Happy Labor Day…goodbye and good riddance to this summer!

09/05/2011 at 11:34 am 2 comments

I hope everyone had a great summer, and is enjoying the Labor Day weekend.

I, for one, am happy to see this summer go.  I haven’t been blogging much, there has been so much happening, and not all of it good, I just haven’t had the words or the heart to write about it here.  I continue to be amazed by the support of so many wonderful people, both here in my immediate community, and out there in the virtual community.  Without all of you I don’t know how I would have gotten through it all.  I’m going to give an abridged version of it here….there is more detail in the threads in my ravelry group http://www.ravelry.com/groups/gilead-fiber-farm.

First, my farm had a barberpole worm infestation.  I lost Nola to it first, on July 31st, and then one of her kids, Hope, succumbed on Aug. 15th.  RIP my beautiful girls.     This is a new problem to us in VT, though folks down south have been dealing with it for years.  The answer was to move the flock to new pasture, so that I could clean up where the parasites are, and disinfect the barn etc.  No problem, I have lots of land, and plenty of net fence, but I had no more shelters, since the buck and ram were in the new shed.  Angel number one showed up in the form of a ravelry friend, Gail, who very, very generously bought the farm 3 calf hutches!  Actually, now there are 4, as another very generoug ravelry friend, Judy (angel #2), got us another one after Hope passed.  I will never be able to thank these 2 women enough, their gifts have enabled me to keep the animals off the nasty infested pasture for most of the summer. 

New shelters for the flock!

Nola and her twins

 Angel #3 showed up in the form of my dear friend Krysta, who volunteered to come farm sit so I could take a few days off and go to RI to see family and friends, and get a swim in the ocean.  She was here, holding Hope when she passed, and saved Lorelei from bloat while I was away.  She’s a true hero, not many lambs recover from bloat, but due to her vigilance, sharp eye and willingness to give up her sleep even, Lorelei was nursed back to health, and is doing great.  Definitely not the idyllic farm stay that she had envisioned, bottle feeding the orphaned Persy, and massaging sheep bellies, while thrusting nasty goop down her throat was certainly not in her plan.  But, she persevered, and is the big hero of the farm, for sure. 

Hope in the ferns….

 

As you can imagine, I have been hyper vigilant about checking for anemia, scours, or any other signs of off behaviour.   Fortunately, the rest of the flock appear to be well, and recovering from the barberpole and anemia.  Lorelei and Persy are back out to pasture with the rest of the gang, and doing great, though Persy still doesn’t like the bottle.

 
Thinking that the summer might somehow be saved after getting the animal health and housing issues under control, I was shocked when we then felt the earthquake a while ago.   And then that was quickly put out of mind by Hurricane Irene, last Sunday, which devastated my community, in addition to so much of the state.  My farm and my flock are fine, we sustained no damage or injury, but we were stranded without a road out for 24 hours, no electricity for 5 days, and still have no phone service, or cell service.  I type this via satellite.  I am incredibly lucky.

My road on Tuesday, post Irene, the brook is running down it.

There has been so much destruction, and devastation all over VT that it is shocking, my mind reels, and I weep as I travel around (as much as you can travel, many roads and bridges are gone).  But the indomitable Yankee spirit, and sense of community all around VT has been something to behold.  People really pull together and help each other out.   Our road is passable, and we have electricity thanks to local guys who have heavy equipment, who got out there right away, and have been working non stop since Monday rebuilding the road, and bridges, to enable the utility and phone crews to get up here.  The volunteer effort has been phenomenal, though there is still much rebuilding to be done before snow flies. 

If you are able to donate even a little the following organizations coud really use your help:

 the VT Food Bank  http://www.vtfoodbank.org/

the VT/NH Red Cross http://www.redcrossvtnhuv.org/general.asp?SN=8084&OP=8085&SUOP=16069&IDCapitulo=44W8UXGL8L

NOFA VT Farmer Emergency Fund:  http://nofavt.org/

 I apologize for the spotty nature of this post, and I have so much more to say about all of these happenings, so if you want more details about anything, just ask.  In the meantime, I hope that Fall will be long and gentle, and allow for the rebuilding of infrastructure around the hurricane damaged areas in VT and beyond.   Be safe, be well, and most importantly, be happy everyone.
 
 
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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Long overdue Farm update Gearing up for winter.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Krysta  |  09/06/2011 at 8:38 am

    It’s been a tough year for ya babe! I miss you and love you and will see you soon! Give Lorelei a big hug from me.

    Reply
  • 2. Laurie  |  09/29/2011 at 6:27 pm

    A lot of us will be happy to kick 2011 to the curb. You are such an optimistic, upbeat lady. The coming fiber festival and goatie goodness should give you a lift. Then off to Marblehead for sailing next month, right?

    Reply

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