Friday, November 30, 2012

Small Town Libraries

I enjoy our  small town library.

I know that large libraries have some advantages but I appreciate that when I visit our library we are greeted by name. The selection is limited BUT they bend over backwards to get us the books we want.  They carry my favorite magazines, This Old House, MaryJane Farm Girl, and Hobby Farm.

They have a pretty good selection of homestead topics and get new ones every year.

Today I came home with ....
The books can be found at

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Small Fright in the Night


[kahy-oh-tee, kahy-oht] 
noun, plural coy·o·tes, ( especially collectively ) coy·o·te.
Also called prairie wolf. a buffy-gray, wolflike canid, Canis latrans, of North America, distinguished from the wolf by its relatively small size and its slender build, large ears, and narrow muzzle.
I would like to add to that definition- Four legged stalker.

Picture taken from our woods
Last night I was awaken by the sound of Coyotes.
I opened the bedroom window and it sounded like they were right in our field. I have never heard them that close.  That was alarming. I went outside to see if I could hear or see anything. I drove up and down the fence rows. Nothing.
My uncle had just told us earlier that day that he seen a very large coyote on the footage from the video cameras he has placed in the woods that they use for deer hunting. In all the time I have lived here I have never seen one but I have heard them from time to time. Over the last week we have heard them almost every night.
We have been blessed that we have not had coyote problems on our farm. We hear them occasionally in the woods but that is a good distance away.  Last night was a different story.
I didn't sleep well worrying about the sheep and goats.
All looked fine this morning.  I am not sure what we are going to do about the pack that is living in our woods.
I heard someone say that the howling is calming to them....NOT for me. Maybe if I didn't have livestock I would feel differently.  But I do have livestock and that sound if the furthest thing from calming.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wood for burning

Nothing like a cozy fire to fend off the chill of a cold, dreary day.

When we first moved to our homestead 15 years ago this OLD house only had a wood burning furnace. We used it for the first year and decided to go with a new LP furnace.
I still remember when the furnace guy came and hooked it all up.  Before he left I told him "Thank you". He said don't thank me have had wood heat you are probably not going to like the LP furnace.
Well he was right...the house always felt cold.

We ended up buying a wood stove the following winter for our family room.

Several years after that we bought a high efficiency furnace that could be vented outside and reinstalled the original wood furnace that we had taken out that would heat the entire house.

I love the wood heat. House feels warmer, and with the cost of LP rising I love the savings as well.

I was surprised to find a poem on this subject. Educational as well.

Woods for Burning.

Logs to burn! Logs to burn!
Logs to save the coal a turn!
Here’s a word to make you wise
When you hear the woodsman’s cries.

Beech wood fires burn bright and clear,
Hornbeam blazes too’
If the logs are kept a year
To season through and through.

Oak logs will warm you well
If they are old and dry.
Larch logs of the pine smell
But the sparks will fly.

Pine is good and so is Yew
For warmth through winter days,
But poplar and the willow too
Take long to dry or blaze.

Birch logs will burn to fast,
Alder scarce at all,
Chestnut logs are good to last
If cut in the fall

Holly logs will burn like wax –
You should burn them green.
Elm logs like a smouldering flax,
No flames to be seen.

Pear logs and Apple logs
They will scent a room,
Cheery logs across the dogs
Smell like flowers in bloom.

But Ash logs all smooth and grey,
Burn them green or old,
Buy up all that come your way
They’re worth their weight in Gold!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Let out At Last

The boys are being let out of confinement today.  They have been very restless and will be most happy with the new arrangement.
The Ram was let out in the pastures to be with the ladies.
The Buck is staying in the Barnyard and we will put a few does in with him at a time.

I know that it may seem late but we have been lambing in April for many years.
We have had lambs in the winter a few times when we first started raising sheep but
we made the transistion to spring lambing and have never looked back.

There are advantages to both Winter and Spring Lambing, but for our farm goals spring lambing has been the best fit. It is definately the most preferred by me. I am not one that enjoys the cold so after a couple of lambing seasons bundled up and freezing checking on ewes and lambs through the night was more than enough to convince me of later lambing times. Thankfully our farm goals support that decision.

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