Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Spring 2005 Newsletter

Vancalcar Acres
Spring 2005 newsletter
392 Elwood rd Ft. Plain, NY 13339

Spring has sprung here! We have 95 lambs so far, and about 10-15 girls left to lamb. Quite a bit of color out there, we used 2 black rams this year, and a large portion of the lambs are black with some white on the forehead and feet. We are thrilled with the crew. They are out grazing the hillsides here, and they move to a new spot every day as we try to keep up with the grass growth. Rain has been a little on the short side, so some of the pastures are already going to seed. We have added more sheep to the farm, and will have almost 200 girls in the breeding pens this winter. The cows have grown by leaps & bounds, they look like real cows now, instead of baby calves.
We’re adding a 2nd guard dog for the flock. A beautiful Maremma girl named Hera, she’s just a puppy now but will really be a help to Apollo, who works so hard all night long keeping the flock safe from predators.
We finished shearing, and have quite a bit of wool in the barn now. I’m sorting it for spinners, so give me a call if you are interested in fleece! The flock fiber breaks up fairly consistently into a couple of groups. Longer, finer fleece (4-6inch staple) and shorter denser and springy fiber, about 3-4inch staple. All of it is lamb fleece, and is available by the pound, not by the fleece.
We’ve added Narragansett Turkey’s to our farm!! 2 laying hens and a tom, with hatching eggs for sale (shippable) and chicks we’re hatching out. Chicks are available for sale as well, and we’ll have a few turkeys for the table this fall, please contact me early if you are interested in any option as we only have a few. The chickens are doing fine, though the rooster did meet with disaster… he was getting aggressive around the barn yard and had attempted an attack on all of us at one time or another. Pity this had to happen BEFORE we got the incubator up & running! Oh well.
The garden has been plowed and we’ll be planting this weekend, can’t wait for fresh veggies! We had wanted to plant earlier but it was either fence the pastures or till the garden and the fence won the argument. Because the garden is a little behind my schedule, our plans for hitting farmer’s markets early are also behind schedule. Stay tuned for later updates on when & where we’ll be this summer. Baked goods, veggies and fresh eggs are always available at the farm, call before you come to check availability, or a couple days early to place an order. Once the farmer’s markets are in full swing, you can also place an order for p/u at the market to be sure you don’t miss out on something.
We always have handspun yarns, knitted goods and fleece/roving available, just give me a shout. Sometimes we’ll include yarn samples in our mailings. If your going to be in the area and would like to visit us, please give me a call to schedule something so we’re sure to be here. We’d hate to miss you! Fresh eggs, produce and grass-fed meats available seasonally here on the farm and at local farmer’s markets.

Thanks for letting us keep in touch with you,

Jennifer, Eric & Nora,
270 sheep, 4 chickens, 9 turkeys, and Apollo & Hera the guard dogs.

P.S. For details on the ‘Rent a Sheep’ program -- See the Winter Newsletter here in our blog.