Monday, February 29, 2016

The Farfarer Forge

 Joshua's been slowly collecting the necessary equipment for the traditional blacksmith's forge he's been dreaming of. He found a wonderful reconditioned anvil, a Champion 400, hand-cranked blower and a post vise at one of the annual "Old Farm Days" festivals in 2014. All he needed was the forge itself. He was planning to make one out of an old brake drum but one day a neighbor called to see if he'd be interested in this old BBQ grill. He thought it would make a good forge.

College and engineering studies are really keeping Josh busy with hours upon hours of homework - calculus II, Statics, Mechanics and Materials, physics II, Yikes! - but he and Frank were able to spend a few weekends over the summer converting the grill. I built him the anvil stand and he and Ken set everything up in what used to be the horse's run in shed.

Josh named it The Farfarer Forge and here are some pictures of the first fire.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

On the fence waiting

It's that time of year. The long slow wait for lambs to be born. We only have two pregnant ewes this year and one of them is going to be a first time mom so I'm keeping a very close eye on them in the hope that I'll be there to attend and assist if there are any complications.

In years past, I would set the alarm and be up and down all night checking on them That gets exhausting pretty quickly! Especially when you're really not sure of an exact due date. Night after night of getting up every couple of hours really wears you down. No more! Ken set up a light inside the sheep shelter and a mirror in the upstairs bedroom. I can now lay in bed and with the binoculars, see exactly what's going on. Of course it still means waking up every few hours but at least I don't have to don all the winter garb and trudge outside in blowing snow and freezing temperatures - just to see them contentedly chewing their cud.

Ahh, my kind of farming!