Raising excellent quality wool starts with the sheep. I just posted an article over at Mother Earth News teaching how to increase the quality of the wool you raise and thus increase the value of your wool and wool products, and your profits. Click here to read the article.
Canners continue to run into canning lid shortages this year, just like last year. Thankfully, it hasn’t effected our canning because we use reusable lids. There are several of benefits of using the reusable lids. Check out my article over at Mother Earth News about it.
You can also read my previous posts, reviewing Tattler Lids back when we first got started using them by clicking here.
I just published a new post over at Mother Earth News sharing what we are learning about staying safe when there are poisonous snakes on the farm. Check it out by clicking here!
I have a new article up on Mother Earth News about how to grow tomatoes in a short-season, cold-climate garden. Go check it out here.
It has been awhile since I took a break from blogging…so what have we been up to?
Our 5-year-old son had another ER visit, hospitalization, and surgery (his 24th). It continues to be a hard road with his medical issues. This round came on fast and strong and was pretty scary. But he is doing better now and we are thankful for that and hopeful to have a nice long break from the pediatric hospital.
We have had a wet, snowy spring. We had one big spring snow that buried us for a few days. We played board games and stayed in our pjs, as well as bundling up to play outside and dig paths for the livestock to make it to the water trough. And then we have had several weeks where we had snow off and on for days. The moisture is good, especially after last year’s bad fire season.
The big snow we had was deep and didn’t even begin to melt for over a week. During that time the predators started getting desperate and we had a mountain lion and a bobcat both looking to eat our livestock in broad daylight on two different days. Between our Livestock Guardian Dog and us humans we were able to keep them away and nothing bad happened.
We got all the sheep sheared and are starting to process all the wool into roving and yarn in the mill.
Daisy’s twin lambs have thrived and grown so much! They are doing very well.
We have not been milking Daisy due to things going on in our life that are keeping us too busy right now. We might start milking her after the goat has her kids in the next few weeks since we will be milking the goat anyway. The rest of the ewes are due to lamb at the end of May and into June.
Belle is due to kid this week. She is looking very wide and we are expecting twins. It will be nice to have fresh goat’s milk again, not to mention the adorable kids bouncing around!
We had a very cool visitor to the chicken pen the other night. It was a windy night and we didn’t latch the exterior pen (the chickens were all closed into the coop). The door must have blown open, allowing the visitor entrance, and then blown closed, trapping the visitor inside. When we came out in the morning we were pretty excited to get a close-up view of this beautiful Northern Saw-Whet owl. It was so tiny and seeing it from a few feet away was amazing! We looked at him/her and took photos for a couple of minutes and then opened the door. He/she flew off with no issues, glad to be free again.
In between snow storms we have prepared the garden soil and laid out drip lines for this year. We have also started seeds indoors and they are all sprouting like crazy. Hard to believe another garden season is starting soon – especially with all this snow.
I finished the sweater I was making for Mtn Man. We both love how it turned out and he has been enjoying wearing it through this snowy spring! I used yarn he made from a fleece from our ram, Fergus. It was a 4-ply worsted weight from his 2018 fleece.
This was my first time using my newly purchased book “The Knitter’s Handy Guide to Top-Down Sweaters” by Ann Budd. I have many of her books and love them all and this one did not disappoint. It is already one of my favorites and I know I will use it over and over again for years to come. I love the books she has written that make it so you can use any yarn and make any size because they have charts for all different gauges and sizes. Perfect for a family of 7 that I love to knit items for. And perfect for all the different gauges of yarn we make from our sheep fleece.
I have done some more writing for Mother Earth News and will share links and info as it becomes available. Watch for my article in the June/July print issue “Ask the Experts” column!