps at night for the next few nights then back in the 40’s for a while.

Winter Sights

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These were all taken in Colrain.

Mable the chicken

I got Mable this summer with Edna.  Both were due to lay  in the fall.  Edna laid beautiful  pinky-beige eggs and I waited and waited for Mable to lay.  She is the second Cuckoo  Maran that I have had.  Maran’s are suppose  lay very dark almost chocolate colored eggs.  I never did get a dark egg until one cold night I was doing my nightly count and I noticed 5 dark eggs on the floor.  Mable had finally done it and the eggs are dark with some chocolate specks all around them.  A delight for me.  These two sweet birds are named for two of my favorite Great Aunts.  This coming year I would love to get another Olive Egger.  The kingdom of chickens has changed since I first started with them.   It’s exciting to have such a selection of birds to pick from in the spring.

Cranberry-Rosemary Vinegar

I have had the most fun making this delightful vinegar during the holiday season.  It’s easy to make and  can be used as a marinate or as a salad dressing.  I used it in making a dressing for Coleslaw and it added a new dimension to the dressing

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If you want to make this find a nice  bottle.  I have friends saving wine bottles for me.  Get some organic cranberries and place them in the jar.  Add one or two branches according to the bottle’s size.  Fill with a quality white vinegar.  Cap and let stand at least two weeks.  A festive holiday 

COSMO

Cosmo has been doing very well, although the tumor has grown.  He snuggles with me in bed now and talks up a storm when I am on the computer.   Each day is a gift.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this cold winter day.  Carole

 

 

 

 

 





SNOWY DAY-WINTER- THIS YEAR’S CARD- THE CHICKENS-ORANGE PEEL CLEANER-HAPPY NEW YEAR

29 12 2016

GREETINGS

The snow is coming down lightly this morning with heavy snow predicted for the afternoon and evening.  In the end we are suppose to get between 6-12 inches. I  have mixed feelings about winter.  I love these quiet days of snow.  The time spent indoors doing winter projects.  I really dislike the below  zero days and frozen pipes.  I love the sound and smells of a wood fire but at the end of winter I am ready to give up bringing in wood and cleaning out the stove. I love seeing the sheep with their full coats of wool.

MAUDE

MAUDE

 

  I find each season offers just what I need and I am looking forward to getting lots of winter projects done.  

 Lil wants a pair of ice skates this year.  What fun.  I wouldn’t dare skate now  but would love to!!!!!!  I miss the old days of skating on Bray Lake in Holyoke as a child, the beautiful lake with snow-covered pine trees on the lakes edges.  The fires to warm up with and hot chocolate and marshmallows.  My children were able to enjoy that fun winter activity too.   Maybe Lil will be the fourth generation to skate on Bray Lake.

THIS YEARS CHRISTMAS CARD

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THE CHICKENS

This year I am trying to keep a small part of their outside yard shoveled .  On the days that are above freezing they can and do go out.  I do cover the area with hay.

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Next year the hoop house.

ORANGE CLEANER

Tis the season to eat lots of oranges.  Don’t throw the peels away.  You can make this wonderful cleaner with two simple ingredients.  Cider vinegar and orange peels.  This is my second year making it and this year I need to make another jar of it  to last the year.  And it smells great too.

I usually don’t have enough to fill a jar so I put whatever peels I have and add the cider vinegar to cover and continue this till the jar is filled.  I leave the jar on a shelf for about a month, shaking occasionally before pouring it off into a permanent jar.    To use put two parts water to one part orange cleaner in a spray bottle.  This is so easy and it is antibacterial too.

 

 

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As I write this the birds are flocking to the feeders, Mamma and Papa Blue Jay  brought the three kids to the feeders.  I have watched them grow and its so nice to have the here again. Thank you so much for reading my blog on this winter day.  Wish you all a healthy, and prosperous New year.Carole

 

 

 

 

 





WINTER STARTS WITH WINDS AND SNOW-NEW HOLIDAY THINGS

22 11 2016

GREETINGS

We have had snow flurries and winds and in Peru, Massachusetts they had 20 inches of snow already.  Skiing season will be early this year.

THE SHEEP AND CHICKENS

The barn door was closed for the first time since last spring and the sheep are always anxious to go out in the morning now.

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Now with the chickens from Patti and the two new ones I bought the coop is cozy.  I have not started the hoop house and am hoping for a few days in the 40’s this coming weekend to get that up.

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MAKING SOME FUN THINGS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

I have been busy making lots of fun things for the holidays.  A batch os Calendula Soap is wrapped and ready to go. Look for them on my etsy shop the end of the week or I will be in Buckland Friday night  at McCusters Market for Moonlight Magic. It runs from 4-9 pm.  Come visit me there.

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

 

 





HAPPENINGS ON THE FARM

16 10 2016

 

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GREETINGS

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.

HAPPENINGS ON THE FARM

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.

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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

 

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 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.

THE DREADED STAIRS

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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!!!!!

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

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