Sunday, September 23, 2012


Emmett was caught with his nose in the goods! As you can tell, he LOVES watermelon!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Iowa State Fair Wool Awards - 2012

Over the last few years, our customers have commented on the beauty and quality of the fleeces produced by the Grace Valley Farms flock.  Their comments spurred us to enter some of the fleeces in the 2011 Montana Fair.  We were pleased to have all of the entries win 1st or 2nd in their classes and every class entered resulted in a 1st place ribbon.  The 2012 Montana Fair yielded similar results but with the added bonus of Darcy's black fleece awarded Reserve Grand Champion of the entire Fair! 
Others urged us to enter fleeces in a larger and more signficant wool event, the Iowa State Fair. So, we entered two fleeces in the 2012 Fair ... and, we were excited by the results ... Daisy's fleece won 1st place in her class and went on to take Overall Reserve Grand Champion!  Easton's black fleece took 2nd place in his class. 

Daisy's fleece won Overall Reserve Grand Champion.

Easton's Fleece won second place in his class!
These awards stir up our heart of gratefulness for those who have provided such help in producing quality sheep and wool:
  • Dee and Rick - provided quality breeding stock (including Edison!), encouragement, and many hours of useful information. How we have enjoyed and benefited from those times sitting around their kitchen table soaking up the wealth of information!
  • Lisa and Pat - provided many hours of hands-on help during shearing, grading and ranking our fleeces for us, advice over the phone, spinning and knitting lessons, and encouragement.
  • Our customers - for not only buying our fleeces but offering feedback on how we could improve our products and buying experience. The photos of yarn and finished products have been motivating for us.
  • Robert, Diana, and family - for faithfully praying for us, providing many hours of help on Shearing Day, and farm-sitting when we were out of town! They managed our operation as well as we could have!
  • Our neighbors - for many hours of advice and help in raising sheep and farming in Montana.
  • Our friends - for helping us when we needed the extra hands.
  • Uncle Joe and Dee - photos of the fleeces.
  • Aunt Martha - thank you for picking up our fleeces for us.

Bottom Line: these awards are your awards, too!
To God Be The Glory !

Garden Goodies!

Our summer garden has been yielding delicious fruits and vegetables!
First a report from the melon patch ...

This week we picked a 30 pound red watermelon!  
It was ripe and very delicious!
A few days later a 31 pound orange-flesh watermelon was harvested. It was tasty as well!
This honeydew weighed 21 pounds!
In other garden news...
This spring we planted about 120 feet of green beans. We have already canned many batches of green beans.
This giant zucchini weighed in at almost 6 pounds!
We canned sweet gherkin pickles.
Our peppers are beautiful this year! We grew jalapeno, pablano, and anahiem peppers. Pictured here are pablano peppers.
This weekend we are making homeade spaghetti sauce for canning. Loaded with home-grown tomatoes, peppers, and herbs, this sauce will be a welcome treat when winter comes!

Lamb Portraits

 Our little bandito, Frito!
 Fitzgerald, the beautifully variegated son of Cordelia!

Fern, our little puff ball!
 Foreman, the white teddy bear.
 Frosty Anne is growing a beautiful fleece.

 Ferdinand is one of Clarabelle's twin sons.

Farmer looks almost exactly like his mother, Celeste, when she was a baby. 

 Fa'Lisa, winner of our Cutest Lamb Contest!
Finale, our final lamb of the spring.