For the last few years, I have worked full time (and more), fitting the sheep in on mornings, evenings and weekends. I am used to making do, making sheep wait for later, making what I had work.
Now, the sheep are right in front of my life. We’ve really had to adjust our schedule, but mostly we’ve had to change our mentality. It is critical that we solve issues immediately. Emergencies aren’t just inconvenient- they are now a much larger factor in whether our venture succeeds or fails. Matt and I have had several intense conversations establishing our expectations in this regard. We could work on this farm every minute of every day. But we also have a few decades under our belts and I am having a return of some health concerns that are slowing me down. So we make sure that we take periods of rest.
Some things we have accomplished since we started:
- We knocked down all but one acre-ish of standing, overgrown milkweed and goldenrod to promote grass growth.
- We met two more neighbors- a former sheep-farmer and a dairyman with 40 Jerseys who hays the field adjacent to our fields.
- We acquired an adorably small manure-spreader.
- We added 90 more bales to the 30 bales Matt made. Only 60 more bales are needed for the winter.
- We ordered and received our 60′ x 30′ barn. We have yet to build it.
- We have stacked some, but not all, of our wood.
- We haven’t stacked all of our wood because we’ve been shoveling free horse manure into the back of my truck and spreading it on our smaller hayfield.
- I have taken soil samples around the land, so we will soon know how much of which nutrients we will need to import to the land.
- I am now keeping a daily flock journal.
This year, we are breeding the adult sheep for January lambs, so Fred is hard at work charming the ladies. The lambs have been growing steadily with some grain in their diet, and at Mary Lake’s recommendation we’ve finally purchased and begun to administer BoSE (a Vitamin E and Selenium supplement) to the flock to improve their health. Here’s to a brighter and healthier future for the sheep.