A Big News Roundup

Filed under: Family Events,Farm,Horticulture — Chamberlain @ 1:53 pm
No. 185

Fresh from the forge…best news first. From Eleanor and Ralph Kalish comes a most welcome update:

Manning is home from Afghanistan! We have seen the whites of his eyes and hugged and kissed him in Watertown, NY (home of the 10th Mountain Division at Ft Drum). To say that he looks great is a gross understatement! Thank you for all your support and prayers. We are more appreciative than we can ever say.
Thank you and love,
Eleanor and Ralph

In addition to that, The Kalishes also received culinary praise from St Louis Magazine where a recent review of their new eatery Crushed Red was a home run. You can read about it here. To quote from the review, Ralph and Powell “crushed it!”

This past weekend, Anne Dollimore organized a very successful outing at Moone Athy – the first concerted family effort to take on the dread amur honeysuckle scourge which has ravished our woodlands. Anne was able to recruit a large team of both family and friends and an extraordinarily beautiful day was spent extirpating this noxious invasive. Participants included Jennie and Richard Quick, Eddie Fehlig, Davie Pentland, CiCi and Charles Thompkins, Hugh and Katherine Law, as well as several of their friends and neighbors. This is a first effort in a long term endeavor. Initially I was skeptical about the prognosis for this but having observed Sarah Dunn’s success at Dunnhill over the past five years I have become a full fledged convert. I add here some small images showing the chief characteristics of this invasive, its lance like leaves, bright berries, and its propensity to take over.


Cartoon Showing Amur

An Understory Ruined by Honeysuckle

Amur Flowers

Honeysuckle Berries


Here are a few snapshots of some of the amur eradication crew. Apologies to those not included…


Cheri Hoffman

Talmage Newton and Anne

Davey Pentland


Finally, and completely unrelated, here’s the second installment of Polky’s Audio History in the Cloud – about an hour’s recording done at the Racquet Club St Louis, 27 February 2000, by John Curley. As promised, these are being gradually digitalized and uploaded – some fascinating history…

Loading audio…


Almost Spring

Filed under: Agriculture,Chambers Quiz,Family Updates,Farm,Photography — Chamberlain @ 6:14 pm

A few random notes and pictures from recent strolls through Moone Athy, where the days are getting longer and warmer.


On the wildflower path, the first irises have just appeared – thanks to Aunt Delphine. This will lift one’s spirits.


Aunt Delphine’s Irises

In the winter each year we do burns of the pond berms and pastures to enhance growth of native prairie flora and to prevent damage to the ponds.

Controlled Woodland Burn

Here’s a field at the south end of the Deer Print pasture that was burned earlier this winter. Prairie wildflower seeds have been sown here.

Burnt pasture. Later in spring we’ll show the grasses that emerge.

Here’s a gigantic burl – we’d like to get this into the hands of Bill Cromie to see what he could do with it on his lathe.

Giant Burl

Another unusual sighting…evil eye ice formation at the northern property edge…

Look at this!

Finally, another Quiz. Where’s this? Winner gets a free sit…

Where’s This?




Farm Report for 2011

Filed under: Agriculture,Family Updates,Farm — Chamberlain @ 11:56 am



2011 was on the whole a good year. Other than the ongoing work on the three houses, there were not too many extraordinary expenses. We did have to replace the water heaters in both rental houses as well as a sump pump in the barn house. Neal Fuhr was able to get us the pumps and heaters at a discounted price and he and Robert Carman (the new tenant in the Annex) did the installation.

Surveying continues to be another capital expense. The northern boundary of the farm has been surveyed and Neal marked it with purple painted fence posts. If anyone would like to see how the line runs, please let me know.

With our goats gone, we have gone back to trying to eradicate honeysuckle manually. Anne Dollimore has arranged for the first annual honeysuckle eradication outing on Sunday 25 March – please mark your calendars and join up! Thanks Anne!

The rehabbing of the family house and the tenant houses continued this past year thanks to John Fuhr. On the barn house there has been further replacement of windows and some siding work done. Siding and window work as been also done on the annex. The family house porch has been replaced.

David Pentland has gifted Kildare to the farm as the farm horse. Sadly, Ti Femme will not be with us much longer. She is getting lamer and lamer due to her tendency to founder. The managers accepted David’s gift as there as always been at least one farm horse. The farm currently maintains one horse (once Ti is put down) and Blossom.

Improvements were made to the Jack Cromie Trail with the addition of a sign set up along the trail. It has one of Jack’s poems carved in it. A bench in memory of Rebecca Hollo is across from the sign. Both the sign and the bench were thanks to monetary donations as well as work contributions. We are trying to get wild ginger and Christmas ferns established in the area.

Because of heavy rains and rising creeks we had to do more gaveling of the road this past year plus recover the wooden bridge to the pond as it was carried downstream by the flooding.

We continue to have the edges of the fields brushhogged in late August to keep the woods at bay. This year both pond dams were burned in early spring and then brushhogged in the late summer which has helped keep the brush and saplings at a minimum on the dams. The wildflower garden is also cut and cleared in late summer.

The farm continues to be a place where the family gathers and friends come. New City School has come out once in the spring and again in the fall with the first grade class. The St. Louis Mycological Society spent a day in the spring searching for mushrooms, and will do so again in 2012. Reunions, Easter and Thanksgiving were again celebrated.

Projections for 2012 inlcude more work on the family house and the barn house plus regrading and reseeding of the family house because of the work on the porch and the need to direct the water away from the house. Likewise we may need to do some work on the little pond to keep the water off the road down at the barn.

We also want to make sure that we are prudent when it comes to farm liability issues. With that in mind, we plan to fill up the cistern at the barn house as it has been compromised. We have had the one at the family house checked and it is fine for now. We will have a binder at the farm house containing the hunting, vehicle, fire and livestock policies. Please review them with your family and your friends. By following these guidelines we will be protecting not only the farm but all of us who use it.

Sarah Dunn, Farm Manager

Another Thanksgiving Fandango

Filed under: Family Events,Farm — Chamberlain @ 11:20 am

Newsworthy happenings at the homestead this Thanksgiving weekend, all packaged below for your viewing pleasure. Apologies to the many unsnapshoted family members and guests who participated in the fun but will not share the glory of the Ourumpian Limelight.

We had an especially nice Thanksgiving thanks to Aunt Eleanor and her crew of assistants – many thanks to them for putting together a splendid event.

Here we go…



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