22 January 2011

I know I'm doing something right when...

my past self would never believe the things that I’m doing today.  Life is like a box of chocolates and such.  You can’t predict or plan the future, but you can plan for the future.  You make the best of what you’ve got and achieve something meaningful, personally awarding, challenging, and worthwhile.  I suppose it is this philosophy that meshes so well with both my own personality and farming that really has lead me to the present.
A short list of things I have accomplished this week (and not done before):
·       shape an axe handle, place the head on the handle, and grinding down a piece of metal that keeps the head in place
·       sharpened chainsaws
·       learned to directionally fell trees
·       build a shelf (Ikea does not count)
Speaking of the present, I am presently tired.  Waking up at 4:30-4:45 AM on Saturdays is extremely tiring despite the excitement that market brings.  It doesn’t help that I woke up in the middle of the night to get the fire going again and couldn’t go back to sleep for a couple of hours because I was thinking about the horses. 
Friday I drove the horses for the first time and it was simply exhilarating.  I learned to brush and harness the horses; this time it was Bill and Perry, the two 16-year-old red Belgians.  Jeff and I (along with Ross, a former apprentice hitchhiking) hooked up a small sleigh to the horses in order to bring feed and hay to the chickens and sheep, respectively.  Along the way, close enough to the sheep, the sleigh tipped over along with Ross and I.  Luckily there is no shortage of snow since it snowed another good foot yesterday. 
On the way back to the house, the sleigh’s evener (a part of the sleigh that evenly distributes the load during turns) hit a stump and broke.  So began my extreme cardio workout of ground-driving the horses through two feet of snow with Jeff leading us down the trail.  Without getting into too much detail, I felt like I just ran a marathon because I had to walk quickly and with reins in hand controlling the horses.  Getting back to the house, we had to unharness and brush the horses again.  Doesn’t sound too bad until you realize the horses’ shoulders are 6 feet.  What is nice about the brushing is that you do get to establish a relationship with them; a most crucial part to being able to work with them.
That’s why I’m so tired.  THE END.  Oh yeah, cutting trees down is the shiznat!  More on the chainsaw part of logging another time.  THE END for real.

"In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty" - Bob Marley

Baked Squash and Apples (from Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert)
·       2 pounds winter squash, peeled, seeded, fibers removed (it calls for butternut but I used acorn squash too) and cut into ½-inch slices
Place these into a baking dish
·       2-3 apples (cored and cut into ½-inch slices)
Place on top of the squash.
·       1/3 cup brown sugar (I just threw a little honey on top)
·       3 tablespoons butter (melted)
·       1 tablespoon flour
·       1 teaspoon salt
·       ¼ teaspoon mace (??)
·       I put some cinnamon since, well cinnamon and apples are a winning combo
Combine these last ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle on top of the squash and apples.  Cover and bake at 350F until squash is tender, 40-50 minutes.  It’ll take longer, as it did for me, if they are piled high.  Final step, close your eyes and enjoy the sweet combination of winter squash and apples.  Blink, savor, repeat.


  1. Hey buddy!!!! So Ive been reading your blog......lots of work, no pay, chickens, horses no showers sounds like Project SOAR in Maine!! HAHA Gotta agree that felling trees is awesome, I was doing it over the summer with my uncle....SO how is your epic battle with the cock, I mean rooster going? (you know I already have pictures of you battling roosters all drawn out) Well bud hope its going well!!! We miss you!! Chuck

  2. I've kicked the cock (funny phrase) and it seems to be leaving me alone for a while. However, I continue to be amazed at how dumb chickens are. They poop in their own water and food. Sounds like something you would do. I think they also eat paint chips.

  3. Ahhhh Richard you know me too well pooping in my own food and eating paint chips are just your avg monday for me!!!!! Well man Im really happy that your doing what you want to do and enjoying it!!!! Plus now that your gone I dont have to look at your ugly face.....hahaha eat it lee!

  4. "I was thinking about the horses" "my horse, my horse. my kingdom for a horse"

    the clydesdales bringing the budweiser. a pegasus flying down to help drive the horses. two unicorns to place the chainsaw chains on. a kentucky derby winner carrying a box of belgium chocolate for the belgian horses.

    seabiscuit not available for shenanigans. sorry.

    apparently, Napoleon's horse was named "Marengo."