Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mary

Mary who now lives at Sentinel Farm kidded this afternoon.  Twin kids, a boy and a girl!!  We're hoping for pictures as soon as life settles down there on the farm!

Congratulations to the human mommy and daddies down there!

A Foot of Snow?

Is this an April Fool's joke?

I have to say, Mother Nature is having fun!!  I guess we'll have to wait and see what really happens!!  Whatever happens, we'll REALLY appreciate the spring when She finally arrives!  I'll have to take bets on who's going to be the first person to complain about mud!  New England: weather for the chronically malcontented.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011



I've been in trouble lately from many followers for not keeping up on the blog entries.  So, an update on BumbleChick Farm. 

As you can see, the seedlings are growing away, waiting for warmer weather so that they can move outside.  I have muchos grand plans for the garden this year, and am trying to rein myself in as I know I can't do it all.  And one of the most pressing issues is going to be cleaning up the damage from last fall's new well destruction.  On a good note, I will finally be able to water the garden with little guilt.  I am also planning to focus on the herb bed this year and how to get herbs in and the chickens O-U-T!! 

The most recent batch of saurkraut came out awesome and I have another batch fermenting away.  I think I may have figured it out...or figured it out enough that I am glad I did not give up!  Almost time to start the Kombucha for warmer days.  And the RUM POT!!  Yum. 

The animals are all doing well.  I believe they are hoping for spring.  We're trimming up the winter hoof growth on the goatsies and getting them ready to frolic around the yard.  And we're working on the winter fat Troy picked up over the winter with longer walks and we even went for a short jog today!  I'd like to say he's getting less treats...but I can't. 

Paul and I both lost the Peeper Bet.  The closest date to peepers peeping without going over.  Last year, they peeped on March 25th, so I gambled on the 24th!  Paul picked the 25th.  We are still waiting for the peeps to peep.  And rumors of a N'Easter are being murmured about.  Snow Day on Friday? 

The herb studies are going.  Today I bought all new notebooks to put my notes into.  Typical me, instead of doing the work, I plan how I'm going to do the work.  But it's-a going.  Having friends to be accountable to helps!  Except that we're all a bunch of slackers. 

'Real' school is keeping me busy.  Two classes piles a lot of work on me, but I can't see doing one class at a time...I'll be going forever.  Of course, I might do that anyway, I LOVE school!  I'd love to teach...but in the meantime, I'll be the student.  This week, I have an exam and a presentation to put together for Thursday...and hoping for a bit of a reprieve over the weekend before I cram back into doing more last minute work.  Go figure!! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Plants...

Planted a few more seeds this week.  Some okra (for gumbo) and some herbs: valerian, chamomile, sage, st john's wort.  We are hoping to work on the herb beds this year.  If I can figure out a way to keep the chickens O-U-T!!  Have many plans for this summer, but still waiting for spring.  It snowed on the first day of spring.  I had a bet for the peepers to start peeping today...and alas...still waiting for Spring.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

HoneyBee Hives

It's been a long, cold, wintry winter, and I must admit that I am hoping we have turned the corner into spring.  I checked the hives today, even though it's not quite as warm as I would like, I could not wait any longer.

Chalice is gone.  They were all clustered in a big ball and just didn't have enough food to make it through the last weeks of winter.  I really wish I could have gotten into to feed them all sooner, but the weather just has not cooperated.

Dionysus is alive and I hope well.  I fed them some pollen and food supplements and they were already searching it out as I closed the lid.  I put the food between the inner and outer covers.  I didn't want to break the seal on the actual hive.  But there were bees and they were looking for food.  I hope that's a good sign.

New bees should be here in May.

I must say, it's not easy keeping bees!!!

But we are happy we made it through this winter with any bees at all.  (and I shouldn't speak too hasty, it's still a long time until Dandylions!!)

Oh, and if you trust us to just keep getting better and better at keeping bees, 2011 bee sponsors are available for $30.00 ($25.00 if you are a returning Avalon Sponsor).  Please let us know by the end of May if you would like to join. Space is limited.  Sponsors will take a share of the products from our Avalon hive this year, which will be filled with fresh, new happy (OK, kinda temperamental) Russian bees in May.  Thank you, again, to everyone who has come along on the journey with us!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

kitchen pictures....


new pot rack.  


new over the sink light.  
lots of swearing has gone on over the last 24 hours!!  but we also put a new light in the hallway outside the bedroom, so we don't have a hanging light bulb there anymore...but that was a nice look...we're probably going to miss that look.

Updates....


The kitchen is coming along.  We are now putting in new lights and still longingly looking at flooring!  We think it's time since the floor we have has become a pretty serious tripping hazard!  Well...that's a pretty good excuse for us to justify getting new floors.

As you can see by a picture from yesterday morning, Winter is still hanging on!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Paul and Troy

Friday, March 4, 2011

Valerian

valeriana officinalis

Valerian is TOXIC in high doses!!
Parts used: roots
The active ingredient is water soluble, so it can be used as a tea.

Valerian has a tranquilizing effect and is good for nervous tension, headaches, and insomnia (that, I think I can attest to--add a glass of red wine to a valerian tincture...Zzzzzzz).
It has a sedative effect on the Central Nervous System, strengthens the heart (especially good for heart palpatations), lowers high blood pressure, and relieves menstrual cramps.

I made a tincture of valerian and am dropping 10 drops (and up to a teaspoon) in a cup of chamomile tea for cramps.  It seems to have helped (or maybe it was all those weird Ayurvedic herbs).  I am going to make sure I always have a valerian tincture around for headaches, pain, and cramps!  I can sleep the pain away...

(Sorry Mark, I'm not sure this is the herb you meant either!)

sauerkraut

I just tasted the sauerkraut today.  It's been four weeks and it rocks!!!  No strange mold.  Not just salty cabbage, though it does still taste salty.  Yummy sour-y taste.  It's going to be awesome!  I think we may have figured out some of the secrets.  Laura, I will bring you a taste on Monday!!

Tonight we are on a quest for a trim color to go in the kitchen.  Maybe I can get lots of painting done and start putting the kitchen back together.  Yay!  It's going to be so cool to have the kitchen done...except for the floors we are still just talking about.

Hoping for warming weather so I can get those honeybees some food!!!  Eek!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bring your sunglasses....


for the Margarita Party!!!

This is it!!!

I can't wait to put the kitchen back together and the cast iron shelves and hooks up against that color!!!  It's going to rock!!