Summer Surprises and Autumn Anticipations

Updated: Sep 14


I thought lambing was done the end of April. We had a great lambing season with mostly twins and one set of triples. There were two ewes that didn’t lamb, but I knew I was pushing my ram with the number of ewes I had this year, so I was not completely surprised. In June Copper was starting to look quite round, was she finding all the prime grazing spots on our place…? I considered having her ultrasound but could not find a vet that was available. July 6th my question was answered with darling twins. A ram lamb and ewe, born healthy and strong. Meet Dot and Domino! With just three months different is age and size I was cautious to integrate the babies into the flock right away. After a week of hanging out in a grassy paddock they were introduced to the rest of the flock. Copper is a strong lead sheep that has no trouble fiercely protecting her babies. I love seeing that kind of motherly care!



The April babies were thoroughly enjoyed by all our Farm Stay guest this spring and the July twins have kept the novelty going through the summer. I value the lessons that nature has for us. To be reminded that there are beautiful surprises to be found right around the corner or barn door! Keep your eyes open and expect to see amazing things!


We are in the beginning stage of preparing for the sheep breeding season. We have a starter flock and a few breeding rams sold so our flock should be manageable for our new ram, Chance. There is a sweet bit of history that I have with Chance. He was born on my good friends farm a few years ago. I was taking care of her flock at the tail end of lambing and Chance was born and soon needed extra care. So, Chance became the school lamb that spring. I was working full time at our local school and Chance needed his bottle every couple hour’s so he came with me every day. The school children quickly learned that during their recesses they could feed and play with Chance, "the school lamb!" It made for some fun stories and a very sweet ram! I was needing new genetics in my flock and found out that Chance was available from a farm a few hours away. This farm also breeds Caucasian Shepherd dogs. After studying about guardian livestock dogs, I was very intrigued by the characteristics of the Caucasian Shepherd. We visited the farm where Chance and the dogs were and a year later, I have a puppy and a cool ram!



Teddy is 6 months old now and has won our hearts. He is a very intelligent, intuitive dog that I have great expectations of. His job is to be the protector of all the livestock and chickens on our place as well as being the greeter of our farm guest. He has already taught us a lot and I look forward to the continued journey of learning how to train, manage and love this amazing dog. He will mature around 3 years of age, so we have a ways to go. The growth of these dogs is quite impressive. Teddy on average is gaining a half a pound a day and will arrive at a mature weight of between 200 – 220 pounds based on his genetic background.





 


I have always enjoyed studying and participating in the culinary arts. Sourdough, being something that I have tinkered with for quite a few years, has given me opportunity to create some fun recipes. There is much to learn in practicing the art of producing a naturally fermented loaf of bread or pan of cinnamon rolls. I'm up for the challenge and my family seems to enjoy being the taste testers!

Using Einkorn flour adds a richness and added nutritional benefit to the sourdough bread and pastries. I was introduced to Einkorn flour a few years ago and was fascinated with its ancient grain qualities. Here are a few nutritional facts for you:

  1. Einkorn is the only wheat never hybridized and has only two sets of chromosomes.

  2. It’s grown organically and tested for glyphosate.

  3. Its weak gluten makes it easier to digest.

  4. It lacks the gluten proteins that trigger symptoms of gluten sensitivity.

  5. It is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than modern wheat.

  6. It is richer in carotenoids, B vitamins, and essential and trace minerals than modern wheat.

  7. It tastes great with a nutty flavor, silky texture, and a buttery yellow color.

  8. Bakes flavorful cakes, muffins, cookies, and scones.

  9. It is not bleached, bromated, or enriched.

  10. Supporting einkorn preserves precious biodiversity.


Below is a sourdough skillet bread that has become a favorite here on the farm! It is simple to put together and quick to bake. We enjoy it with a summer salad or a warm soup in the fall and winter months.



Sourdough Skillet Bread

1Tbs. butter

1 tsp. olive oil

2 cups sourdough starter, unfed

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp sea salt

2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, minced or 1 tsp dried Italian herb mix


 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.


On the stovetop, heat a 12- inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and olive oil, and allow them to melt.


In a bowl, whisk together the sourdough starter, baking soda and powder and salt.


Pour the batter into the skillet and sprinkle with the rosemary or herb mix.


Allow the dough to cook on the stovetop for 3-4 minutes to develop a lightly brown crust.


Transfer skillet to the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden in color.


Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and garnish with fresh rosemary. Cut into wedges and enjoy!


 




We will have lamb available the middle of October. I will be offering it as a whole, variety box or by the piece. For local pick up only. Please email me if you would like more information. Quantity is limited.



As the season is changing from warm summer days to crisp autumn may you find joy and surprise in the change!


Love from Julie and the flock




“The bright summer has passed by, and gorgeous autumn has flung its rainbow tints of beauty on hill and dale”




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