The sunsets in our part of the country are stunning! Almost every night we get to see very colorful skies. The sun sinks behind the mountains, painting the clouds many beautiful colors. If you look closely, you will notice our sheep in the foreground. We are blessed to live in such a peaceful place!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Grace Valley Farms rejoices in the many blessing of the year! Travel through 2011 with us as we give thanks for the bounty from our farm!
The fleeces from our February shearing were beautiful! We are thankful to all the folks who came and assisted us on shearing day. With their help, the day ran smoothly!
We are grateful for all the "E" lambs that were born this spring.
While many areas of the country experienced a drought this year, our early summer was blessed with lots of rain. The pastures were lush with vegetation and the hay fields prospered!
This summer we entered 6 of our fleeces in three categories in Montana Fair. Every fleece placed first or second!
Our BueLingo steers are growing nicely! The green grass and hay helped them pack on the pounds.
We had a bountiful garden harvest this fall. Pictured here are portions of our gourd and Indian corn harvest. Besides those crops, we also raised sweet corn, basil, parsley, cucumbers, eggplant, onions, sugar snap peas, onions, turnips, cabbage, Swiss chard, kale, beets, lettuce, spinach, green beans, pole beans, potatoes, tomatoes (39 plants), peppers, tomatillos, ground cherries, yellow squash, zucchini, winter squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.
Happy Thanksgiving from our family!
O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for His mercy endureth for ever. - Psalm 136:26
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Grace Valley Farms' second batch of roving is now available! This roving is charcoal-gray colored with a soft handle. Our Romney ewes and rams produced this lovely wool.
There are approximately 300 oz of roving available.
The price is $2.25 per ounce (shipping extra).
The price is $2.25 per ounce (shipping extra).
Saturday, November 5, 2011
A cute, little puppy recently joined our family. Abby is a 10 week-old German Shepherd.
Benjamin and Abby
Benjamin and his three dogs, Ruger, Abby, and Bullet.
We've been looking for a suitable, long-haired German Shepherd female to be Bullet's wife. Abby seems to be a perfect fit!
A number of our sheep love winter squash. Squash is an excellent source of vitmains for people and sheep. A nearby farmer raised a field of pumpkins and squash this year. After the farmer had picked all he needed, he allowed us to go in his field and glean from the remaining squash and pumpkins. This morning we braved the snowstorm and collected a whole truckload of goodies for the sheep.
We were able to pick around 2,000 pounds of squash and pumpkins.
Some of the varieties include: blue hubbard, Chicago wwrted hubbard, Cinderella pumpkins, banana squash, butternut, Turk's Turban, and kobacha.
Doug feeds a banana squash to Dale and Heather.
Some of our ewes eating squash out of their hay bunk.
The sheep are delighted with all their squash! They get very excited when we come out to feed them. Bernie, our oldest ewe has really benefited from all the vegetables and fruit we've been feeding. Recently we've noticed a significant improvement in her energy level as well as her overall health.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Grace Valley Farms recently welcomed two new rams, Jack and Edgar, from Tawanda Farms in California.
Doug unloads Jack from our truck.
Jack is a yearling registered Romney ram. He will be breeding with the majority of our ewes this year.
Edgar is a registered Romney ram lamb. Since he was born this spring, we won't be using him in breeding until next year.
Both of these boys have special genetics as they are recessively colored Romneys. We are looking forward to the new gray, blue, and sliver color patterns they will bring to our flock.
Our first honeycrisp apple was recently harvested from the orchard! Since our trees are still very young, we only had about 5 mature honeycrisp apples.
Even though the apple was still a little green, it was beautiful when we sliced it open. We are looking forward to more apples next year!
This year marked our best gourd harvest ever! The various shapes and colors were spectacular.
This spring, Benjamin selected some amazing varieties of gourds to grow.
The gourds grew in many differnet shapes, sizes, and colors.
As in past years, we sold the majority of our harvest to a nearby store. In this picture the gourds are all washed, boxed, and loaded in our vehicle for delivery.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The melons in our garden grew very well over the summer. The crop this year was the best we've ever raised!
We planted red, yellow, and orange watermelon in the garden. The watermelon harvest will probably top 90 this year. The largest watermelon so far has been 30 pounds!
In this picture you get to peek in our refrigerator. Can you guess what is on the menu?
As you can tell, the cantaloupe plants produced exceptionally well. We picked close to 500 cantaloupes!
We recently had a special visitor at Grace Valley Farms! Our grandfather from the Midwest drove out to see us. He enjoyed meeting our sheep and watching us work with them. He even got to help with a few projects around the farm.
Grandpa and Ben give Doris a hug. She enjoys having her neck scratched!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
We would like to take a look at one of our beautiful Romney ewes, Christina.
Christina was born on March 12, 2009. She weighed 12 lbs. 15 oz. at birth. Her mother was April (white) and her father was Edison (black).
In this photo, Christina is 9 days old. If you look closely, you will notice the milk foam on her mouth. She obviously just finished having a big drink of milk from her mama April!
Christina grew very well as a lamb. Here she is at 10 months old.
This is a photo of the fleece Christina was growing as a lamb. She was sheared for the first time in February 2010.
Christina enjoys a meal of green grass in the fall of 2010.
Christina grew this beautiful variegated fleece. It was sheared in February 2011.
She had a nice long staple length this year.
Christina is affectionately known as Puff Ears. In this photo you can see the gray puff of wool behind her ear.
Christina (aka Puff Ears) is one of our largest pure-bred Romney ewes. She is currently growing more wool for shearing next year.
Christina is also getting ready for breeding season. We are looking forward to meeting her lambs next spring!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Montana Fair in Billings features a wool competition each year. We entered six of our Romney fleeces in the fair. The six fleeces were entered in three different divisions. After the judging was finished, we came away with three blue ribbons and three red ribbons!!
White Handspinning Fleeces-56s and lower
1st place - Dove
2nd place - Celeste
Black Handspinning Fleeces-56s and lower
1st place - Daniel
2nd place - Cecelia
Colored Handspinning Fleeces-56s and lower
1st place - Autumn
2nd place - Edison
Montana Fair is held each summer in Billings, Montana. It runs for nine days and features competitions in many diverse categories. This year Emily entered eight items in the culinary division. After the food was tasted and the verdicts were in, she placed with all her items!
Cranberry Bread: 1st
Chocolate Zucchini Bread: 3rd
Pumpkin Bread: 1st
Bran Muffins: 1st
Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies: 2nd
Brownies (frosted): 1st
Ginger Cookies: 2nd and Heritage Award
Chocolate Cherry Cake: 1st
Emily received the Heritage award on her ginger cookies. The Heritage Award is given by the judge to items that remind him/her of old-fashioned recipes that have been passed down through the generations.
Friday, August 12, 2011
After a late afternoon storm blew through our place, we were able to see a beautiful, double rainbow.
The rainbow was a supernumerary rainbow.
"And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud ...
... and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
- Genesis 9:12-16 -