Sunday, March 13, 2016

Late Winter on the Farm

    Spring break from the college  corresponded well with warmer weather at the farm.  This week has been a flurry of mucking stalls, having sheep sheared, vaccinating ewes, and planning the new barn.
Lots to do - and  a week seems very short.
     The lambs are due to be born in about 3-4 weeks - or more.  Last year we had one set born two weeks after the other.  With all seven ewes pregnant, we are anticipating being a bit busier than last season.  On top of this, we have a musical that my husband is directing and I am designing - which opens the third week in April - just in time to be on top of the lambing.
     We were aided  in some of this by one of our students - a dear woman who helped with mucking and  shearing day, as well as cutting brush out of a stand of apple trees.  A true friend!
      The shearer came on Wednesday, and we have 10 more fleeces to process.  I am looking at a commercial mill to process some of them this year.



    We are talking about the new barn being 30' x 50'  with a smaller upper loft for hay and storage.  If all goes well, the main structure should be up before school lets out.  With the ewes all pregnant, we will need more "sheep storage" - places to separate the lambs and ewes at weaning time, as well as  a place for rams away from the ewes.  As with most things, the devil's in the details, and the electric and water need to be figured out, but it will happen.  
     More mundane things like spreading manure, giving the tractor a once over, and washing and carding wool have eaten up a fair amount of this week.  But it needed to be done and we were very lucky the weather made it pleasant.