First off - More exciting news from the farm today. At least for me. We are throwing an "Open House/Open Farm" two day event. We are just in the planning stages but I'm joining together with a couple of local friends to do this thing. I'm a bit scared and trepidatious but we are giving it a go. Julia is convinced noone will come. I hope she is wrong.
Dates: December 5/6, 2015
Mark your calendar, get in your car, come to the farm, buy some art, books, pottery, + ethnic textiles and jewelry. Visit the sheep and the puppies. Buy some lamb for a special holiday meal.
How does that sound?
More on the event coming soon.
Here are the directions to our farm if you are curious.
Oh boy - Autumn is almost over here. The leaves are pretty much on the ground and the architecture of the trees is back in the landscape. Today is an incredibly foggy and misty and drizzly day and although it is warm, I can't even see the sheep out in the pasture.
Yesterday though - it was incredibly gorgeous. Sunny and in the 70's. I took the opportunity to be outside a bit and it was glorious. It is part of the daily routine here to take the puppies Beau and Sadie and the Border Collies Ness and Kate for a walk in the orchard. This is part of the training process for the Gt Pyrenees Livestock Guard Dogs (LGD for short). We walk the perimeter of the fences so they know what they "own" and need to protect.
The puppies are growing like weeds. They are in the teenage stage. You can see their muscles growing under their saggy skin. They are fast, curious, and are loving eating disgusting things. Typical farm dogs.
There are some patches of moss at the bottom of one of the pastures.
It grows in large drifts and Beau and Sadie rush to it, lie down on it and roll around on it. So cute. They know every patch of it in the pasture. It must be like a giant mattress for them.
People have asked me about the training of the LGD's. Besides the walking the fencelines, there isn't much training involved - except for trying to keep them from jumping which is a losing battle right now. Their instincts are amazing. They already know their territory. I suppose they smell Winston's trails and scent. Maybe he is guiding them as they take over his job and territory. Although we have had them fenced in, trying to keep them safe, they have now learned how to climb out of the picket fence (Gt Pyrs are climbers if you can believe it). There is no keeping them in. When we wake up in the morning, they are usually out in the sheep pasture sniffing around and eating poop.
The two personalities of these puppies is starting to come out. Beau is more attentive to me and reminds me of Winston. He is a little slower and will actually look at me if I call him. Sadie on the other hand is all business, up to her own antics and could care less about me.
|Sadie venturing off on her own|
|Beau has the sweetest face and look|
For a month or so, we have only had 6 sheep in the pastures at our house. And then there were 5, and then 4, and then 3. The coyotes were eating well when Winston was not feeling well. We haven't lost a sheep in about a month - do not know if the coyotes have moved on to someone else's animals or if it is because the puppies are here. This week we moved 16 ewes back and we'll see what happens.
I love having them back because it makes the pastures more alive and makes this place feel more like the farm it is. The rest of the ewes and rams are still grazing in other locations but it will be over soon. Winter will come, the grass will stop growing and they will go back to their winter barn and we will wait for lambs in January.
The puppies were raised in a barn with sheep. When the sheep arrived, they were not the least bit interested in chasing. They just kind of settled in with them although I'm not sure the sheep were too comfortable with the new puppies. Their enthusiasm is boundless as captured in these two photos. I wish I could bottle it.