Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cabin Fever? Consider Fiber Fridays


I am thoroughly enjoying the slower pace of winter, though I'm not wild about the extreme cold we've been enduring. I've worked a bit on decluttering, though there's plenty more to work on. I've read a few books. I've spent time weaving and crocheting. I've spent some time doing things that refresh me and contribute to long-term health.

But I hear some rumblings that winter is not widely-enjoyed by the rest of the general public. Something about cabin fever. Mutterings about endless white and cold. Some have escaped to warmer climates for a few days or a few weeks.

If you're stuck here in the great white north and need to get out of the house and do something different, why not come to our Fiber Fridays? We'll hold these each Friday from 10 - 4, until the work of the farm ramps up in the spring.

Bring your wheel or spindle or table loom or needles and hang out in our studio. We'll have water/tea/hot cocoa/coffee available, and there is a Subway nearby if you need something more substantial at lunch time. Come whenever you want between 10 and 4. We'll be working in the studio during this time, so you'll have company. And the on-farm shop will be open from 1 - 4 pm each Friday.

Post below or email me at using the green button in the left sidebar if you have any questions...

Monday, February 23, 2015

Winter Bean Stew

Sometimes you just want something hearty in the deep, dark cold of winter.


Soak and cook Jacob's Cattle beans. Yes, you can use another kind. When they are fully cooked, drain and discard all but 1 cup of broth.


Chop carrots and cook in saucepan. Drain.


Chop veggies. Yes you can vary these, based on what you have on hand.

Cook bacon in pan (use your imagination for this--someone forgot to take a photo). Remove bacon from pan, reserving some bacon grease in pan.


Sauté veggies in bacon grease until soft.



Combine all ingredients together and place in a slow cooker for a couple of hours just to combine flavors.



Winter Bean Stew:

1/2 pound Jacob's Cattle Beans, cooked
1/4 pound bacon, cooked
1 small onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp. rubbed sage
2 tsp. salt

Cook beans in saucepan following directions on bag; drain, reserving 1 cup broth. Cook carrots in water in saucepan until soft; drain. Cook bacon in fry pan; removed from pan, reserving 2 Tbsp. bacon grease. Sauté onion, pepper, celery and garlic in fry pan until soft. Combine drained beans, sautéed and cooked veggies and spices in slow cooker and cook on low for 2 hours to combine flavors. Serves 4-6. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Cast Ewe



The Farmer went out to check on the sheep this morning and found a cast ewe. From sheep101.com:

A sheep that has rolled over onto its back is called a "cast" sheep. It may not be able to get up without assistance. This happens most commonly with short, stocky sheep with full fleeces on flat terrain. Heavily pregnant ewes are most prone. Cast sheep can become distressed and die within a short period of time if they are not rolled back into a normal position. When back on their feet, they may need supported for a few minutes to ensure they are steady. 

This ewe fits the bill on all counts: short and stocky breed, full-fleeced, and heavily pregnant.

Apologies for the poor quality of the photo. It's hard to take good quality pictures in the darkness of the barn, even when you are not in a hurry to right a cast ewe.

The good news is that she is fine. When telling me about this cast ewe, The Farmer said: "Roll them over and watch them run." We have not always had this good ending. It's harder on them in the hot summer sun. That's why it's important to check on sheep regularly.

Monday, February 2, 2015

We Have News!



Lambing season 2015 has begun! A first-time mom, with her twins--a ram lamb and a ewe lamb.

We really didn't expect lambs for a couple more days, but yesterday a real humdinger of a weather system moved through, and it seems that atmospheric pressure (or just plain bad weather) makes those babies want to come. These were born this morning.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Shearing Day 2015



We will host our Annual Shearing Day on Saturday, March 7th, from 9 am - 3 pm (come and go as you wish). Our farm is located at 13275 Blair Street, Holland, Michigan. We will be shearing our Polypay sheep that day, and our open house is geared toward folks who want to see shearing on a working farm and learn more about wool production. This event is free.

Fiber artists will demonstrate their work, and wool products (roving, yarn, etc.) will be available to purchase in our little on-farm shop.

The open house is suitable for families and folks of all ages, though very small children sometimes are bothered by the noise and smells of a sheep barn. Wear old clothing and dress warmly--we shear in a barn.

For blog posts and photos about other years' shearing days, click here.

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