Sunday, September 30, 2012

Finally Board Fences

When we first moved to the farm we were so overwhelmed with the needed basic renovations, fences, shelter for the animals and cleaning that needed to be done.  The previous owner had been a hoarder.  Attics were full of boxes, fabric, trash, the list goes on and on.  The yards were full of washers, dryers and refrigerators.  Not to mention weeds. Tall weeds that could have been people eaters in a SyFi flick.  We lived for 6 months cooking a 2 burner camp stove without a kitchen.  We had to replace pipes to have running water. No electricity in the upstairs ever. EVER! We were so excited when we could flip a switch and a light came on.  The list goes on and on. As I sit here and think back to the original farm we have come a long, long way.   It was daunting but we didn't realize it at that point.  The thought of taking pictures of all that didn't even cross my mind.  Dumpsters went out of here loaded.  I don't even want to mention the burn piles we had. Big apology to the atmosphere. 
In some little dark hole in my brain I had an image of what the outcome would look like.  In those images there was always, and I do mean always, a two board white fence across the front and enclosing the yard.  It is time.
We took a trip to Hammond Lumber in Bangor with ideas and approximate measurements in hand.  They delivered the necessary material the next day.  We are using 4x4 pressure treated posts with 1x6 pressure treated deck boards.  Keep in mind that we have only put in wire fences and pointed posts that are pushed into the ground with the tractor bucket.  The internet was very limited with information.  Some called for bags of sakrete, others putting posts in first after accurately measuring out the space.  Hahahahahaha.
We used the tractor to lay out the post every 10feet and two boards each length.
We tried putting the posts in first. Then found out our measurements were off.  After an argument or three we found our own method.
We wanted a 14ft farm road to make sure that all hay equipment would be able to have access to the fields.  That meant that Ted had to move the drive over a few feet to keep it centered.
We did find our own method.  We chose to omit the sakrete because at some time in the future a post may need to be replaced due to rot.  We called around for rental of an auger that would go onto the tractor.  After realizing how many days we would have to rent the thing for we decided that it would be cheaper to buy on from Tractor Supply.  Now we have an auger for any future holes. Neighbors have already requested holes to be dug. 
It's a good start.  It took us about 3 weeks to finish all 900 ft of fence.  We decided to move the fence back well beyond the ditch. It would make mowing easier and be far enough back to prevent snow plow buildup in winter.  More to come.
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lemon Slicer

Why do I need a lemon slicer? Does anyone NEED a lemon slicer?  Why not take out a knife and just slice the lemon?  These are all questions that I have asked myself.  Ted, however, likes to buy me things the he thinks I would like and need.  He knows my infatuation with lemon slices and water.  It is my beverage of choice after all.  He also knows that if there is any way possible for me to cut myself with a sharp or dull knife I will do so.  It is just something I have always been talented for. I keep band aids in the kitchen drawer.  Yep, talent.
He brought me home this little gadget.  At first I thought, I don't need that.

Ted said, "yes you do. You always cut yourself and this will keep you from doing that."
After a few uses I really like my handy, dandy lemon slicer. 
I cut my finger on the blade while it was in the dishwater. I need a keeper.
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Magic Mesh, Not So Magic!

I tried something this summer that I don't usually do.  I admit that I fell for TV advertisement. Hey, it looked like a really easy and cheap fix.  We have bugs here in Maine.  Mosquitoes that will carry you off.  Flies that want to join you inside. We have a barn and it was built 100 yrs ago, very close to the house. Get the picture?
The Magic Mesh temporary screen system.  It is easy open and will snap closed with magnets as you exit.  Sounded good.  The picture of the dog was the big selling point.  Emma and Lucy could come and go as they pleased.  What they do now is come in, sit down, go to the door and woof to go back out. I am well trained because I get up and let them back out.  Same thing in about 15 minutes.  Makes for a very long day.

Easy assemble. It comes with velcro strips that you pin in place after everything is put up. Simple.

Kinda cool, allowing for an open view and plenty of fresh air.  Did I mention that our house has 32 windows and 4 doors?  Plenty of wonderful cross ventilation. No AC here.

Well, it worked well for about 3 weeks.  Then the magnets started falling apart and the screen just couldn't hold up.  Emma and Lucy loved the freedom. However, it turned out to be a one season product.  It just couldn't hold up to two huge dogs running in and out all day. 

I went online and found a web site that made screen doors that #1 had a dogie door (panel at bottom center) #2 could be made in custom sizes.  Yep, no two doors in our house are the same size.  It was the cool thing to do 160 years ago.  Doors of varying size.  We have enlarged the two kitchen doors and made them standard. After all, our kitchen was the barn 100 years ago and the resizing was simple.  However, the front door is small with low ceilings and can't be enlarged.  So, custom screen doors with a dogie door will be added next spring.  Coppa Woodworking in California is the most reasonable in price and will graciously ship.  I have to save my nickels and dimes to pay for them.  Emma and Lucy are waiting expectantly. I guess for now I have to get up and let them out. Or sit here and get woofed at. Hmm...
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Colors of The Common Ground Fair

This post is all natural, no dyes, preservatives, or flavor enhancers used. Please enjoy.
Oh, MSG free!




Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Common Ground Fair 2012

Each September in Unity, Maine the Common Ground Fair happens.  It is a big happening for such a rural area.  MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardner's Association) hosts a yearly fair to support farming in our community.  It is a celebration of the small organic farmer. MOFGA was formed in 1971 and is the oldest and largest state organic organizations in the country.  
Unity is a small town that handles the three day growth spurt of 20,000 daily visitors to the fair. 

Like many fairs there is a Children's Area

Unlike many fairs the "fun" is simple.  Give a boy a hammer, nails and a log and he will one day build a home.

A celebration of our youth. These amazing kids are making products and selling at their own booths.

Tees, Felting.

This young man exhibited raw wool and was knitting hats. His price was a bit steep. $50 each and he was selling a few.

Big push for community gardening.

This is one of my regular stops. The country store sells tee shirts with a different picture every year. 100% US cotton, made in the USA.
Marylee was my partner in crime for the day.  She had to visit the smoking area.  Actually, there is no smoking section so she hid in the bushes.  Tobacco is an American product after all.
The food vendors grow every year. Nothing but organic. There was blueberry soda. Maine blueberries of course. This lady is sporting Maine potatoes, fried of course.
My lunch was a Gyro pronounced (yee-ro). Lamb, veggies, and tzatziki. Yum.

We can eat!

Every year I see the vendors and crafters grow. Amazing tree carvings.

Hand stenciled dish towels.

I have to pick up a Nickel bag of cat nip for my grandcat Paco.



Rainbow of colors!

I have a fascination with oxen. They are such gentle giants. I do stay clear of both working ends of this guy. Lets just be real here.

I went back through the food section again just to see the different kinds of fair food available.
Pie Cones? That just doesn't seem right. At $7 a cone I let someone else get these calories.

Tubs of pickles. I think I still like the old barrels best. They look more appetizing that way.

Lastly for the day....chickens making a meal of the garden left overs.  Now that is a productive fair day.  The weather was overcast and a bit cool.  Just like a September day should be.
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm

Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

My daughter Sue (right) and her partner Meiliege (left) came up to spend the weekend with us. It was my birthday. Again. We went for BBQ and a country cookout at a neighbors home. They even had a band.  The cookout was for Labor Day. I choose to believe, in my own mind, that the party was for me too.
Spending the time with family is wonderful. We had tractor rides. Meiliege's son came and went for his very first tractor ride with Ted. They moved dirt! To a 5 year old boy moving dirt is way up there on the fun scale.
Meiliege and Sue made this cake for me.  Very talented women.  I am completely blown away with their skills.

Emma and Lucy 
A hen on top of the barn. (she didn't last too long after this picture. A giant creature came along and ate her.)After all, chickens should not be on the roof.

A complete barnyard with sheep, chickens, turkeys and hay. 

Julian driving the tractor and moving dirt with Ted.

I can't think of a better way to spend my 51st birthday. Family and friends.
Thank you all for making it special.
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday and Tomato Pie

It's Sunday. Yes, lazy, peaceful, quiet. Great time to try something new.  I love trying recipes from my blog friends.  Octoberfarm always posts so many delicious recipes.  I have tried a few and can tell you that my favorite is her Corned Beef Brisket. 
 I was at work and kept hearing how wonderful this Tomato Pie is.  It seems way too simple. Just a few items you probably have in your garden and pantry. 
Tomato Pie
1 refrigerated unbaked pie crust
1 1/3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I used 2 cups)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbl bread crumbs
2 lb. tomatoes, cut in wedges (about 6 cups)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
Preheat oven to 450. Place pie crust in a 9" pie plate. Sprinkle minced garlic over crust bottom.   Bake for 12 minutes or until dry.
Reduce oven temp to 375. 
Sprinkle 1/3 cup of cheese over the baked crust, then bread crumbs. Top with 1/3 tomato wedges, 1/3 cherry tomatoes. Repeat layering cheese, tomato wedges and cherry tomatoes until gone.  Sprinkle salt over top.  The pie crust will be very full.  (No joke) Bake 25 minutes until pastry is golden and tomatoes are beginning to brown. Remove to a rack and sprinkle top with chopped basil. Let stand 10 minutes.
I relied on my clean up crew.  If it hit the floor my Hoover team was spot on.
"Come on mom, drop something again."

Time for a taste test. 
Yep.  It is delicious and the basil makes it!

Thank you both Kristin and Cathy for the recipe. Tastes like summer in a pie shell.
Much Love from Mainely Ewes Farm.