I don't really have the slightest idea what I'm doing, but we've made it this far with chickens and things just sort of came together on the sheep.
We have 26 acres and while some of it is unsuitable for crops and it's unlikely we'll ever do more than small scale vegetable farming since we're on a plain, on a hill, with no real trees or structures around to break the sometimes 50+ miles an hour winds that whip across our property.
But that land should be put to good use in my opinion, even if I don't have the slightest idea what I'm doing. One grandfather lived on a farm and the other worked in agriculture, so maybe somewhere deep down, it's in my bones.
So here's how the sheep thing went down.
We were out eating Mexican food one night a few weeks ago and I was going on about having a field of corn and a berry patch and apple trees and on and on and on about growing lots of produce.
M, ever the realist, reminded me about the less than ideal environmental conditions for that kind of agriculture.
Well, alright then, maybe I should just get sheep and make my own yarn and open my own yarn shop, was my retort.
That's probably the most doable of your ideas, M said.
I spent the rest of the weekend researching sheep -- who knew there were more than 200 breeds of sheep in the U.S.? Not me, that's who.
By Sunday night, I had found a breed that I decided I wanted and found the one and only woman in Montana who bred them.
By Monday morning, she told me she was willing to sell three to me and by the end of the week, I had mailed my deposit check.
Gotta love a man who lets you run wild with your crazy ideas that involve live animals.
When I picked my breed, Leicester Longwool, I didn't realize that it was a rare American heritage breed that is still raised in Colonial Williamsburg -- one of my favorite places on Earth not far from my hometown.
Of course I would pick a sheep breed with Virginia ties. OF COURSE! They'll go well with our Buckeye chickens, a rare heritage breed that a Ohio woman created. Our minifarm will pay homage to our home states.
The sheep won't be ready for pickup until the fall, so that gives us time to get the fence ready, build a sheep shelter and prep the pasture.
The woman I'm getting my sheep from recommended, wisely, that I start with nonbreeding animals to figure out what I'm doing and if I'm actually cut out for it before I get in too deep. So I'm getting two ewes and a wether, a castrated male.
The weather has been warmer too, so things are about to get crazy around here and I, for one, am excited.
So now I just have to learn to sheer sheep, or I suppose pay someone to do that, then spin and dye my own yarn.
My new dream, and 5-year-plan, is to open my own yarn shop. And in my mind, this yarn shop will have a wine and coffee bar plus books.
I told my mom about my yarn shop plans and she said "that's all of your favorite things in one place."
It's going to be long days of hard work getting ready for the sheep, finishing the chicken coop/barn and moving our started seeds to the ground and protecting from deer and rabbits, but there's something incredibly satisfying about doing all these things ourselves.
So, I might have no idea what I'm getting into, but I'll learn and just maybe, in the next few years, I'll be opening what, to me, will be the happiest place in the world.
Have you ever had a crazy dream and been really excited about the prospect of making it reality? Tell me about it!