Thursday, July 23, 2009

From the Dye Pot

We've been spending a lot of time this summer trying to catch-up with fiber processing. While the unusually wet weather has put the kabosh on outside farm work, the cooler temperatures make for a good opportunity to get a jump on getting things ready for the fall fiber shows.
This is a batch of kid mohair that I've dyed in anticipation of a roving colorway. Roving kind of takes on the colors of the fiber that comes out of the dye pot in our mill. It seems that no matter what color I "plan" on, the fiber takes up different color components of the dye bath at different rates. This is actually a good thing for me because it provides endless possibilities for combining color. It makes many colorways unrepeatable though making it all the more important for us to encourage customers to get the quantity they need at the time they are purchasing roving ( or yarn for that matter. ) This is one of the many pluses, but also one of the minuses ( for some ) of small batch dying.

Perspective - Cat in the Garden

Cat and Zucchini Plant

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Watching the Garden Grow

We planted a bunch of "stuff" the end of May. In June it rained - not just a bit, a whole lot'ta rain. Ark building type rain. We just hoped our vegetables would survive being continuously wet and cold. And then the sun came out a couple of weeks ago, not all the time mind you, but just enough to inspire the plants to open their flowers. So, here's where things stand today - in the sunshine !

This is a very small bell pepper

Swiss Chard


Zucchini again -

Rows of staked tomatoes - Brandywine and Roma

Eggplant flowering

Green Cabbage

Basil and Italian Flat-leaf Parsley

This year we decided to put down a ground cover and then mulch on top. A really good decision. The result is virtually no weeds. Years past our garden was always overcome with weeds ( we do not spray anything and there is never enough time to spend weeding ). We debated regarding the ground cover - did not want to use plastic - and decided on using a cloth or fabric variety. Our hope is to be able to re-use the cloth next year. Having the hay mulch on top keeps weeds from sprouting beneath and also may preserve some of the integrity of the cloth as well. We'll see what happens. By the way, we needed to put the split firewood down on top to keep everything from blowing away - we're in a windy spot !

Monday, July 13, 2009

Is That The Sun We See ?

After almost 5 weeks of rain without much more than a day of non-rain in-between ( can't call it sunshine 'cause there wasn't any ), we're finally back into the swing of making some hay. If you look closely you can see a "square" bale being "kicked" into the wagon, from the baler. An "Action-Shot". Now we have an awful lot of catch-up work to do. Because of the late first cutting of our hay this year, we're going to have a lot of clover in our round bales which makes for a really nice feed. It just takes an extra day or so to dry and this week we've got the time to make it - 4 days ( predicted ) of good drying weather !
These square bales are also full of clover. We'll be using them next February to feed our nursing nannies so they make a lot of rich milk for the 2010 kids.

Summer Sheep