Planting the 2016 Christmas Tree

This year we decided to plant the 2016 Christmas tree near the pond.  The tree groves we started in the back yard were filling up, so we decided to find a new spot .  Up the small hill behind the pond was a large cherry tree that was growing to close to the cattle fence.   We decided to take that down and use the hole for this year’s tree.

The day after we planted the tree, Thelma and I headed back to the pond with a couple of 5-gallon buckets to water the tree.  The winter has been mild, with temperatures well into the 60’s.  After filling the buckets from the pond, I headed back to slowly pour the water around the tree roots.  After pouring out most of one bucket, I saw a dark wiggly thing on the ground.  It was a large tadpole!  And there were 2 more in the bottom of the bucket.  So back to the pond to empty the tadpoles back into the water!

FarmetteLife 2016 Christmas tree

Cattle Herd Moving Day

We moved the herd of 14 (8 cows, 1 heifer, 4 calves and Leo, the bull) to the house field yesterday, in the rain.  With the fields struggling because of nearly 2 months with little to no rain, we decided to give the front field a much needed break.  The herd will hang out behind the house for a couple of weeks then we will rotate everyone back to the front just before Dr. Amanda comes out to do the pregnancy checks.

I just love to look out of my kitchen window and see the cattle!!

View from Kitchen Window

Spring bee hive update

Well, maybe not actually spring, but the temperatures got above 50 degrees today so I was able to feed and check on the bees.  Both hives survived and seem to be doing well, thank goodness.  This year, the lower hive is stronger than the upper one.  I took a one day advanced bee class last weekend, and learned how to strengthen a weaker hive, or just add brood to a hive with too few bees.  I am thinking of doing something to the lower hive in a few weeks.  With any luck, spring really will arrive soon.

Hives on March 2

lower hive upper hive

New products for 2015

My 2015 goals for FarmetteLife include a couple of new products, and I have finally found some time to work on them.

First are Lavender Soy Candles – scented exclusively using essential oil for a wonderful, subtle lavender fragrance, similar to my lavender soaps.

Making Soy Candles

Making Soy Candles

Finished Candles

And hand balm,

Developing Hand Balm

which is still in the development stage.  I love the oils that I have finalized on , but am looking to add a starch to reduce the slightly oil feel.

And for Valentine’s day, several spa baskets for that special, soaking-bath-loving person,

Small Heart Basket

Small Heart Basket

Large Heart Basket

Large Heart Basket

Square Spa Basket

Square Spa Basket

 

Pecan Trees

So a month or so ago, we discovered that there are two old, mature pecan trees along our driveway!  This year there were pecans everywhere.  hb was so excited that he spent hours collecting bowls full of them.  During football games, we cracked them open then roasted in the oven for 8 minutes.  Amazing how much better tasting a pecan pie is when fresh, homegrown pecans are used!

bowl of pecans pecans

Busy getting ready for winter!

So much has been going on this fall at TurkeyCrest!  My neighbor, Spruce Rock Farms, invited me to stock my FarmetteLife soaps and honey in their Christmas shop.  Each weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas the shop is open.  The first weekend, I sold all of my honey, which is good and bad.  Next year with the 2 additional hives, my  honey supply should last through the winter.

shelvesInShop

Thelma joined me at the shop on Sunday.  Dressed in her Christmas sweater, she was the perfect greeter.  Thelma had a great time, welcoming the folks out to cut their trees and amusing the kids.

greeterThelma

Over thanksgiving during the first snow of the season, we watched a fox running through the fields.

thanksgivingFox

Always something interesting to see at Turkeycrest!

busy autumn day

Today, we finally built the new canoe rack next to the pond and moved the two canoes from beside the barn to their new (and final) resting place.  This is the third canoe rack that hb and I have constructed so the process is now rather straightforward.  From start to finish, we built the rack and installed the canoes in under 3 hours.  Seems like we finally have the right equipment to help get the job done easily too.  The post hole auger on the little tractor made quick work of the post holes, and we used the mule to run and get supplies twice

canoe rack

canoe rack

After building the canoe rack, I spent most of the afternoon working on my website.  The autumn gift baskets were finally added, as were my new soaps.  Then, after watching the final sad 5 minutes of the steeler’s pathetic attempt at a football game, I headed back outside.  I mowed two of the fields where we have planted trees, the white pines and the sourwoods.  Hopefully, today was the last time I mow those fields in 2014.

The only task I wanted to get done that will have to wait until tomorrow is making soap, and that is my favorite thing to do!