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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DAYS ON THE FARM

28 02 2017

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GREETINGS

The long shadows of spring have arrived and most of the snow has left the mountain. The great thing about this time of year is that any snow that comes  along won’t last.

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The pussy willow tree is budding out but I know that the tree is living on borrowed time and I must get a replacement this year.

The Canadian Geese are back in Greenfield by the thousands now, as I stopped to take this picture I thought in a few short months nest-building will occur and babies willhave to be taught the ins and outs of the geese life.

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As I feed this sheep this morning, someone down stairs is announcing that she laid an egg..  Its theses little things that brings me joy everyday. .  Maude with her one eye happily eating her hay and carrots .  The chickens getting to go out every day now,. cats getting the most of the sun that shines in the house.

Boxes of wool sit on the porch waiting for a trip to Green Mountain Spinnerey to be made into yarn.  Another pile of wool to be sorted and added to the boxes.  Back will come bulky yarn to sell .  Lucy and   Sally’s wool is soft and will make a fine yarn.

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Today I saw what I think is  animal abuse in my town .  It was shocking and left me saddened.  It’s not the first time I have seen it in this small town.  I wish I had the money to take these animals in 2 little goats shoved in a tiny space, nowhere to get out of the sun, dirty and sad-looking.  I did report this behavior but it seems that even though it is horrible it is within the law.  If only those people had to live this way.  I am hoping for arma.  This is a right to farm town but animals have some rights too, proper housing and good care are among those rights  .Ahhhhhhhhhhhhm if only I were  in charge!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been trying to finish up the many projects I have started over the years and have finished up these two wash cloths.  The smaller one is made from handspuun cotton/linen.

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I have finished the drapes for one set of windows in upstairs bedroom and am now looking at paint chips to refresh the room.  All the rooms in my house need a do over and this year I hope the house will get repainted.  I want to do it a charcoal gray with either cream or white trim and cranberry red doors.   I this the gray will hide some of the imperfections of the cement..

ON my way home from Greenfield I saw steam rising from The Sugar House on the trail .  Tomorrow they will open for a 6 week run .  I hope to get there for some good pancakes and maple syrup.   I so hope that next year I will be making my own.

Hope you have a lovely day, thank you so much for reading my blog today.  Carole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





SNOWY DAY-WINTER- THIS YEAR’S CARD- THE CHICKENS-ORANGE PEEL CLEANER-HAPPY NEW YEAR

29 12 2016

GREETINGS

The snow is coming down lightly this morning with heavy snow predicted for the afternoon and evening.  In the end we are suppose to get between 6-12 inches. I  have mixed feelings about winter.  I love these quiet days of snow.  The time spent indoors doing winter projects.  I really dislike the below  zero days and frozen pipes.  I love the sound and smells of a wood fire but at the end of winter I am ready to give up bringing in wood and cleaning out the stove. I love seeing the sheep with their full coats of wool.

MAUDE

MAUDE

 

  I find each season offers just what I need and I am looking forward to getting lots of winter projects done.  

 Lil wants a pair of ice skates this year.  What fun.  I wouldn’t dare skate now  but would love to!!!!!!  I miss the old days of skating on Bray Lake in Holyoke as a child, the beautiful lake with snow-covered pine trees on the lakes edges.  The fires to warm up with and hot chocolate and marshmallows.  My children were able to enjoy that fun winter activity too.   Maybe Lil will be the fourth generation to skate on Bray Lake.

THIS YEARS CHRISTMAS CARD

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THE CHICKENS

This year I am trying to keep a small part of their outside yard shoveled .  On the days that are above freezing they can and do go out.  I do cover the area with hay.

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Next year the hoop house.

ORANGE CLEANER

Tis the season to eat lots of oranges.  Don’t throw the peels away.  You can make this wonderful cleaner with two simple ingredients.  Cider vinegar and orange peels.  This is my second year making it and this year I need to make another jar of it  to last the year.  And it smells great too.

I usually don’t have enough to fill a jar so I put whatever peels I have and add the cider vinegar to cover and continue this till the jar is filled.  I leave the jar on a shelf for about a month, shaking occasionally before pouring it off into a permanent jar.    To use put two parts water to one part orange cleaner in a spray bottle.  This is so easy and it is antibacterial too.

 

 

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As I write this the birds are flocking to the feeders, Mamma and Papa Blue Jay  brought the three kids to the feeders.  I have watched them grow and its so nice to have the here again. Thank you so much for reading my blog on this winter day.  Wish you all a healthy, and prosperous New year.Carole

 

 

 

 

 





WINTER IS HERE-SHEEP FRIGHT-SPINNING

9 02 2016

GREETINGS

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It’s a winter wonderland out there today.  Lil was sledding  and snow flakes flying through the air.  We are supposed to get bitter temps over the weekend so I will try and bundle up the house more.

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SHEEP FRIGHT

Last night I went up to feed the sheep later than usual around 7 pm.  There were no sheep in the barn and it was so dark I couldn’t see them in the pasture.  I called and called with no one baaing  or coming..  With all the talk about coyotes and the recent article on FIBERuary about them I panicked.  In a last ditch effort I opened the grain bin and they all came running covered with snow.  This small flock has never been known to sleep outside.  My Border Leicesters always did.    With coyotes around I am keeping them in at night and will be sure to get them in before dark from now on end.

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SPINNING

I am spinning everyday now trying to get all those bags of wool turned into yarn, and eventually into rugs, mittens, hats and scarves. Yesterdays spinning was Alpaca, and I am almost finished with that bag.  Still have one more bag of  alpaca to spin which I will get started on today.  I am going to ply it with a dark wool for added strength and then make a hoodie scarf with it.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this now bright sunny winters day.  Hope you have a wonderful day.  Carole

 

 





ROSEMARY-INSTAGRAM AN ACT OF KINDNESS-PINE HILL KNITTING-

20 01 2016

GREETINGS

These past few days have been frigid.  With wind gust from 30 to 40 miles per hour coming off the mountain, you can tell where the air leaks are in this old house!  The winds have died down and the temps will go up to 30 today.

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The sheep were toasty with their warm coats, some nice grain and  the barn to selter them.

ROSEMARY

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She finally laid her first egg and its a beauty.  Another Olive Egg Yea.  She is the white with brown hen.

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  She has fit in with the crowd and knows to stay away from Samantha and Rosie who are the bossiest of hens.  Anyone within a foot area of them gets a peck.  Wish I had a separate area for them.  But in life we all have to know how to stay clear of trouble Rosemary has learned that lesson.

INSTAGRAM

I have been on Instagram for some time now and thoroughly enjoy it.  It’s a chance to share ideas, view other countries see other people’s pets and children and learn so much.  Today while checking out new people to follow I came across something I want to share with you. A wonderful act of kindness.  A picture venue was set up with  a favorite, Beatrix Potter series laid out , a candle set on a sweet table.   The Woman wrote my Mother read these books to me as a child as  did her Mother to her.  And on her death-bed  I read them to her. This brought tears to my eyes as it did to many other readers.  Such a simple act  brought such comfort to her Mother.  I reminder to us all it’s the simple acts of kindness that mean so much to us.

PINE HILL KNITTING

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On most Saturday afternoons a group of knitters and other crafts people will be found at Pine Hill In Colrain.  A get together  of like-minded people to share their adventures in crafts and in life.  Nice crowd last Saturday.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this bright winters day.  Carole

COSMO

COSMO





FIRST SNOW-FLEECE LINED MITTENS-REPAIRING THE SOCKS-OUTSIDE PROJECTS

29 12 2015

GREETINGS

Snow on the ground this morning with sleet falling now. Temps are suppose to go up above freezing today so it may be mostly gone by tomorrow.  Chris and I hope to cut some small trees down tomorrow.

FIRST SNOW

I topped off the feeders and made more coconut feed mix yesterday.  This morning I added a peanut butter/seed and nut mix to a feeder that a neighbor made and within 5 minutes one of the neighborhood squirrels was there.When I lived in a city squirrels were everywhere there are not so many here.  I enjoy their antics.

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FLEECED LINED MITTENS

I love making these mittens and they are so warm.  I took a class in Connecticut in the early 90’s and have been hooked since.  The fleece layer eventually felts and makes these mittens double layered.  The yarn is from my first flock of sheep (Border Leicesters) and my goat Timmy.  I plan on making a few more pairs this winter.

REPAIRING THE SOCKS

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I am repairing these socks again.  I have had them since the 90’s and they have been repaired many times.  The stripes are from my first cat Fluffy.  They are warm and comfortable like an old pair of shoes.

I have lots of unfinished knitting  projects lying around and want to get caught up this winter.

OUTSIDE PROJECTS

Chris and I managed to finish most of the outside projects since he arrived.  First he did the barn window which needed to be put up and then yesterday he put the piece of plywood over the dryer vent.  For some reason ice forms on the attic roof and piles up so that I have to dig out the dryer vent every so often.  This will make things easier.  We got the last of the chicken coops covered and stuff put away.   Just in time for today’s storm

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The cats have settled in, they love dark, snowy days but Cosmo has decided to venture out of his rooms,maybe someday he will join the other cats.

Sammu in his hut on top of the radiator

Sammy in his hut on top of the radiator

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Willie and Shorty in their places on the sofa

Cosmo exploring today

Cosmo exploring today

Hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole

 

 





DYEING YARN-OWEN-HOOKED RABBIT FINALLY FINISHED

4 03 2015

GREETINGS

It’s not as cold today and we are suppose to get snow, sleet and freezing rain in the evening.  I am worried about the barn and will be putting sandbags u in front of the door later in the afternoon.  The chickens are laying more eggs and the sheep are getting rammy (butting each other) so spring can’t be far away.

MAUDE

MAUDE

DYEING YARN

I have a good amount of Bartlett yarn hanging around and decided to over dye it and sell it at Sheep and Shawl.  Tomorrow if the weather is good I will be bringing things to the shop for my hooking class and to sell. Liz is back from her wonderful time in Maine and I am anxious to hear all about it.

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OWEN

The house is much different now without him in it.  Thank you all for all you words of wisdom, you will never know how much they helped me.  I realized  in Owen’s death my calling always was animals.  I love them.  Sometimes they are here for a short time and others for a long time.  Even the naughty ones like Marley and Mr. Peepers are loved.  Thank you all.

HOOKED RABBIT FINALLY  MOSTLY FINISHED

I am trying to be a better finisher in the rug hooking area.  Lots and lots of unfinished projects.  I finally got this rabbit piece finished just in time for Easter.

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WINTER WINTER GO AWAY

This has been a horrible winter for so many folks.  Tonight was the last straw.  I went up to give the sheep water and the faucet came off in my hand.    I have been pretty good about all the broken pipes and hard work but I am now done.  Hope the melt is slow though I really don’t feel like doing a major barn and coop clean up.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this sunny March day.  I hope you have a wonderful day.   Carole

 

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