Monday, April 18, 2011

For Sale

Yes, folks, our lovely beyond-organic farm is for sale. As difficult as it is to say goodbye, we are all looking forward to moving somewhere to reduce Jim's commute. Please spread the word if anyone you know is interested in a homesteading property in Maryland.

Thanks for sharing the adventure!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thank you, Sir; may I have another?

Getting crushed by yet another winter storm. We have more than 12 additional inches on the ground now, and the snow is up to my crotch. Granted, I'm not all that tall at 5'3.5", but still!

Farm dogs are now in the mud room. Piggies are now in the barn. High tunnel dug out yet again, but without collapsing this time (hopefully!). Jim went out last night to clear it off, and I was out again this morning at around 5:30 am. By that point we'd already had 10" of snow.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Blasted by yet another storm!

More than 24" this time around and yet another high tunnel collapse. Thank you Jim for digging it out again! The animals are all faring well--gotta love the hardy heritage breeds! And I'm mighty glad to not be milking in this weather, though the kiddos are definitely missing the milk.

Frosty Moo:

Frosty piggies:

Collapsed tunnel from the inside:

Digging out:

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Facebook stole my soul.

Well, not really, but that's where I've been hanging out during the limited amount of computer time I have. The great thing about fb is that I can chat while baking or doing other housework, and the short little bursts lend themselves more to my lifestyle than blogging these days, it seems.

I want to thank all of you who have reached out to check in--I'm really humbled by the care and consideration.

I haven't lost interest in the farm blog, but we've had a difficult year here, and I find it hard to be inspired to write about the farm when life itself is in limbo. Jim quite understandably grew tired of his hellish work commute, and we've gone back and forth over the past six months or so about whether we should sell the farm, whether he should quit his job, and any number of other potential solutions. We've decided to stay put for a while longer and find ways to feel less tied down by the farm, so we're in the market for a good farm sitter if you know any.

Of course, the fact that we've all gotten into skiing/ snowboarding this winter has helped make our decision easier as well. Being 15 minutes from the slopes has its appeal! We just need to free ourselves more for summer beach trips that will help feed our souls.

We've gotten lots of snow this winter season, which has been wonderful, but unfortunately brought the collapse of one of our high tunnels and the loss of a litter of piglets. As with everything in life, there are ups and downs.

I'll post more pictures and updates soon, but for now, a teaser photo of some of the animals enjoying the snowy day.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My New Stove!

Yay! I'm so pleased! It's obviously not hooked up yet—hopefully it will be by October. We still need to build a hearth, pipe it, and possibly plumb it as well, as it has a rear water reservoir for heating water.

Isn't it pretty? Makes my farmhouse kitchen feel complete, and I can't wait to cook on it this fall and winter.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Down Side of Farming

We finally had 5 turkey poults hatch out yesterday only to lose 4 of them to a damn raccoon last night. I was so psyched to post about the success today and even got some photos last evening. There was no sign of the rest of the babies, but there was the unmistakable sign of coon scat. Grrrrrrrr.

We lost our first goat this spring as well. Poor little Cocoa, on top of the truck cap in the photo, was down one morning when Jim went out to feed everyone. Her pupils were fixed and dilated and she was having convulsions. I was positive she'd been poisoned somehow, because it was so sudden, but I just couldn't figure out how. I scoured the area they'd been and couldn't find any sign of diarrhea or vomiting, which would've been likely with some of the known problem plants. But nothing, and this was fast.

The other day, I think I found my answer in the potato patch. Loco jimsonweed. I could be wrong, but the symptoms certainly fit. Goats are usually really good about not eating things that are poisonous to them as long as they have plenty of other browse and grass. I'm not sure how or why she ate it, as they'd been rotated to a fresh paddock. It was young when she ate it, but she was tiny, so it wouldn't have taken much.

I don't think I would have identified it without the telltale flower, and the plants in the pasture never mature enough to flower before being mowed. I knew we had some horse nettle and some other nightshade, which is what I thought this was, I'm sure, but there's a distinct difference in the flower. After doing some research, I found that supposedly the drought we had a couple years back brought this plant back into prominence regionally. One more weed id under my belt, but at what a cost.

At any rate, losing animals is the down side of farming, and I really hate this part.