We have moved onto our dream farm in the heart of Wisconsin! We closed on the property April 7th and have been busy unpacking and settling in. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get our queen size beds up the steep, narrow stairs to the bedrooms, but that will be remedied when we remodel later this summer.
There are many things to take care of in house, but the most important thing on our to-do list is get the fencing done so that we can bring our Alpacas home by the end of June, early July. We are really looking forward to having them on the farm!
We did welcome a new addition to the barn. A Lionhead rabbit named “Marshmallow” – MooMoo for short. He’s adorable and makes the cutest little noises when I walk into his stall to feed, water and visit. He also loves to be petted! He’ll live in the barn until we get the fencing up around the chicken coop for the ducks, which are coming at the end of this month!
I’m also thinking vegetable garden and will be building raised beds along the south side of the shop this weekend. My cherry and apple trees have been shipped, so I’m looking forward to getting them planted up as well.
As of last night, we have an offer on our house! It looks like we’ll be moving to the farm in early April. So much to do . . . so little time! We’re looking forward to the move and bringing our Alpacas and Great Pyrs home. Let the fun begin!
Having decided that we wanted livestock guardian dogs I started doing some research on them. Our mentors, Kim and Linda, have a Great Pyrenees and a Maremma. Both beautiful, big, white, friendly dogs. I thought I had decided on the Maremma. The Universe thought otherwise. Kim emailed me with a link to a farm that was re-homing two of their dogs – a bonded pair. I called up Laura (Kissin’ Coussens Alpaca Farm) and we had a nice talk about the dogs. I emailed her a few days later, and after much consideration, she decided that we would be a good home for the dogs. I’m so excited to welcome Max (short for Maximus) and Heidi!
Laura is going to keep the dogs for us until we move onto the farm. So now we have six alpacas and two Great Pyrenees as part of our growing farm family. I understand that April is chick month . . .
We were out at the farm today taking care of farm-buying business – namely a fireplace inspection and appraisal. It was a beautiful sunshiny day, albeit a tad on the cold side! I had hoped to take more pictures of the farm, but I forgot my camera. Brian shot this one with his cell phone camera of me in front of, what I hope will be, our farm store. We may build a new building and re-use the old barn boards as I’m not thrilled with its current location and Brian says we won’t be able to move it as it will likely fall apart. I guess we will see when the time comes . . .
I have a new appreciation and fascination with Barn Quilts. After all the trips we’ve made down to Dougherty Creek Farm to visit our Alpacas, it was just yesterday that I really took notice of all the beautiful quilt designs on the sides of barns and other buildings on the farms as we travelled through the rolling hills of Lafayette County. I’m enthralled with the stories and designs of each barn quilt and am looking forward to creating my own for the barn on our farm. A maple leaf quilt block . . . of course!
Well, if you ask Alice, she’ll tell you that I’m quite smitten with her. Every time we’re at Dougherty Creek Farm visiting our girls, there’s Alice, right behind me. Of course it could just be the carrots, but I’m pretty sure she’s smitten with me too.
So at the end of our visit, I asked Kim and Linda what Alice’s story was. They told us how she gets into her fair share of trouble. Did that deter me? No. Who could resist that face and all that charm? So, now there are six. As in six Alpacas that we’ll be bringing home to our own farm . . . the sooner the better!
Several weeks ago I signed up for a Spinning Class at Susan’s Fiber Shop in East Bristol, WI. That first class was a bit of a blur, to be honest. There was so much new information to learn and well, let’s just say that when I got my spinning wheel home I did not know enough to adjust the tension and move the fiber hooks to spread the yarn evenly on the bobbin. I was not amused . . .
Then, this past Monday I made the time to go back out to Susan’s and take my second class. What a difference a second class makes! I now know to adjust the tension and move the little clips so that my yarn spreads evenly on the bobbin. It was much more fun and relaxing! I also learned how to card on a carding machine, how to ply, wash and prepare my yarn. What joy!
I spent several hours yesterday afternoon spinning yarn on my brand new Ashford Kiwi Spinning Wheel. All went without a hitch. I now have an almost full bobbin and will spin another in order to ply and create another skein of yarn. I’m really enjoying this aspect of the alpaca lifestyle!
Looking through pictures on the internet of our farm, I found this one of the chicken coop. Isn’t it pretty? Other than the old farm building out front, this is the only other red building on the property. It used to house chickens on the left and sheep on the right. For our purpose, it’s going to hold chickens and ducks . . . unless I can talk Brian into a miniature donkey . . .
It needs a bit of tidying up and perhaps some fresh paint, along with new nesting boxes and roosting bars. I might add some window boxes full of flowers. Do you think the chickens will eat the flowers?
I’m as excited as a bear in honey! We have a logo created for us by Jonathan Johnson, a very talented graphic artist. Jonathan created several images for us and was very patient as we navigated through the process of choosing the one that resonated for us. Thank you Jonathan!
After several emails back and forth, this is our final logo. And in case you don’t get the connection . . . we’re Canadian eh!
I’ve already created business cards and even splurged and bought a tote with the logo on it. One cannot start their marketing efforts too soon!