Friday, October 28, 2011

Maple Tree Saga

WRF Sugar Maple "Before"
Well, our beautiful Sugar Maple finally had to go.  The first sign of trouble was 2 years ago when we noticed leaves drying up early on a big branch on the left side.  Then last fall, about a third of the left side looked anemic before the leaves dropped.  This summer, the whole left side died out, bark started to peel, & the leaves on the front branches withered early.  Now was the time to remove the tree.  We'll still have time to plant several evergreens to shield us from the busy road.
First Big Branch
Half Way
Last Branch
Almost ........
Timberrrrrrr !!!!!!!!!
Rotten Center ...... :(
Given the choice of "do you want me to drop it on the dogwood or the holly bush?", we chose the holly bush.  Actually, the damage wasn't too bad.  A severe pruning for Christmas greens should fix that right up!  Now what else to plant??? 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Meet Wild Rose Farm Lisa!

There's always something new when you live on a farm.  Today we picked up Lisa the Llama!  Lisa was part of a group of 4 llamas who needed to find a new farm.  We were approached about giving a home to a llama & after going to visit the group, we made arrangements to take one.  We called a friend who already has a nice group of llamas and other fiber animals.  The other 3 went to her farm. 
So begins the process of introducing Lisa to the sheep and to us.  The 4 were not halter broken and will need to be able to be handled so that they can get a much overdue shearing in the spring.  Lisa has never been an "only llama" and she will be looking for her former herdmates for a while.  We'll see what time & patience will do. For now she's in the ram pen by herself next to the lambs in the barn.   

Monday, October 17, 2011

Request For Yarn Pics .....

We got a request for pictures of Wild Rose Farm worsted weight yarn, so here we go.  Always a caution when taking pictures of what the true color is, so there are a few angles & a close up.  Natural dyes listed. The dark brown has a greenish cast & the madder & logwood are varigated since we used a tie dye effect in the dye bath.  Probably should take some pictures of the sport weight too ..... different colors there ......
Dark Gold Onion, Lighter Yellow Osage Orange 
Teal w/yellow underlights overdyed with Indigo 
Dark Brown Sumac & Reddish Brown Cutch
Orange Madder, Purple Tie Dye Logwood, Magenta Cochineal

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Sheep Friends!

Wild Rose Farm took some time today to visit with Dave, Vanessa, their children and their 3 sheep.  This spring, we referred them to our sheep shearer and today we stopped by to work with them to do some hoof trimmng.  It's not a tough thing to do, but learning to flip the sheep over & then how much to trim takes a little practice.  The good news is that, judging by the looks of things, these sheep probably will only need to have their feet trimmed about twice a year.  Yeah!  They have a completely different type of sheep than most everyone around here.  They are East Friesian x Lacuane crosses ---- dairy sheep!  The ewes are about 18 months old & they are considering breeding them this fall if they can get a suitable ram.  It just dawned on me that we didn't get a group photo of the ewes, just the hoof trimming exercise .......  :(
Anyway the other 2 sheep were white.  It looks like they're going to have a 4 or 5 inch fleece by next spring.  They have nice clean wool free heads and legs and naturally short tails.  I imagine that they'll give quite a bit of milk, so could sheep milk cheese be a possibility?  I know that most of the beginning cheese making classes & seminars are jam packed! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

More Color Before The Rain!

Wild Rose Farm Fall Color!
More fall color at Wild Rose Farm taken before the rain & wind came last night .....  The next pictures won't have nearly as many leaves in the background.  The ewes are always curious when someone comes out to the pasture since it could mean a bucket of grain!  Then back to grazing once that hope is dashed .......

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Walnut Dyebath Getting Started ......

Black Walnut Hulls For Natural Dyeing
If you're driving around at this time of year, you can't help but spot black walnuts dropped along the roadsides.  The crushed nuts and hulls & their distinctive brownish black stains are found along roads & driveways in the country & even in town.  Most people will let you pick them up if you ask.  Be sure to wear gloves, then either strip off the hulls or use the whole walnut, & soak in water for a couple of days.
Just Google "dyeing with walnuts" for all kinds of advice on how to do some dyeing. You can also concentrate the liquid & use it to stain wood & baskets
These walnuts came from the farm where we picked up the hay ..... you can see the trees in the background behind the corncrib with the longhorn steer hanging. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sheep Comings & Goings!

Sheep Coming! Can You Find "U"?
I took a few minutes today to get some pictures of the sheep as their grazing rotation takes them past the maples below the front pasture.  With the recent rain, the grass is really green & the maples are at their peak of color!  It's supposed to get cooler & start to rain tomorrow.  Hopefully everyone got their hay in today.  The sheep certainly like it when the weather turns cooler.
Sheep Going ..... Now Find "U"!
We've been considering jacketing the sheep, but we haven't gone down that path just yet.  It shows up in the color of "U".  She's not a true "black" black sheep, & you can see the difference in the sunbleached color of her fleece.  
Wild Rose Farm "U" & Some of The Flock

Monday, October 10, 2011

Got Hay?

3rd Cutting Alfalfa Hay
This wonderful warm October weather found most of the farmers in our part of Western Pennsylvania cutting, raking, & baling up 3rd cutting hay.  Wild Rose Farm got a nice load of 3rd cutting alfalfa hay & hauled it home today.  Our farmer friend may have some leafy grass hay for us tomorrow.  It depends on how it dries and if he beats the rain.  It will be round baled, so it can take some rain once it's baled.
Now how's this for barn art?  Our farmer friend has this on the side of his corn crib ......
Just realized when I went to start this post that the previous WRF post belonged on the LFLF blog.  Oh well ......... first time that's ever happened! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rainy Market Day

It was cool & rainy at the Beaver Farmers' Market on Saturday, but the market still had a good turnout. 
LFLF picked up baked goods, apple cider, & green beans before putting away the umbrella & jumping back into the truck.  We saw grapes again, plus new this week were chestnuts, decorative corn, bittersweet vines, & gourds.

The fresh winter squash & eggplants looked great glistening in the gentle rain!