Archive for Farm

It’s Hay Time: First Cutting 2017

The weather finally cooperated so we were able to bale hay last weekend! Our first cutting yielded 220 bales.  We bought a new to us hay elevator, too.

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Life Goes On: New Arrivals

On New Years  Day, we received a phone call from Sweetwater Farm that our lambs had arrived. We were both excited and nervous because we were not expecting them until March. The barn was not ready for them. Then we found out our lambs were already eight weeks old; they were born in November.  And what a surprise!  We made plans to bring them home the week of the March snowstorm. Of course our area received nine inches of snow, so their arrival was delayed. Our lambs finally came home on Good Friday.

Introducing Poppy and Leo: Olde English Babydoll Southdowns

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Reflections

Originally, this post was going to be titled Grieving Lessons; however, with the recent passing of a dear friend, I decided to focus on honoring those who have passed on.

This past winter was a devastating time for us. We said goodbye to Sam, our Soay wether  and  Rita our Australorp who died of ovarian cancer. Rather than go into great detail about their passing, I would like to say they made a lasting impact on our lives.  Sam was the leader of the flock; he had a beautiful fleece that I am going to process, spin and enter into Maryland Sheep & Wool for 2018 in his honor. His sibling Olympic is now the leader of the flock. Rita was a ninja chicken; no worm was safe when Rita was around; she was so beautiful when she became broody. I wish I had a picture to share.

We truly miss them everyday. Our pasture looks empty without Sam and the chickens are lonely without Rita.

Through all of the sadness, I tried to focus on what my dear husband always says to me…

“Are you better for knowing them” and of course I always say, Yes.

 

Sam and Olympic

Sam and Olympic

Rita

Rita

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A Shepherd’s View: Book Recommendation

Whether you own sheep, spin, weave, knit or do anything fiber related, James Rebanks’ latest book “A Shepherd’s View: Modern Photographs from an Ancient Landscape” is worth a read. Rebanks disperses beautiful photographs throughout his collection of essays. He lives in Matterdale located in the English Lake District where he raises Herdwick sheep.

Here’s a peek into the daily life of James Rebanks:

 

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

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Winnie Enjoying Our Hay!

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Winnie (Shetland Sheep)

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Hay Testing

A few weeks ago, The Mill offered free hay testing. In order to get more accurate results, we purchased a hay probe bale sampler; it attaches to a  cordless drill.  The probe drills into the hay bale and chews up the hay for easier testing. The sample bag (a gallon bag) is attached to keep the sample free of contamination. We tested both our first and second cutting; our hay is right on target for good nutrition for our sheep. It’s really a good feeling to know we are growing, harvesting and providing hay for our sheep.  The sheep definitely enjoy our hay!

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Hay Sampling Tools

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Hay Sampling in Action

Hay Sample

Hay Sample

 

 

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