This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Where has the week gone? It never ceases to amaze me how fast time flies when we are on holiday. We've had some fun, done some jobs, done some work at the allotment, mended a few things, done some washing and lots of ironing - but it still feels like it ought to be Wednesday or Thursday, not Saturday.

Yesterday was a Fun Day. My friend at the farm asked if we wanted to come and help shear their sheep. They only have 9 and as they have no market for the wool from just 9 sheep, it did not matter if we mangled the fleece. It is such hard work. Everything is done with you bent over the sheep so your back starts to protest after a very short space of time. I've clipped our dog with electric clippers before but a sheep is very different. Once you get it tipped up so it is sitting with its back up your legs, the sheep is quite docile apart from a few wriggles. My husband managed one and a half but I just started one and did its front. They are heavy to hold in place and I knew my back would suffer today if I did any more. Besides, my sheep was a Zwartble and is black (very pretty: all black with a white blaze down the face and white socks) - so I couldn't tell easily where the black wool stopped and the black skin began. I was really worried about cutting the sheep's skin. It was the first time I had used such big clippers and they were newly sharpened. Hopefully, if we are invited back next year, I'll get a bit further. I'll also ask for a white one!


  • At 12:03 AM, Blogger Jane said…

    You can add sheep's wool to your compost!

  • At 6:21 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    That is what the sheep owner will do with the fleece. One of these years, when I am no longer working fulltime, I really fancy having a go at producing something useful, garment or blanket, from the fleece. I'd also like to grow a little patch of wheat one year to try producing a loaf completely from scratch. It sounds like a lot of hard work to do it all the time but I'd like to understand the processes you go through to produce a garment or loaf. My husband thinks I am daft : )

  • At 11:27 AM, Blogger Michelle H. said…

    Why do holidays always go so much faster than work days?? One of life's imponderables.

  • At 7:52 AM, Blogger The Cottage Garden Farmer said…

    I tried helping someone with shearing a sheep once, jolly hard work, can't imagine having to do a whole flock!


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