to celebrate the publication of my new book


Our colorful 1751 farmhouse will be open to the public. On view will be many of the projects that are featured in Crafting A Pattern Home along with many other things I have made over the years.

This event will be a celebration of the handmade. I hope the day will inspire you to add some pattern and color to your home.

The event is FREE. Books will be available along with some other things I have made. For more information and directions, see the EVENTBRITE PAGE HERE. Although tickets are not mandatory, it will help me get a count to know what to expect. Hope to see you here in western Massachusetts in May.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Ask The Farmer Returns!

Last year, I did a fun column called "Ask The Farmer." Now that lambing has slowed down a bit, I asked him if he would answer your farming questions here again. Miraculously, he obliged. So, if you have any sheep, lamb, farming, or sustainable agriculture related question for him, leave it in the comments section of this post or email me directly. It's okay if someone has asked the same question.... that way we will know what are the most important to answer. He will answer them over a series of posts, fitting it into our farming schedule.

More giveaways next week! If you are wondering who has won each giveaway, I've been adding to each post at the end of it once the contest is over. If you are looking for book ideas, check out all the comments in Tuesday's post. You all are a wealth of great information!


m. said...

My question for the farmer is about raising replacement ewe lambs. I am having a hard time finding information about what type of nutrition they should be getting and for how long. Obviously with ram lambs I have an end point to shoot for but I am confused about the girls. How long should I keep them on grain etc to keep them growing nicely to be the future of my flock.

Thank you so much for any help.

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Kathy said...

I'm curious about the black lambs, do they turn white or do they grow up to be the black sheeps of the family?

natalie. beyond the reef said...

I just have to ask...is it ever 'too late' or can a person learn? Lambs, llamas...does it take a lifetime to know about this? Must you be born to it?

Alexis E. said...

What are some natural remedies for vegetable pests? I've heard a squirt bottle with Dawn and water could work. Is that true?

fracksmom said...

I know it part of the cycle of life, but do the hand fed lambs still get sent for the market? Also do you just sell the rams for market and keep the ewes? The mothers that die do you shave the wool and bury the ewe?

Siri said...

Oh, Kristin! The questions I could ask...
How I would have loved to have had the two of you standing by our sides during our own first lambing these past few weeks!
I don't know how many times I thought to my self, WWKD? "What would Kristin do?!" Also, HOW ON EARTH DO THEY DO THIS WITH HUNDREDS OF LAMBS?
Oy. We're just beginning to recover now a little from the exhaustion of only 4 ewes/6 lambs, the being on through-the-night watch for lambing and then feeding the one bottle lamb.
My respect for you and your livelihood has grown ten fold in this past month!

Siri said...

I'll ask "The Farmer" on this end if he has any questions. It is more than likely that he will. If there's one thing he's NOT afraid of it is asking questions when there is something he's interested in learning about, and there's always something knew he wants to learn. It sure makes life ever-changing and always interesting and exciting around here!

Siri said...

Did I really just type "knew"?

Kristi said...

Up until now, my 2 sheep and 2 goats are pets, but I am interested in a small flock of BFL crosses. I am in MD and wanted your opinion on BFL/Cormo crosses as dual purpose. Small meaning starting with about 3-4. Thanks and hope you guys have a great season! See you at TNNA Kristin!

mlacouture said...

Like Natalie I want to know is it too late?! For a 60-something grandmother to rescue a couple of (Shetland)sheep? What is the best way to fence them and to protect them from predators? I have two dogs but sometimes they're off-duty. I do have shelter for them. What about their hooves-- do they need attention? Can they live on grass only in the summer? What is their normal life-span? (no lambing) Thank-you!

mn_bird said...

I am curious about - - What is an example of a really good day as a sheep farmer and what is an example of a really hard day?


Jenny said...

Do you shear before lambing? (It doesn't appear so, since you lamb early...brrrrr!) Do you think feeding grain makes the fiber coarser? What's your worming schedule? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Would the farmer ever consider doing day (or two) on a farm tours? Where someone came to learn about raising sheep by doing for a little while: Not so much a breaking up of your lives, but a mentoring kind of thing where people learned by helping out and any class fees would go back into the farm itself.

Anonymous said...

~ Dear Farmer,
Once upon a time, I would loVe to have a small farm. If I were to have several alpacas, maybe four and a few goats,two, how many sheep would also be practical ?
(sounds a little like a silly grade school math problem ! If they had been worded like that I would have done WELL in math !)
Anyway, would they all get along pretty well in a field together ? goats too ?
thank you,
Shell ~

Anonymous said...

In your blog you have mentioned that the sheep sometimes graze on other people's land. That's great, but how do you find people who want sheep to graze on their land, and what is the benefit to the landowner?

Anonymous said...

Do you sell your meat to local restaurants or stores or just farmer's markets? How long is the turnover time from having a lamb born to the meat being packaged for sale? Being a supermarket shopper, my meat is always on the shelf and I've not really thought about how long it took to get there!

Anonymous said...

How much hay do you have to "put up" for the winter for your flock? Do you have enough hay from just one field? And the burning question I have is...how does the hay get so nicely packaged like a giant marshmallow??

Terri said...

Your sheep are being raised in a very natural way, but is the meat considered organic? What makes a meat "organic" as opposed to being raised naturally without antibiotics, etc.?

Anonymous said...

How is it that the Farmer manages to still look so GQ in muddy jeans and muck boots?? (maybe the cute black lamb helps too)