Tuesday, May 24, 2011

barrelponics frame complete - almost

OK, we got this all done today, and the drill battery died with only ONE screw left to complete the support for the flush tank.

Monday, May 23, 2011

warping for andean pebble weave

So, I splurged and bought warmi's Andean Pebble Weave book. This woman has inspired me and deserves great credit for the time and energy she spends sharing and teaching!

Working with natural color fibers

May 21, 2011, I decided to measure out 1 oz each of my Navajo-Churro and shetland (the red/brown and white have some fiber from both breeds, the other 4 colors are Navajo-Churro).

Then I decided to see how much 1/2 ounce looked like spun up and 2 plied. Came out to 18 wraps around the niddy noddy at approx 17 wpi.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chicks arrived!

Thank you Lord for cackle hatchery and the USPS. We have some polish, assorted japanese bantams, and some mille fleur bantams. Put the polish in a separate box as they're twice as big as these guys.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sweet Potatoes

We moved to this home a bit over 4 years ago and while I've added some soil amendments in some areas, we're really on a rock with a high water table. This means that root crops need more soil than I may have, so a visit to a friend's garden has me thinking about planting sweet potatoes in buckets. He's planting them in containers because rats ate his ground planted sweet potatoes in prior years attempts.

Well, soil prices are up, so my decision will have to be ground planting! Just doesn't make financial sense to me to purchase unknown 'organic' soil in a bag. Perhaps its justified if one has no soil or too wet a ground, or contaminated soil, but I'm thinking if I simply tuck these slips in areas that have had some building up mulch, we should get some good sweet potatoes.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Right up there with watching fish in a tank, watching my sheep graze is so peaceful.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Livestock waterers

One of the other fiber farms (owned by a water gardening expert) really impressed me by how each livestock tank had water plants and fish in it. Last year we began implementing this at our place by simply adding cheap goldfish ($6.52 lb at our local baitshop) to each waterer.

I never managed to get any water plants besides one with water hyacinths and minnows, yet the goldfish survived on just mosquito larva. In the fall, I didn't think ahead enough to bring them inside and we lost them. This year I plan to bring the fish into the hoophouse for overwintering!

http://www.pondplantsdirect.com/ sent me beautiful water lettuce, a giant sensitive, and a water hyacinth lickaty split last week, so I have 2 1/2 barrells in the garden now with a few goldfish and plants in each. I'm thinking I will buy 3 larger livestock waterers for easiest management over this summer (I had smaller waterers last summer and that was difficult) as we've completed the interior fencing for rotational grazing which means I need to not have to worry about moving the waters where the sheep are.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Soap milling

Last month I did several demonstration classes showing people how to make soap from basic fats, lye, and water. These batches of soap I didn't have time to properly turn out and slice into bars, and one of them ended up very lopsided from the trip home!

So today I milled them into pretty bars and boy, I've missed this relaxing process.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sheep Shearing May 3rd, 2011

This is Thunder, my Navajo-Churro Ram, who threw predominantly black lambs this year. So happy to get the sheep shearing done, we've had some hot afternoons and with them NOT getting sheared in the fall, a few of the fleeces were felted.