Seven Pounds

That’s how much fleece we got off of Beatrice last weekend.  It’s going to be 80 degrees today so the sheep are pretty happy to have their winter coats gone.   I’m going to list a fleece on ebay this weekend to see how it goes.

Our Winter Garden

Lettuce, spinach, carrots and a few beets.  That’s what we’ve got growing in our greenhouse bed.  We haven’t fired up the heater yet, we’ve just been making sure everything stays watered.  We’ve been eating from here all winter, and plan to quadruple the indoor garden space before next winter hits.  This will become unusable when it gets consistently warm out.  The greenhouse gets really hot inside during the summer.  But it’s genius for growing cool season crops in the winter.

Getting Big

Aren’t they adorable?  This was an unusual shot, normally all four lambs and the kid hang together.  They’re  like a little gang whose purpose in life is to run amok.  The kid got his head stuck in the fence yesterday.  We found him screaming his head off when we went out to check for more babies right before dark last night. I’m pretty sure the lambs dared him to do it.

Milking Season

Hermione is an awesome milker.  I’m getting close to a quart from her every morning.  We let her spend the day with her buckling in the big pasture then move her over to the small pasture with the pregnant sheep and goats and Zeus and Xena for the evening.  I milk in the morning after feeding chores and then she goes back to the big pasture for the day.  My chevre recipe calls for a gallon of goat milk and feta calls for two.  Looks like we’ll be enjoying cheese again really soon.

Shearing Day

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We took seven of our sheep to a neighbor’s farm for shearing.  They hire a professional shearer to come for the day, and serve delicious smoked lamb ribs for lunch.  Four fiber artists attended to help with skirting the fleece.  That’s when you remove any poop or vegetation that may be stuck to the fleece, a lovely job.  We had to take off Nellie Belle’s bell collar before she had a turn.  We keep one sheep belled in case they escape from our pasture.  It’s easier to find the flock (they all hang together) if  you can hear a bell.  Luckily, they’ve never escaped.  Everyone was remarkably calm during the shearing with one exception.  I’m looking at you, Beatrice!  At least she didn’t take the shearer’s prize this year as being the worse one of the day like she did last year.  I have four texel fleece I’m planning on selling.  The other three are texel/katahdin mix.  Their fleece will go into our garden.  It’s an annual process, it’s nice to have shearing over for the year.

We’re Published (sort of)

Our lamb spiedie recipe has been published in the April edition of Virginia Living magazine.  If you’ve been reading the blog for a while you’ll recall we hosted a lamb dinner in January that a food writer attended.  That resulted in a request for recipes and an afternoon in February with a food stylist, art director, photographer and chef who replicated the recipes.  The steamed asparagus recipe was provided by the chef.  Check it out.  It might as well have read wash it, cook it, eat it.

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/capefear/virginialiving_201104/#/102

Gorgeous

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Karakachans are known for being ferocious, territorial guardians.  Wikipedia says this rare breed wouldn’t hesitate to fight wolves or bears to defend its owner and family in case of danger.  That much is known, but who knew they could be so smooshy and adorable?

A Christmas Treet

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Christmas is finally over… we decided it’s time to move our Christmas tree from the back deck to it’s final resting place in the pasture.  Before we had ruminants, we would sink our Christmas tree in the pond for a fish habitat.  But now, how can we deny them such a refreshing evergreen snack?  Rudy saw it enter the pasture first and came running with his boy in tow, clueless as to the excitement.  Then the rest of the goats caught on.  The sheep were last to the party, but would not be denied.  It was like a shark feeding frenzy!   Everyone’s breath smells like a car deodorizer now.  Is it any wonder we no longer have pine trees in our pasture?

Octomom

Poor Mina.  She looks like she’s about to burst.  She was given an ultrasound on Sunday.  There are only two kids in there.  Maybe they’re both pregnant, too?  😉

It’s a Bindi Compatible!

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I did a craft swap with the same lovely woman who made our needlefelted Jenna last year.  She sent me a needlefelted Bindi!  It looks just like her.   Bindi gave it a taste (it would have been impolite not to) and then a toss.  I am happy to say it’s fine and displayed where she can’t reach it.  I think…

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