Posts Tagged ‘Farm’

Lambtown 2011 (aka October Challenge: Day 1)

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Confession: I’ve fallen off the blogging wagon lately. I’ve been taking photos and thinking of interesting post topics, but haven’t managed to actually compose anything at all. I’d like to blame technology and the fact that my computer was so freaking old that posting to THL seemed to take AGES and I spent hours uploading and posting photos. I’d also like to blame life for being far too hectic and my kid who never sits still long enough for me to take her photo these days.

However – all excuses aside – I mostly just need a kick in the pants to get the ball rolling again. So here goes… [commence self-kicking]

Tonight I am pleased to announce the This Hartmann Life OCTOBER CHALLENGE: I hereby challenge myself to post to the blog every day this month. (Dan may have to be badgered encouraged  to post too, although he is thoroughly ambivalent about this endeavor). The goal is to give myself the kick I need to get the blog rolling again and my blogging mojo flowing. Here goes!

Day 1: Lambtown 2011

Some of our more devoted readers may recall that this time last year we discovered Northern California’s best kept agricultural fair secret: Lambtown USA. It’s the California sheep and wool festival and also includes the state alpaca judging contests. It’s an hour’s drive from Oakland and a million miles away in attitude. It’s got a small town Americana vibe and lots of friendly people and animals. There’s also a fiber festival with spinners, knitters, dyers and weavers demonstrating their crafts and selling fabulous wares.

This year, our good friends Liz and Judith came along and brought a couple of teenagers with them. I wasn’t sure that the teenagers would be as enthralled with the fiber fair vibe as I am, but they seemed to enjoy themselves well enough. Neither had ever been to an event like this before, so at least it will go down in the books as a first! Not so sure they’ll be itching to go again next year… we’ll see.

We checked out the barns, watched some sheep judging and learned about alpacas from a friendly rancher and his kids who were showing their alpacas as part of a 4-H project. Pretty cool, and interesting to boot!


What do you think? Best in Show?

Last year Ryan was enthralled with the animals. This year she thought they were cool, but really just wanted to push the stroller around the barns… I guess after all those visits to the zoo, this city girl is a seasoned veteran at 21 months!

Hello Gorgeous! Seriously, is this not the cutest livestock you've ever seen??? I wonder if Oakland has any anti-alpaca codes. Think how cute he'd be in the backyard!

There was an incredibly well-stocked baby animal petting area – probably the best ever. And this caught all of our attention for a while before lunch. How can you not be drawn to a miss-mash of piglets, chickens, geese, baby ducks, a baby cow, baby goats, bunnies, baby alpacas, AND a baby donkey? All in one enclosure. It was crazy. But fun. Very high cute quotient.

Enjoying the baby animal farm menagerie. Some serious observation underway. Even Bunny got in on the action!

And so, a great day was had by all. I even managed to squeeze in some fiber shopping (11 oz. Cormo roving! Hello winter woolies…) and ran into some folks from AVFKW’s Commuknitty nights. Fun all around.

And so the CHALLENGE is off to a good start. We’ve got quite a month ahead of us here at THL… stay tuned!



Little Bo Peep…

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

As many of my nearest and dearest can attest, I have become wool-obsessed in recent years. I am a knitter, and wool is where it’s at. Being the incredibly supportive spouse that he is, Dan allowed me to drag the family out to Dixon to the Lambtown Festival last Saturday. Besides, it’s good to get out of the city from time to time and reconnect with my agricultural roots.

Lambtown is a gathering of all things sheep – sheep breeders showing meat and fiber animals, vendors selling lamb delicacies of all sorts, weavers, spinners, knitters and a host of others who revel in wooly things. There was food, music and dancing. It was fun. And only two bucks to get in! Can’t beat that.

In addition to sheep, this year’s festival included the California Alpaca Association’s annual competition. And I must say that alpacas are probably the cutest barnyard animals I’ve ever seen. I think they may be my new favorite livestock… Ryan loved the music, the dancing (Dixon’s local dance studio students were so cute in their pink and sparkly tutus) and – most importantly – THE ANIMALS. I wasn’t sure how she’d respond to the festival or if she’d even take in the surroundings. But she had a great time that day, and Dan and I had a blast watching her check out the sights.

Let me pet them! They’re like the cats, but BIGGER and they can’t hide on top of the fridge!

Very serious stuff, this alpaca business...

A mutual cuteness appreciation moment.

We watched some of the sheep competitions, and I had to keep myself from giggling and thinking of “Best in Show”. The tension was palpable and it was all very serious in the judging ring. Lots of nail biting and breath holding in the crowd. Ryan loved it all, and paid no attention to the drama.

The ewe on the right took home the Blue Ribbon… probably not her best angle.

So, a great day was had by all. And I didn’t even buy any new yarn…(Hear that sound? That’s our bank account breathing a sigh of relief).