With only a couple days remaining in spring I started recalling all we have been through over the last few months. To sum it up - "lots of lambs!"
Everyday around our little farm is busy. Daily chores, ongoing repairs, trips to the feed store all make up a big part of our day. It's only when stopping and thinking over what has gone on that you realize how busy things have really been. In addition, Paul and I both spend a couple days each week helping out our parents in town. Sounds like enough to me but there is always more. Here is a bit of an update.
The pigs have had a pretty quiet time. No babies since January. Oliver can't seem to get the girls pregnant so we may have to look into artificial insemination. We're keeping our fingers crossed that things worked last cycle.
We moved the pigs over to a fresh area this spring. They are really enjoying the fresh grass and new surroundings. Paul and I dug up their old yard and planted all types of squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, leeks, fenugreek, tomatoes, peppers, and pole beans. Hopefully this experiment works and the pigs will return to this yard in the fall to help themselves to the remaining crops.
Our little pigs just went off to market which is always a sad day around here. We added cover crops of buckwheat and rye grass to provide food for the next batch of piglets that will move in. I'm hoping the buckwheat will be an added bonus for our bees.
The sheep have been the main focus of the spring. We started anxiously waiting for lambs to arrive in March as we saw the moms getting bigger. We rarely left the farm just in case something might happen. Finally, mid-April, three moms gave birth in one night. Three sets of twins were born to Maisie, Poppy, and Coco. One of the sets was identical. One first time mom. First time moms are tricky and Coco proved to be no exception. Her deliveries were really difficult and the vet was out at 3 a.m. Babies were fine but Coco wouldn't accept the second baby and we had to bottle feed her for the next six weeks. We call her Gracie. Poppy was so big and full of milk that her twins couldn't latch on so we fed her twins and milked her for a week until the babies could finally do it themselves. A week and a half later, on Easter Sunday, Clover delivered twins and the next day Georgia had a little girl. It was a lot of work but all the babies are healthy. Six girls and 3 boys born this spring at Fallen Branch Farm!
THE REST OF THE FARM
The goats have been lounging around most days oblivious to what's been going on. Kit, our little butterfly chasing dreamer, has become a cold-blooded killer hunting rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, moles, and more! Victoria is sitting on her nest while Albert nervously paces around. We have added another hive of bees but the cool wet spring seems to be keeping their movement down. A new set of laying hens arrived as well as our Thanksgiving turkeys. Our vegetable garden has been planted but because of the weather things are a bit behind this year. We are enjoying radishes, lettuce, and a bit of asparagus already.
We have been spending time getting the store set up and trying out some new ideas. Our little shop got a facelift with new shelving and signs. I have some stained glass pieces available and Paul did some awesome little goat paintings. We have been offering a different feature product each week - butter tarts,rhubarb pies, pork ragu, perogies.... This weekend we will have our new batch of pork roasts, ribs, and chops in store. Next week we'll have smoked pork chops, hams, ham steaks, sausages, hams, 3 types of bacon, and 3 types of sausage. The Italian and Chorizo sausages are made from our own recipes. We are both really looking forward to this summer season. We can always rest in the fall.....no maybe winter.