Hurricane Farm

  (Scotland, Connecticut)
A view of life on our farm
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The Further Emergence of Spring

Spring continues its forward progession. 

New calves have been introduced to the growing "herd" out in the pastures...

A new lamb, named Vera, is introduced to some of the other sheep in the flock...

A little girl holds one of her favorite hens...

A flower pops its head through the freshly tilled and fertilzed soil...

Fiddleheads pop up alongside the brook and stream...

Spring is here and in full force at Hurricane Farm!

 
 

Spring is Alive

Spring is alive at the farm and the surrounding woodlands and wetlands.  The frogs have been peeping for weeks, and now after their loud rituals we are finding egg sacks in the "frog pond" and along the banks of the brook and stream.

Soon, the eggs will be hatching and tiny tadpoles will swarm the waterways that surround Hurricane Farm.

Even though there were seemingly thousands of frogs at the start of the "peeping," they are hard to spot now that the mating is all over.  Here's one of the little guys.  Who would expect something so small to make a sound so large?

In addition to the creatures, the plants are also popping up all over the place.  Here is a Skunk Cabbage making its way up through the muddy bottoms of the stream.

And of course manure needs to be hauled.  We started moving some up from the back manure piles, but there is still much more to move.  We'll be tilling the gardens soon and we're also eagerly awaiting the next batch of "four-legged-tillers" (or piglets) who will be arriving in a couple of weeks.

There is still a lot to clean up from sugaring season, though.  And both Erica and Violet spent hours working on this task.  Gathering and hauling empty buckets from the woods, cleaning and scrubbing buckets, pails, spiles, and tubes, and getting it all packed away for next year takes more than an afternoon!

It was so sunny and warm that Violet felt compelled to break out not only her sun hat, but the sun-screen too!  The finished Sugaring Pavillion is there in the back, still awaiting its roofing job...soon to come...

We also disassembled the bee hive, cleaned it out, and got it all ready for its new inhabitants.  Hopefully we'll have better weather this coming summer and the bees will be able to prosper.

And, let's not forget, the arrival of the new farm animals.  Just hours ago we welcomed our first lamb of the year!  As always, it's busy busy busy here at the farm!

 

 

 
 

Shearing Sheep -- Finally!

We finally found someone to shear our sheep.  We'd placed an ad and had several reponses, but people tend to get busy, time slips by, and before you know it the sheep are sporting dreadlocks.  (And not the nice ones like Erica's!)

We eventually found a "shearer" through our friends at Terrabyte Farm in Canterbury, CT who was not only willing to come over, but who was interested in bartering for some of our meats as well.  Nice.

We ended up with a couple of usable fleeces, and the rest went to various other uses, including bedding for the cat, nesting for some birds, and unknown uses by whatever animal dragged it off into the wetlands (whatever it was left a nice trail, though).

I won't go into the details of our own attempts to shear the sheep in the past.  Suffice it to say we used the old-fashioned hand shears and took about 1000% longer than we should.  We gave it our best, a couple of times even.  But now that we have so many other tasks to keep up with on the farm it was not practical for us to spend so much time at what ended up taking a "real shearer" only a few minutes.

Our "shearer" will return in the Spring to take care of the fleeces on the lambs.  And so the cycle continues.

Is there a term that I should be using instead of "shearer"?  Maybe.  But I kind of like the sound of "shearer."

Hello electric shears!

 

 
 

Baby Animals in the Barnyard

Here are some of the much anticipated photos of our baby farm animals.  We've been quite busy getting things prepared for their births and arrivals, as well as with sugaring, but here are some shots of the recent additions to our farm.

Moments after birth--and still wet--the baby lambs hang with their mom.

Later in the day, all nestled into their own private stall.  They are twins, though it does not look like it!

Here are the hogs, still quite young, but not looking like babies any longer!  Looks quite comfortable.  Perhaps I'll join them for an afternoon snooze...

We also acquired a new calf this past week.  He is a week and half old and already he towers above our kids.  His name is Aloysius (but our son calls him "Monster Truck") and he is an Ayershire bull calf.  This breed is larger than the Jerseys and is sort of neat for us to have as they originated in southern Scotland. 

He has two bottles a day, and is already starting to eat some hay and a little grain.

We've spent most of this rainy day rebuilding, cleaning, and repainting the bee hives that I had picked up last summer.  We ordered a 3 lb. package of bees and will be getting them into their hive in about three weeks or so.  There will be several updates on that project, I'm sure.

 
 

Twins! Well, sort of...

We had our first lambs this morning.  I was out to check on the animals and had to chase the ducks out of my workshop in the barn.  Messy things, ducks.

After that I was checking in on the other animals and noticed what I thought was another duck getting underfoot amongst the sheep.  But wait!  That duck has four legs and a tail!  It's a lamb! 

We had two lambs.  Twins, I'd say.  Though one is completely black and one is white.

We'll have some photos up later in the day.

 

 
 
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