Monday, July 25, 2016

Spinning With the Tour De Fleece

Bluefaced Leicester-Angora
The Tour De Fleece has come to an end-three weeks of spinning almost every day.  It is a great time to use up that wool stash. 


Border Leicester on the Wheel

I spun Border Leicester, Bluefaced Leicester,
 Romney, Cotswold and Angora
 
Angora-Bluefaced Leicester blend

Delaney's angora rabbit died unexpectedly a couple of months ago. We had some of her wool saved up from the past year.
 I blended it with some Bluefaced Leicester.
It was a little bit of a challenge to spin with the added Angora.
(Challenge Day)
Angora-Bluefaced blend on the wheel

I plan on using the yarn to knit up something for Delaney, so she has something made, from the wool, of her beloved bunny.
Romney Lamb

Romney Lamb fleece, she was a messy lamb,
 and there was quite a bit of VM in her fleece.
I love the color, as I don't get many brown fleeces from the sheep.
It was worth the extra work,  picking out pieces of hay.

Blue Faced Leicester Yarn

The Bluefaced Leicester was a fun spin.
What color to dye it?



I tried some bulky yarn with the Cotswold roving 
that I picked up at the Wooster Ohio fiber show.



It has been so hot here, there was only one day of outdoor spinning.
The rest of the spinning was done
 in front of a fan or air conditioner. 


The total yards spun 1,380






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Friday, July 22, 2016

The Case of the Missing Peaches



We were excited to see so many peaches on the tree. It was the first year this tree had produced fruit. 

Yesterday evening I went out to check on the peaches.  At first I thought I must be looking at the wrong tree, it had not one single peach left on the tree! How can that be? There were more than just a few, the tree had been full of peaches. My daughter had just commented on many there were, just a few days ago, and now they are all gone?

The only evidence there was once was peaches on the tree are some pits that are on the ground. 

I have no clue what happened.  We have never had a tree come up missing all of it's fruit. 

We are so disappointed, not to mention completely baffled as to what has happened to our peaches.


Any ideas?  I would love some help figuring out what happened!


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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #61



Welcome to the Hop!

It has been  HOT this week!  The sheep and goats have been hiding out under the mulberry trees, occasionally coming out of hiding for water.

The Tour De Fleece is still going, I had one evening where it cooled down enough to spin outside, the rest of the time the wheel has been set up in front of a fan!



Tracy
Sandra
Sandra at ClearwaterFarm
Facebook - Pinterest Instagram -Google+
Nancy 
Kathi 

Our Simple Homestead 

Blog Hop- Co-Host
LeeAnn & Alex 



Featured Post


How to a build a rolling pantry @GrandmasHousDIY


Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be removed.



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Friday, July 15, 2016

The Beginnings of a Dye Garden





You start out raising a few sheep, and before you know it, you have more wool than you know what to do with. So it seems logical to buy a spinning wheel so you can spin that wool into yarn.

I love working with the natural colors that wool comes in. You get all kinds of grays, browns, and whites.  But after a while I wanted colors that you just can't get directly from the sheep. That is when I put together my small dye studio.

My first dye projects were with Natural Dyes; Walnut, Pokeberry, Sumac, and Goldenrod. Plants that I could find around the farm.

Visiting the fiber show in Ohio, I came across a vendor who was selling roving dyed with natural dyes. (plants). I loved the colors! I was in luck because not only did she have dyed roving, she had the dye plants for sale.

The beginnings of my own Dye Garden-

Cosmos
This plant is an annual that I chose to put in a pot.  To get enough for dyeing, I am pinching off the flowers as they bloom, and putting them in the freezer. Next year, I  plan on starting some from seed indoors and then transplanted outside after the last frost.


Saving the Cosmo Flowers



Coreopsis 
Some of these plants are perennial but not all. I am not sure if the plant I purchased is annual or perennial. It is in a pot like the Cosmos. The flowers are also being pinched off as they bloom, and being stored in the freezer to collect up enough for a dye project.
At the end of summer, I will put the plant in the ground and see if it comes up next year.





Madder Root
Right now, I have this perennial in a pot but it will later be transplanted into a garden bed. You have to have some patience for the Madder root, as it takes 3 years or more to use for dyeing.
I think the color is well worth the wait. The colors ranging from oranges to red.






It is a small garden, but it is a start!  I am hoping to add new dye plants each year.  The dye garden along with the wild plants that can be found in our area, will be more than enough to keep me busy.

Do you have a dye garden? Would love to hear what you have planted in yours!




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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Hop #60



Welcome to the Hop!

What has you busy this week? 
It's the second week of the Tour De Fleece so I am still spinning.
Anyone else doing the Tour? 


Tracy
Sandra
Sandra at ClearwaterFarm
Facebook - Pinterest Instagram -Google+
Nancy 
Kathi 

Our Simple Homestead 

Blog Hop- Co-Host
LeeAnn & Alex 



Featured Post


The Locust Blossom



Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be removed.



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Monday, July 11, 2016

5 Thing to Consider When Raising Animals on Pasture


From the very beginning we decided to use a pasture based system for our farm. Instead of cleaning out barn stalls, we let the animals fertilize our fields. They browse and eat grass which saves money on the feed bill, as well as saving us the work of not having to bring food to them every day. Exercise is part of their daily routine, which has a part in keeping them healthy.
We like cutting down on our work load, so it just made sense to us to set up a pasture based system.

Another reason was grass fed meat.  Part of living here was that we wanted to raise our own food. After some study, the decision was made that the meat we raise for our table would be grass fed, with little grain. There is also a market for those looking for healthier meat choices and many are looking for grass fed beef and lamb.


5 Things to consider when setting up a pasture based system: 


Fencing


An expense that is well worth the money and a must if you are raising animals on grass. There are several types of fencing options for different types of livestock. We opted for Electric Fencing which works well for sheep. We have a permanent exterior electric fence as well as portable electric fencing that we can move where needed.

Parasites

When you raise animals on grass, you are going to deal with internal/external parasites. Rotating pastures can help with the problem, but they do not eliminate them. Learning about parasite control is a good idea if you are thinking of a pasture based system.

Animal to Grass Ratio

You do not want to overload your pastures with too many animals. Keeping the right number of animals is important. The type of pastures you have, the area you live in, and what kind of livestock you keep will all need to be considered. 

Water and Minerals

We have to provide our livestock with fresh water, salt and minerals. We make sure they have access to all three. We have several water pumps around the farm, so we are able to use hoses to fill up their water containers. 

Shelter

It doesn't necessarily have to be a barn but you should have areas of shade and windbreak. We have trees in our pasture which provide much needed shade in the hot summer months, we also have areas where the sheep can find wind break from the cold. Portable shelters are also an option.


We have never regretted the decision to kick the animals out of the barn and put them out on pasture.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Hop #59



Welcome to the Hop!

What has you busy this week? 
We have started weaning lambs, so it has been noisy around here. 
I have been spinning along with the Tour De Fleece, anyone else spinning along? 


Tracy
Sandra
Sandra at ClearwaterFarm
Facebook - Pinterest Instagram -Google+
Nancy 
Kathi 

Our Simple Homestead 

Blog Hop- Co-Host
LeeAnn & Alex 

 (Most Clicked on Post)


How to enjoy a full spice cabinet without spending a lot.


Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be removed.





Blog Hop #59
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