Monday, December 27, 2010

2011 Calendars are here!

Howdy folks!  Hope everyone had a merry Christmas and were able to visit with family!  Me, I'm just glad its all over and am bracing myself for the weight loss commercials.  Maybe they'll movtivate me this year....or not.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I'm home relishing a day off to get some much needed chores and spinning done.  Family is scattered this year so I'm enjoying the day with my sheep and dogs.

Since it was supposed to be a cold windy day, I'd decided to stay in and spin for the most part.  So I started spinning some roving that Caryn just got back from the mill, its a blend of pygora and BFL lambs wool. 

Then I decided to wash up some dishes, tidy up the kitchen take out the trash.  When I'm outside putting the trash in the bin, I realize it would be a good time to move the breeders into the area that I'd electronetted off a month or so ago so they could eat on that.  The grass in the main pasture is getting pretty sparse.  It would also give me the opportunity to let the ram lambs and goats out into another electronetted area that I can't put them in when the breeders are in the main pasture because the rams are too close and tend to try to get at each other.  Complicated I know, breeding time is always a challenge keeping everyone separated and happy.

I get everyone in their proper place and then think, might as well bring hay over to the garden for the ram lambs and goats so I don't have to do it later in the day.  So I fire up the tractor, load up some hay and take it over to the lambing shed in the garden.

New/old hay feeder and new "Tack Shack" in the background freshly painted.

Then I think, its a good time to set up the new (well, old but new to me) hay feeder in the pond pasture while the breeders are out so I don't have to worry about them getting in my way.  So I load up the tractor with more hay and drag the new feeder into the pasture and put it together.  This requires WD-40, a wrench and some muscle power as the bolts are a bit on the rusty side.  I get that done, drag the other hay feeder over and split a bale of our beautiful green alfalfa hay (thank you Tim & Terry!!) into both feeders and stand back and admire my work.  The sheep will be thrilled when I let them back in this evening.

I put the tractor back in the barn, tools back in the shed and go back to the house.  I walk in and look over at the trash can that sits empty in the middle of the kitchen floor and realize that this all began with me taking out the trash lol.  Does that ever happen to you?  You think you're going to take a quick detour to do a minor task and end up spending hours doing "minor tasks"?  This is exactly how the horses got out because I left a gate open to go do a minor task. 

I'll leave you with some sunset pics I took a couple of evenings ago.  And yes, I am obsessed with sunrises and sunsets and yes you will see lots of pictures of them, I can't' help myself.

Happy Thanksgiving from DreamCatcher Farm!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beautiful afternoon

I took the camera around with me as I did chores this afternoon.  I'm not a "camera toter" but I'm trying to take it more often.  Never fails there is always a photo op when I don't have it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Join our NEW Fiber CSA!!

Welcome everyone! We are very excited to announce that we are going to be starting our very own FIBER CSA!! How cool is that?! We're still working through all the details but I wanted to let you know and I wanted to get feedback from those that might be interested in purchasing shares. If you're not familiar with how a CSA works, let me give you an explanation.


More commonly CSAs (community supported agriculture) are produce or meat oriented. You purchase a share or sometimes a 1/2 share, and periodically (time frame depends on the CSA) you receive a "share" of the harvest. As a shareholder, you also take the risk with the farmer or rancher. For example with produce, if there was an early (or late) frost and a crop is lost, you loose out on that harvest or the harvest might be smaller that year. It goes the other direction too though, if there is a bountiful crop, your share is larger.

Handspun yarn from DreamCatcher sheep
Same with wool clips (the wool harvest is called a "clip"), some years will be better than others. That's why its called "community supported" because your are helping the farmer/rancher/shepherd with your investment in the farm. You're also celebrating the rebirth of small farms where animals are still treated with respect and dignity and you know exactly where your fiber is coming from and how it is raised.


A few years ago a very creative woman named Susan Gibbs decided to start the first fiber CSA. Since then the idea has been growing and is becoming very popular for those of us running "sheep spas" (IOW we're not making ends meet). We're not in this to get rich (we do however covet new barns and farm machinery :)and we simply love our sheep, fiber and life in the country. We want to be able to share this with you, our future shareholders!

Some CSAs request a small investment of labor each season. We will not require it but we certainly encourage you to give it a try. Everyone that comes out to the farm to help out, has a good time even if they are covered in sheep doo :). There is nothing like good honest hard work in the fresh air, it is very regenerative!
Bridget feeling refreshed after some of that hard work!
We are still working out what exactly will be offered for each share so if you're interested, please let me know and pass along any thoughts you might have.

I can tell you with each share, extra goodies will be offered as well as:
1) yearly Shearing Day
2) Lamb Open House
3) Fall Fiber Days
4) An open invitation (by appt) to come tour the farm and see your fiber and the sheep it grows on!

Skirting freshly shorn fleeces

We're a short 50 minute drive north of Kansas City and 2.5 hours south of Des Moines.  A B&B is available close by as well as beautiful campsites at Wallace State Park if you are interested in a weekend in the country and helping out on the farm.

I hope you are as excited about this as we are! More details will be coming shortly so check back often!


I am woman hear me roar!

Bridget walking with the sheep

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pygora Cuties

Well, we did it, we now have 2 of the cutest little pygora goats in the whole world.  OK, so we might be a bit biased but they are pretty darned cute.  We actually ended up getting a little doe kid instead of 2 wethers.  The little brown boy we had initally purchased, developed coccidia after he was weaned and unfortunately didn't make it.  We were very sad to hear about this but were told there were several others that we could choose from to get as a companion to the cream colored wether named Thomas.  When we arrived, Joan had a couple of billies for us to look at but I really didn't want a billy.  So Bridget decided to go with the darling little doe named Megan.  She has beautiful fiber so I'm pleased as punch.  As Bridget said on the way home "this way if we decide to breed her, we can, if not we don't have to."  I looked at her and said "you KNOW we're going to breed her!", we're suckers for baby goats.  She's too young this year so she'll get to lounge around with Thomas for a year and after she's around 18-24 mos, we'll more than likely take her back to Joan for breeding.  Right now we have them in the "garden" next to the lambing shed with Julian and Sammie who are 2010 ram lambs seperated from the breeding ewes while breeding takes place (Teddy pulled the long straw for that this year :).  I went out to get some pics of them this beautiful fall brace yourself for a dose of cuteness!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall at DreamCatcher Farm

I woke up this morning to a cool gentle breeze blowing through the bedroom. The curtains were lightly billowing and I could hear the birds chirping in the old cedar. Its been very dry for the past several weeks but we got a bit of rain yesterday and the air is much more humid today. Normally I hate humidity but this feels good and it felt very fallish.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ram lambs for sale

We've been busy around the farm the past couple of weeks. Finally had time (made time) to get some more recent pictures of the remaining 2 ram lambs we have for sale this year so I wanted to get them posted for those that are interested.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Notes from the City Woman...

Jen has written wonderful rural inspired updates on Dreamcatcher. I thought it was time to give an update from the rural impaired member.

I can now use the lawn mower without supervision. Didn’t know how to do that until Jen taught me. I of course can’t fix it but let’s be realistic.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Saturday to dye for...

Last Saturday a good friend of mine arranged a wonderful get together with a newcomer to our area. Joan Bennett and her family moved to beautiful NW Missouri from Pennsylvania last fall (and love it so far...even with this horrid humidity!). Joan and her daughter Mary are an experienced shepherdess' (sp?) and fiber artists and generously opened their home to us and shared their experience with dyeing wool. How excited I was to go have fun with friends and wool and meet some new neighbors! It isn't often I have time for such luxuries so I wasn't about to pass this up.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A New Addition

I swore I wouldn't do it. Get a cat that is. With 6 dogs around, at least 3 of which are not fond of cats, it would be suicide for a cat to live here. Nobody told that to this stray kitten that showed up about a month ago.

I first saw her on a Saturday evening just after the sun had set. I actually heard her first and followed the desperate meows. The closer I got, the more vicious the meows got so I decided to play it safe and see if the cat was still there in the morning.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Laziness always comes back to bite ya...

Today I had mowing to finish up, had left the trimming until the morning knowing it would be a bit cooler. Got that done and decided to finally jump start the truck and take the branches that had been in the bed (for a while) back to the branch dump in the back pasture. Got that done and decided it was time to try out the brush hog in the back pasture after seeing how overgrown it was getting.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lamb Pictures!

OK, I finally had time to sit down and post some lamb pics!

This would be the thistle patch on the south side of the "pond" (it rarely holds water). We've battled these thistles for 3 years and I'm determined to destroy them this year. Apparently the lambs have decided to help out :). They had just finished with a round of lamb races around the pond bank so they needed some snacks. We're going to try and get a video of the the lamb races and post it here soon!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The creep is....creepy!

One of the frustrating things each lambing season is the creep feeder. A creep feeder is made for the lambs to have access to grain in an area where the ewes can't enter. The ewes would eat until bursting whereas the lambs will just nibble so they can have 24/7 access to grain without any concerns.

I don't have a commercially made creep feeder, I just create one each year. And it evolves each year, a change here a change there. Not too many changes this year, same entrance panel, same part of the lambing pen. I did use the hay feeder as part of the perimeter which is new. Thats something I call lazy creativity :).

Devil lambs

Well, my glee over Cybil’s milk was short lived. It looks like I'm going to have to supplement her girls, Alice and Flo. I hadn't fed them bottles since, oh it was Sunday sometime, midday maybe and yesterday afternoon they were about to take my leg off if I didn't give them a bottle. They didn't look emaciated but not full either. They're like baby birds, touch their heads and immediately turn upwards searching for nourishment.

They both sucked down 10 ozs pretty quick (and then waddled away) so more than likely Cyb isn't producing quite enough for them. I have to say, she looks quite smug while they're nursing on her. Its almost as if she's saying, "so there you bi#ch, I can feed them too!". She always looked very resentful when we were bottle feeding them and would actually come over and nudge their butts while they were sucking on the bottle.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lambing is over!! April 17, 2010 (Jen)

Today Pewter gave us 2 absolutely beautiful lambs!! We’ve really been hoping for a grey lamb from her but she’s always given us black. We’d always bred her to Roark before so we bred her to Michael this year. Looks like that did the trick! The first was a very striking little grey and black ewe lamb, we couldn’t believe our luck!

Lambing Update – April 14, 2010 (Jen)

Our lambing season is just about over. It started tragically and has had a few bumps in the road but overall, its been a pretty good lamb crop and I’m pleased with what we’ve gotten from our girls!

On Wednesday (03/24/2010), Aliza lambed while I was at work. She had triplets and it was a cold rainy day and I had yet to remove Bella (the new guardian pup) from the lambing shed. I got home to find one already dead, another struggling and one doing ok. I got Aliza in a jug with her healthy ewe lamb, removed the dead ewe lamb and took the struggling ram lamb into the house to warm him and tube him. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it. Not a good start to the lambing season. Thankfully her remaining lamb, Emma, is a ewe and has very nice blue markings. Only thing I can gather that happenend is Aliza was so worried about Bella, who was obviously very stimulated by the lambing fluids and newborn lambs, that she didn't get 2 of the lambs properly cleaned off. The one I tried to save was very chilled and I couldn't seem to warm him no matter what I did. I'll never know exactly what happened but all the lambs appeared healthy and there were no marks on them.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Preparing for lambing March 2010

Finally, there are signs of spring around us, some good some not so good. Since we had RECORD setting snow falls this winter, you can imagine our mud situation. I called my brother yesterday to chat and he was in the middle of pulling a cow out of the mud…for the 3rd time. Thankfully, no stuck sheep. Yet. Poor Ollie is miserable though, he is one prissy Pyranees! He literally tiptoes thru wet ground and its hilarious to watch him prepare to jump over the mini ponds all over the place. You can forget mud, I don’t think he’d walk thru it even for a steak. Bella and Willie obviously don’t like it but they will at least walk thru it if necessary. The house dogs (Fynn, Sophie and Nora) of course don’t mind mud in the least. No, of course they don’t mind it. That would be why I’m hauling dogs to the bathtub every evening after they’ve wallowed in it all afternoon. After Nora helped me feed hay and move sheep on Sunday, I think it took 30 minutes of continuous spraying before the water ran (mostly) clear off of her. Amazing how much mud a BC rough coat can hold. Smooth coated BCs from here on out!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Peeew!! (Jen)

Ollie got skunked. I knew it would happen eventually, guess I should be thankful its one of the LGDs (livestock guardian dogs) instead of a Border collie (which lives in the house...unless it gets skunked).