Most of you are familiar with Pocket, my best pal/ fur-daughter Pembroke Welsh Corgi. She’s my main assistant and even signs all your invoices! But lately, i’ve had another buddy joining us in the studio. Meet Dandelion Fluff, a dapper fellow among buns, quarantined in the studio post bunny show and allowing many pats and humiliating costumes during my brief bunny breaks.
I wonder if his little pawlets could handle the felting needles? I could use some help managing holiday orders! (And yes, my studio is covered in wool and scattered papers and plates…. i’m an artist aka slob. Sorry!)
I guess i’ll settle for some break time snuggles instead.
Yes, i do raise rabbits as livestock for meat…. but that doesn’t mean i’m not in love with my breeders. I very happily dole out snuggles to all willing buns in the bunny barn and treat every one with respect and care. This little guy is special and i can see why folks enjoy rabbits as house pets. I’m tempted to keep him inside all the time, but he prefers the 50 something temperatures of the barn with his bun-mates. I’ll take the bunny time when i can get it
Have you ever had a close relationship with an animal raised as livestock?
Sophie and Corey are a pair of seriously fluffy corgi fluffers! I was excited but daunted to work on them for their mama, Harriette: fluffy Fiber Friends take me at least two days and result in my studio, and me, being covered in bits of trimmed alpaca fiber and wool.
I’m totally stoked with how they turned out and even developed a slightly different system for my fluff-application. I often feel like a dog groomer to tiny, miniature dogs as i trim the locks of alpaca and wool to create they right ‘look’ – but at least my Friends don’t move on their own! (as far as i know)
Pocket is excited about them too, don’t let her relaxed demeanor fool you. I can’t wait to hear what their mama thinks of them in person. I know I’M proud
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Garlic is a kitchen staple around here. I put it in basically EVERYTHING but cereal and believe it is a big reason my immune system is so strong and healthy. Garlic is truly a super food, plus it’s really fun to grow. Granted: you have to have a certain amount of space set aside in your garden in order to grow garlic. Planted in October and harvested in July, it kind of takes up a lot of room. My dreams of growing ‘fields’ of garlic and onions were one of the main reasons we fenced such a large garden space. I want to be able to rotationally plant/ lay fallow assorted large crops, including garlic for years to come so i fenced in an area roughly 75 x 150 feet or something. I actually can’t remember anymore – but it’s a pretty big space. I broke new ground for the garlic patch in the past few weeks using a gas powered tiller for the surface few inches and my broadfork for deep cultivation. I can almost guarantee i’ll be battling with the grass and weeds all winter long since this bed is so newly cultivated….. but sometimes you just gotta get ‘her done!
I planted a small patch of Russian Red garlic purchased from a local friend last year and saved the biggest cloves for planting this year. The rest i either used up (the broken ones) or tied up in lovely braids in my pantry.
My garlic patch this year is 8×30 feet and includes: 2.5 pounds Russian Red (softneck), 1 pound Kilarney Red (hardneck), 1 pound Chesnook Red (hardneck) and 2 pounds Nootka Rose (softneck). Join with me, please, in a big prayer and round of finger crossing that the moles and voles won’t take out the ENTIRE crop over the winter/spring/summer.
This post is not a ‘how to plant’ post, as i’ve already written that one HERE and local seed growers Adaptive Seed have their own great post on the subject. Check those two posts out, pick up some (preferably organic) big cloves of garlic and plant some! Okay, okay – i’ll post a smidegeon of how to. Just the bullet points:
- Plant in October
- Plant only the largest cloves out of a head of garlic
- Plant them about 2 inches deep between 5 to 8 inches apart in rows between 10 and 18 inches apart
- Plant into good soil or amend it with bone meal, fertilizer, rabbit manure, compost, etc
- Mulch well at the time of planting
- Here in Western Oregon the sky will water them for you all winter, but if you’re not so lucky: keep well watered until about June
- Fertilize in February and April. I like to foliar feed with kelp or fish and water in diluted blood from butchering. Side dressing with blood meal would be almost as good
- Harvest in July, when about half the leaves are brown, but don’t wait too long or the cloves with spread out and won’t store as well
There is TONS more info than those bullet points that is important, so again – check out Adaptive Seed’s garlic planting post, do some research on hardneck vs softneck and have FUN getting dirty!
Do you grow your own garlic? What’s your favorite variety?
You may remember Bernard, that adorable fawn faced Pembroke Welsh Corgi i featured on Fiber Friday some weeks ago… Well, i had the good fortune of recently working on his best buddy, Jett the German Shepherd! I just love the conformation of a handsome GSD and i’m pleased with how Jett’s Friend turned out.
I often feel like i may have over emphasized the big ears on my Fiber Friends…. but these two really are all ears in real life!
Thanks to Jett and Bernard’s mama for sending me the fun photos! If you’ve been a Fiber Friends customer and want your pet featured on this blog and my Facebook page – just send me a message with some great photos and i’ll feature you next!