Author Archives: bluestempond

About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.

How to Be Like a Machine?

I have a project that I don’t know how to complete. A friend loves the idea of home-grown, home-spun yarn to make a little sweater for her granddaughter. She showed me the pattern and told me the color she wants, … Continue reading

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Weaving and Yarn Experiments

I joined the local Handweavers’ Guild this year to get some help understanding why my loom was giving me so much trouble. One member was especially kind and helped me identify things I was doing that were getting in the … Continue reading

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Short Trip to the Market

One of the best thing about living here is that the produce section of our local market is just out the back door. I was thinking about what we need for the next few days of meals and decided to … Continue reading

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Lessons Learned About Grapes

Ok, last year I thought I was smart to prune my concord grapes in the early summer, giving the lovely little green baby bunches lots of sunshine and air. At the end of the season, I was so disappointed to … Continue reading

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September Shift

We are moving into the next stage on the farm, with new crops coming ripe and new colors taking precedence in the fields. The goldenrod is becoming king of the landscape, and all other flowers are stepping back to make … Continue reading

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A Couple Interesting Things

This week I attended the Michigan Fiber Festival, at the Allegan County Fairgrounds. I go every couple of years and it is a special treat if I can take a class while I am there. This year I signed up … Continue reading

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Perspiration by Gender

I was out in the garden after a couple days off and there was so much that needed to be harvested. As the rivulets of sweat freely ran down over my glasses and I gave up trying to wipe them … Continue reading

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Reptilian Repose

We have our own “Brutus” the snapping turtle living in the pond this year. I normally only see him (or her) in the spring at egg-laying time, but I was surprised to see that he dragged himself up onto the … Continue reading

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The Busy Season

August and September are crazy busy on our farm. All the summer crops are ripening up and we are switching out the spring plantings for new fall crops, such as spinach and lettuce. My husband went to town planting potatoes … Continue reading

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Graduating the Chicks from Kindergarten

Our baby chicks are getting big, and it is time to ease them into the flock. I have begun locking the adults into their main area to leave a smaller room open to the babies where they won’t be molested … Continue reading

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Moist Days in Michigan

After an unusually dry spring, the weather has finally caught up and it is very humid and rainy. We needed it! The prairie fields around us are waving in the long-awaited yellows of cone flowers, brown-eyed Susans, and tall clover, … Continue reading

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Cat in the Patch

Mickey, the barn cat, is lonely. The other cat does not come around much and doesn’t want to play with him anyway. When one of us is out at the barn and Mickey shows up, he “meows” loudly, rubbing against … Continue reading

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The In-Between Weeks

Ah, the sweet moments between Spring and Summer! The fields are back up to a foot or two of growth after their spring mowing and the earliest wildflowers are beginning to bloom — purple vetch and bladder flowers. The concord … Continue reading

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Rhubarb Rooky

I was watching my 2nd-year rhubarb plant, marveling at the little round bulb forming in the center and how it gradually rose in a stalk of flowers. Somebody told me that you should not necessarily let it flower because then … Continue reading

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Nesting Surprise

I went out to feed the chickens this morning and did a double-take when I opened the coop door. This is the time each year when the turtles come up around the yard to lay their eggs. I rarely see … Continue reading

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Fleece As White As Snow

The sheep are sheared and vaccinated, and now on to the fiber! I am amazed how much wool came off those two little sheepies. I decided to work on Cookie’s first, as she is smaller than her sister. I laid … Continue reading

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Shearing Day Come and Gone

Thursday, the sheep shearer did indeed show up. He backed his big pickup truck into the barn and set up a metal frame from which to hang up the shearing motor over his head. Then, he laid out a big … Continue reading

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Crafty Stuff

I’ve been on a creative kick the last couple of weeks and I want to show off a couple of my latest projects. First, here is an old jute rug that had faded in the sun and suffered water damage … Continue reading

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Shearing Time Is Approaching

I have found a sheep shearer who is willing to swing around by our farm to do the sheep AND the goat. I usually shear Eddy the Angora goat by hand but it would save me so much trouble to … Continue reading

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Spring is Back On Track

It looks like we survived all the freezing nights, and things are springing up in earnest now. It feels so great to wander the farm to find new sprouts and see and hear the wildlife coming out of hibernation. I … Continue reading

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