Monday, March 30, 2015

A "berry" Good Weekend

What a fabulous spring weekend.
Friday evening brought some
pretty gusty winds and an old tree broke off in with the 
rams and landed on the fence....so
Since the weather was fabulous
we got in and did a super clean-getting a nice big burn pile ready..

Then  I relaxed the rest of the day and got all of the 
new color sheep dressed and ready for listing
at the etsy shop (www.liongate.etsy.com)
on Sunday Morning 
Then I could not resist working in the garden
Blueberry bushes on the left weeded and top dressed
with coffee grounds-they love love love acid
soil so we save our coffee grounds and feed the berries.
re purpose everything!
strawberry bed, added some soil building compost to help with our clay soil..and look! room for more plants
The Raspberries are coming on strong!!


Swiss Chard has been tasty in my  morning smoothies

 The Peas are ready to climb and the chives are growing like....Anyone need any garlic chives? I need to clear out the ones that are growing outside the bed..


Rhubarb loves its new home


My volunteer patch of Chard and parsley


Sunday, my teeswater ram did not reproduce 
on the ewe that I gave him last fall...;-(


But he is sure producing some lovely fleece
almost ready to shear

we keep em safe mom!

Ronan and Mckenna (BFL) ram just hanging out

Everything is starting to grow like crazy
I can't wait till my perennials start flowering...
I learned last year that the deer leave the digitalis alone...



Meanwhile over at the ewe barn.....they grazed in the kill zone yesterday..we reseeded it last fall and it needs a mow to develop the root bases, I hate putting them in that pasture with all the trees...it is where we have the most cougar kills....so only while we are home...with fingers crossed...there were two llamas killed a mile away and a goat on pleasant creek about 5 days ago....sigh..I worry every morning as I count sheep...

Create a Great Week!


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Rainy Sunday Afternoon

Sunday was a lazy rainy day....for the sheep.  
We had to run errands, Visit Jons Mom who is having a little stay
in the hospital. I found time to hang in the barn and shoot lamb pics
Flynn (angelessy x mckenna)
The lamb lounge is in place on the right in the next picture (creep feeder) with its unending supply of sweet lamb feed...they haven't figured it out yet but I have no doubt that they will.....The ewes like to think they can get through those creep feeder bars and try to squeeze in.....try but cannot....

its more fun to eat Bella and Wilmas hay


Its raining so the LGD hang out in the barn too...especially Kya...she prefers to stay dry
Kya
 I sat down and was surrounded by curious lambs
as of Sunday at 11:30 pm we are up to 18 lambs. There are 12  
  registered BFL lambs so far...Bella still needs to lamb.  There will be a bunch of rams for sale. Most will be ready by Mid-May as well as some nice feeder lambs (gotland churro bfl crosses).

Luis (aka hoe handle) (Maize x Xtra)

I haven't decided who is staying and who will be for sale. I need to see how purly the fleeces start out.  We have some really nice diverse BFL genetics that will round out a flock!   



Mckendry, Luis and Ancho

Luis is such a bucky ram..and he knows it

Itsy and Latte (gotland churro bfl)


Rhody (Poppy x Mckenna)

Mckendry (Mazie x Mckenna)
I simply love this girl

One of Dots girls (Churro x Gotland x bfl mule)

Sultan (Aine x Xtra) and Dots girl


churro x bfl  Mouses boy 

Jeannie (Mazie x Mckenna)

Rhett (Aine x Xtra)

Create a great day!!!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Farm Like a Girl

I farm like a girl.  Do you?
So what does that mean?
Well.
It means that I pull my sweats on over my
pink sheepie pajamas to do a 1 am barn check for lambs.

Angelessy and her lambs

It means that I stop at the ewe barn on the way to the house before or after
work dressed in my work clothes (usually a skirt....) shuck off my dress shoes
slip into a pair of muddy farm shoes and feed my girls.
Sometimes I rake the sacrifice area in my skirt.
Why not?
Those clothes wash.

Lamb season the busiest best dirtiest hardest working months  of the year

Sometimes I feed in my jammies and robe with a cup of coffee in my hand.
They don't care what I look like ;-)

Cocoa and her lamb

I get dirty. Really, Really dirty.
mucking out the barn, assisting a ewe with lambing
gardening, weed eating , shearing.  So what...I wash.


Peppers girl Serana

 It means I like my barns clean and organized (sometimes cleaner
than the house) I like everything to run smooth and with a clear purpose
and on a schedule.

just cuteness
I cherish every life brought to the farm, whether it be to supply food for the table or wool or breeding stock for the next generation.  I cry over every life lost. 

Gibbs and Ronan they protect the Rams
 I fight to keep my farm safe from predators (wild animal and unfortunately human)


I work then I work hard,  It feels right and it feels good.


Its going to be a busy farm weekend here....hopefully the last two ewes will lamb, annual spring farm vet visit, creep feeder set up. ewe barn mucked out and restrawed....oh and it is supposed to rain...oh well chores go on..because
I farm.....
Do you farm like a girl?


Monday, March 9, 2015

March Sewing Sunday Gathering

March has come in like a lamb and we are 20 degrees above normal
which is fabulous-I mean who is going to complain about 75 degree weather ever???
It made for a great get together out at Debs house (wicked woolens)and we got to foray out with her animals too..As you can see she is ready to shear 
Debs new barn..Ellie and I have barn envy

shetland
shetland


alpacas

Arlo, pygora goat....soooo soft


The main reason we took a foray down to the barn was to see the cougar damage..she lost an alpaca last fall and called in a federal hunter, who trapped him, he tore up the pole and then made his escape....so sorry for Deb and the loss of such a valuable fiber animal...
the fence and the pole suffered damage

cougar tore up the fence post trying to get out of the trap


and of course we worked-Deb was warping a look, Ellie was spinning,Kathy and Barb were Knitting and I was finishing up sheep bodies, getting them ready for felting.
and the eating it is always a feast...lamb meatballs, ham stuffed mushrooms, pumpkin pecan pie, chocolate silk pie, chocolate dipped strawberries, waldorf salad....mmmm mmmmmm 


A great day with great fabulous people!!!

Friday, February 20, 2015

On Lambing
and lack of sleep....

Maize X Xtra Registered BFL lambs 

     I have a love hate relationship with two things, My Monday and Tuesday work schedule, I hate getting off work later in the day but I love all the extra time I have in the morning to get things done.  And lambing season.  I love love love the little lambs,  I have a strong dislike for the lack of sleep. (yawn) and lambing problems.

     It is a magical time of year barring any lambing problems.  We do not do the lamb in the field lambing.  Our ladies have a maternity ward and are placed in the lambing jugs on a date determined by the ram marker.  Well that is not always accurate (like if he missed on the first try...haha) For me it is worse than waiting for Santa as a child.

     I think the ladies love the maternity ward.  They are waited on hand and foot every need met 24 hours a day, no competition for meals...they each have their own portion.  I like it too. I get to interact with each ewe  on their own instead of just the ones that demand attention all the time!

     So I do middle of the night bed checks...hence the lack of sleep...the time varies as I am at an age in my life where I will wake up at least once in the night...so that is when I pull on various peices of warm clothing (it is no fashion show trust me) and go over..I have to drive over to the barn.  It is a good check when I can climb back into my bed and it is still warm.  I am sleepy, they are sleepy.  Sometimes, it is some of the sweetest moments I have witnessed between the ewes and their lambs, all snuggled together in the warmth of the heat lamps in a little pile, moms baaing softly to their lambs nosing them gently to check on them....sometimes I reach into my bucket of organic berry treats and deliver one to each ewe as a middle of the night snack...

Rhody, a soon to be Registered BFL Ram Lamb out of our Champion Ewe Poppy X McKenna
   Then there are lambing troubles.  So far this year (knock on wood) we are going along well.  Last year was the worst lambing season ever.  We had a ruptured uterus, a ruptured vulva(she had at least four lambs), a ewe that had two malpresentations and three stillborn lambs....sometimes you almost want to throw in the towel it can be so sad, losing the moms and the lambs.  Nature can be tough and being a farmer can have seriously heartbreaking moments. Luckily the Joy outweighs the heartbreak.  That is why I nurture and monitor and because I work a real job, have a plan in place for daytime bed checks as due dates draw near.  You also have to evaluate the why of the problems (over or under condition, genetics, minerals....it all comes into play)

Cocoa and her her new BFL x Churro X Gotland cross Ram Lamb
Part of our Market Lamb Program using our BFL as mule sheep to
produce a marketable lamb with a fabulous fleece for two products in one.

     So we have had 4 ewes lamb so far and have 8 to go, 4 of which are first timers. One experienced ewe will go today for sure.   The jury is still out on the last two ewes bred...they are due over a month from now....they were marked but I am not sure they are bred yet.  I am off to work now...cannot wait to see what is waiting in the barn for me tonight! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's about time

You know we often get asked how do you guys do it? Get it all done? Full time work, the farm, the etsy shop, the craft shows? 

Well, it's easy, really.  We just do it!  We love what we do. We love each other, and our amazing children and their families and the success they have achieved in their lives.  We are happy.

  Then there is Partnership, teamwork and time management. We have clearly defined goals and work hard to achieve them.  Pretty much work on a schedule.. And each have clearly defined daily tasks. Even our fun time is scheduled way in advance.  If a wrench is thrown in to our lives we deal with it then move on and don't let it ruin anything!

(and trust me there are some people who are obsessed.. Really really really pathologically obsessed with trying to mess up our dreams)
 
So if you have a dream.. Do it... It isn't going to come to you. Life is far too short to be in a bad mood...

So go out and create a great day!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I Felt Like It

Catching up!!!!
Sometimes it feels like I am doing that every day... We are waiting for Churro x Gotland lambs (think tastiest lamb ever!!!!)....still,
From the date he went in with the ewes we were due on January 25th...wll he must have taken his time....because we are still waiting!!!!  I think the ladies just like getting waited on hand and foot and extend it as long as they can.  

 The valleys have been really foggy so going into town is somewhat depressing....The rain is on a temporary delay so things are drying out a little



I have been felting a lot....why because I FELT like it.

Custom Angora goat

a whimsical cat


Custom border collie


a custom order viking


a prince and his would be queen





a Custom cat


silly Kangaroo



 I have been spinning like a fiend every evening..working on about 2.5 lbs of this beautiful merino and bamboo fiber~!

I finally sheared Miss Rosie, the miracle lamb and she gave me a beautiful fleece.  We know now what a miracle that she is. She was a c-section lamb last year because the vet *thought* her mother Beth  had ring womb.  We know now that it was pregnancy toxemia. and she was in early labor....we know this because sadly ..we lost Beth her and her 4 lambs two weeks ago to the same thing.  The lambs were three weeks to early to save and despite some heroic efforts we lost her too.  Rosie we figure was 2 weeks early last year and we tube fed her for a  week before she could actually stand. She is still a little on the small side for a yearling.  Hopefully she will be able to produce lambs with out the metabolic disorder that her momma had.  I am not giving up on my BFL's as many learning curves that they have thrown at us!!!  Compared to my Navajo Churros they are high maintenance.

Isn't she cute in her lambie-jammies?

I cannot wait to process this fleece!!!!
Kerry is in the last two weeks of her pregnancy and I am watching her like a hawk-hovering...these BFL's are precious to me!

So the barns are clean already this morning, I am going to work in the studio for a while and then maybe start pruning the fruit trees before the superbowl starts...gotta watch those commercials and get some spinning in today!  

go on out and create a great day!!!