Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Monday, December 31, 2018

Reflecting on 2018...

We started 2018 with the coldest winter I could ever remember! As I reflect on 2018, it was a year that was a bit more gentler and kinder than previous years lately, so when I look at it, yes it was a good year!

Tim had his much needed right hip replaced and he feels better than ever! I have to often remind him to get off the roof, get down from the ladder or whatever crazy thing he is doing around here!

This picture symbolizes someone special who came into my life, a long mystery solved and a truth revealed. Someday I hope to tell you about this person and what he means to me but until then, know it is my greatest blessing of this year!
After 10 years we had the best beekeeping year ever! Maybe because it was the perfect Spring, Summer and Fall that helped the bees. Whatever it was we are blessed at the success of our hives!

We said goodbye to our sweet Zoe. At over 15 years old (she was a rescue so we never knew how old she was), she gave up her throne as the Princess that we always worshipped her as.

Our business was amazing! Setting records during some of our shows and thanking all who supported us!

But the biggest blessings of all are these two! The next generation of our family and our greatest treasure.
So as we close out 2018, thank you all who support us, our cherished customers, our family and friends who we take time out to enjoy and know how blessed we are to have them!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

It'll be easy you say?

Today we decided to move all of our chickens into one chicken coop. Easy you say? no I say! Our second chicken coop is in desperate need of a new roof. With the holidays, work schedules and the fact that it is dark at 4:30 everyday it has to wait! We closed down coop 2 but this girl was holding out. I had to convince her to leave!

Even with the roost we didn't think they would all be comfortable so we added some milk crates, some extra straw and it was time to convince them all to go in!

The hard part is chickens return to the roost spot they slept in the night before, so we had to convince the 10 that slept in coop 2 to go into the other coop. There was some panic moments but we got them in. It should take a couple days to get them all on board.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Holiday Cranberry Orange Pecan Butter!

It's that time of year again, to come up with a recipe for the Holiday Christmas baskets. This year I am obsessed with Cranberries! I am everything cranberries! So I looked up some recipes for Cranberry Butter and liked them but they just didn't bring the flavors I wanted so, I experimented until I got a blend I liked. Our family is coming over tomorrow for brunch and I will have them try it and tell me what they think.

Of course I made last years Cinnamon Honey Butter. 

On top is Cinnamon Honey Butter, below is Cranberry Orange Pecan Butter. Place all ingredients for both in a food processor and blend,  the recipes are as follows:

Cinnamon Honey Butter
1/2 cup butter, salted
1 Tbls Coon Hollow Farm Honey
1 tsp pure Vanilla (we make our own)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1 tsp of Vanilla

Cranberry Orange Pecan Butter
1 cup of butter, salted
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 Tbsp Coon Hollow Farm Honey
3 tsp Orange Zest
1/4 cup of chopped pecans
1 tsp of Vanilla

Friday, November 30, 2018

Oh the pain is real!

I had to do it! I had to buy store bought eggs! Oh the pain! The chickens are currently on strike. They are molting and getting their bodies ready for the Winter and have stopped laying. Sorry to all our egg customers too! This time of year the girls need to take the break and we must be patient!

This morning I made eggs with the last laid egg I had. The top one is from my girls and the bottom one is a store bought egg. You can see the difference in the color of the yolk, a brighter orange egg yolk from happy, healthy chickens versus chickens kept in cages and for the most part not even seeing the light of day. I think I will keep the rest for baking only until my girls get back to production. 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving from Coon Hollow Farm

As we stuff ourselves today and visit with family, I would like to say I am thankful for all the support of our customers and those that support what we do here. I am unwinding for the rest of the evening with a knitting project but reflecting on how thankful I am...

Sunday, November 4, 2018

New England Fiber Fest Gratitude!

Our booth this year was bursting with our regular items as well as some new ones which were met with a lot of interest. 

Chester was ready to go too! For his first show he was calm and did well with all the pictures that were taken of him, the people petting him and just looking at him too! He was relaxed and at times got laughs with his antics.

Naomi's booth looked great with her hooked rugs and supplies.

The fleece sale was the biggest I have ever seen and at the end, almost everyone was sold!

I grabbed some time to run over to the historical reenactment  and saw this. I was quite intrigued and come to find out, it was the Viking group and they were make historical fish netting!

These were so cool! Indian corn made from rug hooking techniques! What will they think of next?!

Our sweet neighbors, 2 Teeswater sheep that were so well behaved, you never knew they were there!

A vintage loom that I actually have! This has inspired me to get using it! I love the table runner they are making here!

By the end of the Fair, Chester was just done! He crashed and we had to wake him up to get him into the truck! I would like to thank Naomi, the best booth partner in the world! Thank you to her husband Aaron for helping me unpack and pack the truck. Also thank you to all who took the time to buy from us, talk to us and for the booth neighbors who we share this weekend with and are always so kind! I have so much gratitude in my heart for this most successful weekend ever!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

And just like that, they are gone...

And just like that, they are gone! I was noticing yellow jackets coming out of one of my hives a couple of days ago and I knew what that meant, something has happened. I blocked the entrance until I could get in and take a look. I got out of work today and rushed right home, suited up and went up to take a look. As I suspected there was an issue, the girls in Hive 3 had absconded. There was not a honeybee to be seen, not even a dead one! They must have been under such stress from yellow jackets to just leave like that.

All the way down to the slatted bottom board, not even a dead honeybee!

I then noticed that Hive 2 had the same thing going on there. I opened it, not a bee to be seen. This was very discouraging. 

Lots of wax was harvested as well as...

lots and lots of capped honey too! Hive 1 is thriving and doing quite well. It looks like we head into the winter with just one living hive. So the big question lately is, do we have honey and the answer is: YES!!! We will have various sizes available for purchase is a few days.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Getting ready!

It's just 2 weeks until the New England Fiber Festival and I am working during every free moment I have! This time of year is crazy busy with birthdays, parties, events and work! This is my production line for some new kits I am making. I have quite a bit of soap so I made some new kits.

These will be added to our kit line. Make your own felted soap. We will have a variety of scents available. These will make great gifts for that someone who likes to do it their self's! Each kit includes everything you will need along with complete instructions. Each kit is just $8!

Yarns are on the wheels too! My knee is feeling better so I need to get back on the saddle seat and get spinning!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Getting ready for the weather ahead...

A much needed day off gave me time to get caught up around here. Some knee issues have side lined me and put me behind on much needed things around here.
A Drone looked very scared as he hid away from the worker girls. As I inspected today there were still some lucky boys left in the hives, but most have been evicted from their hives.

I fired up the smoker but with a misty day in Connecticut, it was hard to keep it going.

All the Queen reducers were removed...

As well as the Supers. 

The entrance reducers were changed to the smaller opening. A lot of pressure is on the hives because of yellow jackets. This will help the Guard bees do their jobs with a lot less pressure.

These two had a stand off and both lost

This year we are trying something new, a Hive body and a Medium. So all the girls are still bringing in some food. The best I can hope is for them to do their best to get ready for the long winter ahead.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Happy Autumn and gettin' naked!

Autumn is finally upon us and I am so happy! Summer in Connecticut was the second hottest on record and we have had enough! The animals were stressed to their breaking points and trying to keep everyone cool was a challenge. So before the colder weather sets in, it was time to get the angora goats sheared.

"Maddy" was unfazed and was more than happy to accept a tasty treat of hay...

while "Pru" was a bit perturbed at the very idea of being stripped naked! As of this moment she is not talking to anyone!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Season of the Drones...

This time of year is not the best time to be a Drone! Drones are the males of the Honeybee species. They lack a stinger, don't do any work in the hive and their whole purpose is breeding with a Queen if they are lucky, and most of them are not. They are taken care of and fed by the workers but being a slacker in life usually catches up with you, and for them it does in the form of death!
This time of year, the bees sense the change in weather, the lessening of sunlight and food foraging begins to decrease. With these factors it's time to eliminate the things that are not needed. Drones are killed by the workers or their wings are chewed off, they are dragged out of the hive and dropped to their deaths. The guard bees guard the entrance not letting them back in. So while it's a good life while it last, it ends in a tragic way for the Drones.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Happy September, let the Harvest begin!

As we come to the end of summer, it's time to begin harvesting everything you've worked so hard to grow this year. Many of you garden growers out there have a never ending amount of tomatoes! I decided to make stewed tomatoes and can them for the winter. This is wonderful to keep on hand for those long days when coming home and making dinner is a dreadful thought, but then you remember that you canned those wonderful tomatoes!

I used many different types of tomatoes including these plum tomatoes. To slip the skins quicker throw them in a hot bath of simmering water for about 3 minutes...

the skins just slide off!

I don't have a recipe but I will list the this and that's below and how I make these incredible stewed tomatoes that is delicious over pasta!

I netted 7 quarts of stewed tomatoes! These may also make some gifts or a perfect hostess gift!

Canned Stewed Tomatoes
Tomatoes prepped and skins slipped
Peppers, red, yellow and green cut into pieces
Onions-cut into pieces
Garlic-cut into pieces
Celery-cut into pieces
Garlic Salt
Lemon Juice
Canning jars, sterilized

Cut everything and set aside. In a large bowl cut and core your tomatoes. Cut and prepare all other ingredients. Add them to a big pot. Simmer for no more than 10 minutes. Taste test and the consistency you may want. I don't measure anything, it's based on this and that until it is perfect! Let cool slightly, then spoon into jars. Clean the brims. Put your tops on and place in a hot water bath. Enjoy!!!