Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sunshine, repairs & stocking up continues......

Hard to believe another week in August is almost behind us. We actually had 36 hours without a rain shower. Not hay making weather but it was great to see and feel the sun. We had 50 different things we wanted to accomplish before the clouds darkened again. We didn't come close to checking all the things off the list, but the sheep barns got cleaned and fresh straw laid down, the duck house and chicken houses cleaned and bedded, pigs moved to a dry area AGAIN and most of my wool has been skirted and will be delivered tomorrow :)

The pullets and three baby guineas had a chance to check out their new chicken tractor. It's not completely finished but hopefully that will happen this sunday. We recycle everything we can get our hands on. This was an awning from a medical re-build that DH did a couple of years ago. We knew we could re-use them for something. We don't have the fence up yet for their yard so they are being moved to new grass each day.

The lightening from the last two storms managed to take out both of my electric fence chargers. Fortunately the owner of our local feed store repairs them. I dropped them off and the next morning both were fixed. He advised me to install a lightening arrestor and said that should prevent this from happening again. The cows and sheep were fenced on faith overnight. They were good and all stayed where they were supposed to be. Next on the agenda is to figure out how to keep these little imps out of my hay feeder :)

Two naughty shetland ewes in the feeder ~

I separate the cream from our milk on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Milk dishes take me longer as the cream separator has many parts. I was finished chores and cleaned up by 10 a.m. It was such a beautiful morning Mom and I decided to take an hour or so and go pick blueberries. We are fortunate to have Libby & Son about 15 minutes from the house.

Rows and rows of highbush Jersey and Bluecrop blueberries as far as you can see. They also have a huge apple orchard with several different varieties. Tyler and his friend, Miles, went with us. We had our buckets weighed when we arrived and headed out. They gave us a scenic tour in a four seater golf cart and showed us where to pick. We stayed about an hour and a half. The boys really did pick more than they ate although their tongues looked like they ate a bushel of blueberries :) We had a great time.

~Sweet blueberries~

More blueberry bushes to pick from

The picking was plentiful and easy. We picked about 30 pounds of berries. We packaged most of them in quart bags for the freezer and will use them this winter. I left a large bowl in the fridge to enjoy on cereal or in yogurt. Sunday mornings we have a family breakfast after chores. This week it will be blueberry pancakes, our pork sausage, fresh eggs and Maine maple syrup. Can't wait!

Miles and Tyler at the blueberry field

We knew the good weather wouldn't last. Thunderstorms blew through here this afternoon bringing heavy rains and thunder/lightening. No serious damage here, The worst of the storm went around us. Folks to the north in Bridgton reported a water spout over the lake late this afternoon.

I was very surprised to see my poppies were still standing when I went to the barn for chores after the storm. They appear to be so tender - I really expected the rain would have knocked them all over. Was glad to see they all made it :)

Orange poppy


threecollie said...

Great Post. You folks sure are busy. I hope the lightning arrestor works for you. We have them and I think they do help, but we still lose fencers to storms. We are right on a line where lightning hits and we lost a kangaroo fencer this week.
Liz and I may go get blueberries today...yours look so tempting!

Nancy K. said...

You absolutely exhaust me!
I get so tired from just reading about all that you do in a day ~ I think I'll have to go take a nap!

Your ewes in the hay feeder are TOO cute...


Nita said...

Deb, your area looks so similar to ours, our friends have a blueberry farm down the road, and the last two years, they have had to shut it down early each week, the demand is so high. We have the Jersey's and Bluecrop too, and for a wild blueberry taste, Ivanhoe and Elizabeth. All the rain we had earlier, made for a great crop. I didn't have to go to the upick this year.

Thanks for the fleece info., I knit but don't spin, so I had no idea what the yield would be.

If you freeze peaches, you will be in heaven, we slice, add lemon juice, and sugar and freeze. I like them barely thawed out, but they retain their fresh flavor. But, you do have to use them up within a year or they get strange. But, a peach pie or cobbler can disguise that strange taste. ;)

Deb said...

thanks :) This is the first year I've had fencer problems. Hopefully we've solved the problem.
Did you pick blueberries today?

nancy k,
It just sounds like we accomplish alot! The list never gets shorter :)
I don't work off the farm like you do - my hats off to you. Not sure how you manage it all.

Over the year we have planted a few different varieties of blueberries. They are growing but slowly. We harvested a few this year but the u-pick is just too tempting!

Each fleece is so very different = it's all a guess what your yield will be until it comes back from the processer. It's a treat to process it myself from sheep to yarn as I love to spin but time just doesn't allow that right now.

I have another box of peaches on the way. I'm going to try freezing some of them. Thanks for the directions. They sound deliceous :)

kristi said...

I found your blog somehow & totally enjoyed reading everything you have..I even read back to the Everlasting Slaw which I am going to give a try:) Maine is one state I hope to get too. I spent a few days last fall in Vermont & totally fell in love with the New England area! I will be back often for your ideas & see how life is up your way...kristi

Deb said...

Welcome and thanks for leaving a comment :)
I found your blog this morning through a shetland sheep group we are both on. Congratulations on a beautiful first lamb crop. Awesome colors and markings! If you ever do get to come this way, I'd love a lamb or two :)

Please stop in often and say "HI".