MORE HAY-THE LAVENDER FEST-THE WINTERBERRY BUSH-GREAT CLASS AT SHEEP AND SHAWL

23 06 2016

GREETINGS

Cool nights and warm days, my idea of summer.  It was blanket weather last night but will warm to the mid 80’s today.  More gardening to get  done..  The weekend will be sunny, perfect weather for The Lavender Fest.

MORE HAY

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Joe called last week and was haying.  I bought 20 bales to start my winter supply.   Hoping  to get 50 more bales from him next month and slowly increase my supply to 100 bales.  This will be the hay I use when hay is scarce in April through June.    John, whom I get my hay from now assures me that there will be more than enough. It always makes me feel secure when I have a barn full of hay.  We never can count on a winter like last year.

10 bales fit in my van!

10 bales fit in my van!

THE LAVENDER FEST

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My favorite show is coming up.  Be sure to come and visit, the weather will be perfect and there will be good food on hand.  Lots of vendors and some fiber animals will be there.  Bring you spinning wheel, rug hooking or knitting and join us.

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THE WINTERBERRY BUSH

In my plans not to have to buy holiday decorations I planted 3 Winterberry bushes about 5 years ago.  First of all it was hard to find a place that sells them.  Then finding the perfect place for them.  Only one survived and this year is full of blossoms.  Last year there were few flowers and only one berry which was eaten by some lucky bird.  This year the bush is full of tiny flowers.  I may cover it later in the year.

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CLASS AT SHEEP AND SHAWL

How lucky we are to have such a unique yarn shop nearby.  Last night I attended a workshop given by Emily who works at Sheep and Shawl.  I have been wanting to take it since I found this sweater and its instructions and hand-spun yarn in a bottom of a trash can full of wool.

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I started this in the early 90’s in a workshop. then put it away.  I am grateful that I liked baggy clothes then as I have put on some weight as I have aged and the sweater will still fit me when finished.    I have had to relearn the Linen Stitch and hope to have all the decreases of the arm holes done by next Wednesday night.

Do you have a project you would like to do but need help or like me many unfinished things call Sheep and Shawl and get  started.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this wonderful summer day.  Carole

 





EXCITEMENT ON THE FARM-MORE HAY-MAKING SALVE

7 09 2015

GREETINGS

Heat and humidity coming back.  

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A truck load of watermelon at the hay farm.

EXCITEMENT ON THE FARM

last night while putting my side yard chickens to bed I heard the sound of a coyote in the back .  This is the first time that I have heard that sound on this mountain range.  Often they are heard howling on the mountain range across the river.  Well I expected this sooner or later.I will have to do some researching before winter comes.

This morning the sheep were out munching on  my son’ts lawn.  Somehow the gate was unhooked.  They came right back home when they saw my son.   I wonder how that happened.  That is the first time that has happened in all the years I have lived here.  Something else that has to be checked.

How dare someone accuse me of being out I would never do such a thing!

How dare someone accuse me of being out I would never do such a thing!

A skunk is visiting the farm and I am very glad when skunks are around there are no mice or rats.

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MORE HAY

Betty and Dylan came on Saturday and got more hay and Cindy and Chris got hay on Sunday.  My barn is almost full.  The hundred bales of hay are for the spring April through June.  I will keep buying hay throughout the winter but in those spring months there is often not much hay around  this way I should be safe till next haying season.  Thanks so much.

Cindy with a bale on the front seat

Cindy with a bale on the front seat

SALVE MAKING

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Yesterday I made another batch of salve.   Still have another batch brewing and the Poison Ivy Salve which I hope to make this week.

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MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES

Yesterday everyone was making hay.  Great weather for it.   I think that there will be a good supply of second cut although it’s pretty pricey.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this beautiful summer day.  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





WEATHER AND HAY-THE PARADE-FUN THINGS I AM DOING THIS SUMMER

6 07 2015

GREETINGS

Rain on the fourth but a beautiful day today.  I must say the nights have been perfect for sleeping.  I checked my tomatoes yesterday and noticed two of the were wilting, they were completely severed, couldn’t find the worm but put DE around the rest of the tomatoes.   I have 4 more to plant and will plant them inside of tin cans for protection.

WEATHER AND HAY

Some farmers have not even made a first cutting of hay.  Both farmers that I buy my hay from say that this will be a very bad year.  One farmer told me that some farmers are keeping back their hay and offering it when there is not much  around hoping to make more money.  I am buying it as I can hoping to be able to stock pile some for winter.  I will  inquire about supplementing with grains and  what would be best for my sheep.  It’s a scary situation and I am sure many animals will be going to auction this year  Too bad.

THE PARADE

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It did rain on our parade yesterday but we still enjoyed it.  The kids got lots of candy thrown out of firetrucks and antique cars.

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SMOKY THE BEAR

SMOKY THE BEAR

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WHERE DOES OUR FOOD COME FROM-NEST DISCOVERY-JAMMIE DODGERS-BAY TREE-HAZEL AND MRS BROWN.

29 05 2015

GREETINGS

Much needed rain came last night with heart pounding thunderstorms.  We may get more of the same later this morning.  The farmer I buy my tomatoes plants and corn from is investing in an irrigations system this year.  It’s probably a smart move t get it now the way the weather is changing.  Tonight the humid air has gone and its a lot cooler.  Great sleeping weather.  I bought a few veggie plants yesterday including fennel which I have never grow.

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WHERE DOES OUR FOOD COME FROM

Upon reading many articles about more and more food coming from China I have spent more time in the grocery store throughly checking labels of food I intend to buy.  I wanted to make Ambrosia, a delightful treat that my Aunt Helen used to make and while its loaded with bad things once in a while is fine in my book.  I went down the canned fruit isle and to my surprise nothing I wanted to buy there came from the states.  Pineapple was the most surprising, I always though that it came from Hawaii.  mandarin Oranges , China.  I am really trying not to buy items from CHina but it’s extremely hard.  I just bought a printer last week and of course its made in CHina, I had no choice.  I really hope that we as a country can get back l all the jobs that were lost to China and come back to having safe foods.  

I HAVE SPOTTED A NESTIMG_5116

Its located in the apple tree.  Don’t know what kind of bird lives in it but it could be a Baltimore Oriole nest.  I also saw a robin nearby buy its kind of elaborate for a Robin.  Last years dried out pumpkin vines are woven into the nest and the ends flying in the breeze.

JAMMIE DODGERS

2 packages of these gems came in the mail today from Cindy.  They are hard to find and when she does find them she puts them in the mail.  I found these on my first trip to Ireland and they are non GMO .  Great with a cuppa.

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HAZEL AND MRS. BROWN

I lock them in their house every night and tonight was a perfect night to sit with them till they were ready to go in.  WHen I got out there he was inside fluffing up the nest and calling for her.  She just wasn’t ready to go in and he kept calling and calling finally he went out and followed her around.  Both chatting to each other.  I think he was saying its time to get into bed and she was saying I would like to find one more bug.  THey are settled in for the night now still chatting to each other.

BAY TREE

My bay tree is showing a lot of new growth.  I used it so much during the winter for soup and stews.  I think I will repot it soon.

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Had to get hay today so leaving you with a picture from the farm.  Hope you have a wonderful evening and many thanks for reading my blog.    Carole

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THE APP[LE TREE – MASSACHUSETTS SHEEP AND WOOL–PEAS -VIOLETS

12 05 2015

GREETINGS 

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The hot and sticky weather is suppose to be ending today and we will have a few days of cooler weather.   The peas have finally started coming up, they don’t like warm weather so I hope the cooler weather will give them a boost they need.

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 i can see little lilac flowers outside my computer window.

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 This year should be a good year for them.

THE APPLE TREE

 

The poor apple tree has been abused and it still grows.  First when the workmen were here they broke it in a couple of places and when the tree fell it narrowly missed it and broke  it again.  Its a strong tree and is full of leaves.  Yea.

MASSACHUSETTS SHEEP AND WOOL

I have a booth again at this wonderful show.  SUsan generously offered to share  her booth but Arron e-mailed me this morning that one booth had become available.  Come see me at the show I will be in Barn 2.  I have lots of used fiber books and am getting rid of most of my weaving equipment.  Soap, salves and herbal products will also be available, and lots of wool!

HAY

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Hay is an invaluable commodity when you have farm animals.  If you have a large enough farm you make your own and sell any extra.  My farm is tiny so I depend on farmers.  Last night I called for hay to be picked up this afternoon, Bob’s wife said that hay was tight and I may have to get it elsewhere and she would have Bob call me.  He called this morning and said yes hay was very scarce and the first cutting would not be as plentiful as he hoped but he could continue to supply me.  What a relief I am so grateful to know that my sheep will continue to have good hay.  He told me that at the auction last night mulch hay was bought for $5.00 per bale for feed to a farmer from eastern Massachusetts.  There is no hay there.  And before I found Bob I bought a bale of hay from the co-op for 8 dollars and it was trash.

Good news from two different places has come my way today

PURPLE VIOLETS

 

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I picked some purple violets this morning, I have been wanting to try to make a bath water out of them.  I added vinegar to the jar just to cover and will let them steep for a few weeks.

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you day is filled with lots of good things.   Carole

 

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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