Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Boot Sucking Mud Season

Boot Sucking Mud Season

Patches of snow still dot the north slopes and woods. Several sixty and seventy degree days melted most of the snow and left us with mine fields of dog crap. Spring = mud and crap.

I copied this from Yankee Magazine and have it posted in our mudroom.

Season of Patience

Muddy March creates despair.
with messy footprints everywhere,
But April showers make life wetter
Long before the mud gets better.

Honor Conor
Our 17 year old nephew Conor Warren Reynolds was breaking up a fight at a birthday party in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 13th and was stabbed to death. The vigil, wake and funeral was attended by over 1,000 people. Conor’s parents, Liam and Kate, have been incredibly forgiving, gracious and generous with their hearts and time and opened up their home and personal life to the community, family, friends and the media. During an overwhelmingly sad and horrific time in their lives, they showed us how peace overcomes violence and how our love for Conor is now imbedded in our everyday tasks. I saw Conor’s crooked smile and bright blue eyes in my mind this morning as I was about to tear into my daughter for leaving wet clothes in the dryer and as I was going to harangue my son for never being ready for the bus and as the kid goats swamped me for their bottles and as my husband left, yet again, his crusty bowl of uneaten granola on the counter for me to clean up. Our lives will never be the same without Conor. We will hold Conor in our hearts. Honor Conor.

Little Mice Rabbits
Have you ever seen new born rabbits? They look like little mice: pink and furless. Their moms plucked a lot of hair from their breasts to make their nests and I made sure that they had nesting boxes and lots of straw and shavings. One doe each week for the next several weeks will be kindling. We will have lots of rabbits for the farmers markets. We are going to raise geese and ducks this year too. We had so much fun with the ducks last year that we decided to raise more. Last year’s ducks became such farm favorites that instead of slaughtering them at Thanksgiving they went to live at a friend’s farm. Sometimes even livestock farmers have weak moments and brush pragmatism aside.

I took this rabbit from the nest to take the photo. It is about three inches long. Mom rabbit is checking the nest box to make sure that I put it back.

Fort Hen Knox
There may be a rooster or two in the bunch but we moved the chicks into the pasture box. It is heavily layered with barbed wire around the base and wire panels on top. The barbed wire keeps out the diggers (skunks, rats, voles, etc) and the nets keep out hawks and owls. But we can’t keep the chicks safe from themselves. Within one hour of putting them into the pasture box, they piled in a corner and we lost a dozen. These are heat loving chicks – they like the rays and when they are cold they dive into a fatal mosh pit. We put up more heat lamps this morning and put in a deep layer of wood chips. Unfortunately the box is so heavy that we have to move it with the tractor.

Kid with Kids
The bottle fed kid goats are out in the kid yard on sunny days. Shane likes playing with them. They jump on his back and chew his hair and ears and race behind him up and down hills.

Supper at Fable
The Second Saturday Supper at Fable is April 10th. The menu is focused on using the last of the root vegetables and dried beans and whatever is fresh on the farm. Supper is 5 p.m. for $28 and reservations are required. Join us

Rain shower salad (baby spinach, roasted beets, bacon, chevre and sherry vinegar dressing)

Puddle jumper cassoulet (pork, rabbit, sausage and bean stew)
Horse radish potato mash

Spring fling goat cheese cake with caramel