Chronicles of the Long Shot Farm

Elena’s First Birthday

We celebrated Elena’s first birthday today at the farm…the first of several celebrations, and we had a blast…and cake, balloons and a doll!!

We Got a DOG!

Sammy came home with the cutest puppy ever – a two month old Border Collie, who she named Ruger.  Lars is already in love with the dog, who currently lives in our kitchen.  We build dog gates to keep it contained to the tile floor.  At night time, he sleeps in a large dog cage in Lars’s bedroom.

I think Ruger may just be the smartest dog ever.  We have had him for over two weeks now, and he only had one accident – and that was just because he did not know how to let us know that he need to go outside.

Skidril

We got a gas powered, handheld fence post driver.  Ours is made by a company called Skidril  (which is how we refer to this tool by now).  Probably one of the best tools ever for putting in metal trellis posts.  It works so much faster than drilling holes with a tractor attachment, and then pounding in the  wooden posts with another tractor attachment.  And – with the handheld tool, we can easily replace or add posts when the grapevines or blackberry bushes are already established.

Of course it does take some stamina, and balance and in our case a crew of three people.  We marked the field where the posts had to be placed before we got started, and build a platform for the truck for one person to stand on to use the post driver. The second person held the post in place with a level to keep it straight, and the third person drove the truck.  They managed to set about 80 posts in an hour!

And, the Skidril has a jackhammer attachment, which will come in really handy once we put in expanded drainage troughs in the barn…

Beautiful Cumberland Valley

We “spent a summer day” at University Park, to check out various majors at Penn State.  On the way back from State Cellege, we stopped at the Hawk Watch, on top of North Mountain – right “behind” our farm, and looked down into the beautiful Cumberland Valley:

Blackberry Season

We are in the middle of a drought – at least on our farm.  There have been downpours just a few miles away, several times, but our grass is brown and our garden is in a sad stage.  We’ve been irrigating the blackberries as much as possible, since harvest time is starting.

Nonetheless, there are berries.  In the last week, we picked over 850 lbs and about 1/3 of them are beautiful.  The others were cleaned and frozen and will be used/sold for making jams, shrubs, or wine. We will still be picking for a while – and hoping for rain!

We do have fun picking them, even in the heat…and they are delicious.

Rachel is picking in the summer heat
Elena loves her berries
Delicious

We’ll still be picking for a while – and hoping for rain!