Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pollinators & Gathering Goldenrod!

Wild Rose Farm - Lots of Bees Here!
There were plenty of honeybees & other native pollinators buzzing around as I gathered more goldenrod for more natural dyeing projects. This picture came from a clump of flowering goldenrod stems next to the roadway. I ended up leaving one of the "not fully opened" stems for the bees ... feeling a little guilty, I guess!  There are also a TON of black walnuts falling everywhere right now. Every walnut that I gather from along the driveway goes right into the pot of water to soak for a dye bath.
We've finally gotten a bit of rain, but not as much as we'd like. Take a look at how dry the soil is here as we broke a little ground for a small garden next year.  The soil test sample has been sent off to the lab at Penn State and we're waiting for the results & soil pH to come back.
Talk About DRY Soil! 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Perfect Day For The Farm Tour!

"Hey Llama, Why Are You Looking At Me Like That?"
We had a perfect fall day for the 1st Beaver County Self-Guided Farm Tour. Temps ranged from the high 50's to the mid 60's with big, puffy white clouds and a nice breeze.  We were able to have Snow White & the ewe flock grazing right along the driveway in the small "Hospital Pen".
We were so busy talking with everyone and answering questions that I only got one or two pictures taken when the crowd thinned out near the end of the day - oh well!  Llama Snow White was pretty popular with the visitors. The young fellow above kept talking to her and asking why she was looking at him so funny ... we told him that she usually only sees sheep and they don't ask her questions!  One thing that I did notice - look closely at the grass in the pen. The flock spent most of their time grazing as far away from the people as they could get. The grass next to the front fence line is still tall after 5 hours!
Glenda did not disappoint either, with her random & raucous braying next to the folks looking at the lambs in the barn.  Thanks to everyone who came out and visited us at Wild Rose Farm!
Wild Rose Farm - Snow White & Her Flock Back at the Loafing Shed

Friday, September 29, 2017

Waiting For Tomorrow ...

Ewe Flock Heading Up To The Barn
It's been bone dry here for the last several weeks. We finally got a small shower this evening & it was enough to send the sheep running back to the Loafing Shed, but not for long!  Here they are coming back up towards the barn once the showers stopped. It still wasn't enough to soak the ground under the trees, but the temperature dropped.
That's a good thing for tomorrow - Saturday is the 2017 Beaver County Self-Guided Farm Tour and Wild Rose Farm is on the map. With the cooler weather, we plan to have the flock grazing in the pen above this one along the driveway. The grass should have been about 4 inches higher in that pen, but there hasn't - been - any -  rain.  :(
The tour starts at the Beaver Farmers' Market where everyone who is registered picks up their swag bag and a tour map.  Snow White and her sheep with their soft wool yarn await!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

New Career For Ewe Lambs!

Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet Ewe Lambs Leaving
Couldn't Get Anyone To Pose For The Picture!
With so much natural dyeing going on (I mean really?), we forgot to mention that 3 Rambouillet ewe lambs left this week! They are happily embarking on a new show & breeding career for a dedicated young lady. Her show experience includes sheep, market hogs, and various types of poultry ... and that's just what we gleaned in 2 visits with her. :)
Can't wait to see how they do for her next year!
2017 Beaver County Self-Guided Farm Tour
Here's another clipping from Lancaster Farming - stop by if you're in the area! 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Dyeing Goes On ...

Natural Dyeing at Wild Rose Farm
Greens & Lace Weight Indigo Skein 
Here are the results of our natural dyeing yesterday ... some of the goldenrod has been over-dyed with indigo to produce some lovely greens. Once you have an indigo dye vat up & running, it can be used until it is exhausted. The dye vat will take multiple dips of the yarn skeins to darken the blue color.  The yarn airs out between dips as the dye vat rests. The light blue lace weight yarn skein was done after we finished the greens ...
Everything from yesterday is rinsed and hanging out to dry, whew!  Next up - more blue & purple.

We're getting prepared for the "Beaver County Self-Guided Farm Tour" on Saturday,September 30th. We'll have our Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet yarn, combed top, & wool available for sale.
Of course, we have lambs for sale too if you need some of those, lol!   
Sign Up For the Self Guided Beaver County Farm Tour!
*** Wild Rose Farm Is One Of The Tour Stops *** 

Monday, September 18, 2017

We're Dyeing Now!

Wild Rose Farm Indigo Dye Vat & Our Yarn
We started to do some natural dyeing over the weekend with our new yarns. The indigo dye bath is working out nicely. We've done some of the 2-Ply Bulky Art Yarn in 2 shades of blue so far. The foam & bubbles, aka the "flower" that you see on top is a sign of a healthy indigo dye vat. The bath is yellow-green under the flower.
Indigo Yarn & Goldenrod Dye Bath
Next up is the goldenrod dye bath. The goldenrod flower tops are soaked for 24 hours, simmered for and hour, and then the yarn is added to the bath and also simmered for an hour ...
Rambouillet Wool Yarn Entering the Dyebath
Here's the result!
Wild Rose Farm - Naturally Dyed Goldenrod & Indigo Wool Yarns

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

More Rambouillet Yarn Arrives!

News Flash! Yarn Arrives At Wild Rose Farm!
We've been hanging out & waiting for our next batch of yarn to arrive from The Mill At Meadowlands.  Here it is! A box of 2-ply, 200 yard skeins of our own 100% Rambouillet wool yarn arrived on Monday.  Now it's time to get serious about dyeing, lol. Three different types of yarn have been weighed so that I can start the natural dyeing process.
Now, out to clip some goldenrod ...