Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A new "beast" added to the farm!

   We have been in need of a machine to help us with the more harder things that take a toll on these aging bodies of ours. Our farm consist of mostly hills so a tractor was out for fear it would tip over. We started looking at the cost of utility quads and they were very expensive brand new so I started looking and came across one that had everything we were looking for, a wench, a plow, a hitch, racks in front and back, and most of all an automatic! We ventured up to Mass today to check this one out and met a nice fellow named Bob, who by the way shared our love for music! We made him an offer, he threw in some extra things and we were heading home with Tim's new "beast"!
   In the top picture is the quad, Tim on the quad and him heading into the woods for some fun. Our first task with it was taking a bale of straw up to the upper barn which was so nice except Tim drove while Autumn and I still hiked the trail. We have a lot of tasks that need to get done around here, but most of all seeing Tim happy with his new toy is priceless!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Making Lip Balms...

   The bees have been very busy this summer on the farm and I have managed to harvest some beeswax...  
 and I set out to make some lip balms with a recipe I found that had everything I wanted in them..
 The finished product contains: Almond oil, beeswax, honey, Vitamin E and essential oils...
The first two scents I made were Peppermint and Vanilla with Peppermint. I am busy peering at my oils and thinking of some other combo flavors like lemons, lavender and others. Please share your favorite flavors of lip balm which will give me ideas for future flavors!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lamb antics...

   Happy Fathers Day to all the great fathers out there. How time has flown by and the lambs have grown and continue to get into trouble. In the picture to the left, I am trying to take a picture of "Daisy" our white ewe and "Baby Baa" wants to know what I am doing!
I did get a nice picture of "Daisy", she is so silly. She hops down the hill, runs back up, and hops down the hill all day, why, because she can.
I cannot turn my back on them for a moment, here they have slipped into the hay storage barn and are helping themselves to some old fashioned "hay robbing"!!
They are a family unit though, always together, forever bonded...in this picture are actually 4 generations  of our "Babydoll" Sheep. They will be going to their new homes soon, which will be a sad day but the folks who will be getting them will be getting some funny little sheep...

Monday, June 11, 2012

When Nature and Farm life collide...

    On Saturday evening, one of our chickens was attacked by a raccoon. I was at work, Tim was watching the game, it was getting dark out and he let his guard down. He's knows better than this and felt really bad. We know that we have a mom raccoon up in back with a litter and she is a hungry girl.
   She went into our coop, grabbed this girl and gave her a few good injuries. We are giving her anti-biotics, cleaning the wounds and giving her a lot of TLC. She also has a ruptured air sac but that will re-absorb. I think she will be fine, just a tincture of time to heal. All her wounds are surface wounds and some loss of feathers.
    When the commotion started our two hero's, "Jesse" our shepherd mix and "Autumn" our terrier mix were both up to the coop in 3.5 seconds. Dogs are wonderful tools for thwarting such attacks and keeping wildlife at bay. These two are always on high alert and do their jobs well.
   So, Ms Raccoon has got to be watched very carefully and "Jesse" and "Autumn" are watching and working!
   We can live with wildlife, but always have to be on our toes, they have a right to this earth as we do...

Friday, June 8, 2012

Update on our hatching...

    Here is an update on our incubation of our Rhode Island Red eggs. We put 25 eggs into the incubator over the course of three days. Each was dated and numbered. The left row netted no embryos at all. We had some that formed half way and then had died in their egg at different stages of  development. I called my neighbor and he said he as well as our neighbor up the road was having the same issue. These two guys have been doing this for years and have never had issues like this. We all spoke and tried to find a common denominator. We found that we were feeding different feeds and had nothing that seemed to link our problems except the weather. The weather here in Connecticut has been rainy and the barometric pressure has been up and down.
We did however have two chicks hatch but one lived...
and she will be going to a friend who has 4 other chicks in her brooder and we will try again next week to hatch some new chicks!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pollen Trap and our first pollen harvest!

    As I learn more about beekeeping, I have been researching the benefits of bee pollen or "bee bread", so I decided to purchase a pollen trap to put under my bees..
It took them a while to learn how to get into the new entrance, but within a few hours they figured it out...

The pollen trap has a slide out tray on the side of the hive that catches the pollen they drop... 
and here is our first harvest of bee pollen, not bad for two days. The picture doesn't do it justice but there are so many different colors of pollen, it was quite a beautiful show of natural colors.