Category: Blog

Hay Day!

Hay arrived yesterday around noon 🙂

Delivery trailer wasn’t going to get through the pasture gate, so we moved it into the shed after grabbing some lunch. Since we don’t have chickens occupying the chicken side of the shed anymore, will be storing hay there this year. Should make feeding the sheeps in winter easier, not having to haul bales from the woodshed.

Our two remaining chickens seem to be having a good summer tho- having narrowly escaped another eagle attack a couple weeks ago. Speck is now a two-time eagle survivor.

They are enjoying raspberries and watermelon rinds and excess zuchinni, with yellow chig (now 10 years old) laying the occasional egg, which is always appreciated.

In other news, JUiST, after another re-working of the neckline (requiring snipping out of the original)

is JUiST about done (sorry, couldn’t resist).

And despite the powdery mildew, or botrytis or whatever it is continuing to challenge the tomatoes this year, they are still producing a lot of beautiful fruits.

Together with fresh garden cukes, Schoonover Farms bacon, and fresh home-baked ciabatta ( credit to The Man) it’s the makings of some mighty fine summertime eats

Doesn’t get much better than that.

Market Day

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Alger Market today. Was fun to visit and talk wool!

Can’t see in the photo, but I brought Sophie wheel with me to do some demo today while minding the booth. Was a good conversation starter.

Also offering impromptu knitting and spinning instruction to any interested parties. Didn’t get any takers today, but hoping it will catch on in time.

Still battling the fungus in the hoophouse, but thankfully the tomatoes keep on keepin’ on.

Nothing says summer like a fresh ripe garden ‘mater.

Have a good week everyone-

Marigold Soup

Sorry to have missed y’all last week. First Alger Market day of the year, and I was kinda pooped when I got back. But here’s the scoop on the other thing I did last weekend- dyeing with my home grown Queen Sophia marigolds!

I’ve got the marigolds I started from seed growing in both the hoophouse and in a garden bed- and they are growing like crazy in both locations.

I had been picking blooms to dry and use later, but there are just so many that the last time I got to picking I ended up with a couple pounds of flowers and I thought- “i should just cook them up fresh and go for it!”

Here they are in my big pot

I brought them to a boil then reduced the heat and simmered for an hour or so I guess. Then left covered and just let them steep overnight. The next morning I fished out the flowers and strained out the remaining debris, but then I was off to the market so it sat for a bit.

Project resumed Monday, then I gathered up the lucky candidates that were destined for the marigold bath

After selecting these different neutrals I also threw in a raspberry skein (can’t remember what it was oringally dyed with- It’s been in the stash for a while) and a small sample of indigo dyed yarn to see how an over-dye would work.

Here they are in the mordant bath (Alum and Cream of Tartar)

The raspberry color bled a bit onto both the felt and some of the yarn. Guess I should have seen that coming. Live and learn. At least the colors are complementary.

And here they all are, finally in the dye bath!

I brought the bath up to 180F, and then held at that temp for about an hour, gentle swishing things around and re-submerging as necessary. Then left covered to cool slowly.

Once rinsed and dried, the colors are softer- but I’m kind of amazed at how lovely and saturated they are-

The Black Knight Scabiosa are coming on slowly, but hopefully with have a chance to cook some of them down later on this summer too.

Things are busy in the garden, with beans, cukes, zukes, egglpplant and garlic coming on, but I am having a bit of a challenge this year with tomatoes. Battling some sort of fungus. 🙁 I’m pruning and spaying like crazy to keep it at bay. Hoping to at least get the first wave of tomatoes across the finish line before the plants succumb. Wish me luck!

And I have a tiny watermelon!! So excited. He’s the first one I’ve seen.

Cutest little baby watermelon ever 🙂

Ok, that’s all I’ve got. Have a good week folks!

Fleece Tea

Fleece washing continues- tho taking a different approach with this new batch and doing a cold pre-soak.

(this is actually the second batch of water for this soak- the first was dirtier)

Still doing a hot wash afterwards, but it does seem to make that stage go faster and with fewer rinses.

Roses and other garden flowers get the benefit of the soak water- the Esther cold brew fleece tea.

Jude the Obscure


And the resulting Esther fleece-

I just love me some freshly washed fleece. 🙂