“Your favorite ewe is restless,” I texted my Mom earlier this week, “Maybe lambies soon!” She has been asking when there would be lambs to visit for weeks now. She’s also a fan of baby pigs and has been nudging me about why I no longer have geese for at least two years. She seems to fancy us her personal petting zoo. The first time she saw Louisa (not pictured, that’s Penelope at the top) she marveled, “Ohhh, that one is so pretty!”
Now, I think Louisa looks like an unremarkable old Amish man. And frankly, her nose is kind of crooked. But my Mother loves her, so I’m glad we’re expecting her to lamb first this year. My Mom will, no doubt, trot right over here at the first sign of lambs on the ground and she’ll get to see some out of her favorite ewe when she does.
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We’re now taking bets as to whether or not Penelope (pictured) is in lamb. She’s got a nice bit of belly on her in this picture, but I’m not convinced it isn’t just a big meal. She doesn’t appear quite so rotund in person. She’s going to keep us guessing right to the end, I suppose.
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On the garden front, all of the tomato seeds have been started, and most are up and growing.
Last year I got a bit overzealous with herb garden clean-up and hacked away at most of my plants. I’ve been meaning to move the herbs to the main garden for a couple years now anyway, so this is as good an excuse as any to start over. I found more herb seeds that I remembered having when I went through my seed stash looking for the Riesentraube seeds last week, so I’ll start a bunch of those too — chives, garlic chives, basil, lemon basil, thyme, parsley, cilantro, oregano… the list goes on.
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We traded a young boar for about eight tons of stemmy hay last week. It’s of no nutritional value, but will be fine for bedding for the animals and mulch for the garden. I’ve had a post in draft about no-till gardening — which we started experimenting with years ago, but committed to in earnest last year — and will probably get around to publishing it once we plant and mulch for this year so I can share pictures of the process. I am a fan of the rural economy of barters.
The farmer we traded with is one we do business with often. He’s a [I’m not sure how many, but many] generation family farmer about my age who has been working with his Dad and Uncle and Grandpa on their farms since birth and has been working now on building his own legacy for his kids. Sometimes I wonder who will be tying into this local economy when we’re old. His kids? Ours? Someone else’s? Will there be new farmers just starting? I can’t think of any other than us who are new now, so it seems unlikely that there would be new ones then, but only time will tell. I suppose that’s why agriculture manages to keep me interested; it’s never static.