Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Estes Park Wool Show & Black Sheep Gathering!

Last month, we were happy to be able to attend and show our sheep at the Estes Park Wool Show in Colorado. Also at that event was the National CVM/Romeldale show. Of course, we think all of our sheep are beautiful, so we asked an impartial, experienced and knowledgeable shepherd friend to help us choose which sheep we should show. He helped us choose four of our little ram lambs to go this year. Elmer is a moorit (milk chocolate brown), his triplet brother Finnegan (black), Cosmo (white), all Romeldales, and Gabriel, a black/white CVM badger-face ram went to the show.

My hubby and I are both newbies at this whole thing. We both grew up as city kids and have never showed livestock of any kind before, but thanks to our friends, we got our sheep & ourselves transported. We had some instruction on how to handle and show the sheep (we had practiced with the rams on halter at home) and managed to get through the events with relative ease. And we were quite blown away by the success that the boys had!

Our little Elmer was a big winner & came in Reserve Grand Champion (second place overall) and received a trophy for Best Fleece. He was second to a young ewe from Little Orchard Farm in Bow, Washington, and she is now is part of our flock. We showed our white ram, Cosmo, and his fleece just glowed in the morning light. He came in first place in his category. Gabriel is a very handsome little guy but his fleece is yet on the short side to show, according to the judge. Finnegan made a great pair with his brother, Elmer.

We went on from Estes Park to Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon. The boys again did very well, with Elmer coming in third place with some pretty strong competition and a different judge, so I am feeling quite certain that he is a fine little specimen. I am happy to say that his success hasn't gone to his head & he's just as sweet & lovable as he was before. :-) At Eugene, I made the decision to add another ram to our flock. This little guy is from Black Pines Farm in Colorado, and his name is Brutus. He brings us a different line of genetics within the CVM/Romeldale breed.

The boys spent some time recuperating from their travels and are now in the back pasture with their dads & alpaca buddies.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Welcome to Spinner's Eden Farm!

For several years now, I have had the "Aquarian Hamster" blog. I have enjoyed sharing photos & notes of activities at our home & farm, but I've had many questions about the title - especially when we started using "Aquarian Hamster" as our farm name. Here are answers to some of the interesting questions I've been asked over the years:

*I* am the Aquarian Hamster. Aquarius for obvious reasons (my birth sign), and Hamster referring to the fact that we live in BellingHam, Washington, where residents are known as Hamsters.

"Aquarian Hamsters" are not a specific breed of hamster.

We have no *actual* hamsters at our farm. Not in the house, either.

We do not use hamster fiber. We use sheep, alpaca, and mohair goat fiber.

I don't know how much fiber one can get from a hamster.

I don't know how many hamsters it would take to knit a sweater.

So, in the interest of clarity, and to more accurately describe our farm, we have changed the name. Because we focus on raising quality fiber animals (CVM/Romeldale sheep & camelids) with an emphasis on providing very nice spinning fiber to very nice spinners, and because our farm is our place of joy, peace, and welcome, we decided to call it "Spinner's Eden". I hope you won't have too much trouble remembering the name.