Friday, January 2, 2015

The Future Calls To Me....

2015
It will take me a while to grasp on to this.
(I just got used to dating things 2014...and now it changes!)

I am looking forward to this next year with such anticipation.
It's a year that is full of all sorts of family events...weddings and more!

The cold winter months are the perfect time to dream.
I find myself making lists and lists of everything I hope to accomplish in this new year.

It's that time of year when I start to peruse the seed catalogs that find their way into my mailbox
on almost a daily basis.
Every year I add a couple new varieties and decide which varieties to keep from previous years.
Along with several new varieties, this year I am adding...

photo courtesy of Pinterest
Mexican gherkin cucumbers.

I am going to make some improvements on the pumpkin patch...
and hopefully find an organic solution to squash beetles.



I will be ordering more packages of bees so that I can populate more hives this spring.
We lost our beekeeper...so I will once again resume my roll as head beekeeper.


This spring we will be rebuilding our tent in the woods.
You might remember that it collapsed under the weight of a heavy snowfall last winter.



Hubbs and I have been talking about adding new animals to the farm.
I will be adding new chicks in April. 
In the next few weeks I will decide what breeds to order.


Another plan for this year is to fence in the orchard next to the pigs' yard....

(The pirate ship stands at this end of the orchard...the pigs are beyond the trees to the left of the drive)
in order to house two of these...

photo courtesy of Pinterest
Babydoll Southdown sheep.
We have our name in on a list with a favorite breeder for two of this spring's lambs.
These adorable miniature sheep make perfect animals for the practice of permaculture.
In other words...they will graze in the orchard, fertilizing the trees, keeping the grass mown,
and yet not bothering the trees or fruit.
They will also make great companions for Ginger and MaryAnn.

Of course, the added benefit is that I can shear them each spring 
and have their wool to spin for yarn.
This will be a whole new adventure!
Over the next few months I will be reading and planning for these new friends.
Any advice on spinning would be greatly appreciated!

I have another completed knitting project to share with you...
and will be taking photos of it today.
I'll share on Monday.

Tomorrow I will share this week's photos captured by our game cameras.
I had moved the cameras to the woods surrounding our house...
so, it will be interesting to see who comes close to the house during the night.

Thanks so much for stopping!
Have a great weekend.

32 comments:

An American in Tokyo said...

Happy 2015!
Looking forward to hearing about all your new adventures!

Candice said...

Way too much cuteness going on with that picture of the little lamb! Can't wait for the new additions! Here's to a wonderful 2015 for you and your family!

colleen said...

Good morning. What seed catalogs do you mostly use to order seed from? We looked up a few yesterday and got put on the mailing list for them. That Babydoll is the sweetest!! Permaculture and wool I would call that a win win!

Anonymous said...

Oh.MY. Word. Those sheep......CUTE!!!! TerriC

Beverly Frankeny said...

Colleen, my favorite catalogs are Seedsavers.org, Territorial Seed Co., and Bakers Creek Heirloom seed co. I have also ordered from Gardens Alive, and The Cook's Garden. Once you are on one of their mailing lists, you will eventually be on all of them!

Beverly Frankeny said...

I know, I can hardly stand it! And they stay cute, even when they are big!

Heather said...

As someone who has spun for a long time and has spun wool off the fleece, I would suggest the following:

Fleece/Sheep:
-Wash the fleece before you spin it. Spinning in the grease makes a mess of everything and the finished yarn (in my opinion) never really feels clean enough.
-Wash your fleece in small batches. Washing a whole fleece at one time is a lot of work. Divide (grade) your fleece out by wool quality (you can find diagrams online for fleece grading) and then wash the fleece by the divided grades.
-Go watch someone shear several sheep at the same time - you'll learn a ton.
-If you can, hire someone to shear your sheep. Shearing looks cool and easy when you watch a pro do it. Even if you have to haul your sheep offsite to have it done. It's not anywhere as easy when you do it yourself. (You and your sheep will end up a bleeding, crying mess at least once.)

As for spinning:
-If you don't know how already, go take a class - it will help tons.
-If you can't find a class, start with a drop spindle. Learn how the wool behaves before you add the complication of a wheel.
-Once you understand how the fiber behaves, and you can spinn on a drop spindle, add the wheel. It will make more sense then.
-Don't just buy the cheapest wheel you can find or use the one that someone gave your or that belonged to some family member. Go to a shop and try a bunch of different wheels. Wheel choices are super personal and you'll find that you love spinning on one type/brand of wheel much better than all the others. Personally, I'm a Lendrum fan, but in general, I favor the castle style wheels.

Other than that, raising and spinning off your own animals is pretty cool. Your very first skein of yarn off your own animals is really cool!

Good Luck and have a ton of fun!

Beverly Frankeny said...

Thanks Candice...and to you, too!!

Beverly Frankeny said...

Oh yes, and Seeds of Change is another catalog that I like.

GeorgiaHoneyBee said...

Happy New Year! That baby sheep is toooooo cute! I'd love to have a couple of those myself.

I have a question about your pumpkin patch. I have planted a large one for two years now. I am a newbie gardner. The first year I planted a large patch with three varieties, and ended up getting two large pumpkins and several small pumpkins. Last year, I went wild, planted 250 seeds from six varieties and I only got one very small (VERY SMALL) anemic little pumpkin. What do you think my problem is? Am I planting too many varieties? Do you water your pumpkins? How often if so? Do you do anything special with them?

On your squash bug problem, last year I tried the duct tape method. It is time consuming, but poison free, and it really reduces the population. You take a small piece of duct tape, inspect the back of the squash and pumpkin leaves, and then when you see eggs or bugs, you touch the tape to them and remove them from the leaf. Wad up your duct tape and place it in a trash bag. If you do this once a day, you will see a BIG decline in the squash bug population!

Lynne said...

Oh my, I can't wait to meet the Babydoll Sheep . . .
Perfect addition . . .
Happy 2015 Beverly . . .

Anonymous said...

You remind me of a modern Tasha Tudor. These sheep look adorable and useful to keep the grass mowed. Years ago I wanted, really wanted one sheep for that reason, well town ordinance had other ideas!!! neighbors would not have approved!!!

Annie v.

Beverly Frankeny said...

Thanks so much, Heather!

Missy George said...

OMG...I see more cuteness coming to the farm...Those little sheep are adorable. I can't wait..Looks like you have your year pretty much planned out..No surprise there!!

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Ohhhh Baby Sheep!!! I know - Lambs!!!
Your "tent" brings back so many memories ---
In the 60's - I would be sent to Girl Scout camp for 2 weeks every summer!!
We would live in platform "tents" just like this - 4 cots/4 girls in every tent - our trunk under the cot - mosquito nets on poles over our cots - used out-houses - only cold showers (summer in Fla., felt good). Camp Chowenwaw ! Wonderful memories!!!
Have a fantastic New Year Beverly- I don't post much, but look forward to your blog daily!!

Carla said...

Lovely plans for the new year!
Maybe you could let your new chicks have day trips to the pumpkin patch to eat all the squash bugs? Win-win?

daisy g said...

Ooooh, so much to look forward to! That means that we your readers also have so much to look forward to! Yippee! So exciting to see the new additions to your crew!

Junebug said...

Happy New Year!! I can't wait for Spring! I will be unemployed and I have so many plans. Yep, you tell your employer you are going to retire this coming summer and they decided to just lay you off. Truly it will be a blessing after getting over being devoted to a job and then they just discard you like dirt!

Babydoll sheep, OHHH I'm in love! Can't wait for the new tales of these tails! As for me a few more chicks and improved gardening boxes. Hugs!!

Beverly Frankeny said...

Oh, Carla, if only it were so easy. Chickens will decimate a pumpkin crop in a heartbeat....peck, peck, pecking away at the juicy flesh of those young pumpkins. No, the fence stays....back to the drawing board for the beetles!!

Beverly Frankeny said...

Suzan...you are welcome to re-live your camp days in our tent!!!

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Happy New Year, Beverly! What a beautiful post... Such great photos, I love your gate, and that lamb is absolutely adorable... What an inspiration... I can't wait till spring so I can see your new little lambs.
I hope your year is filled with joy.
fondly,
Penny

jaz@octoberfarm said...

this is all sooo exciting! it almost makes me excited about spring. but i really need some winter first! i can't wait to see the new hood!

Diane C said...

Oooh, I love sheep and these look like real little beauties! Can't wait to see and hear all about them!

Denny144 said...

You should check out one of the other blogs I read, kris-outbackfarm.blogspot.com, as she has raised sheep and recently started spinning her own yarn. I think she went off to a school to learn how to use her wheel. She's in the southern US, not Australia.

deodar said...

Have you tried diotomaceous earth for the squash bugs? I use a sifter/sieve type thing and sprinkle the vines. It helps a lot.

Country Gal said...

Oh ya new animals WOOHOO ! we had sheep on our farm that we would shear their wool and my mum had an old spinning wheel and as I carded the wool she would then spin it , oh those were the days ! Lovely photos and plans here's to another good year of fun and adventure ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good weekend !

Beverly Frankeny said...

Your comment could not have come at a better time! I had actually thought of D.E. and was going to research using that. You saved me a little research time. Thanks so much!!!! I will definitely try that.

whoFilets said...

Oh my gosh! Yay, little lambs!

colleen said...

Gardens Alive and The Cook's Garden are two of the ones we sent for. Will look into the others you mentioned too. Thanks.

Terra said...

You have great plans for 2015; the lambs will be cuties, and those Mexican gherkin cukes appeal to me to plant. Pigs, bees, tent in the woods, it is looking good.

deodar said...

I also turn my chickens into the garden after everything is harvested. I think they take care of a lot of the ones hiding in there as well as turning over the mulch.

Abby Frances said...

I LOVE Babydoll sheep! I think they are just the cutest things ever and I am so excited to hear you will be adding them to your farm. Can't wait for the many fun adventures. Happy New Year!

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