The Farm is a busy place right now. Preparing for a hurricane helps us prepare for the winter weather as well. For those wondering about our work lists…. Getting in supplies for the winter months is a priority. We have our own hay field now so we have some hay of our own, but we still purchase hay to have plenty for the animals. The farmer has been working on the beehives to have them ready for winter as well. We do not use chemicals for parasite issues with the bees. The farmer makes his own, all natural, repellent and sprinkles it in the hives. He has also added supers ( another level of wax for the bees to fill). The equipment is being winterized. Just because we are in the South does not mean we can neglect that .
We began shearing the lambs to get them clean and tidy for the winter. They get a pedicure and checked for any other issues we might have missed. Lambs are very sweet. Love my babies.
The apple trees have been picked. There were not enough for cider this year but plenty for apple butter and eating. We plant trees just about every year. We planted four horse apple trees. It is an old variety which does well in North Carolina. Trying to get everything picked before the wind blows them off.
The Fall garden has been planted. It will provide blooms to help keep the bees at home and out of other people’s chemicals. The produce it supplies is so fresh and continues until frost. We have cane this year and are hoping to make sorghum syrup. That is usually a late Fall event.
Two hens have hatched chicks in the last week. We like to raise our own laying hens. We did purchase a few chicks from Tractor Supply as well. It will be many months until they are laying, but fun to watch them grow up. We have Speckled Sussex and Partridge Rock hens now. They are very calm and good mothers. The Speckled Sussex are a heritage breed and so lay a smaller egg. We like them anyway.
Speckled Sussex hen and chicks
Our next Knit/Spin/Crochet In at the Red Barn Studio will be held on our farm September 21st from 10-3. We welcome you to join the fiber fun. Although we are wool lovers, all fibers and fiberistas are welcome. Hope to see you then!
Wow…August is here, lambs are growing, ladies are rested and ready for the Fall. We are enjoying the beautiful weather and keeping everyone happy. Our sheep and cows are getting fat on their lovely pasture. The fowl are everywhere eating bugs!
We will host our Spin/Knit/Crochet In on August 17th from 10-3 at the Red Barn Studio. The fiber fanatics will be here sharing their many ideas and love of fiber. We hope you can join us. Get your fiber on..and creative juices going!
We have been washing our sheep fleeces getting them clean to go to the mill for processing. Our sheep provided lovely fleeces this year in many colors. It will be fun to see what the mills can do for us. Roving and yarn are on the agenda, soft and warm for those cool days and night
The bees are happy and buzzing with their new supers full of wax to fill with honey. A super is an upper level apartment added to the hive which has wax for the bees to fill. Most counties have Bee clubs so if you are interested in learning about beekeeping call your local extension agent for information.
Enjoy the rest of the summer. It is on the wane now.
Love to Spin? Are you part of Tour de Fleece, a spinning event that is happening now as the Tour de France cycling event is taking place. Spinning every day that the cycling event is happening. It is a wonderful way to bring your spinning up to speed. Haha.
Heelside Farms July Spin/Knit/Crochet In is scheduled for July 20th from 10-3 in the Red Barn Studio here on our farm. We will have a ” Christmas in July ” sale of our products to celebrate the middle of the summer. Are you ready to get started on projects for cooler weather? What is your cool weather fiber plan? A new sweater? Warm gloves, mitts, cowls, scarves, hats, socks, slippers………for you, gifts, non profit donations? Some of our fiber lists carry us far into the future. Dreaming is okay too. We hope our fiber products are in your dreams. Our wool is from our beautiful sheep. It is a renewable resource. They are growing it even as we go about our daily routine.
We are washing our fleeces now to have everything ready for processing at the fiber mills. It is labor intensive but satisfying as you are able to see that your sheep are healthy. Great fleeces come from healthy sheep.
Our lambs are so beautiful. Is a spinning flock in your dreams? Our Finn sheep, Cormo crosses, and Icelandic sheep are available for your flock dream. Having sheep is a rewarding and satisfying hobby.
The beekeeper has been capturing swarms of bees and putting them in new hives. Soon it will be time to rob the hives of their honey for this year. So much is happening on the farm in the spring. It seems as if the farmer runs from one job to another all of the time.
Our lambs are weaned and their mothers are getting a well earned rest. We have a lovely crop of lambs and calves this year. It is a joy to watch them. A reminder of God’s goodness.
We had our Knit/ Spin/ Crochet In on the 18th of May. It was a relaxing and revitalizing day. Thanks to all of those who came. We had spinners, knitters, and fiber processors busy at their creations.
The June Knit/Spin/Crochet In will be from 10-3 on June 15th at the Red Barn Studio on our farm. Looking forward to seeing your projects.
Carolina Fiber Fest was a great event. We were thrilled to meet fiberistas of all types. It was also a joy to see friends and catch up on all the news. The fiber world is warm and joyful. The craft-a-long for the event had a knitted shawl pattern and a crocheted cowl pattern. Loved seeing all of the different versions of those two designs.
On the Farmfront we have new rovings, plenty of lambs and Spring exploding in flowers. Our next Spin/Knit/Crochet In at the Red Barn Studio on Heelside Farms is April 20, 2019 from 10-3. Join the fun and relax with other fiberistas. Bring your project and something to show and tell about.
Mark your calendars for Carolina FiberFest for next year. March 13 and 14, 2020 at the Expo Building at the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C. We have moved to the Expo Building (more room), Classes and all under one roof. It is also a week earlier on the calendar. Plan ahead and reserve your rooms now at the FourPoints by Sheraton or at the Ramada Inn Blue Ridge Rd. Both near the event.
Our rovings are often inspired by pictures with interesting stories or color combinations. Here are two of our newest rovings each connected to a picture for inspiration.
The Nile River in Egypt
The Nile roving ..a cormo finn cross
Cleopatra Queen of Egypt
Cleopatra Roving .. Cormo Finn cross
Lambing has begun. We are happy for a break in the rain so the little ones and their moms can get out. The joy that the little ones bring is a heart warming beginning to spring. We will have lambs for sale when they are weaned.
Our farm events for March have changed. Our Knit/Spin/Crochet In will be held in Raleigh at the Pre-Event Party on March 16, 2019. Details below.
We are excited to announce two Carolina FiberFest events in March this year. The first event is a Pre-Event Party on Saturday March 16, 2019 from 10 am until 5 pm at the Expo Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. It is a celebration of the Carolina FiberFest 2020 move to that building. Admission is free. A used equipment sale, a meet the wheel / try before you buy area, a shawl fashion flair talk and an impromptu fashion show with creations you bring to share will be on the agenda. Fiberistas sharing their Fiber Love will be everywhere. Bring your projects and join the fun. Carolina FiberFest will be collecting donations for BackPack Buddies at this event. Please join us to support this wonderful cause. Parking is free and there will be food for sale on site. Each person coming will receive a free raffle ticket for the annual CFF event the following weekend. Check the website for details and updates. www.carolinafiberfest.org.
The annual Carolina FiberFest will be held Friday and Saturday March 22& 23, 2019 in the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds from 9 am until 6 pm each day with everything fiber!. Classes, vendors, a fleece sale, a fiber arts competition, speakers on many topics, fiber arts demos, a fleece to shawl demo, a raffle with an interchangeable needle kit and a table loom as the grand prizes. Two days of Fabulous Fiber Fun!
Check out the website for details. www.carolinafiberfest.org. It is a great month.
The CSS Neuse Museum in Kinston, N.C. will be hosting a Fleece to shawl event on March 30th at the museum. More information can be found at the CSS Neuse Interpretive page on Facebook or go to the NC State Historic Sites web page.
These are some of our beautiful lambs and mamas.
The groundhog spoke on the 2nd and said spring will be early. It looks like it this week. The maternity ward here is full of happy, fat ladies awaiting the arrival of lambs. They are munching away on hay, grass and grain feeding their growing babies. They are also growing a new crop of wool. Ah yes…a renewable resource of luscious, soft, glowing wool. A picture of lambs from last year as a reminder of where we will be shortly. We will be fixing up their stalls today in the Heelside Hilton for sheep.
Our Spin/Knit/Crochet In at the Red Barn Studio is scheduled for February 16, 2019 from 10-3 on our farm. Join the Fiber Fun. Soak up the fiber vibes and relax with the creative community at the Red Barn Studio. See you there.
In addition to the Carolina FiberFest yearly event we are having a PARTY on March 16, 2019 at the Expo Building on the NC State Fairgrounds from 10-5. It is a fiber celebration of our move in 2020 to the Expo Building. So, yes, there are two events to celebrate. Both are free admission. The party will have a used equipment sale, an impromptu fashion show (bring your creations to model), a talk on how to wear a shawl and a talk on knitting to flatter and fit. Come, join the fun and party for fiber. We are sponsoring a backpack buddies drop off as well to help the community. Check out the website for all of the info. www.carolinafiberfest.org Everyone who comes will receive a free raffle ticket for the raffle at our yearly event the following weekend.
We are getting ready for Carolina FiberFest . That wonderful yearly event happens Friday and Saturday March 22 & 23, 2019 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds ( 9am – 6pm each day). www.carolinafiberfest.org will keep you up-to-date with all the fiber wonders. There will be 50 vendors this year, a record number with great variety and quality. A fleece sale, craft-a-long, fleece to shawl event, fiber arts competitions, guild demos, free speakers, classes, a raffle for fun, and event collectibles for sale. If you finish either the crochet or knitting craft-a-long project bring it by the check in booth to receive a free button commemorating your creativity for 2019. Check out the website for all of the details.
Pinky and her family
A New Year is upon us……hooray….a fresh start for all.
Our Knit/Spin/Crochet In will be held in our Red Barn Studio here at the farm on January 19th from 10-3. It is a great time to show off what you are creating, share ideas with other fiber enthusiasts, relax in the cushioning fiber aura and check out the fiber trends. What are your fiber plans for the new year? Are you planning on setting new fiber trends yourself? Have any questions for other fiberistas? Join the fun. We look forward to seeing you there.
Rich deep color with the colorway look
Heelside Farms’ Red Barn Studio will be open for Small Business Saturday November 24th, from 10-3. We will be offering specials on Yarn, Roving, Top, Kits, Needles and Blankets. Our wool is from our sheep. Buying local here means really local! Find that dream yarn or spinning fiber for your creations or that super friend. We have Chiaogoo red lace needles as well as double points in bamboo and steel, crochet hooks, quilting needles, shawl pins. We have created shawl and cowl kits that are colorful and easy. We look forward to seeing you this Saturday.
Reyna Shawl cormo/mohair
Our Knit/Spin/Crochet In will be held on November 17th from 10-3 in the Red Barn Studio on our farm. We welcome you to join the creative fun. Bring a project or purchase a new one. Show off your projects. It is okay to toot your own horn!
We had a great time at SAFF and enjoyed meeting everyone. Thanks for letting us know how you heard about us. Hear are a few pics of our booth . The Chipolte Cormo Top pictured in the last post was a hit!
Thanks to Patti for knitting the Aphelion Cowl for us. Our kits did very well. The cowl and shawl kits are a new addition to our line.
We found a new calf had been born when we arrived home. Here is a pic of the little heifer ( a girl) with her mother and her aunt.