Monday, November 24, 2014

Pasture Happenings

Border Leicester Ewe


I know that it is still Fall, but we have had a big dose of winter last week.
I was not excited about the cold temps!


Border Leicester Ewe
We have the sheep in three groups.

Border Leicester in the pasture with the Ram.
Tunis in the Barnyard with the Ram.
Lambs in the corral.

 
Tunis Ewe Lamb












Romney Ewe



This is our first year feeding round bales. I have my fingers crossed that the ladies will keep their fleeces reasonably clean.

I am still hopeful that we will not have a repeat of last winter...

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Thankful HomeAcre Hop

 Welcome to the Thankful HomeAcre Hop!

Posts your Thanksgiving, Autumn, Harvest, and Preserves!
You can share a previous post or a new one.  You are
welcome to share your homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts.

The week of Thanksgiving we will take a break from the hop and we encourage you to take a break to give thanks and spend the day with your family and friends.


HomeAcre  Host
Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Tracy@Our Simple Life
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
Heidi@Pint Size Farm
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal


Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)

  Featured Post

Quick Winter Tips for Poultry and Livestock
Quick Winter Tips  http://timbercreekfarmer.com


Congratulations!


We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.

Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board where we share our Hop Favorites each week.

Clearwater Farm Journal
Featured




You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it.  There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. 
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button, text link, on the post, your side bar,or blog hop  page and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. 
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way 


http://www.mittenstatesheepandwool.com


              
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Old Shop Workbench to New Kitchen Island

I have been in need of a kitchen island for some time. After seeing the sticker price of a new one, we started looking for an alternative.

After months of no luck, I started browsing Pinterest. I seen a couple of ideas using a workbench.

My husband has an assorted variety of workbenches....this may work.

I shared the idea with Mike, and being the sweetheart that he is, he not only donated one of his workbenches to my cause, he made it happen .




I wish I had taken pictures of the before, but I did not.

The workbench top was replaced with  boards we had in the barn. Very thick, dirty, rough sawn oak boards. It took a couple days of sanding before they were ready to use. They were old boards as well, and not the most straight, but we made them work. The nice thing about living in an Old Farmhouse is,  less than perfect fits right in.





Total Cost for this project-

Workbench-free (even originally it was free)
Wood Boards-free
Paint-9.00
Butcher Block Oil-7.00

16.00 and a new Island.

Mike was really leery about the whole project.  You know how it is, you get an idea and you do the work and the end product is not quite what you were hoping for.

Well, I have to say this project turned out better than I expected, and I love my new Island!!
I would like to add some hooks on the island for my cast iron pans. Still looking for the right ones.

I have always wanted an Island Light as well, we threw some ideas around, but ended up buying an island light that was on Clearance. I feel like I have a new kitchen!




 I know roosters are "yesterday" with kitchen decor, but with an old farmhouse , roosters are always charming.






It is great to have a kitchen workspace at last.





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Friday, November 14, 2014

Dyeing with Black Walnut


I had my first dye failure a short while back when using Sheep Sorrel. I decided to use the Black Walnuts I had been saving and over dye the yarn.


 The results




The process is pretty simple-

I started with a 5 gallon pail of walnuts some with hulls and some without.
Covered with water, put on lid, and let sit.
(mine sat for a month at least)

Took off lid-it was kind of gross!

I did the heating in the mill-

Yucky walnut mixture heating in the dye pot (60 minutes after it comes to boil)





Yep, I stuck my yarn in there after I strained the walnut mixture. After 90 minutes with heat, I turned it off and let it sit overnight.






 Hanging on the line for at least 20 minutes before the rinse bath (it froze)




I had to do several rinses until the water ran clear. I am really happy with the end result! I will definitely be dyeing with Walnut again!

Lucky me,  you get to use it, more than once.




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Thursday, November 13, 2014

The HomeAcre Hop #96


Welcome to the HomeAcre Hop!

Before we begin, I want to let you know that next week we will be having a special

Thankful HomeAcre Hop!

Get your posts ready for Thanksgiving, Autumn, Harvest, and Preserves! You can share a previous post or a new one.  You are
welcome to share your homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts.

The week of Thanksgiving we will take a break from the hop and we encourage you to take a break to give thanks and spend the day with your family and friends.

HomeAcre  Host
Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Tracy@Our Simple Life
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
Heidi@Pint Size Farm
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal

Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)

  Featured Post

Making Your Own Potpourri from Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth
Featured Post




Congratulations!

We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.

Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board where we share our Hop Favorites each week.

Clearwater Farm Journal
Featured




You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it.  There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. 
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button, text link, on the post, your side bar,or blog hop  page and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. 
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way 
                 To keep things fresh on the Hop PLEASE do not share a post that you have previously linked up.
     Any post that does not fit in the guidelines will be removed. Thank you for participating!!
 

 





Clearwater Farm Journal

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

From A to Z, Making Wool Products


I was recently asked to describe what goes into one of our wool products.

I had to think about that...


It all starts with the sheep, of course. Without them, we wouldn't have that amazing (yes, I think wool is amazing) fiber. Raising sheep is a 24/7 commitment but one we enjoy MOST of the time (let's be honest, it is not always enjoyable) Thankfully, they do not need constant supervision and do quite well living out on pasture, year round (unless the temps are 30 below).



Half of the year, they do well on grass, free choice mineral, and water. The other half, we need to add hay to their diet. which is  grown on the farm.
On occasion we do need to give them dewormer (pesky parasites) trim their hooves, if they get too long, or tend to a sick animal.


Yearly, our sheep get sheared, by someone we hire to come to the farm. He makes the job easier, on us and our sheep.



Once we shear our sheep, the wool work begins.

Skirting a Fleece




Washing a Fleece



Process the Fleece into Roving or Batting.



From the roving, I can spin yarn which can be used to make many things. 


Wool dryer balls is a favorite item of mine, that is made from felting wool roving.





There are a few items that we cannot make on the farm as of yet-Wool Comforter Batts being one of them. The Tunis wool is a favorite for bedding. We  have to send the wool to a larger, Michigan Mill, where it can be carded into batting, large enough for crib/toddler bed, and lap size duvet/comforters. I am not much of a seamstress. I can find my way around a sewing machine, but I wanted the comforters/duvets to be of a higher quality than I could produce, so a friend of mine was hired to sew the covers on the batting. (Thank goodness for those that have that talent)



I love being able to raise sheep and take part in making products from their lovely wool.
It has been a long time coming, and sometimes it is hard to believe that we are here. It is a rewarding process.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

The HomeAcre Hop #95



Welcome to the Hop!
Sorry for the delay, I was having some technical difficulties.

HomeAcre  Host
Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Tracy@Our Simple Life
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
Heidi@Pint Size Farm
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal

Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)
Featured Post

5 Ways to Create Healthy Soil in the Fall from Grow Pray Build.

Fall Soil
featured post

Congratulations!

We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.

Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board where we share our Hop Favorites each week.

Clearwater Farm Journal
Featured




You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it.  There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. 
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button, text link, on the post, your side bar,or blog hop  page and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. 
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way 
                 To keep things fresh on the Hop PLEASE do not share a post that you have previously linked up.
     Any post that does not fit in the guidelines will be removed. Thank you for participating!!
 

 





Clearwater Farm Journal

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