So much has been happening…

08/03/2010 at 11:03 am 1 comment

Like bringing a load of 105 bales of hay from field to hayloft last Tuesday.  The timing was perfect, I was down to my last 2 bales from the fall delivery.  I’ll be getting another load next week, if the weather holds up, and that will have me all set for the winter.  It’s beautiful 2nd cutting hay, smells so good it makes me want to sleep up there.

hayloft on the way to being full

 Then on Friday my angel of a boss, lent me this

Tractor with a post hole digger!

That’s right, a post hole digger!   The job that had me stuck like a deer in headlights, digging all those holes, just got 100% easier and 1,000 times faster.   So Saturday morning Brad drove the tractor, I measured the spacing and guided the auger, and we had 82 holes dug in 2 1/2 hours!  I’ll still have to dig a few by hand up by the barn, where the tractor couldn’t reach but I can handle that.  I’m still working on getting all the posts in, but I’m hoping to have the whole thing done by this weekend.  It’s turning out to be about 1,000 feet of fence. 

And then on Sunday I had a few friends over for a natural dye play date.   They had gathered goldenrod, sumac, and jewelweed, and I had started a vat of indigo.  We got the big propane burner going, along with the stove in the kitchen and we got busy.  First we got a pot of water with alum and cream of tartar simmering, and stuffed it full of yarn, fiber and assorted items of clothing to mordant the material we were dying in the flower baths. 

While that was simmering, we broke the flowers and plants up and boiled them for about an hour or so.  Then we let the flowers steep for as long as we could stand it.  I normally let the dyestuff steep overnight, but  in the interest of everyone seeing the whole process thru we shortened it.  So after we could see some color in the baths, we strained out the plants and used them.  The results from our dyeing were still beautiful and vibrant.  I wish I had gotten a picture of the oxford shirt Lisa dyed in the indigo, it came out so great.

some of our dye day results

We all really loved doing the indigo, it’s like magic.  You mix up this crazy vat of slimy looking greenish yellow stuff, put your fiber in it, and when you pull it out it’s green or yellow and turns blue right before your eyes as it oxidizes, so cool!   I’ve dyed with indigo a few times with my friend Kim at VT Grand View Farm, but this was the first time I tried making up the dyebath myself.  I was nervous about it, but it worked like a charm.  I was even able to refresh the dyebath after we had gotten too much oxygen into it.  (thanks Kim, for telling me that you could even do that)  I’ll take some better pictures of the results once everything has dried, we’re having a rainy spell now so that may be a few days.

I also made a discovery about the goats this weekend.  They love corn husks.  Who knew?   I gave them some from our Friday night dinner and they went nuts for it.

Seymour loves the corn husks!

 Some friends brought their kids to visit the animals, and they brought more corn husks.  The goats were in heaven.

Alicia and Arden feeding the goats.

Melinda and Max get in on the action too

 

Greedy goats stole the bucket of corn husks

So, progress is being made on all fronts around the farm these days.  Hay is in the barn, pastures are getting more secure every day, and learning and experimentation are under way on the fiber side.  Even though there is still much more to be done, I’m feeling very thankful for all the help and support.

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Peaceful Pastures Sheep update

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Benita  |  08/05/2010 at 3:54 pm

    I am so glad you plyed with natural dyes and especially the indigo. Yes, indigo is magic and I always make sure I have at least one pot for all my demonstrations and events.

    Reply

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