A Celebration of Spring for All Ages

On Saturday May 4th, we celebrated spring by reconnecting with the land and community through planting, sharing a meal, and expressing gratitude for earth’s renewal.  There was a wonderful turnout of friends and volunteers to see the progress and changes that have occurred over the last year at Colchester Neighborhood Farm.

Activities included planting, potluck lunch, visiting with our young cashmere goat kids and the other animals, creating clay art projects, growing a sunflower project, getting away from it all by taking a quiet walk through our labyrinth, Kerrie tending to her new hive of honey bees, and a perennial plant share.

Click on an image below to begin a slideshow!

How to Keep Warm…

Keep movin’!!!… Might you know someone who would be interested in volunteering?

We are looking for  help with animal feeding several days per week… it is about a 20 minute commitment – unless, of course, you wish to stay longer to play.  It’s a simple feeding of giving grain and hay, along with water, to six goats and one sheep.

We are especially in need during February vacation… Monday and Friday afternoon/evening.

Other times that would be helpful  are Monday mornings… anytime from day break to 10:00 AM (sunrise is often spectacular at the farm – what a gift!) and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday afternoon/evenings – anytime after 4:00 PM.

We frequently have the great fortune to observe stunning moon rises and sunsets during afternoon feeding time.

Training available!

Contact Connie by e-mail at cmaribett@newenglandvillage.org or cell 781-588-4255.

Annual Harvest Gathering for CSA Members & Supporters

On Sunday, October 21st, Colchester Neighborhood Farm held its Annual Harvest Gathering Open House.  There was a wonderful turnout of CSA Members and Supporters.

The Open House included a Potluck Lunch of favorite dishes for sharing.   There was also Tours, Yoga in the Field, a Cooking Demo, Donor and Supporter Recognition, a Beekeeping Presentation, & more…  Hayrides and Music were ongoing throughout the day!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Geography Class Visits CNF

Member James writes about his own blog:

Thanks for hosting my students yesterday and talking with them about the work and thought involved in the farm.  As you can tell, this was a very engaged group, some of them with more than the usual amount of experience with these issues.

 James wrote up the visit at http://bsc-geography.blogspot.com/2012/07/back-to-fields.html

Be sure to click the link http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhayesboh/sets/72157630783276616/ to view more photos on Flickr.

It’s Springtime at CNF :-)

Lambs for Jewel & Gizelle

The first lambs of the 2012 spring season have arrived.  Both Jewel and Gizelle gave birth on Friday 2/17/12.  Nine more ewes are expecting in the next month!

Jellybean Gives Jim a Surprise!

We’re pleased to announce a surprise addition to the CNF flock!  At 6:15 Wednesday evening, volunteer Jim was doing the night feeding when Jellybean gave birth to an 11-pound ram lamb.  Lynda says this is the first Fall lamb in many years!

Sheep & Chickens win big at The Barnstable County Fair

Lynda packed up the show sheep, along with a dozen or so chickens, and headed to The Barnstable County Fair in East Famouth.  The fair ran for 8 days beginning July 16th and during that time her sheep and chickens (oh, and Connie’s chickens, too!) won top prizes in various categories.  Lynda’s Hampshire yearling Zoe won best Hampshire ewe while her ram JFK won best ram.  The contest was then on to see who would win best Hampshire and ultimatly Zoe came out on top.

As for the chickens, one of Lynda’s won the Champion prize for Egg Production while one of Connie’s won Champion for Best Large Fowl.  The only other Champion ribbon was for Bantams but Colchester doesn’t raise them or else it would have been a sweep!

Congratulations to both Lynda and Connie for their efforts in bringing home so many ribbons and trophies.  Here are some photos of the sheep, chickens, Lynda, and of course the bounty of ribbons in all colors but mostly… BLUE!

It’s Show Time!

The sheep show season has begun and the lambs have already been to their first fair.  During Memorial Day weekend Lynda took all 16 lambs and the yearlings on a road trip to the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair located in Cummington, MA.  The fair is a showcase for woolcraft enthusiasts and vendors including fiber goods workshops for sheep, llama, rabbit, and alpaca fleeces.  The main event, of course, is the sheep show where both wool and meat sheep are shown and judged in a variety of classes.

Here’s a slide show of Lynda preparing the sheep for the show.  The basics of the process is a variety of steps:
1. Use a curry comb to remove any hay or foreign material off the outside of the fleece
2. Sheer the body of the better wool and keep separate
3. Sheer the belly, lower legs, and neck of the lesser quality wool
4. Skirt the wool –  skirting involves removing all inferior wool from the fleece wool including any edges and second cuts
5. Wash the sheep
6. Perform a final sheer to smooth out any rough sheer marks
7. The sheep is then carded and trimmed to its final cut using hand sheers

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Remember the Spring Lambs?

Look how big they’ve become!  They even went to their first fair over Memorial Day weekend.  A future post will be on prepping them and their mother ewes for the fair…

Gloria Has Twins

The last of the ewes gave birth yesterday, 03/29/11, ending the anticipation of sheep births for the 2011 season.  Cheviot Gloria had twin rams, both of which weighed in at 9 lbs.  The little ones are already up and about and very interested in all the other sheep and lambs in the barn… and of course Dam Gloria is doing well and proving she is a good mother to her newborns.  This latest birth gives CNF a final count of 16 lambs this season with eight being Hampshires and eight Cheviots.  Believe it or not, the Hampshires that were born in January are almost ready to be weaned.  Everyone, except the smallest of lambs, loves the opportunity to go out into the pastures all day now that the spring weather has arrived.   Call or e-mail to make an appointment to visit the lambs and watch them run, jump, and play together; you just might make a new friend!