Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"Timber!" At Wild Rose Farm

Wild Rose Farm - Logging Started Day One
After doing some research this fall, we found that a portion of our wooded acreage was ready for a selective timber harvest. Over the years, Mr. WRF had seen some nice timber harvest work done on land where he frequently hunts. We got in touch with Tom Anundson, their consulting forester, and had him do a survey of our timber and put a select area out for competitive bids. The winning bidder has 15 months to take the timber off and they also follow best practices which don't allow work in the late winter/spring mud season.  They got started last week and put down 2 tri-axle dump loads of heavy stone for the short access road and log landing.
Trees To Harvest Marked With Blue Paint
A sustainable harvest overseen by a forester ensures that trees remain for future harvest in 10-15 years and on.  If you enlarge the picture above, you can see that the left, center, & right trees are not marked. They will put on healthy growth once the canopy around them is opened up. If you sell timber and the logger marks all trees greater than "x" diameter, it's called "high grading" and that may not be what you want for your woods.  I'm amazed at the size of many of the trees left behind for a future harvest.
First Log Trucks Leaving Wild Rose Farm
We looked around the log landing and then walked along an old timber road that isn't being used this time. As we walked, we spotted some cattle hoof prints where there shouldn't be cattle hoof prints! What was this?  We found out early this week that a group of cattle had escaped from a farm several miles away and had been roaming around in the woods. Apparently, during the night last week, one of them was hit on US Route 30 in front of our place near where you see the trucks above! Somehow we missed the excitement - can't believe the hounds weren't barking up a storm - and the police had to put down the steer.
View From Old Logging Road
We Saw Hoof Prints On Old Logging Road! 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Wild Rose Farm Sneak Preview At Old Economy Village - 2015 Christmas At The Village!

Old Economy Village - Feast Hall Decorated For Christmas At The Village
Wild Rose Farm will be at the 2015 Christmas At The Village this weekend at Old Economy Village along with a great diverse group of vendors. The hours are Saturday 2PM to 9PM and Sunday 2PM to 9PM. Here is a sneak preview (cell phone pics!) of a couple of vendors who were in setting up Friday afternoon.
Wild Rose Farm - Naturally Dyed Yarn, Wool Quilt Batts, Combed Top, Santa Beards
One of the vendors has a great selection of paintings, small ornaments, & primitive painted wooden cut outs. I love this reindeer scene!
Christmas At The Village - Reindeer Painting & Ornaments!
Here's an unusual booth - Clean Creek Products. They are marketing products that use metals recovered in the acid mine drainage stream clean-up process. Proceeds go back to fund additional restoration efforts and to maintain existing treatment systems. Click on the image to check out the cool pottery wildlife & fish replicas!
Christmas At The Village - Clean Creek Products - Wildlife Replicas, Pottery, & Jewelry
Who else/what else did we see setting up? Some really nice, up-to-date crocheted hats, scarfs, finger-less gloves, & whimsical figures set up in the Feast Hall hallway. Patty of Pine Knoll Herb Shop was setting up in the Rapp House, and by extension, it follows that husband Dorrin, the resident Horologist of Pine Knoll Clock Shop, will be there (!) with clocks of his own design and perhaps some restored antique clocks. Miss Kitty was setting up her packed table of jellies, jams, & spreads. Kim will be there on Saturday with her detailed punch needle art. Birgitta of All Strings Considered will be set up next to Wild Rose Farm with her hand woven rugs & place mats. Those are just the folks close to the WRF set up in the Feast Hall & Museum Building ... there were vendor tags on tables for fused glass, jewelry, baked goods, & hand made wreath bows ...

Friday, December 4, 2015

Natural Dyeing Binge!

Wild Rose Farm - Camomile, Black Walnut, & Cochineal
Finally, some pictures of the Wild Rose Farm natural dyeing extravaganza! We last left off on the raiding rodent and the black walnut dyebath. The walnut does not require a mordant to bond to the yarn, so the dark brown skeins above are out of black walnut on a superwash yarn. After the natural dyeing workshop a year ago at The Mannings, I decided to try some superwash merino yarn and add to the color range. They take up the dye differently and the results are wonderful. The lighter khaki colored skeins are chamomile and they did require a mordant, so I transitioned to the other natural dyes - adjective dyes, they're called - for those keeping score!  :~0  The saturated magenta, raspberry, & pink from cochineal turned out great. Plus, I finally remembered to mordant & dye the collection of felted hearts I had languishing in a bag. They were part of a needle felting demo using our combed top ... next step, embellishment?
Wild Rose Farm - Logwood Colors
We moved on to a logwood dyebath and then did some over-dyeing in the cochineal "exhaust" dye bath and got some lovely purple & lavender on the superwash yarn. The single violet skein is a homegrown WRF Rambouillet wool worsted weight skein. Different wools, different tricks & formulas, so the variety is endless! 
Wild Rose Farm - Walnut Dyed Curly Locks!
Meanwhile, we soaked more black walnuts to make another dyebath to dye our wool locks for crafting & beards. We'll keep some of the walnut & logwood concentrate for "painting" yarns this winter.
Next up - Wild Rose Farm will be set up at Old Economy Village in Ambridge, PA on Saturday 12/12 & Sunday 12/13 for 2015 Christmas At The Village along with other unique vendors. See you there?