Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving all!!

I am thankful for all that we went through this year and what we will go through the rest of the year. This has been a growing year for us- vegetables, replacement lambs, lots of wool & wool products, and chickens. We have also had loss on the farm, but unfortunately that is part of life. Jerry's shearing business continues to grow and we thank all of his customers for their continued support of him!!

 The turkey is cooking, the bread machine is going, the pies are waiting their turn in the oven, and the veggies will go on when Valery & Paul arrive. I am very thankful that they are coming as well! 4 hours is quite a ways away, but not like Guam. I am thankful for my sister and her husband spending their furlough her with us from Guam, and that they are able to spend their Thanksgiving in Arizona with 2 of their daughters. They will be back in time for the youngest daughter's birthday. They are only 'home' every 3 years, and this is the most we've seen of them in the last 10-12 years and I am very thankful for that!

I hope this finds you surrounded by those you love, whether 2 legged or 4, and that you are having a good day/week/year. TTFN!

Friday, November 05, 2010

The chickens are here!

Recycled wood.
 This is all so new to me! I have never had chickens before, but have always wanted some. Now, we have 14 hens and a rooster. Jerry didn't want them near the house and told me to clean out the garage overhang. So, I did. Judy and Jean allowed me to recycle some doors, wood, and a nesting box. As well as their feeders and waterers.
During construction.
I needed to rehome some heat ducts (a house worth) to the 2nd floor of the barn, a van full of 'trash' to the dump, and the Gravely attachments all to 2 pallets, as well as other 'stuff'. Now we have a large chicken coop, and Jerry's tractor can go under the overhang to stay out of the weather. Now, I need to do the same to the garage. It is FULL of wool from our customers. I am sorting by color to go into blankets, and breed to sell or have processed into yarn, roving or felt pads.
PT 4x4s form the foundation. Psycho comes to watch.
 (I wish I could put these pictures in order, but Blogger is giving me a hard time about it. Sorry. But most of it is self explanatory.)
Cleaning out 10 years worth of 'stuff'

10 years worth of stuff.

Ewww! Found a dead woodchuck under all of the wool!

Grapes are yummy!
  Free ranging for the first time since we brought them home Tuesday night.
Isn't he gorgeous?

Can you see me?

 Inside the new chicken coop. The only thing not recycled was the chicken wire and the 2x4 studs.
The back plywood came from the original barn. The floor boards were left over from building the house and barn. The window was a free cycled sliding glass door. We took off the handle and lock and put it on its side. The rooster spends a lot of time there. The door, nesting box and feeders came from Judy & Jean. The trash cans for grain had come from another farm with sheep. The saw horses are left over from building the house. They are not good for anything heavy anymore, so the chickens get them for roosting. The roost posts are trees from behind the garage that Jerry cut down and screwed to the saw horses.
So far, the only expense is food, chicken wire/hardware cloth and 2x4s. I can live with that!

Romneys-One of our sheep

The thing I liked the most about our Romneys is the different colors that we have here on the farm. They are usually easy lambers and good mothers, but occasionally there is that one...

My favorite sheep here though is my Romney ram on my Dorset ewes. 9 times out of 10 we get a fine crimpy fleece (Dorset) with the length (Romney) that is highly desired by my husband & myself as hand spinners, and many of our customers. (You know who you are and I thank you!!) That 10th sheep still looks Romneyish.

This year we are trying Cornelius (our Horned Dorset ram) on 2 Romney ewes to find out if it is just the combo or if it makes a difference in the way that we have been doing it. We will know in the spring, after the lambs are born.

We like the other Romney crosses that we have on the farm. The other favorite is the Border Leicester/Romney cross.  We get the Border Leicester crimp and length and the Romney colors.

Sometimes I dislike the human race!!

Why do we as humans act like the animals and think only of ourselves??? I just got off the phone with Zeilinger Wool Company. I called to pay for the shipping of my newly processed roving. At the end of our conversation, she let me know that someone with sticky fingers stole the cash that I paid to have this processed. That was almost $290!!! Why do people do that!? I realize that in this economy everyone is hurting and that Zeilingers is a big company, but they still have to pay all of their help, the electric and maintenance on all of their equipment. That may seem like a drop in the bucket to them, but at the same time they are a 'Mom & Pop' operation and that money missing does affect them! If you read this and are the thief, please return the money to them anonymously. Just drop it in the mail to Zeilinger Wool Company, 1130 Weiss Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734.  I told her that if I had the cash that I would pay what was stolen, but I simply don't!! We here are a very small farm, trying to keep our business up and running ourselves.

BUT! To all our wonderful customers out their. THANK YOU!! For all that you do and for continuing to purchase from us and allowing us to keep our farm and keep our animals fed. Thank you again!

Fleeces are being skirted at record speed in the garage and pictures will be coming to the blog. When the roving arrives, some of it will be for sale in the natural color and the rest will be dyed. Stay tuned!

Getting off my soap box...  TTFN

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