Just when you thought it was safe…

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Tired, cold, left alone

All the bred ewes lambed. Just fine. Every one of them a popcorn king or queen. Zippity-do-dah! And then, Clara, twin of Bridget, mother of Toby-Joe, quietly gave birth to a little girl yesterday. A stunning little girl. Cream and black, like one of those tender filled licorice candies. Okay. I thought, okay. Clara, who last year refused to let Toby-Joe anywhere near her, seemed to be accepting this new little ladysheep. Cooing to her. Walking her around. Talking to her. Bringing her to the hay with the other lambs, so she could eat her dinner. Last night, I was concerned, but not terribly worried. I hadn’t seen her nurse, but the lamb hadn’t left her side.

This morning, though, she had distanced herself. The lambess was laying down in the middle of the dry lot, shivering, sleeping, alone. We brought her in. I wrapped her in a wooly blanket. Made some colostrum for her. Slow going. She’s taken little more than an ounce so far.

I know that ewes abandon “defective” babies. I know, because I have raised several bottle babies, and a truly strong healthy lamb is the exception. Right now, it’s too soon to tell if this little one will make it. We’re having a chilly day, but if I can get her fed and rested and warmed up, I’ll return her to her maa. And go out there with a ba-ba as often as need be.

Boy o boy. The adventures never stop.

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Seriously, it is Too Hot to Bake today?

Oh, in the house it is cool and lovely. Windows are open. Sun is right smack overhead. But as the world turns, the sun’s rays slay us, penetrating the western window, heating the skin of this metal house, and making life bearable only with AC. So, do I bake today? Lawdy. Here’s how the sheep feel about being out in the sun:

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Jasper & Blackie

No, not fiber animals. They aren’t and I know it. But they are something to behold. Look at these guys!

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Pretty Boy Blackie

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Blackie from the Top with the White Girls

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Jasper White & Harem

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Yes, He IS the Size of a Small Turkey

See if you can pick Jasper out of the crowd. Cock-a-doodle-doooooooo!

a different kind of wooly

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peruvian brown

Sustainable agriculture implies a long term integrated system that will satisfy food and fiber needs while being kind to the environment. We try. Our freezers are full. The canner has had a big fat workout. We rotate our crops and pastures. And we try to do no harm.

This year, we started to grow colored cotton. Brown and green. Phreadde gave me some long staple white pima, but I heard so much talk about cotton being the slut of the garden that I decided that we really only had room for 2 varieties. Now, I read somewhere that you need to grow a 20′ x 20′ patch of cotton if you want enough fiber to weave, say, enough cloth to make a shirt. Let’s just say, we have a way to go on that score. But, it’s a start.

On the other hand, wool. Ah. Easy to grow. Ahem. Easy to spin, dye, weave, knit…you name it. Feels good. Keeps you warm. Keeps you dry. I got hooked on Gulf Coast Native Sheep a few years ago, and have been buying fleece from Running Moon Farm in Dry Creek, Louisiana ever since. And now, well, synchronicity strikes again. Twins were born half an hour away, we were contacted, asked if we would like to buy them. And now we have our own fleece machines.

We’d never given cotton much thought. But…my husband is a historic restoration guy. And his research said…this was the land of cotton and indigo. So…why not. That seems appropriate, then, to grow cotton. It’s a beautiful plant. I can’t wait to see some actual cotton!