Category: Farm Projects

Lambs Arrive

We’ve been preparing for lambs over the last few days. Ever-rounder ewes have warned us that it’s time to plan. These are some of our most ostentatiously pregnant ewes: We started by placing our order from Premier 1 Supplies. We bought fresh new bottles and nipples for the inevitable bottle lambs, smore syringes and needles, and a can of colostrum replacer. We like to … Read More Lambs Arrive

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Responding To A World Without Festivals

Recently, I wrote about our anxiety about the cancellation of VT Sheep and Wool Festival and Rhinebeck. I’m glad the festivals were cancelled – we simply cannot risk joining each other in crowds during a pandemic. We’ve spent several weeks reimagining our sales efforts. We can’t rely on folks to come find our yarn, touch it and fall in love, so we need to … Read More Responding To A World Without Festivals

UnGlamorous

This is the unglamorous time of year.  The two big Sheep and Wool festivals we do are over, and it’s time to get back to routine farmwork, All but the most stubborn leaves have blown off the trees and hit the ground.  Frost has ceased the growth of the grass, so all grazing now is merely a victory-lap of somewhat palatable but less-nutritious grass.  … Read More UnGlamorous

Our Bountiful Wild Harvest

At Cloverworks Farm, we raise lamb as an enterprise plus chicken and ducks for our own use.  We also have some wild foods on the farm – you may recall that a few months ago, we were hastily picking a variety of berries.  Now is the harvest time for our apples, crabapples and rosehips. We are overrun with apples this year.  In all seriousness, … Read More Our Bountiful Wild Harvest

Cloverworks Farm in the Media

If you’ve ever ridden in the car with me, you probably know that I’m a bit of a public radio buff.  I am a huge fan of VPR, and particularly of Brave Little State, which is a podcast about questions about quirky Vermont topics.   Recently, a question I asked was featured on the program! My question is answered on Brave Little State Matt and … Read More Cloverworks Farm in the Media

Doner Kebab

Have you ever experienced the magic that is a vertical stack of meat, slowly rotating and barbecuing, then shaved into a pita or flatbread with lettuce and sauce for eating? I have.  In a perfect word, I would have a vertical Doner Kebab spit, but this is not a perfect world and I don’t tend to favor “unitasker” kitchen implements anyhow. When I discovered … Read More Doner Kebab

Berry Picking

Many days leave me feeling utterly spoiled.  Even with a huge bruise on my leg from handling a lamb who didn’t want to be medicated and scratches on my arms from moving through rough brush, I feel like the most fortunate person alive. After a long day of work, I took a moment to walk slowly around my property, gathering berries.  Black raspberry season … Read More Berry Picking

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 Yarn is Here

Most years, I have sent my wool to the mill with the expectation that my yarn might come back just a few weeks before the festivals I regularly attend.  Usually, that was just enough time to count it and dye it while Mom might knit a sample or two. This year is different.  Our mill, Battenkill Fiber, has a different reservation system that allows … Read More The Yarn is Here

Bringing Home the Bacon

Matt had a hard task ahead of him:  Ten hours of labor taking the front of the tractor off,  replacing a $12 gasket, then ten hours of labor putting the gasket back on. I thought that the best way to thank Matt for a really grungy, fiddly job would be to finally make a big pork belly from the freezer into bacon.  The belly … Read More Bringing Home the Bacon