Farm Stories, Saturday December 4, 2021

New Addition

With holiday season in full swing, things here have become more varied. Last Friday saw the arrival of a new member of the farm team. We're very excited she's here. Asha wasn't sure she really wanted to be here. In fact I know she didn't. She doesn't really want to be near people at all. In fact, neither Tim or I even really saw what she looked like until this week. Well, Asha is a gorgeous girl. After her first week, she is still hissing at me (although it's half hearted now), but will accept food from my hand willingly and even come out of her heated bed to eat in front of me. The past 3 nights she's had the run of the milkhouse and today, Saturday, she has the milkhouse during the day. I have no doubt she will be an excellent employee!

Asha, the new barn cat.

 

She may not even be happy to see us, but she'll always accept us filling her dish full of food. This will hopefully work out as our last barn cat, Finnegan, is now firmly a house cat. Asha is a rescue form an unmanaged feral colony. She was rescued and vetted by a rescue group close by in Mount Forest. Originally Asha was in a larger group of cats and kittens. Being an adult without kittens she wasn't able to be rehomed. She's content to be on her own - she's the perfect barn cat.

 

Permaculture Chores

Cutting fence lines is a big part of this time of year. It's much easier to do when there is no long grass or running tree sap to contend with. Appearances aren't important when dealing with fences and driveways. It's function over form. Trimming back branches from the strands of electric fence means that next year the fence is more powerful. Each piece of foliage saps a little bit of energy away form the fence. Enough little touches eventually renders the fence useless, and the sheep and dogs can walk through it, into areas where they can be harmed.
harvesting greens
Some branches touching the top strand of the fences.
A bunch of branches ready for greenery bundles.

The best looking parts of each branch are made into greenery bundles for the holidays. Each bundle is made up of spruce, pine, willow, and dogwood. If there is cedar on the fences, there can be a little cedar too. Make up of the bundles depends where on the fence lines I am that week.  Some of the willow comes from our test willow coppice. We sell them through Dufferin Grove Farmer's market as well as our own online store. The parts of the conifer branches that aren't nice enough to go into the bundles get fed to the sheep. They love them this time of year. Nothing goes to waste!
Farm Woolens
A project that has been in the back of my mind for months finally became reality. Far past my bed time one night I decided to re-warp my little floor loom. Not being too large it didn't take too long. Instead of using linen or cotton, I used some of my own handspun farm yarn. I'd been itching to try this for a long time. I'd already made some pure wool cloth on a small table-top tapestry loom and it worked well. Once washed it made a very nice fabric which was used as a base for the Pennannular pin. The floor loom is a bit more challenging. The warp yarn is a thin, single yarn and the reed is a bit small for the diameter of the yarn. I suspect this will cause a lot of grief as the friction from the reed moving back and forth will wear the warp yarn, causing it to break. I guess I'll learn how to fix broken warp thread. Once the cloth is ready, it will once again be a backing for Lilly Fire Forges Pennannular Shawl Pin.


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