New Additions to the Farm

We have had three new additions to the farm in the last few weeks.  All are sheep and wool production related additions.

First, we got a wool picker.  This will make it so we can easily take our washed wool fleece and remove all the leftover bits of VM (vegetable matter), and open it up to prepare it to be carded.  This is the Oak wool picker made and sold by Kaydessa.

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AND, even more exciting…we finally got a drum carder!  We have been wanting/needing one for a few years now so that we can process our own wool.  Up until now we have used a mill to process our wool, except a little bit we processed with the hand cards on our own.

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We chose the Elite Convertible hand-crank drum carder from Clemes & Clemes.  That way, while I have lots of helpful little hands we can have a nice quiet hand-crank, and later when my nest is empty I can buy the motor and have an electric if I want.

Now, with the wool picker and especially the drum carder we can do anything and everything we want to with the wool.  We can card it into bats, or roving.  We can blend our angora rabbit wool in with our sheep wool and then make bats or roving too.

We have been really enjoying playing with our new tools!

We have already made bats of our white CVM/Merino wool and also silver Lincoln Longwool, and roving from the Lincoln as well.  We have also made bats of our English Angora rabbit wool.

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We have found it quite easy to learn how to use these tools and the more we work with them the better our skills are becoming.  I can’t wait to share with you as we process our own wool.  What a great addition to our farm tools!

The other new addition to the farm is our newest sheep – Toffee!

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She is a light Moorit colored CVM/Merino weanling ewe lamb.  Her wool gets darker as it goes closer to her skin.  It will change shade during her first year of life.

She is replacing our previous breeding ewe, Stella, because Stella wasn’t able to breed successfully for us.  So we now have Toffee, Fiona (a white, 3-year-old, CVM/Merino), and Violet (a black, 1-year-old, CVM/Wensleydale) as our breeding ewes.  Toffee may or may not be able to breed this fall, it depends on how quickly she grows and matures, but we are hopeful by November she will be ready.  We have always wanted to have the moorit color in our flock and are very excited to have her!

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6 thoughts on “New Additions to the Farm

  1. Toffee is so cute! Glad you got your other implements because I know they will make your task easier, though I really have no clue as to what that is 😉 BTW, I have a question: if you have black wool from black sheep, can you dye it another color? If so, do you bleach it first, then dye?

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  2. Congratulations on your new additions 🙂 Toffee is gorgeous – as is her name! And I love your drum carder and wool picker. They look like beautiful implements to work with. Funny how things that are so functional can also be beautiful in their own right.

    How do you learn all your homesteading skills? Books? Youtube? Classes? Local knowledge? I wouldn’t have the first clue how to go about carding or spinning wool 🙂

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    • In our area learning can be tricky because we are a high mountain town with very little agriculture and the activities associated with agriculture. It is not like we live in a rural farm area where everyone around us is doing what we are doing and our neighbors are willing to share their knowledge.
      Because of that we learn most everything from books. When there is something we want to learn to do we head to the library and get as many books about the subject as we can possibly get our hands on. Then after we have read everything we can we give whatever it is a try. Sometimes we fail and learn a lot from that. Sometimes we succeed and learn from that too.
      Despite our lack of living in an agricultural area we do also learn from people with experience. We try to build relationships with the people we buy livestock from because they are such a great source of information. Our relationships with our sheep breeder and with the breeders who sold us both our dairy cows were so very helpful as we learned the ins and outs of taking care of those animals. When shopping for livestock we are looking just as much at the breeder as the livestock itself because we want someone who wants to share their passion for the livestock and teach us.
      One of the reasons we chose a Clemes & Clemes drum carder was because we saw them at a fair/market selling from a booth and they were super helpful and showed us how to use the carder and answered all my many questions about it. They even said I could come back the next day and ask more questions if when I tried it at home that night it didn’t work how I had hoped.
      So I guess my answer to your question is we learn from people who are passionate about the topic, and also from as many books and magazines as we can get a hold of.

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      • Sounds like you’ve met some wonderfully skilled and helpful people. It’s so easy to forget that even though you’re “in the country” your country isn’t the agricultural kind – more the beautiful rugged wilderness kind. We’re very very agricultural here – farms (big and small) absolutely everywhere apart from some stretches of rainforest. Totally amazed by the amount of knowledge and skills you’ve gained through sheer hard work, trial and error and talking to people. Inspirational 🙂

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