Monday, November 7, 2016

Projects & More Projects!

Wow ... so where have we been all summer & fall?  Here's a look back at what has been going on in between taking care of the ewes & lambs.
Old Spring Development H2O Tank
Our old "middle" spring development tank was due to be replaced. This one is seasonal, so while it was soooo dry in July, we replaced it.  We also had the nearby stumps pulled from the winter brush clearing project. All of this was in preparation for a pasture sub-division fence project.  See how these things go?
Pushing Stumps Onto The Brush Pile
Finally, by October, we had running water after getting a decent amount of rain. Of course, as of yesterday, the new tank is just holding even since it hasn't rained again for a couple of weeks. As you can see below, we were paint marking & staking out the spots for the fence posts.
New Tank & Crystal Clear Water!
Meanwhile, "back at the ranch" this August, Mr. WRF tackled the 12' barn doors that weren't meeting up flush together and latching correctly.  Turns out that the "boards behind the board" that formed the header where the doors were attached had some rot and had to be replaced. The doors had been built in place, so the trick here is to do the repair/replace while the doors are still hanging off to the side. I stayed away from this project ... :~0
Wild Rose Farm Barn Door Repair Project
The hot, dry weather also provided a window to "finish" the Loafing Shed.  It was coated with linseed oil and then the trim & louvers were painted white. What a difference!
Loafing Shed & Fall Color! 
 The doors are ash - complete with the Emerald Ash Borer grooves that killed the tree - and the siding is cherry. The ash borer marks in the wood of the doors are reminiscent of wormy chestnut ...
And the fence project?  And Snow White's trip to the vet? We'll save that for another day!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fair Season Recap!

Canfield Fair - Orchard Displays
Now that the local fair season wrapped up, here are a bunch of random pictures of the season. Thanks always to the folks who take the time to bring their animals, produce, crafts, & baked goods to the fairs!
Yarn Ball Wreath - Big Knob Fair
How about this interesting wreath for my fiber friends... and perhaps some inspiration!
Canfield Fair - Lovely Horned Dorset Ewe!

Canfield Fair - Bold Horned Dorset Ram
It's nice to see a big variety of sheep in the Canfield Fair sheep barns!
Merino Rams At The Canfield Fair
Tunis Ewe Lamb Waits For The Canfield Fair Show
This year, despite the drought in the tri-state area, the largest "pumpkins" weighed in at almost 1,300#.  Of course these giants grow in secret locations on pallets, under canopies, and with double top secret special feedings, lol! 
Grand Champion 1283# & Reserve Grand Champion 1273.5# !!!
How about this idea for an old, unused sewing machine? Where do people get these ideas?!?
Not Even Sure What The Category Is For This Entry! :)
Finally, from the Hay & Grain Building comes the largest ear of field corn. Someone had to COUNT all 1144 kernels on this ear (plus the other closest entries!). Thanks to the folks who do the preparation and judging for all of us to enjoy! 
Enlarge To Count 1144 Kernels!  :)

Monday, August 29, 2016

And The Heat Goes On!

Triplet Ram Lamb Leaving For New Home
The hot & dry weather continues here at Wild Rose Farm. We got some rain in the last 2 weeks, but we're still way behind for the year. The nights are getting cooler, so at least there is some relief. One of our ram lambs was sold recently - he was one of the triplets out of our Rambouillet Ewe #403.
As dry as it is, we moved the ewes onto round bales of hay for now. The pastures are recovering nicely for fall grazing after the rains that we did get lately.
Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet #401 Munching Queen Anne's Lace 
The last grazing stop before heading to the round bales was the "Hospital Pen" along the driveway near the barn. It was last grazed in early June, so the grass (and weeds) were really high.  We always say that sheep prefer weeds & browse over grass and you can see it here ... I had my cell phone with me as the ewes selected their own favorites!
Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet #407 Reaching Ironweed Leaves
Then, WRF #407 "Walks Down" The Ironweed - Yum!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Ewe Lambs Head To New Pastures!

Wild Rose Farm Ewe Lambs Travel In Style!
The pick up of the 2 ewe lambs was changed from Saturday to Sunday, so off they went yesterday to their new home.  Rambouillet ewe lambs #551 & #552 headed down the road in style. They were happy to leave in the back of an SUV standing in their individual Rubbermaid tubs!  Actually it works out quite nicely once you get the back hatch closed down ... they are content to be looking out the window and as far away from the driver & front seat passenger as possible. :)
We got this quick picture as they pulled away in air conditioned comfort ... see you at the fair!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Off To A New Home!

Ram Lamb - I've Never Gone For A Ride Before!
The first lamb born this year left Wild Rose Farm yesterday for a new home. He is totally unrelated to our lambs from last year. He will be be used as a breeding ram this fall with 4 ewe lambs that we sold last summer. The temperature & humidity were down on Sunday & he made an uneventful trip to his new farm.
We have another pick-up for 2 Rambouillet ewe lambs scheduled on Saturday morning ... It's good to see the lambs going to new homes as breeding stock!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Hills Are Alive ...

Ewes At Gate - Where Are Our Lambs?  Baa!
... with the sound of bleating!  We weaned all but a half-dozen of the youngest lambs yesterday and you practically needed a pair of ear plugs in the barn last night. The ewes were moved over to the pasture near the Loafing Shed ... they are spending their time standing near the gate bleating for the lambs. No one is happy.  But wait --- what is happening here to distract us?
What Is That Thing?
We had Carl come over to give us a quote on a fence repair and also measure for a new interior paddock fence around the Loafing Shed. A few days ago, an F-450 truck lost its' brakes at a stop sign, crossed US Route 30, and hit our high tensile woven wire fence. No one was injured, but the fence had to be cut out of the front end of the truck.  It did not break.  That's the 2nd time this fence has been hit this year!  So ... we needed a quote for the driver to give to his insurance company and we added our own request to build an interior fence. As you can see above, the ewes were fascinated.
The Yearlings - Where Are They Going & Should We Follow?
Carl walks the proposed fence line with a wheel & his clipboard to take measurements and record where we need the gates to be put in the fence. The ewes followed at a very safe distance ...
Run The Line Here ... Then Make A Corner
Walking & Measuring
That was the activity for the morning.  We had some people over in the afternoon to pick out a ram lamb for their small flock.  We'll hold the ram for another week --- we like to make sure that they are settled down and eating well after weaning before we let them go to a new home.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

From This Side Of The Road

Hay Field At Sunset
Here's the view from "our" side of US Route 30 as seen through our roadside wild daylilly patch.  One of our neighbors has been making hay and just finished raking the second batch last night.  There's nothing like the smell of fresh cut hay!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Land Camp Clean-up ...

Wild Rose Farm After The Felting Fun ...
Uhhhhh ... I promised pictures, but got caught up in the tour hosting and felting fun, so no pics until the clean-up!  However, Counselor Mike was taking photos, so maybe I'll be able to wrangle some pictures out of him AFTER he survives the Independence Conservancy Land Camp. I was able to tag along yesterday on the Land Camp tour of a regional landfill - sounds "fascinating", eh?  I love one of the tag lines for the camp: When you throw it away, where is away?
Yesterday, we visited away ... very interesting. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Campers Are Coming!

We are hosting the campers from the Independence Conservancy Land Camp for a short visit this evening. Wild Rose Farm happens to be in the Raccoon Creek Watershed ... just on the edge.  Our spring developments for livestock water are natural springs that form the beginning of small streams eventually becoming part of Raccoon Creek.  Pictures & more information coming after the field trip!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Lambs At Dusk

Two Ewe Lambs  & Horned Ram Lamb
Here are a couple of shots of lambs at dusk. It was hot today - temps in the 90's - so there isn't a lot of frisking around until the sun is going down. The 1st picture shows one of our horned Rambouillet ram lambs. The green numbers on their sides have faded, & of course he is standing so that you can't see the number anyway ...
Ram Lambs Starting To Face Off!
The thirty-five dot ram is looking to pick a fight with the other lambs ... that chunky fella facing him can probably hold his ground, lol.  There's a lot of chasing & head butting going on among the lambs as they play & race around when it cools down in the evening.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Washington County Wool Pool

Running The Hydraulic Wool Press - More Wool Please!
It wasn't a bad day at the wool pool ... temps in the high 80's, but with the fans going inside the buildings it was tolerable.  One of the 2 wool presses was acting up all day with electrical problems, so the young workers fell behind. Not sure what time they got to leave!
The "Light Vegetable Matter" Pile - There's More Where That Came From!
The 2 predominant classes of wool in this area are "Medium" wool & "Light VM". The LVM is generally medium wool that has excessive chaff, hay, etc in the fiber, usually from feeding indoors in with hay racks & allowing hay to fall down on the necks & backs of the sheep.
Washington County Wool Pool - Last Load Of The Day!
The last load of the day came in around 5:15PM and consisted of 6 different clips ... meaning that the shearer had fleeces from 6 different flocks in the trailer.
It's back to Washington on Tuesday to start the small flocks of less than 125 sheep. Today our largest flock had 519 fleeces of medium wool - only 1 basket was LVM which is quite an achievement to be so clean.

Headed For The Wool Pool!

Wild Rose Farm - Loaded For The Washington County Wool Pool!
We're loaded up and ready to leave for the Washington County Wool Pool. We drive to the Washington County Fairgrounds and volunteer for 2 days. Hours are Monday 1PM to 6PM for farms bringing 125 or more fleeces and Tuesday 8AM to 3PM for those bringing less than 125 fleeces. Usually we see the big guys and some sheep shearers bringing in fleeces on Monday. On Tuesday, cars with as few as 5 or 6 fleeces pull in ... some are backyard flocks and some are young shepherds just starting out!
The big bags with the blue ties are skirtings, tags, belly wool, and "heavy vegetable matter" wool - we generate a lot of this when I skirt for spinning fleeces, show fleeces, and wool going to the mill for yarn and combed top.  If you ship junk to a mill, you get junk back!
Not all of the fleeces are suitable for sale individually, so they go to the wool pool ... more pics from the adventure later ...
Hoping for overcast, but no rain, since I'm the one who is outside with the clipboard checking in the farmers!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Post Festival Post ...

Knit Buffalo Yarn Truck At Harmony Fiber Fest
Thanks to everyone who ignored the weather forecast and came out to buy at the Harmony Garden Fair & Fiber Fest!  It got HOT in the afternoon, but we didn't have any of the T-storms that were on the Saturday forecast.  Here's a great idea ... a Local Yarn Shop on wheels!  Knit Buffalo pulled in Saturday morning, unfurled their canopy, & set up in the parking lot just outside of Stewart Hall where the rest of us were set up.
Just Inside The Knit Buffalo Truck Front Steps - Yarn & Accessories
We had a chance to talk to a lot of nice fiber folks ... the quilters & spinners seemed to be out, so our combed top and wool quilt batts were a big hit. Thanks again to the shoppers who came to the festival.
At home, we got out around dusk to bring the ewes & lambs in from pasture for the evening. As usual, the lambs were frisking around & playing. The lambs like to get up to the highest spot they can, which turned out to be the wagon & the brush hog tonight ...
Wild Rose Farm Lambs Ready For A Ride!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Harmony Garden Fair & Fiber Fest Preview

Wild Rose Farm Naturally Dyed Rambouillet & Superwash Merino Yarns
First some pictures of Wild Rose Farm and then some shots of the other vendors at Friday afternoon set-up.
Come see us at the Harmony Fiber Fest in Stewart Hall ... we have A/C and we'll keep you dry if it's raining, lol!  :~0
Wild Rose Farm Locks, Llama Troll Hair (!), & Felted Hearts
Three Oaks Fiber - Handspun Wool & Angora Yarn + Hand-knitted Items!
Unplanned Peacock Studio - Hand Dyed Yarns From Virginia!
Unplanned Peacock Studio - Wall of Color!
Rugs Of Character Banner
Rugs Of Character - Neat Trunk Show Display! 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Setting Up For Harmony Fiber Festival!

I'll post pictures later today, but Wild Rose Farm is heading off after lunch to set up for a 1 day fiber festival on Saturday. The 2016 Harmony Garden Fair & Fiber Festival will be held tomorrow June 11th in Historic Harmony, PA - rain or shine!  The fiber artists & vendors will be indoors in Stewart Hall at the Harmony Museum right in town.
Hours are from 9AM to 3PM - come see us for our fine wool naturally dyed yarn, wool quilt batts, spinning fleeces, & our Rambouillet combed top.
Plant lovers will really enjoy the Garden Fair at the barn just outside of town ...

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Routine Activities ...

Wild Rose Farm - Snow White Looking On ...
It was sooooo boring today that even Snow White was looking for something to do. She left the sheep behind to graze and came up and stood around the barn. I had been in the barn skirting fleeces until I was forced to shut the barn doors in the 88 degree temps.  It keeps the sun off of me and also keeps it from heating the inside even more ... that's where the 3 ewes with their triplets are hanging out. Snow White had a few treats, then I went down the driveway to give Glenda her share.  Turning back to the barn, it looks like Snow White is waiting for more.  Empty pockets, oh well!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Busy Holiday Weekend!

Ewes & Lambs Head To Pasture Sunday Morning
We had several sheep & wool related trips over the Memorial Day weekend. After the Friday night Girl Scout visit, we dropped off 35 lbs of Rambouillet fleece to be delivered to The Mill At Meadowlands in Maryland. The plans are to have some yarn made - "thinking" of lace weight and some worsted weight singles at the moment. The wool was delivered Sunday morning.  Ruth at the mill called me to talk about it while I was roaming around at the Great Lakes Sheep & Fiber Show in Wooster. Once the wool is washed, we'll talk in more detail about what it wants to become ... :).  Don't you just love fiber artists? Meadowlands had a representative at the Waynesburg Sheep & Fibe Fest to pick up fleeces, but we're in line behind the wool from Maryland Sheep & Wool, so stay tuned.
The picture above was taken from the driveway as I departed for the show in Wooster, Ohio. It's off to the races for the ewes & lambs in the morning!
Barb Originals - Mini Looms!
It wasn't as hot on Sunday as it was on Saturday & there was no rain in Wooster ... it made for a lot of fun checking out every building!
Say It With Sheep - Crib Full Of Sheep Dolls! 
Ursula's Alcove - Fabulous Felted Hats
"Books & Supplies For The Medieval & Fiber Enthusiast"
Pictures from Ursula's Alcove came out with too much glare, but what a great booth if you're into reenactment, patterns, & period fiber tools!
Champion Rambouillet Sheep - Auction Sale 
There were around 350 sheep in the shows on Saturday & the auction was held on Sunday --- I stopped in to see the Rambouillet sale, but wasn't buying this year!