Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Walkabout 9-7

Summer arrived on the hill this week…finally. 

And, all I can say is “ugh!” 

I guess we didn’t realize how unseasonable the summer had been, because it felt incredibly hot and humid.  But, a cold front is supposed to roll through and bring the temperatures back to normal. I can honestly say that this was true this week!

And, speaking of dirty…

I had thought that perhaps we should have a dirty jeans contest this week.  I know I get as dirty as the Boss, I just lacked photographic evidence. The Boss suggested one pair each for the whole week. However, I couldn’t take the filth anymore and changed jeans. We’ve got some very grungy jeans for the laundry this week. Needless to say, I don’t think my washing machine appreciates the evidence of our hard work.

Since you’ve already read about our “holiday” on the hill.. What, you didn’t read it? Well…here.   …you know what happened Monday.  Tuesday was Monday, I think.  And, Wednesday is the Boss’ day to work in the jungle…I mean the hoophouses.  It is a constant test of logistical skill to keep the hoophouses in full production.  There are more transplants waiting to go in the empty beds. The crops planted in the next couple of weeks should be ready for harvesting throughout the winter months.  There is nothing like going in the hoophouse on a cold, winter day and picking fresh greens.  …and just for the record, there is NO heat in the hoophouses.  By capturing the heat from the sun, we are able to keep the hardy crops going all winter (most winters).

these are going to be mighty tasty during the Winter months

Back in the real world, it remains HOT. 

…and I got myself even hotter (physically and emotionally) by inadvertently chasing sheep.  

Sometimes, my lack of forethought amazes even me.  The sheep were grazing the lush grass beside the house in what is referred to as the “winter paddock”.  Since it’s close to the house and barn, we generally just use it in the winter so I can keep an eye on the ewes and newborns.  However, since the grass was especially lush, I turned the flock in to graze.  As the sun got hotter, it became obvious that they needed a paddock with plenty of shade.  I was heading to another job when I noticed them hanging around, looking pathetic and hot. So…I walked in with the intention of simply opening the gate, figuring they would all run through, I’d close the gate and be done with it.  Right? 


...and this isn't even his scary face!
I overlooked the fact that Waylon (the ram) is in with the ewes.  I overlooked the fact that Waylon is about 300#.   I overlooked the fact that Waylon is feeling a little protective of his “ladies” right now.  …and I confess, I overlooked the fact that I am just a little bit scared of Waylon.  Okay, I am seriously afraid of getting rammed by the ram.  He’s got this enormous head and when he cocks it just so… 

For some reason, he was feeling particularly friendly or feisty or something…and he wouldn't leave me alone.  So, I hollered and flailed about at Waylon, hoping he would stop making that face at me and walk through the gate with all the other sheep.  He started to…then he turned around and cocked his head again.  Why didn’t I bring the crook?  Why didn’t I ask the Boss to help?  Oh, bother!  I hollered and flailed a little more. Then, miraculously…he walked through the gate.


All my…well…shall we say…theatrics? the dogs excited.  They were bouncing all around trying to figure out just what mama was freaking out about this time. (my actions provide them endless entertainment) There is one ewe who cannot stand Gus….and a bouncing Gus was more than she could take.  She darted back into the old paddock and started trying to get back with the other sheep….who were, of course, headed toward the other side of the farm. I knew if she jumped the fence, she would go down the hill.  I was pretty sure the heat and the hill would do me in.  The winter paddock is no picnic itself. The paddock is full of rocks, huge rocks, which are no problem for nimble footed sheep.  For me?  They’re a problem. But, the front paddock is about an 80* angle (nearly straight up and down) So, I couldn’t just leave her.

The Boss couldn’t hear me.  I didn’t have the crook.  So here I was, attempting to run through the rocky paddock, waving an old pokeberry branch (the only thing I could find) at this completely uncooperative sheep. ...and yelling just a little. (gee, I’m glad we don’t have close neighbors!) Finally, after she stopped to pee 27 times, I got her back in the barn corral.  A simple matter of closing one gate and opening the other, and I’d be done.


She slipped past me…back into the paddock we’d just run all the way around. She headed to the far corner.  ARGGH

By this time, Gus was hot and tired so he had stopped bouncing.  The other sheep had gotten to the shade and they were out of sight.  Waving my branch and pushing her along, begging her to cooperate, (she only stopped to pee a dozen times on this go ‘round) I finally got her back where she belonged.  She bounded up the alley and across the front paddock, baaing her complaints the entire way. I don’t know what she was fussing about…I was the one with sweat dripping down my nose and heat fogging up my glasses!!

Lessons learned. 

Don’t ever assume that a “simple” job is going to be simple.  …get over that “ram-phobia”.  …and always, always carry the crook! (phone and camera optional)
a little worse for heavy usage
this tool is invaluable to a shepherd

Ever since the turkey incident last week, the dogs have been on high alert.  There are foxes in the area again (I've heard them calling each other) so I wasn't too concerned when Ellie went on bark patrol. I knew she had things under control. When Gus joined in, I figured I should check it out.  

There they were, watching something from their vantage point in the orchard.  

Oooh...something really scary! 

 The Boss was bush-hogging the neighbor's driveway!

Now, they never bark at the Boss or the bush-hog when they are at home, but something was definitely out of place and the neighborhood needed to be warned.  

Once the Boss got back, the dogs went back to watching the sheep and relaxing in the shade. 

Despite the heatwave, the fall crops are beginning to come in. 
Salad Mix

Brussels sprouts

butternut squash

romanesco broccoli

The winter squash are ready to harvest and Brussels sprouts were incredibly popular at this week’s Market.  …and I picked green beans every day this past week.  Seriously.  Every. Single. Day. Honestly, I am really tired of picking beans, but we are glad to have the sales….and I truly enjoy eating beans. So, I won’t be praying for frost just yet!

Lots of picking, lots of weeding and the rest the “normal” farm stuff…and just like that…Market is done...and another week went in the history book.

market table and trailer

market stand on 9-6-14

Hope you’re having a Happy Sunday!

 Have a great week!
I love the farmers' market...but, it sure is nice to get back HOME!

Thanks for stopping by!  Come see us again real soon.


  1. You two live quite the farming life. Great blog!

    1. And some days that would be the "funny farm" life, Mark! lol
      Thanks for reading!

  2. ok, so I wrote this great little witty comment and when I hit publish, I was told "sorry, you do not own that identity." (I must have spelled josephinaballerina incorrectly.) To have a computer program tell me that is ever so slightly creepy. A little too close for comfort to iRobot or whatever.

    1. That is kind of creepy. What does that even mean?

  3. I always enjoy the view of your market stall Barbara - it makes me want to be there with my basket and my purse, ready to buy.
    I laughed about the sheep - they really are the daftest of all the farm animals aren't they? And I do think with that head you should continue to be wary of that Waylon.