Thursday, March 26, 2009

burning daylight

There is a cold spring rain outside cabin as I type. Compared to just a few short weeks ago, the days seem long. Tonight after work today I took Jazz and Annie out for a muddy-road jog and by the time we came home, did the farm chores, plucked the banjo on the porch, and then came in to finally cook dinner...there was still a hunt of daylight. Summer is not far off, my friends. Not far off at all.

Sometimes, for kicks, I look back at the July archives of this blog and I am amazed I live in the same place. Cold Antler right now is a hideous mudpit of chicken poo, melting snow, dirty baling wire and old hay. But to think, in just a few months the garden, chicks, bees, and I will all be living under lush green leaves, and treading barefoot over soft grass... seems impossible. But every year the impossible happens, and I spend it sweating in the garden and swaying in the hammock. It's a fair trade.

My snap peas are growing just fine, about two feet tall. I have an office team and a cabin team, and the cabin team seems to be winning the race. But both plants are doing well. It's really great to look over from my design work and see those two seedlings become what they'll become. In a few weeks my desk will be awash in white blossoms. I can not wait. I get excited about such things.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

fall farm tour

I want to welcome all the folks who have stumbled here thanks to the fancy article in Mother Earth News. If you're new to this blog, you'll find a few years worth of blog entries (from three different states) and one gal's ongoing story about becoming a modern homesteader and future farmer. Now, welcomes aside, I have some photos for you.

This past fall two friends of mine, Sara Mack and Sara Stell, came up north from their suburban Philly home to visit Cold Antler. Stell is a hell of a photographer and in this link below you can see an intense slideshow of the farm, animals, cabin, and our trip to the Cooperstown NY sheepdog trials. Enjoy the photos, and your own personal farm tour!

See the slideshow here!

Since these photos were taken, Sara and I have lost a total of over 50 pounds!
I'm proud of us!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

this is what i wake up to

free roosters!

A spring snow is falling outside, and the usual crew of birds is avoiding the weather by making a jungle gym out of the hay stacked on the porch. The roosters and some of their lady friends are perched in a Jenga-like fashion on the tottering bales. The poultry here is in rare form. Now that the snow is nearly gone they are back to ganging around the neighborhood, crashing crow and dove parties in the neighbors' yards and hootin' and hollering around the hollow like they own it.

But there are just too many roosters... I lost two more biddies yesterday. Two fat red hens closed their eyes for the last time and having lost three layers (over 600 eggs between them in a year) It'll be time to replace them soon. Since I don't want to add to the flock (14-16 is a good number of chickens for me) I would like to also add more layers and replace all these boys running around. With only ten hens left, and four roosters between them, the girls are flushed. They need less sexual congress in their lives, and more time on their nest boxes. I think the neighborhood could use a quieter morning too.

So if you want a beautiful, hand raised, friendly, muscial rooster. Come pick one up. I'm keeping just one.

P.S. Saro's egg is a bust. I removed it today. However, she is sitting on one of Sam's eggs right now instead, which the hen ever so slyly laid while Saro was out getting feed. Kind of a deadbeat mom thing to do, but hell, it's a chicken. So maybe Saro will hatch a chick instead of a gosling?! Stay tuned!