When I told them I was learning to spin, my friends Shannon and Eliezer generously offered to send me some of the wool from their sheep. I was thrilled at the idea of spinning from their very own home-grown sheep, and what’s better, they wouldn’t have to mail the wool to me because I was already on my way to New Jersey! Earlier this afternoon, I went with my dad and brother to visit their farm, and it was delightful.
Meet Sookie. She is the sheep that gave me my wool. How cool is that?? She’s a Jacob cross. Here’s the wool she has generously provided:
That is a lot of wool. It’s about 1/4 – 1/3 of Sookie’s whole fleece. The lighting is sort of poor in this shot, but I actually love the color — it’s a rustic, natural gray. It’s hard to believe all this (and much more) came from that svelte little sheep there, but I guess they really bulk up before they’re shorn!
Eliezer took us on a tour of the farm; here he is showing us the chickens.
These are apparently egg-laying chickens and are not particularly optimized for eating. The Silvers sell their eggs at the West Windsor Farmer’s Market — if you’re in central New Jersey, you should check them out! Eliezer explained that they actually move the fenced-in chicken area around their pasture every month or so, so the chickens can eat the grass in different places while it grows back in the previously-eaten places.
This pig is part of a similar system. They actually use him to till their ground — they let him dig up the soil in his pen and, uh, naturally fertilize it for while, then they move his pen and plant vegetables where he plowed the soil for them. Crazy! And isn’t that back-mowhawk awesome?
The Silvers wouldn’t let us leave without some farm-fresh eggs and tomatoes, and as soon as we got home my brother and I cooked some up for ourselves:
Mmmmmmm. In fact, I’m off to make a tomato salad for tonight’s dinner!