It really was. We got a lot of farm work accomplished. It was exhausting, but that’s the way it goes. The weather cooperated, and we were hot out there, but luckily there was a nice breeze.
We have 4 paddocks separated by cattle panels and two of those areas have not been pressed into service for awhile. One of them houses our gigantic compost pile, and one is farther back and grassy. So we needed to move the ‘pig’ hut from the one, to the farthest. We got the boys and Jingle into that area, and they are having a good time eating up the weeds and the grasses.
On Saturday a friend of ours came down and we were able to get the CDT shots done on the goat babies, plus some foot trimming. Along with that, we planted our giant pumpkin plants and are crossing our fingers that we can prevent them from being eaten by deer. And so it goes! 4 more school days until the kids are released and teachers have a few more after that, but not a big deal.
I can taste the summer, it’s close, but tonight we are in the 40’s and it was a day for sweaters and turtlenecks! June 15th. Gotta love it!
We have been very lucky not to have to turn on the heat until the end of last week. The week has been mostly beautiful, with bright moonshine and frosty mornings. But the temperature has taken a nose dive, and I have been scrambling to get my chore clothes figured out. Work clothes, as well. Transition seasons are always a little crazy in the clothing department!
My husband and I have been on a quest to find a decent hooded sweatshirt that isn’t as heavy as a Carhartt model. John and I have been wrangling over the same ripped up, saggy hoodie for the last two years and we decided to travel down to Freeport and check out LL Bean. Little did we know that there was a huge pumpkin-carving festival going on (proceeds of which are going to Camp Sunshine). It was wonderful! Some very creative pumpkin carvings. Something like 6,000 pumpkins had been donated. (And we both bought amazing hooded sweatshirts that are lightly lined, and just perfect – in different colors so there should be no thievery!).
It’s a very cloudy, blustery day today, and it didn’t feel like a chore to zip around the Midcoast. We had a very lovely day. I have not been good about blogging in the last week or so, and I have a collection of photos for the post that are random from the last few days. And, it feels like a hot drink kind of evening, although what that might be I just don’t know!
It has been quite the weekend. Work for most of the day on Friday, Bristol Area Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning, and then getting ready for lamb shearing on Sunday afternoon (plus regular shopping and errands). 4 lambs are going to the butcher on Wednesday morning and I have not been dealing with the pelts efficiently, so I prefer to get the fleece. Our lovely shearer, Emily, came over during a very busy weekend at her farm and sheared our four little darlings. One ewe lamb and 3 ram lambs.
They have absolutely fantastically beautiful fleeces. It was an even bigger pleasure to have Chris come by to help with the shearing activities. It’s difficult to get the lambs out onto the shearing floor, sweep, skirt the fleeces and get the lamb into the next pen. We got four beautiful fleeces and some very naked lambs.
During this afternoon, our friends from southern Maine came over to pick up one of our gorgeous ram lambs. So it felt like a party!
And our volunteer vine has set some seriously beautiful pumpkins, two of which are really orange. One is even larger, but still green. I am going to have to do some research on how to tell when a pumpkin should be harvested!
Yet again (!) another week has come and gone. Another grey and wet one. Yesterday we got 6 of our old girls off to the butcher and on the way home we stopped and had a visit with our friends at Bridge Farm in Dresden. They were in the process of baking in their outdoor bake oven and we stayed to watch the process, as well as to leave with some beautiful “everything” bagels.
Today we went into town to get our Giant Pumpkin plant to grow for the Damariscotta Pumpkin Fest which will take place in October. All the men in the house are planning great things and monster pumpkins! John, Sawyer and I went over to pick up our little pumpkin plant, which comes from a pumpkin that weighed 1,129 lbs last year. Wow. We are going to plant that in front of the house where we get the most sun and the vines can just go wild across the septic field if they want. I love dreaming about the garden at this time of year. It’s almost the end of May and we are still having temperatures in the 40s and 50s. Yikes. I have a feeling that we are going to get slammed right between the eyes with hot weather and skip spring altogether. And I pledge not to complain about dry warmness!
The Damariscotta Pumpkin Fest weekend is here. This past week I drove by Pinkham’s Plantation and their parking lot had turned into a sea of giant sized pumpkins, all shapes, colors and sizes. (If I were a good blogger, I would carry my camera around with me and take photos, but I am not. One of these days, perhaps.) Most of the pumpkins have been sent around to area businesses so that they can carve and paint them and keep them on display. Cool pumpkin art. But the biggest draw of the festival will be held tomorrow: the Pumpkin Regatta! Farmers are working long hours today to finish the building of their pumpkin boats, to be motored on the Damariscotta River tomorrow in a race. It is a real hoot!
Here at Ruit Farm we have been growing our own pumpkins.
We bought our pumpkin seedling in the spring just at the right moment, brought it home, and that was it. For the most part. I don’t know when we caught up with ourselves, but somewhere around July John decided to just pop it into one of our huge compost piles and see what it would do. It has almost taken over the driveway where we pull in to feed the animals. Lots of wonderful pumpkin flowers, but alas, this is our progeny:
one 8″ yellow fruit, not even old enough to be a respectable orange! Alas, we will not be competing in the Regatta tomorrow. I am so glad that our friend Patty gave us a pumpkin that we can actually carve and enjoy!
Even though we tried growing one of the famous Damariscotta giant pumpkins, we have not succeeded. In an almost perfect gardening year, we have produced a big zero. Admittedly, our lives are quite hectic with the sheep and the goats, plus regular jobs and the grandson. The summer heat hit my asthma and eczema hard, and I did not enjoy it the way I wished I could. So when it came to a pumpkin for the fall holidays we had to call on the backup plan: buy one! (My father in law grew a pumpkin that was about 100 pounds when our older son was about 3 and we kept that baby in the house for almost a year before it started to get soft. We have to keep our end up here!) So we are feeling as though we need to have one for our grandboy’s first real Halloween. I must say that I think it made some kind of impression:
The picture is a little fuzzy as this 18 month old insisted on constant movement!
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!