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It’s April, no Foolin’

April 1st, 2011
The back farm yard, not looking very spring-like this morning
The back farm yard, not looking very Spring-like this morning

April showers bring May flowers, right? Not yet. We got hit with a major “Spring” snow storm this morning, and woke up to this. The little green shoots that were starting to poke through the grass and leaves have been covered with snow, the chicken tractors are bowing under the weight of a heavy wet white blanket, and our spirits, so ready for spring, are similarly bowing from Mother Nature’s cruel April fool’s joke.

Realistically, we know this snow won’t be around long. It probably won’t even last the weekend – it’s supposed to be sunny and in the 40’s tomorrow and rain on Sunday. But Mr. Pickles, our trusty garden gnome and spring barometer, is once again hidden from sight. Kind of like the groundhog and his shadow, when Mr. Pickles can see his toes, we know Spring is pretty much here. Exhibit A is this photo from 2 weeks ago. The snow in the front garden, Mr. Pickles’ domain, was disappearing fast:

Mr. Pickles, garden gnome and spring barometer
Mr. Pickles, garden gnome and spring barometer

And this morning, poor Pickles…

Mr. Pickles, covered, waits for more Spring-like weather
Mr. Pickles, covered, waits for more Spring-like weather

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Goat Hikes & Weekend Guests

January 17th, 2011
The whole herd, plus our visitors from Chicago, out for a hike in the snow
The whole herd, plus our new friends, Nina & Ian  from Chicago, out for a hike in the snow

We try to take the goats on hikes, at least once on the weekends through the winter. Since they’re pretty much in the barn from December until March, they don’t get much exercise otherwise, and can get a little stir crazy. It used to be a small outing, first just 4 goats, and then last year, six. Now we’re up to ten, and it’s quite a parade. On Saturday, we added two more (people, not goats) to the hike, new friends Nina Interlandi Bell and Ian Bell, who came all the way from Chicago to visit the farm. They were actually in Massachusetts and Maine to visit friends and family — they didn’t come all this way just to see us and our goats — and are looking for property in Central Maine. You see, Nina and Ian have a farm dream of their own — a place in the country where they can have a horse or two, some chickens, and who knows, maybe some goats. There’s not much activity on the farm in the winter, other than twice a day milking, but a goat hike in the snow is a great way to spend some quality time with the herd. We came in from the cold for some hot tea and goat cheese, and then finished the visit with a milking lesson. Nina was a natural.

By the way, Nina does some beautiful ec0-friendly letterpress work, check it out at Tweedle Press.

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