Saturday, April 07, 2007


We are supposed to get temps in the upper 20's tonight. definatly a frost. I will need to try to protect the small bean sprouts and more coming up that will likely die from a frost.Hope it takes a bit of the pollen count down. But I also dont want to loose my peach crop, small but important to me.. I have tried very hard to have an edible landscape. we are on 6 acres, but I grow dye plants and medicinal herbs as well as a grape vine, we cut out the hedges close to our house, ornamental boxwoods, and are replacing them slowly with blueberry bushes... down by the barn Ill be growing pupmkins, for the sheep and goats as well as to put pumpkin up for pies later in the season. Iam trying to grow luffa..gourds, and heirloom seeds... Im trying a new tomato caslled amish paste, I will see how that does. and then the standard ones one grows in their gardsns, after this frost anyway.. makes me very glad I hesitated to get my cukes and squash in the ground.. they are in here on the table... thankfully they are looking great.. I wonder if a lot of others were lulled into a false security and planted before me.. if so , they are hating themselves now.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

garden fare...

the garden is still being put in, in semi raised beds, I do not use wood or boxes to create these raised beds, I use mounded earth... on top of my old garden patch I then use spilled hay and manure from the winter, and I lay it about 6" thick all over the top of the mound... then on top of that I put rabbit manure or horse manure from stall bedding etc... then on top of that I use black composted earth, being sure to toss in several earthworms while I shovel.. then , I wet it thoroughly, and cover the whole row with a thick peice of discarded rubber roofing... I found this huge black rubber roofing when we moved here and I have used it for so many things since I found it I think finding something like this out here is a great treasure. the long narrow rubber matt stuff for floring also works I also managed to scab some of that too... so wherever the roof is not, the floor peices are... they stay on each row a minimum of a week but I prefer 2 ... and everything under them dies back ! except the earthworms and new more rapidly composting rows...
then in between the rows, they actually look more likr ditches than rows ... I toss in wool from the underbelly of my sheep and armpits etc... check at a feed store, many sheep producers dont even use their wool, belly wool is trash even to ppl who do raise sheep for fiber, and meat sheep, the wool is too coarse for spinners to want.. but makes great weed block...
toss wool and more chaff or old hay from winter over top of that...
depending on your own weed issues you may need to repeat this later in the season..

I put half a calcium tablet in the ground with my green peppers, and that really seems to work great... and I grow things like marigolds, and other flowers near my veggies to attract bees, but also to deterr some other bugs .. I pluck the praying mantis off my mimosa trees and transplant them to the garden...

and do learn to look for friendly bugs like assassin bugs for your gardens too..

I always allow a big garden spider to stay,
and am very careful when I use insecticidal soaps near any beneficial insects..
my broccoli, spinich, and lettuce are coming along well... cabbage looks good too..

I need to get a few more chickens... they love cabbage worms,
or maybe I should get guineas, I hear they wont mess with the plants but eat the insects up
I'll have to look into it.

Currently (today) I decided to make my kids easter baskets rather than
buy a plastic toss it away disposable one...
I will crochet or knit a basket then wash it or "full" it ...
to make the basket...
as soon as I have some completed, I will post pictures.
but until then here is a photo of the bunny I needlefelted for one basket
but sorry to say the kids dont see them as much of a suprise since I make them .
more tomorrow.. im glad I didnt plant anything more fragile yet as we are supposed to have a very late frost this coming weekend.

going green

spinning wheels, using what you grow, weaving by hand, felting the leftocvers, scoffing at acrylic yarns.. arent these all green things? now, how to get the mainstream media to pay attention to it... hmmm all wool sweater, not only fully bio degradeable, but from a completely renuable resource... hand spun? hmmm... no machine work needed pedal power from feet ... but we want cheep cheap cheap.. and high quality.. funny how that dosent sound right... more like cheap and disposable... watching jericho last night, I had to laugh... they were running out of clothes? in winter? my problem would be a plethora of sweaters, and summer togs being string bikinis...
I have my loom but oh wow. make a peice of wearable fabric with it? it would suffocate someone south of the arctic circle... but necessity .. right? guess I'd have to not only learn , but spin thinner... the bees are dying? no suprise there ... ive been hearing that some geneticly modified strains of plants that are pest resistant are causing bees to abandon hives...
what happens if the bees are gone?

in any case, here are my latest super green projects ..
these hats are knitted and fulled... from a wool yarn called "poems" there are several shades at the tail-spinner.. and they knit up very nicely. several fleeces are in the shop from my flock and Im completing the bobcat for MDS&W
support US wool... support handspinners, and attend spinning events..
and go ahead and learn how to do it too!

Monday, April 02, 2007


please remember there is a fiber festival in avreysboro (Dunn NC ) April the 21st .. it will be the first like it at ths place .. and we of course hope there will be many more.
to the left is a chipmunk I made earlier in the year. I will be teaching this sculpture at SAFF in the fall along with 2 others. I recently read on another well known nedlefelters page that tthere are no skill levels for needlefelting, and I sadly must disagree.
While not everyone can visualuize in 3 d
still others have a hard time coordinating their hhands with their mental image... if I were the artist with a paintbrush of the things I can visualize in my mind, I would be phenominal, but sadly I cannot figure out how to make an image appear to have depth when working with a flat surface. I am not alone and while skill may or may not be in question, "creative vision" is important. If I teach a class , and say gently sculpt the entire surface area, no matter what I say if the student only felts in a single section, and not the entire area, the finished product will look different than what I myself create.
the medium does require practice and knowledge of how it works .. if this is a " talent" or skill level, such as intermediate, and advanced, then I believe classes will need to be seperated from beginner, and intermediate ... beginners may not fully understand then that , certain fibers felt better than others, and still others may give different effect to a finished peice. should someone accustiomed to using different wool be subjected to this information over and over again,
in a class situation just because "nobody is a beginner with this medium"
at some point with everything, everyone is a beginner.
if you wish to view more of my felting please read the archives. I am still creating but in the middle of shearing right now so the completion of new work is stalled for the moment :)