Monday, June 30, 2014

A Wedding on the Farm!

 Saturday we hosted the wedding of two dear friends, Laurel and Darin, at Squash Blossom Farm. The past several weeks have been a whirlwind of planting, weeding, mulching, painting, sprucing up and getting the farm to be as beautiful as possible for this celebration.
The tent for the dinner was set up on Friday.  The forecast for Saturday was for very stormy weather, so they decided to rent a second large tent to cover the ceremony. That tent was set up Saturday morning.

The tables were adorned with colorful fabrics and ribbon-adorned burlap rand crocheted runners, made by Melissa.
Laurel and her sister Heather decorated the arbor with curly willow, ribbons and flowers for the ceremony.
An hour before the wedding, I helped Laurel pin up her hair and tucked in the flowers and Melissa sprayed it into place.

Beaming sisters.

Guests began to arrive,
delivering amazing gourmet  dishes for the potluck.

They signed the guest book.

Stephanie, mother of the bride (one of our favorite people on earth.)

Ella, daughter of the groom.

A hundred fifty guests  beneath the ceremony tent,
photo by Melissa Eggler

listening to a little Nodding Wild Onions music.

The bride and groom ready to become married!

A litte practice kiss.

On their way....
to becoming Mr. and Mrs.

Vows, (“I will always be on your side, except  maybe when we are playing Scrabble.”)


Bar on the patio.

Hand washing area.

Photo by Ella Smith

Kids exploring the gardens, chicken coop, barn.

Setting up  the fabulous potluck dinner. Rog, Jessica and I  were preoccupied making wood-fired pizzas for the potluck, so from this point I was too busy to take many photos.

Ella made the delicious wedding cake ---her first cake-making effort ever(!), with white, lemon and red velvet layers.

photo by Ella Smith
The cake was served just before the  promised thunderstorm let loose,
photo by David Shane Smith

but the band played and the bride and groom and the wedding guests danced under the tent, sheltered from the rain, late into the night!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wild Turkey Rescue

Driving home from getting animal feed this afternoon, I saw two baby chicks run across the two-lane highway that goes to our farm. Then, in the rear-view mirror, I saw them run back across the other way. So I had to stop and collect them from the road. I pulled over onto a farm field access. As I walked back toward them,  I could hear their unmistakable peeping--wild turkey poults, of course, not chicks!

I would have probably left them to find their mother, but they still seemed totally lost and while I was walking toward them, they very nearly got squished by a big pickup truck. I was able to easily scoop them up.  They still have  a bit of an egg tooth on the end of their beaks, so must be only a day or so old. Maybe they were the last of the clutch to hatch and could not keep up with their siblings. I waited quietly, holding them, in order to hear other chicks or the hen respond to their peeping, but no sign, so I took them home.

First I tried putting them in with the 4-week old chicks and three-week-old turkey poults, but they are much, much smaller and a few chicks started pecking at them, so now they are in a box in the house for a few days.

I was thinking of myself as a their rescuer, protecting them from motor vehicles, starvation  and predators, but if I raise them and then we harvest them for Thanksgiving, I guess I am a predator too. Maybe I will let them go....but we are surrounded by avid turkey hunters.

These are the little things that interrupt my well-laid plans so I never get anything accomplished!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tea Party!

Last week the farm was invaded by four dear friends from our high school days.

We shared many stories and lots of laughs. We spent a fun day perusing thrift stores. While I was preoccupied with my cow and newborn calf, they dived in and spruced up the store for its summer opening and planted flats of flowers. We decorated hats and had a fancy a garden tea party (Gayle’s Kickstarter reward.) And we took many photos of ourselves all gussied up for the tea party.

These photos make me smile. I treasure this friendship that has  stayed strong for over 30 years. Thank you, dear Seesters!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Calf is Born (finally)

Last Monday, LaFonda finally had her calf - a little bull calf that looks more like his Jersey father than like LaFonda. This is him a couple hours after he was born. Both Mom and  baby are doing great.

If you are squeamish about such things as birth, you may not want to read the rest of the post.
After spending a couple of sleepless nights, thinking LaFonda was in the early stages of labor and getting up every hour to go outside to check on her, I finally decided I would know she was in labor when the calf’s hooves appeared.  That is pretty much how it happened. I came home and discovered her water had just broken, so went  to get my camera and when I returned a few minutes later, the hooves had emerged (facing the way that indicates a normal birth, whew!)
Soon after, the calf’s nose appeared with his tongue hanging out. (Looks disconcerting, but I had read that this is normal.) As soon as his head was born, I tried to assist by pulling downward on the calf’s legs and and he slid right out.
Slippery, wet,  limp calf.  He reminded me of a wrinkly butterfly just emerged from the chrysalis before it pumps up its wings. LaFonda began licking him and he gradually came out of his stupor. Being born is exhausting work.
Wet little calf.
Jitterbug was so curious about the calf and I had to keep chasing her away.
An hour or so later, he was already up and drinking his first meal.

He is growing so fast and is so adorable -- tomorrow I will post photos of him a week old.