Sunday, July 26, 2015

Time on the farm

Little Chloe with her pony
 Chloe is so fond of riding her little Mini Mompsie, she finds her balance with his tiny gait.

Water please
Fetch a pail of water.

Maoi our mouse and mole catcher
We adopted Maoi along with another cat.  They are not indoor cats and are feisty hunters coming home with squirrels, moles, mice and rats.  I love that they will come along on hikes with us.

Harvesting Haas
Our staff have been out harvesting our healthy Haas avocados for a couple of months, season is almost over and the little babies are growing for next season.  We will soon have our Organic Certification.

Puddie with Wiggie
The twins little fluff ball bunny, Wiggie.

Little Cheeps
 We've had a lot of little chicks this season.

Poppy and Wiggie
 They are the cutest little cuddle bunnies.

Ride to get oranges

Chloe would love to ride all day if she can.

The orange tree
Nothing like a good juicy orange after a long walk.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Farm Days

Chickens enjoying my vegetable plate

My little vegetable garden provided so much for us this season and still is.  Even for the chickens!

Farm Transport
When the babes are tired I carry one of them in my ergo carrier on my back, the other in my arms or high up on the stroller.  My basket or chicken scraps go in the stroller.  Just like a bag lady!

Zucchini Pickles and Sauerkraut

I didn't realize that I had planted so many zucchini plants so we have an abundance of them.  I've made zucchini chocolate cake, fritters, we've grilled them on the bbq, raw in salads and now I've made quite a few gallons of pickles and they are yummie.  I have lemons, zucchini, cabbage and kombucha fermenting in the kitchen.  Loving all the cultured foods inspired by Cultures for Health.

Harvesting Garlic
The twins helped harvest all the garlic.  It reminded me of the story The Giant Turnip, we all held and pulled.

Quite a bit of garlic
My garlic is flavorful and juicy!  I may pickle some.

Stocking up on fire wood for winter
A friend told us about this site where you can become a host for volunteers, which we did.  We've enjoyed the help and wonderful company of volunteers from all over the world.   They work on the farm and we provide food and accommodation.  They learn so much from the farm activities.  Many of them have never had a farm experience before.  The work is hard and yet enjoyable they leave feeling stronger, healthier and sun kissed. 

Herb and Vegetable Garden

I saved some seeds I found in a wild flower garden full of Calendula in France and threw them out in my garden.  They grew so rapidly.  I love their golden blossoms, especially when they find their way into my herbal salves and teas.

Friendly Alpacas!

We borrowed a friend's Alpacas for a couple of weeks to help control some of our weeds.  These, however were a little spoilt and only wanted Alfalfa but they enjoyed roaming  the farm and being farm pets for a while.

A view of Ross lake on our trail ride

Every Sunday we ride out into the National Forest land. Once over to the other side of the mountain  we enjoy this  view.

Sania's photo of Chloe

Sania was playing around with the camera taking pictures of little Chloe.

June Volunteers!
We all have so much fun with the volunteers.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bear Creek Ranch

The Rooster's our Watchman the Lord of the Farm

I have just moved my blog from Wordpress to Blogspot.  It's in disarray at the moment until I figure out how this all works so please be patient.  I think I have lost all the lovely comments I had received by my wonderful friends and followers out there.  I haven't posted much for about 3 years, since my pregnancy with the twins and of course their first two years have kept me busy. 

Twins wandering about the barn area
They love the chickens and of course getting their hands into the chicken and horse feed.  They fancy the taste of it, especially when they pick it from the ground.

Twins holding hands, almost 2 years.

They are so adorable, they have grown so fast.

Swimming with their big brothers

Sasha and Sania enjoy sharing beautiful moments with their little siblings.

Momps their little pony
They love to ride him.

Farm Cats
We adopted two cats from the shelter to help us control the rats and moles. They are doing a fantastic job - they are also so patient and forgiving with the twins who climb on them, pull their fur and carry them any which way they can.

Dylan helps filling the horses water buckets
More of it goes out the bucket than in, all children love to play with water.

Chicken love
We sometimes have to save the chickens from being cuddled to Death!

Flower babes

Catching chickens!

Farm helper
Ready to collect those vegetables and/or weeds.

Zucchini Transport
I am amazed how fast Zucchini grows.

All the pretty horses grazing the spring grass
I wish I had more time to spend with these beautiful creatures.  

Lukas, our volunteer from Germany helping plant the Olive Trees

A few months ago my husband and a couple of volunteers prepared the ground for the planting of 3,500 olive trees.  This was no easy task;  many dead trees and debris to clear away and holes to dig mostly in hard rocky ground.  They are all growing well now. Our attention is now on the competing  weeds which we clear away by hoe since our farm is soon to be Certified Organic.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Martinmas - Lantern Walk

Watercolor painting to make their lanterns Watercolor painting to make their lanterns

The children gathered together under the warm California skies with brushes and paint to watercolor paint their lanterns.

Each children bringing forth their creations Each children bringing forth their creations

Reds and yellows were used to illuminate their paper so the beautiful candlelight will shine more intensely.

The little artist delicately frames her painting The little artist delicately frames her painting

Interesting shades emerged as the reds and yellows danced together.

The paper was folded and stained with oil The painting was stained with oil and then folded many times

Oil was washed over these paintings to make it translucent for the candlelight to glow through. Once dried the children folded their paper many times creating different angles.

The lines were drawn The lines were drawn on the inside

We have had German volunteers working on our farm this season so they taught the children some German lantern songs for the walk.

The glowing lantern! The glowing lantern!

Soft wire was inserted to the top part of the lantern and then joined in the center to attach a bamboo stick.  The lantern hung gently in front of them as they walked.

The lantern walk The lantern walk

A festive celebration it was!  The parents of Spirit Mountain made delicious healthy soups and the guests brought artisan bread and/or apple cider.

We all joined together to form a large circle as the little school blessed the dinner.  Blankets were laid out on the lawn and meals were enjoyed.  As the sun sank behind the golden hills all the pretty the lanterns were lit. A sweet melody was sung by the children as we walked the farm paths.  We all had a glorious time!

Thank you Lori, and all the children, for this wonderful festival.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Apple Harvest

Apple Orchard
Apple Orchard

Looking out our living room window and across the pond, we have a beautiful view of the apples orchard.  Cheeky squirrels scurry up the branches to steal the fruit and hoard it in their holes for their winter meal.

A basket full of apples
A Basket full of Apples

The children all gathered their baskets and set out to harvest some apples.  The farm had been neglected for many years.  Now that we have bought it a bit of love, good care and compost should bring the sweet juiciness back into these little fuji apples.

Many of our apples have been eaten by birds and squirrels but at least they left us some.

I picked it
I picked it

Sprightly the children nimbly climbed into the trees to pluck each apple from a branch.  The ladder was used for those high up on skinny branches.

Belle flying high
Belle flying high

As high as the palms.

Little Chloe munching away
Little Chloe munching away

Sweet Chloe likes the little apples that fit so perfectly in her delicate hands.

Rosie fuji
A rosie Fuji

A touch of sweetness.

Sani and Misae with their basket full
Sania and Misae with their basket full

The children happy with their basketful of apples.

Autumn Table
Autumn Table

The children at Spirit Mountain School had as much fun as the squirrels during the harvest season.  We all enjoyed apple desserts and juices. They spent an afternoon peeling, slicing and coring the remaining apples and hung them to dry which made delicious treats!

They have been busy crafting little autumn fairies for their Autumn table.  They visited and explored our neighbors ranch to gather pinecones as they have many pine trees lining the pathways to make these sweet little fairies.   Magic Onions has a wonderful autumn fairy tutorial to follow should you wish to make some.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Photos from Michaelmas

St. George and the people
St. George and the people

Two weeks before Michaelmas, this intimate little group of children from Spirit Mountain School made their new home on our farm. Several children participated in the play including the boys.

Our children have mostly been unschooled, with a Waldorf inspiration.  We did a little lesson here and there but their learning has always been on and around the farm.  With the arrival of the twins I have had little time to guide their learning so decided that a tutor might be needed. While searching around we came across Spirit Mountain school.  They were looking for a new location and we offered the cottage in our home.  They have settled in beautifully.  Their teacher has enjoyed working in a Waldorf teaching environment and provides fun and creative days for the children.  They are loving it and so am I.

The King and Villagers
The King and Villagers

It was Sasha and Sania's very first play and they performed beautifully.

King George fights the Dragon
St. George fights the dragon

Sasha was St. George and so proud of his part as he fights the Dragon.

Bowing at the end of play
Bowing at the end of the play

The finale!

Tug of War
Tug of War

Feats and courage of strength were displayed by many of the challenging games we had for the children.  The children were to pass through the dragon swamp by stepping from log to log. We had a monkey swing and a  slack line which crossed over hot lava. Balancing beams and the trampoline were fun.  Tug of war was the most humorous of all feats and many went home with blisters on their hands.

The dragon bread the children made
The Dragon bread

We all feasted on their fierce dragon bread and enjoyed a healthful potluck brought by all the families who visited.  It was a lovely day.