Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles

Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The raspberry canes are clucking

Just as I love the first spring woodland flowers and the first sandy flip flops of summer, I love clucking raspberry canes. It starts around this time of year, when the canes are very tall and lush with vibrant green leaves. As the berries begin to form as little round lumps on the ends of canes, the leaves create a dark canopy over the soil, which creates a cool, shady, safe haven for heat-weary hens. It doesn't take long for the hens to create little paths with tunnels of leaves over them into the patch. On any given dry summer day, you can wander around the farm and find not one hen. Where are they? Go stand by the raspberry patch and listen, and you'll find out!

If you get down on your knees, and peak into the cane tunnels, you will find happy hens there, resting in the shade or perhaps preening their lovely feathers. The soil is moist under their feet. They can see me just fine, peering in at them with a smile! It is here that they find coolness, and safety from summer hawks and other scavengers silently circling overhead. How great it is to have heritage hens, in the heritage raspberries!

Again, I seem too have no control over text placement, or picture order!

The little ewe lamb is Wheely Wooly Lacey. She is a LOVELY ewe, with a really nice fleece! Her conformation is outstanding. She's a sweet, fast growing lamb that has become a valuable part of our flock, considering that our commitment to you is to produce the finest handspinning fleeces we can that are as correct as possible. Our goal is to produce yarn, and ultimately knitted garment performance, that matches the legendary Shetland fiber as accurately as possible. One way we do this is to be sure we don't fall into "fiber fads", or trendiness in fiber production. It's unfortunate that livestock can be caught up in trendiness, but it's true.

The zinnias in our garden are very bright this year. And aren't bachelor's buttons obligitory?? The white pumpkin marched right up the pea trellis, and over, and down the other side, then through the find JUST the right spot to grow a new pumpkin!

And last, Penny, my lovely hen. She's old. She's valuable. She's useful. We love her! ...and she still lays eggs...

...what ting? I didn't hear a ting!...did you?

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