Sunday, April 1, 2012

Springing forward in sunny Maine ~

How quickly the seasons change here.....we went from a little snow and chilly temps to 85 degrees and full summer weather! An entire 7 days of awesome weather -  That lasted long enough for people to really embrace spring and start seedlings, yard work and garden prep.  I am guilty as well....I raked and raked and cleaned up debris and have the garden plots done and our house is full of vegetable seedlings!

Our normally muddy March driveway is dry and smooth as Scott has been running the york rake every few days.   We are now snowless and hope to start planting a few veggies in the front garden next weekend. The first garden has been cleaned up and ready for planting.  YES!!!

Our wooly girls are now wool - less.....they had incredible wool coats and we decided to shear them as the warm weather approached.  I now have four bags of gorgeous wool to skirt and send off to the processor.  Surprisingly, Miss Ghiradelli (2nd from the left) is really not a black sheep at all but a gray sheep.  Such a lovely, bluish-gray color to her fiber.  Those are the best surprises :)  as much as I miss the Finn sheep, it's a pleasure to know that the Coopworth girls only have to be shorn once this year.  This being their first shearing - they were all very well behaved and patient with us. 

We are preparing to open our Farm Shop in April.  Weekends only....I always look forward to this time of year.  I love that little shop and it will be such a pleasure to see returning customers and new folks as well.  We have fresh eggs, yarn and rovings, jewely, and gifts available as well as a few seedlings.  We hope to have fresh greens and other veggies beginning May 1st. We will have lamb and beef cuts in the near future again as well. 
We have a new product for the shop this year - maple syrup.  Scott tapped the few maples we have here and produced some great syrup.  Sold in half pint quantities while they last :) 

For the very first time we are offering  Vegetable CSA.   We have two spots left for anyone interested.  Feel free to send me an email and I'll be happy to go over the details.  Farm fresh, all natural vegetables for 20 weeks, May through October, Prepaid at a discounted rate.

We are also going to raise pigs for fall butchering again this year.  They will be available in late October by the half or the whole.  Cut, cryovac wrapped and picked up at the farm.  This does require a contract and a deposit.  Again, send a quick email if you have an interest. 

My full time job keeps me very busy during the week but I am learning to ration my time and enjoy all of the different things I love to do.  Spring brings a renewed energy and hope of a great season. 

I haven't done well keeping up with the blog....I miss reading and hearing from all of you.  If you still follow us, A huge thank you!!  Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated.  I promise I will do better!! 

Hope to see many of you in the coming months! 

Happy farming!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Tis the season ~ Opening the "Shoppe"

The calendar tells me it's November 28th.  The thermometer tells me that it's Indian summer - the temp was 65 degrees today!  All of our snow is melting and we have mud........each year it seems Mother Nature cannot make up her mind when it comes to winter - is it or isn't it?  We are prepared....and I would really love a white Christmas :) 
The sheep and chickens are very happy to have bare ground again.  The chickens spend their days out pecking and scratching.  The sheep looking for a blade of grass that they may have missed the day before.  Keeps them busy and out of trouble. 

We had a busy post thanksgiving weekend.  We are preparing to open our "Shoppe" each weekend for the month of December.  Working full time leaves me little time for my sweet little shoppe.  I do love spending time there and am really looking forward to being open.

Yesterday we trekked through the woods tipping balsams, spruce and white pine.  We are making and selling wreaths this year.  It's been quite some time since I have made wreaths and it was so enjoyable to be in the woods.  The air was so fresh and it was so quiet.  We are offering 18" wreaths with a bow and pine cones.  The photo below is the wreath we are offering.  I'm hoping to make a few after work each night and have a nice selection for the weekend. 

Our new pullets are finally fresh eggs are available as well as beautiful, soft hand dyed yarns and roving from our sheep.  Jewelry, greeting cards, framed and matted photographs along with many other items are available in the "Shoppe".   Our hours are Saturday and Sunday from 10 - 3.  Stop in and enjoy a cup of mulled cider with us.  We would love to see you! 

Wishing you all a happy, productive week. 


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving ~

A pre-thanksgiving snowstorm coated everything with 8 inches of wet, heavy snow.  A little shoveling and plowing and playing in the snow with the puppies filled our day.
  It is beautiful as the sun rises this morning.  Having an extra couple of days off is a bonus and I'm loving behing home.  Mom and I started preparing food yesterday and the wood cookstove is roaring and ready to be cook up a storm. 

These three were thrilled to play in the snow.  In this photo they are waiting for someone to throw the next snowball! 

All of us at Tylerfarm wish you and your families and very Happy Thanksgiving filled with love, laughter and great food!  In such troubled and difficult economic times, we are very greatful for all the blessings in our lives. 


Sunday, November 13, 2011


Happy's been a beautiful fall season here in Maine.  Sunny days, temps in the 50's and 60's.  Gentle breezes and a halloween snowstorm!  6" for our area but 18 inches a half hour north of us.  So many without power in southern New England for days.  A taste of what's to come before too long :) 

As changes continue here at Tylerfarm, we are slowly rebuilding our sheep flock.  I raised Shetland and Finn sheep for many, many years here but decided when change became necessary that I would change breeds as well.  We decided on Coopworth sheep.  They are a bigger breed than what we previously had.  The biggest perk for me is that they only have to be shorn once per year.  The finns were twice per year.  I'm fortunate to be able to shear my own but once per year is more than enough.  Their fleece is looking lovely and shearing time will be very exciting here. 

Our new ladies - they are all approximately 6 months old.  From left to right:  Godiva; Ghiradelli; Skittles and Maggie Mae.  All are registered Coopworth and all were born and raised here in Maine.  They are sweet, personable gals and we are very excited at the prospect of lambs from these gals.  Our plans are to add eight more ewes over time and have a small flock of 12 breeding ewes. 

Winter preperations are well underway.  We stripped the sheep barn and added fresh straw today.  The chicken house is buttoned up and the ladies will be nice and cozy as the cold, winter wind blows.  The woodshed is nearly full and the tractor ready to run the snowblower.  We try to be as prepared for whatever mother nature throws at us.  You just never know what the weather is going to be aroudn here! 

I hope all is well with you and yours.  I look forward to catching up with you all soon :) 


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Catching up :)

Hello from sunny Maine!  It's hard for me to believe that my last post was in March and now it's August!!  I hope this finds you all well and having a wonderful summer.  We have had a couple of months with very little rain.....haying is in full swing but the hay crop isn't the greatest. Gardens are producing although struggling because of the lack of water.  Nonetheless, we are grateful for what the earth gives us :) 

Lots of changes on the farm in the last few months but we are still farming!  I am still working in the city during the day and still really like my job. I work for a fantastic company and look forward to going to work everyday.  Not having to worry about health insurance and a paycheck are blessings in themselves  :) 

I sold off my sheep herd a couple of months ago.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do but it was necessary.  I'm down to three cows but that is about to change.  I have spent the last few months with a skeleton crew of animals trying to figure out what direction my life was going to go in.   I'm finding out what I can handle and work a full time job.  As much as I love the sheep and goats, raising beef seems to be less demanding of my time.  I have a new bull coming this month and hopefully will have two new calves next spring.  I am going to to have sheep again but am still deciding on which breed and what their main purpose is going to be.  Of course the chickens are still here and the guineas are doing a great job keeping the tick population down.  Danny and Otis are still moving around what animals we have and keeping the rodents/predators at bay.  We have added a new pup to the mix.  I'll have a photo or two soon :) 

As fall approaches, I feel the need to prepare for winter.  The woodshed is not full yet so that is a priority.  The oil barrel needs to be filled.  That's extremely painful on the wallet!  A few more repairs and the barn will be ready for the animals for another winter.  We have been making fence repairs the last few weekends and ran an underground water line from the barn to the garden.  No more bucketing water to the plants - such a treat! 

The harvest will be upon us soon and tomatoes are just starting to ripen!  With only one garden this year, we won't be storing as much in the pantry as usual but what we do have will taste great in the dead of winter.  We are going to plant for fall crops this weekend and that will extend the harvest a little longer :) 

I hope your gardens are thriving and that life is good where you are.  I hope to have time to check in here more often and I'll have pictures soon :)


Saturday, March 5, 2011

A post with no pictures ~

Happy March ~  I could almost believe that spring is on it's way if it wasn't for the 15 foot snowbanks and the -15 degree temperatures we have had this past week.  Today started out rainy/snowy and by afternoon the sun was shining and it was almost 50 degrees.  I took great advantage of this weather to do barn work, haul hay and anything that I haven't had a chance to do lately.  I have a great 9 to 5 but it does shorten my time on the farm.  

This is the first year in more than 10 that I have not had spring lambs.  Certainly doesn't feel right :)  I am slowly rebuilding my sheep herd and will be having lambs here next year.  We will be having a litter of baby rabbits and I purchased a new calf today.  He's only 4 days old so he will stay with his Mama for awhile longer before I bring him home.  

I have been teaching Adult Ed classes and the Raising Chickens class we incredible.  I had 12 people...mostly men.  Everyone is really starting to embrace the concept of where their food comes from.  These folks were so into it.  They asked tons of questions and I was so inspired when the class was over.  The next class at the end of the month is an Edible Landscaping class.  Teaching is so different when the people in your class are there because they truly want to be, not because they have to be.  

I hope all is well where you are.......I do read your blogs when time permits.  I'm starting to figure out how to manage my time between the farm and work.  It's getting better all the time!  

Next post I'll show you my new toy and how it became mine.  

Until next time,

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mother nature is throwing her weight around lately ~

The only critters happy around here are the birds.  They never seem to mind when they have to brush the snow off their feeders before they can eat.  Some of us aren't so happy.  We received  another  sh*t load of snow yesterday and another storm heading our way for Saturday and then another on Tuesday.    It has been a true New England winter.  Now most of you know I really love the snow but I have spent more time in my tractor moving it than I have playing in it.  I have to snowblow paths for the sheep, it's deeper than they are!  I have yet to get to Mt Washington and enjoy a sleigh ride with my Dad.  I have got to change my ways :)

Danny seems to enjoy the snow more each year.  He's waiting for Otis to make his move so he can tackle him.  They are such fun to watch.  Like two little boys looking for mischief.

We retained a little ewe out of this group of quads last year.  Her name is Clary Berry and she is the tiniest little sheep.  She is slowly catching up with the other lambs born at the same time.  She was literally stuck in the snow.  Her legs are so tiny and she tried hopping through the snow.  One jump and she was sunk :)  She patiently stood there while I waded in to get her.  It was much easier for them to get out of the barn after plowing.

Other than a little whining going on, all is well here at the farm.  Today's brilliant sun shining on the clean snow went along way to improving my outlook for a day or two anyways :)

I start teaching my Adult Ed classes next week.  The first class is "Raising chickens in your backyard".  Who knew people would pay to take such a class? I am so excited.  I'm teaching four different classes this semester.  The people are there because they really want to be and we all have such a good time and the friendships that form are a blessing.

Wishing you all a happy weekend - see you next time.