Back on April 13th, which also happened to be my 50th wedding anniversary, I went downstairs into the barn to find an unexpected surprise... a little white ewe lamb and a little black & white ram lamb. They were born to Floret one of the Shetland/Dorset ewes I got from Maple Ridge Farm in the fall. We rescued a group of 11 ewes and had NO idea that any of them were pregnant. So this was certainly was a big surprise! When I got home from work that same evening, I went to the barn to take pictures of the new lambs and found our 12 yr. old blind ewe Stacia had just lambed with little white twin lambs. The next morning Darcy went to do chores and found Frodie (another Shetland/Dorset) had white twins. To say we were surprised is an understatement. We were also worried that the 6 remaining Shetland/Dorset ewes would also lamb. We had bred 7 of of Shetland ewes, so were expecting lambs from them, but NOT lambs from an additional 11 ewes.
The third week of April Craig and Philo Marcotte came to shear our sheep. At this point we were holding our breaths to see if any of the remaining 9 ewes from the rescued Shetland/Dorset group were pregnant. We were very relieved to discover that no one else was pregnant. Later in April the rest of our Shetland ewes lambed - mostly with single lambs. The lamb letter name for this year was "W" and we had fun coming with names for the babies. We ended up with 9 lambs - 4 ewes and 5 rams. Nadia had a beautiful little ewe we named Wisteria and she is a sweet, lovable little girl and a direct bloodline back to our original Maybelle starter flock. Kacy had a beautiful little gulmoget ram we named Willem Lamb! Frigg had a little moorit ewe we named Willa. Kerri-Jane had a little dark chocolate ewe lamb we named Winona. Faleen had little moorit twins we named Wallace and Wyatt. Brigetta had beautiful little gulmoget twins we named Wilbur and Wendi. Katy-did had a little moorit ram we named Windsor.
It is a lot of work right now at the farm with trying to keep up with all the pastures, setting up portable fences, tracking down hay and then stacking it in the barn and moving sheep. We are also trying to sell a lot of sheep before the fall. We cannot go through another winter with so many sheep. Thank goodness for Darcy, Todd, Rowan, Declan, David, Austin, Ella and Jonathan to help me get through this. Also my sweet Olivia, Emma and Agathe for coming to help when I call and bringing animal crackers to keep the sheep happy! It is a lot of work but I love my animals.
My sweet little Starling continues to make me smile and laugh every day. After working off the farm, it is always nice to go to the barn and forget about everything except watching little lambs bouncing around the pasture, chasing each other and loving life.
Our other big news is our order of mittens, hats and socks arrived from Northland Woolens in Minnesota. It took over a year between having our wool made into yarn at Zeilinger's Woolen Mill in Michigan and then shipping it to Minnesota for this to happen. We are thrilled with the end results - check out some of these items on our farm store.
We also had a week of Kids Fiber Fun in the middle of July - it's always fun to teach children about fiber arts and for them to meet our animals. We have other fiber classes that are taking place later this the summer and then our fall vending season will start with various craft fairs, sheep shows and festivals. Check out the list of classes and events on our website - which will updated as things are added to our calendar.
That's it for now from Maybelle Farm - thanks for reading!