It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood… Gorgeous blue skies with a few fluffy white clouds. We got about another 3/4″ of rain last night – then it cleared leaving everything feeling fresh and new. Often we would have had a frost by now but the temperatures have been up in the mid to high 70’s. All hail global warming. Please keep driving your SUVs! :) Just kidding, right…!?!
I must admit I don’t mind the longer growing seasons we’ve had here in Vermont the past three years. Somehow I suspect it is is not any big climatic shift for our benefit. In any case we’ve gotten about three extra months of summer for the last three years. Winter is still about the same – it is fall and spring that have been shortened.
This was a big cottage cheese day at chores time. Cabot Creamery delivered 12 pallets of cottage cheese. It is amazing the amount of waste in industry. That is about 17,000 lbs of cottage cheese – all in 1 to 1.5 lb containers. The last batch was in 5 lb tubs which was a bit easier to handle. Now I know where I’m going to get my potting containers for next spring in the greenhouse! We also have a few friends who have asked for a supply of the containers to use in various projects. Reuse, recycle. Another benny was we get to keep the wooden pallets that this all came on. Pallets are great for keeping hay up off the ground, building sheds and other things.
Mind you I am not complaining in the slightest about the small containers. Free is free and it is great food for the animals. All that free food for the pigs and chickens is wonderful but it does take a bit of work getting it out of all those little containers. The sows and the boar love the stuff. They have been chowing it down to the tune of almost 50 lbs a piece a day. The piglets also love it and are growing great guns. It is a wonderful weaning food although slightly low in protein content. The chickens, ducks, goose and guineas also love it. Even the sheep come for a taste although they don’t eat very much before going back out to the pastures.
Doing the cottage cheese, like many daily tasks, keeps hands busy and minds free to do other things. It is a great time to do homeschooling, go over plans and just talk as a family. We always seem to end up working on math word problems part of the time. It is great practice doing problems in our heads. That is an important aspect of homeschooling – to always take the opportunity to learn.
Speaking of such things, we saw two red tailed hawks soaring on the thermals over the north home field this morning. Ben went and got his binoculars to look at them more closely. This led to him thinking about how to interface a digital camera to binoculars – great minds think alike as the saying goes. I explained that they now sell digital camera binoculars. He is thinking of saving up his money for a pair. Recently he has become interested in bird watching. In addition to the hawks we have owls, morning doves, ravens, woodpeckers, the occasional visit from an eagle and the usual assortment of jays and song birds. Last month we saw a peregrine falcon in the moose meadow up in the northern area of our land. For now his binoculars and a book on eastern birds will keep him busy while he saves up for more complex and expensive equipment.