Halfway through August

August has been full steam ahead.  There’s been comings and goings of all sorts.  Is August the comings and goings month?  It might be.

Chalkboard:

Upcoming – September 9, Fred DePaul & Farmer Tam(me) – Shearing School

September 16, Shearing Day (for the rest of the flock that didn’t go to “Shearing School” on the 9th!)

September 17, Squam Art Fair – we’ll be vending at the beautiful Deephaven Dining Hall in some very inspiring company from 7:30 – 10:00 p.m..  Ellen Mason (Odacier) and I are packing our wares and sharing them with the Squam Art Workshop creatives and any other folk that come to shop.

September 24, Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival – featured reader, selections from the Farm Journal

September 25-29, Vermont Colored Wool Retreat – here at the farm, with French General – there is one spot left!

October 1 & 2, Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival – selling yarn and fleeces, of course, and teaching a bit about eco-dyeing on Saturday, October 1 at 4 p.m. 

October 15 & 16, NY State Sheep & Wool Festival –   Beatrice Perron Dahlen (Thread & Ladle) & I will be sharing her beautiful new pattern and our beautiful yarn, ‘Thelma & Louise‘ from the Battenkill Fiber Mill’s booth.  Come see us!

Mucking:

Today we said goodbye to Linus & Lucy, Leia’s two Shetland lambs.  Those sweeties, born in the wee hours on Sunday, April 17th, I remember it like yesterday: tiptoeing into the cold night barn, sliding the door open on the stall and peering with my flashlight at 3 sets of eyes, mama, baby, baby, in the corner.  I turned on the overhead light and watched Leia licking, and murmuring to her two new lambs.  One so spotty and gorgeous, little Linus. One so white and angelic, little Lucy.

Last weekend we said goodbye to Sarah Jane, my daughter that had come home for a too-fast vacation in Vermont with family.  We had so many visitors and visits to fit in while she was here.

The creator of Making magazine, Carrie Hoge, came to visit with her family and spend time with us on the farm. We made pies and picked flowers and pet sheep, little kid goats and baby mini donkeys and lambs made new friends.  A collection of beautiful photographs were taken by Carrie.  I am so excited for her fall issue, ‘Fauna’, to come out in October.

A sweet little baby, Orion, came with his mama and papa to visit the farm.  This little guy, whom I loved holding and sharing with the sheep for a snuggle, was named for our little alpaca cria whose short, sweet life pierced our hearts a couple of years ago during a cold, brutal winter.  It was very special to be so honored.  What a gift.

Today we had a pile of field-trippers pull up in their lovely bus and spend several hours petting sheep, ponies, relaxing on the deck with the mini-donkey Bilbo, collecting eggs and overall enjoying a day on the farm.  It’s a good day when you get a dozen kids into the field with the sheep, asking great questions about farming.

You know the sheep have been escaping their fence on an occasion or two.  And the neighbors call on us to tell on them.  And we go around and try to repair the weak places.  And the pony escapes and needs to be put in the lockdown of the paddock so she won’t get colic or laminitis from overeating.  The lambs had been weaned on August 7 and that meant a couple of days of crying, Lola being the most dramatic.

The turkeys have moved and moved again.  The Jesus-turkeys, as I call them.  They were under the apple trees and are now in a nice paddock on the backside of the barn where they have a runout roof in case of rain.  They have a small pasture to pick grass in.  They are not co-habitating with Princess Peppermint in the garden and so I have a shot at sowing some late leafy-vegetables such as spinach and lettuce.  If you ever need a garden emptied, weeds and all, just call on a flock of turkeys.  That’s a life-hack for you.

There’s a new ram coming to the farm next week – a registered Shetland ram that I am picking up in upstate New York.  He’s next year’s papa.  We’ve picked a date for the dating to start here, for April lambs.  It means we’re checking the mamas, making sure the vitamin and mineral hoppers are stocked, making sure the pasture is good for grazing, preparing the best and healthiest mamas for breeding season 2016.

The coyotes have been howling at night.  Char and I have been taking turns going out into the dark to let the dogs out and walk the fields, turning on the barn lights, throwing our voices and our scent to the wind to contribute presence.  I’m not adverse to chasing down a coyote.  I’m that mom that would throw herself in front of a Mac-truck to save her baby when it comes to my animals.  The yipping and yapping and howling sounds are beautiful and ghostly and dramatic, and if I weren’t so fixed on making sure my flocks would be safe, I would enjoy the wild song.

A lot of baked goods have happened.  Including macarons and also pop tarts which made the Burlington Free Press (and they are truly delicious, and worthy, and so I am not bragging at all!) A few pies and a lot of pies have been going out the door and a few pie-weddings are on the calendar in the next couple of months.

Kodachrome:

Mary Jeanne Packer and I are collaborating for a 2017 Taconic Range-inspired spin

Mary Jeanne Packer and I are collaborating for a 2017 Taconic Range-inspired spin

Bilbo and the Farrier

Bilbo and the Farrier

Trevor and his Muppet Family

Trevor and his Muppet Family

This group moved today, new pasture for grazing

This group moved today, new pasture for grazing

Char's herb garden, thriving

Char’s herb garden, thriving

SJ home to cuddle kittens! Scout and Jem are the new barn kitties and they're friendlier with each day.

SJ came home! Here she is cuddling with one of our two tiny feral barn kittens, Jem, in the tack room. They’re getting more and more confident.

SJ with a quick watercolor of the flowers on the porch, so beautiful

SJ with a beautiful watercolor while in the backyard – loving having this one home for as long as she can swing it!

Baby Orion, visiting me in the barnyard

Baby Orion, visiting me in the barnyard

Jesse cuddled the lambs when we vaccinated them at the beginning of August

Jesse cuddled the lambs when we vaccinated them at the beginning of August

Addison Field Days super duper hot cows

At the Addison Field Days, everyone was so roasting! And these gals were finding a nice cool eave to hang under

SJ teaching little visitors to cut pie crusts

SJ teaching little visitors to cut pie crusts

Little I, giving Baby Bilbo his bottle

Little I, giving Baby Bilbo his bottle

Eco-dyeing

Eco-dyeing

SJ making art while at home

SJ would get visits from Bilbo while she sat under the trees painting

Field Trip kids loved our Shetland pony, Nite Nite

There is a little Shetland pony under there, somewhere!

Field Trippers enjoying the field of sheep

Our sheep loved their field trip visitors today!

Field Trippers having lamb time

The lambs were loving the Field Trippers!

Have a field trip to a farm, eat lunch with a mini-donkey

to finish their outing, the young group of Summer Campers had lunch with the mini donkeys!

Linus and Lucy heading to their new home

Our best farm helper, Maggie, helping Suzanne, the new owner of Lucy & Linus, to lead the lambs out to her car

Suzanne & Maggie with Lucy & Linus

Suzanne & Maggie with Lucy & Linus

 

 

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