New babies

We have been hit with the flu, school has been missed, and house work has been ignored. We’ve spent our time cuddled under blankets with books and “pizza”

Or consuming large amounts of coffee to get us through the day

We won’t let it get us down, there is far to much to do.

Despite the freezing rain coming down outside, we have flowers popping up

We have veggies of all kinds making appearances in our indoor greenhouse

and we have 150 new babies

Making friends with old babies.

My wheel has been fixed and the cake batter romney yarn has been plyed.

Wool combs have arrived

and I can already see a large difference between combing and carding, also carding already combed fiber is softer than regular carded fiber.

The merino for instance. Combed vs carded. Not perfect as I am realizing this merino was picked out when I had no idea how to pick wool and I have a lot of second cuts it appears. I know better now.

Look how nice and clean the romney looks, free of dirt and neps.

Combed and carded together.

My mind is racing with different ideas for this wool. Will I stick it on Etsy, will I dye it and spin it? I’m just not sure. I can say that I am very excited for the fiber festival in a few weeks.

Have a great day folks!

The wheel isnโ€™t turning

And that is because my spinning wheel broke today, I am hoping that it is an easy fix because I was in the middle of plying this gorgeous romney I blended together.

I have been having so much fun blending batts lately, I wanted to finally spin some up to see how they turn out….I’m also trying to keep myself occupied spinning these batts while I impatiently await my recently purchased wool combs from Susan’s fiber…I won’t lie, the fact that she allows sheep to roam around her shop was the reason I choose to buy from her ๐Ÿ˜‚

I have so much merino waiting in my basement to play with, but it does not turn out well when I run into through my drum carder….the one I spent almost two years researching…the one that claimed it was for fine fiber like merino (it was written right in the description!!!)

I am excited to try out these combs and see how well they work (Hopefully better than my handmade combs ๐Ÿ˜ž not very pretty & it’s just tetanus waiting to happen)

The snow is starting to melt, the chickens are laying over 80 eggs a day, we have 150 chicks arriving any day now (I hope) & seeds have been started for this years garden.

We have been making plans for when the snow melts. A wattle fence is on the list, more fruit trees & berry bushes (Elderberry Jam anyone?).

The fiber festival is happening soon, because of course the 60lbs in my basement just isn’t enough, one must try out all wool options before choosing a breed of sheep.

Another big trip will be to Fedco in Maine, for their annual tree sale, lots of fun planned for the year!

Have a great weekend folks!

Story time

Let me share with you this tragic comedy that I have been dealing with this year. We usually order laying hens at the end of the winter and brood them inside our breezeway, unlike last year, we opted out of the “buy 50 meat birds, get 50 Rhode Island Red roosters free”deal. I’m not sure how many of you have ever butchered a rooster, but it is hard work. So this year we said no and I knew that unlike last year, I would not get to pick a lucky rooster to protect my girls.

Around the beginning of summer one of last years hens went broody, though we tried we could not break her of it & in the end got several fertile eggs from a friend, which resulted in these cuties

I hoped that one would turn out to be a rooster, I always wanted an Easter egger rooster.

While I waited for the first signs of this, it became apparent that one of the black australorps was indeed a rooster, fantastic it is what I wanted….then it happened, one of my Easter egger hens crowed. Oh two roosters, okay not so bad, more protection for my girls. BUT WAIT! There’s more!

Enter, The Colonel

Oh yes my friends, a second Easter egger rooster. I was thrilled but not long after that it was determined that one of my babies was also indeed a rooster. There comes a time in every farmers life when they have to pick which animal stays and which goes. Obviously the first Easter egger hen/roo had to leave, he bit the head of one of my babies and had always been a bully, so it was a no brainer. The second choice was harder, I had waited for a beautiful Easter egger like The Colonel, but I loved the black australorp as well. Unfortunately the decision was made and before I could change my mind, that was the end of Jari (the BA).

So one would think that was the end of this tale….but then Juliet….crowed last week.

Yes friends, while Ragnar looks the part, Juliet is also a rooster. Four out of five roosters turned out to be Easter eggers, of course now it has been decided that I can only keep one. Ragnar is staying, just by sheer luck of him being the first Rooster hatched out on the farm.

The Colonel will not meet the same fate as the first two roosters, he is leaving tomorrow to enjoy farm life at the home of my best friend. Juliet however is in need of a home, so if you are looking for a rooster and live in southern Maine/Eastern New Hampshire drop me a note.

That folks is the end of my tale…unless another hen should crow. Have a great week!

Heat wave

Hi there *wipes sweat off brow* Fall has taken off on us, decided it wasn’t ready to be here just yet.

Which has really not worked out too well when it comes to harvesting food, my basement is abnormally warm thanks to the high temperatures in our indoor green house, which has resulted in most of our pumpkins turning to mush faster than we can process them. We still have several in the garden that I refuse to pick until this heat wave ends.

Late September is usually time for Apple picking and sweaters and hot mulled cider, Sunday we picked 50lbs of apples over at Apple Acres Farm in 95 degree heat, while wearing shorts and tshirts and replaced that hot mulled cider with milkshakes.

I have every intention of heading back to this orchard when the temperatures return to normal and we can pick apples in the proper attire and enjoy that delicious cider.

I have some very exciting news to share with you, it seemed like this would never happen. I’ve dreamt and dreamt about it but never truly thought it would occur. Toph is taking classes for agriculture management and handed me a pamphlet the other day, I am going to a conference in two weeks to learn everything I can possible learn about sheep. Which of course means there are sheep in my very near future and which most likely means no one will ever see me again after I get these sheep, because I won’t be leaving my house ๐Ÿ˜‚

This week at quilting we made pot holders, I finished one set and have a second set that I brought home with me that is also finished. I am also working on a huge fall project that I am hoping to share with you within a month. Unfortunately because it is a present, I cannot yet post it here.

During the last few weeks when yarn was bearable to touch, I’ve made several items, some are already on my Etsy page and some are headed that way. A couple are presents.

As much as I hate to leave this cool area of my house, I have to go brave the heat and working in my garden. Have a great week folks!

Preparing for the cold

The weather is growing colder every day, as we prepare for the winter months. Lots of harvesting and canning filling my days

Soups, jams, sauces, pickles, and jellies line the shelves in my basement, root vegetables are in the process of being stored away for eating over the long winter months, all except for the potatoes which will have to wait until I can find a way to rid of the yellow jackets nest resting in my potato rows. I experienced no less than five stings on Tuesday afternoon and the pain and swelling has only just ceased.

As of yesterday all the firewood has made its way into the house

This wood will warm us through the winter and help cook stews in cast iron pots over the kitchen fireplace.

And this yarn will keep me busy! A Michaels craft store has FINALLY opened near me and I went on a mini shopping spree the night of the “sneak peek” with the help up two 40% off coupons and one 20% off total purchase coupon. As if I didn’t have enough yarn, at least now I have the tea cakes I had been eyeing for sometime. I already finished a hat with one of the Caron Cupcakes.

Of course my favorite part of the winter is planning next years garden and talking about which animals will be making their way to our humble farm. Up next: cows and sheep!

Have a great evening folks!

Harvest

Well the bachelorette party has come and gone and I can now share with you the goodies I made,

12 house scarf book marks, no pattern.
All wrapped in gold paper and pulled from this sorting hat, which also doubles as a wedding decoration for the movie themed wedding.

On the tables for the bridal shower I made these
The vases turned out much harder than I expected, so I was very glad to get to the shower to find that they turned out beautifully!

Now I know that doesn't seem like a whole lot, but that was my secret summer project. Meanwhile old projects have now made their way to my Etsy shop

and we are now moving on to harvesting yummy foods from our garden
peas are drying for next years planting.
Don't let the one crate of zucchini fool you, we have hundreds of zucchini, many still waiting to be picked.

We've also been picking potatoes, pole beans, tomatoes, and eggplant. This week the fall garden will go in and we are all eagerly awaiting the ripening of the watermelon, cantaloupe, & pumpkins.

I've gone from working outside from sun up to sun down, to canning into the evening.

We do have 50 new short term additions to the farm

We sold all but 15 of the meat birds this year, so we decided to get one more batch in before the snow arrives. For the first time ever we are not brooding chicks inside the house, which I think we are all happy about. No mess, no smell, no dust.

Have a great day folks!