Monday, November 21, 2011

Small Business Saturday

Just wanted to let everyone know next Saturday Nov. 26th, is shop small business day. So don't forget to stop in your favorite small business and support them by purchasing something. This is my latest natural tanned lamb hide. It is tanned using no chemicals or bleach and is for sale on my etsy store.

Holiday Towels

This is my latest set of handwoven towels. It is a viking twill pattern with a warp of one color and towels woven with different colors. they turned out very nice. I'm getting better at weaving towels, making sure my tension is correct and warp is wound on the back beam evenly. This all makes for very even weaving and an even end product. I will be selling these at the Christmas show here in my hometown and what doesn't sell , will be put on my etsy store.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Open Pollinated Corn Varieties

With all the talk about GM(genetically modified) corn and grain seed and roundup ready alfalfa my husband and I decided to grow some heritage corn with the help of some Amish friends and Johnny's Selected seeds.The field corn at the top of the page is an open pollinated field corn we grew despite the late start and raccoons. This seed was given to us by an Amish friend who has been growing this variety for several years, organically. The white variety, below is an heirloom variety called Gourdseed Corn also given to us by our Amish friends.  An article in the 2008  Oct/Nov. Mother Earth news lets you know all about the origins of this unusual dent corn used for cornmeal particularly in the south. The Bi-colored sweet corn to the right is called Double standard and is from Johnny's Selected Seeds. This sweet corn was not super sweet but had very good flavor and we have peace of mind knowing it is not GM corn.Please be aware of what these GM grains are doing to ourselves and our livestock and make wise choices so that in the future we will have choices.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pinecone Peaks Mittens

This is my first attempt at creating a mitten pattern for my naturally dyed DK weight yarn. Now to write up the pattern so others can knit it if they want. I've decided to go with a National  Parks theme for my patterns because I was so inspired by the PBS series. My bucket list is to visit as many as I can.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Auction Finds

This was one of my purchases at a local auction. I love things made of wood and who can resist an old stocking blocker at a whopping bid of $1. I also was able to snatch up two wooden butter paddles in great shape for $17.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Goat Milk?

My two French Alpine does are still giving enough milk for soft goat cheese's like this French Chevre'. It is seasoned with herbs from my herb garden and rolled in cracked black pepper.

This our new herd sire Castle from Addi-Hill. We are excited to see his offspring in 2012. We will be offering doe kids and milkers for sale.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dog Biscuits

Found a great dog biscuit recipe, Garlic and herb. I love making my own because I know what goes into them. I had these alphabet letter cookie cutters which worked out great.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Polygonum or Woad

Last Friday, a friend Cathy and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and dyed some yarn with the woad I had grown. The day started with the intentions of dying with Japanese indigo which I picked early Friday morning. When I began reading Rita Buchanan's recipe for dying with my polygonum it stated that very little dye is present after the plant had bloomed. Well, I can undoubtably say how true this is. So, on to plan B. We picked about 1 and 1/2 lbs. of woad and proceeded with the dye recipe. We were able to dye two skeins of Cathy's alpaca and overdye two 4 oz. skeins of yarn, one previously dyed with goldenrod. The results were very beautiful skeins of yarn.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

National Spinning and Weaving Week

October 3-9 is National Spinning and Weaving Week. So I've been continueing my stash busting quest in honor of all my fellow spinners and weavers. The fiber of choice is if course BFL and BFL blends. Left to right is BFL/alpaca chunky yarn, BFL/suri(soft and light), BFL/suri with a silk single, plied.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Stash busting

Now that my time outside in the garden is slowing down, I have more time to spin, knit and weave. I have been going through my fiber  to see what i can create with what I have. I found some dyed roving and gray mohair and carded batts to spin up in a chunky yarn. I am also finishing a sock and a mitten to complete it's mate. I am warping up my HD studio loom with 8/2 cotton to weave some more towels for Christmas gifts.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Wool Gathering

We had a beautiful weekend for a fiber festival. Young's Dairy does a very good job pulling this event off. A very family oriented time for everyone, including the vendors like myself. Of course my favorite thing to do is to watch the herding demo, but talking to people all over the area is fun too! I took a little survey and learned that people come from far and near like, Tennessee and just down the road in Kettering. This was my first time setting up at this festival with my friend Cathy Moore. Our little vendor space was packed,  all with products from our own farms and processed in Ohio. Thanks all for supporting our small farm businesses.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Honey Bees

What beautiful weather we're having. Time to rob the bees for the last time this year. My TTH checked for varroa mites and found a few weird wings on some bees so we will be treating with a natural product this fall called Vita-life Var.Despite all the rainfall, and swarms our honey production has been very good. Honey is one of those natural sweeteners that can be good for you and dietbetics can use it in moderation. I put a tablespoon in a glass of my raw goats milk and drink it before I go to bed.

Monday, August 15, 2011

BFL/Shetland Mule Roving

Last week I recieved my roving back from OVNF(Ohio Valley Natural Fiber), and is it soft. A blending of white BFL, Shetland Mule and Colored BFL. The color is an oatmeal when spun. I will have this for sale at the Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs on Sept. 17-18. I'm looking forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle is one of those wild plants that you try to avoid when hiking or walking through the woods and creeks, but to the herbalist it is a plant very rich in chlorophyll and has tonic properties for hair and skin. When gathering, long sleeves and gloves are needed but after it is dried or cooked it can be handled with no problems. It can be found growing close to streams and creeks and prefers shady moist conditions. My eight year old border collie, Kate has developed some skin allergies so I will use the dried nettle on her food to help. Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable by Juliette Levy has more information for it's use if anyone is curious.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dyers Coreopsis

The dyers coreopsis(calliopsis tinctoria) is starting to bloom. This is it's second year so it is 4 ft. tall. I will pick the flowers off every other day and dry them in a paper sack. The dried flowers are soaked and simmered for less than an hour and then  yarn is added after being mordanted with chrome.4 oz. of dried floweres will dye 1 pound of yarn or fiber to a nice brick red.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kitchen garden update

Here is the Kitchen Garden that I said would be finished this spring. I still haven't transplanted all my herbs but am in the process.My THH(turkey hunting husband) did a wonderful job on the fence. One of the best features  NO DOGS!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Goat's milk ricotta

With all the fresh goat milk I'm getting, I've been making alot of soft goat cheeses. An easy one to make is ricotta. Ricotta is made from the fresh whey of cheese that you have just finished, in this case goat milk cheddar. The whey is heated to 195 degrees when another quart of fresh milk is added and then heated back to 195 degrees. The tiny Ricotta particles come to the top and it is ready to drain. I let it drain for about an hour, add a little salt and voila'. I think some homemade lasagna with some fresh spinach will be on the menu this week.