We are welcoming the change of seasons with open arms and happy hearts. The summer drought has been pretty tough on us as we try to rehab the pasture from the scrubby meadow it was when we first bought it. The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity, and even though everything should probably have slowed down since we're now heading into the fall semester at University, it didn't.
In the first week of August, we flew over to the UK to attend my cousin's wedding. While we were there we stopped at our dear friend's farm for a couple of days to experience sheep. Jeni Thomson of LadyGrove specializes in Wensleydale and Leicester Longwool sheep like we do! She loves the gene pool preservation aspect of raising rare breeds and that is her drive to produce quality stock. We got to spend a day and a half weighing and grading the sheep, all hands on! It is a fabulous experience that really helps us come back to our flock and compare.
While Jeri and I were staying with Jeni, we convinced her to get out her old fiber processing equipment and we spent our last afternoon with her skirting, picking, carding, and then spinning some of her fleeces that she had been saving up. Overall it was a beautiful time and we are so grateful for an amazing friend like her!
Returning back to the states we were met with the exciting news that we were accepted into the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival as vendors!
Jeri will be in Building 28 at the North American Wensleydale stall with a member from our flock (or maybe two!), and I will be in Building 36, Booth 19 vending our wares! I encourage you to visit and learn more about our sheep.
Since the school year has started, some of our animals have learned new tricks. For example, Sir Clive has learned that grain is the best thing in the world, and he will snuggle with you if you give him his own little bit of feed. Two of our hens have now become models! Two of the Speckled Sussex hens went to Millersville University and posed for the Drawing 1 class. How fun!
This last weekend was spent vending at our favorite local show, Knitters' Day Out in Summerdale, PA. It's a day and an evening packed with fabulous classes and vendors. This year we moved to a double booth and were able to expand everything that we brought to our local shoppers! It was an enjoyable weekend full of familiar and new faces. The best part was how many people were asking about our sheep and interested in furthering their interest in longwools. There were a lot of people who made the "longwool leap" (as I call it) and purchased yarn to start knitting with stronger wool!
Hopefully as the autumn season continues, we will be given lots of cooler day and some rainy nights to hydrate the pastures and keep the sheep happy. Until then, I'll leave you with this photo of Matthew, enjoying the hay with the sheep.