Homestead Happenings 3/18/22

Today is the birthday of the most awesome mom ever (and owner of this ranch!), Connie. Happy birthday mom! (Her picture is at the bottom of the website).

Topics this week include: Hair Sheep Updates, Garden Musings, Woods Walk.

Hair Sheep Updates

FINALLY!!!! Lambing is finished until mid-June!

Friday, March 11, 2022
Early morning

Registered St Croix ewe, Rosie, had triplet boys! 6, 7, and 8lbs. Sire is Registered St Croix Ram, Luke. This ewe has never had a ewe lamb and has previously only had singles (though a triplet herself). She wasn’t very happy having so many mouths to feed but after a day settled in fine. Supplementing with a bottle though as her udder just doesn’t look like it’s going to cut it.

St Croix had a total of 9 lambs, 5 girls/4 boys, out of 5 ewes. 180% lambing total.
Katahdin and Katahdin Crossbreds had a total of 24 lambs, 11 girls/13 boys, out of 13 ewes. 185% lambing total.
Flock totals: 16 girls/17 boys out of 18 ewes. 183% lambing total.

We also took a few sheep to the auction an hour drive from here. Katahdin Ram Chief, Yearling Katahdin Ram Crichton, Crossbred Ewe Dahlia, St Croix Ewe Bella, Yearling daughter from Panda, and a Yearling daughter from Sonja. Running out of hay so offloading some sheep that don’t have a purpose here anymore. There will be a second round the end of May. I’ll be really sad to see some of our favorite ewes go, but we have no choice if we want to keep going!

Garden Musings

The Forsythia (banana flower according to my daughter) is in full bloom right now as are the little purple violets (planted by my great grandmother) that escaped the garden beds long before I was born!

Out in the orchard, I’m considering making swales to follow the contour of the slope out there. My hope is that water will be captured in those swales and keep things better watered. The only drawback is how expensive it is to rent an excavator and pay for the fuel at this point in time. I still feel we will have to put drip irrigation out there too for our lovely summers where we have little to no rain from late June/early July through to late September. The Food Forest is going to be an ongoing project every year as we can afford it. We do have Ambrosia and Pink Lady Apple trees coming as well as a couple Forest Pansy Redbud trees (for nitrogen fixing).

In looking at the patio full of potted plants, I’m realizing I need to get my rear in gear and prune them back some. As you can see the raised beds are a MESS! Never ends!

Garden Slideshow:

Woods Walk

There were some tiny Mycena sp mushrooms, Turkey Tail fungus, Miner’s lettuce, Chickweed, Spring Beauty, Yellow Wood Violet just starting, Dandelions, Baby Trilliums coming up, Purple Dead Nettle, Stinging Nettle, Heuchera, Wild Strawberry, Oregon Grape starting to bloom, Pussy Willow just starting to bloom, the wild Oso Plum is blooming as are some (probably once domestic) cherry trees that are scattered through the woods (There is one at the bottom of the “Neighbor Pasture” that smells heavenly this time of year), saw a weird root growing upside down, there were signs of a buck in the orchard, the swamp had quite a bit of water in it as did the hand-dug pond in the lower pasture.

Slideshow from my walk on Thursday:

On the Spring Equinox (March 20) there will be a small blog with what it means for the homestead.

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