Sunday, March 24, 2013



We Beat the Snow

Another late season snow arrived this morning and it is still snowing and expected to snow through the night.  Up to 5" so far BUT no snow in the Fiber shed because...

We got the roof on yesterday!  And we got the windows in.  No door yet but it is not a blowing snow so it will be O.K.

Too soon to say if Fiber Camp will happen tomorrow but it doesn't look promising.  Maybe I will sit and spin alone.  Good thing to do on snowy days.

We were running out of hay so we got a little more after we finished the roof.  What a day.  And now we are back to extra feedings.

The good thing about all this precipitation being snow is the free nitrogen it brings.  It is suppose to get a little warmer at the end of the week so the grass should take off.

I love snow but I hope this one disappears as fast as the last one did.  And I hope there is not as much tree damage and loss of power.  At least the temperature is suppose to drop tonight so the snow won't be as heavy.

Happy Spring

Friday, March 22, 2013

Moving Right Along

The shed is coming along quickly in-spite of the cold and rain and wind.  Maybe because of the extra help John has been getting.

I have been cutting purlins and drilling roof panels.  I am getting more comfortable on the staging and the roof purlins.  Nice view from up there.

After helping me the other day, the chickens decided they better come up and see if John wanted their help.

I just love the shadows in this picture.  This Fiber Shed is going to be amazing!

Monday is Spring Break for Lexington schools so I am having Fiber Camp for 5 students.  That is if it doesn't snow 3"- 6".  That is a possibility in the forecast but maybe it will rain instead.  If all goes well tomorrow, we may get 1/2 of the roof on.  That would help.

The cabin's heat and water is off- waiting for warmer  weather and the shed isn't ready for campers yet, so guess we will have to have camp at the house if it is cold.  Oh well, we will get there.

I went to Polyface Farm today.  Very famous farm 25 miles from here.  Hoop houses full of baby chicks, laying hens, and pigs and piglets.  Interesting but very labor intensive.  I got tired just thinking about it.  Lucky for them, they have made a name for themselves so 200 apply for 8 apprentice positions.  

They are able to graze their cattle on pasture for all but 40 days of the year.  They only have to feed them hay for 40 days.  That would be nice.  The pastures here are greening up but still a couple of weeks to go before we won't need hay anymore.

Figured out what I need to order from Premier Fencing to improve my rotational grazing.  It is funny, the other evening I picked up the new catalogue, that just happen to coming in the mail when I told myself I NEED TO ORDER FENCING SUPPLIES, and I was overwhelmed.  This morning, first thing, I picked it up again, and it was very clear what I needed to order.  I learned a good lesson.  If you are tired after a long day of working on the farm don't pick up something that will make you have to think.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Early Spring Fever

I have been doing a lot of Spring cleaning in the pastures between rains and it isn't even officially Spring yet.

My main objective this Spring is continued pasture restoration.  I have been reading two technical books with a fair amount soil science in them.  I find it very interesting BUT a lot to retain.  Also, many different theories.  I am determined and plugging away and when the weather is right I do prep work.

  A couple of days ago when the manure pile wasn't too wet I was screening compost and spreading it thinly where I will be planting grass seed.  The first wheelbarrow load I did alone but then the chickens decided to help.  It was fun having them working along side me and after watching me do one load they knew just what to do.

I would screen the compost and dump it into small piles and they would spread it out for me.  No one could have told which area I did and which they did.  It was amazing-- and they didn't even ask for money.  Only problem was, like kids working on a project, they got bored quickly and took off.

I raked up two wheelbarrow loads of waste hay and picked up two trailer loads of branches and tossed it all along the hedgerow.  I can't wait to see how the hedgerow looks this year when everything starts leafing out.

John, had a birthday the other day and I bought him: chicken cards from his favorite local artist, a birthday card from another local artist, a wooden butter knife from yet another local artist, and for desert, some wonderful local gelato.  They say, you should know where your food comes from and some say, you should know where your wool comes from.  I say, you should know where your birthday presents come from.  Oh, and I bought him the rake; the one I used to rake up the hay.  It came from the local farmers coop but it probably originally came from China... oh well, everything in moderation.

John, has been very busy working on the Fiber Shed, but that is the subject of another blog, stay tuned.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Back to The Pre Snow World

10 inches + of snow and 2+ days without electricity and I feel like I lost a whole week or watched the outside world go by in slow motion, unable to interact with it.

 Cher seemed to really enjoy the snow.

 John was going to take the roof off the main part of the fiber shed but luckily decided to wait.
It would have all looked like this.

It didn't seem like 10 inch of snow because it was SO wet and compressed so quickly.  Two days later it was almost gone.

Now I am clean again, the refrigerator is clean again, the sheep wonder why they are no longer getting extra hay and the chickens are very glad the snow is gone (almost).

Today was in the 60s and we did take the rest of the roof off.  Moving right along.

Now, I must get back on track, and continue planning for the Spring Break Fiber Camp and the Shearing/Fiber Art event.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Some (not so) Little Birds Told Me

that it is time to  start the gardens.  

The chickens were all up in the compost near the veggie garden, today, cleaning up and getting the compost piles ready to add to the garden.  They did such a wonderful job and I didn't even have to ask. They just knew it was time to fill the beds and plant.

 Then Brown started clucking and kept it up until we all went to investigate.  This opossum was lurking on the fringes.  No one seemed to mind too much, Brown just wanted all of us to be aware.

Then it was time to get back to processing.

I guess the chickens know that we are likely to get 8 to 10 inches of snow on Wednesday and they want me to fill the beds by the steps and plant some peas and lettuce before the snow.  With compost like this, how can I resist?