It's been a long time since I posted. I've been BUSY!!!!!
In late July I went to the Golden Gate Fiber Institute hosted by Carolina Homespun. It was an INCREDIBLE experience. The location was BEAUTIFUL.
The two courses I took were Spinning with Judith MacKenzie McCuin. If you ever get the opportunity to take a class with her, TAKE IT! She is an excellent teacher, no matter at what skill level you are at. At this 6-day course, we worked with hemp, flax, mohair, rabbit, camel, bison, tencel, bamboo, and several different breeds of sheep wool. I learned how to thigh spin (did you even know there was such a thing???)
I also took a natural dyeing class with Darlene Hayes, owner of Hand Jive knits in Davis. What a great woman and teacher she is as well! We came home with 13 skeins of natural dyed yarns in colors from brown (walnut husk) to blue (indigo) to red (cochineal), and everything else in between.
When I came home, harvest was in full swing. In my garden, we had so many beans, that we canned 9 pints for winter use. That got me to thinking that if we have 9 other things to winter over (canned corn and harvested butternut squash), plus produce from our winter garden (chard, broccoli) we could last over 2 months and have a different veggie every night during a week. There is some work to do, but it's a thought.
Harvesting at the farm is HUGE and occupies at least half our days. We now harvest for our on-site farm stand that is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:00 - 8:00 pm. So far, our largest nightly sales have been in excess of $500! We also began a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Folks can purchase an agriculture share for $300/ every quarter and pick it up on Wednesday evenings. We currently have 22 CSA members. Exciting! And every Tuesday, Mike Miller, the chef owner of Travese in Los Gatos http://www.trevese.com/ is coming to the farm to choose produce for his restaurant. Pretty cool.