Cattleman’s Winter School 2018

January 30, 2018

At the Country living expo we signed up for pasture management, Rain barrels, Fencing (for you pasture not swords), and Mason Bees.

The WSU extension office puts on an exposition every year for country living aka Cattleman’s Winter School. It is a wonderful day filled with learning about whatever it is you are into. From flower arranging to sheep necropsy (think veterinary care) and everything in between.

The rain barrels were through the Snohomish County conservation district and the speaker was saying to look into your local counties conservation district. They will come to your house for free and provide you with free estimates on preserving your properties materials, i.e. water, trees, soil.

Rain Barrels
Me showing off the screen I put on the barrel
Rain Barrels
Danny threading the drilled hole in the barrel

 

Then afterwards there is a vendor area to stroll around. This year we ended up chatting with a Fleece processor from Evergreen Fleece Processing out of Woodinville, WA. Initially, I was curious if he had noticed an increase or decline in the industry. I was trying to find out any marketing data that may be helpful.

Then the conversation veered into how to get rid of vegetable matter. And this is where it got interesting. All wool has a certain percentage of vegetable matter. Wool comes from animals, and animals love to walk around the fields and lay in straw and get into bushes. People who sell to hand spinners often coat their fleeces to minimize this but on larger farms, 1,000+ head, that’s impossible. Now the question becomes why don’t wool garments at the store have some amount of vegetable matter in them?

Well Luckily, or unluckily, there is a process called carbonization. What Chuck went on to say was that most states strictly regulate this processing because of the damage it does to the surrounding area. Apparently, the only places you can have wool carbonized is in Texas or China. It reminded me of a similar issue when looking up the manufacturing of  bamboo fabric. Now, I don’t have a chemistry degree so I do not know the true danger, but it does raise eyebrows when the waste products of a company need to be regulated.
*When it comes to fiber production I get a bit emphatic, sorry. But know that I am not perfect. Yes, I do have a gore-tex jacket and yes there are rayon garments in my closet. It is the act of learning about our industrialized nation that I enjoy and want to share.*

Moving on, we closed up the Cattleman’s expo by purchasing some Mason Bees still in their cocoons. Our plan is to set them out in time to pollinate our apple trees. For mason bee house kits and dormant mason bees you can contact Michael via his email: michaelsmasonbees@gmail.com

mason bee house
mason bee houses built from Michael’s kit and some baby bees.

 

Happy Crafting!

 

 

 

 

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