The big pigs have been enjoying themselves on pasture (we haven’t introduced them to the new little pigs, yet). Other than their first day out, they have behaved themselves quite well (although they are starting to nip at your feet when you go in to feed them – I find you can distract them by pouring some water into one of their mud holes. What pig could resist that?).
Rupert turned a significant age at the beginning of the month and received a couple of rose bushes for his birthday. They have taken to their new surroundings quite well, providing lots of colour in the front garden.
The spring had been generally quite dry, and Rupert had been running between irrigating and haying for a few weeks in mid-June. Our herd of cattle includes a friends’s jersey cow this year, just grazing here for the summer.
With all of the irrigation, and lack of rain, the level of the pond was reduced significantly, exposing a few of the muskrat tunnels; the plethora of frogs didn’t seem to mind.
The range of wildlife has been quite interesting around here lately, from skunks in the raspberries to salamanders in the strawberries. Unfortunately the turtle who tried to lay her eggs in the driveway was interrupted before she could finish her work.
Despite Rupert’s comments that it is time to wean the lambs (he’s never been a fan of the late night feedings), there are still 4 babies that come running at the sound of our voice, but feedings are down to just three times a day now. Figuring out how to give the 23 growing babes their lamb-grower without getting trampled in the pen is another matter altogether, and also involves trying to keep Crystal Gayle (the smallest of the ewes) from following the fat lambs in to their “creep” and stealing their supper. Some days it can be quite a workout in the barn, between bounding over fences to beat the flock, to dodging an over-stimulated ram lamb, to wrestling an insistent thief.
We’ve been eating well these days; in addition to the wealth of delicious produce coming from the greenhouse, tunnel and field, our intern, Kayla, has a propensity for cooking and an interest in creating recipes based on the CSA veggies each week.
With the first of the hay in the barn, and a good dose of rain in recent days, the focus is now on fencing – in preparation for putting the yearling ewes in with the rams (2 groups – one with Luke, and one with our new coloured Border Leicester). Although, there is the little matter our shearer pointed out…a developing udder on one or two of the yearlings. We may end up with some unplanned summer lambs at this rate!