Just In Time For The Holidays

We’ve been very busy around here since my last post. One entire season has come and gone and we’re well into Fall. It’s been exciting coming up with new ideas for the Holiday’s this year and I think we’ve come up with two definite winners.

Here is one of our new items –

This is an All Natural Wool Nesting Ball. It’s a grapevine ball filled with sheep wool. You hang it in a tree or on your deck and birds come a pull small pieces out to aid in nest building. It’s a great gift to give to the bird lovers on your gift list or to give to yourself.

Our other new item from the farm are our Eco Friendly Dryer Balls. These are made from 100% all natural wool from our sheep. These are just great..they do the same job as a dryer sheet without all those nasty chemicals and with wool being able to absorb over 60% of their weight in water..using these dryer balls reduce your dry time which equates to less electricity use.

So as you see, we really have been busy putting together items that will make nice gifts for others or for you. Who knows, before Christmas we might just come up with some other all natural farm gifts!

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It’s Been A Long Time Again!

It’s coming down to the end of Spring around here. Let me update you on what has been going on at the farm.

Early Spring brought us the joys of lamb and kid births. So many little ones making it exciting and a little confusing too. We almost lost one of our ewes at lambing. Seems her little (gigantic) lamb didn’t want to come out easily and then we discovered she had been physically exhausted to the point that she gave up. We are very happy to say, she is doing fantastic now and so is “Wil” her lamb.

Then there was “Bella”! She was not really a surprise but I had miscalculated her due date of arrival. She and her Mom “Barga” are doing very well. The breeding that produced her was very accidental, which has now led to a 3/4 Angora x 1/4 Alpine Dairy kid. Her fiber is glorious!

We had a broody hen hatch 13 eggs and have 12, 3 month old chicks now.

We have since hatched another 11 chicks which are growing strong..and to our surprise, some of them are actually HENS!

The most exciting addition we’ve made to the farm this Spring are our Coturnix Quail. With the chickens, ducks and now quail we are rapidly becoming an “Egg Farm”.

These quail are actually mature and laying eggs within 8 weeks from their hatching and the health benefits from eating their eggs is amazing. There are now 36 of these little ones here and growing. This is the first week we’ve listed their eggs on our local co-op.

Aside from all of this we’ve just been working on the farm. Cleaning, growing, painting, sheep shearing and more.

Since the loss of Mom, I feel like I’ve been spending a lot of my time recreating pretty much my whole life (not just the farm). I am devoting much more of my time to the sheep and working again with fiber. We are working on a Virginia Grown/USA Grown organic yarn line as well as a line of naturally dyed yarns. Both of these projects are slow moving as it is quite expensive to have all of the fiber processed and natural dying can also be very expensive. Another thing I am doing is participating in special events to share (and sell) our fibers grown here on the farm.

Wow, I’m tired just writing! Until next time…

Happy New Year!!! (maybe a day or so late)

Well here I am starting our New Year! Not bad..only 11 or so days into the year. Guess the way 2010 ended for us makes this acceptable.

You know I read a lot of different Blogs every week. Some of those that I really like are listed in my sidebar (need to update). Many of those Blogs are about the day to day on the farm. Some are farm stories. I have a passion for anything vintage, so I do follow many of these Blogs too. I wish I had more time to read but fortunately, I am too busy!

I did, however, notice on one Blog that I follow that the writer shares with her readers “things you don’t know about her” and I find that I like that idea a lot. So, I thought I’d give it a try myself and share 5 things that you don’t know about me.

1. I am a very kind and giving person. Sometimes to the point that I give and have it taken.

2. I love to read..no matter the subject. Classics, reference, trash romance, picture books, magazines, everything.

3. I like Farmer’s and farm business owners who are real, not frauds. People who really do their own work and get their hands dirty, who honestly do spend the night in a freezing cold barn with a sick animal – not those who use the one time isolated event as a photo/story op.

4. I love, love, love a newborn lamb! Not having children, I tend to throw around terms like hope and promise when I hold one of our newborns for the first time.

 


5. Cooking is my heart and soul. From the time I was old enough to stand on a stool and reach my hands into fruitcake batter that my Grandmother was making, I’ve loved to cook. It is the most relaxing thing that I do. After 32 years of marriage, I still cook dinner almost every night for my hubby and me. Apparently he still likes it because he still comes in at night and asks “what’s for dinner” and he doesn’t run away when I tell him!!

Of course there are so many more other things you don’t know about me but I have an idea…why don’t you share something that people don’t know about you? It would be fun getting to know each other better. Don’t you agree?

What Happened To The Fiber Samples??

Several months ago, I had posted information about fiber blends that I had on the list to offer this year and I’ve been asked by several, who had expressed interest, where are the samples? That’s an excellent question! The fiber is sitting on my front porch waiting for UPS to pick it up to send to the processor. In all of the craziness with Mom’s  illness, general farm stuff..I forgot to pack up the fiber and send it. This forgetting thing, no doubt, comes with age!

For those who didn’t see or hear what my plans are..here we go. We have approximately 100 Alpaca fleeces (20 of which are black and will not be included in this) in every color available in natural alpaca, 30 sheep fleeces in colors ranging from dark blue silver to white, a fairly large amount of Mohair and a little bit of Cashmere. I have taken 3/4 of all of these fibers and am having them blended and/or variegated, carded into roving, and 3/4 of that spun into yarn (dk weight). I’ve done a bit of this on the drum carder, it’s absolutely beautiful..not sharing a photo because I don’t want to spoil the surprise. I’ve even spun up some and taken it a step further and over dyed a little bit of it. All I can say is “Oh My!”.

If you want to get on the waiting list for samples, just email me at breezehillfarm@verizon.net and I’ll add you to the list. According to the processor, we’ve got about a 2 month wait, so by the time it comes in, I get the samples out and you place your orders..it’ll be a great time of year to start thinking about Christmas projects.

Chickens!!!

It’s a great Monday morning here at the farm. Everyone is content, settled, and happy. Just lounging in the barnyard. The view has changed over the weekend with the addition of some new girls…chickens to be specific. Every since “Beau Cocks” came here as a stray rooster we’ve discussed adding a few hens and this weekend was the right time. Saturday, we went to a Chicken Swap, something we’d never even heard of and found a couple of really nice girls. Also, we’re pretty much certain that Beau is a Welsumer Rooster. The Welsumer is the Kellogg’s Rooster, so he’s a real honor to have (when he’s not spurring and crowing constantly)..but back to the new girls. Our chicken collection now sports an adult Araucana hen, an Araucana Pullet, a Welsumer hen and an American Game Hen. Here are a few shots of them:

American Game Hen

Araucana Hen

Welsumer Hen

Something else we did was purchase fertile eggs from Araucana hens, several we’re not sure about and 6 Buff Orpington. Since the Game Hen is a huge success in her appearance and temperament, we’re saving her eggs to incubate too. Oh yes, we bought an Incubator! So we are definitely chicken ready now. How, you may ask, is Beau Cocks handling the new girls..well, if you remember from previous posts he thinks he’s a sheep..he still does! He is, however, starting to be protective of them. He’ll learn.

If anyone has checked out our website recently, I’m sure you’ve noticed what a mess it is. For now let’s just call it a work in progress. Just as I was getting the site ready and uploaded, Mom was released from Pulmonary Rehab and it’s been a new drama everyday which, once again, is taking me away from the farm and the business. I hope that very soon, I will announce the new website on the Blog and everyone will have something complete and professional to view. Until then..bear with me.

Have a wonderful day!!