My Toyota Tacoma was one of the 20,000 in New England reclaimed by Toyota a month or two ago. I’ve been truckless ever since. Doing the NH Festival with just a car to load up was difficult: not enough room, and I’ve been looking, but with all those Tacomas off the road and all those people looking for vehicles, it hasn’t been easy. To make it even more interesting, all the American made trucks, given the lack of Tacomas, raised their prices to the level of used Tacomas (which keep their value longer!). But I found one. It is unfortunately red. I hate red vehicles…but otherwise, it is nice. It is a Ford Ranger. Today we will go get a cap put on it. Then, I’ll be all ready to load up for my yard sale/perennial sale with a neighbor this week, and early next week, and later next week, to load up for the Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival on Memorial Day weekend as well. (I can’t bilocate, no, but I am at the plant sale on Friday, and Dottie does Saturday on her own.) So far, I’ve dug about 90 plants. I dig about 10 a day, beginning sometime in early May. I dig small ones and larger ones, and we then try to charge about l/2 of what the local nurseries charge. We’ve gotten quite a following over the years. I take a portion of my profit and go to nurseries and buy new stock for the following year’s splitting, and to satisfy my perennial addiction. (Both John and I have vowed NOT to have more than one perennial garden each, for othewise, like Dottie, we would be spending every day out there weeding and cultivating and such. And there are many other things to do…like feeding the animals, fencing, spinning, knitting, visiting friends, walking, etc. So, we are limiting our space. You would be amazed at how many plants I can stuff into this garden! And now, with “culling” and splitting every year, it keeps it all under control.
The New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival was a joy, as always. It is the first big show of the season, and there are so many people to visit whom we haven’t seen since last Fall, news to catch up on, etc. The sales were excellent on Saturday; on Sunday it was dead. We didn’t sell but two pieces of “ready to wear” garments. People were there for fiber, for yarn, for fleeces. A lot of people were looking for patterns for items we had for sale. We hadn’t made up patterns for them. We didn’t bring any sock yarn, just handspun yarn, but Deb and company, from Maine, sold out of sock yarn, so to Massachusetts, we will bring a selection of sock yarns and PATTERNS: we’ve been busily making up samples and writing down the patterns in an easy to understand manner, with every row written down. (None of that, “continue in that manner until…” which stymies beginners.) And we’ll bring the fleeces left unsold, the rovings we’ve dyed, handspun yarn, and a few wearables. My theory this year is that winter was SO long and so snowy that people are just not wanting to look at or buy winter clothing right now. We probably should have made up a bunch of summer weight wool clothing, shawls and socks, and short sleeved, fine, lightweight tops and such. But we didn’t. You live and learn.
The goslings are growing like weeds. (Why on earth I ever decided to buy geese I don’t know, but a friend, years ago, suggested that American Buff geese are not like other geese (i.e., nasty and aggressive) so I decided to find out. I got someone to brood out the turkey poults for a couple of weeks for me, since I’ve run out of room. The piglets arrived last Thursday. They are LITTLE, smaller than last year. Younger, I guess. The grass is not growing fast enough to keep up with the sheep, and because it’s not high, I’ve had to change pastures, which means putting up fencing, and keep them in very small every other day paddocks, to let as much of the grass grow undisturbed as possible. I probably should change them every day anyway, but I don’t have enough fencing to put it up and leave it up for daily paddocks, and frankly, spending an hour every day putting up fencing is just not high on my list of things to do every morning. Once a week works. Until the grass really comes in, however, it is every day or every other day…which cuts into my time needed for other stuff.
This morning’s project will be to clean out the “under the loft stairs” potting mess. I have tons of pots needed for the plant sale, and have just been throwing things in there all year. It’s time to get them all out and get them organized into sizes, to facilitate the digging of plants for the sale. I also have to buy more milk: those piglets go through a gallon a day. Giving them milk with their food while they are young is a good thing. Last year I got my milk from Lisa, the raw milk lady, who gave it to me at $3 a gallon, half the normal price, for animal feed. And she never mentioned that it was something she didn’t want to do for long, until after three months…I feel like I took advantage of her, unwittingly, so this year, I am trying to not do so. Hence, it’s commercial milk. There are a few other people with raw milk around, but they don’t ship, and hence, are not subject to regular tests, and I’m a little nervous about drinking and feeding out milk that isn’t tested regularly. So, it’s the local dairy, no BGH, but pasteurized. I will look for other sources for raw milk when I have time.
Okay, it’s time to take LIzzie out (Do you know that adorable little puppy had diarrhea for two days while I was at the festival…stress, my friends say, because mama isn’t there…and didn’t have ONE single accident in the house? She called me at night if she had “emergency”. She went out regularly and had her “squirts” until it was over and she was back to normal. What a puppy-girl! (more than you wanted to know, right?)
And after taking Lizzie out, time to do morning chores. Have a lovely weekend. They are predicting some showers on four of the next five days, but the likelihood percentage isn’t that high. We need rain.