Spring is coming. Punxsutawney Phil, the world's most famous fuzzy forecaster, will pop out of his burrow this morning in western Pennsylvania to tell the nation what our weather will be like for the next six weeks.
Will we have an early spring, or will winter drag on until mid-March?
According to folklore, if it's cloudy when the groundhog emerges, the critter will leave his burrow, signifying that winter will soon end. If it's a sunny day, Phil will supposedly see his shadow and, frightened, retreat back into his burrow and winter will continue for six more weeks.
The forecast from the National Weather Service is for a cloudy day, with some rain and snow possible, but Phil can be very fickle…so it's hard to know what he'll do. He’ll double-cross us any way you look at it, so get ready!
We can’t bank on this little rodent, so we made our own plans for 2014 and we figure spring will arrive before summer. (perhaps Punxsutawney Phil should use this prediction) Regardless of the arrival of spring, we have to plan ahead and move on, so we have come up with new and exciting things for the spring and summer...lasting into late fall we hope.
I am working feverishly on rounding up the tools and equipment to produce high quality, low cost heritage spinning wheels here on the farm.
That’s happening in the basement manufacturing area…elsewhere on the farm, we now have a dozen new layer chickens that are giving an egg a day, added to the old flock totaling anywhere from 16 to 30 eggs a day again. Mostly, this number depends upon the temperature and weather conditions…and when Josh comes to clean. They do not like the interruption in their day by a noisy tractor and a guy with a shovel poking around on their turf. The alpacas could care less as they mill around brushing against Josh as he cleans. The just lollygag around in your way, as if to make it difficult for you to clean.
The store in the store…sometimes we have visitors, sometimes we do not. That is weather related too. When the summer people start coming to the resorts, things will pick up. There will be a new treasure map coming out this spring and we will be in there as the “Cluckin’ “A” Farm and Fiber Store” this year.
Also new for the farm this year…we will begin to offer an “Artisan’s Weekend”. We will provide a weekend retreat for painters and spinners. If you enjoy Plein air painting, come on Friday afternoon, move into the bungalow at the far end of the pasture, near the water for an uninterrupted weekend of painting on the front porch or where ever you prefer on the farm. The entire farm is at your disposal for painting the buildings, the animals or surrounding scenery.
If you are a spinner or would like to learn, book a weekend with Vick and she will teach you all about handling raw fiber, washing, drying, dying, carding and spinning it on a traditional spinning wheel or some of the modern hand spinners like the drop spindle and the Mayan spinner. Work with Vick throughout the day and in the evening, spin in your bungalow.
The bungalow will be a rustic 12’x12’ building containing two beds, a table with chairs a rocker and kerosene lights. Nothing fancy…but no interruptions either. There are local restaurants with cuisine ranging from burgers and subs to eloquent dinner dining…all within minutes of the farm. Portable CLEAN toilet will be nearby for your use.
We request no smoking and no kids. Cigarette butts can kill the animals because they WILL EAT THEM and kids will disrupt the student and teaching…but husbands are welcome for an added fee. We will be able to entertain two adults for the weekend scheduled. Students pay the full fee, husbands accompanying the wife will pay a partial fee since they will not be taking the course, but lounging or reading as they simply relax all day or learn about the farm.
Our projected season will be from April 1 to October 31. We will post when this year’s season begins based on preparations and the buildings arrival.
And………that’s the plan so far. Let us know what you think!
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071928 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC