Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July's "Farm Friend" of the month

This farm friend is a bit different this month. I was recently asked why our farm was named Coon Hollow Farm, and am often asked that same question.  The answer is the old tree that sits up on a hill on the farm. Sadly it was a victim of hurricane "Sandy" a few years back. Back when we rehabilitated raccoons on the property, this tree was often the home of many mama raccoons who would raise their young in this tree. It taught us how they fed them, interacted with them and gave us a wonderful view of their natural world. We called this tree "Coon Hollow", so when we became a farm it was easy to name it after this mighty tree that served so well.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What do honeybees do when they are hot?

What do honeybees do when they get hot you asked? They "beard"!! Some will actually come out of the hive and try to cool down. We have had two days of rain and extreme humid conditions here and even the honeybees are hot!!!

This is Kisha's hive and they were trying to get cool as well. All the hives were doing this this evening. My goodness is it hot!!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Permaculture you ask...

 Permaculture, what is it? It's all the rage lately, but most don't even know what it is! The definition is also broad because it encompasses a lot of things. So I suggest if you are wondering, look it up and read the many interpretations. We installed ours with the advice of a very wise young man named Mike who is the Permaculture guru. It was with this advice, we went forward because of our chickens and erosion.
 In the top picture, we have a small hill in our backyard. We found fencing and poles that we had about. This area was mostly prepared by the chickens. The area to the right is their "swale". To the right, this is were they will take their dirt baths and allow rain water to settle without running down the hill and eroding.
The plants are installed to create a barrier for the erosion. Many different plants that have a purpose for use...
Anise Hyssop and Apple Mint for teas...

 Feverfew and Comfrey for healing...

Blueberry bushes, three total, for what else? Blueberry Cobbler, yummmmm...

 and Peppermint. All the plants also have great root systems to hold back the soil. This will help the area become established. We will also be able to dump the straw from the chicken coop with in the area to create a mulch bed. The plants will help the honeybees and other pollinators. This acts as a multi purpose barrier with many use able plants with benefits!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Have you ever had that feeling???

Have you ever had the feeling someone was following you? Well around here it is about 25 someone's! Tim was bringing a new bag of chicken feed up to the greenhouse, and he was like the pied piper! This happens a lot around here!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Making Comfrey Salve

One of my favorite plants to see coming up in the Spring is Comfrey! By the time winter is over I am about out of it and everyone else that swears by it too! This picture is what Comfrey looks like after a rain shower!
This year one plant netted the biggest leaves I have ever seen! Mind you I have Comfrey planted all over our property! The chickens especially love it so there is some out of their way behind the fenced garden. To make the salve, you have to pick and rinse off the leaves and allow to dry for a day.
This recipe was gifted to me by my friend Raye, but I have tweaked it here and there over the years. Olive oil is added and heated for some time and then allowed to sit to draw out the healing properties. I usually let sit up to two days.

The Comfrey is then strained, in this case with my honey strainer! The Comfrey is not waisted, it is placed in our compost bin.

After the tincture is drained, our bees own beeswax is added slowly until I get the proper consistency, adding some other ingredients as well.

When the salve is perfect, it is added to tin containers, tops added...

Labels are added and they are ready for healing!!!