The Weekly Bleat: Grain Treat

A few weeks ago, Farmguy and I gathered our sheep for their spring shearing.  We’ve had a number of warm days since late March with temperatures in the 70’s, and the sheep were appearing a bit stressed by the heat.  I was happy to finally get a shearing date, but also a little nervous about the possibility of upcoming cold and rainy weather. On shearing day, the sun managed to come out and stay out, at least until all of the sheep were sheared, dewormed, and had their hooves trimmed.  However, cooler weather was in the forecast. Of course, around here, when it’s 70 degrees in March, go ahead and expect it to be 30 degrees in April, especially when you’ve just sheared seven months of wool off your sweet, lovely sheep.  I’m sure they were thinking, “We’ve been baking in all this wool, and now you think it’s a good time to remove it?”  Needless to say, I felt terrible.  But, I knew a grain treat would help. Typically, we only give the sheep grain in the cooler months as a treat and to increase their body temperatures.  Once spring arrives, the pastures are lush with lots of grass, and the supplemental grain isn’t necessary.  However, we made an exception recently due to the cooler temperatures, and the sheep loved it!  It doesn’t take long for them to get into a new grain routine as they’re pretty spoiled rotten. […]

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The Joys of Springtime

“The Zen master Ling Chi said that the miracle is not to walk on burning charcoal or in the thin air or on the water; the miracle is just to walk on earth. You breathe in. You become aware of the fact that you are alive. You are still alive and you are walking on this beautiful planet….The greatest of […]

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Eggs, Eggs Everywhere!

Growing up on a farm as a child afforded many wonderful experiences.  Meaningful experiences that shaped my values and inspired me.  I remember when I was about 6 or 7 years old, Dad decided that it would be nice to have fresh milk and eggs.  So, he bought a Holstein cow named Bessie and ordered chicks.  I remember sitting in our living room early in the morning before school with an old towel on my lap, carefully cradling a warm, fuzzy chick in my hands–marveling at its tiny body and feet as well as the soft, little sounds it made.  Every morning over the next 2-3 weeks, I would hurriedly get dressed and eat breakfast so I could hold one for a few minutes before the school bus came.  I loved those little chicks! As the chicks grew into hens, they free-ranged all through the pastures and even around the house; but, for some reason, though, they didn’t like to lay their eggs in the coop.  Much to my surprise and joy, while walking along outdoors, I would just FIND an egg laying in the yard or under a bush. It was like an Easter egg hunt!  After making the discovery that the hens were laying eggs all over the place, I remember enthusiastically running into the house and searching for my Easter basket.  “This is going to be fun!” I thought.  And it was. The hens free-ranged and laid their […]

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The Weekly Bleat: Truffle Treats

Truffle–spoiled rotten lamb   Farmguy and I adopted this little woolly last spring. Truffle was a bottle-fed lamb or “bottle baby” due to not having a mother to care for him. This sweet, little lamb was raised in the barn with one of the family dogs to keep him company. And, because of this early friendship, Truffle now thinks he’s […]

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Winter Wonderland

It doesn’t quite feel like Christmastime in my community until the Christmas Lighting Ceremony has taken place at the Bedford, Virginia landmark formerly known as the Elks National Home.  The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks is the fraternal organization that has operated the facility for over a century.  The Elks National Home was recently sold and the new owner, English Meadows, has promised to continue the Christmas light tradition.  Although this icon of Christmas has a new name, to those of us who have passed through those festive gates countless times over the years, it will always be ‘The Elks Home.’ This spectacular presentation of lights and scenery has been a tradition every December except one since 1953.  Creating this winter wonderland is a monumental task.  Beginning the first week of November, the Home’s maintenance crew as well as residents work many hours to hang tens of thousands of light bulbs and display numerous pieces of scenery.  According to the Elks National Home, there are upwards of 20,000 vehicles that pass through the grounds each Christmas Season. Here’s the thing:  I wanted to share a Christmas tradition that I’ve delighted in since childhood.  I hope you enjoy this little tour through ‘The Elks Home’ winter wonderland, and may your holidays be merry and bright! If you would like to enjoy a bit of festive music while touring the Christmas light display, just click on the link.  🙂 “Winter […]

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The Weekly Bleat: Healthy Woollies

Farmgirl and Butterbean Green Hill Farm  October 2018   All of the rain we’ve had this year has been good for our pastures; however, constant wet and warm weather is anything but helpful when it comes to managing internal parasites in small ruminants, such as sheep. Normally, Farmguy and I monitor our flock and check their eyes every six to […]

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