Our sweet Esther. Losing her was a tragedy that gave birth to a wonderful blessing.
Today's the day I stop and express my gratitude for a couple of the amazing blessings in the life of the farm, that just happened to have occurred on the same day of the year - January 26.
First, three years ago, Susie Gibbs sat down with me and explained all about the CSA model of her fiber farm, which continues to revolutionize the fiber world. This model emphasizes community over commodity, and people over products. To hard-line retailers, this stands everything on its ear. Yes, spinners and knitters are looking for good yarns and rovings, but even more important to them is a sense of belonging. And since that's important to me, too, I'm more than delighted to provide an environment where relationships grow and multiply, as we ply our fiber craft (no pun intended) together.
The door to the Little Red Barn is always open for old-comers and new-comers.
Inspired by Susie and her farm, Jacob's Reward Farm is developing and maturing into its own unique kind of place. People instantly feel at home. We become friends, we share our joys and sorrows, we network our businesses, and everything takes on a richness it lacked before. We keep our animals happy, healthy and accessible, and busy providing the quality fiber we love.
There's still lots to learn - challenges to overcome, mistakes to make and correct, successes to celebrate, and joys to share. Thank you, Susie, for getting us off on the right foot. We can't wait to see what tomorrow holds.
Judah's first day on the job. The sheep were terrified.
The second thing we celebrate on January 26 is the arrival of our first Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) Judah, adopted from Texas Great Pyrenees Rescue. Not all the Great Pyrs that the rescue group takes in are suitable for guard work, so our friend Susie Shirley evaluates them on her property with her goats. Judah did a wonderful job for her, so we had every confidence he would do well here. I had no idea just how wonderful he would be. He has a great disposition toward us and the sheep, and he has none of the bad habits Pyrs can display - digging, fence jumping, wandering, etc. I just assume he really likes being here, because he could certainly leave if he wanted to.
Slowly, the sheep begin to trust this big white bear.
Our sheep took a little while getting used to him, and now they are fairly at ease around him. And they are definitely safer with him on guard in the pasture. I never ever want a repeat of the coyote attack that pushed me to get Judah in the first place. Now, with the addition of Ruthie in the field with him, we have quite a lovely set up. The Maremma puppies, coming in late February (be still, my heart), will eventually allow us to provide protection for all our valuable fiber animals and chickens.
He's really just a big white love-bug once you get to know him.
Strangers, not so much.
So, as you can see, it's a very special day. Makes me want to give something away.
Here's two skeins of beautiful hand spun Jacob yarn - 4 oz. and about 200 yards each of worsted weight smooshy, springy goodness in a rich natural brown. If you've never knitted with Jacob wool before, you owe yourself this tactile treat.
Comfort food for your fingers... hand spun Jacob.
Leave a comment here about anything you like, by midnight tomorrow night (Thursday), and we'll pick a winner at random. You're already a winner in my book, but that's how these things work, ya see.
Have an extra special "Eureka! Day" today. Watch for the special blessings that just might change your life.