March 26, 2011

How the week went...

The snow started melting on the southern slopes...


The sap was running...


The girls spent some time outdoors...

video



We welcomed Lucy to the coop...

video

We chitted seed potatoes...


and seeds were sprouting...


now, if it would only warm up again...

March 22, 2011

Mildred the Moose

I just read a story of a little deer in Vermont who is spending time with a herd of cattle. It seems the other deer in it's group were taken by coyote this winter and one was hit by a vehicle. It put me in mind of a yearling moose that joined a herd of dry cows a couple of years ago in Bath, NH. 


Every spring just as moose calves are about to be born, mothers run off the calves that have been following them for the past year. Some of the yearlings get confused at first and will even walk up to humans. Moose - cow relationships don't happen often but are not unheard of.


Two years ago, I read an article in the local paper about a young cow moose that joined a small herd of dry cows on the Minot farm in Bath. At first the cows were not too friendly to the moose but soon began to tolerate her. Willie Minot named her Mildred and folks started coming around to see Mildred the Moose.


Dan's mother was visiting for the fourth of July and we decided to drive out to see Mildred. She had been with the herd going on four weeks at this point. At first we did not see her, and drove down the road past the farm. We decided to turn the car around and make one more pass on our way back home. That's when we spotted her and I got these photos. I don't know how long she stayed with the herd but I am glad she found some 'friends' during that transition time.
Here's a video that was posted on youtube about Mildred the Moose
(you can turn off the music at the bottom of the page if you wish to hear the video)

March 19, 2011

Help me name my new hen...


Well, we went to the first chicken swap of the season and came home with a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte. (the one on the right) She is a six month old pullet.

We have two white egg layers and a blue egg layer, so I wanted to add a brown egg layer to the mix.

Now I need help giving her a name...any suggestions??

March 16, 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day!

A little over a year ago, my Uncle Jim passed away in Boston at 89 years of age. He was a very proud Irishman, a gentle giant, and I remember him most for his broad smile and the way he loved to sing his songs about Ireland.


In his younger days, he was a Golden Gloves Champion in the heavy weight division and played semi-pro football. During World War II he served in the US Navy. He became a fireman for the city of Lowell, MA and retired from the department as a Captain after 39 years of service.

I am Lithuanian (100%) and he married into our family. I really loved listening to him sing his Irish songs and I thought St Patrick's Day was a special holiday that I always associated with my Uncle Jim!


I can't send him  a card this year...but will hold him in my thoughts throughout the day!

March 14, 2011

Chicken Saddles

What is a chicken saddle? Chicken saddles are made to protect the hen's backs from the roosters claws during mating. When roosters mate with hens, the hens often have feather loss on their backs and shoulders.


Mandy over at http://mandysrabbitranch.blogspot.com makes and sells chicken saddles and recently had a photo contest. We won the photo contest with a picture of Olga. A few days ago, two fashionable chicken saddles arrived in the mail.

March 11, 2011

It's Johnny Appleseed Day!

I had to run out to the store this evening and heard on the radio that today is Johnny Appleseed Day.


March 11 or September 26 are sometimes celebrated as Johnny Appleseed Day. The September date is Johnny Appleseed's birthday but the March date is sometimes preferred because it is during planting season.

John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed), was  born on September 26, 1774 in Leominster, Massachusetts.

In Mason, New Hampshire during the Summer, 1788. Johnny Chapman meets young Sam Wilson while visiting his cousin Betsey. Sam Wilson was born in Arlington Massachusetts in 1766 but moved to Mason with his family when he was 14 years old.

Both Sam and Johnny fell in love with Betsey and it is said that a broken heart sent Johnny on his way. Sam and Betsey later marry and move to Troy, New York, where they start a meat packing business.

After Sam and Betsey’s engagement, Johnny heads west selling apple seeds at cost and planting seedlings. He sleeps outdoors, never wearing shoes in the summer to save on leather. His clothing is a coffee sack with a holes cut for his arms and his head. It is said that one of his only possessions was the tin cooking pot he wore like a hat.



Years pass and Johnny becomes a rich man. The plots on which he planted apple seedlings have had towns develop around them. He happily sells the land, but uses the money for charity rather than for his own personal comfort. His amazing generosity, his endurance and his personal faith in God inspires the people he meets.

During the War of 1812, while Johnny is planting apple trees across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, Sam and Betsey are supplying the American army with beef in Troy, New York. When Sam marked barrels of army meat with a big "U.S.," Troops would say "more meat from Uncle Sam". Later all items delivered to the army with those initials were said to be from "Uncle Sam".

Johnny Appleseed and Uncle Sam. Just a couple of kids who met one summer on a farm in Mason, New Hampshire.

NH Chicken Swaps...

Chicken swaps are held throughout the state, giving people a chance to buy, sell and trade poultry.


Despite the name, you can find more than just chickens at a chicken swap. I have seen turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks, rabbits, plants, crafts, honey, maple syrup, and baked goods.


We got our girls at the chicken swap in Merrimack two years ago.


The first Swap for this season in NH...TILTON TRACTOR SUPPLY
630 WEST MAIN ST
TILTON NH
MARCH 19
9AM TO 1 PM

HOOKSETT OSBORNES AGWAY
343  LONDONDERRY TRNPK
HOOKSETT NH
MARCH 26
10AM  TO 2PM

MILFORD TRACTOR SUPPLY
191 ELM ST
MILFORD NH
APRIL 2
9AM TO 1PM

HILLSIDE MEADOW AGWAY
360 EAST MAIN ST
TILTON NH
APRIL 3
10AM TO 2PM

MERRIMACK TRACTOR SUPPLY
515 DANIEL WEBSTER HW
MERRIMACK NH
APRIL 9
9AM TO 1PM

GRIFFINBROOK LTD
174 RAYMOND RD
CANDIA  NH
APRIL 10
10AM TO 2PM

TILTON TRACTOR SUPPLY
630 WEST MAIN ST
TILTON NH
APRIL 16
9AM TO 1PM

CHICHESTER TRACTOR SUPPLY
307 DOVER RD  RT4
CHICHESTER NH
APRIL 23
9AM TO 1PM

March 7, 2011

NH Maple Producers Open House Weekend...

Maple sugaring time in New Hampshire occurs from mid-February to mid-April. Freezing nights and warm sunny days create the pressure needed for a good sap harvest.
As the frozen sap in the maple tree thaws, it begins to move and build up pressure within the tree. When the internal pressure reaches a certain point, sap will flow from any fresh wound in the tree.

Mason, NH
Native Americans were the first to discover the fact that sap from maple trees could be processed into maple syrup and sugar. They would use tomahawks to make V-shaped incisions in the trees. Then they would insert pieces of bark to run the sap into buckets made from birch bark. The sap was concentrated by placing hot stones in the bucket. It was consumed as a sweet drink or used in cooking. 
Although there is no documentation of how the process was discovered, there are some interesting legends.
One legend tells how Woksis the Indian Chief, was going hunting one day early in March. He yanked his tomahawk from the tree where he had hurled it the night before, and went off for the day. The weather was warm and the gash dripped sap into a bark vessel under the tree. The chief's squaw, needed water to cook their evening meal and used the water from the tree. As the dinner boiled, the water became concentrated maple sap, and boiled down to the first maple syrup. When the chief neared home, he could smell the the sweet syrup and when he ate his meal he found the meat very tasty. 
After this, maple sugar was produced and celebrated each spring at the end of winter during the "Season of the Melting Snow."
In the early days of colonization, it was the Natives who showed the settlers how to tap the trunk of a tree at the onset of spring, harvest the sap and boil it to evaporate the water. This custom quickly became an integral part of colony life and during the 17th and 18th centuries, syrup was a major source of pure sugar.

March 19th & 20th, 2011 is New Hampshire Maple Producers Open House Weekend. Over 60 sugar houses across the state of New Hampshire will be participating.
If you visit participating sugar houses, you can learn how maple syrup is made, enjoy some free samples, sugar on snow,  pancake breakfasts and more... 
The days and length of the sap run depends entirely on the weather, but is generally 4-6 weeks. (You can turn off the music at the bottom of the page if you want to view the video)

March 3, 2011

The Friday Photo


I usually have a trailing nasturtium in this planter but last spring, Olga decided she wanted to lay her eggs here.