It’s turned rainy and chilly again, but Spring is definitely here.
We’ve got lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, onions, and potatoes in the ground. We usually start with small plants for the early planting, while starting seeds inside for later planting. We find that the little plants are hardier for early season starts than our own seedlings. I haven’t gotten the knack of “hardening off” yet.
We also find that having those good-sized plants out there to start with get everyone more excited about getting out and helping and make it easier for the kids to get involved. They can tell what’s a plant and what’s a weed. I love Joel Salatin’s book Family Friendly Farming. (We have all his books, but this one is definitely my favorite!) It talks about setting your family up for success, not failure, to encourage everyone to love and enjoy the farm. This is a little bit of the same thing.
And we’ve very excited that we finally have grass!
We’ve been working the sheep back and forth from winter pastures to the backyard and pasture alleys to wean them on to the spring grass. They are half-crazy loving it, but you have to make diet changes slowly. They could bloat on the rich, new grass.
The new-growth grass is better for milk production too. The lambs are getting to the age where it’s hard for their Momma’s to keep weight on while feeding them constantly–especially if they have twins. The lambs are already starting to wean on to the fresh, tender grass and it’s helping flesh out the ewes again too.
Our little Washtub Willie is still out with his Momma and twin and seems to be doing just fine. Neither of those two lambs are as big and sturdy as I would like, I certainly would say “thriving,” but they’re hanging in there. And compared to the barely breathing puddle of baby he was when we found him, I think that’s pretty good.
They’re about a week old now. We kept them penned up with their momma alone for a few days, until I was sure they both had a good grasp on nursing and all three of them could find each other in a crowd.
That ewe is certainly not up for any Mom of the Year awards. She takes care of them, but only as long as nothing else comes up and they keep up with her. She won’t go back for them if they get left behind and she’s very flighty so I have to be careful not to accidentally corner her or anything. She’ll freak out and plow right over top of them. We probably should have kept her penned up with them a few more days, but she was clearly getting stressed out being separated from the rest of the flock and she needs the fresh grass too.
Anyway, I’m off for Easter break with the kiddos today and Monday and my sister is coming to visit with my niece and nephew tonight, so we’ll be living it up on our 4 stay home days.
Do you have special plans for Easter?