The Weekly Bleat: Not Baaad!

Farmguy and I have had our little flock of woollies for about ten years.  And, while they are truly the spirit of Green Hill Farm, gracing its fields and pastures with their quiet beauty (with the exception of Hamish and his incessant baaahs for grain), there are a few things you may not know about these interesting and intelligent animals. To start with, their wool will grow forever.  A sheep, depending on the breed, can produce between two and 30 pounds of wool a year.  Also, one pound of wool can make up to 10 miles of yarn.  Besides producing lots and lots of wool, sheep have another special ability—they have nearly 360 degree vision.  Sheep have rectangular pupils that give them amazing peripheral vision; it’s estimated that their field of vision is between 270 and 320 degrees (humans average about 155 degrees).  This is really important, especially when you’re a prey animal…it’s like surround sound for the eyes. Not only do these woollies have special eyes, they have special lips as well.  The upper lip of a sheep has a pronounced groove dividing the left and right side, called a philtrum. Sheep are very selective grazers, preferring leaves and blades over stems, and their philtrum helps them get close to the ground.  This gives them an advantage over other ruminants who can’t go as low. And, it’s really interesting that sheep, who have such fascinating faces, are so observant […]

Read More →

The Weekly Bleat: A Cotswold Farm

A while ago, Farmguy and I visited Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park located in Guiting Power—Cheltenham, England.  The farm was opened in 1971 by Adam’s father, Joe to help protect some of our rare breeds of farm animal.  As the home of rare breed conservation, visitors can meet over 50 flocks and herds of farm animals, including Gloucestershire Old Spot […]

Read More →

Tuesday Tunes: In the Valley

“Simple Gifts” written by Elder Joseph   ‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight. When true simplicity is gained, To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed, To turn, turn will be our delight, Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.   Originally, a Shaker hymn, this music was mostly unknown outside Shaker communities until Aaron Copland composed its melody for the score of Martha Graham’s ballet, “Appalachian Spring” which premiered in 1944.  Copland was awarded the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his achievement; however, when he began his award winning ballet score in 1942, he couldn’t have foreseen that it would become one of the most inspiring and symbolic works of the century.              

Read More →