Monday, September 12, 2005

Summer 2005 Newsletter

Well summer is just about over and I don’t think I’ve ever been so busy in my life! We had a bit of difficulty with the lack of rain around here this summer, pastures got pretty dry in August. When we first moved in, they told us the creek behind our house hadn’t dried up in anyone’s memory… but it did this summer! Oh well. It’s starting to trickle a bit back to life, and we’ve gotten a little rain, enough for the pastures to at least come back some, but probably not enough to hay again before winter which is a bummer, with 300 breeding sheep planned! That’s a lot of hay to feed.
We’ve welcomed a wonderful 2 year old male Border Collie to our family. Oscar is very gentle and very affectionate. He does double duty for us as both the family dog and the working herding dog. We’ll be getting lessons to help us train and work better with him in the coming months. We are very happy to have him!
We picked up more calves from the dairy down the road for beef, and they’re in their own small movable paddock here by the house, already weaned and loving grass.
Piglets joined us in august, a little later than we wanted but there just wasn’t time earlier in the season. They are out on pasture now as well, and they love the garden scraps! They’ll probably be here until mid-winter.
We added more layers to the farm. They’re happily catching grasshoppers, and they entertain themselves by moving their laying nests every couple of days to keep us hopping. Rather annoying, but they’ll settle down soon as we get the new chicken house in place this fall. For now, Nora who turns 3 this October loves searching for ‘chickie eggs’.
Hera the new guard dog pup and Apollo are working together now to protect the whole flock as they graze the hillside by the pond. When the moon is lighting things up, they are really busy warning things away from their fences. She is an extremely affectionate and gentle dog to us and to her sheep.
We still have a few Turkey’s hatched this past spring, with several heading for thanksgiving dinner.
The garden went like gangbusters, out of control in no-time flat! We’re having to argue with the chickens over ripe tomatoes, they seem to agree with us that vine-ripened really are the best. I’m moving strawberry plants from my small herb garden to a permanent and largerspot in the garden to expand the berry harvest. There is nothing like homemade strawberry jam, but we sure run out fast with a toddler who knows where the ‘yummies’ grow!
I started working part-time at a weaving studio nearby. I love it, and have learned quite a bit. It has encouraged me to get my own loom unpacked and begin weaving again.
The Rent-a-Sheep program here is drawing to a close for the year, those of you who are looking for your yarn, I’ve just finished spinning the last of it a few days ago, and we’re putting the picture packs together for your sheep. There was a small injury around here that slowed me down for a bit, but I’m just about back on track. For those of you who missed out on last year’s Rental Program, we’ll be posting a new list and pictures of the sheep available in a few weeks. We’ll let you know when they’re up!
**You can reserve your freezer lamb now, we’ll have lamb available for you from USDA inspected facilities in Oct/Nov. $50.00 reserves your lamb, we will get your cutting order then. Total is $170.00 for a whole lamb, and $85 for half. Shipping is available, contact me for shipping prices.
**We have a limited number of pelts currently on hand, icelandic lamb and icelandic x romney cross lambs, all natural colored. Contact me for pictures, all pelts are $120.00 each.

Thanks for letting us keep in touch with you,

Jennifer, Eric, & Nora, the sheep, cows, pigs, dogs & birds all say hello!