Save The Date! May 26th & 27.
That'll Do Farm will be vending at the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster over Memorial weekend.
Come see us in the Flying Pig Fibers & Friends booth. We're the friends. My friend Stacey (aka knitter extraordinaire) is the Flying Pig Fibers.
We'll have raw fleece from alpacas, mohair goats, Romedale/CVM sheep and Navajo-Churro sheep. We'll also have beautiful art batts, alpaca yarn, alpaca socks made from our own animals, rug hooking wool and much more.
This is our first year vending at this show and we are very excited. If you've not been to this show, you really should put it on your calendar. It's small compared to the big-daddy shows like Maryland or New York, but there is a nice selection of vendors.
It's your chance to find local yarn and we know that I'm a bit nuts about sourcing things locally.
After visiting the show, stop by Local Roots in Wooster to see more locally created fiber products at the Ohio Natural Fiber Network's booth within the artist's section of the store. Wooster is a hot-bed of locally produced fiber and food and as long as you're in the neighborhood, you should check it out.
Hope to see you at the show.
Yesterday, I showed you some of my favorite rugs from this year's Ohio Rug Camp. I loved them all for different reasons. Some for the colors. Some for the subject. Some because I know the hookers who made them and saw the work behind them.
But this rug I love because I know I would never have the patience or talent to hook it.
Look at the details, dimension and percpective in this rug. Objects at the bottom are bigger and smaller at the top. Teeny tiny cows and sheep are at the top. Do you know how hard it is to hook teeny tiny animals and still make them look like animals! I'm amazed.
Check out how life-like this tree is. This is truely painting with wool. And the folds on the flag at the bottom of the picture. It really takes an artists eye to see the folds, let alone hook them.
The flowers behind the fence. The beard on the guy in front of the fence. The more I looked at this rug, the more in awe I became.
But when I noticed that the boy and the dog had shadows, it was over for me.
I sincerely doubt that I would have the patience or eye to hook a rug like this. I think I'd better stick to primitives -- no shading, no shadows, no details. But those pine trees keep calling me. I may have to head to the dark side and learn how to do this.
Here are the details on the rug, which was hooked by Cindi Gay.
Cindi is an Ohio gal. And Pemberville isn't too farm from me. I feel a class in my future!
I played hooky from the farm today. It was rug show day at the near-by Ohio Rug Camp and I felt it was my duty to attend. Last year, I was lucky enough to be a student at the camp, but it was not to be this year. I consoled myself by shopping and buying wool for a new rug. I feel much better now.
The rug show was fabulous. This rug was hooked by Barbara Lindh in the same class I was in last year. Why I remember it when it was just an infant rug, in the color-planning stage. It grew up just fine. The pattern is Hearts Abound by Bob Lindh for House of Price.
This rug was hooked by Liz King of Wigglebottom Farmouse. She, too, was in the same class as I was last year so I've known this rug since it was a baby. It's wonderful to see it all grown up.
This might be my favorite rug of the whole show. I can't tell you why -- it just speaks to me.
It is called Hidden in the Ivy and was designed by Primitive Grace, hooked by Patti Tubbs.
Two people hooked Canadian artist Deanne Fitzpatrick's patterns. This one is Maritime Love, hooked by Judi Sadler.
And this one is Peaked Roofs and Poppies, hooked by Jill Welsh.
I've never hooked a Deanne Fitzpatrick pattern, but I'm anxious to try. She uses bright colors and hooks in a more random way -- this is going to be a stretch for me!
I love the pumpkins in this rug. They are short and squat, which is just perfect for a pumpkin. Not so good for humans, but it works for gourds.
Here's the whole rug, which is called Tom Turkey, designed by Bev Conway and hooked by Cheryl Peterson.
This fun rug was designed and hooked by Kris Miller of Spruce Ridge Studios. Kris was my teacher at last year's camp and she is excellent. If you ever have a chance to take one of her classes, do it. You won't regret it.
Check out how she used quilling to make the eyes on this owl, and also how she needled felted his nose. Never in a million years would I have thought of that . . . and that's why Kris is good! She does think of these things.
The expression on the cat's face is priceless. She used beading to make his teeth and needle felted his whiskers. The outline around him certainly gives him that electric shock look.
I have more pictures to show you tomorrow, including a rug that I find incredible. But now, I'm off to cut my new wool purchases and start hooking another rug. As long as I'm playing hookey, I'm going to play all day.
Life on the farm is fun and exciting. But some days, a girl's just got to cut loose and do something else. Something that is fun and doesn't involve fiber, animals or gardens. For me, that something is riding my bike.
Here's my baby. She's not beautiful, but I love her anyway. She takes me places I want to go. And judging from this picture of her tires, where I want to go apparently is through the mud.
About a month ago, I made the decision to run all my local errands by bike. We live in a nice, bike-able town. Why was I taking my car down the road a mile or so to go to the library or to pick up a half gallon of milk. It was wasteful -- and also waist-full. So I dusted off my trusty steed and started riding more.
Ms. Steed needs to be tricked out a bit -- fenders would be nice so I don't look like a skunk, and a rack on the back would be good, too.
For those errands that require me carrying things in something other than a backpack, I pull out another ride in our stable.
This baby is enough to make my daughter hide her head in shame. It has a mirror (how could I!) and a pack on the back (what was I thinking!) And to make matters worse, last week I rode it to her high school with a fruit salad strapped to the back. (Not just for fun. I don't normally ride around with cut up fruit -- not my idea of a good time. I was supplying the pit orchestra with dessert.) That did it. I have confirmed my status as head nerd.
All this riding around town should prepare me for a challenge I've signed up for. In a "what-was-I-thinking" moment, I signed up to ride the Pedal to the Point -- a 2-day, 150 mile fundraising ride in early August. The ride benefits the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Are you up for a challenge? Come ride with me! Are you thinking there is no way in h-e double hockey sticks that you're going to put your bucket on a bike seat and ride for two days, I understand that too. I may understand that more than anybody actually wanting to ride with me!
If you'd like to help me reach my fundraising goal, you can do so here.
I'm seeing many more people on bikes than I have in the past. I don't know if its the $4 a gallon gas prices, the knowledge that biking is good for you, or the wish to save the planet, but I think it's a good trend. Now we must do all we can do to get rid of ugly, spandex bike shorts.
Spring is here. It is a study in contrasts. Blooming flowers and grey vegetation. Soon it will be all green. But for now, it is both.
A Border collie that is happy to be outside all day, yet appears to stick his tongue out at you.
Sheep that are curious, yet try to hide behind trees.
And a guard llama that appears to be interested in you, until you approach him.
Then he is all attitude and aloofness.
Yes, Spring is like that -- presenting one thing while another thing lies close, underneath the surface.
Soon it will be Summer and just one thing - hot. So we are enjoying each and every day of Spring. Hope you are too.
As we near the end of March, we are thinking vegetables here at the farm. A whole summer's worth of vegetables. Our CSA sign-ups are in full swing and today our members will receive their first newsletter outling what they can expect in the coming season.
We have been receiving so many calls and e-mails from people new to the produce CSA model that I thought I would share with you the first member newsletter of the season. Those of you that are on the fence about joining, maybe this will clear up some of your questions. Maybe it will raise more questions!
But either way, don't hesitate to contact us if you need more information.
That'll Do Farm's 2012 Produce CSA Newsletter
Welcome members! We're happy you've chosen That'll Do Farm as your vegetable farm.
The 2012 season is off to a great start. We've been thrilled with the recent 70 and 80 degree days before our current, more Spring-like temperatures returned. This warm weather, and especially the wind, have helped dry up our fields. Those of you who were with us last year know how badly rain affected our growing season. From a farmer's point of view, last year was as bad as bad could get -- with the exception of locusts and hundred year floods, of course.
But this year is already much better. Some lettuce is in, along with the beets and radishes. The onions are set to go in this weekend. The garlic looks like it made it through our unusual Winter. At this time last year, we could take a small boat out to the fields, but actually working in them was out of the question.
This all means we will be shooting to start our 17-week season the fourth week of May. We will keep you updated on the exact week as the season progresses. Note that pick-up days have changed from last year. This year, you have the option of either picking up at the farm on Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. or on Thursday at our Bay Village home from 5 to 7 p.m. We changed from the Friday/Saturday pick-up of last year because of member's busy weekend schedules. Who wants to pick up veggies on Friday before heading out of town for the weekend or stop the Saturday chores to go get vegetables. This should be more convenient.
"What are you growing this year?"is the number one question we hear. The answer is: a variety of leaf lettuces and arugula, garlic, potatoes, onions, beets, radishes, turnips, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers (not as many hot as last year!), tomatillos, a variety of summer squash and winter squash, eggplant, Swiss chard, kale, culinary herbs, spinach and parsnips. Don't worry, you'll receive recipes each week to help you figure out what to do with a vegetable that might be new to you. Also, from time-to-time, expect eggs, honey, blueberries, beans, and perhaps pumpkin or two.
New this year, we're going to try growing Batavian lettuce. This is a head-type lettuce that is much more heat tolerant. We'd love to be able to have lettuce in your boxes each and every week. We're hoping this variety delivers for us.
Save the Date! CSA members, mark Saturday, September 29th on your calendar. This is the date of our members-only potluck picnic. 6 p.m. At the farm. Bring the family and a dish to share. Tour your farm. See where and how your veggies were grown. Visit with the animals. Say hi to the bees. Toast a s'more or two around the campfire. Watch the stars come out. I'm sure a good time will be had by all as we wind down the season and head into fall.
We have many other exciting things to tell you about as our season unfolds.
We will be accepting a limited number of members until May 1st, or until we're full -- which ever comes first. Still have questions? Give me a call at 440-829-3644 or e-mail me at produceCSA@aol.com I'd be happy to welcome you into our wonderful world of weekely, farm-fresh vegetables.
It was a busy weekend for the humans at That'll Do Farm. The animals had the weekend off. They got to stand around eating hay and sipping water while their people were out and about.
Saturday was the monthly meeting of the Ohio Natural Fiber Network. The Network is a group of fiber producers from around the state that get together to promote locally grown fibers. Our goal is to make people aware that they can find a huge selection of Ohio born-and-raised fiber right here in their own backyard. Imported yarns are indeed beautiful and sometimes irresistible, but if one out of every five yarn purchases could be from a local fiber farmer, think of the amount of dollars that would stay in the local economy. I know I get preachy about local food and fiber, but it is something I belive in with my whole heart.
Nina Winchester of Cross Wind Farm & Fiber in Berlin Center is raising Pygora goats. She made this beautiful vest from the fiber of one of her goats.
Not only is Nina a talented goat herder, but man can she create a beautiful garment! It is delicate, yet sturdy. Lightweight, yet warm. And soft as soft can be.
Linn Parise of Top Notch Alpacas in Madison is modeling for us. My apologies to Linn. It appears I was unable to get a picture of her with her eyes open. We are lucky she has enough personal style to carry off this vest with or without her eyes open!
Nina also brought some of her handspun yarn, including some royal blue-ish Shetland yarn. I'm normally not a blue person, but that skein is calling me big time. I rationally tell myself I need more yarn like I need another hole in my head, but then all that rational thought flies out one of those holes and I'm pretty sure that blue yarn is going to be mine!
This month's meeting was at Criation Station Alpaca Farm in Oberlin. Farm owner Marcee Stephenson, yet another talented fiber artist, showed us some of her gossamer-like scarves.
And her needle felted soaps. I especially loved the acorn version.
I'm also a fan of her felted coasters. Now if only I could get the dogs to put their drinking glasses down on the bone-shaped one.
Farmer Gal Marilyn spent her Saturday at the Camelid Health Conference in Columbus.She came back with her head swimming with information. Farmer Gal is one of those people that "gets it" when it comes to science-like lectures on animal care. They would make my eyes roll back into my head, but I think our animals are very grateful they have Farmer Gal on their side!
Sunday on the farm was filled with gardening classes.
We had seed starters and lasagna gardeners. Our next gardening class will be tomatoes on April 22, followed by Gardening for Birds, Bees and Butterflies on the 29th and Composting on May 20th.
I think one of our lasagna gardening students would rather be a chicken farmer than a produce farmer!
In my humble opinion, everybody needs a sheep. A sheep to call one's own. Here's mine:
(picture from www.spudandchloe.com)
Almost a year ago, I purchased this fabulous book by author Susan B. Anderson, but only a day or two ago did I finally decide to knit something from it. And I had to start with the star of the show, the Mr. Spud.
If I'm going to be a fiber farmer, then by golly I'm going to knit fiber animals, like Spud. And chickens, too. We have chickens so I knit chickens. And the dog. Same thing: have a dog, knit a dog. And the hay bales. And the barn. Oh, heck, I'm just going to knit the whole darn barnyard.
It took me a few attempts to get the hang of making Spud's curls.
But now that I have figured it out, I am knitting at lightning speed . . . for me. Which is turtle pace for most humans.
It's a fun little project that, once you get to the fuzzy part of the sheep, is easy to do without constantly checking the pattern.
Next up from this book, the farm dog pattern. It is done in brown and black, but in honor of the border collies at the farm, I will make it in black and white.
I would hightly recommend making yourself a sheep. These eat a lot less than the big ones we have in the pasture and there is no clean-up. That is a winning combination.
It's time to kick up our heels a bit. That young man, who was born at the farm last summer, is a winner!
Farmer Gal took "Mr. Big" to Columbus last weekend for the "Best of the U.S. Alpaca Show" and he promptly took first place in his class.
"Ahh, shucks," he said. "It was nothing." Any alpaca with outstanding fleece and wonderful confirmation could have done it.
You can read more about Mr. Big and all the other alpacas on the farm at Open Herd.
Needless to say, you are more than welcome to come out to the farm to visit Mr. Big and his barn-mates. We'll even show you his blue ribbon!
It's a beautiful day on the farm. Sunny. 75 degrees. No wind. And it's only March 17th. Today should be filled with slushy snow showers and howling wind. At least that's how I remember the St. Patrick's days of my youth.
The chickens are happy.
They have worms to discuss and gardens to explore.
It was a great day to get more hay and throw it up in the loft. Notice that that is not me climbing into the loft. I leave that for the real farmer-types.
It was a great day to check on the garlic. It's a little further along than expected, but that has to do with the nice, warm weather were having.
We thought earlier in the year we had lost it to soggy ground, but we are quite happy to discover that is not the case.
It was a day to check on the bee hives. Mike, Michael and Fred (not the goat Fred, the human Fred, after whom the goat is named) made the long, soggy trek to the hives.
Moose did too, but he stopped along the way to play. Ball. Ball. Ball. Ball.
Hive inspection took a good hour or more, starting with a good smoking.
Most bees are present and accounted for. We did loose one hive over the Winter and will need to replace it soon.
This hive is quite active and making brood -- that is a very good thing.
The daffodils are getting ready to bloom.
The paths are greening up.
And all is right with the world.