Thursday, September 27, 2012

Upcoming October Events

learning about the smoker
Just a short post to let you know about the upcoming  October events here at Novellas Farm.

This month Farm Mornings will take place on Wednesdays

Each of the 4 mornings focuses on a different aspect of the farm.

Day 1 is all about the bees, we will learn the parts of the hive, look in the hive talk about bees and finish up the morning by making candles.

Day 2 is all about the cows, we will learn all about them, milk and make a dairy item from the mornings milking.

Day 3 is about the worms, chickens and eggs. Each child will take home a worm farm.

Day 4 is about the garden, seeds and compost. Each child will take home seedlings and a small seed observation necklace.
October 3,10,17,24
Time is from 9 to 11:30

Cost: 25 per day if single day,
or 85 for all 4.
135 for 2 kids,
(please contact me if more than 2 kids)

Farm Days October 8 and 16
Saturdays October 13 and 27

On these days we do it all! A wonderful day out of the city. Please  bring a sack lunch.
30 for one child, 45 for 2, 55 for 3.
Adults free, children under 3 if with paying child.

Halloween Farm Days
October 30 and 31
Choose a day
We will milk cows, talk about the chickens, make creepy worm farms, make scare crows to take home,
and make old fashioned honey/cream apples to take home.
9 -1:30
Cost is 30 per child.

You must reserve a spot for any of these programs in order for there to be enough supplies. Hey, just give me a call!

As always please contact me for any information or if
you need to discuss a day scholarship.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Living with House Construction

House with siding
If you have ever visited Novellas Farm you
probably noticed the condition of the house.
Let's just say it's a work in progress.

Here is is before
Well, last year we were notified by our insurance carrier that unless the house was sided by the end of this summer we would be dropped.

Although it is ridiculous
to think the siding is going to protect the dwelling from, say fire, it needed to be done.

Of course we waited til
a few weeks before the deadline to begin the project. But hey, we got it done...

We used corregated metal for a few reasons:
1. it doesn't need painting and I knew we would never, ever paint it.
2. the air space between the metal and the house acts
as extra insulation, the air there maintains the temperature better.
3. I like the look.

All my married life I have lived in a house under construction. Our last house was an old bungalow in Central Austin.  My husband renovated it and added a
second story.

I can't even begin to describe what it is like to live in a house under construction. Except for having a loved one diagnosed with an incurable disease, it has to be one of  the worst life experiences one can live through.

I have  wondered what I did in my past lives to carry such a Karmic debt. I must have been truly evil.

It all began so gently. One day my then new boyfriend said to me, "wait til you see what I did to the kitchen, youre going to be so excited!" I thought he had painted or something. No, he had ripped out my
cabinets... and it just grew from there. A friend of mine whose husband was also a carpenter were at a party once and she said "Kenny (her husband)would rip all this out" talking about our friends cabinets... I turned to her and knew I had found a sister.

Yet, I must say it has been a learning experience.
My kids and I know all the parts of a house, including the septic, thanks to this renovation! It  makes me really appreciate how far we have come.

Nothing feels better than drifting off to sleep in the house Jerry built.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Here it is September already. Time to think about the Fall garden.

Things have changed a bit lately. For one thing you have to be careful about
the source of your seedlings and your seeds.

I pretty much start all my garden plants from seed.
And sometimes, I admit, I just grab a package from the grocery store.

But then I started to hear more and more about the dangers of GM seeds. The more I learned the scarier it all sounded. I began to wonder if I should actually use seeds that I hadn't ordered from an heirloom seed

I did a little reading and was relieved to learn that
even if the package does not label the seeds as NON GM they may still be OK.

Burpee is one brand you may see in the stores, and I did a little research and found they do not sell GMO seeds.

Which is really nice to know if you just need to pick a package up. No, they are not heirloom, but really I am not adamant against hybrids.

I have had people ask what the difference is between
heirloom and hybrid.

Heirloom seeds are gathered from plants that have been proven to be good performers for generations. They are probably some of the same selections our grandparents used. The seeds can be harvested and they will be like any off spring, similar to the parent plant.

Hybrid seeds have been bred to be resistant to certain diseases or to be well suited for a certain location.
People have chosen plants with good qualities and bred them together to get very well suited plants. There is nothing artificial about it, it is a little like dog breeding. It is selective plant breeding. The only thing is, the seeds produced from hybrid plants will not be true, they will be different from the parent plant, perhaps even sterile.

Genetically modified seeds on the other hand are in no way natural.

These plants have been tampered with on a cellular level. Often the plants have been injected with genes from an unrelated species. The flowers from these plants produce modified pollen that have the potential to breed with non GMO crops and effectively contaminate our whole food supply.
Also, the use of antibiotics as gene markers could render certain bacterias into super bugs.

I hope this information will help you to make your garden a really healthy place. Try to learn about the source of the seeds and seedlings you plant in your garden this year.