We’re going to the Farmer’s Market!

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We have been invited to bring our fleece to sell at the Denison Farmer’s Market!  We are tentatively planning to be there this Sunday, October 2, from 12 until 3pm, weather permitting.  No, we’re not rain whimps – it’s just that we cannot allow the wool to get damp, so we will only be there if it’s dry.

 

We will be demonstrating carding, drop spindle knitting and felting, and you’re welcome to stop by and give it a try!  Since we’re all beginners to this, too, we welcome you to stop by and teach us a thing or two if you’d like!

We’re very excited about our first farmer’s market, and are grateful for the invitation by the market master, Stuart Woronecki, of Stonewall Apiary in Baltic, CT, through the kind recommendation of Belinda Learned at Stonyledge Farm in North Stonington, CT.

 

See you there!  

Smells like chicken

So this morning we had just finished lunch and broken open the books for another homeschooling day at Morning Star Meadows, when the phone rang.  Our BFF’s (Best Farm Friends) at Tomcova Farm in Sterling were butchering their broilers today…would we like to come?  You bet!  

 

What an adventure!  It was our first time witnessing such an event.  Everything went incredibly smoothly due to the excellent preplanning of Farmer Steve following Joel Salatin’s guidelines.  The chickens are so fresh and wholesome.  They were kind enough to send us home with a bag full!  

 

Sunday dinner!  Thanks, guys!

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Not my best of days

So, here I sit on this lousy porch roof.  It’s not too bad, but it’s certainly not the kind of digs I’m used to.  What a rotten night.  It rained.  There were strange noises coming from the window nearby, like little girls whispering about me.  I don’t know where I am, but it’s NOT home!  They tried to feed me chicken food, can ya believe it?!  They have a dog that has it out for me.  And now, here I sit on the roof, thinking I’m safe, and THAT thing starts eyeing me up for breakfast!

Do I even have a TINY chance of surviving this?!

Now if I could only get my bearings and ditch this crazy joint!  Can someone shoot me a map or somethin’?  For cryin’ out loud!

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The fruits of our labor

Bindi…beautiful…

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Drover…dazzling!

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Fatima…phenomenal!

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Molly…majestic.

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Laverne…lovely

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Bruna…brown bliss!

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Shirley…showy!

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Daisy…divine!

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Matilda…magnificent!

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Millie…mahvelous, dahling!

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Boomer…black beauty…

 

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Roxanne…ravishing!

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Esther…elegant

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Monty…mucho macho!

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Fall Shearing

I’ll try to make this brief and photo laden, as I’m typing with only 8 fingers. 

 

Yes, I had a couple of shearing accidents today, and no, I didn’t actually lose any fingers, but we’ll get to that later!

 

Last night the sheep camped out in the barn so they’d be nice and dry this morning for shearing.  That worked out quite well, and so we got started at about 9am.  Here is everyone awaiting their fate!

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What are you planning to do to us this time anyway, huh?!

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Since Daisy is our first lamb, and because she’s so docile, we decided to shear her first.  She was a little shy, but over all she did quite well.

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Her mom, Matilda, followed.  Here are her before and after shots:

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Here they are, mother and daughter, returned to the pasture and getting a head start on everyone!

 

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We then sheared Esther and her mother, Roxanne.  I remember commenting early on how silky Esther was, and that hasn’t changed one bit!  Her fleece is lovely!

 

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Sometimes a bit of blindfolding helps to calm them.

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I think it was Roxanne’s squirminess, though, that earned me my first bandaid.  I knicked my fingertip – what I thought was pretty badly…but in retrospect, it was nothing compared to my next injury!

 

Next it was Monty’s turn.  We remembered back to his first shearing a year ago – boy, he’s come a long way!  We’ve decided he just likes to have minimal restraint, so that’s what he got.  Actually, they all have their little idiosyncracies that way – some hate to be on the stand – some try to sit down the whole time, etc.

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Now I was ready for another lamb, and I knew Boomer would be a good boy.  He was – but I think by then I was getting pretty tired, and in a flash I saw a little bit of my fingertip say “bye-bye”!  

 

Ya know those times when you hurt a body part – and you know there is blood involved – so you grab whatever you have on hand to cover it, then squeeze it to stop the pain – and blood — then are convinced you’re never gonna stop squeezing it because, number one, you know it’s going to hurt more, number two, you know it’s gonna bleed more, and number three – you just can’t bring yourself to knowing and seeing how bad it really is?  

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Yeah – YOU kno
w what I’m talking about, Boomer!!

 

Yep -that’s where I was about then!

ouch.

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Anyway – I bound it up and quickly finished him and it was definitely time for a lunch break (and some first aid!  Roy did a nice bandaging job, and commented on how bloggable this moment would be (way to show pity, Roy!)) and after lunch and a bit of a rest, we were back at it.

 

Bruna’s turn now.  I have been dying to see her wool, and we weren’t disappointed!  It is so beautifully colored, with a deep chocolate brown close to the skin, lightening to an almost auburn at the tips.  

 

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We decided to stick with lambs for a while, so we sheared Laverne and Shirley next.  Their wool is almost identical, as I had expected.  Their before and after pictures are probably the most striking:

 

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Then we sheared Millie’s twins, Drover and Fatima.  They are our shyest lambs, so we expected a bit of a rodeo with them, and they delivered.  

 

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Lastly, we ended with the ewes…

Millie was SO good…

 

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Bindi was as good as her lambs were – her wool is AWESOME!  Amazing color contrast and lots of crimp, tog as well as thel!

 

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Molly.  Well, all I can say is, thank goodness she was the last one, because I was out of energy, and she was very naughty!  Most of her shearing was done with her lying down!  She didn’t like being on the stand and she hated the head restraint.  We just did what we could, then got the rest when she finally stood up.  Really nice gray…

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8 hours later – we were exhausted.  The sheep were a couple pounds lighter.  My finger was a gram or so lighter (not counting all of the bandaging!).  

 

But what a rewarding day it was! 

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However, I think I’ll stay away from sharp instruments tomorrow!

 

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We will never forget

It was a gorgeous Sunday today!  

 

Our day began, though, by remembering the victims (and their families) of that terrible attack on our country 10 years ago.  We explained to our children who had not been born yet, and reminded those who had.  It was hard for them to even conceive of such a thing happening, and yet it indeed did.  

 

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.  May they rest in peace.

 

We also salute all of the emergency personnel who risked their lives in the line of duty that day.  Now that our son is a firefighter, I have an even greater appreciation for these men and women.  May God bless and protect them.

 

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Here at the farm now we’re gearing up for shearing soon, so I thought I’d get some pictures of their rapidly lengthening fleeces before their gone!

 

Monty greeted me first.  I realized I need some new pictures of him.  He’s really looking quite stately these days compared to his baby pictures!

 

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Boomer is SO hard to photograph!  Like a puppy dog, he makes a b-line to me as soon as he spots me.  Either that, or he has his head down, munching!  I did manage to get this neat action shot of him.

 

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Millie ALWAYS makes her way over as soon as she can.  She has to see if I have food.

 

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OH great…here’s Boomer again!

 

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This is our “Mini Millie” — Fatima…she is the spitting image of her Ma.  I thought she looked so dainty and feminine in this shot.

 

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Here’s Boomer’s sister, Bruna.  I LOVE her fleece!

 

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Hello, Roxanne!

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“Daisy Cam”  Can you get any closer, Daisy?

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With all of the rain, you’re looking nice and white these days!

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And so is your mom, Matilda!

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Laverne and Shirley are looking awesome!  Can’t wait to see their fleece when it comes off!  Their fleeces could easily be combined to make a LOT of gray lambswool yarn!

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Their mom, Molly, will have fleece as nice as ever!  Hers was snagged up quickly at the sheep and wool fleece sale last winter!  She also gave us the biggest fleece, and from the looks of her, she’s
working on keeping that honor this year!

 

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Bindi (Boomer and Bruna’s mom), too, is quite striking with the deep contrast of black to gray.

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I’ll leave you with Daisy’s magazine cover pose…She even stood there long enough for me to get a couple of snaps!  

 

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Don’t forget to contact us with your fleece orders for this fall!