Friday, March 21, 2008

What are the sheep doing?

All the ewes do these days is eat, chew their guts, and complain. They do a lot of complaining. As soon as one spots me she will start with an accusing bahh and no sooner as she is finishied all will join... bahh-hay, more bahh-hay always asking for more, just like my wee ones, when I get the ice cream out.
I could just give in and allow them to have a steady supply of hay, but since the icelandics are a primitive breed, I really have to watch how much they eat during pregnancy. If they get to much, their lambs will grow rather big and they will have trouble giving birth.
So, I harden my heart and ignore all the baa hing and stick to the balanced morning and evening ratio. Well, I do
gather pine branches, they love to nibble of all the needles and than strip the bark....

While the sheep are happily taking in their fresh greens, I have been working on another pair of slippers. When you knit these they are really really big, then you throw them in the washing machine to felt and get them to the right size.
Hide them when friends come over because once they spot them they will declare that they are very much in need for new slippers..... and all you will knit for a long time will be ...... slippers!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Signs of spring

Tomatoes are started and already peaking through the black dirt, Crocuses are finally displaying some color in the garden and the sun is getting warmer every day!

It feels and looks like spring is on its way.

Dipsy, the first and so far only lamb is growing as fast as all the spring bulbs. She is a fine lamb that likes to touch noses with the dogs, much to moms disapproval! Hopefully soon she will be joined by many more little sheep still comfortably growing in big bellies.

This spring we decided against baby chicks and went to pick up ten young hens at a friends organic farm. These chickens are a mixed bunch that just started laying eggs and will hopefully be sitting and hatching some baby chicks.
But, live in the hen house can be cruel. A pecking order will be established at any cost. In our case that meant one new hens got pecked to badly she ended up in the stew pot and since it is not worth heating up the kettle for one chicken, Tony, the mean rooster got chosen to keep her company!

Since there would be no baby chicks without a rooster, we do have a new little guy waking the farm in the morning. And not only is he little with a dainty voice, but he is friendly as well!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

New life

The first lamb of the season is here, born Wednesday morning , already up and running by the time I went out to feed.
I had locked the gray Navajo up Tuesday evening just in case, and sure enough she gave my shepherdess confidence a nice boost by delivering her baby the next day!
A beautiful spotted ewe lamb, legs still a bit wobbly and the woolly curls wet from birth greeted me around 7.00am. Forgotten are the shoveling of straw and muck heavy with odor. The hours spent on mending fences, catching excited sheep, yelling at beloved family members for letting that one dang ram escape....once again.
One look at this healthy #12 baby fills me with happiness and makes me thankful for being able to live this life. Life on the farm!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Leberknoedelsuppe - all mind over matter

Oma and Opa are visiting from Germany.

Oma likes to cook and more importantly knows how to cook. I like to take advantage of this and pick up a few recipes along the way.

As a child I always liked Leberknoedelsuppe. So, much to my husbands dismay I thawed out lamb liver and ran it through the food processor, so today we can enjoy this traditional Bavarian dish!
We do indeed eat most parts of the animals we butcher, including innerds. I got the older kids started a bit to late on this food group and they tent to have plans for the evenings I serve kidney, liver or heart.
I truly believe this is a case of mind over matter.
If I was to serve you this dish not sharing the list of ingredients, you are most likely to enjoy it. If you help me prepare it, you will probably go hungry .
This would surely be my husbands choice, but since he takes being a role model very serious, he does slurp the soup with a content smile on his face, and so do the wee ones.
If you are an adventurous eater, please let me know, I would be glad to share the recipe for liver dumpling soup.

No lambs jet, but BIG udders, I am on my way out to get the lambing pen ready for the ewe that looks like she is about to burst. Usually they stay in the pasture, but it has been cold and snowing, so she will move where she has her own shelter, peace and quite.... and probably be the last one to lamb!
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