Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm

Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm
Our Olde English "Babydoll" Sheep and their lambs

Monday, May 13, 2013

Such a sad sad loss today...

Today we lost two members of the Coon Hollow Farm security team. Our beloved "Jesse" (second from the left) and "Charlie" (third from the left). They both came to us years ago as rescues with broken stories of abuse. We are beyond heartbroken but age was not on their sides. Such beautiful souls that touched our hearts and made life a much better place because they were in them. We will miss them terribly. Our farm has been through a lot of loss lately but the hardest ones have been loosing these two wonderful souls...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tools of the beekeeper

 I am lucky enough as a beekeeper to have an observation hive I manage at the Nature Center where I work. The queen in there is going on her 3rd year!
 The queen in there is amazing. These bees have a whole Nature Center to forage in, pesticide free and are incredibly healthy! In this picture you can see a whole frame of brood (baby bees).
 The secret to these are very different than the Langstroth hives. They have 3 1/2 frames and have to be constantly emptied. I just recently had to take some bees out and placed them in this Nuc hive, tape it up and bring them home to my hive.
The hive that I wintered over was struggling to rebound from the winter and even though I did find brood, adding more brood was certainly a plus for this hive.
 I emptied the new bees into the hive, but first I had to reverse the frames because the queen was in the upper chamber. By doing this it puts the hive in a more natural state.
I then placed newspaper over the older bees, put the second hive body on top and added the new bees. This gives the old bees a safe haven and the new bees a chance to accept the older bees and the queen. They will begin to accept her pheromones and chew thru the newspaper to get to her and take care of her. At this point the hive will merge and become stronger. I will post an update next week on the results!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Angora Bunny Fiber Obsessed!

 Ever since I got "Honey Bunny" our English Angora Rabbit, I just can't get enough of Angora rabbit fiber! It is the softest fiber on the planet hands down! Fine and light and soft and heavenly! I love to touch it, rub it or just hold it...
 Spin it, spin it, spin it...
 and just stare at it still wanting to touch it, rub it or just hold it...

Many years ago my friend Pam gave me two scrunchies that I would always wear on my wrist when I was stressed I would rub them and I have misplaced them, so I made some...
 I made some out of the Angora Rabbit fiber I had stashed for years You can just see the softness in this picture...
 I made some out of Alpaca (top), Suri Alpaca (middle) and Angora Rabbit (bottom)...
I went through my fiber stash and found it was a great way to use up those little balls of left over yarns that are not big enough to do much with. I actually found a tutorial on Youtube and they are so easy to make!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Skirting fleeces...

 Now that shearing is over it's time to go through the fleeces, clean them up and pick the junk out of them...
 These pictures are front and back of the generous pile the animals gave us. The screens are laid out and the fleeces put over them and pick pick I go...

 Here is our yearling lamb "Daisy"s fleece, so soft and beautiful! I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Just last week we sent off the fleeces from last year and the year before, but this years will go off very soon, guess I better get to spinning!!!
"Daisy"s fleece crimp