Thursday 18 July 2013

Shearing Pictures and Mum's Great Afternoon Tea

It's blade sharing time at the farm. That's where the sheep are shorn using hand blades so a thicker layer of wool is left on to keep them warm.

Afternoon tea in the shearing shed on the last day of work at Fighting Hill: Mum made sandwiches, cinnamon oysters with cream and pavlova to celebrate the completion of shearing. To help out I made the carrot cake. All served up on a wool bale.

As it is usually only isolated High Country farms that blade shear, the farmers provide breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner to the shearing gang. That's a lot of catering and this is hungry work. These days, my sister in law helps Mum out, but I remember being on the farm helping my mother and grandmother.    

People often ask why shear them now, in the middle of winter? Left with a full fleece on the wool can get soaked with rain that takes ages to dry. Would you want to wear a thick wet woollen blanket all day?

The wool is sorted into types depending on its condition and where it was located on the sheep.

Then it's bailed to be sold later. As medium micron Romney wool it will be made into carpet, upholstery and furnishing fabric. It's also really good for felting and home spinning.

A beautiful clear winter's day at the farm.

Shearing the black sheep. Without the buzzing of machine shears, the shed is really quiet and the sheep don't get as stressed.

Dad at his wool bail desk, ready to write out the checks to pay the gang for their work.

Little Miss 4 loved watching the shearing, especially when it was her first pet sheep Lola's turn. The recipe for the Carrot Cake batter is on the blog here. Just bake it in a cake pan instead of cup cakes. 

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