Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

The Harbinger of Spring

It's that time of the year when the days have begun getting longer and daylight savings time steps in. Nature is just begging for winter to relax its cold, hard grip so the cycle of life can once again leap forth in all it's wonder. Despite a somewhat drab appearance, this is one of my favorite times of the year. The creek runs through the center of a still frozen riparian. Rarely do I get to explore this part of my farm and find such treasures. In the late spring, the wetness and thick organic matter makes it impossible to tread anywhere near the stream without sinking up to one's butt cheeks (don't ask how I know). Further into the summer and fall, the dense brush adds to the impenetrable nature of this area. And in the winter, the starkness lends to quiet contemplation knowing everything lies dormant waiting for the longer, warmer days' return.

Despite temperatures in the low thirties and a bitter wind, I took a long walk and discovered the first signs that spring is near--the emergence of Symplocarpus foetidus....skunk cabbage. Soon they will unfurl their huge fan-like leaves into a dense carpet of green to be followed by the May apples.
Winter couldn't decide if it wanted to snow or rain so it did both and then threw in a heavy dose of wind for good measure just to knock down all the dead and weak trees whose roots had lost their anchors in the saturated earth.

This fish box awaits another season as a holding tank for water collected off the backside of the barn roof. Of course, Ralph is no dummy and he knows what all this means....time to service the chain saw and get it ready for a good workout.
There has also been another arrival...Oreo had a strapping set of twins, buck & doe, both with gorgeous black heads.

Not exactly a Barrel of Monkeys, but just as fun.

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