Sunday, May 27, 2007

Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair

This weekend is the Massachusetts fair in Cummington and I went yesterday with Diane Golding of as shoppers, not vendors! What a treat to just browse and touch lots of luscious fibers and see incredible hand crafts. We saw lots of vendor friends and customers still shopping yet another festival. I meant to take lots of pictures to post but kept forgetting as I was too busy enjoying the day! Here are a few pictures: One of the sons of the Still River Mill working on a knitting sample; some of the booths; spinning blindfolded! It was a lovely day weatherwise, glad I went!

Friday, May 25, 2007

1st Cut

What a difference a year can make. One of our hay suppliers called yesterday to let us know we could pick up 1st cut hay from the field this afternoon. May 25th, pre-Memorial Day, just right! Last year our 1st cut wasn't ready until July 1st! We had so much rain in the spring that no one could hay. Today's hay was a mighty fine, sweet smelling yield. We have had a string of sunny days and today was a scorching 92 degrees at high noon making great conditions for drying the cut hay. We went down to the field at 4:30 and brought home 80 bales, another 40 tomorrow which will be a nice jump on the winter supply; about 20% of what we need by September. We got back to the barn, fired up the hay elevator, through the first few bales on and the belt started slipping; with a couple of minor adjustments we were off and running! There is something VERY comforting about filling the barn with hay on hot summer days knowing a barn full of feed is precious come late fall and winter.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

About that trip to Jamaica

Yesterday I spent the day in Jamaica, VT with lots of other fiber- related vendors such as Green Mountain Spinnery Golding Fiber Tools Grafton Fibers White Mountain Farm, Maybelle Farm, Lovejoy Handwovens who wove in beautiful rhythm all through the day and Six Loose Ladies, just to name few! It was a very rainy day, but Margaret Silva of Margie's Muse in Jamaica really put her heart and soul into the event. There were vendors and food spread out around town, I was in the town hall and we were fortunate to have heat and all the musical events for the day due to the rain! First we listened to The Rusty Pickup Band who sang bluegrass and western style tunes and Then the Bondville Boys, a great local blueglass band playing tunes from bluegrass to the blues! It was a fun day with a decent turnout despite the weather. Margaret of Green Mt Spinnery, shown with a big smile, won the Hand-spun skein contest, way to go Margaret! Lucky me won a raffle prize of a Golding spindle, the most beautiful drop spindles available today(my humble opinion!). Forgive the blurry pics, something wasn't set right on my camera but you get the idea!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Your going to Jamaica???

Jamaica, VT sillies, just for the day!

Come to the Jamaica Fiber Festival today

It's a good day to get a fiber fix and take a country drive all at once! We'll all be there from 10-4!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Scents of Spring

The apple trees are in full blossom this week and the scent is delicious! Even Sidney seems to be enjoying it! The lilacs are also just beginning to bloom. We have had lots of sun the past few weeks and now some wet, cool weather so all of the trees and plants have burst forth with leaves and is green outside!

Monday, May 14, 2007

NH Sheep and Wool Festival~Sunday

We had another picture perfect day Sunday, Mother's Day, for the festival. It started out crsip and a bit breezy but warmed up nicely into the high 60's by noon. I didn't even get to leave my booth all day so didn't get too many pictures. It was a busy day! Across the weekend I did Indigo dyeing to demonstate how it is done. I had lots of interested people, watching, asking questions and realizing it isn't impossible! Indigo seems overwhelming at first but when you learn the right steps that make a successful indigo vat the rest is magical. In a few days when all the skeins have been rinsed and dried I'll post a photo of the colors I dyed.
The top picture took the prize for Sunday! Isn't this just the epitome of what a farm fair embodies? This young 4-Her was calling out the words on the sign, swaying and smiling, doing a great job of persuading customers!
And also, our booth, Long Ridge Farm in the Crowley Bldg, which has now been renamed the Hood Bldg. I will be right there, very same corner next year with more dyeing and maybe some other surprises too! Thank you to all who stopped by, once again!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

NH Sheep and Wool Festival ~ Saturday

NH is having a fabulous two day event this year! The weather could not be better~65 to 70 degrees and sunny skies.Thank you to all who stopped by to visit our booth today to learn about our sheep, Earthues natural dyes and to just visit!
We had a naughty sheep back at the farm today...Jack found a sheep coat hanging on a fence line mid-afternoon today. Apparently Charlotte had snagged it and torn it right off her back. A coat repair day is in my not too distant future! When I got home from the show we went down and popped a new coat on her. One thing about our young stock, they are so easy to catch...they've been handled by us since day one and don't mind a little one on one once in awhile! The top picture I took this morning at the festival of a family getting their sheep ready to show for 4-H; the bottom picture...waiting for the next step; great shots of kids doing different things, even hoof checking! Way to go 4-Hers!The bottom picture is me with the famous Caroline of!! She did lots of shopping on Saturday and kept swinging by to make sure I didn't starve to death or dye of thirst! Thanks, Caroline!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Getting ready

It's almost time again for the NH Sheep and Wool Festival, our 31st annual! As compared to last year's horrific rains and massive flooding it looks to be a nice weekend of cool temps with some sun!
I have finished skirting and preparing all our fleeces in just over a month from shearing day and already sold half between reserve orders and the CT festival so what is pictured is all that's left! I plan to take one or two to Rhinebeck in the fall for the judging and perhaps a couple to NH this weekend for judging and sale so fingers are crossed for a rosette! But regardless of rosettes, our sheep are all winners in my eyes.
So make plan for Mother's Day weekend and come to the NH Sheep and Wool Festival, this Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 9-4. It is located off Rt 89 North in Contoocook, NH at the Hopkinton State Fairgrounds. I will be set up in the Crowley Building and along with offering our farm products and Earthues natural dyes I plan to be doing some indigo dyeing so stop by for a visit!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The merry , merry month of May!

Today Jack and I celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary. It's always kind of a low key affair for us, seems best to just be home and recognizing our blessings.When I first arrived home from work and went down to the barn there were three deer grazing in the near field pictured above. It was so quiet all about and they were spanned out across the field, quite content. After Jack arrived home from work and we tended to the daily chores, we took our ATV's, a bottle of good wine, fresh shrimp cocktail and warm garlic bread up on the long ridge where we sat and enjoyed the moment of this one special day. The sun was going down, the wind was a bit high, there was a chill to the air and we sat and reflected for that one brief hour; blessings, losses, hopes and dreams. It's been a great quarter plus century for us...we wouldn't have it any other way. As we returned down off the ridge the deer were back in the field once again grazing as we headed for the barn. Nice.