smithical

in the barn…

Posted by in farm

“The barn was very large. It was very old. It smelled of hay and it smelled of manure. It smelled of the perspiration of tired horses and the wonderful sweet breath of patient cows. It often had a sort of peaceful smell – as though nothing bad could happen ever again in the world. It smelled of grain and of harness dressing and of axle grease and of rubber boots and of new rope…but mostly it smelled of hay….” i’m reading E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web aloud to the boys at…read more

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these pictures are not my own…

Posted by in farm

…i need to stop looking for information on raising calves and lambs online because the pictures out there make me want to raise them in my own home. i mean…how can you want a plain old dog or cat when you can have… a jersey calf. adorable and doe-like, yes? how can you possibly resist? oh my WORD! yes, yes, i realize they get big and poop everywhere BUT in a toilet…i just don’t know what i’m going to do come the first heavy thunderstorm or snowstorm… i just might…read more

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sheep and cows

Posted by in farm

recently, we met with a local shepherd who raises romney and border leicester sheep. kenny also met with a local suffolk shepherd. both shepherds will sell us lambs when we’re ready (and when their lambs are weaned). suffolk sheep are raised for their meat, while romney and leicester sheep are known for their wool, specifically for hand spinners. kenny, dad, and i spent saturday cutting down all the low branches from the trees that will be inside the fence of the pasture. now we can see a bigger area of…read more

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the simple life

Posted by in earthkeeping, farm

we are enjoying a very busy week this week what with two birthdays and a wedding, parties, rehearsals and perhaps a new car! but our patch of life…our living garden, our chickens and bees, our time to sit and enjoy the homestead we’re building has been a bit neglected as we run from place to place, party to rehearsal, meeting to credit score check. and we’ve been running at this speed since summer started. we have had a few moments to sit and reflect…this morning kenny and i drank our…read more

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happy birthday, baby boy!

Posted by in Uncategorized

adam is 3 at noon today. i never tire of looking through birth pictures, especially on their birthdays. as i look through the pictures, i can still feel the atmosphere and feelings we all went through during those first days of our “babymoons.” my three-year-old: who are these “babies” holding the newborn adam? i am amazed at how little rowan and sawyer look: happy birthday, darling adam….!

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those loveable little cows!

Posted by in farm

reasons to go with jersey cows: “this small, soft brown, bright-eyed, dainty-hoofed creature works with devotion and determination to provide your table with a bounty of goodness, meal after meal, day after day, and in the process works her way into your heart.”    on breeding your jersey cow: “the signs of heat are mooing and bellowing; agitation, tail swishing and prancing around…sudden decrease in appetite or milk production. your cow may attempt to mount you.” um……

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the family dairy, part 1: she will NOT be named betsy

Posted by in farm

since all talk around our house lately is of fence posts, types of fence, dairy cows and the family sheep herd, i thought i’d begin a blog series on the steps forward (and backward!) we’re taking toward an actual, functioning family (hobby?) farm here in our hills of western pennsylvania. the two biggest reasons to get a family dairy cow and a few sheep in the same pasture is: – the amount of grass that we have and don’t want to mow ourselves anymore  – our own family dairy and free…read more

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pentecost carnival

Posted by in Uncategorized

there is a great post up at Homemaking Through the Church Year that lists different home traditions for Pentecost and also thoughtful posts about celebrating Pentecost. go there now!

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