Coming Soon: Free Book

Coming Soon: Free Book
Planning to give away a book or two!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wool and Cotton; beginning to end

Really Trisha?  Wool and Cotton beginning to end?  Yes! And todays post is marking the beginnings.  I ordered some seed online: Cotton Erlene's Green Cotton D72202 (Green) 20 Organic Heirloom Seeds by David's Garden Seeds. 

  •  Non-GMO, organic, easy to grow and hand packed by David's Garden Seeds
  • Family heirloom from Erlene Melancon in east Texas
  • The fibers are light olive green and can be spun off the seed
  • Germination Rate: 70%
  • (Funny note: my Grandmother's name was Erlene and the last thing she would do was grow cotton.  My other grandmother, Stella, was a master gardener.) They arrived on March 30th and I planted them on April 11th. 
    Cotton Seeds ready to plant

    The instructions said that it was more important to keep the soil warm than to have a light source on them during the germination process.  So I put them under an end table next to the heat register. When I checked them Saturday evening, April 18th I realized that they had germinated and I moved them immediately under the grow light. 
    Cotton plants
    I have realized in the past that there are certain thoughts/feelings that I need to act on when I get them.  At a business meeting last week with my friend Jeannie, I had the feeling that maybe she and I needed to purchase a lamb together.  She has a hobby farm. After the meeting, I whispered to her "I have a deal for you. I'll buy a lamb if you will take care of it and we'll share the fleece." 
    Gizem (pronounced give him with a Z instead of a V)
    That evening Jeanne texted to me that there was a wether (castrated male) lamb that was being bottle fed because his mother had rejected him after a difficult birth.  He was at Ewespin Fiber Mill at Old Man Wool Farm outside of Stanchfield, MN.  24 hours later, we were at the farm picking up the lambs.
    Jeanne and Trisha with their new little lambs
    Are you saying "Wait a minute! You said one lamb."  Yes, but as Jeanne pointed out that sheep are herd animals and do not do well alone.  Deborah from the farm said that she did have two other lambs about the same age that she would be willing to sell.  So we chose a white ewe for our second lamb. Even though Irvy is two days older, she is smaller than Gizem because she was born a twin.
    Irvy Tower (pronounced ivory tower)
    Dale teased us that we should buy Irvy's black twin too so that we can have a variegated color like this ball.  I guess that is a long way away.  The lambs will grow over the summer and will be ready for their first shearing next spring.  After that we will need to wash the fleece, put it through a picking process and a carding process before it is in a ball like this and ready for spinning.  I will label future posts with Wool or Cotton so that you can watch the progress.  
    Wool Ready for spinning from Ewespun Fiber Mill
    My long term goal is to be able to knit myself a woolen shawl.  (I am thinking 3 to 5 years.)  It brings a new meaning to Jesus saying "Feed my sheep". The meaning that was understood by the people to whom Jesus was talking to about it. 

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