I never know what I’m going to wake up to. Friday morning, after only a half cup of coffee, The Farmer said to me, “I think I’m going to move the sheep up to The Krautwurst’s.” It sounds innocent enough. You see, we graze our sheep on our neighbors' pastures and sometimes not so close neighbors' fields. Even though our town was once full of hilltown farmers eeking out a living off the land, it’s not quite that way these days. People live in lovely old farmhouses surrounded by rolling pastures. But truth be told, they aren’t farming at all. Haying is a big deal because their equipment no longer works. They all earn their living off the farm in nearby and not so nearby towns. They have the choice to let the once hayed fields become weedy and then revert back to woodlands, or they can pay a landscaping service to brush-hog their fields.
Because The Farmer’s family has been around here farming for a very long time, the farming relationships with other farming families go deep. Luckily, some of our neighboring land-owners let us graze their fields. They don’t have to pay for someone to mow the fields and we can feed our sheep. It’s a good trade. And I must say, there aren’t many people who can resist a field full of sheep slowly grazing while they are also fertilizing the fields.
That said, sometimes the grass is gone and the sheep, of course, still need to eat. The Krautwurst’s fields are two miles from our farm. We have two options – either truck the sheep twenty at a time in a landscape trailer or they can walk themselves.
Friday was a day of Two’s. Two miles, two dogs, two adults, and two kids (we enlisted Julia’s friend Matthew to help who enjoys everything in life - it was a school holiday). It was quite the adventure, I must say. It was a beautifully clear day and not too hot, not too cold. The cooler fall temperatures still hadn’t hit yet and thank goodness the odd heatwave was gone.
Are you ready for the journey? If not, move on to somewhere else becaue this is a rather picture heavy post. I apologize but at least you have the option to leave as compared to sitting at a neighbor's slide show of vacation photos when you didn't want to appear rude.
The sheep don’t quite know what lies in front of them.
They’re off, hopefully taking the right road. (There's a choice of two!)
At this point the sheep have already eaten some prime pasture at the first neighboring farmhouse. It took a lot of nudging from the dogs and humans to move them along up the road.
Looks like they are going forward okay.
Oops – here’s the Mass. Fish and Game people. They had just released a whole bunch of pheasants for hunting. Bet we ALL surprised them. At least they pulled to the side of the road and the sheep kept plowing through.
This is a giant hill that they had to climb.
Down the other side after a quick snack in the field.
Oops, another diversion.....
No, no, go the other way....
Our helpers took their job very seriously.
A sea of sheep.
And so many sheep butts.
At this point, they are running down the hill. The kids and I lost them for the last 1 /2 mile. Who knew sheep could run so fast.
Mission accomplished. Tuckered out – all of us. But at least the sheep had a snack.
Here’s The Farmer and his dogs walking up a beautiful still green field after a job well done.
The dogs, the kids, and The Farmer and I walked the two miles back, pooped but happy after a successful day.