Barncast 37 — The sound of a spinning wheel

Welcome to another great show! We’re inside for only the 2nd time in the show. We were tired, it was late, so it is what it is. The podcast is under 50mins this week!

This weeks:

  • Jon P for the Farm Phone
  • Geek Section: How Misty and I met
  • Farm Section: Fence final review
  • Life: Misty rants^H^H^H^H^H^Htalks about spinning
  • Crazy Cuisine: Shepherd’s Pie with Squash on top

Our picture of the week:


Banana Squash insides:

Half the Squash:


  1. India’s avatar

    That’s some squash – but then, I’d heard that everything’s bigger in the States ! :0)


  2. Jen’s avatar

    I would love to hear all about how you guys butcher animals. It may be “gross,” but I think it’s important to know where food comes from. I pick up chicken at the grocery store in a package – but not everyone does.


  3. John G’s avatar

    Brewing beer is easy! Let’s see Misty in a dirndl!


  4. India’s avatar

    Course I was listening ;0)
    I amaze myself at my creativity sometimes – I managed to change parsnip into squash. So, I have a great recipe for PARSNIP, lemon and vanilla. Managed to mix it in my mind with the two absolutely, definitely ‘squash’ soup recipes – I’ll send them via email over the next day or two and then if inspiration, or desperation, strike, you’ll have a few other options.
    Have a good week,


  5. John G’s avatar

    On yarn, time and quality.

    Misty, I agree with you wholeheartedly. My wife knits, sews, does ceramics, feeds the hungry, heals the sick, and of course votes Democratic, and she agrees, too. Taking the time to add twists strengthens the yarn, makes it lie flat, and gives it a better hand (a technical term in textiles). Extra twists are what give all cotton fabrics a no-iron quality, too. The clothes of iceman Oetzi, found in the border region of Austria and Italy, were knitted out of well-twisted yarn and they survived 4500 years!

    To my way of thinking, it is better to spend more time/money on a good quality product that you are going to enjoy better and for a longer time than spend cheaply. For example, a good pair of shoes might cost $100, but they will be comfortable and last 5 years or more, while $30 shoes will last a year and make your feet hurt. Which is actually more economical? So, kudos to you on your approach to spinning!

    Thanks for the poll and request for comments on the fowl harvesting. Maybe you can have it as the last segment of the show so that those who don’t want to hear about it can rest assured that they aren’t missing anything but “You can’t handle the truth!” (apologies to Jack Nicholson).



  6. Kate’s avatar

    Good show this week! I loved hearing the sound of the wheel – I had to get to work on mine as soon as I could after listening. What kind of wheel is it?

    Misty – I really agree with you about spinning quality plied yarn. I don’t always spin to a project though, I often just spin for the process of it, as I find it very meditative. Have you tried dyeing any of your roving? That’s a lot of fun too.

    Great story about how you met.

    Kate in KY


  7. andrew’s avatar

    Wow 6 comments and it’s Tuesday. Hello India, Jen, John G, and Kate!

    India, please send the recipe! We need more ideas of what to make. :) So far the squash soups are turning out really well.

    Currently the poll is really showing an overwhelming majority who want to know so it looks like we’ll be having a section on it. Having it at the end sounds like a good idea.

    Thanks everyone!


  8. India’s avatar

    I’ve emailed the recipes to you – hope you like ‘em


  9. India’s avatar

    wow – that recipe sure looks good!
    PS – I didn’t put the soups up because my dear husdand, who is a computer scientist and therefore hugely geeky and pedantic, was murmuring loudly about publishing rights and unhappy companies. If anyone would like my version of the squash and the parsnip soups, , drop a comment on my blog


  10. andrew’s avatar

    Hi India,

    I’ll see about posting them, in the US recipe’s fall under different rules.

    Thanks Kate! I can’t wait to try it.



  11. Tom’s avatar

    Hold the phone. You can grow peanuts. People do it here in Milwaukee, even more north than you are.

    You need some well drained, easy to dig soil. Pretty much plant and forget. The peanuts stay close to the plant, and don’t go very deep. Dig ‘em up in the fall, then let the pigs find the ones you missed.

    I’ll send you some “seeds” if you like. They are really just raw peanuts, grown here in Milwaukee. This time of year you can sometimes find them in the stores, since that’s what you need for peanut brittle. Now and then I see little packages of 3 or 4 marketed as peanut seeds for a couple of bucks. No sale :)

    I tried using them for sprouts. They were just ok. Mung beans are way better.

    I listen to your podcast the following Saturday, so this is so last week.

    Hmm. I wonder what peanut honey tastes like…..



  12. Ana’s avatar

    Hi guys,

    I loved the spinning sounds!

    About your worm/overgrazing problem, would it be possible to rotate the goats with chickens? I’m thinking that in theory they would eat the worms and add some nutrients.



  13. Ana’s avatar

    Oh, and I forgot to ask– I’m going to be in and around Indianapolis for the next few weeks for work. Any recommendations for good places to go while I’m there (knitting shops, farmer’s markets, etc?)


  14. andrew’s avatar

    Hey Ana, I’ve only ever been to Indy twice so I don’t know anything down there. You might try asking the hoosier geeks, they are much closer.


  15. Kim’s avatar

    love your podcast…I think you’re living my fantasy life!

    What kind of wheel do you have, Misty? Would love to see pictures of your yarn and what you’ve made with it.



  16. Podchef’s avatar

    Some thoughts on grazing, grass and worms.

    It sounds a bit like you might be overgrazing your grass. The more the animals crop it down the longer it takes to grow back and the bigger the loss of nutrients.
    Sheep and cows are also very selective grazers. They will leave behind what they don’t like to eat. So if they eat a field down too low you will only be left with the junk they don’t want to eat which can then thrive and take over. No worries, but something to pay attention to–don’t let the animals crop things down too low. Group the animals a bit closer, ie take your 6 week pasture and turn it into a 10 or 12 week pasture by grazing the animals in less space for less time. By the end of a complete rotation much of the graze in the first paddock will have come back–especially during the spring.

    The fertilizer load should be fine–don’t resort to anything by barnyard manure you already have–cow pies from the barn, pig muck, etc. Spread it out in the spring after the thaw. Anything else will only lead to run-off. You can probably do without the fertilizer if you head out in the snow during the spring and throw clover seed around. You can also feed the clover seed to the animals in their ration and they will pass the seeds around in their manure and you will have a self-correcting field.

    As for overseeding. Save your money. Find a source of old, local hay. Spread it over your fields. The seeds in it will be local species which will thrive and be just what the animals eat anyway. This is sort of what happens too when you feed the livestock. If you feed them in a different area each time then what they don’t eat has the chance to grow and thive as you move the animals around. It won’t happen overnight, but it should take off and you will have a better, easier to manage field mix than anything you can buy. It is also part of keeping polyculture and biodiversity alive on your farm.

    As far as worms–food grade diotomaceous earth. Feed it to all you animals–dosages are online. It isn’t a magic kill all bullet, but it will take care of 90% of the worms in the beasts and on the ground. You can give it to them alone, or mix it in their feed. You can use it to help keep bugs down in the feed. I mix it in with the kelp meal and salt I suppliment the cattle with. It really helps keep tapeworm down in the dogs as well. And you can’t beat the price–$20 for 50#. What is a regular dose of wormer cost? Way more.

    Keep up the great shows. All the best,



  17. misty’s avatar

    Hi Kim! I have a Lendrum double-treadle folding wheel, and I love it!

    Podchef, you bring up some good points. I do think that eventually you always have to fertilize, because the animals are not excreting everything they take in. As for the hay idea, it is nice in theory, but this is our lawn we are talking about. :) Not sure I really want alfalfa growing in my front yard, and that’s almost all of the hay that is grown around here!


  18. andrew’s avatar

    Thanks for your ideas Podchef. We’ll probably talk about them some in this weeks show.

    As for natural fertilizer we have very little, and it doesn’t contain what our pasture really needs. Most of what we have is spread naturally by the animals as they graze which isn’t enough or what the lead really needs.

    As for spreading seeds by feeding animals, that’s great for pigs, cows and horses but not goats and sheep. A proper working goat/sheep digestive system pretty much only lets out black round pellets. There’s no seeds left in there.

    I’ve always wanted to give DA a try. Hard to find around here, plus it’s not not exactly great for the person handling it.



  19. Liza NYC’s avatar

    Hi Misty and Andy,

    Wonderful to hear you — I’m catching up again as I haven’t had the time to revel in your podcasts lately.

    About spinning singles: I agree with you about plying for knitting yarn. However, I’ve taken a couple of workshops taught by people who have different opinions. Alden Amos and Stephanie Gaustad taught at my spinning guild. Alden and Stephanie are very interested in the history of spinning and weaving as they do a lot of historical restoration work. They contend that until recently yarn was mostly spun into singles, especially if it was going to be woven. Stephanie mostly spins singles. Another advantage of singles is that it takes at least half the time, she pointed out. Rita Buchanan, who taught at my guild’s biennial retreat this fall, says that what matters most for the strength of knitted fabric is the gauge. She showed us socks knitted from singles that had worn very well. That’s all very well but I’m with you, Misty!

    Keep up your wonderful work.


  20. Omly’s avatar

    Although I have knit a little bit with singles in the past (commercial, not my own), I can think of just one great use for them: felting! They felt really nice and solide really easily.



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