Sunday, August 12, 2007

a visit to steam valley

the last weekend in july, my mom and i met up at the farm where i apprenticed for 3 weeks in 2003, steam valley fiber farm in trout run, pennsylvania. we had a very lovely and relaxing weekend, visiting with phylleri and her family and seeing her flourishing farm. there were a lot of nice changes since i last visited 3 years ago, such as new barn doors (and a new barn wall-- see more pics here) built by her son sky. the garden is nearly at it's peak (mom's holding some squash we picked to use in our lunch) and we ate goat cheese pizza and goats' milk fudge, fresh chevre spread on crackers, eggs that just hours earlier were warming under feathery bellies, zucchini bread with honey-yogurt spread and plenty of just-picked salad.

phylleri taught us how to weave on her new triangle loom from hillcreek fiber studios. it's really cool because i've never seen a loom that could weave a triangle before, and the warp and weft are one continuous yarn so there's no laborious set-up involved; you are actually weaving as you are setting it up. using a space-dyed yarn could yield some fascinating pattern effects, which i'd love to try sometime...

it was gertie's first trip to the farm; she had fun barking at all of the other dogs and sunbathing. that's 'patches' above (or else it's her sister 'zanne'; i really can't tell) one of the maremmas that guard the goats 24 hours a day. patches was named after me, and zanne after the other apprentice who was there at the same time i was!

phylleri's trying out some new chicken breeds in addition to the araucanas she's been keeping. now she's got some bantams and silkies (you can click on the pics to see them bigger).

can you tell the difference between an angora goat and a sheep?

garlic scapes, assorted chickens and a curly forelock...

it was nice to get up at 5:30 and accompany phylleri while she milked. the nubians are so funny and friendly; these two girls nearly climbed the fence to chew on my clothes...

the newest addition to the farm is PIGGIES! these 2 little guys are only a few months old, but soon they will be huge. their job is using up kitchen waste (converting it into fertilizer) and roto-tilling the garden, and eventually stocking the freezer with pork!

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