Goats. Pretty good cider makers. 

But. Shacksbury’s new cider…in a different league. 

Check out the Lost Apple Project & see you at the release party for their 1840 cider? We will be there. 

Thanks for the shout-out, dear Luke and Louisa!

Needless to say, It’s been a busy few weeks here on the farm.

Meet the newest critter to join the Stonefold menagerie: Asa, born July 5, apple of our eye. 

Look who came home to roost. We’re now the proud owners of a half-dozen (give or take; read on) hens; they came to us by way of Doolittle Farm, just down the road in Shoreham. These ladies gave us quite a run for our money this morning, when some rookie mistakes on my part gave a few opportunistic runaways the chance to make a break for it. A very patient Colin helped me herd and wrangle and tempt chickens all morning. One expensive trip to the farm supply store later, we’ve got a sturdy electric fence up around our coop, and five of the six are safely at home. Our last fugitive, a Rhode Island Red, is still on the loose. I’ll admit that I was having second thoughts about this whole venture after those first stressful (and costly) hours, but the girls redeemed themselves by mid-afternoon with four beautiful fresh eggs, which I found waiting for me in a nesting box. On the menu tonight: shakshuka!

Colin is traveling this week; it’s just me and this little snow monster holding down the fort. Which means I’m all the more grateful that, a year ago this weekend, we picked out our seven-pound puppy, drove her across the border from Quebec, and brought her home to live with us. One year and forty pounds later, it’s hard to remember a Stonefold without a Sally dog.

And here is what may be the world’s very best Christmas present, ever: the chicken coop that Colin very sneakily built. Not pictured is the tiny cupola, or the flag emblazoned with a “K” he sewed to fly from that cupola. We’ve made plans to bring some young pullets home to roost in May. Until then, the tiny coop is keeping the very big barn company, waiting until we can relocate the coop to its permanent location down by the house. 

I’ve been chided by some readers (ahem) about my irregular updates.So I give you, first, the barn — mostly sided, the windows temporarily boarded up for winter, and looking absolutely magnificent upon the hill. 

Per Will’s request: A portrait of a girl and her dog during hunting season. Carhartts, check. Blaze orange, check. Thanksgiving Day romp, check.

Per Will’s request: A portrait of a girl and her dog during hunting season. Carhartts, check. Blaze orange, check. Thanksgiving Day romp, check.

We haven’t named this little fellow yet, so for now he’s just “baby,” or “the calf.” (We’ll wait to name him until we’re sure he’s out of the woods.) Born two and a half weeks ago — conveniently, on the frantic Friday before our first annual barn party — this guy got a rough start in life. His mama, Penny, is… how should we say it? Not the mothering kind. But after some touch-and-go days, and our first unpleasant but ultimately successful experience with an esophageal feeder, he took to the bottle like a champ. The upside of all of this? Most calves are wary of us, rightfully so, and most mamas are quite protective. For the first time ever, Stonefold has a little calf to love on.

As for the party itself, it went off without a hitch. When the weather didn’t cooperate we huddled into the barn, all cozy-like, for good food and better company. Here’s looking forward to Barn Party 2013.