Hey everyone! I didn't forget you over here on the blog. I took last week off so that I could get the first Being Ewethful video podcast up on YouTube. If you haven't had a chance to watch it yet, please pop over to the Ewethful Fiber Farm & Mill channel or follow the link whenever you have time. In the first episode I talk a bit about my journey to owning the Mill. As well as a bit about the Jacob sheep breed and wool as well as some knitting and spinning of course. And finally take you on a quick tour of the Mill. My reason for doing the podcast is two-fold. One reason is to allow people regular access to what it is like to own a mill, how the process happens and of course lots of videos showing how it all works. Another reason is to get a chance to reach out and show to you all some our yarns and fibers, introduce new products and show you how I use them in my crafts. And finally I get to talk about wool! How I source it, how it behaves for processing and how using locally sourced fibers is a sustainable and natural option. So I guess there are a lot of reasons! Oh yeah, and I miss you all and thought this was one way to reach out and connect. I plan to put out a podcast every two weeks (the next one will be released Tuesday November 24th) so if you like the first one, please don't forget to "like" it, subscribe to our channel so you know when new ones are released, and please comment with questions or things you'd like to see. And thank you for all the different ways you support me, the mill, and our farm family.
It has been a bit since I did a farm update so I thought I would let you know what has been going on lately. First and foremost harvest and planting are over the year. Wahoo!!! On the grass seed farm the guys are mainly working on winter projects - fixing things that broke during the summer, clean-up, hauling seed in for cleaning and fabricating new items they hope to have for next year. Mitch gets to be around our place more which doesn't mean that he is sitting around. I'm actually not sure that he knows what that is? Any moment there is daylight, wait no, he'll work outside in the dark. Ok any moment it is dry out, wait no, he'll work in the pouring down rain. Ok how about any moment until I call him in for dinner (which is late in our house) he is out working on the property. There is always more to do, or repairs to make. We have one last pasture space that has yet to be fenced so that is the big outside goal. Then we will have 5 total pastures and since we generally run the animals in 3 pastures at a time, this will allow for some field rotation which in turn allows the empty pastures time to rest and regenerate.
Last week I sent my last foster for the year back to the Humane Society. She was actually an adult cat that had an owner which is why I didn't post any pictures. She was a McKenzie fire cat so while she has parents, they no longer have a home. Many volunteers are helping to house these cats (and dogs) while people get their bearings. If you have an urge to donate Greenhill Humane Society is always taking donations of food, money, and animal items to help shelter and disaster recovery animals.
I was so sad to see her go, but somehow one thing settles around here and the next takes its place. Within a few days of dropping off the foster, June the pony started having foot issues. She is not the most spritely horse given her old age and previous neglect, but this week she stopped letting me pick (clean) her hooves which is abnormal for her. I finally realized that the foot she was letting me get to was the one actually hurting her. She was holding it up for me because she didn't want to bear weight on it. Ooof, not good when you are the size she is. So out came the vet who diagnosed her with a very bad infection inside her hoof caused by who knows what. A massive round of antibiotics later and she is on the mends. It was a very rough couple days as her response to the meds was slow. She still has a mild limp but is getting much better and moving about the pasture again. We'll be keeping a close eye on her and hoping we don't need more medications. Hoping for the obvious reasons but also because she was SOOO stubborn about taking those meds. I can tell you we went thru a lot of applesauce!
We've also recently had a visit from the "alpaca doctor." Time for bi-annual check-ups, deworming and toe nail trimmings. They all behaved so well until our last girl Khaleesi. If they all behaved, what fun would it be right? All are in great health and definitely not underfed!
Meanwhile we moved the ewes that we are breeding back into their old pasture with the other ewes and wethers (castrated males). I think they are relieved to get away from the boys! The rams meanwhile seem quite happy to be back together. They are brothers and have always been together except for the month here and there for breeding. They love their time with the girls but after awhile they start head butting the fence between themselves in hopes of knocking it down. Oh Brothers!
While moving sheep around we started back into trimming hooves and deworming them all. Mitch and I both have backs that do not love the postures necessary to do this so we tend to break it up doing 4 or so each week. Slow going but we get it done and don't break ourselves in the process. Plus it keeps us in check so I don't go too breeding crazy with the ewes!
The last big thing around the home farm is that we have started letting the big dogs, ElsieMae and Cash, into the house when we are home. They used to be limited to the den and of course endless outdoor space but in an effort to keep the inside space less muddy we are keeping them in more during the winter which means they need a bit more people time. Or so my guilt thinks anyway. They are loving it! Really they are mostly loving the cats and the opportunity to try to catch falling food while I cook. They are doing amazingly well and on nice days still enjoy being outside keeping an eye on out for predatory birds and chasing squirrels.
So that is the latest on the farm update. The winter rain is here which means its time to tuck in and knit right?!!!! Do any of you have winter projects to keep yourself busy during this very weird year?
Thank you for reading. And maybe even watching! Take care, stay healthy and craft on!!!
I am Kim Biegler, the owner and operator of Ewethful Fiber Farm & Mill. I create hand spinning fibers from locally sourced wool and teach others online how to hand spin their own yarn.