Didn’t I clearly say NO MORE ANIMALS?? At least not before winter…and how about NOT in the middle of winter!
Since making that proclamation, we have added three large horses and a sheep ….. who is expecting!
Hi!! We prayed and hoped and dreamed that we would be busy at the farm this summer; busy enough to feed and shelter all these lovely beasts and ourselves through another Minnesota winter. I’m no accountant, but it looks like we are on our way!
We’ve now hosted several field trips from Cook, Little Fork, International Falls, Hibbing, Nett Lake, Tower, Bois Forte, schools and organizations. THIS is why the farm has been opened up to the public–we believe it is important that children know where their food comes from. We also think all people should know their farmer and where at least SOME their food comes from. When was the last time you ate an entire meal that was grown or produced within 50 miles from your home? That is pretty tricky in this part of the world!
Farmers’ Markets are a great resource for local food, by the way. We are excited to be a part of the Cook Farmers’ Market. Laura also participates in several craft shows and expos during the winter to spread the word about the Cook’s Country Connection and the Farm Store, where we sell our own handmade items and consign those of other local artisans. This coming Saturday is the first Market Day of the year. See you in the park downtown Cook (by the gazebo). Hopefully, we will have time to sell at other local Markets this summer, too.
Did you hear that the Junior Prom was here this year?? There are a million great photos on Facebook, and we have TWO weddings booked for the summer.
Most Thursdays, Mike Hanson will have his team of Haflingers giving wagon rides around the property. He charges $3/person and it is worth it!
There are lots of new babies to meet this year including bunnies, a baby goat (nickname Totes), and baby birds.
Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. SEE YOU AT THE FARM!! Now, let’s unplug and go outside! It’s supposed to be a gorgeous weekend, but this rain has made the zoo area wet. We have lots of extra muddy boots to lend if you forget.
Today was Shearing Day at Cook’s Country Connection! Marty Hofmann of Integrity Shearing and his “Head Man” Eric were incredibly efficient and gentle with all the creatures getting haircuts.
First, let me start with this; a picture of a shaved alpaca.
And below is Molly, my faithful camera assistant. She made sure to drool on my camera strap and nuzzle my pockets for goodies. 400 pounds of helpful, this one.
Softer than cashmere and warmer than wool, alpaca fiber can be knit or woven, depending on it’s quality and intended purpose. Here is a wiki link to everything ELSE you ever wanted to know about Alpaca Fiber.
Next year, we hope to have a seminar or field trip coincide with Shearing Day.
First, the animal is caught and trussed up like a Christmas goose. This keeps everyone -including the animal-safe. Here’s a video of what that looks like:
The front legs are pulled forward, the back legs backward, and just like that, it’s time to shave a llama.
This is Maddox, one of only two spitters today. By the way, “spitting” is kind of inaccurate. It smells bad, and is more like projectile vomiting. Luckily, they only do this when all their other body language is ignored, and people are scaring them. I am guessing it tastes as bad as it smells, because he made the craziest “ew” face for hours afterward. (See that first picture??)
Steve’s dad Leo did a great job his first time as official Gate Man.
Jill was the only llama not to get the royal treatment today; she has a heart defect and is a Gramma Llama, so Lois didn’t want to stress her out. She didn’t recognize her herd-mates until they breathed at each other a bit.
Itchy (The Very Naughty Pony) was equally confused.
Here’s a video of that…the look on Itchy’s face just cracks me up when he sees that shaved llama. (You should probably just subscribe to our YouTube channel now. Chop chop.)
And THIS is as close as anyone will be getting to a llama for a few days, which is why we take this opportunity to vaccinate, de- worm and do pedicures at the same time.
BaaBaa is a Barbados Blackbelly Sheep. These sheep are raised for meat, not fiber. Not that we plan on eating him; most animals around here are on a retirement plan.
Many people think he is a goat because of his small horn buds, but I think they are just a byproduct of a bad de-horning session as a lamb.
BaaBaa was a bottle raised lamb that we adopted by accident. See, I was adopting three llamas….I didn’t know they came with a sheep. Hmmmm…..