Students from Ridgewood High School, NJ visited this weekend and took part in lots of wonderful hard work: cleaning chicken houses, painting, clearing brush, building bridges, planting potatoes, sorting building materials, gathering rocks and more things i can't think of.
Oh and we also ate some amazing food prepared by kate with a few helpers including Elizabeth, our intern / daily helper, and Alice and Anya, our soon-to-be full-time apprentices, and Sarah - our friend from Brooklyn who was here with long-time SCF friend and designer/builder Jeff.
Additionally Pete and Karen were on hand helping with all manner of projects and kid care, along with Gale (kate's mom) who took the kids to Franklin to play all day yesterday.
And. Our excavator guy was here digging water lines and leveling a site for a new building that we're putting up. More on that later...
main structure for the new bridge we started this weekend.
Sorry i can't show more pictures of the weekend's events, but the high school has lot's of silly paperwork that's required in order to show kids faces online. Alas, i had forgotten this fact as i was shooting photos this weekend, and somehow managed to get lot's of kids' faces in all of my photographs! What are the odds!?
I've returned to the long delayed (3years+) construction of the studio. If you're like most people you're wondering, "Studio? What will you use it for?". Well, of course i'll be doing my magazine illustration work there. (maybe a post on that other part of my life is in order) but it's much more than a place to sit in front of a computer. Doesn't everyone have projects that they wish they could bring into being, if only for a place to work where the synthesis of a good idea is the only impediment to progress? Of course you do. This will be that place. Wood-working, photography, graphic design, whatever...
I hope to be using it as an extension of our milkhouse office as early as May (though we likely won't have heat and May can still be pretty brutal around here) and my graphics workspace perhaps before that.
Here's a look of the progress.
more pics and description to follow.
Kate's sister Alyssa checking in with the most recent farm happenings.
It was a stunning weekend, the sun lighting up the reds, golds and oranges of the trees and shining all through the last Franklin market this season. There was a fair turnout at the market where some folks had brought an old apple cider maker and were churning out gallons of the good stuff.
Yesterday while Kate and Sara, up from NYC, were at the market, Dan and Jeff went to work building a "hoop house" (Dan has promised pictures when it's completed) and got some stone piers and timbers laid for the foundation. It's near the house and will be one of two planned greenhouses, the other nearly finished and waiting for some shower doors to be its ceiling.
Today Kate, Sergi, a very helpful Isaac and I managed to get 15 pounds of garlic planted - six different varieties, 5 from this season's crop and one from a neighboring farm.
Also recently finished is the root cellar in the big house, all that's missing is a final sealing around the outside wall and a couple of cracks and it gets loaded up with all of our humidity loving storage crops - potatoes, carrots, onions, some tolerant winter squash and maybe some cabbage.
Predators came from the west a few nights ago and flushed our youngest chicks at dusk and came back after dark to finish the job. All told they made off with twelve of seventeen. Subsequent attempts at a stakeout (Dan hiding with a shotgun in the brush) proved unsuccessful, so now we're just taking as many precautions as possible when we shut the various birds in every evening.
The temperature is sure to drop again soon, high in the 40s predicted for this next weekend, and the city visitors consider themselves pretty lucky to have enjoyed the indian summer the last few days.
Hey everyone. Well, it's getting cold - that's for sure. We had our first really hard frost the other night. My thoroughly unscientific assessment was determined by the 1/4" of ice on the water trough. We've gotten a bit of a reprieve though the last two nights. Been hovering round 34deg.
So, enough of the weather.
I think i've got a few pictures to share...
Isaac loving a tree at the Common Ground Fair in Maine a few weeks ago. (the fair is a really amazing event sponsored by MOFGA. Check it out on the web)
The Common Ground Fair rides (BYO scrap of cardboard)
Our neighbor Craig helping out with our one of final loads of hay for the year (finally!!)
Our friend, and future authentic farm cuisine restaurant owner, Steve helping out with the harvest back in August. (i know, i should be more timely with posting pictures)
Our new driveway being graded. More on this later....
Well, after some soul searching, and just a general FREAK OUT here at the farm....I have decided to start a list of the things we accomplish everyday...Since I am a lover of lists.
Instead of making the list of the billion of things we have to do, want to do, need money to do...we are going to talk each night at supper about what it is we DID DO each day. Ahh...
Here is the list from today:
*built a shoe shelf for the milk house and put up 3 kids coat hooks
*cleared sod away from the base of many willow and a few birch trees
*Organized canning equipment
*brought tools down from woodshed at Kate & Dan's house
*pulled a BILLION nails from reclaimed barn wood= created more lumber to build with (YES!)
*stacked wood in The Big House - for Pete and Karen
*delivered 9 dozen eggs to Lucky Dog Farm and saw a local CSA in action
*Picked up 3 tons of locally grown organic grain and loaded it into the barn
Whew....and that doesn't include our regular chores, making meals, or any of dan's computer work..
As a note, Rush said he plans on running around to do lots of little things tomorrow...this really gives me an idea of just all of the things we can accomplish in a day....
Bring on Tomorrow!!!
A few pictures from our day of work with the Syracuse students. More pictures and description to come after they depart tomorrow.
ok, not an Su student, but we did have some other special guests today (and of course we put them to work) Paul Larsen is our good friend Jeff's dad. He jumped at the chance to help out working on the "pod" (our future intern micro bunk-house)
more pictures coming...
the Syracuse University crew after a snowy Sunday morning working on the pod
Our new laying chicks will be moving out of the barn in a few weeks. The old mobile chicken house is too small so they'll need a new home. Pete pulled this old rolling chassis out of the weeds last year, cleaned it up and gave it a fresh coat of paint. It's gonna be one fancy chicken house!
Apprentice, Mike Clark learns the finer points of welding from Pete.
check back for more pictures as we continue building