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Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Sunday, December 31, 2023

A Year in review with twist, loss and turns!

 As per this year, I am sitting here trying to load pictures and as 2023 comes to a close, that will give me a hard time too! So let me tell you why we haven't been present on the blog this year. We came into 2023 with the first half going so good, new products for the farm, we found raising heritage turkey poults was not only going to be fun but profitable too!

We were looking forward to 7 music festivals we had lined up and we were going to have the greatest summer ever, until July 6 hit. We lost one of the most cherished human beings the earth ever held. Our beloved Joe, a young man we knew since birth. A tragic accident took him at just 37 years old. he lived his life so full with travel and adventure.

A few weeks later after Tim was having symptoms of dizzy spells and being winded, he was rushed to the hospital only to find out he had a major series of heart issues. Through weeks of tests and procedures, it led to major open-heart surgery on August 31st! A long rehab time of healing and at 4 months and a day, he returned to work for one day only to fall and break his hand! 

We did manage to get to some shows and enjoy the kids when we could. 

So, the year has left me with major foot surgery and Tim hopefully returning to work after the first of the year. 2023 set forth challenges that we took head on but all in all the farm had the most profitable season so far. We look to 2024 with hope and health for a better year. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Shower Steamer Obsessed!

I blame this on my friend Dee! She made some wonderful Shower Steamers for her daughters Baby Shower and I happened to be the winner of the basket that was filled with them. I had never heard of these before. You put them in the back of the shower and as the water slightly hits them, they release a beautiful scent of aromatherapy filled scent to start your day off.
I had to dive in and do some research. I looked at many recipes but settled on some ingredients and made it my way!

These two scents were arrived at with a little research. On top is Chamomile and Geranium. The scent pairs well together and the combination helps one to Relax.

The bottom steamer is one of my favorite scent combos, I even have a soap in this scent. It is Lemongrass and Sage. These two scents brought together help relieve stress.
In this picture, on top is Lavender and Bergamot. These two scents just makes Happiness possible while on the bottom is Peppermint and Eucalyptus so you can Breathe! I love the ferns on these. The others I used botanicals, but the ferns make these unique.

 Here is Rosemary and Peppermint on top, a scent that helps you to Focus. These to scents paired open the mind.
The last scent I loved, which just happened to be my favortie is Rose and Cedarwood. These two combined bring Tranquility as you pause in the shoer to just breath in this new obsession that I am just in love with!

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

What a Spring!

Our Spring was quite busy this year! We are certainly post Covid and things are back to normal. We had a couple of great shows, a small town Fiber Festival was so nice and we were very busy. At one point I just sat there and was so grateful to live in New England.

Connecticut Sheep and wool Festival was a very rainy day but that didn't stop people from attending. I noticed the fashions for the day was rain coats and boots. We dodged the leaky roof too!

Our Spring brought to something totally new, hatching turkey poults. These are Heritage Royal Palms. The eggs just keep coming! However the interest in them keeps coming too! They have been heading off to some great homes.
Marching in what will be my friend Jody and my last parade. We are just getting too old  to do that parade, next year it's a float or nothing!

 We added a variety of new hens to our flock. Some birds I've been wanting was Isa Browns and Salmon Faverolles, as well as Lavender Orphingtons too!
It seems like this Spring as a whirlwind, shearing, egg hunts, planting the garden, farm chores, making time for friends and family, every weekend something to do, somewhere to go and watching the kids grow. We are working on some new things to add that I am experimenting with and having a lot of fun with. As we move into summer we are looking forward to slowing down a bit!

Monday, March 27, 2023

It's Raining Eggs!

It's raining eggs here! Our chickens are in full laying mode. The nesting boxes are filled to the brim with our delicious, fresh, farm eggs. 
They are located in our farmstand, just in the fridge. We have a change jar and a QR Venmo code for easy payment. We stock it every day! Come get your colored eggs!

Sunday, February 12, 2023

It's that Maple time of year again!

It's that time of year again as we circle back around the wheel of the year, maple syrup making time! The taps have been put into the trees in the sugar bush and the buckets hung with anticipation of that wonderful, sweet maple syrup. It's like nothing you'll ever taste if you've never tasted the real thing. 
The sap has been running a plenty with the warmer days and cold nights. 
The buckets filled quickly over the past few days, and we got quite a few gallons. Tim first had 14 taps, but he is now up to 17 taps. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of maple syrup!
The new evaporator I bought Tim for Christmas. I bought it in the Spring with our tax refund and hid it in plain sight! He never asked what it was! This year we are trying propane. We did this at the Nature Center last year and it was great. He does have the option however to use it on propane or fire. It has a place on top to store the sap while it gets hot and drops slowly into the boiling sap.

 Here we go! The beginning of the sap burning season. It's a prelude to Spring, a ritual for us in sustainability. 

Monday, January 16, 2023

A Felting Challenge!

I was tasked with making a Baby Mobile for a special baby that is on the way. His Mom showed me a picture of what she wanted. Personally, I am not one for copying another artist's work, so I took on the task to give it a slightly different spin. The original piece was made with felt stuffed with fiber fill. The piece I would make would be needle felted with dyed merino wool. I would make Wool shaped beads instead of wooden ones. So, I went to work, first making a crescent moon for the center. 

It took no time to make the pieces that would make up the mobile.
Now to assemble the mobile and this is where I learned all about counterbalance. It took a while to figure out which would be the best way to assemble it. My choice was continuous strands. using dark blue to give it a nighttime feel.  Each piece added had to have a piece directly across to get a proper balance. I used an extra-long darning needle that helped to get through the thick felted wool. 
I used these jewelry eye pins to anchor the pieces. 
The finished piece! It challenged every bit of my creativity, but it came out not too bad! 
I hope the new Mom is pleased and it is just what she wanted. This will be our friends first Grandbaby and they are about to go on an incredible journey as Grandparents!

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Ending 2022 with Gratitude

As we end 2022, we do so with gratitude. This year we did suffer some loss. One was our beloved old rooster, Henry. I still find myself looking for my buddy and then sadly I'm reminded he is gone. Time took my boy but will never take the memories I have of his kind soul. 
We also lost our last and final goat, Maddie (left). She was taken by time as well, but she lived a wonderful old life bossing the alpaca boys around and that is a priceless memory I will never forget. She did not take kindly to being bossed around and would let it be known mostly with a head butt. She lived life on her terms and made no exceptions. 
As we end this year, we do it with gratitude. After the past few years and getting through Covid, this year paid us back with a record year, helping us to rebound from the previous years. As we locked the animals up this evening, we discovered 2 eggs. We haven't had eggs in 2 months. Perhaps this is what's to come in the year ahead, but we can only look with hope and remember that our gratitude for all we have in health and family is more than enough. 
All of us at Coon Hollow Farm would like to thank everyone for your support. 
We wish you all a wonderful and great New Year ahead!

Friday, December 2, 2022

The End of an Era

Sadly, our old rooster Henry passed away today ending an era of the world's sweetest rooster to ever rule a flock. He was such a kind soul but did not suffer any shenigans in his flock. He came to us almost 10 years ago with a batch of 9 chicks that a schoolteacher in NYC for her students. I don't know how they got in touch with me but somehow those chicks made their way here. We ended up with 6 roosters and 4 hens. Henry was the last of them all. I will miss him so much, he escorted me constantly, even watching over me. He kept the other roosters in line right up until yesterday. He had been slowing down and spending more time taking it easy. His best friend Helen, our blind chicken would enjoy breakfast together each morning.
So now, Barney will step up to guard the flock. He is a year and half old Barnevelder rooster, hence why we call him Barney! He's been hoping for this promotion since he became a big guy.
Our other rooster, Chester will remain the beta rooster. His disposition is just like Henry's, just a kind sweet lover of the hens everywhere. We have had a few losses this year, but losing Henry hits a bit hard. We will miss him, but Tim will not miss his crowing!

New Gift Ideas-Dryer Balls!

Give the gift of sustainability with these handmade Dryer Balls from our very own alpacas!
Each Dryer Ball s individually handcrafted through a felting process. It's a timely process that happens through time. Dryer Balls help cut down on drying time, soften your clothes, have no chemicals in them and absorb moisture. 

 Each set is $20.00 and is offered on our Etsy page. Give the gift of small business this year!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well Strutter and his girls are marked safe from the Thanksgiving table and always will be! Strutter spent his day with two nice meals and strutting about the back yard for his ladies and anyone who would tell him how handsome he is. That's all you have to tell this boy and he will display all day for you! He has no problem with being humble, not! 
Gigi prefers the bird bath water over the fresh clean water that was just filled in the coop. How we can tell this is Gigi, she has a red head. Gigi tends to be broody often and is still laying eggs which we wish she would stop! She loves to fly up on the coop and sing her turkey song.
Flossy, who has a blue head just happened to be walking by and stopped as if to pose for this picture. It was perfect. She had a hard molt but has finally recovered well and has grown in beautifully. All the turkeys displayed a lot of gratefulness today. This heritage breed is a favorite here on our farm and their antics could be watched all day if we didn't have so much to do! 

Monday, November 7, 2022

New England Fiber Festival 2022

This year's Fiber Festival did not disappoint. We did a record year and were beyond busy. I did get a small window to see some things before I was called back. This work on this rug was amazing. The use of colors, shades and layers is just amazing. I adore birch trees so this one just made me stop and stare in awwwww.
One vendor had an amazing privacy wall. 
This caught my eye in a needle felting stand. They had some great pieces but of course this was one of my favorites, mom and baby coon. 
           It's a carriage full of bunnies! These folks came by with bunch of angoras.
By the end of the show, all the animals were done...
This llama and baby cria were beyond exhausted. As we put this year's festival in the rear mirror, we thank it for once again being good to us. Until next year!


Wednesday, November 2, 2022

That's all folks, for now!

 It looks like it's the end of egg season. Our girls have all but ceased to lay eggs. we are getting about 2 a day out of 30 chickens! 
It happens this time of year as they are molting to bring in new feathers, the loss of daylight and they begin to conserve energy to deal with the cold. 
If we get a surge of eggs with this unusually warm weather, we will be sure to post that we have available eggs. The cost of eggs in the grocery store is insane these days as the feed prices have also gone up. It looks like for us, eggs will be a luxury.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Oh poor naked Flossy

Oh, poor naked Flossy is having a really rough molt. She has literally dropped every one of her feathers! She is practically naked! We have up'd her protein intake. The colder weather is setting in and she is cold and shivering. We do see the new winter feathers coming in on her wings, but it looks like a turkey was slaughtered with all the feathers scattered everywhere!
GiGi on the left, molted some weeks back and has already grown in her new winter feathers quite nicely! While poor Fossy on the right is as naked as a jay bird! If you are wondering how we tell them apart, GiGi has a red head while Flossy has a blue head.
Strutter also molted some weeks ago and his was quite quick. He has beautiful new tail feathers and is showing them off to everyone!

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Loosing that one special one


When someone says "it's just a chicken", they didn't know our sweet "Broken Girl". We lost her this week and boy there is a void in the coop. As a chick, she came to us with deformed feet but that never stopped her. When she went into her broody state, there was no reasoning with her. She was tough, protected her eggs and when she wanted something I would get the look, up and down and you could feel just what she was thinking. 
She lived a very good and old life, she was at least 8 years old and right up to the end would give me the business when collecting eggs. I'm already missing her special soul, it's just not the same without her.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Happy September and Sunflowers!

When turning the calendar to September, it ignites a whole different season, Autumn! September reminds me of sunflowers, cooler weather and a prequel to October which is my favorite month. I decided to make some batts from brown and yellow alpaca and a few accents to help. I looked at pictures of sunflowers, to get the sense of colors. 
I pulled out some Angelina, Starfire and metallic threads that I had in the perfect colors.
 (Pictured above is Starfire)
I cut up 3-4 inch pieces of shiny threads in fall colors.
(Pictured above are metallic threads)
This color was perfect to give it a coppery color.
(Pictured is Starfire on top and Angelina below)
I dyed some alpaca yellow but used some natural brown from our alpaca "Awan". The brown is a much deeper warm brown than the camera picked up.

The results of the first batt was close to what I envisioned. Blending became a challenge when I realized I broke the drive band for the carder, but to no avail, I hand worked the gear which took longer but I am not about to wait for the new one to get here. 
Pulling it off the carder was beautiful. Sadly, the camera didn't do it justice. The brown is a deeper brown and there are lots of shiny accents too. 

Onto the next batt and this one is coming out better than the first! 
Welcome to September and Sunflowers!