Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Busy, busy, busy

Somewhere there is a camera full of pictures waiting to be downloaded and then posted here.... I need to find said camera BEFORE this weekend.

Shearing has begun and we are STILL trying to get the last of the hay fields done. At least Hurricane Maria is pushing hot air into the North, and that is making hay dry quicker. The problem is getting the time to get into the fields. Jerry is not home until 1-1:30, and it is dark by 7. With my shoulder there is equipment that I can not change out one handed. Hopefully next year will be better. Hopefully we won't have long periods of rain in June and July when haying should be starting. And, Lord willing, we will have enough snow this winter, and no extended periods of rain in May, to get the gardens all in come Memorial Day weekend.

This coming weekend is the 29th annual VT Sheep & Wool Festival.

Next weekend is the 34th annual Wool Arts Tour. We will be in our usual spot at Spinner Farm in Deering, NH. And, even though Leslie's site says there will be a skirting demo at only one time, that is ONLY for the fleeces for the 2 sheep that Jerry will be shearing. OUR skirting table will be set up ALL weekend and one of us will be skirting fleeces off and on all weekend.

If you need shearing done, and haven't scheduled yet, you might be out of luck. Get in touch with us by email ASAP. Jerry goes in for hernia surgery October 12 and could be down for up to 6 weeks.
I go in for my 2nd shoulder surgery December 4th (edited to the 11th) and will be in a sling for 6 weeks. Expected healing time on that surgery is ANOTHER 6 months to a year. (7 months later on the first surgery, and the pain level is still very high!)

Lambing is expected February 1st to March 1st. If you are interested in purchasing lambs from us to raise on your own grass, let us know as soon as possible. What ever is left the week before Easter will be sold to the 'meat man'. Christian Easter is April 1, 2018 and Greek Orthodox Easter is April 8, 2018. So we need to know by mid-March. Lambing was supposed to happen earlier, but stuff happens.

Now. Back to the camera and the reason for today's post. I will be taking pictures and inventory of our fleeces and yarns at the next 2 shows. These will then be posted on the fleece page and the Face Book page. I know I've not been active in either one of these pages, and hopefully this winter that will change.

TTFN. Hope to see you at the festival(s)!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

But, on a better note

Breeding has begun. I am 2 weeks later than I wanted to be. But, with shoulder surgery scheduled for December 4th, and me in a sling for 6 weeks, I needed to back it up.

 Looking out to the back pasture, and 
(below) the same shot zoomed in.

 Looking up the driveway towards the barn, 
chicken house, and Candace's temporary hut.
 Looking down the driveway to Stormy's 
temporary hut.
 The pigs' yard is right next to where Stormy and 
his girls are. They needed to come out and say Hi!

Why does this bee feel the need to chew on this pallet?
It is one of the ones around Stormy's 'house'.


 3 of this year's ewe lambs, and Socks.
Socks is a 2 1/2 year old Dorset/Romney that
did not recover well from lambing this spring.
She is getting a year off.

 Inside the boys' pen.

 Only 3 Horned Dorsets and 3 chickens 
were inside on the girls side.

Stormy, the 9 year old Romney, has girls down next to the garden in a temporary hut built with the pallets left from the pigs' pen, 2 semi-rounded cattle panels, a sheet of black plastic, a tarp and a green gate to lock them in at night.

Chip, the 6 month old Horned Dorset, has girls in the girls side of the barn. Jeremy, the 4 year old Dorset x Romney (Stormy's son) has girls in the boys pen. And Candace, the 9 year old retired Horned Dorset, has this year's 4 ewe lambs in the front yard in a temporary hut built from green horse gates, 2 semi-rounded cattle panels, a sheet of black plastic, a tarp, and a green gate to lock them in at night.

Stormy, Chip and Candace are all behind electric net fencing.

They will stay together until October 1st. Then they will all go back to their regular pens. Hopefully Chip will be big enough to go in with the boys and they don't pick on him.

My head and heart hurt and my spirit feels broken

After all the time and money that went into my tomato crop, we've been hit by late blight on our tomatoes. http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/prevent-late-blight/7262.html I know in my heart that some of it is my fault for planting too close together. (They did not look like they were going to be that close when I put them in.) And, I will NOT buy plants from Home Depot  ever again.

The plants are getting pulled out and put in the wool compost pile. I do not want this in any regular compost pile as I don't want the fungus to spread. Even the sheep are not getting the affected plants and fruit. The dead plants will then be covered by fleece skirts as I work my way through the fall shearings of fleeces.

NEXT year, we will do what our butcher does and put up cedar posts and plant the tomatoes next to those. Then we will be able to walk around the plants. THIS year, I will plant winter rye where the tomatoes were to try to negate any damage done by the blight.

When I first saw the dying plants, I blamed in on the temperatures being in the low 40's for most of the week... But, then I decided to Google it. :(

 I managed to save some out of the first
20 plants I pulled. I still have 30 (or more)
plants to pull. I am hoping I can ripen the 
green ones in the house. But, it looks like
no salsa for us this year. Unless all of the 
Roma tomatoes ripen at once.
 One pile of the pulled plants.
I did not anticipate doing this 
until the first of October. :(

 Can you see the blight on the tomatoes?

 At least the zinnias were not affected.
The bumblebees are still busy collecting pollen.

 The lettuce is doing great! 
The cilantro is going to seed.
That is OK. I will see if I can get
some of that seed saved for next year.

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