Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend, Creekfest Reminder, The Great Farm Swap, Marlette Livestock Auction

Hope you all had a pleasant Memorial Day filled with friends, family and thankfulness to the men and women who have given their lives to protect our great nation. And a special thought for my dad who passed away in March. We love and miss you.

Id like to remind everyone that this Saturday is Creekfest, see the "Upcoming Events" page for details, and I will be blogging on last years show later in the week.

Fortunately Zach's eye was feeling better and we were able to attend the Great Farm Swap later in the day on Saturday, but unfortunately, it was almost over by the time we got there. From what I heard it was a great show with baby goats, sheep, pigs, chickens etc. I was able to snap a few photos while I was there of a couple of the remaining booths.

The best part about the Farm Swap was that we got talking to some wonderful people who told us about the Marlette Livestock Auction that takes place every Monday morning. This past Monday, being Memorial Day is the biggest day of the year. So Zach and I packed a cooler and headed north to Marlette.

Let me tell you, if you are looking for anything farm related, start there. We went to check the place out so that we could bring our roosters there to sell, (that is, once we figure our which ones are roosters). This is not for the faint hearted hobby farmer. This is REAL farming. We stayed for the cattle auction and it was amazing.

They unload the cattle from trailers and trucks into a giant barn. The spectators can watch the cattle coming in from above in a complex network of bridges that walk their way across all the cattle below in stables.

The cattle rush in and are held in the main, large unloading stall where they are numbered with a sticker for auction. Then the auction men use the gate doors and a stick switch to corral and separate the different cows. The doors also work as a protective barrier for the men who are down with the cows. A large black bull came in (Angus maybe?) snorting and charging and digging it's hooves at the ground. The man who was in the stall with the bull wedged himself between the gate and the wall and he was protected. Quick like lightening, the bull had a sticker on his rear and off to auction he went. 

Outside the auction are the vendors selling geese, chickens, goats, sheep, turkeys, hatching eggs, vegetables, plants, flowers, farm fresh eggs, hatching eggs, rabbits, guard and herding puppies (the cutest Great Pyrenees!!) farm equipment and a number of antiques and flea market fare.

After we left the auction we found ourselves pretty close to Frankenmuth so we stopped in for their delicious chicken dinners. We were also excited to visit McClellan's Woolen Mill, the oldest woolen mill in Michigan. We wanted to get some prices on having our Mohair commercially processed. We are thinking of sending the September shearing to Frankenmuth just to see the difference in the quality of the roving/rollag. The Woolen Mill has a beautiful little shop downstairs where they sell all kinds of wool products, cotton goods, and beautiful lace, quilts, comforters and accessories. I purchased a white apron to go with my costume for Creekfest, and a bar of goats milk soap. It smells wonderful!

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