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Farm update… what’s getting planted, what’s growing

Mid-April, and beautiful weather makes it real tempting to plant faster than planned.  After all, the sooner we get things planted, the sooner they can grow, and the  faster we can have  a greater assortment of veggies for Farmers’ Market, right?

Not so fast, rookie.

It might be 80 degrees in the afternoon, but with blue skies, not a cloud in sigh… the temperature can easily drop below freezing by dawn of the next morning. All it takes is a storm moving east hundreds of miles away and let it’s little cold tail swing through the atmosphere… and boom, we’re below freezing.

At over 5000 feet elevation, the surface cools much faster. Add to the fact there is next to no concrete or blacktop, no large trees, or massive shrubs, and the air simply goes up, up, and up. The faster it leaves, the colder it gets.

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Posted in New Home in Beryl, Uncategorized
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We’re no longer rookies, newbies, or city girls

This week marks a major milestone.

We’ve graduated in the eyes of several of our mentors.  We’re no longer rookies, newbies, or city girls.

Fire at our neighbor's houseIt all began when one of our neighbor’s house burned. We were on scene very early and got the only pictures for the fire investigator. Another neighbor is the real hero as he broke down doors to see if anyone was inside. Thankfully, no one  was home. He also turned off the main propane supply valve.

Something we may never have mentioned last year, was that one of our mentors, “Flip” the guy who shears our sheep, and is the source for our breeding stock, told us “we’re smarter than he thought” when we told him we’d gotten rid of our horses.

This past week, we’ve been “apprenticing” at another sheep ranch. We get “paid”

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Posted in Sheep
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Rough start to lambing season

After a warm winter, with very little precipitation, either rain or snow, right at the start of lambing season, winter has returned.

Our season began prematurely when the gal who gave us quads last year, had a nearly full-sized, but underdeveloped baby, followed by another clearly aborted. Next up is a really wooly gal, who had a single boy. He’s a big boy, but being a single, he will be a market lamb.

Another ewe we bought last year had twins with our help. I had to lightly pull on the head as it was fully exposed, with one foot. For whatever reason, the ewe just wasn’t pushing effectively. By grasping the head at the back of the neck, I was able to apply enough pressure that when she contracted, the lamb remained in position, rather than slipping back into the birth canal.

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Posted in Sheep, Uncategorized
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You know you don’t know sheep when…

As I’ve said before, Mom, Bev, and Cindy are from an island in Lake Erie. Both Bev and Cindy were police officers, and many years ago, Mom owned a fish business on the mainland. Bev had also grown up on family farms with some sheep and harness horses. When they decided to move to Beryl, it was going to life-changing… just how life-changing was yet to be discovered.

Shari moved here from Oregon. She at least had some “agri-business” background, having grown up in the Portland suburbs, and later in western Washington County, where she raised rabbits commercially and also owned a USDA-inspected rabbit processing facility. She joined the party in Utah in late 2006, shortly after the others acquired their first lambs.

Around here, most folks have livestock of some sort. They either have chickens, sheep, goats, cows or horses. Only a few are truly retirees,

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Posted in Farm Tales
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  • Goats helping photographer
    Hey, we'd love to help you take your pictures.
  • Coco's little calf born July 30, 2014
    Coco's little calf born July 30, 2014.
  • Cindy feeding Chaffhaye
  • working in the kitchen
    Bev recording milk weights, Shari stirring the Cajeta
  • The first two little doelings.
    The first two little doelings.
  • Mom with Thor
    Mom is cuddling our new buckling, Thor.
  • cargo trailer
    Our Farmer's Market cargo trailer.
  • Hand digging trench
    Shari pitches in and digs up broken water line.

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