Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sharing the bounty of summer

Sharing the bounty of summer

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Vegetable Garden

Grape Tomatoes

Cabbage & Zucchini


Rustic Colors Rudbecki

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Spring 2010

It is early March and the time is right for getting into the greenhouse. The winter long enough and the need to plant and grow tiny seeds into spring seedling. The seeding begins and the gardening season is starting to warm our winter bodies. Lifting and moving large bags of soil mixing manures and stoking yet another wood another growing season begins and we are glad for it. Our newly expanded greenhouse gives us 28 more feet of growing area and we hope it will be enough.
Our smaller hops used within the greenhouse help us to get a start on the late fall seedlings that have been dormant all winter. A little water, a lot of warmth and some TLC will get our beets, arugula, swiss chard, lettuce and kale's growing quickly.
It is always very exciting to see these seedlings emerge so quickly...hopefully it will stay warm

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Never Ending Winter of 2009

We have had snow on the ground since November of 2008 and it is deep, beautiful and the best snow conditions in years. I would like to take this time to show case a few of the special places surrounding my home with a few special friends. Rick and Karin on are 1700 vertical ski day on Pleasant Mountain. Of course Jumbo my Plotthound skis with us. This is January in the western foothills.

January Full Moon Ski at the Chamberlain Farm, Brownfield Maine. A group of roughly 8-10 die-hard adults around 50 years old have been getting together despite rain, snow or sub zero temperatures to ski and snowshoe on or around the full moon. Of course there is always some type of nip and lots of chocolate. This month we celebrated Charlin's 51st Birthday............with wine, cake and candles..........surprise !This photo perfectly captures the moonlight on our trek into the stream side cabin all set with a picture perfect fire. Doesn't get much better......I am always grateful for this time with friends on a cold winter evening.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Winter 2009 ~ The Farm

We never have enough time to really visit with all the animals on our farm but twice a day I spend 1/2 hour to 1 hour feeding. I always try to add winter treats like cracked corn, warmed beet pulp, alfalfa cubes, carrots, apples, cabbages, winter squash . I rake and scoop poop from the horse barn every other day. We only use straw for bedding so it decomposes nicely for the compost pile or garden beds. I feed 15 sheep,1 horse,4 angora rabbits, 1 goose, 15 assorted laying hens and 3 roosters !

The chores set the tone for the day. They set a certain sort of rhythm for the day.... sounds crazy but they all have their own personalities and they make the farm come alive. By the time I am done I have warmed up, gotten my early morning workout and I am now ready for the day.
They are the focal point of the property, viewed by all visitors. They continue to be an enjoyment to my family as well as visitors. The animals ask for nothing but kindness, food and shelter and I can fortunately give that to them.

The female Arab horse, Jay-Lee was a rescue 16 years ago and she has been never been denied food or shelter since coming to us. Jay-Lee is spoiled and well cared for. She loves her sheep and never kicks or bites them. They all live together in the same barn with three separate areas to settled down in for the night.

The goose's name is Kathy named after our favorite manager of our local farm store. Kathy is really a male goose ( we did not know she was really a male until she was a year old )!!!
The horned white sheep is a Merino wethered ram named after Jerry Garcia.......born on Jerry's birthday !

The brown sheep is an Icelandic ~ Columbia ~Finn wethered ram .His name is Robusto and was born on a snowy stormy night about 10 years ago.

The rooster is a Silver penciled Wynadot. Very striking and friendly.

I love to take pictures of these fiber friends of mine .......I hope you enjoy too.

It's been a while

A brief look at the 2008 gardening season.

It is now winter and my time frees up to pursue other activities. It has been a busy gardening season right into Thanksgiving! Then we decorate many area hotels and businesses for the the time I end my season of non-stop work I am thoroughly exhausted mentally ! During the holiday decorating season I have 4 Holiday shows I am involved in with many other talented artists. We live in a beautiful ski town just surroundede with creative talent

Fall beets beautiful and oh so tasty !
Burgandy Crest Celosia -a 5' speciman in the garden. Stately and eye catching

The never failing Benary's Giant -Rose Zinnia a must in any garden.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away

Yet another day of winter weather preventing any signs of spring from emerging. We will be hard pressed for a relaxed start to spring because by the time it melts we won't know if we want to plant pansies or plant summer annuals. This weather makes for some quality time in the studio, felting and getting ready for those spring fiber shows we all love and travel to. Our first Fiber event in the western foothills of Maine occurs in just 15 days on April 19th, it is the Denmark Sheepfest, located in Denmark Maine. The day is filled with a rainbow of local fiber vendors demonstrating weaving, spinning, carding, color blending, rug hooking, knitting and
crocheting. Experts on raising, keeping and caring for all fiber animals will be on site to answer all your questions and may even invite you back to their farm.
Sheep shearing is the highlight of the day with Jeff Jordan, sheep shearer, at our service making sure our sheep our properly shorn and hooves trimmed for the spring/summer season.I will be gathering & throwing (shearing term) fleeces on the skirting table to be cleaned of all winter debris and manure. From there they will be sold to the highest buyer or readied for the small fiber mill to be processed in roving or yarn. Of course, there will be yummy homemade food, vegetarian and meat soups , homemade breads and desserts. This is a gourmet lunch , not just your ordinary fare, and not to be missed ! The quality of the food matches the quality of the finished products produced by the fiber artists which enhances the success of this small fiber fair.
The photo included shows my Corriedale ewe with her twins at home after going to the 2007 Denmark Sheepfest.

Sunshine Daydream

It is snowing again in western Maine. I think it has snowed almost every day since this month began .I believe we have over 160"s of snow on the ground and it is the longest and snowiest winter that most of us can remember. This has been the winter of finding great books, spinning all the odds and ends from the leftover rovings, skiing and shoveling, shoveling, shoveling.

I look up at my horse's nose when I feed her, watch my sheep hop over the fence to get whatever treats they know I am carrying. My fence lines are non-existent! We have learned to be very creative this winter with keeping our sneaky Merino ram away from our lovely ewes who do not need to get pregnant. We have 15 mostly Merino sheep, corriedales , columbia-finn, and one romney -finn. All of our sheep are raised for fiber only ........we do not eat our sheep. I also keep angora rabbits who have beautiful fiber to mix in with my Merino wool.
We have a sheep shearer that comes to our farm once a year in April to shear our sheep. I use Matilda sheep coats on our best wool sheep. At shearing time the coats come off, go in the washer and get put away for next fall. After each sheep is shorn the wool is placed on a mess-wire wood framed table. The wool is 'skirted' or all the manure and debris is removed. It is then stuffed into a clean plastic bag , placed in the studio out of the sun and waits to be delivered to our local small fiber processing mill. Some of my wool I clean in an old fashioned, still working wringer washing machine. But with 15 or more fleeces it is too much wool scouring to do and so I leave that to the experts and I spend more time dyeing the wool. I sell all my natural dyed wool at several festivals throughout the season.
I love to use native plants that are plentiful and easy to gather. Spring plants consist of apple bark (light red), spring green ferns, St. John's~wort (yellows) and lichens that have been soaking all winter (purples-reds). Most spring colors are light yellows but it is fun to get a new fleece washed and colored before summer. My favorite natural dye book is ~A Dyer's Garden by Rita Buchanan.
Summer may never come until July this year but today while it is snowing out, with no sunshine in the forecast, we will dream about those spring flowers and those beautiful natural colors from the plants in our landscape.

'Knot'-Romney /Finn gift from fiber friend Diane Knowlen

'Knot'-Romney /Finn gift from fiber friend Diane Knowlen
The Winter of 2008

Winter of 2008

Winter of 2008
Where is the fence???