Category: Farm Economics

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Lamb Open House – Y/N in 2021?

No matter how much I pet them, my sheep crave attention. I have several who will stop at nothing for shoulder-scritches, up to and including the yearling ewe from my last blog post who now will try to stand on your chest for attention. Needless to say, but we are training her not to do that. We have a little over a month of … Read More Lamb Open House – Y/N in 2021?

Considering Sheep?

I often meet folks who are considering getting sheep. Many bashfully tell me that they only want a small flock and some seem to worry that they are wasting my time asking questions. Questions are never a waste of time! Judging from the kinds of questions that I see in sheep groups on Facebook, more people should ask all of their questions first and … Read More Considering Sheep?

Our BFL Yarn is Here

I am so happy with the BFL yarn that came back from Battenkill Fibers this year. In past years, our BFL clip has been too small for me to send it to a mill.  Bluefaced Leicesters are bred to have light fleeces.  In the UK, this was done with the idea of reducing the fleecy bulk of Cheviots and Scottish Blackface ewes.  The ewes … Read More Our BFL Yarn is Here

How Haying Works

By request, here’s a basic primer on how haying works! First, some definitions: Hay is grass and grass stems that animals eat.  It’s cut from fields that could also serve as pasture.  Correctly made, hay provides most or all of the nutrients an animal needs to survive the winter.  The best hay is greenish in color.  Whether fresh or in hay, the leaves of … Read More How Haying Works

Summer Arrives

Summer arrives to find the bobolinks have fledged from our neighbor’s hayfield.   Three streaky brown birds making little plink calls were flitting and bouncing around the pasture I set up for the sheep.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to provide habitat to this struggling species. We are so close to weaning time.  I know the ewes are ready to send their lambs off on their … Read More Summer Arrives

The Reality of Yarn

Don’t get me wrong.  Playing with yarn gives me great joy.  I love the texture, the sheepy scent, the slight dust of it.  I love the whole sensory experience and I am always happy to have more yarn. This year, instead of having our yarn made into pre-measured skeins at the mill, we elected to have it delivered on huge cones to be made … Read More The Reality of Yarn

Lamb-burgers

Matt kept saying “MMMMMMM” when he tried this simple lamburger.  It was hard to focus on my own lamb burger with all of the UMMM in the background.  The richness of the lamb, the creamy tang of the cheese and the tart mineral of the capers blends into a delicious medley. As an aside – too many food blogs hide the recipe under a … Read More Lamb-burgers

An Ice Storm

Last night, we could hear the logging trucks trying to drag their loads up the temporary road.  At the top if the hill, the skidder helped pull the truck onto the ice-covered road using its chained tires.  The logging job is almost done, but our logger is scrambling to get the crop off the field before the thaw starts to create mud.  We are … Read More An Ice Storm

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A Big Opportunity

A while ago, I had thought to put in my application for a booth at Rhinebeck (formally, the New York State Sheep and Wool Gathering) because I had heard that it could take a decade to get a booth.  So I figured I’d just send applications their way for a few years while I put together a schedule of fiber festivals where I can … Read More A Big Opportunity

Going to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival

It is that time of year again!   We are headed to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival, where we have 350 skeins of Border Leicester yarn to sell along with many other fiber goodies. For starters, both my Northern Borders and Derby Line yarns have been selling well.  Even though the Montpelier Farmer’s Market isn’t an ideal venue for selling an item specific to … Read More Going to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival

Lessons from the Farmers Market

I had my goods for sale at Montpelier for the first time yesterday.  I still have a lot to learn about effectively selling my goods. Don’t forget your tent!   The market was on Saturday morning.  On Friday evening that I realized that my pop-up tent was 150 miles away in Keene, NH with my parents.  Oops.  I didn’t get a sunburn but I did … Read More Lessons from the Farmers Market

Pasture Progress

I have to confess that I am a grass nerd.  Today, I was exuberant to see how perfectly my sheep ate and enjoyed the grass at their disposal.   Every blade appeared to be nipped only to the growth point, no further, allowing for optimal regrowth.  A field of vetch and clover had only unwanted mint left behind. We bought this farm on June 30th, … Read More Pasture Progress