Sunday, September 20, 2009

How did the week go so slowly...

...and the weekend so fast?


Today was not as productive as I'd hoped, but wicked enjoyable. I went to the 'Bucks this morning and spent like three hours writing a ridiculously long letter for a patient of mine. I grabbed some lunch, and then I met up with my aunt and uncle for the Local Farm Tour. We only made it to two farms, actually, but they were pretty awesome. The first one had goats and sheep and ducks (ducks that eat fire ants, how cool is that?). I ate some goat cheese, picked up a lovely bar of goat's milk soap, and - of course, the real prize for me - procured four ounces of very pretty white Border Leicester roving. We also bought some yarn from her sheep for my cousin, who's a relatively new knitter. Seriously awesome yarn. One of the farm folks was knitting a thick wool sweater out of it, and wow, was it gorgeous.

On #6 straights. I was like, seriously? Who knits a sweater on straight needles anymore? But I digress.

The second farm we went to was just so beautiful. Unlike the first farm, which was still sort of being restored, the second was like four generations deep. It was so lovely. They had sheep and goats and a pair of llamas. They also had two really gorgeous horses and all these hilarious chickens. And, those chickens? Guinea fowl. They were hysterical. And apparently really like to eat ticks. Way to go, Guineas. There's also a lovely patch of gardens which grow things including cotton, which becomes more relevant in a minute.

On that farm, the woman had this whole building where she spins and weaves. The building itself was made from trees that were uprooted during hurricane Fran. It's a gorgeous little studio, and she has this antique wheel that's like taller than me. She also has a Schacht that's much more functional. I bought another half pound of roving from her - four ounces of something brown and soft that I don't remember what kind of sheep it came from (something that started with a T, I think), and four ounces of this unbelievably awesome Cotswold roving. It's pin drafted, so all you really need to do is just fire up the wheel (were that I had one...soon, soon. This lady also gave me some good ideas about where to find used wheels). And it's just totally...I'm so in love. I need to get me some Cotswold sheep some day.

I also really like Cotswold cheddar. Maybe what I need to do is just move to Cotswold. It sounds like a magical land...

We were going to go to a local vineyard as well, but spent way too much time talking to the spinner lady (and, really, North Carolina wines....), so we diverted and just went back to their house and made pizza. And I took my drop spindle over to illustrate what I'd been babbling about on the farm, and gave my uncle a brief lesson in spinning on the drop spindle. He did really well with it, actually (he's an engineer, and gets the physics of all of this). We had a very good time, as we always do.

Today definitely fueled my little pipe dream of being farm people. I come from farm stock, after all (I got very nostalgic today, as the second farm smelled a lot like my great-aunt's). I frequently have this bucolic little fantasy about living out in the country with my alpacas and a few sheep and a couple of goats. Not as any real sort of means of self-sustenance, but I imagine we'd make a little extra money from the alpacas and whatnot. And chickens. I'd also like a little coop of laying hens. And maybe a cow. And a husband who really liked to garden, and we could grow all of our own produce and maybe we could trade stuff with our little farmer neighbors (maybe I'd let them have the cow) and grow berries and have those freakin' hilarious little Guineas running around. And dogs. We'd need a couple of really huge dogs and then a couple of indoor mutts. And definitely some cats in the barn (although, no cats in the house). Ooh, and a horse. A really nice old mare that I could ride around the farm on. I don't think it would have to be that big; maybe 15 or 20 acres would more than suit us just fine.

And then I remember that this little agrarian utopia conflicts with my pipe dream of living on the beach. And also that there aren't a lot of Starbucks near farmland.

Meanwhile, I stayed out way too late on a school night. And, I still smell like farm.

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