Strange Winter, Snowy Spring

Since the last post we have gone through multiple months and a season. Our winter schedules were packed with planning, working, learning, teaching, and farming. Almost directly after the last blog post, our Speckled Sussex Hens started laying. We had 3-4 eggs a day for the longest time. The Speckled Sussex are known for laying in the colder months, and we were always excited each day to collect our eggs from the coop.

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 We were "egg"sploding...or so we thought. We are now getting about 8 eggs a day and we are getting really great at making quiches or omelettes and giving our farm fresh eggs away to friends. 

The winter was grey and gloomy, with unseasonably warm days that even had the sheep sweating. I finished a pair of mittens out of the last skein of our Natural Black Wensleydale DK yarn for my Mum in February, on a day that was 56 and sunny. 

I know that these mittens will be appreciated next winter, and they hold the fleeces from all of Mum's favorite sheep, and that makes it so special. 

After a whirlwind time hiking our way up to NYC to bring the longwool love to the big city at Vogue Knitting LIVE, we settled into the hills of Lebanon County for our second annual fiber arts retreat. It was such a fabulous weekend away with a great group of ladies full of fiber inspiration and cheery chatter. Thank you again to all who participated, and a special thank you to Farmer Matthew for holding down the farm while Mum and I were gone. At least this year Fred didn't break down a fence to get to the ewes! 

Once we hit February, the weather started to get strange, with days so frozen the sheep didn't have soft ground to step on, or other days so hot that they were panting while waiting for their feed.

The ram pasture (including some of our favorite wethers)

The ram pasture (including some of our favorite wethers)

The ewes

The ewes

All of these ups-and-downs with temperature brewed a tornado to hit our area, luckily there was barely any damage to our place, and the animals weathered the storm well. The pasture started greening up immediately after the heavy rains, and for a few days, we caught glimpses of spring. Light breezes, greening countryside, 50 degree weather, and soft ground. It was so beautiful, and all the animals were having fun frolicking in the fields while they could. 

The Spring didn't last long; enter Winter Storm Stella. 

Thankfully, we only received 12" of snow this year. 1ft was much more manageable than the 2.5-3ft we received last year with Winter Storm Jonas. We were able to safely get out to the sheep, and Farmer Matthew's snowblower was even able to tackle this snow with no trouble! 

So, we're back to Winter Farming. Frozen water buckets, shoveling snow off the roof of our temporary Lad (in-tact and young rams) shelter, but also sledding! The sheep are handling this level of snow much better than last year, and we're hoping all of this moisture soaks into the ground and grows some grass seed from last season. 

 

Now I'm going back to winding Yorkshire Medley so that Mumma can hit the dyepots before MDSW. 

Happy Sunday!