Week 3: Lots of babies on the farm!

Below are a few pictures from the last few weeks.  You can click on an image to see a slideshow of larger pictures.

 

As we were gardening this week Seb pointed out how many “babies” we have on the farm: baby trees, baby vegetables, baby lambs/chicks/cows/pigs, baby weeds… etc. etc. Spring on this farm is certainly all about babies.

In the last few weeks the number of animals in the barn has tripled with the births of many new lambs!  Though lambing is an exhausting and sometimes a stressful time ( night checks every 2-3 hours to see if someone is lambing, persistence when mommas don’t let their lambs nurse, etc.), it has been a really awesome experience for me.

During my time in Honduras at the orphanage we got sheep, but no one there, nor myself, knew a thing about them.  We put up fencing, and dragged the unhappy ewes to their new home (which was actually quite stunning, beautiful palm roofed sheds beside a river), and let lambing happen on it’s own.  We didn’t check the pregnant sheep nearly enough when it came time for them to have their lambs and I still remember how some of the lambs died.  Now, after working with Tarrah who knows a great deal for only having sheep for 5ish years- I wish I could go back in time and properly care for those sheep- I bet I could have helped save some of their lives!  I know those Honduran sheep are being pumped full of dewormers, antibiotics, etc.- while none of the Green Being lambs have needed those- I suspect a sign of being properly cared for and fed balanced hay/pasture!

This week 2 lambs were born prematurely, and nearly dead.   Tarrah took a step back and let Seb and I help in reviving them (with instructions of course).  We swung the lambs by their back feet (which helps unclog mucus from their lungs), tickled their noses with straw (to make them sneeze out the mucus), kept them warm with hot water bottles and heat lamps, and prodded them to nurse.  Tarrah fed them colostrum (their first milk packed with lots of nutrients) by stomach tubing (putting a tube in their mouths and feeding it straight into their stomachs).

After many hours the lambs, who we all thought could die at any minute, had their first walk around- and started to come back to life.  Today, nearly a week later, they are alive and well!  We call them vanilla and chocolate.  It makes me really happy to see them hopping about after all that.

In other news the garden is growing.   Some of the peas we planted last weekend are up, and many more seeds have been planted.  I started part of my seed saving project.  I am growing 2 varieties of rare lettuce for seed for the Cottage Gardener, an organic seed company near Lindsay.  I am also growing a number of other greens for seed (red orach, mustard, tat-soi, hon-vit) to save for our own growing next year.

We also started plowing up the rest of our plot and lay some drip tape to irrigate.  Drip tape, though prone to holes and requiring monitoring, is really great for vegetable growers on our scale.  Instead of sprinkling and losing lots of water to evaporation drip tape just drips water right beside the plants.

Check out the photos above- photos of the new pigs, chicks, cows, lambs, and of my birthday gathering (Check out the amazing gluton free, coconut ice cream cake made by Seb’s mom Barbara- the gluton free baking guru! What a treat!) It was really fun to show some family and friends our new home.

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