Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Updates in crofting and crafting

Above is a low-light photo I took Friday of my third breeding 'group,' Bench and Blaise. They seem to be co-habitating peaceably in the extra horse stall, but I haven't observed anything more.

That same day I decided Sanson really needed a bigger sheep suit if he was going to have full range of motion to do his job. In the process I checked out his fleece at last rib, mid-side and WOW! I do not recall it being this crimpy and gorgeous when I brought him home, but lamb fleeces often do change over time.

It was easy to do all this because Sanson was hanging out in the Ram-ada Inn – even though 'his' girls were out in the wooded lot. He didn't appear injured which was a relief, but he's supposed to be out fraternizing with Boop and Broadway, not staying in near Bridget and Bijou. It appears the only time they hang out together is when the girls come into the Ram-ada Inn to eat. Crossing fingers that hormones kick in eventually.

Part of the definition of crofting is small-scale food production, so here is what I've been working on since freezing and drying prunes. Thanks to a nice bucket of paste tomatoes from a neighbor plus fruits from our own plants, I made a batch of condensed tomato soup, one of Rick's favorites:

Note to self: leave more headroom

Next I turned my attention to our abundant apples. So far, I've canned 14 quarts of applesauce and seven quarts of apple pie filling, with another batch of apple pie filling to prep tonight and can tomorrow. I guess I'll keep making applesauce until I run out of jars, and then dehydrate some. I've been listening to Barbara Kingsolver's Small Wonder, which just reinforces my desire to utilize as much as possible what we can produce.

As for crafting, guess what arrived on Sunday!!!
sweet little four-shaft loom
On Monday, the first of the two weaving books I ordered arrived (the second is Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler), and today I finished my TdF prize braid (perched on the loom, above). A friend is coming over tomorrow to look over the loom with me to see what we (the loom and me) need to get up and running, then we can move it out of the middle of the living room.

In late-breaking news, tonight Rick came home with a new-to-us tractor! It replaces the much smaller, worn out orchard Kubota my dad and mom delivered to us years ago (and Rick's old 8N/9N Ford, even though it's still here as a 'family heirloom'). Looking forward to getting the Sheep Sheraton cleaned out with its help after this rainy week is over.

That's it for now from . . .


Leigh said...

New equipment for everybody! A tractor for Rick and a lovely loom for you. It looks to be in pretty good condition! I'm very excited for you!

Sweet sheep faces, gorgeous fleece, and lovely jars of home canned food. I'm a fan of Barbara Kingsolver, but I haven't read that book. I'll have to see if the library has it.

Michelle said...

Leigh, I suspect that, like me, much of "Small Wonder" will resonate with you. It's a collection of essays begun when she was asked to write a response to 9/11. I got it from my library on Libby.

Jeanne said...

I hope you'll enjoy the loom you got, and will do well making sense out of the directions.

Your tomato soup, applesauce and pie filling are beautiful. Good job!

The new-to-you tractor looks like it's going to be a great addition to your farm.

Donna Schoonover said...

Love the loom- congratulations!

FullyFleeced said...

wow- a new tractor and a loom. how exciting! the loom looks a lot like the harrisville one I have. I'm sure you'll have it warped and ready for action in no time :)

Mokihana said...

Wow, something for everyone! I love all the canning you did... very impressive! And a new loom... can't wait to see the beauties that you weave on it.