Sunday, March 30, 2008

YEAR 17.............

Today is our wedding anniversary. "Horace and Milley" (as we have lovingly called each other all these years) actually cleaned up, left the farm and celebrated our anniversary last night with dinner out with our best friends. Delicious pasta, veal, and scallops to name a few items on the menu and perfect wine at a local Italian restaurant, Anjons. Our first visit there.....not our last I'm sure. We always enjoy our time with the Kimball's and we don't get together often enough. :0)

My anniversary is always a reflective day for me. It's hard for me to believe that all of this started with a look and a grin all those years ago. And look where we are now?! The foundation of all we are and what we have accomplished. I married a wonderful man - every girls dream of a husband, father, friend and partner. I look back on my life and I can tell you truthfully, I wouldn't change a thing.

May God be with you and bless you
May you see your children's children
May you be poor in misfortunes,Rich in blessings
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward

Friday, March 28, 2008

Poor man's fertilizer???

My calendar tells me it's almost April 1. Looking outside my window tells me that Mother nature is not done with our winter season yet.

(photo's this morning by son Tom )

I recall the old timer's telling me that snow in April is considered poor man's fertilizer and we should be grateful. There will be no worries of drought. I am grateful for all of the above but...................don't you need bare ground for that "fertilizer" to land on in order for it to fertilize the soil? We still have 4 to 5 feet of snow!

The animals don't seem to mind as everyone was eager for their breakfast. The sheep are always out in the snow even though they have a cushy straw lined barn to lay in. After a large storm we will see mounds in the field. Rather strange looking when these mounds start to rise and shake off!

This fellow is "Famous Amos" our papa goat. He was watching Tom intently this morning though the fence rails, thinking that the camera looked edible so Tom snapped his photo. He is very friendly and would rather be petted than eat his breakfast.

Hope everyone enjoys the day. I'll have to stay in and keep the woodstove fired up, perhaps I'll knit a bit or play with the new baby goats........I should work on my taxes :0(

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

.....and then there were Five!

Babies that is.......five great little goat kids. Four boys and one girl! Lark, Hawk, Raven, Falcon and Crow. Each year we try come up with a theme to name our babies that has many choices. As I'm sure you've guessed, this year it's birds. :0) We significantly reduced our goat herd last year and kept just three white does. Kidding is over for this year and all went well.
This is our friend Shane who stopped by today for a visit. She's holding all five of the little rascals! It's very hard to detain them even at this size. It never ceases to amaze me how active and curious they are at three days old.
Lark and Hawk are already trying out their acrobat routine on Mom, Lace. They are so agile and seem to have rubber legs.
The last to be born Crow, arrived early yesterday morning. I could hear him bleating from the barn while I was standing on the front porch! His Mom, Ribbon, had triplets last year. I was amazed that she only had a single this year.

This is Falcon and Raven, twin bucklings. Falcon is in the front of the photo. Their fiber doesn't seem to be as curly, the curly fiber being passed on by the angora buck, as Crow's and the first set of twins, but that may change as they get older. It is definitely soft and silky.

We will spend as much time as we can with them now, letting them get to know us, playing and snuggling with them. :0) Generally, our babies love people and attention and make the transition easily when they eventually have to go to their new homes.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Surprises......


A beautiful sunrise greeted us this morning as we made our way to the barn for chores. I was thinking as I was gathering my milking equipment that this would be the first year in quite some time that we would not have Easter babies of some kind. Oh well, I really don't mind if the goats and sheep wait until the weather is warmer before babies start to arrive.
That was until I discovered these two little bundles tucked away in mound of hay all warm and snug. One of our pygora goats, Lace, gave birth to them before dawn this morning. On the left is Tylerfarm's Hawk. On the right, Tylerfarm's Lark. Such a gift on this Easter morning........spring has officially arrived and it is my absolute favorite time of year. :0)
6:40 p.m. I Discovered another set of twin goats during evening chores. Two little bucklings, Tylerfarm's Raven and Tylerfarm's Falcon. Both dark chocolate with caramel points. Their sire is a caramel colored angora. The dam is white. I'm very surprised they are so dark in color but pleased!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Despite the winter doldrums and the cabin fever we occasionally suffer from here in the Northeast this time of year, there is always something on the farm to lift our spirits and renew our faith that spring will come........

This little gal, Hope, arrived the morning 12/31/07. She was dry and had her first meal before I got to the barn at 7am. Her dam is an Angus/Jersey cross. Her sire is a Genex AI Red Angus bull. I love this little calf. :0) I couldn't be more pleased with the way she is growing.

I milk her Mom everyday and get about 30 qts. She's a nice tempered old gal and throws beautiful calves. I have her heifer from last year, a 3/4 jersey. The cow passes her disposition on to her calves. Both heifers are very friendly and we are planning to keep them both to enlarge our herd. I figure "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" so I have had this cow and a nice Hereford heifer we raised bred to the same bull. I'm hoping for two heifer calves around 12/7/08!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sunshine and deceipt.............

It's a beautiful sunny day...........finally. We've had day after day of doom and gloomy weather. Looking out makes you feel cheery and optimistic. The birds have been active at the feeders all day with quite a variety. I'm not sure how they are hanging on though.....we've had wind all day with gusts up to 50mph. Always seems to be a trade off. We've had worse weather but that wind does bite bare skin. We hustled through chores this morning and I'm sure no one will be lagging back tonight.
Our driveway is long and frozen solid (in most places). Just pulled the Fed Ex man out of a frozen crater. He wasn't a happy camper. I can attest to the fact that he has had more than enough winter. "It looked solid enough" he said. Poor man, I really felt sorry for him.
We have a wonderful friend who drives a Fed Ex truck. Those things do not even have snow tires and they travel these crazy New England roads in the winter time! I wouldn't trade jobs with him for anything.

The weatherman promised that better weather is coming. Of course, that's after the snowstorm he is predicting for the first of the week.
Happy weekending everyone!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring arriving on a flurry of snowflakes...........

It's snowing again..................spring arrives Thursday. I am trying very hard to be optimistic but it's difficult when we are getting horizontal snow! No daffodils and crocus poking up through three feet of snow.

I did see my first robin yesterday. A fat little fellow he was. Obviously HE had a good winter wherever he was. Lots of birds at the feeders this morning. Beautiful grosbeaks, nuthatch, chickadee; tufted titmice, red headed woodpeckers, several species of swallows and of course, the blue jays who squawk at everyone. We put up a new feeder with shelled peanuts in it. The birds love it. :0) The red squirrels do as well.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Doing our part........buying local

Today I attended a meeting consisting of local farmers, School Nutrition Directors for the two local districts in my area, and the Co-Creator of the Maine Harvest Lunch Program. Last year, Our Governor declared 9/26/07 as Maine Havest Lunch Day in our school system. All schools were strongly urged to serve meals to our kids using only locally produced products. They are hoping to do the same thing this year with many more schools participating. The main focus of this meeting is to provide healthier, more locally produced food into our schools at all times, not just for one day each year.
It was an informative meeting yet sad at the same time. 60 farms were invited, 6 showed up. I realize everyone is busy but sometimes things are important enough to take the time to attend. What our kids eat is that important in my book. Many of the items our kids eat for lunch travel some 2500 miles before they reach our lunch room tables. How fresh is that?

Hopefully everyone at the meeting today will be able to provide at least *some* fresh food to our school districts this year. Every little bit helps and together we CAN made a difference. We definately need to start somewhere. We have several new programs being implemented at the middle and high school this year. Several raised beds and a new greenhouse going up with gardening classes being offered. The students will raise quite a few veggies for the school as a class.

I shouldn't have been surprised to learn that the reason school food service program don't offer fresh, appealing, wholesome meals to our kids is because these programs are not funded by school districts. Can you believe it??? So many things need to be changed. Hopefully by educating people, especially our children, we can change this in the near future.


Friday, March 14, 2008


These fellows greeted me this morning with sour attitudes...............even they have had enough of winter. It started snowing about midnight and hasn't stopped yet. We really didn't need another half a foot of snow. :0( I refuse to plow it. Our long driveway is gravel/sand. It's soft under the snow; it will just make more mud. Yuck......It's warm enough so the sand/salt is melting the snow on the roadways and there is slush everywhere. It sucks you into the ditch if you aren't careful as I found out when I went to the feed store this morning. No harm done, just scared me.

I LOVE winter, snow and all that goes with it within reason. I'm not complaining just wishing for sunshine, daffodils and lambs!

Farm Help

The adult dog in this photo is Banjo. He is an American Working Farm Collie and came to live here about 7 years ago. He is my constant companion and best friend. I absolutely love this dog. He instinctively knows what to do when I need him to do it and has from the very beginning. The young pup, Dapper Dan, is an English Shepherd. He came to live with us last summer. He is now 10 months old and has been following Banjo around the farm. Today he showed us what he has learned by watching and listening.
These little creatures are pygora goats. We raise them for fiber and fun. They are normally very good at staying in but we have two boarders who have learned to escape on a regular basis. During night chores they were out and I said to Dan, "put em' in Dan". Sure enough, he rounded those little guys up and put them right back through the fence where they came out of. He then sat down and waited for me to tell him "good job". I was so proud of him! He has a wonderful personality and is a great all around family dog. Loves the farm and is learning quickly from Banjo. We lucked out again.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Welcome to our Peaceable Kingdom

Ten years ago this farm was simply a dream. Tremendous amounts of hard work, tears and I'm sure some blood somewhere have created what one of our dear friends has named our "peaceable kingdom". We are so proud of what we have accomplished as a family. My husband and I and our two sons live and work here as well as my Mom and Dad.
We raise shetland and finn sheep as well as pygora goats. We raise several vegetable gardens, a variety of meats and have a dairy cow for milk, butter, cheese and yogurt. Chickens, ducks and guinea fowl provide eggs and great tick control. Three farm dogs and several barn cats round out the list. Oh, can't forget Donkey :0)
Hope you enjoy our updates and visit often......spring is imminent and here that means lambs and kids any day. I'll post photos for sure.