Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mother nature's bounty........

..........and sweet corn! Gardening has been such a struggle for so many areas of the country this year. We have dealt with our share of issues but in spite of them all, Mother Nature never fails to provide us with wonderful, fresh vegetables. The farm stand will be full of goodness today. If our customers stay home because it's raining AGAIN, I'll be canning and freezing tomorrow :)
Life is good!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Working weather has arrived.........

It was 45 degrees this morning!! What a gorgeous day. I know I mention the weather often but so much of what we do on the farm is very often determined by what the weather is that day. The dew point is much lower and it is perfect weather for drying yarn, working in the gardens and cleaning the ewe barn.

I've had four dye pots going everyday and the photo is yesterday's yarn. I am loving the rich, beautiful colors that have come out of the pots. I get up every morning anxious to start again. I'm anxious to try hand painting a few skeins of sock yarn if I can find the time.

There is definitely a fall nip to the air and the turkeys and geese are stopping in our pastures, looking for food. This was a good size flock of turkeys - hens and half grown babies that were browsing yesterday morning. They were pretty scattered so I couldn't get all of them in the photo. The turkeys look very healthy and quite plump. Appears they have had a good year.

We have been weeding, tilling and planting fall crops. Turnips, garlic, and greens will do well here even after the frost. I hope frost holds off until October but only time will tell :)

We will harvest our first corn for the farm stand this weekend. The ears are large, kernels are well formed and tender. Tomatoes are ripening and cukes have gone crazy. The Russian mammoth sun flowers we planted are 8 feet tall or better and smiling at the world! They are so beautiful. All in all, a good year for the gardens.

~ Have a great weekend everyone ~

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A visit from Hurricane Bill...

Hurricane Bill traveled up the East coast this past weekend causing astronomically high tides, 12 to 20 foot waves and mega amounts of rain. It stayed far enough from the mainland so the winds were minor 30 miles inland where we are. Downeast they were a little stronger. The skies began to get gray on sunday afternoon with thunder and lightening preceding the rain.

When the skies opened up, torrential rains dumped water on us that accumulated in a hurry. The puddle in the photo is the result of 5 minutes worth of rain. Of course, this was at chore time and I can't remember ever being as wet as I was when I was finished. Thankfully it wasn't cold!
Not sure my muck shoes are ever going to dry out though.

Tragically, some people just can't pay attention to warnings posted by officials who know what they are talking about. On Mt. Desert Island many people visit Thunder Hole on their vacation. It is a rock formation on a cliff side where the surf pounds and the waves are fascinating on a sunny day. On sunday they were amazing and dangerous. A family of three were too close and were swept out to sea. The little girl did not survive. Several people were washed out to sea that day and fortunately no one else perished. Several broken bones and bruised bodies. See more on that story here: Acadia
The ducks thought they were on holiday....they couldn't decide which puddle they wanted to take their bath in :) We have a Mama duck setting on 12 eggs in a nest she made in the middle of my bee balm. I've gotten over being cranky about the damage to the bee balm and enjoy watching her from my kitchen window. The Indian runner ducks are very entertaining and are great slug eaters.

This is how Jinx and Jade occupy themselves during a thunderstorm :) Smart Kitties.

The last two days have been sunny again and 85 - 90 degrees. I'm struggling to can and pickle in this weather without AC. They are promising cooler temps by Wednesday evening....I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I have several heads of cabbage to process and the cucumbers are growing like crazy. We are getting red tomatoes even though blight has shown it's ugly face here and is starting to affect my plants. Many, many people lost all their potatoes and tomatoes. It's been a tough year in the Northeast for gardens and forage crops. Soon we will be pulling up all our plants in the front garden and preparing the soil to plant our garlic crop. Yum!

Thanks for stopping in for a visit. Hope it's sunny where you are!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

HH & H...........

Hazy, Hot & Humid. Traditional New England summer weather. Lord knows I'll be glad when it's gone. I love the benefits this kind of weather brings but I feel like a wrung out dish rag all the time. And sleep, what's that? I shouldn't complain but I'd love a good nights sleep :) Ok - whining over......

Day to day farming keeps us busy. Repairing fence lines, putting up new, bush hogging meadows, building repairs; typical farm chores that need to be done this time of year. Aside from my farm work I've had my dye pots going and I have dyed a size able amount of Symphony yarn, our new line of pygora/merino blend. This was a natural gray color and I'm over dying it.

I should finish that up this week and will start on the Finn yarn next. I have alot of work to do to get ready for the Common Ground Fair the end of September.
The gardens are thriving and fresh vegetables are plentiful. The corn is almost ready. Tomatoes are slow to ripen but everything else has done well. I'm hoping to can green beans and to put up everlasting coleslaw this week if nothing else comes up at the last minute such as putting in more hay. That has held me up twice now but the hay is most important. The upstairs of the barn is 3/4 full and I'm starting to feel more confident about the winter feed situation.

Although we are in a classic summer weather pattern, sure signs that fall isn't that far away are appearing. The swamp maple leaves are starting to turn their beautiful yellows/orange and red. I have had three flocks of Canadian Geese here in the past week. One landed in the pasture the other morning about 6 am. I went out with my camera to try for a few photos and enjoying the coolness of the morning. As they were relaxing before continuing on their journey, my flock of guineas came running across the pasture and scattered that entire flock of geese. It was a comical sight for sure. These large geese were hopping and flying and honking. Obviously they had never seen a gaggle of very territorial, cranky guinea hens first thing in the morning.
The geese stayed about an hour and then were on their way. They were a beautiful sight. None of the cattle or the donkey were bothered by them and they weren't bothered by the animals or of me out their amongst them with my camera.

I've also started spotting crickets around and have been told by several "old timers" that is a sure sign of change in the season. I love the fall in New England. We enjoy gorgeous foliage and beautiful temperatures.
I hope your all having a great summer!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A "cow" of a very different kind...........

There is a new cow in the Tylerfarm family. This cow, named Comet, will not come to live at the farm as we do not have the facilities to accommodate her. We can check in on her daily and even visit her should she decide to be in our neighborhood between May and October. This is a first for us and we are finding it quite exciting!


Let me introduce you to Comet - yes, your eyes are working correctly! Comet is a whale, a Fin whale to be exact. I'm actually happy I don't have to pay the feed bill on this gal. She is about 85 feet long and weighs between 50 and 70 Ton! Comet frequents Jeffreys ledge, a productive area within the Gulf of Maine. We actually got a two for one as Comet was spotted with her calf in 2007.

Comet is just one of many whales and other marine life available for adoption through the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, based in Portsmouth, NH. Comet was adopted as a gift for us by my dear friend, Helen. We can track Comets whereabouts on-line and will be notified by e-mail when she is sighted. Whale watches leave from the New England coast daily and we are hoping to be on one soon in hopes of seeing Comet :)

The Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation promotes awareness and conservation of the marine environment through education and research in New England. It's a fantastic organization. Check them out at

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A favorite......

It's that time of year.........gladiolas adorn the cook stove in my dining room. One of my absolutely favorite flowers.

Weather is perfect; we are putting up hay. Small lots at a time as saturated fields dry out. We are grateful for it any way we can get it!

~Have a great day ~

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dog days of summer on the farm......

Summer has arrived in Maine ~ it's hot and humid and a busy time of year! Our gardens demand much of our time right now, especially keeping up with the weeds. All of my fiber has been processed and returned and the dye pots are busy. We are haying when we can. Farmer's are making hay every chance they get although not often enough with the abundance of rain we have had. No chance of drought this year. These round bales we put in weigh about 1100 lbs. I'm so lucky to have a neighbor that I hay with. He has the truck and trailer and I am fortunate to have several hay contacts around the state. It's works well for both of us. We don't' have enough in for the winter yet but we are working on it. Thankfully the grass in the pastures is regrowing quickly with the heat and moisture and we aren't over stressing the new ground so far. Our lambs and calves are fat and sassy and doing well and we are grateful for that.

Summer also means winter preparation. Our hardwood grove is too wet to get at this year. We don't mind - we have a good source for wood and we will save ours until our source isn't available. Five cord was delivered and will continue to season before we stack it in the shed in the late fall. I love to store nuts for winter - it's very reassuring for me to know I don't have to worry about heat for the winter.

Our gardens are thriving and we have a great assortment of fresh vegetables for our farm stand. This photo was from 8/1. Canning has begun as green beans and broccoli need to be harvested every few days. We are re-planting greens and fall crops as well as turnip and a few other things. Cukes are ripening and tomatoes as well. I love being in the farm stand. It's been so much fun meeting our neighbors and the summer folks who spend time at the lake nearby.

This is the little petting zoo that we have at the front entrance. We have added three new Finn sheep to our flock. The ewe, Dizzy and her twin lambs, Rose and Thorn. They are as sweet as can be and a wonderful addition to the farm. They loved being the center of attention in the petting zoo this past weekend and the animal cracker treats weren't bad either :) We require that anyone wanting to pet the animals use an antibacterial hand-wash before and after. No one minds and it's much safer for our animals. Charlie the rabbit is part of the petting zoo as well as guinea Keats, baby ducks and Danny dog.

Ty and I did get to take a short trip with Steve to see the latest project he is working on for his company. This was the view on the way home. Not bad hey? The Atlantic at sunset. I could get used to that!

I hope everyone is enjoying "summer" where you are.
Welcome to the new blog readers - I'll be visiting your blogs as soon as I can. I love meeting new people and appreciate every one's comments.
Have a great day!