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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THE LAVENDER FEST

23 06 2017

GREETINGS

 

Sandy Cardinal and her family have been hosting The Lavender Fest at her farm for many years.  It’s a free event.   Spend the day, walk the magnificent Labyrinth, visit the many vendors and have a delightful lunch.  Watch the Dove release later in the day.   There will be people spinning and some sheep too.

PLEASE leave your pets at home.

 





THE ELUSIVE CAT-HAY-BOOKS I AM READING

22 06 2017

GREETINGS

The hot stiffleing weather is gone and we have had a couple of wonderful days  and cool sleeping nights.  Welcome rain for the crops came and went.  Summertime in New England.
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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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A COSMO SCARE-TWO VISITS TO FRIEND’S FARMS-

23 04 2017

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THE EGG MYSTERY-SHEARING-PEAS PLANTED

12 04 2017

GREETINGS

I am back after a long absence.  Feeling more like my old self again.  I am now taking a yoga class which is helping me so much.  Spring has sprung and tulips are coming up .  Today temps will be in the 80’s!!!!!!  The Farmers market starts in Greenfield the first week of May so I am busy getting ready for that..

THE EGG MYSTERY

 

Egg production this winter has been good, but recently has slacked off.  The new girl Molly should still be laying  but no eggs were found.   Morticia the black bantam slept high up on a shelf all winter long.  So yesterday while cleaning the coop I decided to check the space and give it a clean and lo and behold I found all these eggs!

I will be check this spot every day now.

THE SHEEP

The sheep have been shorn and look good.  My shearer Steve is retiring  so I have gotten a new shearer Aaron Loux for next year.    We are both on The Massachusetts Sheep Breeders Board.

MAUDE

 

 

 

LUCY, CAROL K. AND SALLY

 

PEAS

It’s pea planting time here on the farm.  I had them soaking for 24 hours and now they are going in the ground.  I plant to put another packet in soon.   The hot peppers and basil are doing well and I plan to repot them soon.   My regular supplier of veggie starts is taking a year off and I will miss all the heirloom starts she had.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this beautiful spring day.    Carole