Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Week Work

Life is running at full throttle these days! May has pretty much whizzed by, way too fast. I can't wait for those promised lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Since I can't seem to fit in regular blog posts, here are a few highlights from the past week.
The Dexter cows are becoming much more friendly. Lariat, the mom, allowed me to brush her--she is shedding and itchy and has been rubbing against the fence posts, so I know she actually enjoyed it. Lasso, the steer calf, now approaches me curiously and has let me pet his nose a few times.

Cadence cut down many armloads of dried pampas grass and hauled it into the barn for future use as animal bedding.
Sara ended her restaurant prep chef job. She is focusing on finishing her documentary film project and is thinking about doing some small town Farmers Markets.

Our Rochester Farmers Market stand has sold out every weekend. Seems like however much bread we make, it is gone by 10 a.m. We are definitely at capacity for what we can bake in our wood-fired clay oven and our inside oven, so Rog wants to build a bigger brick oven soon.
This weekend we found some wonderful fire-bricks for the new oven (through Craigslist) which Rog and Sara hauled home from Wisconsin in our little trailer. The bricks are so pretty, but will be used to create the interior arch of the oven, so you won't be able to see them.

Cadence has been testing out making various kinds of pasta to sell at the Farmer's market. We have enjoyed being forced to devour her tasty experiments.
On Tuesday, I spent 5 hours mowing the entire estate and afterward it was spectacular-the farm looked like a beautiful park. Then, two days later, dandelions sent up their seedheads everywhere and the estate was a sea of downy dandelion puffs. We don't want to use chemicals to control them--but Rog had a great brainstorm idea: to shop-vac them. It was a clever thought, but turned out to be not very practical for a 5-acre yard.
The ducks and geese are doing their part to control dandelions by feasting on them, but unfortunately they don't seem to like the seeds.
Sunday we filled up one of the kiddie pools and let the goslings swim for the first time. They had a splashing good pool party.
The granary continues to gradually be transformed into a rustic cabin. The next step is to install more windows...then wall insulation... flooring...doors on the north side... bathroom...kitchen...

Finally we had a perfect sunny, warm windless day that I didn't have to be at work and I was able to check on my bees. I have now mastered the use of the smoker -this very cool-looking tool that calms/distracts/confuses the bees while you intrude on their hive.

When you wave a bit of smoke over the open box, the bees retreat between the frames, some peeking out curiously. One at a time I took each frame out, covered with honeybees, and held it up to the light. I saw plenty of cell construction, stored pollen, nectar in all different jewel colors, and - best of all - baby bee larvae! The bees are busy dawn to dusk and seem content. I have been feeling confident enough to not wear gloves while handling the frames- so far, no stings.


Marie said...

oh my, 11yrs ago post tornado -- I used shopvac to suck glass out of the grass -- worked like charm -- but the "yard" was a 10x10 patch of weeds next to the office.....corn meal gluten might just do the trick -- not sure on the time -- otherwise, dig, dig, dig

LoneCowboy said...

heheh shop vacing the yard thats a great photo!!.
It sounds like you all are having a great time living life, Thanx for sharing your stories :)

nikina said...

wow your pics are phantastic and you guys do such a great job. Congratualtions on the farmers market success. Your bread looks absolutely yummy. It reminds me of good rustic german bread...which I so miss, since I came to Canada... Yorr animals are just adorable...and your pasta curtains...heheheh. They must be yuuummmyyyy :) I really enjoy to come here and read your blog :) thank you so much for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

I just love reading about your farm and all your animals. The goslings are so adorable.