Maine Fiber Frolic 2017 Poster
MOFGA Common Ground Fair Poster

My Favorite!

This is absolutely my most favorite piece of eqiuipment ever…even more favorite than the food processor or the KitchenAid mixer!!  I don’t know why we didn’t get it years ago…maybe we were younger and our backs were stronger.  But then one day a couple of years ago, our backs started screaming and we listened.  And this wonderous thing came to live here.  Usually it just sits quietly in the barn…but when we need it — OMG!  It makes short work of many heavy bales!

My favorite thing...how did we ever live without it!

My favorite thing...how did we ever live without it!

We’ve started picking up the hay we bought last fall.  This is the best quality hay we’ll be getting and usually we time it this way so that the lactating ewes would be eating well as they’re making milk for their lambs.  Also, the lambs would start out eating this hay and they really love it.  The little ones start imitating their moms when they’re just a couple of days old — it’s so cute!  They’re not really getting any nutrition from the hay but they’re practicing.

Jim is listening to a podcast as I listen to the sweet "heavy metal" sounds of the hay conveyor...my favorite!

Jim is listening to a podcast as I listen to the sweet "heavy metal" sounds of the hay conveyor...my favorite!

A nice load of 2nd cutting hay.

A nice load of 2nd cutting hay.

Sorting Fleeces

There are still some fleeces that haven’t been sent off from fall shearing and they need to go! It’s been too cold to stay in the barn for any length of time and the fleeces are impossible to unroll so I’ve brought some into the studio to warm up. We did a very good job of skirting them at shearing so there isn’t too much to do — just a quick look through — before packing them up. I always get hung up on what exactly to do with them…to blend or not to, to make yarn or just roving. The problem is that I love it all!!  We have some CSA members!

It’s a New Year!

Spot is looking for some goodies

Spot is sure that I've hidden another bucket of goodies behind that gate!

The new year arrived and we didn’t really make much of it…a quiet evening at home and a good night’s sleep. We spent the 1st getting ready for a load of hay and I did some sorting in the studio. The sheep got their holiday goodies today (a little behind schedule) and were most appreciative. Most of them love apples — some prefer carrots — a few don’t like either — but everyone who wanted something got it today. It’s always fun to watch the little ones with their first taste of apple. To begin with, they don’t have a clue how to get it into their mouths…it’s a different shape than they’re used to. Then they’re not sure how to chew it…texture is all wrong. When they do get it rolled around into the right spot for those molars to chomp on it and they get that first taste of sweet juice…WOW! you can see their eyes brighten and their chewing becomes alot more enthusiatic! Then they follow you around looking for more — very cute!!

Wicked Sick

This hasn’t been fun at all. I’m feeling a little better but I’m trying not to overdo it. Everyone keeps telling me it’ll come back if I don’t behave. But sheep need to be fed and chickens, too. At least I can swallow and my nose isn’t running continuously anymore. I’ve had to resort to drugs and NyQuil is my nightcap of choice. That stuff really knocks me out so at least I’m getting a little rest. But I think it’s heading for my chest…ugh! While I’ve had this “downtime” we’ve been tossing around the idea of starting a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). We’ve been members of a veggie CSA for a bunch of years and have been so happy with it that it seemed like a great idea. Originally, we’d talked about doing a lamb & pork CSA. But now that we’re not going to have any lambs to market this year, I’m wondering whether this model might be applied to fiber instead. I know that ours wouldn’t be the first fiber CSA (and it probably wouldn’t be the last either) but I think that any producer who does this will put his own slant on it. I seriously doubt that anyone in the fiber community will have a problem with another fiber CSA cropping up. I mean…is there ever enough fiber or places to find it?! There are so many different fiber animals producing different types of fiber…more yummy fiber is a good thing! I’m excited about this…but what to do first?!

Big Fleece!

Emily shearing a white lamb

Emily shearing a white lamb

Emily sheared Bubba and another few lambs. She’s starting to get a cute little baby belly but as always she moved fluidly through the shearing. Ah — to be young! That light fawn alpaca I found at Common Ground is going to be blended with some white lamb fleece…yum! And Bubba’s fleece weighed 15 pounds! It’s long and a lovely charcoal color. His dam, Annie, was charcoal blue and never lightened up so maybe he’s going to do the same thing.