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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





SNOW-THE SHEPHERD’S LIFE-TUDOR MONASTERY-COSMO

5 04 2016

GREETINGS

From a dusting to snowing all day we ended up with around 5 inches.  It’s cold !! Temps got down to the teens last night.  We had just gotten use to the warm temps!   Cornelius is back  I saw him in the lower part of the barn last night.  He is the one who moves hay against my kitchen door .  It has been happening a lot and I wondered who was doing it Mystery solved.  I am glad he is back. 

THE SHEPHERD’S LIFE by James Rebanks

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I read about this book online and i got it in the late fall.  With all the goings on here i started it and put it aside.  I have picked it up again and wanted to share this great book with you.  When I started this book I was also reading Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life by Marta McDowell  and fell in love with Herdwick Sheep.

SO many British breeds have died out but Beatrix raised these sheep on her farm and in her will said that theymust forever remain there.  They are a hardy sort that live on the fells in Northern  England.  They have their babies there and their lambs have their babies there.  This has gone on for centuries.  The fleeces are very coarse and would be so good for rug hooking.  The rugs would never wear out.  This book is about the shepherds who care for these sheep.  It takes you through the seasons with centuries old traditions that are passed on from generation to generation. The ebbs and flows of a life with sheep and farming.  A must read for anyone who loves the old ways, sheep, farming, wool, and this kind of life.

On my first visit to Ireland I felt I belonged , I am finally home..  Now I realize that it wasn’t just Ireland.It was the land of my ancestors to which I felt a connection  including Scotland and England.It was hard to explain to anyone.  I want to pack up and move immediately.  Buy a small croft and have some sheep.  Live in the old ways.  Now I think that this longing is deep inside my DNA and although the move will not be made in my lifetime it may happen to another ancestor down the line.  I have tried to make my life somewhat like the life I wanted and am satisfied.  But if I won the lottery the dust would fly and I would be there .

I highly recommend both these books.

TUDOR MONASTERY FARM

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A friend told me about this wonderful BBC series.  I am enjoying everything about it. A great history lesson and lessons on how to make a paintbrush out of a feather,  how to make a wattle weave fence and so much more.  Check it out on You Tube.

COSMO

Wllie longs to be in the room where Cosmos has chosen to live so this week I have left the door open and come what may.  So far so good.  Willie is a cat who longs for quiet and this room suited him.  I am hoping that Cosmo comes around and accepts these cats as friends.  If it is too hard for him things wil go back to the way they were.  I think it will take some time.

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

 

 





IT’S FIBERUARY IS COMING

27 01 2016

GREETINGS

Sunny and glorious today.  The chickens are out  and it may be in the 50’s on Sunday.  Not normal winter weather but I do love it and on top of  that oil prices are low.

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IT’S FIBERUARY IS COMING

I have been reading Wovember for the past 3 or so years and thoroughly enjoy everything about it.  I have learned many new things. met many new people and learned about fiber life in The British Isles.  British Wool and Farmers are promoted in each article.  

We here in our local, Western Massachusetts area have such a diverse farming community but its relatively unknown.  I had been thinking of something for us to do in the cold winter months to promote the same thing here.  I spoke with Liz of Sheep and Shawl Shop in South Deerfield about my idea of It’s FIBERuary and its a go for this year.  

In the month of February we hope to have an article each day about people who work with fiber and animals.  Some of the articles will be Rug Hooking, Raising Sheep, Angora Rabbits, Alpaca’s, Pygora goats and other fiber animals, Shearing, knitting and weaving, needle felting, dyeing  and so much more.    Please join us on FIBERuary on WordPress.

Sheep and Shawl Shop will offer speakers on each Sunday of the month of February.   Times  and directions will be announced.  There will also be a Valentine contest made out of fiber at Sheep and Shawl  and information will be forthcoming .

The following is a list of the talks.

Sunday, February 7th

Stories From The Farm – Carole Adams

I have raised sheep for over 20 years and have a book full of interesting stories and have lots of experience in farming with sheep in a small way.

Sunday, February 14th       Three presenters that day!

Chris Pellerin – Dunroamin Farm

Pygora Goats

 

Hilary Woodcock-Woodcock Farm

Hilary will give a talk on Alpaca to Yarn

 

Jenny Atkins Angora Rabbits

Jenny will talk about her beautiful Angora Rabbits

 

Sunday, February 21st

Margaret Russell

Weaver of Rare Breed  Wools

Be Sure to put these events on your calendars.

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you will be able to attend some of these events or read about them on the blog.  Have a wonderful day.  Carole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





SPREADING THE MILKWEED-GIFT OF BOOKS- SHEEP RUG HOOKING PATTERN-NEW ARRIVAL-SORREL NEEDS A HOME

9 11 2015

GREETINGS

The warmer weather has gone for the time being and its a bit chilly in the mornings.  I am busy getting ready for The Crafts of Colrain which is this coming weekend, so far the weather looks great for it.

SPREADING MILKWEED

It seems that this past month I have been going to Greenfield  a lot.  Picking up 25# of Oatmeal for the Chickens, several appointments, and I have been parking in a parking lot.   In cracks in the pavement are milkweed ready to send off their seeds.  Each time I am in  town I pick off a branch and bring it home to spread around my yard.  Its a good feeling that hopefully some of these seeds will take and more beautiful Monarch’s will be around.

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TWO BOOKS I AM READING

Birthday wishes are popping up everywhere.

  Liz of Sheep and Shawl gave me this wonderful book, The Chicken Chronicles by Alice Walker author of many books including The Color Purple.   A wonderful story of life with Chickens.  I am thoroughly enjoying it.

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A surprise  box in the mail yesterday from my friend Jan contained a book she though was perfect for me.  The Stillmeadow Road by Gladys Taber.  I  have started it and love it.  Its about a woman who buys an old farmhouse with blinders on ( sort of like me) and takes you through the fixing up the trails and tribulations of her dogs,cats and gardens.

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I want to learn more about this author and read some of her other books.

A NEW RUG HOOKING PIECE

My friend Debbie went on a wonderful trip to Nova Scotia and went to Deanne’s shop.  She brought me back this wonderful sheep pattern.  I just love it and am now thinking of how I can do it. I can’t start it till after the first of the year by then I hope have it all figured out.

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NEW  ARRIVAL ON WEDNESDAY

Okay so I said I wasn’t going to get anymore sheep. I promise this is the last one.  I just couldn’t resist this one.  Her name is Annie, which endeared her to me right away.  We called my Mom Annie for the last several years of her life.    She was in a breeding program to promote better sheep and wool.  She is half English Leicester and half Merino.  One can only imagine how wonderful her wool will be.   She is only 2 which is nice.

  

She will fit in nicely with the girls and offer me some really wonderful wool to turn into yarn in two years time.

Here is another sheep that is looking for a home.  My friend Lisa, who raises beautiful sheep is downsizing and Sorrel needs to find a home.  I wish I could take her but 5 is enough.  

 

I don’t know how anyone can resist her.  She is beautiful and an English Leicester.  They are the nicest sheep

Many thanks for reading my blog, there seems never to be a dull moment around the farm, never expected another sheep to fall into my lap.  Hope you have a wonderful day.   Carole

 

 





WOOL-ONION CARRIER-WINTER TONIC

31 10 2015

GREETINGS AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN

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There is a nip in the air this morning but the sun is out and clothes will go on the line.  A friend is coming down to load her truck up with manure so that will be gone.  Yea!!!!!

WONDERFUL WOOL

A couple of days ago these wonderful English Leicester fleeces were left on my porch by a friend Ceacy.

IMG_6006   I will put them away til have the Crafts of Colrain then do some dyeing and spinning  They are wonderful crimpy and lustrous 

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ONION CARRIER

A few years ago I decided to make this wonderful Onion basket.  I was making a smaller version to hold garlic in.  I never used it because of little counter space.  So it was hung up.  Now with the renovations I have a perfect place for it. 

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IT’S TIME TO MAKE THE WINTER TONIC

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With cod and flu season upon us its time to make my favorite tonic.  I have it brewing in the fridge and will start taking it today.  For those of you who would like to make it, here is what I do.

1 lomon sliced thinly

1 piece of ginger (at least 2 inches long) sliced or diced thinly

honey

A smallish jelly jar works well for this.  I layer lemon/ginger etc and then cover with honey.  Place in the fridge and I take a teaspoon every day.  

Hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.   CaroleIMG_6018Waxed Oak leaves and Bttersweet





RUG HOOKING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE-EGGS-WAULKING WOOL IN SCOTLAND TODAY

25 07 2015

GREETINGS

Less humidity and a slight breeze is making these days summer perfect. 

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Driving through Vermont at any time of the year is wonderful but I especially love it in the summer.  Everything lush green, so many wonderful old farms. Lebanon New Hampshire is just a little over an hour and a half from my house. I take back roads till I get to Brattleboro then a highway route 91 to Lebanon.  Even the highway has some majestic scenery.  It was great to see old friends and meet new ones

Louise with her latest rug

Louise with her latest rug

Deb with her latest rug

Deb with her latest rug

CATNIP

DRIED CATNIP

DRIED CATNIP

Pattie gave me two large feedbags full of catnip.  I left them in the car.  On a few summer days they were dry.  ANd another benefit , catnip has a calming effect on people so my errand runs were less stressful!

THE NEW HEN

I love the shape of this egg

I love the shape of this egg

She has settled in and has laid an egg for the past two days.  To me that is an indicator that she feels comfortable..  I understand from Charlie that Morticia dug a hole and visited.  I am giving them more time to get use to each other, then hopefully they will get along.

WHAT IS GOING ON IN SCOTLAND TODAY-WAULKING THE WOOL

Sgioba Luaidh Inbhirchluaidh's photo.

it would be wonderful to be there, to sing the old songs and be a part of it.

Waulking is a finishing process of the wool tweed. It is usually done by a group of woman pounding the cloth rhythmically The process was timed by song not minutes or hours.  For more detailed information please look up Thistle and Broom online. 

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Have a listen to one of the songs.
At this time of year there is a wonderful wool festival going on in Scotland, I am enjoying it via facebook. and you can to, here is the link.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this wonderful summer day, I hope you enjoyed my traveling to New Hampshire and Scotland. Carole