Archive | Fall RSS feed for this section

Arrival of fall lambs

4 Dec

We normally aim for lambing to begin in February, but this year lambing has started extra early! We ran the entire flock together through the end of July, thinking ewes wouldn’t begin their heat cycling until later in August, but are realizing Churros must cycle year round. Four lambs born so far, two first-time ewes and two who lambed earlier this year.  Likely more are on the way given how round a couple more ewes are right now. It’s fortunate the weather has been so mild – these 3 guys and 1 gal are off to a great start. Happy early little Christmas presents!

2012 fall ewe lamb

2012 fall ewe lamb

Zhin Chooh & 2012 fall ram lamb

Zhin Chooh & 2012 fall ram lamb

Fall is for cooking

29 Sep

No more hot weather driving me out of the kitchen!

One of the benefits of having a freezer full of lamb year round is getting to try new and different recipes, and perfecting some of my favorites. So I plan to start posting some of those recipes here, particularly really great flavor combinations. Ever hear of Baharat spice blend? It’s a blend of spices, not unlike Curry Powder though with an entirely different flavor profile. Think coriander, clove, paprika, black pepper, cumin and cinnamon  with a dash of nutmeg and cardamom. It’s amazing as a dry rub over a roast, sprinkled on grilled lamb steaks, or mixed into ground lamb for meatballs or kofte. With a garlicky yogurt sauce to dip into and cool your mouth off, it’s amazing any time of the year. I’ll post the blend I use here soon, along with the kofte recipe.

And this weekend, I’ll be making a go at a very traditional Shepherd’s Pie, braising a lamb shoulder, turnips and carrots, and smothering it with potatoes. Root vegetables from our garden, lamb raised on our pastures, a home-cooked meal if there ever was one.

Another grand adventure to write about in future posts – over the next year we are going to be building a milking parlor and milk house and starting a flock of dairy sheep, along with opening a creamery to make sheeps milk cheese! I’ve started the process towards getting a cheese maker license, and plans and excavation are underway for putting the parlor and milk house. We’ll be sure to document with photos our process.

Christopher Columbus’ Day

19 Oct

Baa baa black sheep….We have a new addition, Christopher Columbus! Born on Columbus Day out of our favorite, friendliest Churro, Hernanda. She didn’t get bred last fall like her flock-mates, but fortunately cycled in April and was bred by our Cotswold ram. The biggest surprise was the lamb being black! The sire, Winston, has natural cream-colored wool, and probably doesn’t have a single color gene in him, which means Hernanda here, herself brown, will

Christopher Columbus

throw lambs of many different colors.

Ebb and flow of flock size: 3 new Churros & 3 lambs to slaughter

8 Oct

This past week we acquired three new Churros  — great for our flock’s genetic diversity, as well as color, now that we have a gorgeous black horned ram. His prior owner says he consistently throws black and multi-colored lambs, so we’re looking forward to having a variety of colors in our lambs come spring.

Our first ram lamb is heading to the butcher next week, with two more going soon after. He’s a Friesian/Border Leicester cross out of our dairy ewe (who won’t let us milk her!), Honey. She cycled into heat this past weekend and has since been mounted by both our Cotswold ram, and the Churro ram, so it will be surprise to see which one took in the spring.










Seasonal eating

8 Sep

This summer I bought a dairy cow — a Milking Shorthorn named Freckles. She’s noisy and pushy, but such a great milker. Stands quietly and loves being brushed. We grafted an orphan Hereford calf of our neighbor’s (I call him Bronco) onto her since I wasn’t quite ready for the daily milking. But come Christmas, when she’s due to freshen, I’ll be ready to make butter, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, cheese, you name it.

And our Delawares are laying! Just started over the last two weeks. We’re now getting 4-5 eggs a day. No more store-bought eggs! And the difference is amazing – better flavor, richer colors.

The previous owners of our home planted crab apples, pears and apple trees, so the sheep, Freckles and the chickens are getting buckets full of fruit each week, supplementing their pasture. The chickens are also enjoying the overflow of tomatoes from the garden. Soon we’ll be harvesting the squash growing on the compost pile — a great late fall and winter treat for the sheep.

%d bloggers like this: