I've been waiting to update the blog until the last lamb was born so I could give the final count, and today was the day! Finally. The last ewe, Susana, who was a first time mother waited a full week after all the rest were done to present us with her twins. Every day I thought, surely she will have them today. And every night when I got up at 2 AM to check, I thought, please don't let her have them in the middle of the night. But she picked a fine sunny afternoon, and it all went well. She is an attentive and calm mother, and the twins are healthy and eating on their own. So, a year with no bottle feeding- couldn't ask for anything more than that! Here are the stats: 26 total; 9 Female, 17 Male; 2 black, 24 white; 1 set of triplets, 10 sets of twins, 3 singles.
In case you think that all we are doing is sitting around waiting for lambs to be born, you would be wrong! We have been working our tails off trying to keep up with Spring and all the chores that season brings. Even though we look forward to it and can't wait for it to arrive, it always seems to catch us by surprise. One day there is snow on the ground and the cat is warming himself by the wood stove, and the next thing you know the garden is ready and you realize that you better get those seedlings planted if you want to have any tomatoes this year. So, up goes the temporary greenhouse, and the planting begins. I always plant way too many seeds, and then can't stand to discard any of them. How many cauliflowers do two people need anyway?
One of our usual Spring chores is burning the branches of all the trees that fell during the winter, and the fruit tree prunings. (We use the big stuff for winter heating). Standing around a burn pile can be kind of nice, but it takes a long time, it contributes to poor air quality, and we really like wood chips for lots of things such as garden paths and chicken coop bedding. So this year we invested in a wood chipper attachment for our tractor. It came just after the fruit trees were pruned, so we gave it a good workout and it performed like a champ! Our neighbor suggested that we use the fruit wood chips for smoking meat, which sounded good to us, so we followed his advice. We chipped the fruit wood separately, dried it in the sun, and ended up with about 5 large garbage bags full of chips. I think that building a smokehouse just moved up the priority list a few notches. Apple smoked bacon anyone?
We have lots of projects lined up for the summer, so stay tuned! The biggest one is building the "bunkhouse", a cabin that will replace the small structure that burned in the Carlton Complex fire four years ago. We hope to break ground later this month, and start construction in June. We are also working on a solar energy system and if all goes well it will get installed later this year. And of course I will continue to do my fiber work once the garden is underway. I have been trying to be better about posting photos on Instagram and Facebook, so if you want more frequent glimpses in to life at the Lamb Ranch, check out those pages. See you next month!
Life on the Ranch
This Blog is intended to be a summary of the events of daily life that take place on our ranch. We hope you find it interesting - feel free to comment if you like.