It may seem like a slow time of the year on a farm, but this is not the case. Sure, aside from obtaining more firewood, tapping trees, and building portable structures, some of the physical demands have been reduced a bit, but the amount of planning, marketing, equipment sourcing and budgeting going on is at an an all time high.
For starters, after months of deliberation and hundreds of used tractors viewed online, it was finally time to pull the trigger and make a decision on a multi-purpose farm tractor. In the end we didn't have to go far, as we found a 1959 Massey Ferguson T035 tractor at a good price right here in Honesdale. The tractor has a live PTO (power take off) and 3 point hitch on the back so that mowers and other attachments can be hooked up and powered by the tractor. We are also presently sourcing a front end bucket loader that we can take on and off as needed to lift and haul loads or turn compost, etc. We think our old tractor certainly has an "old school" feel.
We have a lot of plans on the books right now for when the weather warms - for starters, a privy up on the hillside so that guests can have a complete "old school" experience when visiting the farm this spring and summer (superior in every way to a porta-potty. We are also currently planning a cold frame, and an additional shelter for some dairy goats we will be bringing to the farm.
Old School Farm will have a booth this April at the Philly Farm & Food Fest on Sunday, April 14th - www.PhillyFarmFest.org We will be there to promote our upcoming Family Farm Getaways, sell some homemade wood-fired bread, and to get the word out regarding our sister company that provides and installs backyard family food gardens - www.BackyardFarmers.com
The boys and mom, Deena were up over President's Day weekend to visit their cousins at nearby Elk Mountain. Some sledding fun, a bit of snowmobiling on Dave's snowmobile, and tapping sugar maple trees for sap added to the excitement for the boys.
Watch a funny video of the boys getting their sap here: http://youtu.be/vqE-lgSj940
During mid-February Al and Dave journeyed to State College for the 22nd annual PASA (PA sustainable Agriculture conference) - www.pasafarming.org held at the Penn Stater conference center. Over 2,000 people were in attendance to select from over 100 workshops/seminars to learn the latest sustainable agriculture practices. Some excellent food and a great time was had by all. If you are interested in where your food comes from, bettering how we produce it, and would like to meet some really great people, then you might want to consider joining PASA. Keynote speaker, Ben Hewitt, an author and farmer raising two young boys on a farm in Vermont was pretty incredible: http://benhewitt.net/ - he's a great read.
|Bob Martin - 2nd from left|
|Olive Walter - the much loved teacher at the Pleasant Valley School|
Prior to the Jadwin dam being installed to protect Honesdale from flooding, the school was located directly across the Dyberry river from us. Bob also shared copies of some old photos of Olive Walter (above) whose family had built our house, and who was the teacher for many years. Olive can be seen above in the background behind her students. Bob then went on to tell me how each day students would walk over to our springhouse to get drinking water and how they were also responsible for keeping the wood stove stoked during winter months. Thanks for the great history lesson Bob !
Until next time, enjoy the photos, stay warm, and think spring !
Your Friends at Old School Farm
|Hen enjoying beets from our springhouse|
|Pileated woodpecker work|
|Our old Kalamazoo Stove in Basement - 100% wood heat|
|Old school sugaring bucket|
|Windows added to back of hen house for ventilation|
|An unknown creature;s winter burrow - possibly a weasel|