Sunday, January 31, 2010

the chill

This has been a long exhausting winter cold , challenging week end!
Although the sun was bright today, it has been very cold outside. We have spent lots of time moving animals in and out and breaking ice. I did not get to do any baking this week end and that's a bummer. My Mom won a football pool, she had the best picks all season out of more than 90 people, she sent me 100.00 bill in the mail yesterday.I plan to spend some of my "treat money" on baking supplies from King Aurthur's Flour.
Some times our lifestyle change, even shocks me! There was a day when spending 100.00 did not get allot of thought.
With the economy being as tight as it is and our new ( two year old) commitment to sustainable life grows every dollar is respected.I am looking forward to Tuesdays garden share and looking into weather or not I can purchase a summer CSA. With the new Hoop House I hope to extend the growing season and produce more here on our farm.
This Week's Share
6 lbs. Potatoes
5 lbs. carrots
3-4 lbs. beets
4 lbs. cabbage
1 bag oats*
some burdock root
1 lb. onions
1 container honey
1 bag Maine sea salt (from last share)
3 lbs. apples
1/2 galllon apple cider

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Good Morning World

Last night it was very, very cold and windy, arctic winds. Lots of water has been hauled with buckets to the paddocks.The Belgians seem to consume more water in the cold air, then they do in the summer.We have a full barn, even the Belgians slept inside. The construction of the Hoop house, brings hope of spring when the yard is like the frozen tundra. The full moon looks beautiful , but the air is ugly! -8 Fryburg winds west,North west. Well below zero here,on the farm. Not expected to get more than 20 all week end.

This info about the moon is from
The moon and Mars shine in front of two different constellations of the Zodiac. Mars lights up Cancer the Crab, while the moon resides in Leo the Lion.
Cancer is the dimmest zodiacal constellation.

Written by Bruce McClure

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Thursday, January 28, 2010


I am very excited,we are getting hoop houses at the farm. Bob is building me a hoop house to extend the very short Maine growing season. I am thrilled , and doing research. I am looking through all my seed catalogs as well as programs in Vermont and Michigan.If this one works we will add a second.The construction is being done in the barn, it will be moved into the sun.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tire Change

If you need a tire changed, call Lager he's been practicing tonight.

Time to rest

It has been an event filled week,finally we are taking a rest @ 7:12 on Wednesday. Over the week end we traveled to Massachusetts,for Bobs Dad's 80Th Birthday.On the way we stopped so I could see Bobby and Keri's new home.I LOVED their new place, it is welcoming and clean and makes great use of space. I did not take photo's to post , Bobby would not approve.Monday it rained and rained creating animal and driveway issues.Kennebunk and Saco are having ice and flood issues. Tuesday the rain stopped,the air was cold and damp but no rain. The chickens and horses got outside, we are getting 3-4 eggs a day with the added day light.Tuesday evening Lager started advanced obedience, he is the youngest in the class. Tonight we had some dinner and puppy play time and fed everyone early now we are resting.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Where does a 74.7 lb puppy go...

Where does a 74.7 lb. puppy go to do his hard work of growing?

Anywhere he wants!
Lager had a bizzy morning and he is now resting and undoubtedly growing.After breakfast of 21/2 cups of Blue Buffalo 2 farm fresh eggs scrambled with pork and ricotta cheese ,Lager helped with barn and farm chores. After chores we took a ride to smart pet for more bones and kibble and to get hay. After the hay was unloaded Lager had lunch: 2 1/2 cups kibble peach yogurt and honey he is now resting.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


These two Belgians of ours look like they are quite content,on their little farm. What an awesome sight and a blessing. I am still at times amazed by the size of the Belgian , look at that hoof.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Night Flicks

We are on week three of what is quickly becoming tradition. Friday night / movie night. There was a time when we would go out on Friday nights for dinner perhaps a movie, we no longer do that. We stopped partly because of the expense and partly due to our desire to be home and close,to our farm. Like most things away from the farm going out to dinner or a movie is a challenge. We have a small window of "down time" we walk the hounds at sun set and they go into the barn the Horses eat at 6:30 and before we retire for the night we walk the pups, Elvis and Lager, do night check and hay. Trying to get cleaned up and go out to spend money, is not as much fun as we once thought it was. We have started a new tradition. For Christmas I gifted Bob a Blue ray player (our DVD player was dead).For the past three Fridays I have stopped and purchased a movie, we eat a dinner that requires little effort and relax and enjoy each other and a movie between trips to the barn.Maybe I'll start posting movie reviews on Saturdays.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Looking in Jakes Eyes

OK Maybe it is a Mom thing,or perhaps I am Belgian obsessed you tell me...
When you look into Jake's eyes today ,what do you see. When I look into Jake's eyes now I see change. When Jake arrived here in November 2008 in his eyes I could see a broken horse, in spirit. His eyes looked like he had given up and did not have much expectation of anything good ever again happening to him. When a broken and I suspect beaten horse gets loaded onto a trailer , I wonder what he thinks.Tell me what do you think? The picture with Bob at the lead is day one.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January 20th 2010

I am sure we have broken no records and today's snow will not be noted in history,however I have had enough. Enough snow for one week, it has been snowing for four days. The frozen ground makes a strange hollow sound under the hooves of Belgians. Kitty went out in the snow on Sunday evening and returned on Monday afternoon, seance that time he is not very interested in venturing out side. I am cooking on the BBQ, now that I have shoveled a pass but some how it misses the romance and splendor of a summer BBQ. On a positive note we have farm fresh eggs three, yesterday and three today. I have no idea what has boosted the production, the change in food an adjustment to barn life the extra 30 minutes a day of sunlight , what ever it is I am pleased. Lager had farm fresh eggs today with his breakfast.
1985 ( the year Bob and I married)
Cold front strikes U.S., at least 40 die (-27 degrees F (-33 degrees C) in Chicago
Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States
George W. Bush is inaugurated as the 43rd president of the United States

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

AKC S.T.A.R Puppy

Not rain nor hail nor sleet and snow can stop the mail.Today in the mail Lager got mail from Director,Canine Good Citizen at the American Kennel Club. Lagers package included a beautiful AKC S.T.A.R puppy medal for his scrap book, and a certificate for passing the S.T.A.R puppy test and enrolling in the AKC program. Tonight LAGER and DADDY were to have obedience class but it was called off for snow. check out

Monday, January 18, 2010


Well the weather man did say 6" to a foot, and we have got a foot.Yesterday as we headed home from the errands the snow had started. The snow continued threw out the night and continued until about 1:30 today. When all was said and done we got about a foot in southern main. We started the day bringing the Belgians in, and letting their blankets dry. After starting chores and plowing a path out Bob drove me into work. At work things were very slow, while at the farm Bob was very bizzy moving snow and animals.Kitty went out last night when I put the Belgians out, he did not return till 4:30 today, we were worried but he is in Yay.Tomorrow Lager starts advanced obedience, wish him luck and I'll give you an update as soon as I can. Ps. If you are in Mass. go out and vote tomorrow.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

end of the weekend :(

Well it is Sunday evening again,the snow is falling in big wet flakes. In Southern Maine we have about 1 inch on the ground. I love Sundays but I hate saying good bye to the week end, and my time at home. It is very trying times for so many people ,I am thankful to have a full time job with a good company but I love being home. Bob is on the sofa watching football and Lager is at his feet.Friday I bought a freezer package from the local butcher, and Bob and I wrapped everything it was nice to fill the freezer.Soon the freezer pig will be ready and we will add him as well. Saturday,was sunny and nice both paddocks got cleaned out. Bob is delivering all the manure to the potato fields over at the club, to be spread in the spring. Lager likes to run alongside the tractor,he is getting very tall and his posture shows his Rottweiler pride.Today Bob and I went to Tractor supply,we bought Lager a bigger choke a new bucket that hangs on the wall for Joey and pig ,chicken and rabbit feed. In the past Joey ate from a grain bucket on the floor but the hens were getting more of his meal then he was.I purchased a "better" laying pellet for the hens. We are getting 2 eggs a day, I would LOVE to get 4. The NEW , better feed was 1.50 more then what I was feeding, but if they produce more eggs it will be worth it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thinking about the Menu?

Winter Strougles

It is a huge challenge as we continue to strive to buy local and eat local.We are currentley at only 40-50%local, we were at 80-90 this summer. One more challenge realized in the winter,in Maine and I suspect all of New England. We had periods of sunshine on Sunday and again today. Today's high temperature was 32.At the moment it is very cold 11, almost everyone is in the barn. Bob and Lager are on the sofa. The drop in wind and the rise in temperatures is a blessing for the animals and people at Hooves and Hounds.The local news reports we have gained 20 minutes. The chickens have been able to get outside a couple times this week. In total we have collected six fresh eggs from our four hens in five days,not great odds. On Sunday I worked on my bread making,with a Portuguese sweet bread. The suggested temperature for rising dough is 68,a temperature our house has not seen in some time. On Tuesday I picked up our fourth winter CSA,the halfway point. This weeks share had lots of carrots,parsnips,apples some red and white onions, frozen blue berries and fresh cider however I was most excited by the Organic Sunflower Oil and Maine Sea Salt.Our CSA is from Wolf Pine Farms, the sea salt and the oil from Henrys Organic Oil. Our summer came from the production of one local garden , our winter share comes from a number of local farmers who join together.The summer share was weekly and the winter share is picked up every three weeks.On Sunday I also made a roasted chicken, I wanted a turkey however the fresh local Turkey was in my opinion over priced. Anyway I roasted a chicken , partly so that I would be able to make broth and then soup. I made a soup last night with lots of the garden share veggies, Kale from the freezer and turkey meat balls. This weeks menu will be a challenge, I am at a lost for fresh ideas and Saturday is card night hmm.I have two trays of sprouts on the counter to add to Lagers meals.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

-8 to 21

Winter cold! When we woke and started chores it was very, very cold. We brought the big boys into their barn and they had ice in their whiskers, as you walked the frozen snow crunched under foot.I thought they might never want to go back outside. We took blankets off, and fed breakfast before going to get a second cup of coffee. The Belgians were in for a couple hours and napped, then we put them back outside. By eleven the sun was bright,Bob and I went and got a truck load of hay.By noon Nickel and Jake were toasty worm and ready to enjoy paddocks.I made another attempt at making bread,I am still struggling.I am loving King Arthur's Flour,the web sight and products are nice.However even with the products, I do not have great results. I am going to try two more times then I am going to go with plan B ,finding a local who can make nice bread.