Monday, May 23, 2011


Now that we are settled into the farm we are ready bring on the sheep! We are picking up our sheep on Thursday. Now for a little bit about our sheep and our plans for them

We are getting three ewes that are already experienced mothers and have been handled frequently and so are easy to manage. They are from Rare Find Farm near Raleigh, NC. They are registered as #S25401 (Endive-4yr), #S24904 (Elizabeth- 4yr), #s27527 (Fannie Mae-3yr). They have all had lambs but only Endive and Elizabeth have sons (1 each) registered.

We are raising Shetland sheep, a heritage breed characterized by its small size, hardiness, friendly nature and fine fleece. Ewes are usually between 75 and 100lb with 2-4lb of fleece per shearing. Shetlands are listed as a "recovering" breed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

Our sheep will be primarily pasture fed, eating the grass that is growing in the pasture and not needing any grain or hay during the summer. Our Ewes will be given grain during gestation and after lambing, though, to keep them healthy while they are making and feeding babies. Sheep don't require much housing but they will have access to shelter in the barn whenever they want to get out of the weather or the sun. There is also shade from trees growing in and around the pasture.

Our flock will primarily be a breeding flock. In other words, our goal is to create lambs that can go on to be used for breeding-- not eaten or wethered. Some of our sheep will still probably be used for meat, particularly if we get a lot of rams or have animals that aren't worth breeding, but the goal will be to grow our flock of breeding ewes and also to sell breeding ewes and rams to other farms. For now we will be leasing the use of a Shetland ram from a nearby farm, hopefully. That's something that we need to arrange soon! If we want to have lambs in April we'll need to breed in November.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Playing Dress Up

A year or so ago my grandparents moved into an assisted living community and since then my parents, aunts and uncles have been cleaning out their old house, bit by bit. The nice furniture and all the valuable antiques and collectibles have been split among the siblings and now most of what is left will be sold at an estate sale this summer. Living out of town, and now far out of town, I haven't spent much time treasure hunting through the old house but when my parents cleaned out the closets last week and took most of the old clothes to Goodwill, my mom pulled out a few of grandma's old dresses for me to try on. Since I'm in town for a week for the Carolina Fiber Fest I got to play dress up today!

Excuse the bad webcam photos- I'm home by myself this morning while I wait for mom to get home from work so we can head to Raleigh for the festival.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Garden Part 2: fill it with manure

Today Chris finished digging the garden, mixing in the manure and humus and laying out the paths. The fencing needs to be finished and hopefully tomorrow morning we can start putting in plants! Work on the garden would go faster if it would stop raining!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Gardening Notes

Plant tall crops in the northeast part of the garden so that as summer wears on they won't cast shade on lower growing plants

Don't plant corn and tomatoes together. Don't know why, just don't do it.

Healthy soil has at least 10 worms in a 12"x12"x7" deep soil sample. We have about 20.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011