Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Monday, December 29, 2014

Some "bunny" got a new doo

Sweet boy "Fluffer" gave me all the signs the other day that he needed a haircut!

So he got one! Trimmed down to almost nothing, netting over 4 ounces of wool too! He's a good boy until you get to the belly so Tim held him on his back and we got through it just fine. With a mans sleeve cut to a perfect coat he will stay warm for now!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Bee Candy for everyone!

Making candy boards for the bees today started with boiling water...

and some sugar. To make each candy board you need 16 ounces of water and 5 lbs of sugar.

Once the water came to a boil it was time to pour the sugar in.

and then stir until dissolved, then bring the temp up to 242 degrees. Once it gets there, turn off the heat and let it lower to 180 degrees. Whip it with a mixer and then pour into...

the Candy Boards that Tim made a few years ago. The Candy is poured into these boards and some pollen patties are added in to a well as spearmint and lemon grass oils.

They are inverted onto the top of the hives to provide extra food when their honey reserves run out.

The second hive I opened had even more healthy looking girls with lots of honey reserves.

Rest easy my girls. Around February when we get a nice day, we'll recheck them and hope they do well. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wishing you all "Hoppy" Holidays from all of us at Coon Hollow Farm! "Fluffer" and "Tawny" made this years insert that our son Timmy made for us! This was one of most successful years here on the farm! We thank you all for your support!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Filthy fleeces!

At a recent fiber festival I picked up two Mohair fleeces. I was not exactly sure what color they were. I have never seen fleeces so dirty but under the dirt I could feel the softness so I went for it and bought them.

I rinsed them in the sink and used Unicorn Scrub...

Some Unicorn Wash...

Emptied the sink and rinsed them again...

Rinsed again and again...until...

I had the most beautiful colored Angora Mohair fleece with gorgeous copper tips! I can't wait to over dye some of it and make some amazing yarns from it!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A pumpkin snack!

Today we cleaned up the fall decorations in preparation for the holiday ones. We took a large pumpkin, broke in half and gave the gang a snack! Nigel was the first to dig in...

while old Belle lost her head over hers! Everyone enjoyed their pumpkin snack immensely! Yum!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pepper heads home...

Today we loaded Pepper up for his journey back home. We loaded him onto the bed of the truck, placed some hay in the cage and he went right for it. Tim closed the door, strapped him in, covered him from the wind and off we went.

He knew he was home and was itching to get out.

He went right to his ewes to say hi! He was a great pleasure to have here, he is such a calm, sweet boy and we hope his lambs will be half as sweet as he is!

Meanwhile, back at the farm, the girls were all re-united and were happy to be together again. The two lamb ewes are too young and old "Belle" cannot have any more lambs, she is retired. However when the lambs arrive in Spring she helps to nurture them too!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Core Spun loveliness!!!

I was gifted this lovely "Scrapbox" of fiber from Namaste Farm and finally got to it! I use a thick cotton core. The picture really doesn't do it justice and the colors are so amazing! Such a mix of all my favorites! Now what to make with it?!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Beating the snow!

We had our first snow this morning, woke up only to a dusting but it made me harvest the last things in the garden! The sage was begging to be picked!

The oregano too!

I got some pretty amazing horseradish too! I think I will make some horseradish jelly in honor of my Grandmother who was crazy for my horseradish jelly!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

New England Fiber Festival adventure

This weekend I went on a wonderful adventure with some friends to the New England Fiber Festival. Our booth was ready to go.

I saw amazing creations that people where parading about.

The best part was the detail to the historical part of the fiber world! This is an antique flax break that was used to pound the flax into softness.

Quite a few folks were in period clothing and demonstrating colonial arts in fiber weaving and rendering.

A woman spinning on a period wheel...

This was "Ollie", a Border Collie enjoying the Fiber Festival. He sat at someone's booth and didn't want to leave.

A flax wheel that I had the pleasure of spinning on! I was in my glory and learned that it is all in the "spiddle" or commonly known as the spit!

A view of the shoppers and booths

This wonderful man, who I didn't get his name, spent a lot of time with me talking about flax and gave me the opportunity to spin flax! He had a very antique flax wheel and was a wealth of information.
This lady is Iris and she also spent so much time with me and taught me the Great Wheel or Walking Wheel! I was in my glory. So many get different things out of these festival, me I get history where ever I go! I had a n amazing time, saw so many friends, made new ones and spent time with old ones too!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween from Coon Hollow Farm

Happy Halloween, Fall, Samhain and a Blessed New Year from Coon Hollow Farm!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The heartbreaking loss of a hive

Over the past few days, I have noticed a lot of yellow jackets at hive #1. This is not a good sign! They are coming and going at will with no guard bees to drive them off. So today, I went in to see what was up.
What I found was empty frames...

no dead bees in clusters or spread about...

and tons of honey, but NO bees. What has happened to this hive that I have had for 3 years is something called absconding. This is a term in beekeeping when for unknown reasons a hive will just take off. Sadly at this time of year, this hive is a goner in more ways than one. So the hive has been closed down as we head into the winter with just 2 hives. Beekeeping is never simple, we can only do the best we can, the bees call the shots! Kisha's hive is also bee strong. The bees were given a powdered sugar treatment as well for mites. It's sad to loose a hive, I care about the well being of these amazing creatures.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Their first eggs!!!

The little chicks from the spring have finally laid their first eggs! They are well over 20 weeks old and I was getting a bit worried! Most lay after 16 weeks of age so they have been some late bloomers here!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cleaning beeswax the easy way!

You accumulate a lot of wax when you keep bees. There are so many uses for it and is a very important by-product of your bees!

When all the wax is gathered, we place it on a few cookie sheets and place it on the picnic table out back...

and the girls come to clean it! No sense in wasting any honey they can consume after harvesting it.

When the wax is cleaned, place it in a pot and fill with water. The pot should be one that you are only going to use for this very purpose! It will be ruined by a ring of propolis and wax that you can never get off!

We place the frames outside for them to clean as well.

Place your pot on the stove and bring it to a boil. Skim out all the debris that will be mixed in with the wax. The skimmer can only be used for this purpose as well!

Let the water and wax cool. The wax will float to the top and separate from the water. Rinse the water out and there will be a lot of debris in the water. Fill the pot again, this time only half way and repeat the boiling process. At this point you can strain the water and the wax while hot, bring it back to a boil and let it cool.

Here is two cakes of wax, cleaned and beautiful. After I took this picture I re-boiled the cakes into one big block. The bottom will have propolis caked to the base, just scape it off. Save it if you want to, I don't keep it. Nice beautiful wax ready to use!!!