Fall Farm Fun

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Now that it’s October (my favorite) I have some idea’s for twenty days of Fall fun.

 

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Take a hike. Get out into the woods and enjoy the fall before it’s over. It’s the perfect time to take advantage. Not too hot, not too cold.

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Visit a farm or cider mill. Go and get your yearly supply of pumpkins, mums, guards and cider before it’s too late!

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Decorate for Halloween. You can’t get into the spirit if you don’t.

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Paint pumpkins. The biggest new thing is to buy pumpkins and paint them. Look in any magazine or website that might have ideas!

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Photo shoot. There’s no better time on a farm to take a photo shoot. Get your yearly photos done outside this time.

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Watch Hallmark Channel. I would suggest doing this way more than once, but I swear the fall movies will put you in the mood.

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Go to a corn maze. Whether you like them easy in and out or all night long, a corn maze is a must.

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Make wreaths. Get to the craft store and fill up on spooky supplies to make your wreaths.

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Take a baking day. From broom cookies, to spider cupcakes, from apple pie to caramel apples, fall is the best time to try out your baking skills.

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Go apple picking. Don’t buy your apples at a store. It is way more seasonal to do it yourself.

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Make your costume. Whether your trick or treating, going to a party, or giving out candy, a homemade costume will always be terrifying.

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Watch horror movies. Try as scary as you can take it.

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Make hot cider and start The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It’s traditional, relaxing, yet spooky.

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Go horse back riding. Whether you go in the fields or in the woods, horse back riding is a perfect day to enjoy fall outside.

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Plan on going to a festival. Look around for the best fairs in your area and go check them out.

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Go pumpkin picking. Make sure you get out in the fields and get your own pumpkin this year.

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Carve your pumpkin. Make it scary or funny or whatever you want.

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Read Halloween picture books. It doesn’t matter how old you are!

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Watch Hocus Pocus. It is not an option to skip this classic.

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Halloween! Enjoy all the hard work you’ve put in this year. Just remember, you’re never too old to trick or treat!

 

 

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Basil Hibiscus Sugar Scrub

We have an abundance of basil growing in the garden and it seems that we won’t be eating it all, so I decided to come up with a new recipe for my sugar scrubs: Basil Hibiscus.

To use simply apply in the shower on your arms and legs, then wash off. It will make your skin extremely soft.

Directions on how to make it are below:

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You will need:

1 1/4 Cup White Sugar

1 Handful Basil

2 TBSP Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil (liquid)

1 TBSP Hibiscus Tea

1 TSP Aloe Vera

6 Drops Essential Oil

 

Step 1 

Grind basil until wet

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Step 2

In a large bowl combine sugar, coconut oil and aloe veraIMG_6718.jpg

Step 3

Add basil to sugar mixture and stir until well distributed

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Step 4 

Grind tea

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Step 5

Add tea to sugar mixture and stir in

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Step 6

Add olive oil and stir in

Step 7

Add essential oil and stir in (I used Bittersweet but anything works)

Step 8

Transfer to a container with a lidIMG_6726.jpg

Please let me know if you used this and how you liked it!

 

Mid summer

I have been spending lots of time weeding lately. They are overtaking the yard. The garden is not letting them win, though. SAM_0284.JPG

Here is a picture of the fields before the sun came.

The garden this year is absolutely enormous. One of the zucchini plants is almost as tall as I am. As for the amount of produce, it is so many we dont have any place for them. We have started giving them to neighbors and guests and anyone we can.SAM_0376.JPG

SAM_0373.JPGSAM_0375.JPGThe size of the zucchinis is even better. They are still as big as most of my arm.

It has been incredibly hot here lately and I feel bad for the sheep. Our sheerer still hasn’t been able to come.SAM_0305.JPG

Here is our oldest girl.

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Here is the flower garden, after the flowers bloomed. We only have a few with petals now.

We have been making some great recipes with all the food from the garden. I might post some another day.

I am already giddy about fall coming. I can’t wait for the pumpkins and apples and such. It is such a great time of year.

The town looks beautiful right now. All the houses on main street are set on bright green yards covered with plants and sun. So many people are out walking, more than usual.

Not much has been happening on the farm. Just checking in.

Have a nice evening!

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The Vegetables Arrived

I haven’t written in so long. Sorry about that. I had a very busy end of June and then went on vacation for the fourth of July. I hope everybody had a good time.

It was nice weather here but the water was still cold from the spring that was uncomfortably chilly.

It is gray and cloudy here today and we had some rain. Here is a photo of the farm: SAM_0372.JPG

Our garden is getting so much bigger. The zucchini plants are huge! So much larger than any I’ve ever seen before. We used the sheep’s used bedding in the soil this year and it seems to be working great, since we usually get small crops.

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We have so many zucchinis and they are so big that we have been baking zucchini bread and muffins all afternoon and will be eating stuffed zucchini for dinner. Here are some photos of our first picking. I put my hand in for size comparison.

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When we were done baking we ended up with two sheets of muffins and to breads and we still have three zucchinis left after dinner.SAM_0379.JPGSAM_0380.JPGSAM_0381.JPGSAM_0382.JPG

It is great that we finally can use the food from the gardens for eating our meals. We have tomatoes, peppers, squashes and more, along with snap peas that Bea picks to eat every morning.

The flowers are all out of bloom and usually thats okay because everything turns green, but this year there are so many gypsy moths that Connecticut’s trees are almost bare.

The animals are doing well and the puppy is fitting in better with the older dogs. It is her three month birthday today and I can’t believe how much it shows. She is so much bigger than when we got her.

Here is Gladys out for her morning watch:

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Wilbur had been attacked by some unknown animal one night and we found him all bloody and missing almost all of his horn the next morning.

We washed him up and sprayed some fly repellent to stop the little bugs from laying eggs in his wounds. He is doing much better now and although his horn is still almost invisible, he seems back to normal.

We also had a hail storm recently. Hail storms are fairly common around here, but never have I seen balls of ice this big falling from the sky. It was very scary. Especially for the garden. But all the little plants survived and are now growing to be uncommonly oversized. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

 

The vegetables are on their way

We had a big storm last night that had been building up all day. The sky was gray and heavy and all the trees leaves turned silver.

Around dinner the sky unleashed a down pour, followed by thunder and lightning. This is nothing, really, for summer, but it’s the first summer storm of the season and I still have to get used to their power.

Good thing is that all the storms will be helping with the garden. We didn’t plant until very late this year because of the weather conditions and the vegetables are just starting to come around now.

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Our garden isn’t very big this year, just tomatoes, squashes, basil, beans, peppers and a few other things. We were going to do more but the cold spring ruined most of our plans.

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The sheep bedding let compost for a while makes great fertilizer for the plants. Years ago when we had rabbits we used theirs which worked much better, but now we’ll just have to use what we have.

Well, I’ll look forward to eating those fresh vegetables from the garden that always seem to make a dish much better since you grew them yourself.

Here are some photos:SAM_0344.JPGSAM_0343.JPGSAM_0342.JPGSAM_0341.JPG

Thistles all over

Baby thistles

Baby thistles

Two years ago we got a strange, little, spiky plant in one of our pastures. At first we didn’t think anything of it, but as it started to grow we took notice.

It had hundreds of extremely spiky needles about one-three inches long. It was only one plant growing up out of the ground like a tree.

The plant grew to be taller than me and quite interesting. We told our lawn-jockeys not to cut it down since it looked kind of pretty.

Eventually dozens and dozens of bright purple flowers bloomed on the plant and it looked beautiful.

Then we noticed that hundreds of honeybees and a few small birds were all pollinating on it, but that our sheep wouldn’t even go near it.

That’s when I realized that this thistle plant was a marvel of evolution. It is designed so scary at large that herbivores (or in this case predators) wouldn’t be able to eat it without hurting themselves. On the other hand the sharp needles gave just enough room for small pollinators to get to the flowers.

I looked up this plant in one of my flora books, and saw it was similar to a milk thistle, although the leaves were slightly different.

By the early fall the flowers had turned to what looked like dandelion fluff and over a few days started to float all around the yard.

The next summer the marvel of evolution came back. What we realized was what that pretty dandelion fluff actually was was seeds. Hundreds and hundreds of seeds floating all over the property.

Our big thistle came back, but so did over a hundred others, all spanning from the pasture to the mailbox at the road, and most of them growing to be human hight.

The sheep had a tough summer of avoiding almost all areas of the field that was now infested with these harmful plants. And harmful they were (I got a couple needles stuck in my feet over a while).

Like the last summer, the plants gave out seeds in extraordinary amounts (another marvel of evolution), but this time the plant was timed by about a hundred. Our yard was overflowing with white fluff. It was everywhere I looked, finding a home for next year.

Now that it’s almost summer, our thistles are starting to come back. I wonder how many blooms we’ll get out of a hundred plant’s seeds.

Fathers Day

Good morning and happy Fathers Day! It’s raining today and somewhat cold for June, although with the weather we’ve had all spring I’m not surprised.

We’re serving waffles for nine family members in a little while and I’m thinking how nice it would be if we could put some fresh berries from our garden on top. Unfortunately we don’t have any edibles yet.

The veggies are growing fast, though I think we have a bunny who is eating here breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The birds have been spending a lot of time in the garden, also, but they’re mostly after the worms.

Homer is doing a bit better with Beatrice, who seems to be bored with all the gray weather and the fact that the excitement of everything new is over.

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The sheep will be getting hot soon, and we need to call the sheerer. I have been wanting to learn how but haven’t found the time. Our sheerer is so nice and talented, anyway, that we like having him around.

Problem is that he is so busy during this time of year, because of the other sheep that need sheering and haying season, that we don’t tend to get him over here until the scorching hot summer and the sheep are already upset.

For Wilbur and Calliope (the Kitadens) this will be their first sheer yet. They don’t have wool like most other sheep, since their breed is a meat breed and isn’t used for wool. But we don’t kill our animals, so we’re just going to try and get use out of the wool.

Okay, just an update. Hope Fathers Day is good!

 

Here are some photos of the past sheering days-

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Puppy love

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Five days ago we got a new puppy! We had adopted one over christmastime who had come to us sick and passed away a fewdays later. It was horrible on all of us and we were completely depressed for some time.

The only thing we knew would make us feel better was another puppy. Problem was the sickness our first puppy had  was extremely contagious and deadly and was now all over our house.

Our older dogs were vaccinated, but a little puppy wouldn’t be. We bleached every inch of the house and property that the puppy had been in and even threw out some furniture that she had been on, but still didn’t want to take any risks.

Everyone says it is a one to two month waiting period inside for the sickness to wear away, but six to seven months outside.

We considered getting an older dog who we wouldn’t have to worry about, but felt a puppy was the only thing that would make us feel better. We considered renting a different house to live in until the puppy was fully vaccinated, which seems a bit crazy, although we were really desperate.

We ended up waiting all the way through the winter and spring and just adopted our new puppy on June 12th. She is an adorable beagle from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and is now about nine weeks old.

We were going to rescue again, but were just too nervous about having another puppy on a transport or from an unknown background.

Beatrice is energetic, more than I can sometimes handle, and seems a little bit feisty. She tends to nip and growl when she gets excited, which people say is to be expected. Expected or not the bite marks don’t feel good.

The problem is mostly Homer, our collie/lab. He has always been very touchy and sensitive, but now he is so much worse.

He hasn’t eaten in days and is terrified of the puppy in every way possible. He can barely be in the same room with her, much less tolerate the way she enjoys chasing him.

Gladys isn’t so bad about it. She spends most of her time outside, anyway, now that most of the rain has stopped, so Beatrice doesn’t get many chances to bother her.

Gladys has already been through this before, too. Yeah, we dog-sit often and have even had some lost dogs come to stay at our property, but Homer has never had to permanently live with any dog besides Gladys. On top of it all he has never done well with change.

For now we will just give him extra attention and keep Beatrice as far away from him as possible. Meanwhile we will enjoy all the adorableness of the little puppy and try to keep her sleeping until at least sun-up.

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