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

 

 

 

 

 

 





LAVENDER FEST-THEY ARE BACK-LIL’S RECITAL -OPAL

1 07 2017

GREETINGS

We have had typical summer weather hot and cold.  I have had to have the heated mattress pad on the past several night.  We will be getting rain through the weekend. they expect 3 inches or more.  My son got the last 20 bales of hay in the bar last night.

I am picking bouquets of  Yarrow on the roadside  and drying them for winter bouquets

THE LAVENDER FEST

What a beautiful two days full of visits with friends and new and old customers.  Saturday started off raining and cleared to be one of the most beautiful days. Wisby clouds and slight breezes.  New England at its best.  Thank you Sandy for holding such a wonderful event.

 

some of my booth at the fest

THEY ARE BACK

This winter I had a terrible rat infestation.   Many other farmers in the area had the same problems.  I won’t use poison so got my handy-dandy have a heart trap out and these rats have gone to college and figured out if they flipped the trap over they could get out.  I invested in a much larger and very clever trap and it worked.
This morning I went out to see if there was anything in it and all I could see is white.   A closer look revealed 2 baby skunks.  Adorable and very welcome here at the farm.  I unlocked the cage and one went reluctantly out and got into a bucket turned sideways , had a moment where he couldn’t figure how to get out and then he walked away.  The other one took more time to get out, i got some food and he ran out and got the food and went back into the cage and ate it!!!!  He finally came out and I talked to him. I want him to get familiar with my voice so if he remains here he will not be afraid of me. He tried to charge me but only went a couple of inches,  Then he went under the chicken coop where I expect he was born.

 

I will make sure and see my neighbor who killed and trapped and released all skunks that were here.  Because of his actions I now have thousands of dollars worth of damage done by the rats.  They ate through my front siding and some walls.  He was worried about grubs in his lawn.  I was totally disturbed that people like him could trap and kill animals.  In Massachusetts the law states if you trap them you have to kill them.  I am going to check out the law and see if there is a law that will protect me from the likes of him.  This is the country life we have all sorts of animals here you can’t disturb the balance of nature.

Anyway I am glad to have them back and hope they will stay.

LIL’S DANCE RECITAL

Lil took ballet lessons this year.  She loved it and practiced lots.

 

 

Lil is in the middle

A NEW BANTAM

Her name is Opal and she is an Olde English.   She is in the house for th time being as she has the sneezing illness and I am working on curing it.  She is sweet and loving and could be a companion for Emma if Em would let her.  But Emma likes being by herself.  That really doesn’t work around here!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FORGOTTEN FARMS-GOINGS ON AT THE FARM

12 06 2017

 

GREETINGS

Summer has truly arrived after what seemed like months of rain and chilly weather.  Temps in the 90’s again today.

FORGOTTEN FARMS

My friend Jill and I went to see this movie last night. It was shown at our local movie house, Pot Hole Pictures in Shelburne Falls.  Most people there were farmers of some sort, and people interested in local food.  It was an amazing movie taking us on a delightful journey of local farms and farmers. We are loosing so many farms.  Its long hours, hard work and the pay per gallon of milk is less than it should be.  There are no vacations on farming but the people who milk love what they do.    There are things that each of us can do.  BUY LOCAL .  When you buy cheap milk you are getting what you pay for.  The milk is most likely produced on feed lot type farms with 500 or more cows.  They are not on  pasture and don’t have the wonderful lives that small dairy cows do.  In Massachusetts we can buy Our Family Farms or Organic Valley Milk.  Paying a few cents more will help ensure that family dairy farms remain in business.    

Something that I had not thought about is what happens to the community when a small dairy operation closes.  One of  the farmers on the show said they spend $250,000   on grain alone each year. It’s the trickle down theory.  It affects us all.                                                                               

This movie was educational in so many ways.  It gave each member of the audience something to think about.  Look for it at small local theaters  in Massachusetts and in the fall they plan to  have showings in local libraries.    Please share with family and friends about this it is so important for us.  Factory farming is going to be a thing of the past and I will be so glad.  The following is a list of screenings in the area

http://forgottenfarms.org/screening

GOINGS ON AT THE FARM

All the bird houses are getting filled up, soon new babies will be hatched.  Yesterday I saw a Chickadee with a large piece of wool in its mouth flying away.  Cozy nest-building

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The jewel weed is the bane of my existence.  More and More every year.  I must pull  thousands.  Still a lot more to do.  I am using some of it in a Poison Ivy Salve though.

The garden is mostly in still a few more things to get in but it will be done soon.

Winter is never far away from my thoughts and I already have been gathering bags of sticks for starting the wood stove.  Winter clothes can be found hanging on the line and will be put away soon.

 

 

The roses are especially nice this year.

 

 

Many thanks for reading my blog on this hot summery day.    Carole

Winterberry Farm

 

 

 

 

 

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NEW LOOM, VISITING FRIENDS-GARDENERS BASIL & LIME SOAP-BUS TRIP TO THE 2018 MARYLAND SHEEP AND WOOL FESTIVAL.

15 05 2017

GREETING FRIENDS

MY FAVORITE SPRING FLOWER

Today is the last of the rainy, dreary, damp and cold days.  The sun is suppose to come out this afternoon and the winds are going to pick up and dry it all off.  We are certainly not in a drought situation any more.   There is so much to do this spring I have almost finished manuring and weeding the front yard and need to get to the back this week.  I am transplanting some wild raspberries  near a fence in the front area, hoping to be able to contain them better.  My female elderberry isn’t doing well, does anyone know if they are hard to root.  I would love to start some new ones.  The male plant is flourishing.

NEW LOOM AND A VISIT WITH FRIENDS

I have been looking for a loom for months now and knew that one would come along.  When mentioning it to my friends Ulla and Dick they said they had the perfect one for me.  A 36 inch Leclerc  4 harness loom.  It’s a beauty. And there is a story behind it.  They drove up to Canada to pick it up!  Solid Maple which will be good for rugs.  About a year after I sold my looms I did a workshop at The Springfield Weavers and realized that I missed weaving.  Especially overshot which is my favorite weave.   And  also I needed a way to use up the boxes and boxes of hand-spun yarn in the sewing room.  I have decided to have it in my downstairs bedroom and have taken the room apart and made room. Now I would like to refresh the room with some paint and the loom will have a new home.

I had a wonderful visit with Ulla and Dick on the loom picking up day.  It was shearing day for them and it was wonderful to watch Aaron (my new shearer) get the job done.  He has just gotten back from Australia where he sheared hundreds of sheep.

Ulla in the background and Aaron shearing

  We had a wonderful day remembering old times,  new projects and garden ideas.  I can’t wait to visit again to see the new weathervane that Dick is making.  I was lucky enough to see a picture of it almost done.  Itsa carved turtle.  Next time pictures.  When I next visit them they will have their new chickens.

THEIR SHEEP ALL SHEARED

LYMES

The 90 days on Doxicycline did very little for the Lymes Disease I have.    I did tolerate it well though.  I will now be on another antibiotic as it is summer and with Doxi I could have a severe reaction from the sun.  I will be on it for at least 6 months and there is no guarantee.  I have to try it .  I have already had many ticks on me they say that this year is going to be one of the worst.  I am going to make up a herbal concoction to spray on myself each day.

BASIL-LIME WITH GROUND UP CORN GARDENERS SOAP AND OATMEAL SOAP

 

I made these two soaps a couple of weeks ago and they are now drying on racks.  They will be ready for the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fest.  The kitchen is filled with their smells. It was the first time I used my grinder and I love it.

 

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SHOWS-MAKING BIRD TREATS AND FEEDERS-THE FIRST EGG-HELEN UPDATE

28 11 2015

GREETINGS

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I am so happy to be back blogging.  We have had such warm weather for November, cooler temps are coming in this afternoon but still not too cold.  I am grateful for the time to get things in order on the farm and still have a few tasks to complete before the ground freezes.  The sunsets here have been so beautiful.

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SHOWS

The Crafts of Colrain was a well attended event and I enjoyed the crowds, friends visiting and many new people came .I am busily making new inventory.  

The Shelburne Falls Autumn Farmers Market is one of my favorite shows.  So many different vendors with farmers set up with their fall and winter veggies.  Lots of fun and a easy, relaxing show.

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MAKING BIRD TREATS AND FEEDERS

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I found this recipe to make the suit block out of coconut oil.  I bought a small bag of mixed seed and nuts and made it.  Its so much cheaper to make  (for me at least because I buy my coconut oil  in 50 lb containers)  They say its better for the birds and they are enjoying it.  The whole thing takes about 5 minutes to make.  I layer a container with foil and add with about an inch of the seed and nut mix then melt the coconut oil at low temp and pour  over it and let it harden.

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FEEDERS

I love this feeder.  I won it at the Heath Fair some years ago.  This year I put it on top of a 4×4 and it has attracted so many birds.  I think I can make one so in the spring I will attempt it and put it on the other side of the porch.

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THE FIRST EGG

It has been well over 6 weeks since I have gotten any eggs.  I did buy a dozen but even though they say they are organic they don’t look or taste as fresh as mineIMG_6096

Matilda has laid the first one and continues to lay and egg a day.  I am sure the others will follow suit soon.

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HELEN UPDATE

She is doing well and living inside till next spring.  Her house is ready for her, Mrs. Brown and Hazel  will be put where there are no grasses .

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

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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

 

 

 





WATER WATER EVERYWHERE-HAZEL AND MRS. BROWN-SIDE YARD CHICKENS

27 08 2015

GREETINGS

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Another  beautiful day is on the horizon.  The humidity has gone and cooler temps are here with a nice breeze.  How lucky we are.  Next week the humidity is back with temps in the 90’s.  Thats New England for you.

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

Croc's won't do in this weather

Croc’s won’t do in this weather

This week we had some terrible rains.  More than two inches came pouring down an hour.  It was in sheets and I spent the entire morning bailing out and digging more trenches.  Some mud and water came in the barn but not much.  My efforts saved the day

Lucy was wondering what was going on

Lucy was wondering what was going on

. The best thing I did was to dig a trench on the side of the barn down to the end.

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The garden flourished with the rain and it seems like the jewel weed grew a foot taller!!  It seems like this is how its going to be now, this summer we have not received many gentle rains, its comes down in torrents and dumps so much that there is flooding everywhere.  This is now the norm.

HAZEL AND MRS. BROWN

Hazel has really improved and is eating well again Mrs. Brown is laying an egg every day now and building elaborate nests.

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SIDE YARD CHICHEN AREA

The Hops, Morning Glories and other flowers have outdid themselves this year.  I do hate the netting I have up though, and hope that next year I can put up the trellis work it will look nicer and be easier to walk under.

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

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