Farm, Fiber Art, Inspiration, Natural Dye, Shepherd, Vermont

Flower Power

Making a very special effort to focus on the fun, to be positive, to share light and love.  There’s too much yuck in the news and world, of late, and I’m a firm believer in love conquers all.

Small things are making me weary on the farm.  Sheep and lambs that keep escaping.  I can’t figure out what to do with them because, actually, right now, a lamb is baahing outside my window and he belongs with his mom in the pasture down the way.  Why is he outside my window?  Why is he not down the way?

Every time I have moved the sheep, of late, there has been some small thing that throws a wrench in the works.  There is a fair amount of finesse when you’re moving the animals.  Momentum is important. Don’t hesitate or they’ll know they’re being led to your will.  Just go.  But on the other end, the gate has to be open where you’re leading them.  And when you get them to where they’re going, to be in two places at once is very tricky.  I haven’t figured out how to lead them in and then go back and close the gate without them following me to the gate.  This morning, an unsuspecting egg customer pulled up to buy eggs and didn’t know he was going to be in charge of closing the gate, very quickly behind 50 charging sheep.

The weeds and the overgrown thistles & burdocks make me weary.  I can’t keep up with keeping them down.  I need to find my machete, I don’t know where it is.  Folks, you want to know where your machete is.  It’s the right tool for the job. Also, you want to know where your machete is. Granted, it’s dull as heck.  But I need to know where that damn thing is for peace of mind.

The poultry are giving me grief.  There is so much acreage for the freeranging fowl to forage.  Yet they choose the back deck where I am trying to grow patio tomatoes.  And thanks, hens, for eating my lettuce crop for the third time.

Turkeys, the Jesus-fowl, are in a new place.  They’re sharing the garden with Princess Peppermint, the American Guinea Hog.  They’re not always very bright, though.  As in, there is food for them to eat in the little duck house that has a small door so that Peppy cannot access it.  But they forget the food is in there and whistle and peep loudly for food.  And they’re discovering ways out.  I have to be several steps ahead of them as this is the training-part of their lives.  If they learn that there is a back porch or a front porch on my house, I am doomed.  I will have an adorable flock staring at me through the windows at all hours, depositing giant amounts of manure on the porch and deck.

And that is the small stuff.

We’re all aware of the big stuff. It’s a grand old time for media in this age, isn’t it?  So, yeah, we’re all aware of the big stuff.

Well today I made a large effort to contemplate sweetly while I picked dye-vat flowers from my surrounds.  I had a thought -if I was blind, would I care at all about natural dyeing?  Yes, I probably would care, but would I participate? Not likely.

However, just because I might not see color as a blind person, there are so many other senses that are aroused when you’re a natural dyer.

The experience of foraging:

  • hot, steamy afternoon

  • panting, playful pup

  • feathery, soft foliage of Achillea millefolium, nubby, bumpy flower heads

  • pungent, silky marigold petals

  • lacy, silky Queen Anne’s Lace flower heads, their cup-like shape as they tire, their flared and fancy doilies when they’re fresh

  • sticky, dainty calendula petals and their healing scents

The ritual of the care of the harvest:

  • method while separating and spacing like matter

  • quiet, birdsong, pups panting, rooster crowing, sheep baahing, donkeys braying

  • relief, fulfillment, satisfaction of accomplishment

For my heart:

  • natural materials acquired through planting and foraging

  • deadheading the flowers and they’ll rebloom

  • coloring our own wool with our own dye matter

  • leaving a low-impact ecological footprint in the creation of beautiful garments

  • doing a good thing in a sometimes-world-gone-crazy

It is true, though, I did derive so much joy through my eyes.  But I also contemplated a lesson that the gorgeous display of my harvest taught me.  How could any of us be happy in a world that is all one color?  How could we be living a full life in a world of sameness?

I’m so much better off, so much richer because the world has so many differences.  Thank God for different colors, for different textures, for different aromas and for all good things.

Now I’m going to go see why that lamb is baahing so loudly.

 

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10 thoughts on “Flower Power”

  1. Love your thoughts. I’m so tired of the doom and gloom in the news. The world needs now is love sweet love🎶
    You’re generous in sharing your farm and all your kids, 2 and 4 legged. I watched you move all your animals this morning. They quite simply love you and perhaps that’s why they’re all at your knees vying for your attention( or do your have treats in your barn jacket?)

    You’re doing good things in your part of the world in Vermont. I for one, really appreciate 5-10 minutes at your place. One day, I’ll bring coffee and warm blueberry lemon scones 😉
    Thanks Tammy!

  2. This is a beautiful meditation, Tammy. Summer is such an anxious time for many of us farmers, and the overall cultural climate right now doesn’t help! It’s nice to be reminded of the lovely things still.

    1. thank you, Jessica! It’s difficult with all the bad in the world, you don’t want to complain, but it does pile up sometimes, doesn’t it?

  3. Your view of the world is so very lovely. Thank you for sharing yourself and your thoughts. I’ve been cross-stitching day and night since returning from travel. I must get a large piece finished and framed in time to submit to our county fair. I had unintentionally gotten behind on the project. I feel a bit out of touch with social media but took a few minutes to catch up on blogs tonight. I am so glad that I did. Sending love AND a hug from Texas. I sincerely hope that the small things get ironed out and life on the farm becomes much less rocky for you.

    1. Oh thank you, Julie! It is summertime and it seems everyone is going seaside and such, and sometimes I just want all of the fuzzy friends here to give me one night of rest! The day is so rich, though, I get the reward of their sweetness and do I love myself some flowers!! Hope you are able to get your submission in on time, can’t wait to hear about it!
      Love,
      Tammy

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