Boy, it’s been a wild and crazy two weeks! The Armada Fair is the culmination of months of hard work for 4-H’ers exhibiting both animals and still projects. Katie had a very successful and rewarding show. Her goats were very well behaved while at Fair and ‘on exhibit’ as well as in the show ring: Holly and Nelly placed 2nd and 1st in their respective dairy breeds class and Katie overall best showman and(Holly)best of breed dairy goat! Katie has learned lots, this being her second year working with her dairy goats. A special THANKS to all the help from experienced and knowledgeable goat people! Also, a huge welcome to Katie’s new Alpine doe, SCHAHEREZADE!!! Schaherezade comes to us from Hymnotes Farm, Alpines-N-Udders owner/breeder, Bonnie Mills. She’s part of the plan to bottle-feed my Shetland lambs next Spring…God willing!
Katie’s ‘still’ projects also received ‘Best of Show’ for Feta cheese, goat’s milk soap and folk art/felting project with an invitation to exhibit at the MI State Fair in 2010! Yeah Katie!
Katie’s new “spotted” Shetland ewe lamb is doing well. She’s in the middle of the pic, black with white head/socks/tail or HST. We named her ‘Belladonna’, that is, ‘beautiful lady’. She’s ‘taming’ well with lots of love and attention from us; Reeces Pieces, my bottle baby Shetland lamb, loves Bella…and has developed a bond with her. Perhaps Reece is beginning to realize that she’s a SHEEP and not a goat?? Katie plans to work with her Shetlands as a 4-H FIBER project and show them at Fair next year. There seems to be lots of interest in 4-H market lambs and very little attention given to fiber – so, we’re hoping to develop some interest in fiber animals…
My new Shetland ram lamb, ‘ATHOS’, is also adjusting to his new home and has really taken to Skip, his 9-year old wether (that’s a castrated male sheep) pasture-mate. We’re busy putting up a new pasture for ‘the boys’. (I’m juggling goats and sheep morning and nite between barnyards and pastures – UGH!). We finally decided to dismantle the play fort in the backyard and re-use the lumber for a lean-to/shelter for the ram’s pen…and any leftover wood for an agility course for the goats!!! Never a dull moment. There’s always something to do on the farm.
On the fiber front, my dear friend Stacey, has helped me re-assemble my ‘gifted’ Leclerc 60″ loom (after collecting dust in my drying barn for the past 2 years!). We discovered there’s a few missing parts – and a few extra parts that we’re trying to figure out??? – but soon, I hope to be weaving rugs and perhaps even a wool blanket from my own sheepies??? Pic coming soon too!
On the home front, one of the pleasures of rural farm-life, our water softener which treats our well-water finally gave out after 20 years of service. Over a week of laundry piling up and rust-stains everywhere…not a pretty site! But, a new system was installed yesterday – YIPPI! Major clean-up under-way.
In the garden, we’re harvesting new potatoes and lots of herbs to see me thru winter. Made a yummy basil dressing that’s great on tomatoes or BLT’s. Had hay delivered to put up in the barn for over the winter months too! Now lifting those bales is a real work-out!
I’ve resumed my cheesemaking – since the girls are back home from fair! While they were boarded at fair the past week, we usually dump their milk cuz of sanitary reasons (allowing kids to try milking, etc). I’m thinking about making a cheddar cheese curds (without the aging process) that I’d still like to try.
Well, rambled on long enough. Enjoy the weekend!