Thursday, October 23, 2014

Last bits of Fall

Most of the leaves have fallen which means that stick season is here. Not really the most beautiful time in New England, but it's nice to have 4 true seasons and this is all part of it. As the seasons change, it feels like we have so much to think about and plan for.

We wanted to do a home slaughter for the lambs this year, but for logistical reasons, they will be headed to a local family farm the weekend after next. The farm they are going to has a walk-in fridge, so the carcass can hang for a few days before being butchered. We're still working out the details, but we should be able to come and learn how to do it on our own. It's not 100 percent what we intended when we got the lambs (we wanted to do it quickly at home), but it is a start.

We are considering buying a side of a cow from one of S's coworkers. If we have enough room in the chest freezer, it would be nice to supplement the chicken and lamb. The upfront cost is quite a bit, but it would pay off in the week to week grocery bills.

Ella thinks she's a farm dog. She's more of an indoor cat. We changed her food a few months back to what is considered a higher quality product than what we were feeding her. Unfortunately the new food had corn in it and as we found out, she has a corn allergy. Her nose was bone dry, she developed a bald spot on her head, and she is still recovering two weeks after we switched her back to her old kibble. She is back to her normal, tail-chasing self, but her physical recovery is taking a little longer.

So many apples....so many apples. I'm really not even sure we can say we made full use of all of the apples on the property this year. I would love to make some crab apple jelly from the ones pictured here. It's hard to work up the ambition once we get home from our day jobs though. I'm always wondering, could we do this farm thing full time? I know we would need a lot more property and we would need to take it much more seriously. But if we had all day to devote to it, would we enjoy it just as much?

Some thoughts for the last bits of Fall. Thinking ahead to a slower pace this winter and plans for some hard work in the spring to start this over again.


  1. I know you both would love it full-time, it easy to tell how much you treasure the land and care about your animals, plus you both seem full of adventure and ready to try new things. I have actually never tasted lamb, you will have to let me know how it is, and some favorite recipes. What kind of lambs did you buy? Do they stay out in the fields, or do you put them in a barn full time or part time?

    1. I would love it. Lamb is great, very lean. It would probably remind you of a far less gamey tasting venison. Our lambs are a dorset/friesian cross from a farm in southern VT. They are supposed to be a good cross for wool or meat. The farm had about 73 lambs this spring and I think we will try to buy from them again next spring. For the first month we were really cautious about putting them in at night since they were so little, we were afraid of predators. As they got bigger, we sort of let them go as they pleased. They end up in their stall in our little barn at night on their own, but apparently they do most of their eating at dawn and dusk so when we would go and let them out at 6:30am this summer, they had already missed a huge amount of time when they would typically be up eating. I definitely plan to write more about our first experience with them- they are actually headed off to slaughter tomorrow.

  2. It surely is stick season in New England! Hoping the recent nor'easter didn't rattle your land too much. The photography is this post is beautiful!

  3. Sometimes it is hard to make full use of everything. Especially when so many thing seem to ripen at the same time! We try our best to use everything we can but there is so many hours in the day. We've lost all our leaves here as well and snow is looming. As much as I like having four seasons, I just wish the cold was wasn't the longest one!