After the death of our ducks, Jemima and Tiny to a snapping turtle. I, Brogan Plasterer (Son of Mary and Jon Plasterer) couldn't help but fall in love with the whole duck race. So, a year and a-half later I decided that I would raise my own brood of ducks.
Now these ducklings hatched about 3 weeks ago, but I will try to keep every one up to date
Pardon the pun, but melting ice is a good sign for maple syrup makers. Shade Stone Farm recently awoke to snow and ice, but the rising sun quickly warmed things up and the sap began to run.!
Ever vigilant, Rosebud gazes east on dawn patrol. Notice that even in sub-freezing temperatures she prefers to sit in the shade.
The forest beyond our frozen pond produces the maple sap which is the only ingredient of our delicious maple syrup..
Literally the star of the show, the Sun not only warms the trees and causes the sap to flow, but it is also the energy source for our wood and solar powered sugar shack.
The snow will quickly melt and slide off of the photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of the sugar shack and they will, along with quite a bit of firewood, help to convert maple sap into the natural sweetener that we love.
We saw plenty of livestock on our recent trip to Asturias. If you just stop and listen anywhere in the mountains, you can hear the cowbells (and couldn't we all use more cowbell). Goats, sheep, and cows spend the summer on the high pastures resulting in delicious local varieties of cheese.
Most of our animals are female, but there are a few boys.
Rammy and Rambo are Katahdin sheep, are 2 years old, and have one job...
Piggy Smallz and Clyde are pot-bellied pigs and are about 7 years old. They are FRIENDS, not FOOD! The Notorious P.I.G. is pictured (Clyde was being shy).
This summer has proved quite productive on Shade Stone Farm. Our produce is growing well thanks to plenty of rain, and we are happy to welcome two new heifers to our family of bovines. Each one of our Jersey girls gave us a baby this summer. They were bred to Angus bulls, so we now have two beautiful "Jangus" heifers, Hershey and Almond. They will live happy cow lives here at Shade Stone Farm for the next two years until they reach butcher weight.
We are looking forward to cooking our first batch of maple syrup right here on the farm! Previously, we were transporting the sap to a neighboring farm to be cooked down into syrup. We have since purchased the evaporator and built our own sugar shack. It has passed inspection by the PA Department of Agriculture and is open for business.
Our Jersey-ish heifer celebrated her first birthday this week! Like most one-year-olds, she refused to wear her party hat, however some of her friends got in the party spirit.