Poblano is growing into a handsome little bull calf (he hasn't been transformed into a steer yet.) I have been working to become his friend and now that he has tasted grain, pears and cookies, he likes me considerably more. He enjoys being scratched under the chin. At first he wouldn't come up to me but if I walked through the pasture he would sneak up and follow behind me. But tonight he came running to meet me! Next, halter training.
The most exciting news is that younger daughter Cadence is home from film school in Prague! She will be working part- time editing a documentary for a nearby filmmaker, is seeking a second job, and is working on getting her husband here from Mexico --the visa process is daunting. She seems happy to be back on the farm--and immediately dove into harvesting, preserving, weeding, and bonding with the animals, She especially loves the turkeys.
The turkeys must like her, too. At least they were sure showing off for her.
In preparation for a big farm event, The Second annual Farm Fair and Cow Puja, we are doing some major purging and reorganizing in the barn. The past two weekends Rog has been cleaning the loft, which was full of tons of scrap wood, fencing, buckets, etc. Now that you can see the floor, I am thinking that with a big window, this might make a sweet studio space...But the plan is to move stuff currently stored on the ground floor up to the loft so we have covered barn space for vendors if the weather doesn't cooperate. (Please, let it be sunny!)
Being by nature last minute, of course we didn't actually start planning the Farm Fair/Puja until 5 weeks before the event - it is coming up September 30th. I pulled together a poster design and created a farm website so we can promote the event. We have a dozen awesome artist vendors lined up to sell their work. There will several local bands performing music all afternoon. The Trolley will bring people from downtown - which will be a festive way to get here and will reduce parking congestion. There will be tasty food --Chef Johnny Mango will use seasonal veggies from our farm garden. T-shirts are in the works. So much to do still - but it is going to be so much fun! There is no admission fee and you are all invited! For updated details, visit the website or the Squash Blossom Farm FB page.
Last week we noticed the solar panels were only producing about half their usual output of electricity. At first I thought it might be because they were dust-covered - we haven't had rain in weeks and being on a gravel road, everything is very dusty. So, we hosed down the solar panels, but only gained minor improvement. We called up Curt, our installer and he came right out to check on the system. There is a malfunction with inverter and it has been sent to the manufacturer to be repaired. It kind of hurts to miss out on electricity generation on these perfect sunny days, but it should be repaired and hooked up again by the end of the week.
We haven't had the time or resources to make much progress on our aquaponics system this summer, but we have been enjoying the silo pond. Remember the three goldfish we put in temporarily last spring? They must be happy, because now we have a rather large school of baby goldfish. There is also a leopard frog living in the pond and this cute toad, which I often find sitting on the faux lilypads.
A friend gave me a funky retro light globe that was hanging in bedroom of the house she recently purchased. I took it apart, inserted the workings of a solar walkway light, and set it onto a gazing ball stand. I set it next to the morning-glory-covered gate (it will look great if those morning glories ever decide to bloom!)
Here is a blurry handheld shot of it at night, lit up.
Speaking of recycled whimsy, I wanted to post a photo of the garden shed door close up - so you can see the window. It is made from a large vintage sandwich glass plate. The morning light shining through the glass is delightful.
This morning, a lot of flies had gotten into the milking parlor. I am getting very accomplished at fly-swatting. I think my successful kill rate must be over 90%. I have gotten great at spotting flies hiding in the straw on the floor, on the rim of LaFonda's feed bowl, the walls, wood trim, beams and celing. Those flies are tricky. Because there were more flies than usual, I also hunted them down in the hall approaching the stall Suddenly I noticed pencil writing on one of the beams! "Otto Kohn, Jr, " and the date--maybe 1920? The barn was built in 1914, so perhaps it was the signature of one of theAmish workmen who built the barn addition. I need to go to the history center one of these days and research this farm. I love living in this place with so many stories and secrets!
Just a few more days of milking and then I will dry LaFonda off. As much as I will appreciate freeing up that hour in the morning, I am sure going to miss our milking sessions. I think she will too- she sure seems happy when I call her to be milked! She is the most delightful bovine--very deserving of a Puja celebrating her!