Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tim and his Maple Syrup Evaporator

Maple syruping season is officially off to a good start. As we can hear the ping, ping sound of sap dripping into the maple sap buckets, one sight you will see for sure is Tim sitting patiently at his homemade Maple Evaporator. Here he sits watching the sap boiling down, almost in a zen state of mind...
As I look over the blog this month, February has been a busy month, with many entries as we prepare for Spring...with baby lambs and chicks on the way, shearing day coming up, as well as construction of our new chicken coop and attached greenhouse about to get underway, Spring will keep us busy for sure...so stay posted and become a follower of the blog as we continue on our journey of "Getting Back to Basics"...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Free to a Good Home...Alpaca Manure!!!

Free to a Good Home...Alpaca Manure!!!
 Alpaca manure (alpaca poop) is a good fertilizer. It's lower in organic matter and less acidic than manure from other farm animals which results in less risk of burning plants.

It also has comparatively high levels of nitrogen and potassium which are major plant nutrients. Alpaca manure does not have to be composted and can be turned right into the garden. This time of year is perfect to add some "golden manure" to your garden.
Just bring us by a covered 55 gallon garbage can, we will fill it for you and call you when your "pot of gold" is ready...please give some manure a good home!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Drop of Sap

It's officially Maple Syrup season on the farm!!! This picture is a drop of sap suspended in air. It took me a couple of shots but I got it! We have a total of 20 buckets on various trees throughout the property. It is one of our favorite times here and we have already yielded about a gallon of syrup. We are hoping to have one of the best years yet and by the way the trees are flowing we're off to good start! We should have a lot of syrup available in the farmstand this year!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The gang having a fallen snack...

Today we took some trees down, it was trully a Laurel and Hardy act out there with Tim and I at the helm. Thank goodness my friend Joe from the Community Gardens came by and helped us as we were just getting ready to take out one of our bee hives. The gang however, enjoyed a wonderful snack of beech buds, hemlock branches and whatever else we took down. Note to self, we are not tree guys!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bees consuming the Candy Board

Update on the bees: One week later and I checked the beehive, the bees have consumed some of the candy board. When the hive was opened, the bees were at the top of the hive eating away at the newly installed candy board. The hive appears healthy and strong with a lot of bees present. We are very pleased with this and at this point would highly recommend purchasing one. Contact http://basicbeekeeping.blogspot.com/ to purchase a Candy Board or to learn more about the fascinating art of beekeeping.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Spun Alpaca-The Winter Blues

Here is a freshly spun yarn half dyed royal blue alpaca and the other half white alpaca, from my "boys". It was spun on a jumbo wheel so there is probably about 200+ yards. I will know better when I get it off the wheel and put it on the winder. It will be in the Farmstand this spring with many hand spun yarns that I am busy working on throughout the winter. I am calling this one, "The Winter Blues"...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tapping the Maple Trees

Here is Tim tapping a maple tree with his trusty drill and his safety glasses (never can too safe). In the background is an already tapped maple tree. It's one of our favorite times of year here on the farm, but it goes by so fast and the next thing we know it's spring! It will take 30 to 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. If you ever have had real syrup right out of the tree you know it's worth every drop!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Candy Boards

BeeKeeping Candy Boards--I have been doing a lot of research on how to better assure that your bees survive the winter. Food supplies can begin to be in short supply depending on the amount of bees that have survived the winter. I purchased this from a bee supplier on line. It is a flat board with sugar on it that has been boiled down to make a candy consistency. The brown things on it are something called "pollen patties". This should bring a lot of food so the bees will be good and healthy until they get to spring. I have it hanging over the sink because it is very sticky! I brought it up to the hive and put it in, checked it a short time later and the bees were all over it, telling me I was just in time because they probably were down to the last of their food supply.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Royal Eminence"

"Royal Eminence" is his name and awnry is his game! Royal keeps us on our toes here on the farm. He loves his friends and doesn't want anyone messing with them. He has been known to give us a hard time if he thinks for one moment that one of his friends is being harmed. He does however, have good dental health, here in this picture he is flossing. He picks up a piece of hay everyday and goes side to side with it to make sure his teeth are good and clean! He's a stricking Alpaca, such a good looking boy!