Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dispatches from Antlerstock
Cheese Making, Jasper, and Chickens!

Dispatches from Antlerstock
Cider Pressing!

Dispatches from Antlerstock
Backyard Lumberjack Workshop!

photos by Tim Bronson

Friday, October 14, 2011

meet kevin and bacon

Thursday, October 13, 2011

preparations are underway...
Request a photo of Antlerstock!

Preparations for Antlerstock are in full force. I spent most of the day running errands and getting groceries. Tomorrow a lot of pies and quiches will be baked, pork will be set into the slow cooker, supplies set up, signs painted, and much more. Folks are emailing and checking in already, from all over.

Tonight Tara (from Texas's Ghost Dog Hollow Farm) and I went to a talk at Northshire books, which was okay, but the ride there and back talking was even better. I never met Tara until tonight. She was only a face and a blog, someone in the comments. Today we shopped for distilled water and navy beans in Shaw's. If it wasn't for this blog, so many friends would never come out of the woodwork.

I'm very grateful.

Beans are soaking tonight for tomorrow's crock pot. Getting up extra early for a swine-inspired road trip north to pick up a pig or two (we'll see how my haggling skills have grown). Today Swiss Family Daughton stopped over to help me muck out and re-bed the small pen for the shoats in the barn. Tomorrow Brett, Raven, and her friend Mikaela will be here around 3 or 4PM to settle in and help set up all the stations and registration table. Looks like there's a chance of rain, but as Brett suggested, I'll do my sun dance and know it'll be enough. I can really cut a rug when it comes to hope, watch me go.

Tim will be here Saturday to take photo's, and if you have any suggestions for him of things you want to see images of: comment here and let him know. And I'll do my best to update, but it may have to wait till monday (outside videos and photos) because I have three nights of houseguests, I hope you understand.

Wish you were all here, and if it goes well I'll make this a regular fall event. And in the meantime, consider another workshop, because they are becoming a heartbeat of this farm, and not just financially. They bring people, stories, faces, and other farmers to life for me. Saturday night a campfire will glow with friends and music. If I had my druthers, everyone of you who wanted to come would be sipping hard cider and listening to fiddle tunes in my backyard.

Wish us sun, safety, and enough to eat!

...the enemy returns

proud to be a greenhorn

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

And the Just in Case Winners Are....

Winners are Jude, Jim and TransFarmer!
Email me so I can send them out shortly!

gibson in the pickup

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

gibson's enemy

getting ready under the full moon

Just in from a night of chores under the full moon. It's so big and bright out there that I could see fine without a lantern. Everyone got their feed and water, head counts and health checks completed. The sheep are eating their minerals up and seem well, but a few Blackfaces are still too thin. I called the vet tonight and she said older sheep sometimes need new types of dewormers, since both the wormers and the sheep have grown tolerances to the medicine. She gave me some names of injectable types she swears by and I'll order them soon as I can.

I was working until dark because right after work I needed to pick up 42 pumpkins from Othniel down at Common Sense. He had picked them up at a wholesale market and they were waiting for me in their barn. I was so happy with them, all fat and round, my truck is still loaded up with them. I need to go back out and cover them up from the rain headed our way. I welcome it. The pasture needs it (what's left of it at least).

I'm tired, but excited. My friend Raven is coming up from maryland and I haven't seen her since college. We talk on the phone all the time, but it has been five years since we shared a cup of tea. I'm excited to share my world and community with her, and for her to meet characters in my life I've been telling her about for years.

I would have posted a photo of the pumpkins, but the moon isn't that bright. My iphone doesn't have the chops for that sort of work, and I'm currently lacking a digital camera, but I'll wrangle one of them up soon enough, I'm sure.

Sleep well.

P.S. Winners of the Just In Case giveaway announced tomorrow!

get yer antlerstock shirts and goods!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Antlerstock is just days away!

Antlerstock is coming up in a few days! Soon dozens of people from all over North America will be traveling to Veryork to enjoy the Fall Festival here at the farm, two jam-packed days of workshops, talks, hands-on work, and all the questions you want to ask about anything from sheep shearers to winter gardens. Preparations are underway, and have been, for weeks. A truckload of pumpkins is getting picked up tomorrow. Saturday night a campfire will roar and 30+ jackolanterns will light up the farm. (Everyone will have a chance to carve their own between workshops) Bring your cameras, folks.

Some friends will be getting in Thursday, others Friday, and the party officially starts at 10AM on Saturday (though you are welcome to show up to park anytime after 9:30). A brunch of free-range egg vegetarian quiche, cider donuts, coffee, and such will start the day with introductions and welcoming remarks, followed by a short farm tour and outline of the day's events.

From there on out, this is the plan:

Saturday October 15th
10:30 AM - Farm Tour (everyone_
11:00 AM - Cheese Making (kitchen) with Cathy and Diane
11:00 AM - Backyard Woodlot Management with Brett
(maybe Jasper)
12;00 PM - Chicken 101 with Jenna at the brooder/coop
1:00 PM - Lunch!
BBQ Pork from Flying Pig Farm of Shushan
(3 miles from CAF),
Potato soup from homegrow spuds of Firecracker Farm,
Hand-pressed apple cider from CAF apples!
(we'll have to shake them out)
Masonades of Lemon Ade, well water, and local beers
2:00 PM - Meat Rabbit 101 with Jenna in the barn
2:00 PM - Soapmaking with Tara of Ghost Dog Hollow Farm in the Kitchen
2:00 PM - Splitting and Stacking with Brett, Timbersports talk!
3:00 PM - Sheep 101 in the pasture with Maude and Sal
3:00 PM - Chicken History and Culture Lecture with Tamine of Common Sense Farm
4:00 PM - Wool Craft with Jenna - home wool processing, knitting 101
(bring needles and yarn!)
5:00 PM - Second Lunch, pies,more cider

Break till 7:30 PM - got to your hotel, get a shower, strech your legs, or stay to help set up for the fire.

7:30 PM Campfire! Bring your instruments, blankets, etc!

8:00 AM Early Brunch! Come for more breakfast goodies and hot coffee
9:00 AM Canning 101 with Jenna in the Kitchen
(berry jam)
9:00 AM Backyard Food production with Brett, talk outside, Q & A session
10:00 AM Intro to Mountain Music with Jenna
11:00 AM Trip to Common Sense Farm for Herbalism workshop in their fields
(2 miles south)
11:00 AM Sheep herding/chasing lesson with Gibson.
12:00 AM Lunch! Homemade Pizzas with local cheeses
1:00 PM Gear up for a hike at Merck Forest in Rupert VT,
(amazing fall foliage!)
4:00 PM back at the farm for closing remarks, and thanks

That's the plan, so far. You will be able to skip in an out of workshops if you want, or not do any at all. Maybe you just want to sit outside with your guitar and drink fresh cider? Okay by me. There will be new books for sale on all sorts of topics covered here as well as copies of Made From Scratch and Chick Days, get one for a gift or for yourself signed!

If you are coming up to the farm please come prepared with a clothes ready to work, waterproof mucky boots, indoor shoes (if you don't like wearing socks in the house), rain gear (just in case), notebooks for taking notes and emails, warm clothes for the campfire (or if you're from Texas, Florida, or Southern California). Coffee is always a welcomed gift, because I have an addiction. And last, but not least: bring your excitement and kind selves! If you still need directions, you gotta email me with the address you registered with and I'll fork 'em over.

See you Saturday! If you're coming up, please post a comment with your name and state! Let's see the turnout!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

save max!

Good morning, folks. I got this email this morning while making my pasta sauce here in the kitchen, a reader asked if it would be okay to post a message on the blog? A dog needs a home in Maine, and his situation is rather sad. If you live in New England, and are looking for a sweet and loyal dog: please consider Max. He was there till the end, and now needs a home.

Hi Jenna,

I read your blog. I have an interesting favor for your blog - if you are willing. A friend of mine's dear friend passed away last week in Maine - apparently she died alone with her dog in the house and was discovered after her mail carrier called the police to let them know she hadn't picked up her mail a couple of days. So sad. The dog's name is Max - he is a six year-old field lab, black. Very good dog according to my friend - the poor pup!

He is currently at the humane society in or near Rockport, ME. I know you have a lot of readers and maybe one of them is not too far from ME and has been wanting a dog? Would you possibly be able to post something about this on your blog? My friend says people can email her for information - I'm sort of the messenger trying to help her out during this difficult time. Her email is

If this is too much to ask, I completely understand, but I thought I'd put it out there to help an animal who could use some love in a good home. Many thanks.

Kind regards,

9-5 Homesteader's Sunday Kitchen