Friday, October 27, 2006

Fall Festival

Last weekend we hosted our CSA's fall festival here at our farm. While it took a ton of preparation on our part to get the place ready, it was well worth it because it was great fun. Besides, without the motivation to clean up we wouldn't be enjoying how neat and tidy everything is now.

In addition to providing the space for the festival, we also provided entertainment in several forms. Chris' dad Scott fired up his restored steam tractor and used the steam from the boiler to power his vertical engine, which was then used to grind the CSA's blue corn. Watching the engines run was a huge highlight for many of the attendees. We also gave hay rides and had some sheep feeding and chicken petting for the kids.

There were three live bands (solar powered!) and the CSA held a silent auction and bake sale. At the end of the day they had raised around a thousand dollars. We were so glad to be able to help.

Here is the section of field we prepared with people beginning to arrive.

Chris and the steam tractor.

Scott ran steam from the big tractor over to this little engine through pipes. The little engine is connected to the corn grinder with a belt.

The kids loved it.

Festival goers enjoying the music and sunshine.

I snapped this photo because I had never seen a tuba on the farm before and wasn't sure if I ever would again!

Scott had double duty that day because after he was done with the steam engines his band Holy Water and Whiskey played a set.

Scotty and Eliza shared their chickens with the other kids.

Hay rides.

Sheep feeding.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Goings on about the farm

Harvest time has been interesting around here. We have had some new additions to the animal family! We acquired three new sheep from the zoo last week and this morning a calf was born! We have been preparing the fields and gardens for fall planting of cover crops. We will be seeding in a cool weather blend of hairy vetch and winter rye in the corn field and the vegetable plots. We've also been preparing the cold frame for spinach and lettuce. I have ordered some garlic for planting around the young pears we transplanted from the old house and I couldn't resist some dutch iris bulbs although I don't know where I'll put them yet. Our hens are starting to lay too so we have been enjoying some delicious fresh eggs. We've had another rainy spell with a couple of inches over the last two days. It's muddy and soggy! We are now preparing for our CSA's harvest festival which will be held here in a couple of weeks.

We don't get much orange and red fall color here but the yellow is glorious

The new sheep

Chris tilling the corn field at twilight while the kids and I have a fire

This morning's calf, just hours old.

More canning

Crystal and her family came over one day a few weeks ago to help can tomatoes. Well she helped with the tomatoes and the guys and the kids went frolicking on the river (see photos at Crystal's blog HERE).

Trying to get a shot of the two of us and the tomatoes

Crystal learning to can!

We made a total of 8 quarts of tomatoes

Later I made some more apricot jam and some apple pie filling.

I just love the way the pantry is looking lately!