Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Farm Year in Review

Welcome, 2009! We had quite a year on the farm. It's hard to believe we have a whole year under our belt, and so many changes and fun things happened. Here is a quick rundown.

We were greeted on January 1, 2008 with two new baby lambs in the barn. Miss Laverne had given birth to two beautiful baby rams over night, and they were the sweetest things! We named them Lenny and Squiggy.

By June, they had grown to 100 pounds each, sprouted some cute little horns, and it was time to say goodbye. We don't raise our sheep as pets, we do raise them for food, and even though I miss them very much, they tasted very good, too! I'm not sure if you can buy lamb from anyplace else and know that they were given a kiss goodbye on their way to the meat processor!

As spring approached - we got all the chickens back out to the pasture into their chicken house. We had a great year supplying eggs to our favorite restaurant, the Wayside Inn! Our girls were laying more eggs than the restaurant needed, so we decided to head to the Berthoud Saturday morning farmer's market - where we sold eggs, chickens and turkeys. We made a lot of new friends at the market, found some great new customers, and had a wonderful time!

Spring is also a time of baby chicks - new egg layers, new meat chickens and new baby turkeys. We planted a fruit tree orchard, which we can't wait to start harvesting this fall. We finally got our hands on a farm truck that runs - you can't miss the sky blue old Ford pick up rambling through town (or sitting in a parking lot not wanting to run!)

Summer also brought us a bunch of new sheep! We picked up some sheep in Karval in May, as well as some other sheep from a neighbor in Boulder at the end of summer. It brought our herd up to 11 sheep.

In May, we celebrated the 1 year birthdays of our guard dogs, Atlas and Goliath. My, how they have grown!!

Atlas and Goliath the previous summer, at only 10 weeks old.

Atlas and Goliath in May, at 1 year old!

Summer brought with it the addition of 2 kitties, to help control the mouse population in the barn - Natasha and Marie

July was also a time where we said goodbye to my little Ditka, he was 16 years old, and a good companion for me for many many years.

We rented a ram this fall, Jean Claude Van Ramme - and were surprised when Miss Shirley gave birth to surprise twin rams in September. We realized it could only have been Lenny or Squiggy that got her pregnant - so it was one less sheep for Jean Claude to pursue.

Charlie Brown and Linus born to Miss Shirley. Surprise!

Then of course, there was the final processing weekend of the year - Turkey Processing weekend, the weekend before Thanksgiving. It was a lot of work, we had a lot of help from family, friends and neighbors and had a great time helping make people's holidays a little more unique!

We finished off the year by making sure all our animals have warm places to sleep at night, plenty of food to eat, and preparations for next year's farming projects. We got the greenhouse started, and are almost finished with it, and that should give us a boost for next year's production, and a special winter home for the chickens next winter.

We are thankful for our wonderful friends, neighbors and family that give us a helping hand, and a lot of support throughout the year. We are thankful for our wonderful customers and friends that love to eat the things we grow, and we are thankful for land and our wonderful animals that make all the hard work worthwhile. Thanks for being part of our journey, and there is more to come in 2009!