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!