Welcome to Hobbyknob Farm Blog!

I look forward to introducing you to the wonderful world of sheep, chickens, llamas, nigerian dwarf dairy goats and sebastopol geese. And any other little critters that happen to show up or live around here. Livestock keep us connected to our agricultural history, the land and the cycle of life.

Monday, December 13, 2010


According to the calender it is not officially winter yet but mother nature does not live by the calender. We have had snow either coming from the sky or on the ground for a week now. And living in the south, the schools shut down. It can be quite different though depending on where you are in the mountains. The other side of Asheville may not have much or vice versa.That is what I love about living here. Nothing is ever predictible! Makes life interesting. Today though it is a bit colder than I like. 12 degrees and blustery. Too cold for me to go out and take a walk in the snow or sled.  Most of my walking consists of carrying hot water to the barn and throwing hay out to the animals. Good thing I've got those heated buckets! Obviously I still have a couple of buckets that aren't heated. Even the geese don't want to be out in the snow. The chickens are too busy using their energy to stay warm so they aren't laying any eggs this week. I know I will get cabin fever but we will get a break. It never lasts quite as long as it does in other parts of the country. Just get above freezing and I will be able to put on the thick fleece and go for a jog. I love Winter though. It gets dark sooner which gives me more time for spinning! I sleep so much better too!

In just about 8 weeks there might be some lambs! February will be here before we know it. Got to keep those ewes full of good hay. Still hoping to get one of my Nigerians bred!

Wishing that all will be able to keep the hope of the season alive in them throughout the new year. Jesus brings Christmas to us every day! Not just at Christmas.


Although Thanksgiving has past I finally have time to put some thoughts down. We enjoyed a turkey raised by a local farmer (Hickory Nut Gap Farm). I continually feel thankful that I live in Western North Carolina where there is such an interest in raising food. I know the farmer by name, I know how the turkey lived and was fed. It may cost a little more than a Butterball but the money stayed right here in my community and went directly to the farmer. My sweet potatoes came from North Carolina.The eggs for my dressing came from my own hens. Getting close to keeping it all local or regional but not quite there yet.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Isn't October Grand!

The month started with a refresher course in CamelidDynamics llama handling with Marty McGee Bennett. I attended my first clinic in 2001 and found that I was backsliding in my behavoir with my llamas. Marty is inspiring and entertaining and I feel empowered once again to be the best that I can be with my llamas. My goal is to be better equipped to help those new to llamas or alpacas especially those that adopt or foster SELR llamas. SELR stands for SOUTHEAST LLAMA RESCUE and you can view our website at http://www.southeastllamarescue.org/. More about that some day when there isn't much else to write about.

This weekend was one of my all time favorite events of the fall-SAFF!(Southeastern Animal and Fiber Fair) Saff is heaven on earth for the fiber enthusiast. Not quite like Maryland Sheep and Wool but for the south this is a darn good fiber event. And what a dedicated group of men and women that work year round to come up with all the workshops and logistics of running an event like this. Not only can you take workshops and shop till you drop for 3 days but you can also TOUCH and FEEL and experience the world of fiber animals-sheep, angora goats, llamas, alpacas, angora rabbits! That is what I do. My sheep get to have a spend the night with other sheep at the ag center (I know, some cringe at this thought) and my daughter and I show them on saturday and sunday. This year it was only Sunday since I helped with the llama show on Saturday. Breeds represented this year were Border Leicester, Romney, Cotswold, Shetland, Jacob. Fine wool classes featured Merino, Tunis, Montadale and Corriedale and other cross bred sheep. Long wool classes featured cotswold/Wensleydale cross and other Cotswold crosses, Linclon and Leicester Longwool. I probably left something out but for the south, we have a darn good variety of sheep breeds. The hills and valleys are ideal for raising sheep particularly hardy breeds like Jacob and Cotswolds. Breeds that can thrive on forage and have good feet to withstand wet or dry conditions. We took our Cotswold ram lamb, Cotswold/BL crosses (see the picture of Daisy), BL, Moorit corrieadale cross and Jacob ewe. Daisy placed 2nd in the fleece class and it was a large class so I was pleased as she is one of my favorites. My Jacob ewe yearling was breed class champion. The fleece on my ram lamb is too stuck together-either fine or too much hot weather this year so I will hang on to him until next year and see how he develops size and fleece wise. Meanshile the lucky guy gets to hang out with a few girls. I also take as many fleeces as I can get skirted to the awesome fleece show and sale. Once again, Marly, my Cotswold/BL wether placed first in the natural colored long wool division and Stella, my Moorit Coriedale cross placed first in the natural colored fine wool division. That is in the fleece show not the sheep show. I love it that someone buys the fleece and turns it in to something yummy to wear. You just never know where they may end up. So, winding down on October and heading into the shorter days which means more time for spinning!!! The leaves have peaked but there are still beautiful fall colors to enjoy. Get out and take a walk and enjoy the beauty of the fall. We are so blessed to live here!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fall is finally in the air, the ram is in with the ewes and the new chicks are growing fast. Spring fleeces will be heading to the Southeastern Animal and Fiber Fair (SAFF) later in October. This year I am breeding 4 Jacob ewes with my new ram. Looking forward to Jacob lambs again next spring. I hope to breed Daisy the white cots/BL cross and Carly my registered  natural colored Border Leicester. I primarily raise colored sheep. Don't ask me why, just like to be different. Having an interest in rare breeds I just believe that with so much emphasis on white sheep we need to keep the color genetics out there. Rovings and handspun yarn are always available.