Happy Solstice everyone, the official start of summer! May it be golden and productive.
In May, we saw lots of rain, mud and cool temperatures which delayed planting the garden by three weeks! So we have to hope for a late frost so we have pumpkins for Halloween! This may mean we will be having our annual open house in October rather than September, just to make sure our friends have a pumpkin to bring home for Halloween from our fields!
June has so far been very busy. Because of our late start planting, this involved starting the garden. We were also finally able to open the pasture for the horses, so they can run and munch pasture after a muddy spring. Both horses received their Lyme and Rabies vaccines and had dental check ups (Bodie developed a sharp point on one of his back teeth, so he had to have them filed. It all went well, so he is good for another year!) The horses are THRILLED to be back on pasture; they love the sweet taste of the new shoots of grass.
We are also currently cleaning the hay barn, getting ready for fresh hay which is essential for the horses and goats, especially in January when the earth is icy and frozen. We hope to put in 350 bales here, and another 80-100 at our friend’s barn. The first crop will be cut end of June/beginning of July, and the 2nd crop of hay is usually cut in August. The second crop of hay is richer than first crop, so it’s best to try to feed a mixture to balance the nutrients in the hay. Bodie loves second crop, it’s like candy to him! But we have to be careful he doesn’t eat too much, we don’t want him to get too plump! Diamond on the other hand tends to run slim, so we have to make sure he keeps weight on, especially in the winter.
The goats Shadow and Gus are doing well, they received their annual check up from Dr. Z (Annabessacook Veterinarian Office) and had their hooves trimed and received their CDT (Clostridum Perfringens and Tetnus shots). So they are healthy and jumping rocks in their little pasture!
Ephphatha’s opening day for our friends to visit was May 29th. We had a group from Skills Inc. and the Ervin center in Waterville. We planted flowers, played in the dirt and had a fun time enjoying the sun. Bodie walked down from his stable to the craft area to say hello and have a carrot snack.
Last Wednesday, June 6th, we were very excited for our first visit from the Winslow Elementary School Autism program! 12 children arrived with their teacher and aides to spend the morning with us. The children met and brushed the horses, saw the gardens, had a picnic lunch (the day was stunningly beautiful with blue skies), caught frogs, painted rocks and had a wonderful time! We hope to plan another visit when the summer program begins in July.
We have also been feeding our birds at the Farm, a great activity for our friends to participate in, as even those with severe physical limitations can experience the seeds being poured into feeders. Individuals with less physical difficulties can experience the seeds being poured over their hands and onto the grass, where our feathered companions flutter down to eat and fly off. This past month we had a Eastern Phoebe make a nest in the corner of our garage and a baby bird was hatched and cared for by his parents. We loved to hear the flutter of bird wings as the parents fluttered past to care for their baby. Yesterday the baby bird flew away! The cycle of life continues. We are witnesses to such miracles and our hearts are in awe.
Happy June everyone, we hope you watch for the miracles that surround you.