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.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

A frosty January greeting ~

Mother nature has been doing her job lately and doing it well!  Snow, snow and more snow.  This photo was from a storm we had last week.  Not only did it snow inches per hour, the winds were furious. A true Nor'Easter enveloped the farm and hurled at us for a good 16 - 18 hours.  26 inches of new snow in one storm ~ yesterday another "small" storm dumped an additional 9 inches.

The red sky does not show up well in the photo along with the huge fireball in the center.  I took this photo as the sun was rising.  I knew before the day was over we were going to be hit with another snowstorm.  Everything was so serene.........the calm before the storm never lies :)

The animals all fared well as did those of us who were housebound.  Three of us spent hours cleaning up and moving snow around.  Thankfully the temps were not brutal.  That is all about to change so I hear.

The predicted low for us on Sunday evening :  -30!  Now that's  cold.  Mind you, I love winter and think all the snow is just beautiful.  I'm not appreciative of temperatures that cold.  The heat tapes are on in the barn and the tub heaters will work overtime.  One tub I cover with plywood, the other is in the sheep barn.  With everyone huddled in that barn,  that water will not get so cold.

A busy weekend preparing the barn to keep everyone comfortable; stacking extra fire wood on the porch and keeping the woodstoves cranking.

Tom and I are car shopping today.  He knows what he wants and we have a destination in mind.  He's done awesome and will be very happy to have his own wheels again!

That's about it from here......hope you are well and staying warm.

 A friend sent me a great quote and I wanted to share it - great words of wisdom :)

"There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of LIFE...Getting back up is LIVING....."

Sunday, January 9, 2011

End of the week.........

A beautiful Sunday morning here in the North East.  Sunshine greeted us early and even the January sun gives a little warmth, especially on the south side of the barn.  I left the south end doors open this morning giving Daisy and the bunnies a little sunshine.

Sunday morning sunrise over the farm
Otis & Danny
We only have a few inches of snow.   Last weeks 50 degree days didn't help with that and the promised snow for this weekend never happened.  I'm not terrible disappointed but it would be nice to have a little more.  The dogs love the snow and plowing through the powder with their noses is one of their favorite pastime.  Otis, our little red dog, has grown into quite a fellow.  He and Danny are best buds and are ALWAYS rough housing :)  

Our calf is growing quickly. They seem to gain so much better when you let them stay with the cow.  She eats whenever she wants and that's very often!     She's got quite a personality and is getting quite social. I have a small salt lick in the feed bucket for her Mother.  I had to put it up high so the sheep wouldn't get into it.  Harriett is a nosey little thing and would love to knock  it off if she could.  She had that look like "what, I wasn't doing anything".

Our guineas are not fond of getting their feet cold.  They run to the barn in the morning, eat the corn I throw out for them and then head right back for their roost poles in the guinea house.  The sun normally keeps the snow melted in front of their door which gives them a dry place to get a drink and pick and scratch around.  The love to come in the barn and scratch but they make a mess.  They spend a lot of time in their house or on the roof because the black shingles are warm on their feet.

That's about it for this week.  Today will be spent doing everything I didn't get done yesterday :)  The barn work has been done for the week - need to work in the house.  I'm glad that last week is behind me - it was full of ups and down and I really hate riding that roller coaster.  Hopefully, this week will be quieter with less bumps in the road.    One can always hope :)  
This little snowman greets you as you enter our front door.  I am reluctant to remove him - it makes me smile every time I walk up the steps.  Even though the holidays are over, I think he will keep his place for awhile.  If your smiling at the end of your day, all will be well!  

Have a wonderful week - I will be back next weekend if nothing unexpected gets in the way.  


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year ~

A perfect day to enjoy the first day of the New Year here in the Northeast.  50 degrees and sunny.  It smelled like spring when I headed to the barn this morning.  Now that I'm working a full time job, the only time I see my animals during the day is the weekend.  I spent a leisurely morning cleaning, moving a little snow, sharing pats and scratches with the sheep and simply enjoying being there.  

We actually saw the New Year's ball drop this year.  A first in a very long time. I arrived home to a lovely buffet all laid out by none other than my great kids.  They have had this planned for awhile.  Maine shrimp; cheese & crackers, etc.  To top it off, the blender was ready to make frozen margaritas - my favorite :)  Our awesome friends and neighbors, the Kimballs arrived shortly after and we all had a great evening together as we welcomed 2011.  I hope the way it started is an indicator that it's going to a fabulous year for all of us!


Christmas morning photos - we had a wonderful holiday season.  I'm a very lucky Mom! 


Some of you remember Charlotte, our sow that we lost last year to a broken leg.  We were heartbroken.  She was as sweet as could be and gave us 13 little piglets.  I decided to keep one of her female piglets to raise.  Daisy is as sweet as her Mom was.  I let her out today to get some exercise and enjoy the sunshine.  She was a happy girl :)  

"Enjoying the sunshine"

"Daisy & Danny having a chat"
Mr. Pig should be arriving soon and hopefully we will have piglets in the spring.  It will be nice for them to be able to spend nice days outside in the "summer" pig area.

Our new calf, Harriet, changes so much in just a weeks time.  She is a beautiful chocolate brown color rather than coal black like her Mom, Hope.  She lives with her Mom and the small flock of sheep that we have.  It's apparent that she is quite comfortable with them.  One morning this past week it was very cold when I went to the barn and they were all inside.  I peaked in and there's Harriet, surround by her very own heating season.  Full fibered sheep! 
"Harriet and her furry friends enjoy the sunshine and breakfast"

That's the news from here.  Thanks for stopping in for a visit.  I'll try to get here again next saturday for an update and to check everyone's blogs.  I miss reading them like I used to :)  

Have a great week everyone~