The other day we were the recipients of yet one more snow, ice and rain storm combo.
Our solar panels were covered with a sheet of ice as was everything else. There is even a sheet of ice on top of the snow. This makes for a lot of slipping and sliding by all concerned. Where’s spring ? What did Punxsutawney Phil say ? 6 more weeks of the white stuff ! Rats ! -or should I say Ground Hogs !
Counting down until spring arrives helps get us through the long dark days of winter. Spring is an exciting time of new beginnings. While most people think of Autumn as harvest season, for fiber animals producers, Spring is our primary harvest time. This year we have 50 beautiful Cormo and Cormo Cross sheep fleeces to harvest ( in addition to 100 goats to shear ) . Generally, we do not like to “toot our own horn” when it comes to our products but……..we think we have some pretty special wool fleeces. For those of you not familiar with cormo sheep, they are a fine wooled sheep originating in Tasmania in the early 1960s. The first Cormo were imported to the US in the 1970s. Cormos were developed by a one-time breeding cross of Corriedale Rams with Saxon Merino Ewes.
The result is a sheep that is particularly hardy and thrifty, producing a beautiful true white fleece, which has a phenomenal staple length ( 3 1/2 – 5 inches ) for it’s fineness ( 17 – 23 microns). For more info about Cormo Sheep you can check out the US Cormo website at:
The fleeces in the picture above were sheared from our flock last year. They are show winners and will soon be made into yarn and roving for sale in 2009. We take exceptional care to make sure our sheep’s fleeces remain clean and free from vegetable matter. In order to accomplish this, our sheep are pasture raised year ’round. In the autumn, just before we need to start feeding hay, we place a lightweight cover or sheep jacket on the sheep to keep the hay debris from getting into the fleece. Usually once and sometimes twice during the period that the fleece is covered, the jacket will need to be changed due to the growth of the fleece. This ensures the animal remains comfortable in the cover and the fleece has room to grow. The result is the beautiful, clean, fleece you see in the picture above.
Today it is snowing ….. AGAIN ! Winter 2008 – 2009 has been pretty cold and snowy so far.
In looking through some photos today I came across this one of our “boys” in the snow with a beautiful background scene. One of the advantages of winter is it allows you to see the “bones” or profile of the landscape without the fluff and clutter ( leaves and grasses) of other seasons — just the rugged profile of the geography of your “world”.
The picture below is taken in the same general area. If you scroll back and forth between the two you will see beneath the lush foliage, the faint outline of the dramatic landscape of winter.
Fritz Kuebel has been raising Angora Goats in Texas for nearly a lifetime. Many, many Angora Goat breeders in Texas and around the country can trace their goats’ lineage to Kuebel bloodlines. Most of our most highly prized, fine hair, genetics show Kuebel ancestry. Several years ago he suffered an injury to his hip and has been dependent on using a walker to get around. For a less dedicated producer, an injury such as that would put a halt to their ability to work goats, but not Mr. Kuebel. As you can see, he’s still out there in his catch, evaluating goats and selecting the best to breed. As the saying goes “You can’t keep a good man down”.
58 Days ‘Til Spring
Here’s a photo of some of last year’s tomato harvest. We planted about 90 tomato plants –
Brandywine ( a favorite ), Cherokee Purple, Georgia Peach, Yellow Pear, and Sweet 100.
We processed, canned or froze about 50 lbs of sauce and diced tomatoes.
Currently we’re working on selections for this year’s planting….. to be continued…..
once we choose !
It is always nice when yarn customers show us or tell us how they have used our product. This beautiful lace shawl was entered by Lynne in the Skein and Garment Competition at the Fingerlakes Fiber Festival in Hemlock, NY. Look at the “close-up” below. Amazing!
Thanks Lynne !
64 Days ‘Til Spring