Tuesday, August 5, 2008

rain and sara

The month of July has been rainy in the North Shire. Really rainy. I’m talking high-river-soft-ground-weeks-of-never-drying-puddles rainy. The bird yard constanly wafts the scent of goose poo on wet hay (not as charming as it might sound.) You’d think all this weather would be great for the garden, but my drainage in the raised beds wasn’t ready for this kind of pounding. While some veggies thrived, my bumper crop, tomatoes, hates my guts. I only have a few bags frozen for canning into sauce, and a few fresh heirlooms for slicing and salads. Nothing like I planned. I’d say this rain made the 2008 season one of the weaker ones. Think Buffy season 5, only with slime on peas.

Also, the chickens have eaten most of the young pumpkins. Pecked right into them like heroin addicts 'chasing the dragon'*. My fault. I didn't fence them off. Rats.

And in other somewhat sad news, Sara happened. Or I guess, didn’t happen. Sara was a young tri-color Border Collie in need of a home. the wonderful folks in the Northeast Border Collie Assoc had her waiting for me. Not only did she need a home, she was a stock-proven working dog. She had two months of herding work under her belt and was in need of a girl with plans for sheep...

I had to turn her down. Right now the practicality of heating oil, car repairs, and just day-to-day living expenses proves that it would be irresponsible to take on a fully loaded dog (specially without ewes on the property.) So I’ll save and wait. Mark my words though, in the future there will be better tomatoes, dog broke sheep, and a border collie to wrap up into my life here. Tonight however, it’s just me and my current roommates. And we’re going to cozy up on the couch with a movie. They can't herd worth a damn but they are gangbusters at the couch.

*I have no idea if my naive drug slang makes sense. We're over it.


Blogger Kris Underwood said...

Just came across your blog from MotherEarthNews-the homesteading article.

Looking forward to reading more!

August 6, 2008 at 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have your considered getting a sheltie to do the work of a border collie? Our 2 yearold sheltie does the work around..greta little dogs with a whole lot of attitude!

August 6, 2008 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Alabama Day said...

so sorry to hear about sara. the right time and right dog with come.

August 6, 2008 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger The Frampers said...

My Dad sent me a link to your article on MotherEarth News, since he knows that I dream of having my own farm one day.

You're right to do this when your young. I'm 35, with a husband and 3 kids. It's not so easy to convince them that homesteading is so wonderful. For now, I content myself with trying to make an urban homestead in my suburban neighborhood. No chickens though, they don't allow barnyard animals here. bummer.

anyway, I'll continue to read your blog. Good luck to you and all your homesteading endeavors!

August 6, 2008 at 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are Cyrus, Saro & their buddy the duck, happy in their soppy & drippy world?

I'm sure Sara will go to a needy shepherd somewhere who's desperate to have the extra "hands" right now. Condolences, my dear.

August 6, 2008 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger clown princess said...

Loved your article at Mother Earth News on why you homestead. I have to say it's one of the best I've read, honest and down to earth and I really appreciate your sense of humor. Looking forward to more now that I've found your blog.

August 6, 2008 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger lane said...

When I read your piece in MEN, I
thought you might mean old style
typography. Take a look at very
old style printing in Washington



Seriously, we are looking for a graphic designer. I know everything
else - handmade paper design,
printing. Bookbinding.


Congratulations. Lane Parks-art director

August 7, 2008 at 12:55 AM  
Blogger lane said...

Congratulations. I originally thought you were doing traditional typography. Out here in Washington,
we use presses that are 100 years
old and well as paper beaters that
old. They were made in Wisconsin and Ohio and shipped by train? out

Here is us:


And the printroom and paper beater.


Not to mention chicken herding,
sheep school and eagle college.

I didn't see any of your graphics
on your site. Just homesteading now. We don't know much about graphic design out here. We know how to print them on letterpresses
though. And we do have artists.

Take care, Lane Parks -art director

August 7, 2008 at 1:03 AM  
Blogger lane said...

I seem to be having trouble posting.

Another try:

see the presses:


Here is Madrona Center:


let's collaborate:

Cheers, Lane Excuse me, I have
to put the chickens to bed.

August 7, 2008 at 1:09 AM  
Blogger lane said...

OH. Sorry. Now you can see why
Vermont comes before Washington.

I did go to school out that-a-way.
Rhode Island School of Design. Long
time ago though. If those are your
drawings on your blog, Great!

August 7, 2008 at 1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and since I've now moved from a 10 year sojourn in South East Idaho back to Derby Line in the last month I believe your blog will be highly informative for me!

I commend you on waiting for the dog, I also turned down another dog when we moved here, I just don't have time to train a puppy and get our homestead up and running this year.

You'll get your work dog and it will be at the right time for you.

I look forward to reading about your journey.

August 7, 2008 at 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would encourage you to go ahead and get sheep now, if you can. With 5-6 acres, you could surely keep a few sheep. Perhaps consider shetlands - they are small, hardy, have gorgeous wool and beautiful to look at. If you are concerned about fencing, look into electric netting at http://www.premier1supplies.com . It is portable so if you move, you can take it with you. I have just 3.75 acres, 1.25 of which is in pasture, and I have 4 sheep. I also have a small flock of bantams, a pair of geese with their goslings, and three dogs.

August 7, 2008 at 7:14 PM  

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