Category Archives: Down on the Farm

Merry Christmas 2011

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Bee-moaning My Losses

“The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man’s precious possession.” ~ Proverbs 12:27 Our novice beekeeping efforts took a step backward today when I discovered one of our newest colonies had almost entirely drowned in the sugar syrup of their top feeder .  THOUSANDS of the little girls were lost for two reasons: a bad cover and a procrastinating owner.  <sniff> The cover was a hand-me-down non-standard type and I simply got too tired during the week to check on them.  After scooping the bodies out of the feeder, I placed an inner cover on it that had a screen mesh over the center hole to prevent further drownings. This event came on the heels of another near disaster in the same colony when a week ago I discovered that the new queen I installed two weeks earlier never emerged from her cage because all her attending bees inside the cage were dead!  Poor queenie was alive but stuck inside her cage with a mysterious pile of dead attendants blocking her way out of the queen cage.   I think next time I’ll stick to installing the queen cage candy side up.  And with … Continue reading

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Playful Baby Groundhogs

While doing laundry this weekend, I noticed some activity out on our deck. Through the sheer curtain I could see that it was the baby groundhogs frolicking about as if they were ornery kittens. I captured some of the playtime with my iPhone which had to film through a dirty door window as well as a screen door…so the video isn’t all that clear. But clear enough to get some kicks.


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Martha’s Sycamore Farms vs. Taschek’s Casa de Fallingaparta

I feel sorry for Martha.  I mean, really.  The upkeep of her New England farm simply can’t compete against our NJ farm. Oh no siree. To understand what I mean, you must first visit Martha’s photo blog of her farm from this spring: Now compare her photos of her farm with that of MY farm in the springtime.    There, there, Martha…it’s alright.  If you want to trade farm hands, I will glady oblige.  ANYTIME. [vodpod id=Video.3387796&w=425&h=350&] more about “Casa de Fallingaparta“, posted with vodpod  

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The Makings of a Lumberjack

Start ’em out young. Dress ’em up in warm Carhartts. Don’t let ’em leave without safety glasses on. Stuff their pockets with grandpa’s beef jerky. Kick ’em in the butt to stop their whining on the way out the door. Gather. Thaw. Repeat.  Keep those fires burning!

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The Art of Poop Management

Warning:  This post is not for weak stomachs or the faint of heart. I made a vow to myself that when I started blogging I would only blog with a topic that’s laying on my heart.  Know what’s laying on my heart these days?  Poop.  That’s right.  Poop.   It’s an ugly but necessary fact of life.  Every living creature does it.  Most of us humans learn at an early age how to propery deal with it.  Our youngest, however, who is almost 3 1/2 years old now, refuses to be potty trained.  We’ve been trying for a year now…with very little success.  So as I continue to change poopy diapers every day (sometimes several times a day) poop lays heavier and heavier on my heart. Potty training issues notwithstanding, we live on a farm.  Not a productive, revenue generating, working farm but rather a counter-productive, financially draining, hobby farm complete with most of your standard stock of barnyard animals.  And with that comes…POOP, of course.  Lots of it.  We’ve got horse poop, miniature donkey poop, sheep poop, goat poop, peacock poop, rabbit poop and, not the least of which, dog poop.  We used to have cat poop, too, but we learned that poopers who don’t mind property boundaries always … Continue reading

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You Made WHAT?

Today I hosted a playdate with some of the homeschooling families from my church.  The theme was “wreath-making”.   Everyone was to bring a wire hanger, a goodie to share and mud boots (as it had been rainy the day before and just a tad muddy out on the farm)…and I promised to provide Christmas music, a cozy fire, hot chocolate and an opportunity for the kids to walk our property in search of nature’s bounty for the making of our wreaths.  Four moms and eight kids (ages 2 – 7) participated…down from the usual 16-19 participants.  The kids absolutely LOVED being outside, playing with our big dopey (and rather muddy) dog, Eli, then chasing the chickens, turkeys & guinea hens as we moms started snipping evergreen branches.  After the kids got their jollies terrorizing the barnyard animals they were instucted to look high and low for natural materials with which to decorate the wreaths (berries, nuts, acorns, etc.).  To my complete surprise (because the whole chasing of the chickens thing was a tough act to follow), all the kids were rather excited to discover red holly berries, yellow holly berries, blue berries on a cedar tree, various pine cones and gum tree seeds.  … Continue reading

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Ooooh….aaaaah…Christmas lights!  On OUR house!  For the very first time since we’ve lived here!  I can hardly believe it!  I was seriously starting to think we’d be the darkest house on the street for the 10th year in a row.  I was always concerned about how somber looking our house was during the most joyous time of the year.  And poor RJ has pleaded unmercifully to DH for the last few years to hang lights on our house only to have fallen on deaf ears.  Not to mention how this very tired 250 year old house must have been feeling to never have been adorned with glimmering embellishments.  This year, all our dreams have finally come true.  Oh, it was two weeks in the making alright…with a giant aerial lift truck blocking access to our driveway for the last two days…but the lights got hung up before Christmas and that’s what matters!  DH finally decided to do what he should have done all these years…DELEGATE!  Thanks to Kyle & Bob (our company’s electricians) for finishing the job!  It looks bee-U-tiful!!! I’m sure our neighbors and kids across the street are just as thrilled to finally look out their windows and no longer be peering out … Continue reading

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