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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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Ninth Annual Labor Day Goat Roast

We did it again! No, that's not the goat we roasted. That's Peaches, one of the first goats here at the farm who started the tradition of the goat roast when we slaughtered the first born male to share with family and friends.
Each year I try to cook the goat in a different style--Mexican, Jamaican, Italian, Hawaiian.... This year I went African. On the advice of my African customers, I left on the skin, singed off the hair, scrubbed off the char and stuffed the belly with peppers, garlic and zatar (spice mix).
The results were phenomenal! No constant basting and the meat was extremely moist and tender.
In addition to the goat, there were two smoked turkeys, beef sausage patties and a ham.
The reason for the Labor Day tradition also came about because the previous Saturday, the Skarlatos family has their family reunion lamb roast and I used their rotisserie before buying my own. Nick & Pan sharing a beer and checking out the goat just after putting it to fire.
Three new guests at the goat roast.
Lots of family and many friends.

New faces & familiar ones.
The neighborhood crowd.
Fellow farmers and market folks.
Friends from D.C. & Shippensburg.

The boys wrap up a long weekend of camping with the goat roast.
No one ever leaves hungry.

Joseph explains to Steve just what is in the traditional Nigerian Pepper Soup he made with the head, feed & offal of the goat.

Steve finds a piece of trachea & esophagus.
One of the many barn kitties finds a new family. He'll be well loved & spoiled rotten.
Luke helps Kaj up the steps after they get their homemade peach ice cream.
Jonas saved the day when we had technical difficulties with the ice cream churn. Lesson learned.

Dessert! The best way to end a great picnic.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

PART FOUR: The Soaking Garden

It's not fancy, but it works. It's kind of like Legos for Adults. When I get it set up the way I want it, then I'll level it off and add some mortar. But for now, I'll continue to play with my blocks, soak in the water tank and shamelessly sun myself.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

PART THREE: The Soaking Garden

A quick dry run to check out the view.
In preparation for Farm Girls Gone Wild night, I spent another full day on the block pile. With more block than I know what to do with, I decided to extend the patio further and add a fire pit.
Now there's room for the table & chairs, the lounge chair and the ofuro. I have a hanging swing in the barn that could probably go under the trees, too. More block still over on the pile so I've started a smaller deck just below the fire pit. Still have the retaining wall to go, too.

When all is done, I'm going to surround the area with day lilies and rudbeckia. Finally, a place to sit, read, relax and enjoy my farm.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

PART TWO: The Soaking Garden

For years, I've hated all those blocks stacked around the garden. And then one day, someone said to me, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!" and then proceeded to start tumbling the columns into the dirt. But what to do with all those blocks?
I really had no desire to haul them far from where they fell, so I decided just to level off an area and set them on a flat area to create a private patio area where I can put patio furniture and my farm-style ofuro.
No concrete in case I ever want to move them. They don't even need to be perfectly even.
Sixty-four 32lb. cinder blocks--who needs a gym?
One pile of block down and one to go. I wonder if I'll find any more 'artifacts'.

Monday, July 05, 2010

PART ONE: The Soaking Garden

"This is the best view of your farm. Why do you use it as an overgrown storage area for crap you don't use?" And so began the work on what will ultimately become The Soaking Garden (aka: the nude sunbathing garden) since it will host a soaking tub and is cloaked in the privacy of pine trees.

The panels from a fellow farming friend have been stacked there for nearly two years. At first, they were to be the walls for an equipment shed, but now they are slated to be the roofs of pasture shelters. I should be able to get four 8'x16' shelters out of them. Projects for another day.
This will be the view once the compost pile is spread. Lots of unused cinder blocks and a lonely bunny cage. The blocks I can use. The bunny cage will have to find a new home.
The weed whacker made short order of all those tall weeds. Next step is to remove the top soil, lay down hardware clothe and set the block in a platform for the tub, lounger and privacy screens.
The opposite side of the trees looked a bit ratty so I trimmed off all the dead branches. Looking good!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Solstice 2010

It was a scorcher for the first day of summer. The day was spent moving animals to fresh pasture, filling water tanks and taking some pictures of my piece of heaven on earth.Pax & El Jefe hit the freshly filled water tank before the rest of the herd gets to it.The herd grazing on the shooting range. We use Zero Pollution Fiocchi Ammunition leaving a clean environment for the animals.A colorful thistle before opening. Thistle in full bloom with one very happy bee.
Miss Bango enjoying a lush pasture of clover.The trees are growing. The Human Bulldozer isn't scheduled for a visit until July and I was thinking the overgrown rocks looked kind of redneck until this morning when I saw hundreds of honeybees all over the clover and plantain flowers. Anything to keep the pollinators in business.Momma cat and her barn kitties. Free for the taking. Aren't we cute? Don't you want to take one or two of us home?
El Jefe drooling in the noon day sun while watching over his herd.
Peaches, the matriarch of the herd. She's weaned 32 kids in her lifetime.
A Japanese beetle with its iridescent colors.