Not Dead Yet

By | March 26, 2011

Andrew and the chicks

We used to have 35 free range chickens. They were friendly pets who happened to provide eggs. We named them, cuddled them, carried them around, and, in general, loved them.

Fox caught in the hen house fence. Yes, we freed him--we're that kind of crazy.

We tried to coop them at night to protect them, but our happy chickens preferred sleeping in trees. We live on a farm, so, over time, the fox, neighbor cats and dogs, weasels, and other predators taught us lots of lessons on the circle of life.

Next thing we knew, we only had one chicken left…

Lonely Chicken

Buffy was lonely in the coop by herself, so she moved in with the sheep. When the sheep free range, so does she:

The sheep shed is at the top of our driveway and the first thing we see when we drive in. Every day we expected to find feathers and be a chicken-less farm. Instead, every day there was Buffy, riding around on a sheep’s back, and the boys would exclaim: “Hey, she’s not dead yet!”

Beautiful Buffy was renamed Not Dead Yet. When the 35 new chicks join her this spring, we may have to change her name back to Buffy.

A sheep named Pig

By | February 11, 2011

We have sheep who think they are dogs, chickens who think they are sheep,and dogs who think they are humans. Confused? Yeah, so are we.

Soccer Sheep

Our six sheep are not normal sheep. They come when we call. They play soccer. They like to unzip our coats. And, best of all, they know how to open our sliding glass doors. We are probably the only people EVER to ask a vet if rubber tree plants are poisonous to sheep. The vet’s response? “Why are the sheep in your house???” Good question.

Piggy eating Andrew's coat

We are often asked “why do you have a sheep named Pig?” Another good question. He got his name because he ate like, well, a pig. As a lamb he was called Piggy. He soon grew into a massive gorgeous beast and Piggy seemed very undignified. He became Mr. Pig.

Mr. Pig playing with the dog

Chicken protector

Mr. Pig not only thinks he’s a dog, he’s also the protector of the chickens who think they are sheep. He gives them rides, snuggles them on cold winter nights, and charges anyone who gets too close.

The one thing we are not confused about is how much we love these critters. They may think they are dogs, but they sure do make us happy.

Sledding Sheep

Winter Love

We have lots of stories about our crazy sheep, chickens, and dogs. Please let us know if you would like to hear more! And, as always, thank you for fighting hunger one hat at a time.

Kaleidoscope Yarns

By | February 9, 2011

Our last post was on the Kindness of Strangers. This time, the kindness of yarn shops, in particular Kaleidoscope Yarns. They have donated multiple boxes of yarn, gorgeous hats, and now they are sponsoring a hat drive! Here’s what they have to say about the drive:

Hat from Kaleidoscope Yarn

Perhaps you’ve heard about Hats for Hunger? If not, please take a moment to check out this video from a couple of years ago,
and this one
and this article.

Now I KNOW you want to help!

We have donated yarn to Hats for Hunger in the past, and recently donated a number of finished hats, which were very well received (after all, donations of yarn are lovely, but a finished hat is so much easier, and quicker to sell!) 2010, Hats for Hunger raised $5,000 for Heifer International. That’s awesome!

Over the past 9 years we’ve organized various charity knitting drives, and we’ve asked our customers to contribute hats, mittens, afghans, scarves, etc to organizations like COTS and the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program and each time we’ve asked, the response has been overwhelming.

So we thought we’d ask again! We’d like to collect new hats to send off to Hats for Hunger so they can raise even more money. For every new handknit or crocheted hat you send us, we will enter your name into a Kyarns prize drawing. The more hats we get, the more prizes we’ll give away, so start knitting!

Important: Be creative! Make these hats fun and whimsical! Please label each hat with yarn details and care instructions. People who purchase these hats on the Hats for Hunger website like to know what the fiber content is and how to care for it. Also, please include your name and email address!

Our prize drawing will be held on March 31, 2011. To be entered into the prize drawing, please have your hats here to us by that date. We will send them off to Hats for Hunger as we get them so they can be added to their website.

Just because our prize drawing is March 31, doesn’t mean that’s the deadline for knitting these hats. This is ongoing, so hats are appreciated at any time of year. You may not win a prize from us, but you’ll be rewarded with the feeling of giving.

And anytime you want to drop hats off here, go for it. We are happy to get them
to their final destination.

Our chicken who thinks she's a sheep

THANK YOU KALEIDOSCOPE YARNS!! And knitters, crafters, crocheters, and everyone who loves fiber, PLEASE check them out!

Thank you all for helping to fight hunger one hat at a time.

The kindness of strangers

By | January 31, 2011

Donated hats

Hats for Hunger has received over 600 donated hats in the past year.  We are surprised, excited, renewed, awed, etc. every time a package arrives on our doorstep (and they arrive often).  Who are these people who lovingly knit hats and mail them to someone they don’t know?  Even more awe-inspiring than the hats themselves are the notes that invariably come with each package.  The notes thank us, praise us, make us feel great about what we are doing.  But really, it’s the knitters who are the ones who should be thanked and praised.

In a world filled with war, poverty, suffering, and, of course, hunger, we are constantly amazed by the kindness of strangers.  This project has renewed our faith in humankind.  I often think that we, as a family, have gotten more out of Hats for Hunger than Heifer International has.  They get the money, but we get the goodness.

2010 wrap-up

By | January 14, 2011

Fighting hunger MANY hats at a time!

Andrew Castle (11), founder and CEO of Hats for Hunger

2010 was an amazing year for Hats for Hunger!  We raised $5,000 for Heifer International which would never have been possible without our extraordinary volunteer knitters. Please join us in sending them tons of thanks for helping to fight hunger one hat at a time!