In Spring 2020 we started again to attend to the pasture-rotation situation. Our original pasture was in the Bent Pine Barnyard…the sandpit. Pasturing in 2017.
In a new field behind the Blue Hen Farm Workshop, we relocated Spike (our resident breeding goat buck), Little Goose (the Bully of the flock), Grace (the matriarch), and Gilbert (who, as it turns out, is actually Gilbertina). A Roo came over from the Blue Hen Henyard, where he had been mistreated by the other Rhode Island Red rooster. He recovered well and fit right in with the others. We called it Misfit Field. We began a new pasture there.
The new field came along in a couple of weeks. Seems like we never have enough electric fence for sectioning off…Pasture-Making Post.
The “Preserving Food Simply” series is off to a tasty start with a successful first class: Simply Fermenting. Two couples attended the fermenting workshop that was held Friday afternoon at The Lost Arts House @ the Blue Hen Farm in the Mini-Farms section of Dunnellon. A good time was had by all and the “Salsa” and “Sauerkraut” results were delicious!
Tues. Sept 18 or Sat. Sept 22nd Simply Fermenting
Tues. Sept 25 or Sat. Sept 29th Simply Pickled
Tues. Oct 2nd or Sat. Oct 6th Simply Canned
We’re starting the make-over on Blue Hen Farm.
The main house at Blue Hen will be made-over into the “Lost Arts House”, workspace for artisan crafts, a small office, and resource room. Changing the flooring (removing rug in the main room), painting, and building an island in the kitchen are the first tasks to be completed Winter and Spring 2018. The chicken yard will be made-over into space for the Spring meat birds and a couple of goats.
Kitchen looks great with the new paint job…Brick Red. Now to fix the trim and replace the flooring with the Oak & Acorn standard, black & white squares.
An island in the middle will give us plenty of workspace.
At the same time, we’re working on the Floor Project. The floor for the Main Workspace will be 1/4 inch plywood, polyurethane sealed 4’x 4′ squares. Each square will represent a part of the Fairhaven Community School project.
We got this idea from the “paper bag” floors that have been so popular in recent years. Here’s a pic of the first floor panel so far…a scary blank canvas. I’m sure it will get easier as we go along. We’re not sure how they will wear…will let you know.
Workspaces – The Blue Hen Farm Project putts along, slow but sure. In the Lost Arts department we are continuing to refurbish the Lost Arts House, mostly repainting rooms at this point.
Guest Cottages – For the Oak & Acorn Hostel Project we continue to revamp the Workshop and Tilly for housing. Tilly has a new air and heating system, which is completely noiseless. That’s quite a change from the old (original) noisy air system. A screen porch on the front will add some usable space and a summer kitchen off the back will be nice.
Livestock Management – The “Hatchery” has a new coat of paint and new steps. Just a little trim needed to finish up. The newbies start out there, and we will move the incubator to that space from the Firebee.
Right now we have half a dozen Rhode Island Whites and a couple of Reds, to hatch some of our own Red Stars Hybrids.
Our vision for the future…an agri-arts homestead and folk arts school. Each day we move a little bit forward. Some days we slip backward. The family has moved on. Blue Hen sits empty. It’s a sad site and the memories bring tears. But, you won’t get anywhere if you live in the past. Jan 2018 – We’ve turned the page and begun a new chapter.
The ‘Lost Arts House’…I like the name. We’ll start with the Teddy Bear project. We’ll get sewing machines and fabric, notions, and patterns, etc. We’ll research lost arts on YouTube and create resource packages and kits for making. Making the backpacks for the Teddy Bears that will hold the marketing materials for our other programs will be a great “Learn to Sew” project. Of course you can “learn to sew” at Joanne’s for $35 a lesson. Let’s see if we can sweeten the pot for the sew-crafters, like offering our homemade herb teas, kombucha, canned meats, “Stay the Day, and Take Home Your Supper”…a General Store with all the stuff we make here on the farm. A barter system. Remember green stamps? You get the idea.
No grant money yet, so the budget is shoestring, to say the least. We’re still cleaning up the downed trees from Hurricane Irma. That’s a slow process, but at least we have lots of stumps for goat play structures and oak for the fireplace. The running track is started. We’ll be fixing up the Workshop into a ‘tiny house’ space. Not sure what the space use will be yet. Maybe music.
Fam-Farm-Cations…Professional Development, learn new skills, and bring the family! We’ll have a Squirt Garden, Cardboard Construction, Spinning and Weaving classes, an Internship program, “Tales from the Farm” Book Art for primaries and parents…and a JUNK BAND!! I intend to spend my ‘End-of-Program’ years creating book art, spinning my own fibers (Angora Rabbits and Goat fibers), making art yarns, weaving, and conducting a musical ensemble…playing my own music, of course! Gosh I sound busy!
I’ve got some “before” pictures of Blue Hen Farm, but my computer is not cooperating at the moment, of course. As my granddaughter recently reminded me…”Be patient, be patient, don’t be in such a hurry. Remember, remember that you don’t need to worry…” and we both forgot the rest of the ditty that I used to sing to her when she was little. That’s okay. We’ll get there.