Baby Wrap

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA man who spins a good yarn set me on my weaving path…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand I’ve been weaving…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd weaving.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd my first baby wrap is done!  It’s long – just over 5 meters and just under 30 inches wide, it’s a “Size 7″ wrap, the longest size usually sold.  I still need to hem it and taper the ends but I’m really happy with how it came out.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWatching the cloth come together on the loom was lovely, but it really bloomed after washing.  I used a 10/2 mercerized cotton yarn from Halcyon Yarn – 642 threads each 7 yards long for the warp and 3,952 threads for the weft.  Miles of thread!  And yes, I calculated it – weaving leaves plenty of time to think.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWashing sets the cloth and the cotton threads snuggle up to each other to make a nice strong weave.  In the picture above, the swatch on the left is an unwashed sample I wove first and the right shows the finished cloth.  The left reminds me of window screen but the right is just perfect.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI can’t wait to get started on my next one even though my babies are big enough to wrap themselves these days.

Posted in Weaving | 6 Comments

Sunday Morning

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPumpkins on the porch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPregnant cow in the morning mist.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFall radishes for fermenting peaking up from the ground.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMorning coffee with a Lego Ewok-ninja-knight-friends-chima-jedi temple.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA little bit of wild comb honey from our hives to get us looking forward to next year’s honey harvest.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Kids Milking

David let the big kids do the entire evening milking earlier this week and they loved it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWorking hard together to get the milking cart out to the parlor.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sweet Melody wondering why we take a million pictures of her.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAZoe opening the gate for Melody.  The goat’s name is Piper and Melody does a great job of not letting him get out when she does.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATommy doing a little hand milking to get the process started.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWorking together to get the claw in place.  It’s a fiddly thing to get right, even for a grownup.  Zoe held up the bottom of it and Tommy put each in place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChecking to make sure that milk is flowing out of all outlets.

Zoe and MelodyZoe giving Melody a good scratch with sunflowers reaching for the sky in the background.  Melody loves a good scratch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPost-dip to help prevent mastitis.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinishing up and letting her out of the stanchion.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABringing the milk back to the house.

There are several steps of milking I left out of the pictures above and I will spare you the cleaning pictures but they did all of that part too.  There might be something to this kids-growing-up thing.  :)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd because I can’t resist adding a cute picture of little kids smelling of summer and straw.

Thanks to David for all the great pictures!

Posted in Cows, Farm | 7 Comments

Springing

Spring is in full swing at Right Field Farm.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARuby the three-legged front-porch dog.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGreen beans sprouting.  I love the way they look!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASomebody better thin the sunflowers.  We planted two per spot and then they all germinated.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe have lots of thyme on our hands.  Hah!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKids in hats in the sun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd the tiniest praying mantis I have ever seen.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

New Chicks

We added 54 new chicks this spring, more than we have ever done before.  The funny thing about ordering chicks is that you order and pay for 50, and then they throw in one “rare and exotic” chick for free, and then there are always a couple more.  So 54 it was! We lost one on the 3rd day, but all 53 others have stayed hale and hearty.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis time around, the kids are old enough to help us and it has been great fun including them in the process.  (As a side note, we still have 5 hens and 1 rooster in our stationary coop, all at least two years old and a couple of the old ladies are now four years old.  They are quite happy – eating bugs, taking dust baths and they even lay an egg every couple of days.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAZoe and Tommy dipped each chick’s beak in the water to remind them what water is and how much they like it.  Chicks are shipped right after they hatch and they live on the yolk-stored energy for the first couple of days so getting them to eat and drink right away is important.  Fortunately, these little critters fell right to it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeveral weeks later, on a warm day, we put a couple of the chicks out on the grass and they went crazy looking for and eating bugs.  It is very heartening because that is one of the main tasks we want these little guys to perform for us.  They also just really like being in the grass and it’s great seeing chickens being chickens.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe plan for all these chicks is to be out in the pasture, following behind the cow and the goats, eating bugs, spreading their fertilizer around (how’s that for a euphemism?) and helping to improve the pasture.  The half that are hens will start laying around the beginning of September and the other half will become food for us.  We’ve never successfully pulled off the meat chicken thing yet so we’ll see how it goes.  We tried last year with 25 chicks meant for the freezer and a weasel got them all in one night.  It was just sad all around! We’ve upped our game on the predator protection so these chicks are inside a small coop that is inside an electric fence.  Electricity seems to be the key to deterring anyone with a wet nose.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is not the final coop, just what works for right now.  “What works for right now” could be the theme of our farm.

The hens are a mix of Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, and White Rocks and the roosters are a hatchery-selected mix of “heavies”, so some of the same as the hens and some others mixed in.  It was less expensive not to pick the types of roosters and its also kind of fun to see the different kinds.  There are several Turkens for example, which have naked necks!  They are very, uh, distinctive.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABearded man with a naked neck chicken

I actually find them both quite cute.  :)

Posted in Chickens | 7 Comments