FROSTY MORNINGS-OCTOBERFEST-GARDEN DELIGHTS-DRYING HOT PEPPERS AND HERBS.

1 10 2017

GREETINGS

The hot and humidity has cleared out and now we are hit with almost frosty temps.  That is New England for you.  We  finally got some longed for rain. And now a stretch of  wonderful weather. 

OCTOBERFEST

 

The Brick Meeting House is active again..  Come join us for lots of local crafts, food and a good time in Colrain.  Next Saturday or rain date is Columbus Day, Monday for a wonderful fair.

GARDEN DELIGHTS

 Sadly none of my pumpkins came up this year but to my surprise one rogue cucumber did come up and is giving me some nice cukes at the end of the season.

 The  leeks did wonderful and I did remember to hill them up occasionally this summer.  Half are in the freezer and I will pull up the rest soon.

DRYING HOT PEPPERS AND HERBS AND RECIPE FOR ARTHRITIS SALVE

 

I bought 10 hot peppers I don’t know what kind they are but after they were in the dehydrator for an hour or so I started coughing and my eyes were tearing up.   Finally after a couple of hours I had to turn it off.  Today I am finishing them .  I am including my recipe for Arthritis Salve which is easy to make and works well.  Please remember when using that this is made from hot peppers …

ARTHRITIS SALVE

 CAUTION PEPPERS CAN CAUSE BURNS WEAR GLOVES AND DON’T TOUCH YOUR EYES OR FACE.  EYE PROTECTION IS RECOMMENDED.

WIDE MOUTH JAR WITH CAP

Hot Peppers  ( they must be dried and sliced )

Olive Oil enough to cover the hot peppers by at least 2 inches

Small amount of Beeswax  It all depends on how many peppers and oil that you use.

Dry peppers (either in a dehydrator or by hanging them up)  Place in a jar and cover the with olive oil then add two inches, making sure that no peppers can reach the top of the olive oil.

Let sit for at least a month.  Mine will sit for 2 or three months.  This lets the peppers infuse with the olive oil.

   Strain the peppers  through a cheesecloth and place in  a saucepan.   Put aside . Melt beeswax over a double boiler and put aside.     Warm up the oil till its warmed through and then add the beeswax a little at a time.  Testing drops on a plate as you do this.  When you find that the drops solidify your are done.  Do not overdo the beeswax. Pour into jars.  

This salve has worked wonders for me.  When you put it on there is no hot sensation.  It works slowly.   It  has also saved me a lot of money.  Fr a small amount of money you can make 10 or 20 jars , and compared to what it cost in the store you could save hundreds of dollars.

 

PRESERVING SWEET ANNIE WITH PLANTS FROM SUSAN BATES HOME AND GARDEN

I started preserving Sweet Annie, which is one of my favorite plants .I finally found the perfect spot for it and they took off..  This year I bought 2 plants from Susan Bates at the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair. She has a brick and mortar store in Ashby, Massachusetts called Susan Bates Home and Garden.     Her plants are of the best quality.  She has lots of wonderful things at her shop, furniture, and antiques handmade things and she also occasionally has classes.  Check her out on Facebook.

 This year I have enough to sell a few bunches and am preserving them in a glycerin based mix.  1 put 1 part glycerin and 2 parts water.  With freshly cut branches place them in the water mix for approximately one week.  They will stay as they were preserved and not turn brown  The smell remains and they are a perfect fall decoration and they repel insects.

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

DOT AND SHE HAS A NEW FRIEND SEE MORE ABOUT HER IN MY NEXT BLOG

 

 

 

 

 

 





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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COSMO-SHINGLES-PUMPKINS-APEX ORCHARD

13 09 2016

GREETINGS

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

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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.

SHINGLES

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.

PUMPKINS

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!

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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.

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





BUSY DAYS ON THE FARM

25 08 2016

GREETINGS

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.

MEET EDNA

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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.

BUSY DAYS ON THE FARM

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.

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

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

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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

 

 

 





FREEZING VEGGIES-THE HEAT-MOURNING DOVES

14 08 2016

GREETINGS

Yesterdays pickings from the garden

Yesterdays pickings from the garden

I would not be surprised if this is the hottest summer on record.  Lots of thunderstorms with sharp lightning come with this weather. It sure is miserable.  I do look forward to fall with its warm days and cool nights.The chickens have survived with plenty of water frozen peas and watermelon.  The sheep don’t venture out of the barn much and the cats seem to gravitate to the upstairs where it is hot!

FREEZING VEGGIES

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I am stocking up this summer and getting a good supply of string beans from the garden.  I have planted them at two different times and plan to plant a third crop today.  Peppers from The Farm Stand are going into the freezer too.

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 Too hot to dry herbs when it gets cooler I will get to them.

THE HEAT

We seem to be so lucky here.  We have been getting enough rain the last couple of weeks although some comes in down pours which happened last night.  My friend Susan lives some 50 or so miles away and she is in a severe drought condition my friend Debbie lies less than 20 miles away and has water restrictions and a burnt lawn.  Usually my downstairs is cool even when the upstairs is stifling but not so now the downstairs is almost as hot as the upstairs.  Fans are going and it cools it off some.

MOURNING DOVES

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Two teenage Mourning Doves are living in my side yard.  I was surprised to see them having never seen baby doves before.  I know that we have Mourning Doves they can be heard and seen at the feeders in the winter.  I love their sound and the parents have been spending lots of time in the Pussy Willow tree.  It seems that they use Blue Jay nests and there was one in the willow.  I am so grateful the neighborhood cats have not gotten them.

THE FRONT PORCH

I hardly use this beautiful front porch.  This year I am trying to use it more.

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Many thanks for reading my blog of this hot and humid day.   Carole

 

 

 





SIDE YARD CLEAN UP-BEATRIX AND PRUDENCE-BLUEBERRY PICKING

25 07 2016

GREETINGS

Today is supposed to be the hottest day so far this summer and with humidity added to that I have gotten all my outdoor work done by 10 am.  All the animals have plenty of water and shade.

CHANGES IN THE SIDE YARDS

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There were two jungles of grapevines with jewel weed mixed in on both sides of the yard.  Both yards need lots of work.  I think all the hard work is done in each now its just the tidying in the driveway side .

 

 

 

The side yard near my Son’s house will require more work.  The people who have lived here before used the side yard as a dumping area.  I though I had cleaned it all up but found more roofing material , a saw and light bulbs . I will finish it up this week.

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 I am going to put another raised bed there and hope to get some carrots in soon.  I want to put a window frame on it in the fall so I can have carrots most of the winter.  I did this before and it worked fine.

BEATRIX AND PRUDENCE

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Things have calmed down in the side yard chicken area.  I think Beatrix took over and Prudence  is in the mix.  Beatrix is now sleeping in the caravan with the rest of the chickens but Prudence is still in the dog house.  She will join them when she wants to.  Emma is being picked on by the jealous Mrs. Brown and Beatrix so there is something I can but to put on her that tastes awful  I may even have some of it and I am going to try that.  When I am there they will get a squirt.

ANNUAL BLUEBERRY PICKING

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For the past three years my Son and his family and myself have made a day of it at my Cousins Blueberry farm in Chesterfield.  Saturday was a hot day but there is almost always a breeze in Chesterfield.  The berries were huge and sweet  and easy picking.  Some people ate more than they picked!

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The following pictures were taken on the way home.  Lots of interesting sites that day.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on the sultry, summer day.  Carole





A DREAM COME TRUE-WILD PHLOX-FRANCIS

2 06 2016

GREETINGS

Delightful weather is here with some needed rain tomorrow and Sunday.  I am starting to put in the garden today, late as usual.  It always works out.

A DREAM COME TRUE

Tomorrow night my daughter, Cindy will graduate from Law School.

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Its been a dream of her since she started college.  It was put on hold for many reasons.   When she decided to go ahead with it nothing could stop her.  She persevered through serious health problems, the sudden death of her beloved Mother in Law and other obstacles.  Tomorrow night she will get her degree and all will be worthwhile.  I am so proud as is her Husband Rick , her two sons, and her extended family  She will go on helping others.  My Dad and Mom will be watching from above and cheering her on.

Cindy and Rick, Ricky and CHris

Cindy and Rick, Ricky and Chris

 

WILD PHLOX

I don’t know where they came from. Maybe from some tansy that I got along side the road.  But I love them they have filled in and created a path way to the side yard chickens.  The smell is heavenly.

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FRANCIS

Francis is going on 14 this summer.  She usually lays beautiful blue eggs in the summer, and loves dirt baths.  You can see age in her eyes but she still goes out every day, looks for worms and takes her dust bath.  She will often, these days come in and take a little nap and head out again later in the afternoon. 

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Thanks for reading my blog on this delightful summer day.  hope you day is wonderful.  Carole

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