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.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Small farms are beautiful places

In my last blogs, I have pictures of our flowers in the vegetable garden. The day I took those photos, I realized how silently busy our farm is. Bees were quietly busy dancing in the middle of the flowers, butterflies were flitting silently by and landing on so many sweet, nectar-rich flowers, and zipper spiders have been busy building impressive webs and silently sitting smack in the middle of them, waiting. Our farm is alive.

It's made me realize how beautiful a small farm is. There is no heavy machinery here to drown out the silence of busyness. Our soil is springy. We have a huge variety of bird life. Our grass is still lush, green, and growing even after a summer of grazing and several weeks without much rain. It is very colorful here...the bright oranges of the pumpkins, the bright reds of the raspberries, the bold and cheerful sunflowers, and the rich greens of pasture. When it does rain, as it did torrentially this weekend, the air is rich with fragrance...artemisia, alfalfa, pine, earth....sawdust.....

I just love taking the time to watch our chickens! They come out, stretch their wings, and immediately begin the chase and dive for bugs in the grass. Chickens and gardens just go together like milk and cookies. They slowly walk under the pumpkin leaves, cleaning up anything you don't want there. They take shelter in the raspberry canes, fertilizing the roots and snapping off any weeds with their eager beaks. As they do these favors for me, they cluck happily, or make other happy sounds. I could sit out there all day, and in fact, I've placed temporary human perches all around so that I can take a minute when I'm out there, and just enjoy. (Sweetie Tweetie is the Polish hen with the pom...she's five years old, Mable is the Barred and white and she's four. Mable continues to lay a steady supply of eggs while Sweetie Tweetie lays every little while.)

The sheep here are all behind Wilbur. Wilbur towers over all the others! Here they are on the old horse pasture, waiting for me to turn the hose on. Notice the outstanding color variations? I love that about Shetlands!

Then, there's Goldie. We put this hitching post up for the horses, but by far the most frequent user hitches himself to it! This is his favorite perch, and frequently, a place for a good brief nap.

And last, can't you just picture sitting on the front porch (first picture), sipping an early morning cup of coffee? It's a great spot to right the world, or wake up, or close the day, or cool off after hard work such as putting hay up, or weeding. I'm sure this picture of my favorite chair on the front porch will be one I relish come the dead of winter! Indeed, small farms are beautiful places!!

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