Sunday, October 17, 2010

Change of Seasons

With the end of the gardening season comes the beginning of another phase of productivity. I hope to spend a lot of my free time the next several months washing and blending fiber, spinning and dyeing yarn for the spring fiber festival.

Education is also high on my list.  I have always loved reading and books, leaning toward information rather than fiction.  Over the years, and especially since I decided to really try to do as much 'farming' as possible in my small space, I have consumed books on related topics like potato chips.

But  - you can only get so much from books.  Sometimes you have to really get your hands in the dirt, or on some livestock.  Even though I can't imagine chicken-keeping ever being approved by my townhouse association, I can dream can't I?  I favored one or two breeds of chickens, only to find at the "Backyard Chickens" class I took through the county Extension office that they weren't the best choice for a couple of reasons.   Next Saturday, Oct. 23, I found a chicken show in Frankfort  - an easy hop for me, so Lord willing, I hope to go over there next week and see me some real chickens!

The breed the teacher in the class liked is Wyandottes (buff Wyandottes pictured above) so I hope they have some, so I can have a look.

In my hometown  - Lancaster, Ohio - they have a truly wonderful county fair.  The fairground is only a block from the house I lived in and my favorite part was going to see the livestock. The fair there ended yesterday and I wasn't able to go.  I'm feeling nostalgic and homesick for that, so trying to find some livestock shows where I am now is the next best thing.

The following weekend I found a rabbit show in Shepherdsville KY .  I've been to a couple of rabbit shows in other states, but I would like to try to make it to this one to connect with KY rabbit breeders.  They are having an open show for Angoras, so I would like to see which varieties are there, and meet their breeders. I always enjoy browsing around looking at the other breeds too. (alert! danger, danger, danger......) 

Then next month is the North American International Livestock Show and Exposition at the State Fairgrounds in Louisville, with all the big stuff - cattle, horses, mules, sheep, goats, etc. I would like to go to see the sheep at that one.

For anyone interested in hobby or urban farming, fire up those search engines!  If you don't live in my area, or are interested in different kinds of livestock than I am, check for events in your area.  I have always found people at this sort of thing very willing to talk to visitors who have an interest.  You might even get some hands-on experience, like the time I was at a show to participate in a 'fiber to shawl' competition, and while I was looking around to see what other kinds of animals were there, a dairy goat breeder made me encouraged me to milk her goat!  

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