PERMACULTURE ON THE FARM-MORE HAVOC IN THE BARN

22 05 2016

GREETINGS

Another beautiful day with some rain coming in tomorrow.

PERMACULTURE ON THE FARM

I have unknowingly been practicing Permaculture here since the year after I moved.   It all started with mowing grass.  Since the house is located near the bottom of a mountain the land is hilly.  Mowing the front lawn was a challenge and after the first year of struggling I decided to plant it with flowers and shrubs.  

I have now lived here over 18 years and feel satisfied with the changes.  I still have lots more work to do but the hardest part is done.

The barn cleanings both from the chickens and the sheep are spread around the yard and in the pathways.  Large plantings of Bleeding Hearts made spring a delight.  I have also planted two more Lilac bushes, Eventually the front will be full of shrubs, bleeding hearts  and Lilies.  I have plantings of trees and bushes where the birds can hide and feed in winter and hope to get another group like this going in the back this simmer.  This year there has been a record number of birds visiting and building their nests here.

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I plan on putting in a red raspberry bed in this spring and already have a blackberry bed started. In the fall I will prepare an area for strawberries.  This year my poor little heirloom MacIntosh tree had three blossoms on it.  This was the tree tat the cement workers broke and patched together with electrical tape!  

This all can be done on small acreage.  I have a little over 1/2 an acre

THE SAGA OF MAUDE AND HER FRIENDS

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All was well after this morning’s feeding or so I thought.  I heard a lot of commotion in the barn and went to check.  The fencing was down the other 3 sheep were in the hay area and Maude had her head stuck in the fence.  What a predicament.  I was so upset.  It seems like something is happening often with the fence.  I really didn’t want to go to the expense of putting up a permanent fence there.  Luckily Lauren and the boys came over and fixed it up.  Now the fence is stronger and I think it will last till the end of summer when they all can be together.  

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.

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JULY’S SALVE DONE-LIL PICKING BLUEBERRIES FOR THE FIRST TIME-LIFE ON THE FARM-PARENTS FOUND

21 07 2014

GREETINGS

JULY’S SALVE DONE

Yesterday was overcast here and the temps were good.  A great day for making Salve.

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 The salve smelled great even before I added a some drops of lavender essential oil.  It had been brewing for 3 months.  Today I will make up another batch and set it in the sun to infuse and make it up in late September.

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LIL PICKING BLUEBERRIES

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One of my blueberry plants has a good number of berries on it.  It happens that Lil just loves blueberries and I wanted to show her where they come from.  Well she would have eaten every one and was so delighted that she could just pick them and pop them into her mouth.

LIFE ON THE FARM

Chris and I have been moving fence almost every day so the sheep get a little fresh grass.  There is another big area that I can fence in but there are some plants  that I have to investigate first.  SOme plants make sheep very sick.  In a big field they would avoid them but where there is not a lot of grass they might eat them.  I can’t take that chance so I will seek out some advice before that area is fenced in.

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So far I have filled up 7 bags of kindling from broken branches and trimming of large shrubs.  I hope to get at least 20 bags done and that may last through the wood heating season.  The town will be cutting a tree down across the street from my house, I hope I can get the wood from that tree, that will be a big help this winter.  There are two tracts of land in back of me one is a 5 acre parcel and the other a 6 acre parcel.  At some point I hope I can buy the 5 acre parcel and have some trees cut and increase the area for my sheep, planting some good grasses in it.  All will have to be done by hand because it’s very rocky but 100 years ago it was pasture so I know its doable.

All the flowers and roses have overgrown the path to the back yard.  I have been putting up old fence posts and tieing bailing twine on them to hold them back.  Its working well and the pathway is much clearer.

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PARENT’S FOUND

Yesterday my son found this poor little baby bird on the chicken fence.  It was crying and its tail feathers were just coming in.  It held onto my finger with all its might and was calling and calling for its parents., meanwhile a neighbors cat was hovering around the area.  My Son put it on a branch and we walked away watching it and then its parents came and fed it.  I am sure it fine.  This year  there are so many birds nesting here and visiting the farm.  I am sure a lot of it has to do with permaculture.  The land and the plants on it are so good now.  Plenty for them  to eat. The songs in the mornings and evenings are so delightful.  I would like to record them for wintertime listening.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this delightful summer day.  please visit the farm again.  Carole





CHINESE LANTERNS-MORE RAIN -THE GARDEN

5 07 2014

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

Today would normally be a day of celebration, parades and cook outs but the rains and thunderstorms have put the celebrating off till tomorrow.  The ditch that was dug in the sheep yard has held and so far no water in the barn.  What a relief.

Chinese Lanterns

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The little lanterns are growing , I will have a good supply this year

MOUNT TOM COAL PLANT AND THE TENNESSEE PIPELINE

I remember when the Coal plant was built, they had an  open house. In those days the dangerous effects of burning coal were either not known or not told.  After years of spewing out  poisons its closed.  It may become a solar field isn’t that ironic.

The Tennessee Pipeline wants to come right through western Massachusetts to supply more gas for people.  They will have a very hard time getting folks to agree to it.  What we do need from our government is leadership in finding other sources 

THE GARDEN

The garden is coming along nicely.  I have some tomatoes and basil.

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  The pumpkins and cukes are doing well.

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 I planted more dill, coriander, basil and some sunflowers today.  just digging an inch or so into the soil brought up so many huge earthworms.  

The black raspberries are getting ripe.

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I hope I can pick them before anyone else gets them.   Many thanks for reading my blog on this rainy day, hope the sun is shinning wherever you are.  Carole

 





CHINESE LANTERN PLANTS- LAST HOOKING CLASS-JUNE COUNTRY LIVING

23 06 2014

GREETINGS

It’s another gorgeous day and the boys will be coming down from their annual trip to Montreal today.  I hope to get the downstairs of the barn cleaned out and the attic done while they are both here.  Ricky will go to Eagle Hill a week from today.

CHINESE LANTERNS AND PERMACULTURE

When I was a child we always had these growing in our yard.  Now I have a small patch of them.  They look a lot like weeds but their delicate flowers are beautiful.

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 I will use them for fall decorations.

These along with pussy willows, the winterberry, bittersweet and Sweet Annie are things I love for the fall , winter and spring decorating.  They are expensive to buy but cost so little to plant.  Now I have them with just a short walk in the yard.     

     When I first moved in here I made lists of things that I wanted to have on the property.  Nut trees, strawberries. blueberries, grapes, a few apple trees, peaches and raspberries.  I have all of them just not in the quantity I need for a full year of eating.  I am working on that goal and in a few years I think that the goal will be met.  

Things change  every year. The strawberries didn’t like where I planted them and moved themselves so I have found a good spot which they like and I plan to plant more,  next year.  The apple tree that the workmen broke is slowly coming back and I think it will recover, although the production of apples will be another few years off at least.

LAST HOOKING CLASS

Yesterday was my last hooking class till fall.  I was so inspired when I saw their rugs.

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 Each made changes which made the rug truly theirs.

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Their excitement and enthusiasm was contagious.  I so enjoyed passing the art of rug hooking to them.

COUNTRY LIVING

My June issue of Country Living came several weeks ago.

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 There was a wonderful article about my favorite potter Emma Bridgewater.  I was lucky enough to be given a cup and saucer by a friend some years ago.  Sadly cups and saucers aren’t made much anymore just mugs.  Then I saw a full-page ad about visiting Massachusetts. Good job Mass tourist industry.  It was so well done.

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Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.  Carole

 

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DICKENS FELLOWSHIP VICTORIAN TEA-SAMANTHA-ELDERERRIES AND WINTERBERRIES

20 06 2014

GREETING

DICKENS FELLOWSHIP TEA

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My friend Louise sent me some wonderful pictures of the DICKENS FELLOWSHIP VICTORIAN TEA  that was held in the Westmont Library  Grounds in Montreal a few weeks ago.  Louise is a very talented lady and made  thecostumes and hats. The proceeds of this event and all others held by the Fellowship go to THE TINY TIM FUND of the Montreal Children’s Hospital.  A good time was held by all and wouldn’t Dickens  have been pleased by the event.  I wish there were a fellowship nearby.

SAMANTHIA

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I think that I can safely call her Samanthia now she sure looks like a hen.  She is so attached to Morticia, that poor Morticia can’t even lay an egg without her.  Her mournful cries when Mama is out of sight are heart wrenching.

ELDERBERRIES

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The elderberries I bought last year are really coming along nicely.  I even have a few blossoms on them this year.

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WINTERBERRIES

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I planted this Winterberry Bush around 5 years ago.  Its taken all this time to adjust to this place and this year for the first time I think there will be berries.

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 I am so please to be able to go out in my own yard and be able to have these beautiful decorations.

MINNIE

Minnie is doing better now.  The reduction in the pill seems to have helped.    She is more active now and eating much better.

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It’s a beautiful day here in Colrain and the clothes are out on the line with gentle breezes.  I hope that you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.   Carole

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MINNIE-NEW WINDOWS IN-BLUEBERRY BUSHES AND PINE NEEDLES

18 06 2014

GREETINGS

Colrain views

Colrain views

 

 

MINNIE

Minnie went to the vets this yesterday morning and was not happy about it at all.  More needles and fluids, by the time she was getting her fluids she was really angry.  Growling and hissing.  SHe is back to her old self now.

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 Her tests came back low so her thyroid medication is to be reduced by half and another test may be administered to see if it is actually her thyroid or just part of the Kidney disease process.  I learned that crushing the pills as I had been doing was really not good as they give the food a pill taste and then cats stop eating.  I have got pill pockets and a pill pusher.  WIll try the pill pockets tonight..  She will need fluids occasionally so maybe twice a week I will administer them to her.  She is happy she is at home.

NEW WINDOWS IN

The new windows are in and it only took Brian a day and a half to do it.  They fit perfectly and are letting refreshing air into the house.

BLUEBERRIES AND PINE NEEDLES  

Tyler and I went to the state forest to gather pine needles.  I weeded the blueberries, transplanted the Sweet Annie

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and packed the pine needles around the Blueberries.  I need another couple of bags to finish the job.  In a couple of weeks I will check the PH level to see if it has improved.  

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Weather  

Last night we had lots of thunderstorms, winds and downpours.  The storms ushered the humid air out and now we have cooling breezes and very little humidity.  It looks to be another perfect day her in the hills of Western Massachusetts.   Hope you day is wonderful and many thanks for reading my blog. Carole

 

 





PLANTING BEANS-LIL-MOVING STRAWBERRIES INTO THE HERB BED-DYING WOOL WITH DANDELIONS

22 05 2014

HELLO

PLANTING STRING BEANS

We are expecting showers for the next few days so I though yesterday would be a good day to get one of the bean towers planted.  I have decided to put both of the towers in the front of the house.

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 I moved raspberries to the back of the fence and transplanted some garlic that I couldn’t find last year.  Sometimes the transplanting works and other times it doesn’t.  

Moving the Strawberries

In the side gardens the strawberries have multiplied and moved themselves into pathways.  I decided that the Herb Bed would be the place to put them , it would be much easier to protect them from birds there.  Still have more to move.

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Dyeing wool with Dandelions

I love natural dyeing and the first  years of spinning were devoted to natural dyeing.  I sold dye seeds at shows and grew most of them in my large garden.  I am glad to be coming full circle and getting back to it again.  I will be looking at tag sales this summer for a small copper pot to do some dyeing in.

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I simmered the dandelions in my iron pot for approximately one hour and let them cool in the pot, then simmered the wool in the dye water for about the same time.  I would have liked the color to be a little deeper so I am simmering more dandelions in the same dye bath.  I do like the color that the yellow Shetland yarn yielded.

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LIL

Lil was given a kitchen set and she just loves it.  Here is a picture of her with her Sheep pocket-book.  I have one too.

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Many thanks for reading my blog and I hope you day is wonderful.  Carole