Last week, I said “Farewell” to Martha and her pretty daughter, Bonnie II. It was a tough decision, but after observing that Martha’s fleece was once again showing early signs towards water-related fleece rot, I listed her on the Vermont Sheep and Goat Association website.
Having listed animals for sale there in the past, I wasn’t confident that anyone would want my sheep this time around. Icelandics, Shetlands, Dorsets and Katahdins seem to rule the classifieds. Nevertheless, I got a call from none other than my friend Tammy down at Wing and a Prayer Farm! I was thrilled, and soon Tammy and I had worked out a deal. Matt and I delivered Martha and her daughter to Shaftsbury where a comfy barn stall awaited them. Tammy has a nice barn with plenty of capacity to bring the sheep in from the weather as needed. I know they’ll be in good hands.
Back at home, I’m preparing for surgery, part of which involves setting the sheep up to go from Monday to Wednesday without my aid. Fortunately, some of my coworkers at Shelburne Farms are very keen to learn more about rotational grazing, and have kindly agreed to come and move fences during my convalescence. I’m so grateful for the help! I won’t be allowed to lift anything heavy for 2-3 weeks at least, with heavy being more than the weight of a gallon of milk. Surprisingly, that rules out the fencing I use as it is actually quite hefty and would utilize my abs more than my surgeon intends. Water carrying will be out of the question.
I also had a fabulous experience today. For the first time, I am going to be able to mow after the sheep graze in order to better control their grazing experience. This might not sound like much to be excited about, but imagine the difference between a lush, rich pasture about 8 inches high and a tall, weedy, overgrown field full of stemmy, yellowing browse. The sheep would prefer the former, and now I’ll be able to provide it by efficiently brush-hogging shortly after they graze a paddock using my landlord’s tractor. They will have better, more productive fields and I’ll have happier, more productive sheep!
Finally, stay tuned, because the yarn is coming soon. I’ll be putting it on Etsy just as soon as I get home and it looks like the gray is nearly pre-reserved already, so act fast!