Friday, December 31, 2010


"I believe that where there is pure and active love for the poor there is God also. I see God in every thread I draw on the spinning wheel"

Young India
Winter is the time for processing wool. I suspect we never learned to card and spin wool because hand spinning and other fiber arts were always other peoples' "hobbies".

Again the farm catupults us into untried (for us) arts.
(Agri culture as foundation for culture...)
Because when you have sheep, you have wool.
And necessity brings with it much reason to figure out how to turn your fluffy fleeces into hats and mittens and cloth.

First we pick the fleeces clean...usually with a cat or two napping on top of them...

Then comes a series of soaks to clean them in soap and rinse them in water and vinegar.

After that they are dried on old screens...

Then we card them into rolags.

The rolags are stored away ready to be spun into yarn.

Those not naturally into handicrafts appoach the carders with a kind of snarling surliness. But soon the very act of carding aligns more than the fibers of the fleece...the very soul is soothed. Especially with fat flurries of snow falling outside the nearby window.

" I claim that in losing the spinning wheel we lost our left lung. We are therefore suffering from galloping consumption. The restoration of the wheel arrests the progress of the fell disease."

These things are all part of more than just "living the country dream" or "taking care of mother nature". These processes by which we make shift for our daily necessities are all part of living a life which does not require the starving poor. Some measure of self-sufficiency, some small effort away from commodity trading, a life which supports the craftsman as an individual and the individual as essentially a craftsman may not end in CABLE TV for all...but it certainly will mean Bread on every table.

It would also give our nursing home elderly a place in the working home.

"It is not enough to say that hand-spinning is one of the industries to be revived. It is necessary to insist that it is the central industry that must engage our attention if we are to re-establish the village home."

Ghandi (again.)

Community Supported Agriculture is all about following healthy food systems to all their logical conclusions...and how those conclusions change our lives if we are willing...
exciting stuff to be had in the muck and mire...with the beans, beats, and sheep. Come aboard!

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