Saturday, April 28, 2007

Blueberry Bliss

Finally! Thursday's mail brought the arrival of 100 blueberry plants that we had ordered months ago. Mike had spent weeks preparing the soil so that when these gems arrived, we could immediately get them into the ground. I quickly opened the cartons, looking for a planting guide. Funny, one of the first items on the guide was a suggestion for when to plant the bushes...of course it said immediately upon receipt, but also suggested that a cloudy afternoon was the best time. Well, seeing how as of late in Central Pa. all we have are cloudy afternoons, we got started. Friday at noon, Mike began digging holes and Jack and I began filling each with a mixture of peat moss and our wonderful, rich soil. One by one, each of the plants was introduced to it's new home, gently mulched with pine needles and given a drink of water.

The next task will be to gently prune each cane, removing flower buds and leaving the vegetative buds in order to adequately establish the strength of each plant before allowing it to bear fruit. No berries this year....but next......Mmmmm Mmmmmm....we can hardly wait! Oh, and by the way, it is hard to get out of bed and move on the day after planting 100 bushes!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wild, Wild Horses........


......we'll ride them some day.....(but not today) Well, that is how the song goes. Today all four of our boys decided to go on a little escapade. You know, the grass is always greener....or so they think. Well to make a very long story short, Brigadoon, aka. "Briggs" used his finger-like set of quarterhorse lips to unlock the slide bolt on the barn door, enter his stall and then slide open the stall door and escape down the aisle and out the front door of the barn. The others silently watched, and then "Wa Hooooo! FREEDOM!!!!!!" After sampling grass from each of our neighbor's yards, they decided to go for a jaunt across our acreage, thru the woods and re-appear about a half mile down the road in another neighbor's back yard. We got the call via my husband's office that our horses were visiting. A quick phone call to Mike (my Brother-in-law) found him out of breath and in hot pursuit of our wayward herd. I only wish I had pictures of the mayhem. Such is life on the farm!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

With a Little Help From Our Friends

This past weekend, one of our "kids" (actually now an adult), Amanda, came from college with 6 of her friends to lend a hand on the farm. All of these amazing young adults are students at a local Christian College, Messiah College. They arrived at our farm late morning, donned work gloves and boots and headed out into the woods to clear trails.
Work Day
You see, over the past year we had some selective logging done in our woods to clear out the larger, older trees that were preventing sunlight from reaching the newer trees. We had been losing a lot of trees during storms and decided it was time to take action and take down the very oldest ones. In the process of removing the logged timber from the woods, trails were made. The trails were situated in a way that with a little bit of work, we thought we could connect them and have a network of trails for horseback riding and horse and carriage driving. What an unbelievable amount of physical labor these students offered to us! In a few short hours they had accomplished what we thought would take us weeks. With the time that was left that afternoon, they also helped us get our onions, potatoes, and 20 more asparagus roots into the ground. We all celebrated the afternoon with a dinner of homemade bread, a Mediterranean stir fry with quinoa, and Chicken Dijon topped off with homemade Coconut Cake for dessert. We thank you, Amanda, Matt, Kevo, Anthony, Kara, Ben and Maryan! Someday you all will make great farmers!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter Morning.....brrrrrr


Just when we thought Spring had arrived....Mother Nature has brought us up short. We awoke this morning, looked outside , and for a moment thought perhaps it was Christmas, not Easter. A soft 3 inch blanket of snow had covered the farm during the night. We had planned to get outside early and clear some trails in the woods, but the sudden addition of snowfall changed these plans. We took the opportunity to sit inside and read and birdwatch. Ok, Spring.......it's time.......

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Taking the bad with the good.....

Sad news today....one of our beautiful black hens was attacked last night. We suppose the predator was a fox, as Jack had seen one in the area last week. Poor "Edna" (all the black ones are named "Edna"), we will surely miss her and her wonderful eggs.

On a happier note....here are more pictures of our cute baby goats:

And so goes the cycle of life. We stay ever faithful with every sunset knowing that another sunrise always follows.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Countdown to goats.......

It has been in the plans for Bee Haven Acres to begin raising Fainting Goats. In the past few weeks we have gotten e-mail notice from Becky's friend, Nancy (of Critter Pines Fainting Goats in Reno), that our new babies have been born. It will take 8 weeks until they can be separated from their mothers and make their long trip across the country to Pennsylvania.

Here is a sneak peak at one of the little kids. Nancy is sending us 6 baby goats....4 females to breed, one buck and one wether (to keep the buck company). We are all so excited. This week has been a busy one. We took deliver on a goat barn and new fences are being constructed to house these playful little creatures. It is our hope to breed these kids next year and begin selling fainting goats!

Monday, April 2, 2007

The business of eggs....

Now that Spring has arrived, not only are the chickens laying regularly, but now the ducks have begun egg production. What to do with all these eggs? We could eat them all, but our cholesterol levels might suffer. We give away dozens to friends and neighbors, but still we seem to have an overabundance. My husband, Jack did some research and determined that since we were a very small scale producer, we meet the Department of Agriculture standards for the sale of eggs by small farms. Our next project.....find a retail outlet for these wonderful, richly flavored jumbo fresh eggs. Well, here is a picture of our first carton of eggs ...... delivered to a friend in the restaurant business. We'll start with large and jumbo chicken eggs, but hope to grow into a gourmet specialty egg producer. Duck egg omlet, anyone?

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Juniata Mobile Veterinary Services is up and running....

Today is Becky's big day! After a year of practicing small animal veterinary care at the Animal Hospital of Rye, she has decided to start her own Veterinary Service providing home care for both horses (her first love) and small animals in the comfort of their homes. She has had months of preparation....buying supplies, outfitting her truck, printing materials, advertizing her services and so much more. We are so excited for her! We know she will be highly successful, especially once her reputation becomes known thru word of mouth. She is highly gifted both in her technical expertise and her calm, gentle and reassuring manner. It has been wonderful having her on the farm for all of our animals here....now I guess we will share her with surrounding communities!
Check_out_Juniata_Mobile_Veterinary_Services

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