Life Saving Tools on the Farm

By on Oct 19, 2017 in Carole's Corner |

The two calves tied in the feed bunker where hopelessly tangled. They were tied with quick release knots but these silly calves had twisted their ropes together making the quick release knots impossible to reach. They were in trouble and needed to be freed quickly. All of our farm workers and 4H members are required to learn how to tie a quick release knot but in this case, another tool might be required; a knife. A knife can save lives, cattle lives and a farmer’s life, too. When working on equipment clothing sometimes get caught in machinery. An accessible knife can cut away clothes and release a farmer from injury or even death. Of course for some of us keeping a knife handy is the trick. My cargo pants, with six or more pockets, helps but I still lose knives as often as I lose my glasses. Fortunately, there is a solution. Have you ever had a knife or metal letter opener in...

Homemade Detergent and Soap for Everyone

By on Oct 11, 2017 in Carole's Corner |

When I’m getting my hair cut or I’m at the feed store I wonder if anyone will notice the mud on my boots or crusted dirt on my cargo pants. Cargo pants, with their many pockets, are regulation farm-wear for me. Before cargo pants, I frequently lost my cell phone, literally. It would slip out of its holder and hide in the grass, on silent ringer, lost, literally. One side pocket of my cargo pants holds my phone the other my knife and glasses. Every farmer needs to keep a knife handy and this farmer needs glasses. Extra pants pockets make all the difference. Farming dictates my clothing choices but it also changed my laundry choices as well. I have discovered that it was easy to ditch commercial laundry soap for my own homemade variety. Not only do I save money making my own laundry soap I also avoid washing my clothes with harsh chemicals. Making laundry soap is so easy I...

Agriculture at the Deerfield Fair

By on Oct 4, 2017 in Carole's Corner |

It only rained one day at the Deerfield Fair this year. Our hairy cattle didn’t mind the cold wet weather but it chilled me to the bone. Most livestock are okay in the cold but humans not so much. Thankfully, the fair had tents and buildings to shelter us frail farmers from the weather. This year the Deerfield Fair had a special surprise for sheep, goat and llama exhibitors; a new barn. Two huge buildings were built in part of the parking lot to be used by small animal exhibitors. The larger of the two buildings housed livestock and the smaller was used for sales of wool, knit hats, fiber and a show ring all in the spirit of advocating for agriculture. Yes, the Deerfield Fair and many New Hampshire fairs, have a midway with rides that turn you upside down and inside out, but they also are the best place to get up close and personal with livestock. Where else can you pet a cow,...

Birds and Hurricanes

By on Sep 26, 2017 in Carole's Corner |

As I watched from my window a chickadee parent fed her baby, also in flight. The young bird grabbed the meal and continued on its way. The bird parents were teaching their babies how to grab insects in mid-air by feeding them in flight. That was earlier this year and by now, late summer, the babies are all fully trained in the art of mid-air feeding and are feasting on insects to make it through the winter. Birds are always with us until they aren’t. Recently hurricanes have pounded through the Carribean; not just once but many times. Irma destroyed the U.S. Virgin islands of St. Thomas and St. John but just missed St. Croix, also a U.S. Virgin Island where I have family and have frequently visited. While many hurricanes have touched down on St. Croix the worst was Hugo in 1989. The twenty-seven-mile island was not only devastated by Hugo but when it was gone, so were the birds....

Agression in the Barnyard

By on Sep 20, 2017 in Carole's Corner |

As he hovered over Charlotte, my 800-pound “pet” sow, Bucky lunged. I felt his hot breath on my hand as he snapped at me with his tusks stopping short inches from my hand. Bucky, a normally well-mannered boar was being protective of Charlotte. I was injecting her twice a day with medicine to help her recover from an illness. When I injected her, Charlotte would squeal and grunt her displeasure but ultimately put up with the twice-daily shots. Not so Bucky. This is the same Bucky who tried to rescue one of his offspring a few weeks ago. Then he was a concerned Dad; today he was a concerned husband to Charlotte. He saw and sensed that she didn’t like the injections so he decided to take action. He would not back off and hung around Charlotte ready to protect her from the “attack of the needle.” Like so many of us, Bucky was acting on partial information. He only understood...