Sunday, September 19, 2010

A lousy tea-leaf

Other than the fact that fall is obviously here now, with leaves beginning to turn color and days getting quite short, there isn't really anything particularly new or noteworthy happening around the Great Farm, but I thought I'd better write something. or regular readers will think we've disappeared.

But mostly what has happened is that the pattern of getting stuff done at the old Bale House on the weekends, while working 45-50 hour weeks at Unity College, has set in and is proving hard to shake. The Bale House has to be finished, more or less, in time for the new occupant to move in in early October, and that's taking up much of my spare time. As a result, everything else on the farm is in a holding pattern.

This is alright actually, no problem, really. I enjoy the work at the Bale House. Aimee doesn't much mind having the Farm House to herself on weekends.

Of course, she's never alone. There's the small matter of our thirty different animals to keep her company.

The new Golden Comet layers are laying small dark brown eggs. The rooster is rampant. Aimee torments him by pretending to be some other rooster, faking cook-a-doodle-doos, and he goes nuts, looking around for the competitor. The pigs are in the fast-growing stage and need feed twice or thrice daily, but that only takes a minute or two. As we keep them on deep bedding they don't need mucked out. Instead they work over what was the sheep's winter bedding. Not exactly super-sanitary, but done by design and the pigs don't seem to mind. There is an outbreak of stable flies which is annoying but not a health hazard, and a frost should put an end to it any day now, so I don't plan to spray.

The sheep need some fall doctoring, hoof-trimming, dung tagging, booster shots, but we will do that with students on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. It's good practice for the introductory classes in animal care, and so they come over every fall.

The tomatoes are still producing, no frost yet to stop them, but we're all canned and frozen out, so I just pick what I can every few days and refrigerate them, hoping to eat fresh toms through the end of next month at least. The local market for free tomatoes appear to have been saturated too, we can't even give them away. There are some potatoes and peppers still to pick, and I may make some of the last of the tomatoes into salsa using the peppers, but I don't know when I'll find time right now.

The vehicles are all holding up well this fall, the large amount of vehicle work done in the late spring and early summer having paid off in spades. This is our biggest driving season. In summer we reduce our driving, and in winter you can't drive very far, so in fall there are extra trips here and there and I would guess we do twenty percent more driving during this period than at any other time of the year. There is usually some technical mishap or breakdown to contend with, but none so far this fall. The only bad thing going on with vehicles is that I can't get Aimee to wash the dust and mud off her "new" 13 year-old Camry, so I'll have to pinch it from her and wash it myself at some point. Again.

So the main thing is the Bale House. I'll go over there again today, soon, as soon as the Jackson Transfer Station is open so I can do the weekly trash and recycling run on the way.

I was a little upset, while over there working yesterday, to find that the place had been burgled. The small red generator we bought to keep over there had been stolen. Some lousy thief had clambered in through the open back windows and walked out the front door with it.

On the one hand this pisses me off because we can't afford to buy a new five-hundred dollar genny. On the other, it makes me want to laugh because no good-for-nothing tea-leaf is going to be able to make that generator run. It's just too tricky. Anyone so stupid they have to steal for a living will not be able to get it started. I doubt whoever took it will even be able to start it even once.

I'm not going to say here what the trick is to start it, but it sure isn't in the instructions, even if the thief could read them. And it's a very reliable snag. You have to use the trick every time or it just won't run.

And so it will likely appear in the secondhand market, and at real low dollar because it won't start. And it does have one or two unique recognizable features, so it may be possible to prove that it was ours.

At which point The Law will maybe be able to find it and sort the culprit, well and good, as they might say on some old seventies British cops-and-robbers show.

Anyway, the State Patrol will be over there today to investigate. It should be the Sheriff's Department, but apparently northern Waldo County doesn't have a Sheriff on Sundays, and we had guests at the Great Farm last night so I couldn't be at the Bale House for the Sheriff's deputy to meet me, so it will be the Boys in Blue.

Maine's finest, and several of them graduates of Unity College and my own students. As are quite a few Waldo County Sheriff's Deputies, for that matter.

It might be interesting to see what happens here.

So if you're reading this blog in Waldo County, Maine, or hereabouts, and your trailer trash neighbor who never had enough spare dough to even buy a pot to piss in has a new red Honeywell suitcase-type generator, 2,000W rated, do the right thing:

Call the cops.

Or email me the details and I'll call the cops.

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Welcome to our Farm Blog.
The purpose of this blog is for Aimee and I to communicate with friends and family, with those of our students, and other folks in general who are interested in homesteading and farming activities.

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