Saturday, June 27, 2009

No One was Innocent

This is what is left of a branch of the old fig tree after about fifteen minutes of "goat time". One apparently climbed up on it so that it cracked loose at the base. The leaves of the fallen branch were quickly consumed.


Eric decided that he wanted the trunk of a dead tree to practice riding on with his mountain bike. Of course the tree trunk was in a very small holding pasture where the tractor wouldn't fit through the gate. After much fooling and a few set of log chains, Eric & Katy managed to get the log to the fence, balanced securely & over into another pasture. Some days it might be better if I wasn't home when these things happen.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Productive Week

Yarn sales at Saturday Market continue to amaze me. In spite of temperatures in the 90's I've got plenty of customers. This week I've managed to get ten new skeins dyed up as well as another one handspun. I must dye more wools to spin this coming week!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

He did it himself....

Bart, our crippled sheep who tried to just plain die of grass tetany two years ago, has pretty much free range of the whole property. It is a good thing we are always checking to be sure he isn't in trouble somewhere as he will often lay down in a funny position and find that he cannot get himself on his feet again. Every morning one of us finds him and lifts him to begin his day. We spend the rest of the day checking to see what he's gotten himself into. This time he managed to tangle himself in a rope hanging on a fence. I found him looking mildly confused but not yet worried about it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Growing Pigs

It is hard to believe but when we first got these pigs, all three fit in the trough at the same time. Now they shove each other around to wallow in this trough. Of course, they've also got a water trough to drink from that they love dumping out onto the ground to make their own mud pits. It seems I refill something with water every time I walk past their pasture during the day but it gives them such pleasure that I don't mind.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


We've got lots of small volunteer pumpkin patches cropping up from the remains of the fall pumpkins that Country Boys sent. We had several dump truck loads that we piled and then distributed around the farm where the sheep, goats, cattle and donkeys ate them up. The chickens finished off most of the remains but obviously a fair number of seeds slip by each year. The animals do not eat at the prickle-covered stems and leaves but are delighted as the fruit begins to develop. They don't want the little green knot of a pumpkin that is just started but will eat away at them once they are softball size or starting to turn yellow. We are pleased they find such an interesting treat as we have no real use for an ornamental pumpkin in July and most commercial jack-o-lantern pumpkins are not very good for eating.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Test Run

I am often asked how much a skein of my handpainted yarn will make. So, although I am fairly good at estimating, I decided to take on of the skeins & knit it up. I used size 19 needles (enormous), cast on 12 stitches & just knit away. I ended up with a cuddly scarf that is just shy of 8 inches wide & is 80 inches long. So now I can be a bit more specific with my customers!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Yarns

Market has been so busy that I'm really feeling like I need to do a good bit of dyeing & spinning to keep up! I'm in a school next week so am trying to get ahead this week. Selling "too much" is a great problem to have, especially since we just purchased 30 new round bales of hay. At least with the break in the drought, hay prices are much more reasonable.


Yes, Rabies is the name of the cat. Our Katy is quite proud of that little stunt. Rabies has quite a story, having been abandoned at our house as a pitiful little guy who's eye was so infected that it actually burst. But he is much better now and thoroughly enjoying the fact that I did not immediately hide the clean wool I had been going through to prep for picking.

Monday, June 8, 2009


I've hung the two dozen bulbs of garlic that I dug today. I'll move them to a cooler and shadier place tomorrow after they dry enough that I can trim the roots and knock off a little dirt. This is a nice strong Italian garlic and we've still got about six more varieties to harvest. The kitchen smells wonderful right now!


This is not the best picture but the white goat in front has her baby from last year leaning on her shoulder. Behind her is her kid from two years ago. Since she is an older doe, she did not kid this year. We are often amazed at how families nap together and look after one another long after the kids are grown. We once retrieved a doe's grown daughter from another farm after they'd been separated about two years and they immediately took to each other as if they knew they were kin.

One Big Baby

The white sheep on the left if the lamb that was delivered six weeks ago. That brown sheep on the right is his mother. No wonder it took a little extra help to get him birthed. When he nurses he almost knocks her off her feet but she is a patient & devoted mama.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sorting Through a Fleece

I have got to get caught up on all of the fleeces around here so decided to pick through one today. I set it out on a long table & tear it up into small pieces that I sort by texture & length. As I tear, I also manage to shake out some of the dirt as well as pieces of hay & other non-wool stuff. An awful lot of fleece becomes a nice crate of good wool that I will wash up to spin into yarn.

As I worked the dogs & one of the donkeys visited but mostly minded their own business. Bart, our spoiled sheep, insisted on shoving up under the table where it appears he was scratching his back.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Chester's Big Day Out

Chester is our African Spurred Tortoise. He is now larger than a dinner plate but just a very few years ago could rest easily in the palm of my hand. He has a house indoors where he has a nice grow light, heat and all the romaine he can eat. I had to work in the garden today and since Chester was being restless in his cage I decided to take him along with me. He seemed to enjoy the sunshine and grazing as I pulled weeds and dug a little garlic.

Told You She is Tiny

Mrs. Seabright, who I introduced you to in May, just happened to be eating IN a feed trough next to some of our regular hens. She is such a little thing but has held her own for about ten years now. And if you look closely at the pictures, you'll notice it is muddy. It has been such a joy to receive rain weekly! The chickens keep this area around one of the feed troughs pretty torn up and muccy but they have all the rest of the nice green pastures to roam. The little ducklings are also enjoying the random puddles that appear after each downpour as well as the bugs floating on the puddle surfaces.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rudy Update

Ever since I shared my story at Market about Rudy's latest brush with death, I have gotten weekly inquires as to his health. He is going about his usual business, most of which consists of wandering to new napping sites throughout the day. We'd moved the trailer near the pig pasture the day before loading them. We'd opened the gate so that the pigs would not be suspicious of this new development. Rudy meandered in & happily spent the day napping.

Catching Up

Market has been amazing so I'm staying busy with spinning new yarns & dyeing. I'll need to do some more felting before the week is out but that doesn't take as long as spinning so I'll squeeze it in on Friday.

Yesterday we took the two largest pigs up to the processor. Once they were out of their pasture, I let the sheep into the pasture adjoining theirs to clean up some of the long grass. We had kept the ewes and their lambs very well separated from the pigs who can be vicious carnivores. Once the potential danger was gone, I let them into the grass that had been growing beautifully for these past few weeks. This year's rain has been a real blessing! I waited until midmorning when the sheep had already grazed a bit so that none would become sick from gorging themselves on fresh grass. They were thrilled with the new greens in their diet.