The past year has been a busy one at Fallen Branch Farm. It must have been since I haven't had a chance to post anything since last November! Each day goes by completing the regular chores and ongoing maintenance which keeps us busy enough. This year we have had a few new additions to the farm which have been very time consuming. We have had to make more alterations to the farm layout and the weather has proven to be a challenge. Looking back, despite the challenges, our year has proven to be quite successful. Sales at our shop continue to be quite good and our animals have been healthy. Since there is a lot of catching up to do let's take a quick look at each month.
After ending 2022 with a Christmas blizzard which saw us snowed in for 4 days the New Year began with a thaw which saw the mounds of snow quickly melt away. This reprieve from winter allowed all of us to get out and enjoy the mild weather before seeing a quick return to a blustery winter.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes to happen at the farm took place in February. February 1 we adopted an 8 week old Kuvasz puppy we named Cyrus. With the increasing size of our flock of sheep and the added pastures, we decided that we needed a protector for our livestock. After researching different dog breeds, donkeys, and llamas, we opted for a Kuvasz. Most of the winter was consumed with training and trying to integrate Cyrus into farm life. Not an easy job. He came to us weighing about 30 pounds and has gained another 100 since then. He's quite a guy and the farm hasn't been the same since!
March and April
By the time March rolls around it's time to think about lambing and preparing for that. First step is to have the sheep sheared so we can see which ewes are pregnant. We can also get an idea of how far along they are. We weren't sure what to expect since this was the first breeding season with our new young ram Atticus. Well he proved to have done a very good job. Lambing continued throughout March and April. Each night we would get up in the middle of the night to check on them and again firat thing in the morning, throughout the day and last thing before bedtime. One lamb decided to arrive just as we were starting our Easter dinner. Paul and I just put dinner on the table and our guests helped themselves as we helped Juniper deliver her first baby. I think we decided then not to host dinners during lambing season.
Spring finally arrived after a few false starts and a couple late arriving lambs. The vegetable garden got planted and of course a late frost settled. We managed to save our tender vegetables and peaches but unfortunately the plums didn't fare as well.
Finally the sheep were able to get into our new pasture which had been seeded last fall. They enjoyed it all summer long! We also got a new batch of laying hens - a new variety for us called Sasso. They are a dual purpose variety and come in different colours so we thought we would give them a try. So far they have done really well for us and are able to keep up with our customer demand for free range eggs. We worked hard doing all of spring jobs - painting, tree pruning, yard cleanup, flower gardening, vegetable gardening then one day I had an accident and severely damaged my rotator cuff....
...to be continued...