Jun 062012
 

Hello all! It’s been a very trying several months since we last wrote. Let’s see if I can sum up the homestead happenings.

We were very happy to have food in the greenhouse all winter this year. It was a very warm and strange winter, but we can’t complain when beets, carrots, greens, even a few tomatoes and eggplant were with us until January. We tried covering the greenhouse with plastic this year – just gave her a blanket of 6mil over the roof and secured with 1x4s along the sides. We have to think this and the additional water barrels (total of 3 now) helped, but it’s hard to tell when Mother Nature is being so cooperative.

In contrast, the cold spring, and several medical issues, have kept us from getting the summer gardens completely in this year. We finally do have tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, some squash, and melons in – not where we had planned, but they are doing okay. Raised beds are going in to make the gardens a little easier to manage with the limitations now faced. Oh, and how can I forget, the zucchini was started early this year in the greenhouse – so the Zucchini Times are coming sooner than usual!

We are still working on the house – added four new windows and will be beefing up insulation on half the house this summer. We are adding a woodstove this year to see if we can get enough heat to keep the geothermal down. We are selling our Harman Pellet Stove if anyone needs one – just send us an email. It’s a good stove, we just want to reduce the electric draw in winter.

The dogs are all doing well – Bella will always be the ‘baby.’ She cries anytime one of us takes Jet or Oskar (her mom and dad) away somewhere. What ever would she have done if we had sold her? I promise to follow with some pictures soon. I do have to say – for those of you who do not know – the name of our homestead, Dharma Dogs Farm, came from our first German Shepherd Danny and I had together. His name was Storm, and our world revolved around him. So, when we decided to name this little half acre homestead, Dharma Dogs reflected the movement we were trying to make (the right path) and our love of our dog :) Little did we know then, that we would end up with a whole pack! Even so, we don’t sell the dogs, only a few puppies from an unexpected litter. As much as we would love to do German Shepherd rescue, we don’t have the land we would need to be fair to the dogs. We’re just trying to live a peaceful existence, providing for ourselves as best we can, and sharing with all of you to build a community of like-minded friends – just like many of you :)

We hope you all are healthy, safe, happy, and excited to have the Zucchini Times so near! :)

Peace,
michele

Jun 042011
 

Early morning bird songs fill the air
Knelt down in the early morning dew
Face toward Mother Earth – I am free

A faint click of the inverter signals Father Sun is rounding the oaks
Jingle of tags on collars prove my companions-protectors are with me
Grandmother spider scurries in front of me, snatching bugs as I pull up their cover
Daddy bluebird watches over chattering little ones while mommy catches a bite

Peach, pear, cherry, and hazelnuts rustle in the light breeze while almond sways gently
Barn owls who their good night-end as they settle in -
Second totem, after Wolf, before Raven
Pain reminds me my daily path is not true

Tiny yellow flowers dance like faeries over the lady’s mantle
A snap of peppermint floods childhood memories -
Incense and peppermints and strawberry alarm clocks
Pretty red roses remind me of a friend who saved me
Sun-soaked to the core of my soul – I am happy

Charentais flowers unfold their faces toward the sun
Mason bees buzz happily in the tomato forest
A tribe of chipmunks sounds the warning
As hawk settles majestically in the white pine

Cackling hens signal fresh eggs
An old squaw – some say medicine woman – creaks without groaning
Red beet soldiers line up for thinning - the selection process is brutal
Black swallowtail dances effortlessly-carelessly through the air

Strawberries half red, blueberries almost blue
Raspberries are plump with promise
Air heavy with the intoxicating smell of honeysuckle
It must be June at Dharma Dogs Farm

Wanishi
Weli Kishku

Lenape for:
Thank you
Have a Good Day

Feb 212010
 

The farm would not be complete without our wonderful dogs. In September 2009. we lost our 10 and a half year old German Shepherd, Storm. He was one of our children, our protector, our best friend, and our helper. Storm lived according to a code we could only hope to aspire to. Yet, though he had an intrinsic sense of right and wrong, he’d never judge us, only love and protect us.

We picked Storm up from Ponelli’s Atlantic Canine Training Center in April 1999. Cold and wet from his dunking bath right before we arrived, you’d never have guessed he would be the powerhouse who kept us feeling safe for just over 10 years. Tom Ponelli scoffed at the blanket I wrapped Storm in to bring him home. They bred and trained K-9 dogs, you know.

Over the years, though, Storm became our very best friend and the shock and sadness at losing him suddenly in September 2009 has weighed heavy in our hearts and lives. There is a big whole where Storm once lived.


That being said, we now have two German Shepherd dogs on the farm. Jet is a 9 month old beauty who was bred by our neighbor. She is precocious and energetic – and absolutely beautiful. Her bright eyes warn us when there is trouble, or when she is in a playful mood and ready to jump on us. She is a joy and helps us with tasks like laundry and caring for the chickens. She also knows how to open the door to let herself in.

Not long after Storm’s death, we really needed to visit Atlantic Canine Training Center again. We could not believe there was an available litter related to Storm. Oskar is Storm’s great-nephew. He is 6 months old and smart as a whip. We barely have to train with Oskar – he understands what we want him to do with barely even a word. The resemblance to Storm is uncanny.

The dogs are the Dharma on our farm. With the children grown and on their own, we really rely on the dogs for companionship, protection, and help around the farm.