The Weekly Bleat: Spring Forward!

  Green Hill Farm is wonderful this time of year.  I truly love living here in the springtime.  It’s as if the whole place just comes alive:  trees budding out, pastures greening up, and bits of lavender, yellow, and pink from blooming flowers and trees dotting the landscape.  It’s just so uplifting. We’ve had gorgeous weather, and today, I noticed my asparagus is coming up.  It’s really exciting to have something nutritious and delicious just show up in the kitchen garden every spring. It’s such a treat!  Of course, there was a lot of work initially to establish the asparagus, but that’s another story plus an asparagus recipe you may want to read about here.  Anyway, we’ve enjoyed some beautiful days and serene evenings on the farm this week.  Here’s a little of what we saw.    

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Eggs, Eggs Everywhere!

Growing up on a farm as a child afforded many wonderful experiences.  Meaningful experiences that shaped my values and inspired me.  I remember when I was about 6 or 7 years old, Dad decided that it would be nice to have fresh milk and eggs.  So, he bought a Holstein cow named Bessie and ordered chicks.  I remember sitting in our living room early in the morning before school with an old towel on my lap, carefully cradling a warm, fuzzy chick in my hands–marveling at its tiny body and feet as well as the soft, little sounds it made.  Every morning over the next 2-3 weeks, I would hurriedly get dressed and eat breakfast so I could hold one for a few minutes before the school bus came.  I loved those little chicks! As the chicks grew into hens, they free-ranged all through the pastures and even around the house; but, for some reason, though, they didn’t like to lay their eggs in the coop.  Much to my surprise and joy, while walking along outdoors, I would just FIND an egg laying in the yard or under a bush. It was like an Easter egg hunt!  After making the discovery that the hens were laying eggs all over the place, I remember enthusiastically running into the house and searching for my Easter basket.  “This is going to be fun!” I thought.  And it was. The hens free-ranged and laid their […]

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The Weekly Bleat: Boogie With Ewe

Farmgirl with Scottish Blackface sheep   A while ago, I wrote a post about having the “winter blahs” and various methods that help lift my mood.  A couple of these mood enhancing strategies included music and dancing.  I even joked about installing a disco ball in our sheep shed, especially since I enjoy bee-bopping to radio tunes as I do farm chores. Well, Farmguy surprised me last week with not one, but two disco balls:  one for the the sheep shed and one for the house.  🙂 Here’s the thing:  Feeling down?  Sometimes all you need to do is “get down.”  So, go ahead, put on your boogie shoes and come on over to Green Hill Farm.  Because, the disco ball is up, and this farmgirl is ready to dance her way right into spring!            

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Tuesday Tunes: Ode to a Butterfly

  One warm day last week, while walking Bizou and Dash in our awakening garden—awash with budding lilacs and daffodils, a tiny, blue butterfly flitted by us.  Bizou, our 10-month-old puppy, promptly jumped, chased, and frolicked after this unwitting insect—performing all manner of twists and hops to catch it. Anyway, it was such a joyful sight that I was inspired […]

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Snow Day

Acrostic poetry by Tonya R. Hengerer “Snow” Softly falling– Not a sound, Only Whirling, whirling to the ground.   “Winter” When Icy, cold weather Naturally interrupts The warmth Enjoyed upon Earth Radiated by the sun.   “Shovel” Something with which one Heaves snow Out of the way; a Very useful, Everyday tool–mostly Languishing in a shed until winter.  

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The Weekly Bleat: An Important Lesson

Apparently, huge temperature swings are something that we’re just going to have to get used to this time of year.  Lately, we’ve been experiencing what I like to call “yo-yo” weather.  Our forecast this week is 65 degrees F. today, 72 degrees F. tomorrow, and snowing on Saturday.  This weather isn’t great for people, but it’s especially not good for sheep and chickens.  Their bodies acclimate to the cold, winter weather, and when there’s an unseasonably warm day–they may feel overheated.  After a week of balmy, warm days, a 40 or 50 degree drop in temperature is jarring to these animals’ systems and may cause illness.  So, to help, Farmguy and I feed the sheep and chickens extra grain to supplement their diets, especially on cold days. Yesterday, I was feeding the sheep their afternoon grain, when I noticed the grain bin was getting low. Well, let me just say, getting caught with no grain on Green Hill Farm is definitely a no-no.  Anyway, it reminded me of a lesson I learned last year.  And, I thought I would share it again.  🙂 Last weekend, Farmguy and I gathered our sheep for their spring shearing.  We’ve had a number of warm days since early April with temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s, and the sheep were appearing a bit stressed by the heat.  I was happy to finally get a shearing date, but also a little nervous about rain as […]

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