Well, howdy, y’all! Welcome to the farm.
Mama thought that maybe I should take y’all on this week’s
little "farm-tour" since I am the newest acquisition and I have come to rule the
farm. (wait a minute, maybe she didn’t say RULE…but, I am sure she said I was
I reckon an introduction is in order. They are calling me
OTIS and I am the new ram. I’m part of the lamb crop of 2019 from Meadowcroft
farm, along with 75 or so others. I joined the farm team here on the hill in
early May, having spent the entire earlier part of my life on my birth farm not too
far away. My job is going to be simple. I
will breed the ewes and our offspring will become the lambchop crop of 2020 and
beyond. Pretty sure I can figure that out with very little difficulty! Instincts, you know. Other
than that, I will just graze and look good.
|first day out of the barn|
When I first arrived on the hill, I had to stay in the barn
for four days. FOUR DAYS. The Boss and Mama called it “acclimation”. I thought
it was awful. I may have yelled a lot. And, I may have attempted to escape.
But, it worked. I now know this is home
. I will say one thing about those days
in the barn. I figured out why Mama is called “the food lady”. She
put a lot of effort into making me feel at home and cared for. She made two or
three trips to the barn every day, bringing me treats to eat and pulling up
massive bouquets of mixed grass, clover and dandelions to eat. She sets a pretty fine spread. She also petted my nose and told me I was handsome. I could seriously get
used to this.
But, then came the blessed day that they let me out with the
other sheep. Wow! There are some good-looking girls in there. I was a little
disappointed that not one of them found me impressive. Not one! A couple older
ewes took one look at me and decided to beat me up. I don’t think they were
being…what’s it called?...bullies. No. They just didn’t want to be bothered.
And, they might have been afraid I was in competition for that good grass they
were enjoying. I must say, that was some good stuff! The grass, that is. And,
the ewes…well, they weren’t bad, either.
However, all good things come to an end, and the Boss and
Mama said that the lambs couldn’t stay with the ewes anymore. Something about
getting their condition back. I don’t know what they were talking about…those
girls look good to me!
The entire flock was run into the barn. The lambs (me,
included) were all given some gross-tasting stuff and sent out back. I didn’t
want anything in my mouth, but Mama said that it would keep me from getting
internal parasites that would make me sick and I might die. Since that sounded worse than the stuff tasted, I
took it without too much complaint. Plus, by this point, I’m pretty sure Mama
wouldn’t do anything that would hurt me.
It’s not so bad out back, although I really wish we could be
with those pretty ewes. The other lambs were not so happy. They hollered and
complained and wouldn’t even attempt to eat the grass. And, it was nice grass,
too. All the rain and warm weather means that the grass has grown tall and lush
and in some places it’s up to our shoulders. But, those other lambs… Mama says
they’re being weaned and they’ll eventually stop yelling and graze. I remember
being weaned. It isn’t pleasant to leave the routine of being a tiny lamb and
having your mom around, so you can get a little snack whenever you want. But,
that’s part of growing up, so these other guys really need to pull themselves
together and get with the program.
Mama says they’re “dumber than a box of rocks” (I’m not real
sure what that means…but, it can’t be good) She rolls her eyes whenever they
don’t do what she wants them to. (which is most of the time) They certainly don’t understand Mama like I
do. I think she just wants me to love her, so I follow her everywhere. (maybe a
little too closely, ‘cause she seems to have some sort of boundary issues, and
she’s always looking over her shoulder and telling me not to walk right
behind her) But, the fact that she
generally has a feed bucket with her makes her so attractive. The others still don’t
get it. They flip out and run around and generally go the very opposite
direction that she wanted. That makes her say some words that I don’t think are
very complimentary. When she gets the crook out, swings it and whistles, it
means GO. She will show us where. And, I think I figured out that when she
cusses, we all did it wrong. (again) but, we’re lambs…she might be fighting a
losing battle when it comes to our education.
Well, that’s about all I got. It’s not a bad place to live.
But, I don’t see much happening from my spot out back with the lamb flock. And,
I do wonder where those pretty ewe-girls got
Perhaps Otis was not the one to facilitate this “farm tour”
after all! He seems to have a one-track mind.
We’ve reached the end of May here on the hill. Two months in on Market season and we’re getting back in the rhythm of planting, harvesting, processing and preparation.
Here are the requisite sky-shots...
|Spring morning in the Valley|
|dandelion at sunrise|
|morning light in the front yard|
|last light over the pines|
|sunlight through the birch tree|
The cold, mucky weather has been replaced by hot, windy
conditions. But, I hesitate to complain since the hay-guys across the county
are trying to get their crop cut, baled and stored for winter. (we got a nice shower
last night, so at least we don’t have to do any irrigation today)
The broccoli and potatoes in the middle garden are growing
well and the green beans germinated well. We’ve gotten the first planting of
squash and cucumbers in the ground and seeded some more. We hope to get the
tomatoes in the ground this week before all the plants form fruits while
sitting in the big trailer. The Boss had an inspiration for a new project that
involved some demolition, a couple trips to Lowe’s, and a load of mushroom compost.
(more on that later)
|pretty sure he's having second thoughts about this project!|
|project nearing completion|
We got a load of firewood, a couple batches of chicks,
we’ve processed broilers, finished the green garlic crop, started lots of seeds
and already completed eight weeks
of Market. Check out the Boss' Market photos HERE.
Or "like" the Market...Staunton Farmers' Market
to keep up with what's happening.
|ready for a cold snap|
can't use this chick waterer anymore
|a sure sign of Spring!|
no bucket...improvise with a jacket
|a Downy woodpecker at the feeder|
|the first green bean!|
|the first Bluebird|
|the waning moon |
|one birch leaf at sunrise|
|getting a little dry out there|
|misty morning chores|
|the most "beautiful blossom"!|
potato flowers mean tubers are forming underground
|beginning to look like summer|
The busy time has arrived once more!
But in the midst of the busy-ness, it is important to look
around…to appreciate this life we’re living…not just get stuck in the monotony
of the endless work. To that end, I carry my camera and try to document these daily
occurrences and the moments of wonder, so they don’t get forgotten. While I
realize that seriously hampers my productivity, it encourages me to maintain
grateful heart. And, often gives me some cool stuff to share.
Here are a few of the things I noticed here on the hill:
|there are stinkbugs in the wisteria|
|baby birds in the barn|
|there is a volunteer sunflower in the hen-yard|
...and they haven't eaten it!
love the top-knot!
|a dog-fight looks like a dance|
|robin found a worm in the tall grass|
|the hanging basket on the front porch is so pretty through the livingroom window!|
|Karma has "treed" Sissie again!|
|another day, another tree|
|wisteria through the trellis|
|house finches found the garden shovel|
|I wish you could smell the honeysuckle!|
|Mourning dove in backyard|
|can you see why they call it Chinese PINK garlic?|
Well, not trying to be like Otis or anything... but, "that’s all I got", too.
I hope you have a Happy
|Hey, it's Otis again...|
one more thing...
has you got any treats?
Come back and “visit” again soon!
maybe a weed, but it sure is pretty!