Grit Blogs > Howdy from Homeland Farm

Hay Season at Homeland Farm

CarmenHello from Homeland Farm. It is proving to be an interesting summer here at the old place.

We just watched our farms history played out on national television. We were taped last February for the show My Ghost Story, which is on the Biography channel, and last Saturday night we made our TV debut. The segment was only about 8 minutes long but it was so interesting. This farm has been in our family for 5 generations, and we have always felt a few of those now gone relatives continue to visit us on occasion. We have a family cemetery in the corner of our hay field where many of our kinfolk are buried, and that was featured on the show as well. It was alot of fun, and thankfully I looked fairly intelligent as the narrator! It should be able to be viewed soon on Bio.com, look for my face in the playlist box. I think it will probably be listed on episode 8, although I am not sure about that. Hollywood hasn't come knocking since the show aired however, so the farm work continues!

Daughter Brogan tilling garden

Our garden has really kicked into high gear with the long stretch of hot weather and ample rain supply we have had this summer. We have gorgeous plants, and are starting to get an abundance of cukes. That of course means pickles of every variety. I have made bread and butter pickles and ripe cucumber pickles. Today I finish a batch of kosher dills as well. We have plenty more cukes coming on, so I think I will be able to try several other varieties. I have made three batches of strawberry jam and a couple batches of raspberry as well.

PLUS, I have made two batches of homemade root beer ... Oh my! It is so good. I love root beer, and the homemade, while not as sweet as commerically made rootbeer, is the best you can drink. It is made with yeast, and that makes it extra potent, so caution must be used once it gets fizzy. It can, and WILL blow up! How many of you out there can recall homemade root beer shattering glass bottles? I bet more then one! We  now use plastic soda bottles that I wash out, which makes it easier to tell when the soda is ready, as the  plastic sides start to bulge when it is ready to drink. Ya might want to open it very slowly, and over a sink ... just in case.

Cliff on tractor raking hay

We have been very busy haying as well. We cut over 40 acres of hay, mostly to feed our own horses, but this year it looks like we will have some to sell as well. Gas and diesel is a bit cheaper this year, so that helps.

Son Cameron in hayloft

Now if we could figure out how to get our grain cheaper, we would be very happy. That was a big part of why we decided to forgo turkeys and meat birds this year. A 50 pound bag of meatbird crumbles here in Maine is over $15.00 a bag, and anyone that raises them knows how many bags they eat in their short life. I don't even dare to look at the organic grain, which is undoubtedly over 20 dollars a bag. It shouldn't cost that much to raise your own meat. Does anyone else find the cost of grain prohibitive in their area?

Azura, one of the thoroughbreds we saved from slaughter

The horses don't need grain in summer, and they all look wonderfully fat and shiny.

My children have been very helpful this summer, as they are all getting older and pitch in more then ever with the work.

Son Liam watering flowers

Cliff and I like that, as we are getting older as well! Nice to see the younger generations pitching in to get the work done here at Homeland Farm. Thanks for reading ... See ya next time!

carmen_2
8/16/2010 7:58:23 AM

Thanks for responding to my blog Rodeo Princess and Mountain Woman..I am amazed at the price for your organic grain Mountain Woman...Conventional grain is so expensive here that I dont even dare inquire about the organic feeds. Our hay is selling for 3-4 dollars a bale right now, which is lower then years past, but high enough when you have alot of horses to feed all winter. I has gotten dry here in Maine lately, so we have had to feed hay now to supplement the dwindling pastures. Part of farming I guess...making sure there is enough hay in the barn for a longggg winter!


mountain woman
8/13/2010 10:39:24 AM

Carmen, You have a beautiful home and what fun to have it on television. We were privileged to have our farm star in a movie but they wanted the farm and our scenery not us. I can't wait to see you on television. The homemade root beer sounds divine! Our horses are also on grass all summer and I'm not looking forward to feeding hay because it is so expensive and we use so much. We've been thinking of reclaiming our hay fields but the cost of equipment is so high. Anyway, we use organic feed for our birds which we purchase from a local grain store and it's 15.00 for 50 pounds of turkey mash and the chicken mash is 10.00 for 50 pounds. I'm using the growth formula. It's good to see fat and shiny horses as we head into our harsh winter months soon enough. I always try to have extra weight on the horses this time of year and your horse is gorgeous! Loved your post and your photos. Thanks so much.


rodeo princess
8/12/2010 3:16:44 PM

Look at those Appy Stars on that horse!!! We have some ghosts, too, in our farmhouse - parts date back to prior to 1790. I will look for your segment on Bio.com! What fun that must have been! And my husband's family made lots of rootbeer in the fifties. He said store bought never tasted as good. I enjoyed your blog!