Sunday, January 31, 2010

WindyFields Farm Low-No-Tech Experiment

We got a hand written, mailed letter from WindyFields Farm, updating us on the 30 Day Low/No Tech Project. Low tech is suiting them, and they are getting more reading and work done and are enjoying quiet evenings together without the distractions of TV, movies, e-mails, phones, textings, radio, music, etc. etc. etc. Noise, noise, noise, noise, noise....all the noise, noise, noise!!!!

And it seems that Snail Mail truly does still work....

As well as pen and paper...

HoneyBee UpDate

It is so bitterly cold outside that the bees are hard at work keeping the inside of the hives at 70 degrees. You can hear the humming of the bees loud and clear when you walk by the hives as they are beating their wings furiously to stay warm.

As spring approaches, they will work even harder to bring the temperature to near 90 degrees to start laying and hatching brood. It's going to be a rough couple of months to come, but as of right now, both hives are alive and seemingly well.

Send lots of Happy Bee thoughts our way....and to all the honeybees out there!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

BarBeQue

a success!!!! We raised nearly $900.00 today for Meals on Wheels and we all had a blast.

Thanks to all of our volunteers and donators!

See you at the Pasta Supper in April!!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Paul at Work

Kids for Sale









Mary $350 in front (with Willa)






Mozart






Puccini $100.00







Willa $300.00
Her sibling Theodore is also for sale $100.00

goatses



Look at all the happy goats! Ginger's in heat again...she's been singing longingly at Ajax since yesterday! Luckily he cares more about food that figuring out how to get through the fence to get some loving.

I just wanted to post up a picture with green grass, so when I get on the blog I can try to forget that it's winter out there.

Tried to order our new bees for this year, but it doesn't look like they are ready to sell the nucs yet. Guess we'll keep our eyes on the site and hope we don't miss the window to order.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bratty

In Memory of Bratty! You were much loved and will be much missed. We love you...and your people too!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Low Tech Monday

Low Tech Monday got off to a rough start. The meal site closed so I had the day off, but had to make a b-zillion phone calls and got a g-zillion phone calls to cope with the closing! Then I had to head off to work for a few hours. By the time things settled down to low tech, it was nearly noon.

It was rainy all day, but warm, and it was nice to sit with tea and drink while the rain puttered and the wind yowled.

We did find a wicked cool kerosene lantern we used to go out in the evening to close up chickens, instead of using a flashlight. It was fun.

We talked and read and talked some more! It's nice to be quiet and listen to the quiet. And it was really cool to eat a warm, yummy meal made entirely without using electricity.

Wood Stove Top Beef Stew
1/2 pound stew beef cubes
1 stick celery
1/2 onion
1/2 t salt
1/2 t tapioca
2 carrots
2 potatoes
1 t sugar
pepper
1/4 c tomato juice
DO NOT COOK OR BROWN BEEF. Mix all together in wood stove top safe pot with lid. Cook 4-6 hours!

YUM YUM YUM!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chicken and Beef

We finally ate our chicken from WindyFields Farm.

We were having drywall and ceiling work done on the kitchen that day, and the guys were still working when I got home. All the counters and appliances were still covered in drop clothes when I should have been stuffing the chicken. So, needless to say, the chicken didn't get into the oven as soon as I would have liked and I was afraid we might be eating at midnight if I didn't hurry. In my rush to get it stuffed and into the oven, I cooked it upside down. I couldn't understand why the breast had so many bones in it. I was beginning to think that home raised chickens were bonier than grocery store icky chickens, until I figured out what I'd done.

I think that the breast was the juiciest breast I've ever eaten. I'm seriously considering cooking all my chickens upside down from now and and just flipping them for the last few minutes to brown things up.

What a yummy chicken. We then made a chicken and bean soup out of the leftovers....don't want to waste anything off a local, farm raised chicken.

We were so happy. Next, we'll have to eat our turkey from WindyFields. A heritage Naragansett turkey...should be delicious! Well, we'll eat it when I stop hoarding it and actually cook it. I tend to be a food hoarder: anything I've set aside to get through the winter, I hate to actually use, because then it will be gone. I'm working on that problem.

Just put together a beef stew and began cooking it on the wood stove. I'll finish it up tomorrow and it'll be ready to eat for Low Tech Monday dinner!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Honeybees

There are signs of life outside of both hives today. Yay! We take it one day at a time these days.

I began to clean out the mess I made in the stalls this morning. Yuk! It's disgusting.

I just put kids back up for sale on CraigsList! With a picture of Willa and Ted when they were silly little kids. (Now they are silly big kids). I'm hoping that with spring coming and the fact that they will be ready to breed this fall will help them go this time...even though it is still winter.

Chickies in the Snow

Wilco in the Snow

BumbleChick Mornings

We just played musical stalls this morning, because I dumped an entire water bucket in the girls' usual stall. Now all nine girls are crammed into one stall instead of two and a bit confused. But I treated them with a whole lotta beet pulp and they're happy...for the time being. Guess I'll be cleaning frozen stalls when I get home from work. WHOO HOO!!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Low Tech Monday

We went low tech all day yesterday. No lights. No heat, except for the wood stove. No computers. No TV. No phone. We did leave on the well pump and hot water. There are some concessions you just don't want to make.

It's interesting how many things you use without even realizing it. I kept turning on the basement light. In fact, I was folding laundry for about TEN minutes before I realized I had turned on TWO lights I didn't really need.

I am also amazed at how many things there are that I have to look up on the internet...RIGHT NOW! And today, I can't think of one of those very important things I couldn't look up on the internet.

I put together split pea soup and left in on the stove all day so by the time Paul got home and we had all the animals fed, we had a warm dinner waiting for us. We had some nice tea. Next week, maybe we'll graduate to coffee on the wood stove. We're planning a beef stew as well. Maybe, just maybe, I'll make a bread on Sunday to have with it...

We spend a good part of the evening reading, but also spent more time than we normally would have talking...mostly about politics. But that soon turned to BeerKu's and Paul wrote a few BeerKu's AND came up with some ideas for art to go with his BeerKu's.

I managed quite a bit of work on my novel. And worked on a test for school. And I feel ahead of myself for the week!

Once I got over the internet addictions, I think the hardest thing was being in the dark after evening fell. But kerosene puts off quite a bit of light...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

MidWinter BBQ~~to benefit Meals on Wheels!!!

On January 30th at the Orange Armory (135 East Main Street) the Orange Wheeler Mealers will be putting on a MidWinter Barbeque to benefit Meals on Wheels...which serves more than 150 homebound elders in the North Quabbin--Orange/Athol area.

If you're in the area and would like to join us...the fun begins at Noon!! There will be BBQ chicken, baked beans, pasta salad and brownies and cookies for dessert. We will also have other goodies for sale at the Bake Table.

$6.00 plate for adults
$5.00 plate for seniors and children.

You can buy a chance to "grab the Ole Bag" Mystery bags of goodies! Try your luck for something special!!!

All profits will benefit Meals on Wheels which is one of the many programs under Franklin County Home Care Corp our Area Agency on Aging.

www.fchcc.org

Saturday, January 16, 2010

No Scott Brown

We still don't support Scott Brown.

Sunny Day


Today is a beautiful, sunny day. I know the chickens are loving it. They are running around the yard for the first time in weeks. The goats are happy. And I am sure the honeybees are enjoying the warmth of rays on their hives...and they'll have a chance to take a midwinter potty break as honeybees hate to defecate inside their home. I enjoyed it too, spending a good half hour with my face to the sun soaking of rays of warmth! I feel so happy today!

Our sister farm, WindyFields Farm, is doing 30 days of low tech. M has given up the computer, tv, music, phone, and etc. The rest of the family has all given up in their own small ways and they are having no tech nights with no lights or tv or computer--though L is responsible for updating the blog. They have been cooking on the wood stove each night.

We are thinking of supporting them and having Low Tech Monday where we shut off our lights and tv (well, we don't have tv, so that should be easy...but no movies), computer, stove....and etc.! Should be entertaining. It will at least make us more aware of how much power we do use and look at the small ways we can lesson our usage every day...

BTW...we STILL don't support Scott Brown.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

POLITICS


We do not endorse Scott Brown or any other politician who places an ad on our blogsite or website...unless it's Joel Salatan or Michael Pollan.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Seeds


It's January and the official growing season has begun. Well, maybe not exactly the growing season, but it's time to plan the garden. So I sat down with a cup of tea (OK, it was coffee) and took out my Fedco Catalog and placed my order.

My garden always looks so good in January! It's all covered in snow and in my head, what I am planning to put in for the summer is growing green and big and weedless...yes, January is when my garden looks its best.

I am planning to try to grow artichokes this year: tricky, as you must convince the plant it has already gone through one summer already...or it won't produce. This ought to be a big challenge for me.

Oh, and when I placed my order I made a small donation to help the fight against Monsanto! Always a good thing.

And again, today, the bees are still alive. Yes, we're taking the winter day by day...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

HoneyBee Shares

For those of you with shares in our honeybee hive, Avalon, the Winter 2010 update is hot off the press and going into the mail today...well, tomorrow since today is Sunday.

It's been an interesting project sharing the hive with ten other people. But a lot of fun along the way. I think we're going to make some changes: like doing updates on the blog and only a yearly written update with (hopefully) honey and bee products. I think if people are still interested in continuing with us, after they know how we've done these first two years....we will still open Avalon up to share! It's very cool to have so many people with a vested interest in our beekeeping.

I'll send another update up...probably in March or early April with the last update for the initial share and see who wants to resign up...and if there's any room for new sponsors! At that time, I will try to have an idea of when we'll be opening up the hive for spring cleaning if anyone would like to come and see that...we will keep you posted!

Thanks to everyone!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Beekeeping


Headed off to a BeeKeeping class today.

Floored at the price of honeybees this year! Holy Moly!!

Everybody Stay Warm!


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year Everybody!!

I just walked by the beehives and there was singing and humming coming from both of them. So both Avalon and Bree are still alive! Whoo hoo! Just keep those good thoughts and prayers and Reiki...and whatever coming: we still have a long way to go until Spring!

For those of you in our Honeybee Share, I will be working up the Autumn/Winter update for Avalon today! It's Janauary! Time to plan for 2010 BeeKeeping! Wow!

And pretty soon it'll be time to order seeds and start seeds.
And plan for baby animals (well, our sister farm is planning for their spring babies--we have enough right now)...
And then it'll be time to start seeds, then plant seeds, and then...it'll be SPRING! It's going to catch up to us really fast! And don't worry, I'll be behind!

Happy New Year Everyone~