Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
My dear friend Megan is working with some of the alpaca fiber from the April shearing. We are really excited to see her finished product - a scarf that a co-worker has commissioned.
Megan has a studio in Boston and does fantastic knitting projects in addition to her day job.
I am hoping to commission a wrap or shawl from her with some of Manny's fiber.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
After much anticipation, our fiber arrived! Jer's parents brought it to Manhattan and we finally got to see how the processed fiber looked in yarn and roving.
We have all neutral colors - all natural. The colors range from Scout's dark brown to Manny's fawn to Blue and Carl's white.
We are really excited to share the fiber with our friends who knit, spin and weave.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
On my next trip, I want to try out the antique store and the old-fashioned meat market. If you want a great day, go to Lucas!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The six babies are developing their feathers nicely. What we thought to be six bantam breeds might be three Rhode Island Reds and three from an unknown bantam breed. That's what you get when you buy from the local farm supply store when you are overanxious to have something live try out the results of your work.
We look forward to our big shipment of chicks from the McMurray Hatchery. In mid-May, we should have 31 new chicks arriving - thirty of mixed bantam breeds of our selection and one mystery rare chick. We could have a very interesting and colorful chicken crop this year.
Then, it will be a waiting game for our first eggs.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
After much discussion, we purchased our first alpacas in October 2007. We have five total and have been learning a great deal about caring for and maintaining these really beautiful animals. They are much different than the sheep my family raised during my childhood and certainly different than the market pigs that were my 4-H project and the cattle my dad now owns.
People question why very busy 30-ish professionals are launching a farming adventure. We have several inquiries about our sanity. In the early months of our alpaca purchase, people would drive by slowly on the county road that runs adjacent to our house - sometimes even stopping to stare. My favorite was our neighbor who call and just flat out asked, "What are those animals in your yard!?" While we could name the animal, I am not sure we can put a label on our motivation for this lifestyle choice. It's complex.
Maybe this blog will help us label it. My husband said it best when he said, "You got to have the 4-H experience growing up and I have to have that - 4-H at 30." We laugh when we tell our friends that is "the reason." I think there is something to that, but maybe that is putting it a little simply.
We do want to have a connection to the earth. We want a joint project that brings us together. We want to have animals in our care that are useful (fiber production) and entertaining. We want to join a community that could not be more welcoming to two very green alpaca farmers. We want to have farm fresh eggs gathered in our own backyard. And, we like that we will know (when our chicks reach laying age) what the chickens have been eating before they offer up their eggs for our consumption.
Looking back, some of these motivations were some of the outcomes of my 4-H experience. Granted, at 7 years old, I couldn't tell you these were the best things about 4-H membership. I would account the fun times with my family, learning new things, and making great friends. Alpacas have been an avenue to all of these things.
So far, our farming adventure has delivered on most of our desires. I look forward to seeing what else we learn about the process of farming, together as a young couple, and what we learn about ourselves in the process.