Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Calf

Al came in yesterday morning and informed me that Alice had had a healthy little bull calf.  I tried to get a few pictures but Alice is so friendly that she prefers to lick on me than stand back and let me photograph her little man.  So this is the best I could do.....

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Green Treat

Our sweet friend, Jeff, of Iszy's Heirlooms, texted me Sunday afternoon to say he had some animal food.  That is always a good message as it means he is finishing up one crop and beginning another.  Rather than just turn it under, he offers it to us for the livestock. This time he had plenty of romaine and Chinese cabbage that was ready to be pulled as the hot weather would be turning it bitter. I walked a very long row, twisting the heads free while Al followed behind with the wheelbarrow. We ended up with about 150 heads, plenty to give everyone here a nice treat.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


We decided to store some of the abundance of oat hay in the tractor shed.  It has a nice new roof.  Two of the walls are solid and the other two are made up of cattle panel and gates.  The chickens and babies can slip in but the hay is safe from the adult livestock.  The babies have had a great time exploring the new hay, snacking as they go.
We started with a small overflow of hay in the tractor shed but another week added even more so that the hay is almost to the rafters.  I was surprised to find a very brave or foolish little Shetland ram lamb almost to the rafters.  The pictures are not the greatest but you can see he's awfully far up.  He is either a very brave or very silly little man.

There was a little exploring going on at the front of the house this week as well.  Our sweet friend, Jeff, said it was time to pull up some excess cabbage as the weather was hot and it was going to turn bitter.  He wanted to know if the animals would like it.  He is so good to offer us his culls and extras for the creatures!  Al filled the back of the pick up truck in very short order.  As he was unloading here at home Bud, one of the Tunis sheep, figured out what was going on so decided to help.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Little Fiber

The best thing about being back in the Saturday Market routine is the need to keep up with production.  I've got a fair bit of dyeing done this week and have been busy rewinding and tagging.  I've also got other skeins prepped to dye tomorrow.  Even though they won't be ready for this week's Market, I feel like I've got a head start on the coming week.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Playing With the New Camera

I received a new camera for Mother's Day & it has a wonderful zoom (18X) so that I can finally take pictures of some of our overly-friendly creatures without even having to go into their pastures.  I had been very frustrated with my other camera.  It was a fine camera but perhaps I should say I was frustrated with my creatures.  Whenever I tried to take their pictures, they would run up to me for some attention and I would end up with a very close-up shot of their noses, eyes, ears, etc.  Now it seems I can sneak around the farm and take a few pictures before anyone realizes what I am up to.

So, a little of the family with a few captions:

A very handsome rooster gleaning some of the scrap grain from the newly cut oat hay.  He was born here as a hybrid (which means we really haven't a clue who his parents were.....) so he is a very attractive one-of-a-kind fellow.

Little Odette, one of our funniest looking little lambs, taking an afternoon nap next to the stable wall.
One of our oldest Shetland ewes with a hen for company.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Last week was a busy one.  We started on Sunday by going for 200 square bales of fresh oat hay.  We gathered the bales right out of the field with the help of a few of the farmer's friends.  We can take 100 bales at a time on our trailer so after loading the first 100 we ran home, piled them into the old barn and returned.  The second load was tarped until we had the energy to unload it Monday.  Then we started again on Saturday with the intention of getting 100 bales on Saturday and another 100 on Sunday.  When we arrived, the farmer asked if we'd take all 200 that day but we explained that we just couldn't pull it off.  Saturday Market (www.saturdaymarketlive.com) had just started that morning with a bang and we were exhausted.  Our intention was to gather 100 bales Saturday and another on Sunday.  When we explained we just really couldn't unload and come back on Saturday, the farmer's response was, "What if I send a boy home with you to unload?"  He sent his adult son and our oldest son also met up with us so that we were able to pull off another 200 bales on Saturday.  Our Sunday "rest" was to do nursery duty at church.  An infant is a lot lighter to tote around than a hay bale!

One square bale fell off of the trailer on the way to the old barn.  Al had unstrapped the hay to load the 1st 20 bales into the horse trailer at the front of the house.  That makes it easier to feed the donkeys.  He did not restrap everything before heading to the back so these sheep got a bit of a treat.  In the background are a few round bales from last fall's cutting.  It is obvious that this fresh green oat hay is a bit more popular.
All the animals in the back also had a big time eating the loose bits that fell of the bales as they were being unloaded.  They also got a few bales that we didn't have the gumption to haul into the barn.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I had already gathered about three dozen eggs when I noticed one of the cows had baling twine wrapped around her horns.  I safely tucked my egg bucket in a nest box and went to free the cow.  When I returned I discovered a little hen who was too impatient to lay her own 30+ eggs, preferring to hijack my bucket load.  I don't know how she managed to squeeze herself in but it took me a moment to remove her without overturning the bucket and ruining the eggs.

Baling twine can be a wonderful thing, especially when every last bit of it gets picked up when cutting it off a bale.  That doesn't always happen.  Just a few days ago I noticed one of the roosters who is fairly outgoing sitting quietly by himself.  He watched me as I approached and then stood up with a look on his face that said he was resigned to the fact that he needed some help.  He had had his own little encounter with a stray bit of baling twine.  I have no idea how he managed to entangle himself so thoroughly but he calmly let me lift him and cut off the twine.  I keep a pair of German surgical scissors on a nail in the barn for just such an occasion.  I did, however, have to get a quick picture with my cell phone..... Some days!