Thursday, October 7, 2010

october rolls on

While the rain started to fall, the Daughton Family and I struggled to lift the 200+ pound calf into the back of their blue-tarp-lined Suburban. Myself, Tim, and their sons got a good deal of mud on our shirts and shoes loading that big boy into his taxi. I waved them goodbye as I re-latched the paddock fence and let out a rainy sigh. My life as a cattle rancher is temporarily suspended. Maybe some day down the road I'll raise a steer or two for the freezer but right now my mind's on the mutton. Tasty is on the road home to their farm in White Creek, and I am back in the ovine business.

Eat Lamb. Wear Wool. That's my slogan.

Soon I'll be back to three sheep again, and they will be joined my five more ewes in a few weeks after that. This weekend Gibson and I will be able to see them again, down at Taravale Farm in Esperance. That's where his lesson will be, and I am personally satisfied knowing his first ever time working with sheep will be Scottish Blackface: the future breed of Cold Antler. These hardy hill sheep from the highlands are great meat and wool animals and easy lambers . They forage well, and are used to climbing hillsides very much like the slopes of my small farm. Gibson will be set loose on a lead and we'll see what he does once he's alone with his charges. I hope he does some sort of round-circling, but he might chase them, bite wool, or just sit next to me bored. There's always a chance your collie won't work, though I have a hunch he'll do just fine. His breeding is true. His eyes and stalking like something out of CSI reruns.

Saturday night there's a bonfire at a friends Chrissy and Tyler's house. We'll be celebrating a day of apple picking and talking about Sunday's big adventure: my first ever cider pressing. Tyler, James, and myself will be joining our friend Dave (fiddle and antique press owner/operator) to make some hard cider down near White Creek. Talk about a fine fall weekend. I'm beside myself!

Though not all is pristine around here. I had to drop a ridiculous amount of money on the truck today (well, ridiculous to me) to repair a ball joint, axle, and get a pair of snow tires on the back incase we get caught in poor weather. While it stunk dropping hundreds of dollars on the Ford, I am very happy to report it's no longer dangerous to drive it (there was a chance of a wheel falling off...). We'll be ready for the road trip to Esperance, and maybe even stop at Sharon Springs if the weather is nice and we have the time. I'd like to see the town I've been watching on the Beekman Boys and buy a bar of soap.

And, speaking of Sharon Springs. If you'd like to see photos from the weekend my friend Sara was up here: you can click here. She stopped by the farm, Beekman 1802, and Cooperstown and there are photos galore of everything from my kitchen counter book piles, to throwing bales of hay to the truck at Nelson's Farm. Also some shots from our picnic at Riding Right Farm in South Cambridge, where I take my riding lessons. (I adore that place.) Enjoy!


Blogger CJ said...

Many years ago I learned a great trick from old farmer on loading a stubborn cafe - only takes two people. One person on each side of the calf, both reach down under its stomach and grab each others wrists and lift. It makes moving a calf very easy because they don't have any leverage to fight you with.

October 7, 2010 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jenna...more Sharon Springs pics etc on my blog as well...


October 7, 2010 at 10:31 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Now when I take Dad on tours of White Creek, I can be on the look out for Tasty. I still haven't found you in Jackson.

October 8, 2010 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger daisy g said...

Loved the pix. Especially the barn that had Finn's name on it. A sign of things to come?... daisy

October 8, 2010 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

Going to see the pics now! Good luck with the hard cider. I wish I knew someone with a press, I would love to give it a try. Have fun! :)

October 9, 2010 at 8:49 AM  

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