A Fiber Farm Blog

Posts tagged ‘natural fibers’

Fall Farm Day – September 25th

Sweet 9

Are you Coming?

Imagine

We’re waiting for you!

Bella at Pond 1

And watching for you.

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We’re discussing and making plans.

Sweet 1

And promise to be on our best behavior.

Because Parsons’ Prairie Farm’s 2016 Fall Farm Day is almost here!

Last year we were so busy and had so much going on that we decided to cancel Fall Farm Day………a decision we regretted almost from the minute it was made.  We so missed opening up the farm to visitors, meeting new friends and the enjoyment of sharing our farm with others.  I vowed we would not miss a Fall Farm Day again!   So come on out to the farm on Sunday afternoon, September 25th and see what we are all about.  Learn about the alpacas and the fiber they produce.  Shop the farm store for handspun yarns and hand dyed yarns, rovings and craft felts.  Start your Holiday shopping early by browsing our selection of alpaca socks, hats and gloves as well as hand made soaps, made right on the farm!  Try your luck at fishing in the farm pond, gather eggs in the hen house or just sit, relax and enjoy the farm day refreshments.

Things to keep in mind:

So far, every year that we have held Fall Farm Day we have been blessed with perfect weather!  But we will hold the 2016 Fall Farm Day rain or shine, so come prepared for the weather.  If the weather is nice, we will open the front female alpaca pasture so you can move among the alpacas.  If it rains, we will figure out a way that visitors can view the alpacas close up and stay dry at the same time.  In any kind of weather though, if you want to move among the alpacas, make sure to wear poop-proof footwear!

We would like to invite you to try your luck at fishing in our farm pond.  We will mow down to the north pond (you will be able to drive down there if you wish) and will mow around the pond.  Bring a pole, bait, a chair and bug spray to make your experience more enjoyable.  Of course, all children must be accompanied by an adult.

We want your visit to be enjoyable.  Feel free to wander the property and take all the pictures you want.  If you find a nice, out of the way place to relax and enjoy the farm, please feel free to do so.  Poke your head into the hay barn and look for the many (too many) barn cats that call the farm home.  Check out the fruit trees, berry bushes and grapevines in the back yard.  Whatever you choose to do, enjoy your farm visit!

Farm Day No Pets Policy – please do not bring your pets to Farm Day.  We currently only have one dog, our livestock guardian dog, Bella on the farm.  Bella has a job to do and although she might be visiting with Fall Farm Day guests, she is always alert and ready to defend the alpacas.  Bringing other pets to Farm Days could possibly cause either your animals or ours to be hurt.   We will all have a better experience if all pets are left at home.

Feel free to contact us should you have any questions.  Look forward to seeing you on Fall Farm Days!

Jeff & Kim Overbey

 

Winter White Sale

Beige Farm Roving

It has been a busy couple of years at Parsons’ Prairie Farm. So busy in fact, that I have not found the time to do a lot of the fiber dyeing that I had hoped to do. And since I have requested an April shearing date again this year, I will soon have another annual harvest to add to my stock pile. So what better way to make room for the 2016 clip than to have a Winter White Sale and offer to you some fabulous undyed fiber at discount prices. This sale will last through March 15, 2016 or until supplies last.  I have listed some beautiful yarns, rovings and craft felt on my Etsy Farm Store at 40% off the regular price.  This fiber takes dye beautifully and is so much fun to work with.  And for those of you that prefer your fiber natural color,  you will find some beautiful white, beige, light fawn and light brown yarn and roving to choose from.

The link to Parsons’ Prairie Farm Etsy Shop is https://etsy.com/shop/ParsonsPrairie

Enjoy!

 

Shearing Day!

Shearing Day is once again upon us! And, this year at least, it can’t come a minute too soon. It has been unseasonably warm and a few days it was downright humid. The alpacas and I will be relieved when they have all that fiber off! Right now we plan for the shearers to arrive around 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 15th. As always we welcome visitors. If you would like to participate we can certainly find a job for you. If you would prefer to just pull up a chair and watch, we would love to have you do so.

Watch the blog for any changes to our shearing date and time. We try to be as flexible as possible to accommodate the shearers schedule.

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The boys before shearing

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The same boys after shearing! Always makes me laugh!

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2014 Harvest

Balto

For many reasons, I need to get back to blogging! But there is an important post that I must do first, and to be very honest, I have been putting it off. We lost our livestock guardian dog, Balto, last November and I just haven’t had the heart to blog about it. We are moving on here at the farm and there are a lot of exciting things happening so I need to get this done. I really haven’t been able to talk about him to date, but I owe it to Balto to let everyone know how much we loved him, how much we miss him and how much we regret that we let him down.

Balto
October 5, 2012 – November 9, 2014

Sweet Balto 2

We lost our beautiful Balto on November 9, 2014. He ran out in front of a pickup, was hit and killed pretty much instantly. The couple that hit him (or maybe I should say, Balto hit them) were wonderful, stopped and checked to see if there was anything they could do and then notified us immediately. While it was all so very sad, it was a comfort being able to be with Balto during his last few minutes and to be able to bring him home afterward. He is buried alongside Daisy and a few of our alpacas in a shady spot in the back pasture.

Balto was an amazing livestock guardian dog. He stayed beside a sick cria for days even though all the alpacas had by instinct “given up” on the little one. He slept beside a young weanling when he was moved over to the “big boys pasture” and let poor little Nillie the cat curl up on his blanket the night she passed. I’ve never seen a dog that could size up a situation with other animals so fast and seem to know if it was best to come up close and protect or respectfully watch from afar. We all terribly miss his presence in the pasture……comforting, protective and vigilant.

Balto & Cria 1

Balto & New Cria

Balto loved people as much as he loved animals and took his job very seriously. I think Balto felt it was his job to befriend and protect the world. He knew no boundaries, had no prejudices and I doubt thought twice about going under a fence, over a fence, squeezing through a gate, dodging through barbed wire or crossing a busy road just to visit a friend. No matter how many ways we tried to keep Balto in, he always eventually found a way out. He was smart, much more agile than his size would indicate and very, very strong.

Balto meets Duck

I have loved every dog I have ever owned to distraction, but Balto will always, always have a special place in my heart. He taught me about big, beautiful and loyal Great Pyrenees dogs and I can’t ever imagine not having one in my life and on my farm. He had the most beautiful, soulful brown eyes and I swear when you looked into them you could see right to his big heart. I will always regret that we didn’t try one more thing to keep him home and safe.

Balto, we miss you still and we are so, so sorry we let you down.

Pink Pandemonium – Blended Roving

Get ready for the next batch of blended roving…….Pink Pandemonium.  This is a blend of 70% alpaca (a natural beige) and 30% bamboo (dyed a shocking red/pink color).

Pink Pandemonium 2

The roving is already up on the website at http://www.naturalfiberfarm.com and comes in 4 ounce bundles.

Pink Pandemonium 1

The alpaca fiber came from Ringo who has soft, fine fiber with beautiful crimp.  Ringo is one of our shy males and can always be counted on as a good & safe buddy when we move the male weanlings over to the “big boy” pasture.

Ringo

So…..do you know who your roving comes from?

 

 

Timna Valley – Blended Roving

We just received the 2014 processed fiber back from Shepherd’s Mill and it has been like Christmas around our place! We have some of the most beautiful 100% alpaca and amazing alpaca/bamboo and alpaca/merino blends to offer this year. I can’t wait to get it all marked and checked in and out on the farm store shelves. I am working very hard to get it all ready to go in time for our upcoming fall shows, but I want to give you a first look and first chance to purchase all this beautiful 2014 fiber. Once I introduce the new fiber here, it will also be ready for purchase on the farm website at http://www.naturalfiberfarm.com. If you see something you want, place your order as quickly as possible. I think this fiber will go very quickly once we start our fall show tours.

I will start by introducing Timna Valley, a beautiful 60% alpaca/40% bamboo blended roving. The alpaca fiber is light fawn and comes from our alpaca Imagine. Imagine’s fiber has been blended with bamboo, dyed a beautiful malachite color. The roving comes in 4 oz. bundles and is $26.00 per bundle.
Timna Valley

As you can see, we have plenty of bundles right now, but I think that will change very quickly, particularly as shoppers get their hands on this incredible fiber.
Timna Valley 2

Imagine is one of our beautiful males……..fine fleece with a nice long staple length. And that color…….gorgeous!
Imagine

So…..do you know who your roving comes from?

Luffa Farming – Year 2

Last spring I decided I was going to give Luffa farming a try. Typically, when I decide to try something new, I just jump in with both feet, go way overboard and worry about the consequences later. It’s just the way I am when it comes to my creative endeavors. But this time, thank goodness, I tried to be more conservative and started out small. I started with only 12 plants and after making several mistakes and having a terrible summer in Missouri for Luffa farming, I ended the year with 2 luffas. Yes, that is it! There is no one else in the world that was as proud of my 2 luffas as I was, but let’s face it, it was not a great first year.

But as the winter went on (and on and on and on, it seemed), I began to get excited about Luffa Farming – Year 2. I learned a lot last year and if Mother Nature cooperates a little bit, I’m hoping to have a much better season.
One of the first decisions I made was to purchase a different seed. I don’t know that a different seed would have made much of a difference last year with the short summer that we had, but I am excited to try something new. At the Mother Earth News Fair last October I met the folks at Botanical Interests and was able to talk to them about the luffa gourd seeds that they have. I purchased my seeds this year from them and am excited to see how they work for me.

Luffas need a very long growing season, 110 days at least. This year I planted my seeds indoors earlier than I did last year so that I had a more mature plant to start with. I also used a plant light to give my seeds the warmest and lightest start possible. I really think it made a difference.

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I started around 60 plants indoors. To prepare a good place for my luffas this year, I purchased 2 cattle panels just for my luffa farming project. We attached the panels to posts which gave us about 32 feet of space for the luffas to grow and vine to their hearts content.

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I got the 60 plants in the ground today. We are off to a much warmer start this season and if we don’t have an early freeze in the fall, my luffas will have plenty of time to mature.

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We have placed temporary fencing around the luffa garden just until the plants mature some. I don’t want my chickens to uproot the plants while they are still so young and tender.

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Watch for more posts to see how Luffa Farming – Year 2 is coming along.