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Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." (Colossians 3:15a NIV)I would love to hear from you, if you don't have a blog you can still comment, join google it's free. I appreciate hearing from you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Farm Days...............

Some of my best memories were built around my friends farm. My friend Margaret who I have known since I started school lived at Grove Farm in the hamlet of Bidwell. Houghton Regis in those days was a simple farm community. A beautiful church and a few shops and several pubs. I remember when there were gas lights in the streets.
Anyway, I first met Margaret when I started school. She would come from the farm on the bus and walk to my house. The bus came early and so she waited at my house and went to school with me. In the summer holidays and weekends I would go to her house down on the farm. It seems like it was endless summer. Of course it was not. We had a few chores to do but they were fun. Collecting eggs was like playing hunt the thimble or like an Easter egg hunt. The chickens had the run of the farm and layed anywhere they could. So it would be time consuming for an adult to hunt down the eggs. Some of the chickens did use the nesting boxes so that was the easy part. I learned how to get the eggs from under grumpy hens without getting pecked.
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(picture from Vintage garden gal)
I do remember on one occasion getting a handful of chicken tail feathers. Sometimes the hens laid eggs and we didn't find them. Then we would find baby chicks. If we caught them and raised them then they were ours. If they ended up laying eggs then we got egg money (well Margaret did)
I remember one chicken I was after her chicks among stinging nettles. Well chickens I thought were quite placid creatures but apparently not when defending their chicks. She came at me feet first (they have long claws) and beak. Not fun.
We loved the hay stack and made dens in it and climbed all over it. Quite often we would find a cat had her kittens there and so we would hide them from Mr Dryden. He would drown new born kittens before they opened their eyes. We would hide them until they were too big to drown. There were a dozen cats at any given time. They would keep rodents at bay. We loved it when we had babies to play with. The cats would hang out around the dairy where they kept all the feed in bins. It was no longer a functioning dairy although I remember cows being kept in there at one time, but later it was the feed barn.

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( kitten picture from Frenchbednbreakfast.com)
I do remember some rainy days. We would play in the hay barn. After the hay was dried out it could be stored in the barn. You can not store it damp, it can combust. Anyway. We tied ropes to the beams and played Tarzan. Swinging and dropping into the hay. Walking up on the high beams and I am sure it was dangerous but we never got hurt and didn't think of it.
Then there were the animals.............ah!!! The best part. Now I do not know how I could have been raised in the country, and around a farm and not put two and two together but I didn't. The baby cows were raised and sent off to market. The sheep were raised and shorn and dipped and then off they would go to market. They had babies so I am not sure how long they were raised on the farm. I do remember the abandoned babies being hand raised in the house by the fire. We learned how to induce them to suckle and would hold them in our laps feeding them. When market day came off they went and we would wave bye bye and not think about the fact that they would be lamb chops.

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(lamb picture from photobucket)
I actually got to see a lamb being born. It was awesome. Margarets dad had taken the mum into the barn and brought her out as she was about to give birth. I think she needed help. Anyway. I learned so much without really being taught just by observing things. I will write more in another post but this is all for now.

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