Harvesting barley with a scythe!

Harvesting barley with a scythe!

We just harvested all of our barley.  I'm finding it VERY hard to grow barley and wheat organically.  It just gets overtaken by weeds no matter what I do.  Plus this year hurricane Irene really damaged a lot of the crop.  Next year I may try to use a mulching tecnique whereby you shred leaves and scatter them all over the field just after the barley shoots emerge.  This is supposed to help keep weeds down.  The chickens are enjoying the barley as I write this so I can't complain too much I guess!

Maine Fall Foliage Colors Expected to Be "Bright and Beautiful"

Maine Fall Foliage Colors Expected to Be "Bright and Beautiful"

A stretch of hot and dry weather in July and the recent tropical storm won't have a noticeable impact on foliage viewing in Maine, according to the first 2011 fall foliage report from the Maine Department of Conservation (MDOC).
Maine fall foliage conditions as of Sept. 14. 
"Overall, the foliage looks to be in better than average condition," said Bill Ostrofsky, a forest pathologist at the Maine Forest Service. "I fully expect the Maine fall foliage season will be delivered right on time as another bright and beautiful show."

Currently, Maine Forest Service rangers in each of the state's seven tracking zones are observing very low leaf color, or less than 10 percent toward peak, along with very low leaf drop.

Our first chicken dinner from the land!

Our first chicken dinner from the land!

It was an historic meal for us this weekend!  We had our first chicken dinner with a meat bird that we raised on our land!  For me this was the culmination of a LOT of research and work.  We decided to start small and slaughter a few birds on Saturday.  Of course I will spare you the gory details.  It's not fun to kill anything really but it is a necessary part of eating and I was prepared to do it before I ever got started with this idea.  So the processing of the birds went well and we are glad we started with just a few since we learned a LOT and now feel confident about the larger slaughter that's coming.  I roasted the bird and it was DELICIOUS!  We all enjoyed it!  It's is also a satisfying feeling to be able to provide for my family in such a direct and tangible way. 

I couldn't resist sharing how I cooked the bird so here is my own recipe.



Only 3 shelters remain open at this time

Mountain Valley High School in Rumford has CLOSED 
Cumberland County:
Bridgton Community Center
15 Depot Street
Lincoln County: 
 Wiscasset Community Center
242 Gardiner Road
Oxford County: 
Woodstock Fire Station
26 Monk Avenue

Maine Open Lighthouse Day

Statewide, ME
September 17, 2011
Many of the state's coastal, island and river lighthouses will be open to the public. Most lights will be open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for guided or self-guided tours of keeper's houses and light towers. Some light stations will have limited accessibility or special restrictions. For details about visitor hours, fees, activities and transportation to each participating lighthouse, visit www.lighthouseday.com or contact the friends group of an individual lighthouse.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Awarded $15,000 from Non-Profit Fundraising Company Op4G

PORTLAND – Op4G, Inc., a leader among member-based online panel technology companies, has announced that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine has received a one-time cash award of $15,000 for successfully recruiting 560 Members to support their organization through Op4G Membership. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine is one of only twelve Non-Profit organizations receiving such an award.

Loon Plate Weekend Free Admission at Maine State Parks - Find a park near you

If there’s a Maine Loon License Plate on your vehicle, you’re supporting conservation and wildlife efforts in Maine. If there’s a Maine Loon License Plate on your vehicle, you also get free admission this weekend to all Maine state parks and historic sites.

As a way to say “thank you” to Maine drivers who have purchased loon plates, the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL), under the Maine Department of Conservation, will open up the state’s 48 state parks and historic sites this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, July 16-17, to free day use for all vehicles bearing the distinctive plates.

“The call of the loon – and consequently, the Maine Loon License Plate – captures so much of what the nature means to Maine people, from the coast to our most remote ponds,” Conservation Commissioner Bill Beardsley said. “It reminds us of the precious and fragile quality of place we love.