Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Sap season

This time 0f year is not winter and not spring. It is maple syrup season. The sap is flowing and that means cleaning the evaporator, installing the flew pipe on the stove in the sugar shack and tapping trees. When daytime temps reach above freezing and night time temps dip below freezing, sap is flowing. Sap is collected from sugar maples but can be collected from red, siver and other maples and other tree species but we like maple. For every 40 gallons of sap collected you can get 1 gallon of syrup, depending on the sugar content in the sap. Sap collection occurs every morning and late afternoon. When enough sap is collected to fill the evaporator the boiling begins. As the sap approaches the syrup stage it is drawn off and finished inside. The smell of evaporating syrup is like no other, sweet and mapley. Gods goodness in a tree.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Compost is gold

Compost is one of the best ways to add nutrients to your garden. Above I have provided a list of good things to add to your compost. Remember to layer each ingredient in small amounts to get the best results. We plan on using a no dig method this year in our garden beds to reduce weed seeds. You can add compost in the fall or add it in the spring when setting out plants. You can layer it on top of the bed or row, or incorporate it in the top 2 inches of soil. The idea is not to disturb the sub-soil, because this will encourage weeds. There are many videos and chapters written on techniques, so I wont repeat them here. Stay tuned for pictures and progress updates as planting season draws near. Spring is just around the corner.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Knitting and spinning and weaving, oh my!

During the cold month of January I am usually doing one of these three. Weaving seems to take up most of my crafting time as of late. I did get out some roving and am spinning that on my Louet. Here are some of the hand painted spindles I have created. I like to paint familar things here on the farm.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Bee Business

Well, after a long absence, I hope to be posting on a more regular schedule. We were able to bring two hives through the winter, so now Dave is cleaning up and replacing a bottom board on our oldest and most productive hive. The other colony was a collected swarm last year and seems to be doing fine.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Last Friday my Shetland/BFL ewe had triplets. I made little coats out of felted sweaters, because the temps were in the teens. All are doing great. Another set of triplets born this morning from my texel cross ewe and all are up and nursing. The temps today will be in the 50s.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Natural dyeing day

With the busyness of fall harvesting  it's a wonder I got any natural dyeing done at all. But I did and I love the results. I managed to dye 6 oz. of roving a medium blue with Japanese indigo, spun into yarn and overdyed with black oak bark. I prepared my dye bath by bringing 1 oz of dried oak bark almost to a boil, turned it off and let sit overnight. The next day I strained the bath and added alum, cream of tartar and tin using Bancrofts one pot method described in J. Lilies book.( I love this method, especially for roving). Along with the yarn I put 2 oz of white roving in the dye bath for a beautiful yellow. I simmered the bath gently for about 45 minutes. Turned off the burner until dye bath was cool. I then washed and rinsed the yarn and roving in warm water. I can spin these rovings as is or blend on my drum carder. The possibilities are endless.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Fall is here


Lots of things happening in the garden before the first frost. Lettuce, kale and greens are in a raised bed, ready for a hoop house. Sweet potatoes have been dug and stored. The garlic I harvested in July has been cleaned up and stems cut off ready for storage. From left to right, Chenok red, Inchelium, Italian and Polish red. My favorites are the Chesnok and Inchelium. My husband built a small greenhouse, which has carrots, spinach, lettuce and greens in  a bed I will cover with remay to winter over. Eliot Coleman has written several books worth reading on winter veggie harvests. The last of the Dahlia blooms will be cut and brought in for one last bouquet. Time for lots of knitting and weavin