The Reality of Farm Life

It's been a trying month on the farm.

It happens. Things break and need to be replaced. Our well pumped died after a decade. No showers or laundry washing and borrowing water from the neighbors for the animals made for a stinky and stressful week.

We've said "hello" and then "goodbye" to some of our precious creatures.

And there's been a bottle lamb to feed which has had me up in the night for most of 2 weeks. Sleep deprivation really hinders brain function, now doesn't it? It also makes me miserable and unproductive.

It's also been an exciting, beautiful, and amazing month.

All of our adult ewes have lambed! A dozen in all with two of the ewes giving birth to triplets! We're still waiting on 3 of last year's ewe lambs to have their babies.

Lambs are so tiny and vulnerable when they are born yet they get up and find their way to food within minutes. It is miraculous to watch!

Sadly, we lost one lamb from the first set of triplets. To prevent the same, sad fate, we decided to pull one of the triplets from the 2nd ewe and bottle feed it. And so we have a house lamb.

Meet Chester.

Chester the House Lamb

Chester the House Lamb

Chester wears a diaper and helps himself up onto the children's beds to nap. The children think this is "so cute". Me, not so much, particularly when the well is out and I can't wash sheets and towels!

The lambs are growing rapidly, as is the grass. The sheep have all had a good dose of Spring grasses and their lambs have had much frolicking time as well. 

Our slow season has ended.

This past week, 3 of our dairy cows gave birth to three calves. There has been the ensuing flood of milk from Nutmeg, LeLait, and Saffron. All three calves are bulls.

LeLait's calf left today for his new home. We cannot keep them all.

Nutmeg and Saffron's calves will stay here as steers for future beef. Unlike their commercial dairy counterparts, Terry (a.k.a Teryaki) and Kit (a.k.a. Brisket), will live out their lives drinking their mother's milk and eating all the grass they could ever want.

The black calf is Kit, the red calf is Terry. LeLait's calf, the brown one, has left for his new home.

The black calf is Kit, the red calf is Terry. LeLait's calf, the brown one, has left for his new home.

So, my knitting days are over!

It's time to get the garden planted, make yogurt and cheeses, and soon, the daily pasture moves will start. Piglets for our Pork Shares arrive in early April and our family meals become more rushed and projects end up on the backburner until late Fall. 

Such is life on a small farm.

As we settle in to our seasonal routines, I'll get back to sharing more recipes, farm happenings, and some exciting new nutritional information with you.

In the meantime, enjoy the blooming Forsythia and Daffodils and pray for abundant rainfall so the grasses will be lush, the milk will flow, and the lambs will fatten well!