Friday, 21 December 2007

Happy Holiday Greetings

Happy Holiday Greetings to everyone from all of us here at Earendel farm!
We have plans to spend Christmas Eve by ourselves at home on the farm with a lovely dinner and if the weather holds perhaps a bonfire out back with mulled wine to warm our hands
Christmas day will be with Al's family.
This year I have decorated the house very simply with fresh cut boughs of cedar and pine from the surrounding woods it smells lovely inside, no fairy lights just small electric candles in the windows, it seems to suit the house better.
So to all of you, enjoy the season, drink and eat responsibility, save some chocolates for the new year, forget the resolutions and just enjoy every day on its own merits, remember if you are reading this you are still on the sunny side of the grass and that in itself is reason to be joyful!
Cate and Al

Monday, 3 December 2007

Remember it really IS still Autumn

The past three days have been rain and freezing rain and ice pellets and snow. I cannot help but think of Barbara Gibson who in 1843 left Blantyre Scotland to immigrate to the land where our farm is now. Her and her husband, James ,were not young being both in their late fifties. Poor Barbara really must have wondered what "H" on earth she had come to as she must have sat in her cabin and froze!

The lambs danced in the snow at first but then even that wasn't much fun after a few minutes.

In an answer to a comment about our lambs colours; the black twins have staid black as velvet even to their dark eyes, and Esme's boys are both lovely shades of gray. Then of course there is Rose, spitting image of her mom in every way.

Now this goofy character is Milton he is our livestock guardian. He is about 140 pounds and the size of a small pony ( no really) That's a cow femur in his mouth. Milton is truly about the only one on the farm that loves this weather and delights in rubbing his face in the snow like a kid. He can't understand why the sheep don't share his joy.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Got to love the Snow

So here we are in the great white north and its towards the end of Nov. We have about 6-8 inches on the ground. Enough for my Al to gleefully plow out with his new snow thrower not once but twice!.
(Left is view across the road side field)
The Lambs had their first snow experiance and true to form Foote thought it might be something worth eating.

All work has stopped for the season on the Long Hall but we have the longest wall up and it is looking really sharp.

Al and I are still mulling over what colours to paint the house next spring ( good thing we started to think about the project now, it may take all winter to decide) so far shades of green are in the running , just as a side note last week it was shades of gray so check in for next weeks colour choice!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Where did the summer go?

Ok, so its been a while a long while since my last entry. But time really flies here on the farm and then suddenly its not summer anymore and the snow has started to fall.

The critters and us are all fine, though we sadly lost our beautiful rooster Harry to a hawk a few weeks back. A chicken coop is now in the planning stage. Harry's son Bera now rules the roost ( pardon the pun)

The Anglo-Saxon long house has a floor and roof and is looking great we held our first meeting there last month.

Lady, our percheron now has a small cart and harness that we are getting fixed up for her t0 tug around the farm so that will be fun.

We are starting to batten things down now for winter, the wood pile is stacked and all the summer stuff is packed away and oh yes the pool is finally closed!

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Earendel Foote and Grainney

Earendel GrainneyEarendel Foote

Since Cinwulf is still being camera shy I'll go ahead a introduce our last two babies, a ewe and ram. They are Cherrington Brandy's pride and sired by Woolly Pedro. Both are beautiful black lambs with only white marking on their heads (Thank heavens or we would have trouble telling one from the other!) We were hoping to have black lambs and were not disappointed. From a mediaeval point of view black was a hard colour to achieve with natural dyes and an equally tough colour to maintain without fading ( still is actually) Although a natural black wool will still end up really looking very dark brown after processing the wool was more likely to maintain its dark rich colour over a dyed product. In addition to this over dyeing the black wool with other dyes could produce some very exotic colours. We are looking forward to seeing how this all works out.

Initially the twins were very nervous and took some time and effort to come around, but lately they are both the most lovable babies we have. Each evening they curl up beside me and nap.
Foote and Grainney are named after two good friends of ours who are also members of the Regia group building the Anglo-Saxon long hall here at the farm. I know I did promise to tell you more about this project and it will be forthcoming..... later.
Next up the lambs mothers, Aunt Gwinnie and our two wethers Coco and Jolly, oh and camera shy Cinwulf.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Earendel Cindread

Here is our lovely spotty boy out of Kalwa Taure Esme and Cherrington Merlin. His twin brother Cinwulf is a lovely gray maybe gulmoget. Here they are with mom at only a few days old.

The boys have a great pedigree and are line bred through Cherrington. We have been really pleased with the overall quality of the fleeces from sheep with this background and plan to try maintain this line as much as possible accepting that many of these sheep are getting on in years and may need special care and love. Wait till you meet our Brandy and her babies!!!

Cindread was a surprise. We hadn't really thought that we would get a spotted lamb and now we are not quite sure what to do with him. We have bantered back and forth about breeding him but for our purposes spots are more a novelty so really we can't justify using him. He will likely be castrated in the fall.

Cindread is a sweetie who loves to play with his ball and have tummy rubs. I have to get a good picture of Cinwulf but lately he has been a wee bit shy, so stay tuned

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Earendel Rose

First there was Rose daughter of Cherrrington Merlin and the totally unique
Kalwa Taure Minnie ( who is a story all to herself)
Earendel Rose was born the morning of June 5. She was our first lamb and if the phrase call a friend ever meant anything it was the phone call to Tammy with our wee bit of excitement.
Our Rose is now a month old and a growing concern. She is into everything, just like her mom!
Rose is a beautiful solid white lamb with silky soft wavy fleece.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Welcome to our farm

Welcome to our farm.

We have a small flock of Shetland sheep of mostly
Cherrington/ Skerryore/Kalwa Taure background.
Our sheep are our pets and are kept entirely for their beautiful fleece which is sold mainly to folks who spin with drop spindles and weave on reproduction mediaeval looms.

We also have a very rare breed of chicken known rather unfortunately as a Dorking and some lovely well pampered horses all watched over by Milton our livestock guardian.
The farm is also home to the Wynmerestow Long Hall project.
This is the building of a Anglo-Saxon Long hall as it might have looked circa 1000 A.D. This is being constructed by members of the Ontario Branch of the U.K. based Regia Anglorum, an Anglo-Saxon Living History organization. Once completed the hall, forge, bake oven, gardens and animal enclosures will provide a place for the group to experiment with the archeaology of the period. More on this later for sure!
Next post we will introduce our first lambs!