Breeze Hill Farm

  (Powhatan, Virginia)
Sheep, Goats, Alpacas, Llamas, Border Collies
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Fall Fiber Festival & Sheepdog Trials

Yesterday we decided a day off from everything was necessary for mental and physical health. We got up early, took care of the livestock and headed for Montpelier in Orange county, VA, to the Fall Fiber Festival & Sheepdog Trials.

What a beautiful day! We still can’t believe how clear the air was . It was a little cool when we left home but by the time we arrived, it was in the mid 70’s. An added benefit to the trip was the leaves are starting to turn. We took in everything – all 5 large tents with rows of vendors selling everything fiber – beautiful hand dyed silk and wool blend yarns and rovings – there was a lot of yarn. It seemed that the vendors choose to cater more to the hand worker than the spinner.

We passed by the outside tents and went over to the Livestock Exhibit tent. They had a good example of various different fiber producing animals – the Angora Rabbits, Llama and Alpaca were not represented very well in this exhibit but I later found more of them in the outside tents. After looking around we found our friends Magi & Jay from Magi’s Wood Farm, you know, where we just got our Icelandic’s from.

Magi & Me

Magi & Me

She was happy to see me because she had let a child play with her wheel and it wasn’t working. She’s been having a problem with it every since she got it but it was worse. Later in the day, hubby found the same wheel and discovered her problem is incorrect set up. Hopefully the pictures he took of the correct set up will fix her problem.

Hubby wanted to take in the sheep shearing demos and I really did want to check out those outside tens, so I left him. My first stop was the Fleece Sale tent. Lot’s of beauties in there.  I found a CVM Sheep fleece that was really beautiful – when I looked at the price, I came very close to passing out – 2.2 lbs./$102.00. Needless to say that didn’t come home with me.

As I walked by the outside tents – something caught my eye – A spinning wheel! It looked to be very much like an Ashford Traditional but then again..it didn’t. I’m not going to tell you the price yet. This wheel had suffered a child assult on Saturday and it was broken. I got a handful of roving and a chair and set out to fix this cool little wheel. Whatever this child had done to it, I don’t know but it would not spin at all. Hubby came to find me and got involved in the fixing process. An hour later, I walked away with a fixed $60.00 spinning wheel! It is a mystery wheel though. I’ve added a photo, maybe one of you may have an idea about who made it. It does need work but it will spin yarn.

The New Old Wheel

The New Old Wheel

Armed with mystery wheel, we set out for food and Sheepdog Trials. I was a bit disappointed in the food options. In years past there has been lamb chili and fruit plates. Not so this year, so we got a heavy BBQ, set up our chairs and became spectators. The dog trials were great! We stayed to the end and we got lots of photos.

At The Pen - Look real hard..see the green on her shoulder? It's a Parrot!

At The Pen - Look real hard..see the green on her shoulder? It's a Parrot!

Trial Shot

Trial Shot

Trial Shot

Trial Shot

"Nice Job"

"Nice Job"

This lady works without a crook or a whistle..she's amazing!

This lady works without a crook or a whistle..she's amazing!

"The Shed"

"The Shed"

"The Pen"

"The Pen"

It’s so enjoyable watching a dog work..they take their job seriously. I am so happy we have 7 Border Collies of our own to work with.

We left the event feeling invigorated and hungry. In the town of Orange we went to a restaurant called the Silk Mill Grille. As you may have guessed from the name, it is an old Silk Mill and the place is decorated much of the old salvaged accessories and processing equipment. Had a great meal and we were home by 7:00.

I have a lot of readers that know very little about this side of my life – they know me for the goats and goats milk products. You see fiber and fiber arts is my true passion. Any opportunity I get to do a day like this, I will put all else aside to do it. My only regret – Didn’t go both days!

I’m going to add an events page to my Blog so everyone might have an opportunity to see and possibly attend what’s going on the rest of 2009. Some I will be a vendor..some I will just visit.

Parting comments and a little rant! Please, if you bring your children to events like the Fall Fiber Festival, try to pay attention to what they are doing. One of the wheels that was messed up yesterday is a several thousand dollar wheel. We want everyone to come to these events..especially children, they are the ones who will keep this going in the future but vendors and demonstrators put their life into this and it shouldn’t be destroyed by an adults carelessness of not watching their child. At this event, I saw big pulls of rovings run off with, a driveband ripped right off a spinning wheel, Angora bunnies being plucked through the sides of their cage by uncontrolled little fingers, hand crafted wooden knitting needles being used as swords and a grape snow cone dropped on a beautiful silk scarf. Please bring your children and please be good, aware parents! Rant is done.

Have a wonderful day!
 
 

Wanted To Share

This is a continuation from Monday's bog, kind of. I've included a picture of "Baby", so everyone can see what a sweetie he is. You know, we have many more cats, sheep, goat's, llama, a PB pig and 7 Border Collies, you'd think I'd be too busy to get this involved with a kitten that was only here for 10 weeks. Well that simply isn't the case. There's always going to be that one that just pulls you in. Enjoy "Baby's" photo.

 

By the way, after the trauma of riding in a truck, having his first vet visit and moving into his new digs. He's doing just fine.

Thank you all for letting me share this with you.

 
 

Our Stinky "Breeze"

There was alot of chatter out at the barn last night when Breeze our picture perfect Border Collie rousted up a skunk. She is such a cool dog. When she goes out for her barn work, she has to stop off and kiss the other dogs, kiss the cats, kiss the pig, she’s just a sweet kisser. Well, she seems to think that skunks are cats, so she tries to kiss them too. Aparently her doggie genius only goes as far as what to do with the sheep, she just never learns. You could smell what Breeze had done all over the place. She got a bath in what we have found to be the best skunk odor remover, disposable douche (found this in a natural pet care book), and the otherwise nightly sofa hound spent the night in an outside run. This morning she smelled fresh and clean and dishing out kisses again!

She really is a pretty girl.

 
 

My First Blog - It Snowed Today, Yeah!!!

This is my first Blog ever, so please excuse me if I get chatty. I promise I will get better.

Welcome to Breeze Hill Farm! We woke up to a beautiful 1" snowfall this morning. Still being a true kid at heart, I ran outside, took pictures, made a couple of snowballs to throw for the border collies and came back in to the woodstove. It always amazes me how just a light snow can make this farm look so beautiful. Aparently my craziness rubs off on the animals because everyone was frisky this morning. Our llama, Kosmo, was running all over the pasture, kicking up his toes, clucking and prancing. The sheep could have cared less about their breakfast, they just wanted to hoof around in the snow and lick the camera lense and the goats were all over the place. Many of our girls are pregnant now and tend to laze around but not today, they were full throttle. We love to watch the adults, both goats and sheep gamble. I think it suprises them as much as it does us. Our "Grand Dam", Barbie was spending more time on all 2's, dancing like a true clogger..she is 12, as best as we can judge..but never let her know she is getting old, she won't hear of it.

Once I finish getting my toe wet on the blog scene, I'll be off to making soap. Uusually, January is my dead season for sales but not this year, I have carry overs to start February off. It's been unusually busy. Also, joining a local co-op has made an amazing impact on orders. If anyone reads this blog, check out www.farm2Udirect.com. This is the site for the co-op and if you happen to be local to Goochland/Richmond, VA, it's well worth participating as a consumer and producer.

I've gotten a lot of emails over the last few days from people requesting information on raising livestock on small acreage. Mostly goats. I think that all of the hype about the bad economy is causing people to think more about what they can do to help themselves. I always welcome these requests because I think we should all, as farmers, do what we can to educate and assist anyone who is seeking a better more natual way of life.

Well, I guess that's about it for today. Before I get started, I think I will have to go outside again before the sun melts the snow away! Have a wonderful day and keep on the lookout for more entires in the future.

 
 
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