Friday, December 30, 2011

Making New, Out of Old

 I walked into the local Winter Farmers Market and was awestruck at these unusual lamps.

Notice anything familiar ?

The lamps are made out of vintage meat grinders.

The kind our grandparents used every day.

The kind I am still looking for to grind my fresh beef.

An unusual creation from a real work horse appliance.

Are you still using your old grinders?


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Calves

Just about everyone in this town raises livestock of one kind or another.

I like to visit these different neighboring farms and see what kind of mischief I can get into, or at least help with chores.

This neighbor raises some hefty Herefords.

They love to eat.   The farmer raises his own hay, corn, silage and sunflower seed.

Christmas eve and Christmas day were busy ones for 7 of the cows.

They had calves in the serene quiet of those special nights.

The first surprise was born on 12/24 

Meet "Eve"

Warm milk from a good momma cow is a real treat on these cold Vermont days.

On Christmas this large reindeer-looking calf was born.

Of course the name Rudolph would of been appropriate had it been a boy..... it was a girl so, meet Ruby !

One of the new born calves was very small and it was very cold out, so a Polartec calf blanket was put on the little heifer.  She soon warmed up.    PolarTec makes cows happy!

Red calves look GREAT in blue blankets!

Farmers never get a day off.   Never.   And sometimes they may need help haying, harvesting, feeding livestock, repairing fences, cutting fallen trees off the fence lines, moving cows or even putting blankets on calves.

Go meet your local farmers.      Learn some skills and offer to help with some simple chores.  

You will be glad you did.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spud Man

My potato growing adventure was a horrible disaster this summer.

Those that know me know I am a potato worshipper.  I love them, and I live by them.

However, I barely got 5 potatoes out of my garden so I have been looking to buy fresh, locally grown potatoes.  I need a steady supply.

Lucky for me that this handsome local farmer brought all his spuds to the Farmers Market.

I purchased 10 pounds of small Fingerling potatoes.

Fast to cook in a frying pan or by boiling.

Delicious and filling.  4 or 5 are all that I need to fill me up and make me smile.


He is happy that he has a new customer and I am thrilled to have a farmer who has 9 different varieties of spuds and a good sense of humor!

Shop at your local farmers market.        Shop often.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mavis Meets Emu

My reluctant cow dog, Mavis, went with me to visit a neighbor and do some farm chores.

The neighbor has a "real" cow dog and raises beef cattle, poultry, pigs and....... emu.

As the dogs played and ran around the farm, I wondered how long it would take for Mavis to notice the numerous emu ( is is emus? or emi? ).

She walked right by them several times ........

and then finally she saw them.

They all made gentle eye contact with each other and then Mavis walked away to continue playing with her new Border Collie friend, Queenie.

I am hoping that Queenie will "mentor" Mavis into being more of a cow dog.
Time will tell.

Till then I will bring Mavis with me on my visits to this diversified farm and will continue to eat lots of fabulous, healthy emu meat.  Try some!!

Here are some unusual facts about Emu:   < some facts about the delicious emu meat
Has more iron than any other meat on the planet.  Since a large % of women are iron deficient, I highly recommend eating emu.  It really makes a difference!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Snow Barns

I woke up to a beautiful dusting of snow all over the rural landscape of this mountain area this morning.  It is snowing, quietly and gently.  Perfect snow. Perfect day.

As I drove to visit friends, I stopped to take photos of as many barns and "dusted" tractors as possible.

Enjoy the tour.

Old equipment waiting to go back to work in June.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Church Secrets

In the church I attend there is now a big Christmas tree taking up an entire corner of the church.

It is Vermont grown and is big, green, wonderfully fragrant and covered with all kinds of decorations.

It is a tradition in the church that the legendary church mouse be continually hidden around the church to see who can find it.

Well, I found him.

He was "out on a limb" amongst the decorations.

 I almost missed him.

Our very own Church Mouse is well traveled and seems very happy.

I wonder where he will be next week.

Have you got a Church Mouse ?


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ewes & Devons

I got a tour of a local farm today when I went to pick up a side of lamb that I purchased.

This farm family raises Katadin sheep, Devon beef cattle and maple syrup.

Below are their yearling ewes

Their barn is set up for the comfort and safety of their livestock

Really beautiful ewes.

The herd of Devons came into the barn to visit with me.

These Devons do really well on grass.

They have a wonderful temperment and do well in Vermont.

They make fabulous oxen too.

I was hoping one of them would "follow me home."

There is such a wonderful diversity of farms and livestock in this area.

Can't wait to cook up some of the lamb.

Anyone have any good recipes?


Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Season of Guests and Surprises

There are lots of great events in this region during the holiday season.  Many of them include food and meeting new people.

The conversations are wonderful and the food is all locally grown and d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s.

The toughest part of these little get-togethers is saying good bye and then trying to find your shoes....

I have noticed a lot of interesting kinds of socks the past few weeks......


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Barns of December

The sun was out and the snow has held off a little bit.

A few barns in Northern Vermont were waiting for my camera today.

The rural landscape is quiet this time of year.

Most of the equipment has been stored in barns and the cattle have been brought closer to home from the mountain meadows.

Area farms are very quiet and enjoying the time to rest, repair equipment, feed livestock and get ready for the holidays.

Its good to see so many working barns and small farms dotting the landscape these days.

More and more people are coming to Vermont to purchase small farms and raise vegetables, fruit or livestock.

Lots of room for new farmers here.

 Lots of barns and pastures that need new owners and new ideas.