This space has been neglected for quite some time, and honestly, I thought about just giving it up, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.
With so much happening here on the minifarm, it feels like it's time for a major update.
So here's what's been happening lately:
+I believe I left you with tales of the runaway sheep. Since then, they've settled down and there haven't been any renegades since. The sheep shelter is approaching completion, but it made it through the winter, so we'll get back to that now.
+We've mastered the art of getting the flock to go where we want them to by bribing them with sweet feed.
+I'm getting stronger by carrying 5-gallon buckets of water out to the pasture almost daily. But at least we got a wagon so that I can take two buckets when it's hot.
+April 23 was shearing day. Finally! We'd been working on getting it scheduled for weeks, but then there was snow, or no power, or rain or some other problem.
We spent most of Friday night prepping, by pulling a tarp over the sheep shelter to keep rain out since we haven't finished the roof and it leaks a bit. With the wind gusts, that was a ridiculously difficult task and frustrating, but we got it done.
Then we were on to installing the gates to keep the sheep in their shelter overnight to stay dry and also to contain them for shearing. We were out in the shelter until 11 p.m. or so working on the gates, then I filled a bucket of sweet feed to lure them in. At some point in the evening, I also thought they all escaped the pasture because I couldn't find them anywhere, but they were just at the other end of the field napping.
So we went to bed around midnight and we're back up early Saturday to finish prepping the pen for shearing and cleaning up the house in case the shearer needed to come in for something. We thought he was arriving at 10 or 10:30 a.m., but called around then to say he'd be late, so we had another hour. At that point, I was freaking out that the downpour would start, but we finished shearing just in time.
Now we have bags of wool so heavy that I can't even lift the one with the white fleeces. Soon, I'll be on to washing and processing it for dyeing and spinning into yarn. Here goes nothing!
+March was also the arrival of our new baby chicks. Buckeyes, the breed we already had, and Barred Rocks, a black and white bird so that I can tell them apart from the Buckeyes. We ordered eight of each, but they sent extras and a few didn't make it, but we've still got 10 Barred Rocks and nine Buckeyes.
The chicks are out in the barn now with the big hens, but they're in their own pen just until they get big enough to hold their own with the hens. But that probably won't be long, they're getting so big.