Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Busy day

Today is sorting day in the sheep pen. I will sort the ewes according to the ram I want to put them with. The love crazed Navajo Churro ram , Rocky, went through FOUR fences yesterday and was happily with all the ewes when I brought them in last night, so I am giving him his harem today to prevent any accidental cross breeding. I have some purebred ewes that are not N.Churro, I certainly hope they were not ready to be bred yesterday when Rocky butted in. So THIS is why they are called "rams"...............
I am going to LaGrande Oregon on Saturday to pick up 3 ewes and a ram lamb, the last of a brown line developed by Mary McCracken. The trip is shaping up into a lot of fun, Border Collie regional championship trials to watch in Pendleton on the way over, then a talk by Joel Salatin in LaGrande at Oregon Rural Action's annual convention http://www.oraction.org/.
A visit with Wyoming neighbors and good friends, Tony and Andrea Malmberg, with the opportunity to acquire a polled Alpine doeling goat from Andrea's flock of dairy goats.
It is as if every moment has a task this time of year, I feel very much like the ants in the fable The Grasshopper and the Ants right now. If only there were a whole army of me.........

Friday, September 26, 2008

apple fat

It is a great year for apples and all the creatures here LOVE them. I consider changing the name of this place to Apple Fat Farm as I watch the animals vie to be first getting to the windfalls. The horses nicker for them every time they see me, and though I would love to think it is their utter devotion to me, I know it is the treats from the tree in my garden they call for. There must be at least twenty different varieties of apple and pear trees throughout the farm, many so sweet, and some so puckery worms won't even eat them. Purple, yellow and pink plums grow in thickets the deer make nests under, to sleep off the stupor of gorging. Blackberry brambles line most of the driveway with dark purple berries as big as your first thumb knuckle, and you have to be careful not to pick a yellowjacket taking the nectar to feed his queen. All this amazing fruit was not planted by hand, but by bird, pollinator and wind. I am amazed.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A glorious early fall day, sunny and bright with tempratures perfect for harvesting fruit. Pears, plums, apples, raspberries and blackberries are in overabundance today. Wild fruit trees inhabit this south facing hillside, protected by big timber Pondersoa Pines, creating a long growing season. I am cooking down raspberries and plums into preserves, snacking on goat cheese and crackers humbled by how lucky I am to be alive and healthy on this beautiful day.
Sheep eating windfall fruit
honeybees in the marigolds
dogs sound asleep in the sun