Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Little Farm Library!

Ever since I first heard about this wonderful idea, I have wanted to install a little library on the farm. For years I have collected dozens of kids' books, many about farms, animals and nature, and have been constantly searching the ReStore and the thrift stores for some kind of cabinet that could be upcycled into a weatherproof little library.

Last year, the Leadership Greater Rochester group sponsored a community-wide Mini Library project with the  Rochester Public Library.  I applied for Squash Blossom Farm to be a site but only  in-town sites were eligible.

However,  this spring I got an invitation to re-apply because the Mini Library project was being expanded County-wide. And, happily, we were selected!  In August I joined the other new mini library hosts in a painting party. We were each given a darling, well-crafted (much sturdier than my carpentry try skills would have accomplished)  library. I painted mine in our farm theme colors and when I got it home, I adorned it with corrugated metal farm animals.

Lots of books have already found new homes, especially because we have had lots of children here the past couple weeks for a birthday party, our last pizza and music afternoon of the season, and the Cow Puja & Farm Fair this past weekend.

Today, Kingsley and her mom came to pick up their weekly CSA box and Kingsley picked out a book about animal tracks.
Then two young boys arrived and perused the library.
The younger chose "The Bear With Bees in his Hair"
and his big brother  selected "Mama's Little Duckling."

Kids with books make me so happy!  I plan to downsize my own overflowing library soon and add some good adult books, too.  The Public Library will also contribute regularly to the selection.

Thanks, Rochester Public Library, for helping us accomplish this great project!  Come check out the Squash Blossom Mini Library!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday Morning in the Sanctuary of the Grateful Farmers

Another glorious morning at Squash Blossom Farm!  Join me on my morning rounds.
First, the chickens get let out of the coop and are given fresh water and breakfast.
The  baby chicks are starting to look like chickens. The cochin chicks look pretty funny right now--just starting to grow their fluffy tail feathers and leg feathers.
Speckles always runs up for special attention.

During the foraging walk yesterday,  a pair of guineas with newly hatched keets was discovered nesting in the prairie. This morning the guineas brought their brood up to the farmyard for breakfast.
 Guinea on guard.
The koi and goldfish are always eagerly waiting for breakfast.  THe large ones have become quite friendly and allow me to pet them, especially the big spotted one, which is about 18 inches long.
The catfish have really grown, some at least five-fold in size since we got them in May, and now often swim right with the koi.
The bluegills have also grown a lot, from small fry to about 6 inches in length,  but it is hard to capture them in a photo.
After their morning treat of a scoop of corn, I moved the cows to the front yard. LaFonda helped herself to one of her favorite plants, wild grapevines, growing on the fence along the way.
The greenhouse plants must be watered morning and evening. The hanging baskets look a bit scruffy in the mid -summer heat, but I am so proud of myself for keeping them alive and blooming this long. I am more of a free-range type of gardener than contained plants.
In the veggie garden, tomatoes of all shapes and colors are beginning to ripen like crazy. I love, love, love this time of year for veggies.

The cucumbers are huge and delicious!
Buttercup squash,,,
butternut squash, not to mention spaghetti, acorn, delicata, patty pan, and zucchini!
Scarlet runner beans climb by the  Unbearably Cute Garden Shed.
Rudbeckia in the granary garden.
Zinnie  happily joins me for the walk down to check out the pond.
Wildflowers, especially black-eyed-Susans, have taken root in the clay soil banks of the pond.
 So wonderful to be able to actually see the big glacial erratic rock, thanks to the pulling of weeds and  buckthorn the Nelson family tackled during the reunion.
The pond has greatly increased farm's dragonfly population.
The pink, dinner-plate-sized, hardy hibiscus  have begun to bloom along the patio fence.
Years ago I  brought home a potted Sacred Datura plant and placed by the fountain. It self-sowed some seeds along the foundation of the  house, and now we get these gorgeous blossoms every summer.
We are so blessed and grateful to  live in this beautiful, abundant little farm!