THE LOWER GARDEN-CHICKEN THINGS-LOSS OF A FRIEND-GETTING FOOD IN FOR THE WINTER

3 09 2017

GREETINGS

We have  had mornings of nippy fingers and today its a cold, damp rain.  We need it though as things were getting very dry.  I can’t believe it’s already September.  

THE SIDE YARD GARDEN

This garden has been neglected this year and I am weeding and remaking the garden paths, tying up the apple trees and trimming them.  I am hoping to plant some beets soon.  The blueberry bushes produced  more berries than I ever got.

 I am cutting the  spearmint and tying it into bundles and drying it up in the barn to freshen up the chickens nest boxes during the winter.  I have other,mint plants in the front yard to do the same with.  After they are all dry I will mix them with lavender and a few other herbs and store them, keeping a few branches to hang in the coop  It does help to keep the coop smelling better during the long winter days.

A GREEN HOUSE FOR THE CHICKENS 

Every year at this time I think about a nice greenhouse for the chickens to go in during the long winter.  More space to run around and some fresh air.  I always get so busy in the fall and it doesn’t get done.  I bought a make your own greenhouse book at the Library Book sale at the Heath Fair and I am planning on seeing what I can do.  Nothing elaborate and something I can put up and take down every year.    I would like to find some old windows.  It takes time and I never seem to have enough of it in the fall.

LOOSING A FRIEND

Our community lost a friend, mentor and Volunteer Fireman Harry Dunning.  His wife Jane took loving care of him through the long illness.  The service for him was beautiful and inspiring.    In sadness there is beauty and it surely was in that Church on Saturday.  

FRANKLIN COUNTY FAIR

I will be vending at the fair this year again.  One thing that I have done is take an old ,broken down wooden tool carrier and fixed it as best as I could and pickle painted it.  It will be perfect for my bags of wool for needle felting .    I look forward to the show, good company and lots of excitement and return customers makes it a fun weekend.  Pan to have lots of new handmade items there.

STORING FOR THE WINTER

Today hops and catnip are being dried in the dehydrator the smell permeates the house.

 Catnip did well where I placed it this year, plenty of sun is what it needed.   I bought some Pennyroyal from Sue Bates also and it is living near the catnip and it loves it there.  Its next on my list to dry.  Susan has the best plants and always brings them to The Massachusetts Sheep and Wool show.   She is at Brimfield this week, check out her booth at Quaker Acres.

I picked a pail full  of hops this week and they will be going into dream pillows today.

The small Hazel Nut tree produced a box full of nuts.  They are safely in the car for drying, which was the suggestion on the internet.  I think I got them just in time as some of them were ripe.

 

I am now getting Roma tomatoes and today will get them in the freezer.  Peppers are on the agenda too and so far I have one large bag in the freezer.   I need about 6 large bags to get me through the winter.

BANTAM HENS

 

Morticia and her daughter Violet have been nesting for months now.  I have separated the side yard chicken area and they along with Opal who had the sneezes when I got her, will go outside in the converted dog house tonight.    They all need to change their life styles!!!!!!!In another month they will all come in and I hope to have the big front coop separated so the Bantams have their own space.  Eventually I hope to have all Bantams as they need less room and require less work..

Many thanks for reading my blog today.   The leaves are just starting to turn on Route 2, It looks like a fabulous fall.  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

 

 

 





DRAINAGE WORK-DREAM PILLOWS-HERBAL VINEGARS

22 09 2015

GREETINGS

We are enjoying a long stretch of great late summer weather with some needed rain coming next week.  The side yard chickens were concerned about the activity in the sheep pasture, every so often I would hear the alert call from Eddie.

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DRAINAGE WORK

What a wonderful feeling to have it done.  Still more work to do getting the fencing up and some seed planted on the berm.  Luckily I have help from Lauren.  Its been years since I have done fencing, great exercise.

THE BERM WITH VALLEY'S BOTH BEHIND AND IN FRONT OF IT

THE BERM WITH VALLEY’S BOTH BEHIND AND IN FRONT OF IT

am so grateful that I finally found the right person for the job.  He knew exactly how to make the water flow.  Demers Landscaping out of Turners Falls did the job and he was recommended by my Vet.  6 old tires and some fencing and other odd things were dug up.  Lots of large boulders were placed near a retaining wall to further stop erosion.

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It will make a nice focal point for flowers and a bird house.  The garden area will change next season and I will have the winter to think about it.  

DREAM PILLOWS

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I cut out lots of primitive hearts yesterday and mix up all the herbs except for Lemon Balm which is  drying in the dehydrator for the dream pillows.  I hope to get some sewing done tomorrow and get them packaged up.  They really do help with a more restful sleep.

MAKING HERBAL VINEGAR

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A couple of days ago I finished up making my Herbal Vinegar for the year.  I love finding uses for bottles and one darker one is a olive oil  bottle and of course a coke bottle.  Garlic and Rosemary are my favorite kind to make .   You can make them out of any herbs but the more tender herbs like oregano will need to be drained out after a couple of weeks.  As I am writing this I think I will do one more, a vinegar with lavender in it.   These make simple, wonderful gifts with little cost and time.   My recipe :

Vinegar (good quality)  enough to fill your bottles (I guesstimate) 

Herbs:

Lavender, Dill, Chives, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme are a few I have tried and I do add Garlic to many of my mixes.

Clean bottles throughly , add vinegar to sauce pan and bring to a simmer (do not let it boil)   Add herbs to the bottles.  For a large bottle I usually add 3 stems of rosemary and one garlic sliced.  Add vinegar with a funnel and I like to cap with a cork.    I do like to put a tag on the with the ingredients and a ribbon or raffia for gift giving.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this delightful day.  Carole 





FAMILY BLUEBERRY PICKING-ADDING THE NEW HEN TO THE FLOCK-HOPS AND MORNING GLORIES

2 08 2015

GREETINGS

The humidity has gone away .  It’s a beautiful summer day.

BLUEBERRY PICKING WITH FAMILY

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Friday was a delightful summer day with the humidity gone and bright blue skies we headed to Chesterfield to pick blueberries on my cousin’s farm.  Roberts Family Farm.  The berries are organic, sweet and plump.

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 I picked over 7 pounds and Davids family picked over 11 pounds.  We rode down the back roads of Chesterfield and ended up at the Williamsburg General Store.

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 A place where my Dad and Uncle took my children when they were small.  The penny candy and old-fashioned toys and home-made pastries were always their favorites.  And of course an ice cream cone to top off the day.  From the store back roads home where  a turkey vulture flew very close to the car and we saw a group of turkeys.

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ADDING THE NEW HEN TO THE FLOCK

It’s always interesting to add a new hens to the flock.  I have done it many ways and you never can tell how its going to work out.

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Morticia has been sneaking in she is the bravest of the bantams and Kit is not happy with her and pecked her, it still did not stop Morticia but sent her daughter Violet, (who always hides behind her mothers apron strings) running back to safety.  

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 The only bird who did not come in was Hazel..   He was muttering to himself another big hen!  I  sat with them for a half hour and realized that there was only one bird in the flock who would peck her and it is Rosie (funny thing in the large group of hens in the front Rose was low man on the totem pole)  I think things will work out fine and there is plenty of time.  Every day I leave the gate open a little more.   I expect to see one of Samantha’s eggs in the dog house soon as she has been in and out of it.  She loved it there last year.

HOPS AND MORNING GLORIES

The hops have made an nice archway between the two chicken areas.

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The Morning Glories are so nice this year.  Each year I worry that they won’t come back but they do and with more brilliant colors.

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

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A SURPRISE IN THE CELLAR-MORTICIA REJOINS THE TWO KIDS-TANSY AND HOPS AT THE MARKET-TEA COZY

15 08 2014

GREETINGS

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Thank you so much my blogger friends for the kind words and thoughts about Minnie.  It meant so much to me during this sad time.

A SURPRISE IN THE CELLAR

I went in the cellar way yesterday to look for a hammer and saw water at the bottom of the stairs.  All the rain that was supposed to come through the house was now in the basement.  I only have a partial basement which I can stand up in but most people can’t.  In New England there is plenty of ledge and I have my share in the basement.  Luckily someone had the thought to build a cement trough and a hole with a drain pipe which takes the water into the street.  During hurricanes and very bad storms you can hear the roar of the water rushing through the house..  I couldn’t unplug it from inside and had to find the opening near the street which was plugged up with mud. I got a very long stick (about 12 feet long) and finally in about 10 minutes got it unplugged it gushed out and this morning is still coming out.  Glad I went down there, weeks can go by without a visit to the cellar.

MORTICIA

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Morticia rejoins the two kids every morning now.  Rosie is getting the same treatment as Samantha.  More lessons learned for the two young gals.

TEA COZY

I am making progress on the Tea Cozy and I am really enjoying working on it.  Right now I am working on a Tea Pot pattern.  Can’t wait to see how it comes out.

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TANSY AND HOPS TO THE FARMERS MARKET

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I am taking Tansy Bouquets and Hops swags to the farmers market today.  I don’t know how they will sell but its something I have wanted to do. When I started my small business I wanted to sell herbs, flowers and wool.  Moving and other obstacles have been in my way but I am getting back to that original plan slowly.

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It’s cloudy this morning and cool, the sun is trying to break through.  I am still washing wool sweaters, it will be a great day for this one to dry.  Hope your day is wonderful wherever you are.  Many thanks for taking the time to ready my log.   Carole

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DRYING BASIL-THE HOPS ARE READY-BOOKS I AM READING

11 08 2014

GREETINGS

It’s another beautiful morning here on the farm.  The moon was spectacular last night.

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 We are expecting rain for tonight and tomorrow. which will be good for the gardens.

DRYING BASIL

The basil is in dehydrator and the smell permeates through the house.  I will have to do at least 3 more batches before I have enough for the winter.  I will get onto drying the dill after the hops.  

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I have sage, parsley and cilantro to do too 

THE HOPS ARE READY

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I can’t believe that it’s already time to pick the hops.  I picked a pan full last night and will dry them today.  I plan to get another pail full before it rains.  Then I will get started making the Hops Dream Pillows.  I love making them and they sold well last year.    I will be selling hops in a bag for people to make their own pillows and this year I am going to sell them on the vine as a swag.  3 vines at least 3 feet long.  I have seen this done in England.  In fact for many years a hops farm has advertised Hops in a Box.   I will try it.  I have a swag of hops over my bed.

MAINE FARM

I picked up this book on Amazon some time ago.  It’s an older book and I got it for under a dollar and it was new, plus shipping of course.  I had been going through some old magazines, Countryside to be exact and read a review about this book.  It’s by Stanley Joseph and Lynn Karlin. I am taking my time reading it and enjoying all the wonderful pictures.  If I could pick anywhere in the U.S. to live it would be Maine.  I love the ocean and lakes and the people.  They have a wonderful Organic Farmers group and are very encouraging to women farmers.

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Joseph and Lynn bought a house belonging to Helen and Scott Nearing.  They wrote the best-selling book Living The Good Life.  This book takes one through the timeless rhythms of a year on a farm that produces many things, blueberries, willow wine and the list goes on and on.  I am really enjoying this book.

Many thanks for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you have a lovely day.  Carole

 

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LEMON BALM-MORE HOPS

20 09 2013

Hello

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It’s a beautiful day in Western Massachusetts, I am working on enjoying some of the day instead of inside sewing.  The Fall is a busy season here on the Farm.  SO many chores to do before the Winter hits.  I still have a lot of herbs to pick and dry and the beets to get pickled.  The days slip by so fast.  Fall is my favorite season but I love the pace of winter.  I can relax, no outside chores except for shoveling, more time to read, spin and hook.

PICKING THE HOPS

It’s delightful to pick the hops.   The chickens are chatting away while I am picking. The ones I planted last year by the north chicken coop have flourished.  They have even grown up the evergreen tree.  I had to put poles to hold the netting up.  I am reaping the harvest of them.  I think that I still should plant some in other spots next spring.  

Lemon Balm

Yesterday morning I dried the hops it didn’t take long at all.  I picked some Lemon Balm and  dried that in the afternoon

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  Some of the Lemon Balm I will use as tea and the rest will go into the Dream Pillows.   One of the things Lemon Balm is known for is relieving stress which goes nicely with the hops which are a relaxing herb which also bring peacefulness..

DREAM PILLOWS

I mixed up a batch of the dream pillow mix last night.

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 I will make some hearts to take to FUNK SHUN today.  I thought it might be nice to package some up so that people can use their own bags or just tie it up in a piece of muslin.

SALVE

I also made up a batch of salve and will pick some more Comfrey today and make up another batch.

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 I plan to dry some Comfrey so that I can make the salve during the winter.  It grows freely in my son’s back yard.

MINNIE BISBEE
Minnie Bisbee has changed so much since she has come up to the computer room and  bedroom.  Without the stress of other cats she has blossomed.  My helper in all computer work sometimes napping on the printer and sleeping by my side every night.  I have had other cats that  were like her but never came out of their shells.  She loves Pounce treats (she discovered them at the Vet’s office) and will look at the container and she does get a couple a day.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this day and I hope your day is wonderful.   Carole and MInnie

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