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Spring Fever

03/11/10

Permalink 01:41:04 pm, by Karen Galle Email , 643 words   English (US)
Categories: Journal

Spring Fever

Spring is coming, and it can't get here fast enough. Someone mentioned Spring fever earlier today, and I agree - I am tired of cold and want warmth and green things.

It's not that we had a bad winter. We had lower than normal snowfall amounts, and it didn't get particularly cold. I think it might have gotten as low as -13F on a few nights. We did get a January thaw and then no precipitation for most of February until the very end where we got almost 3 inches of rain in one storm. After getting a taste of warmer weather recently, with Spring-like days reaching to 50F (even if the nights drop back below freezing) you start to want more and more of that, and less of the cold.

We are also getting closer to lambing time. Based on when I put the breeding groups together, we should start getting lambs in mid-April. Last year we started on April 23rd and finished by May 1st. I'm thinking this year that the lambs are going to be coming over a longer timeframe though. We should start around April 15th, and could end up with lambs still coming in mid-May. I was trying to avoid that by having the breeding groups set up a little earlier than last season, but the sheep had their own ideas I guess.

Other things coming up this year - more fencing! We haven't done serious fencing work since we left NY. Ken built the paddock we have, with help from his Dad and aunt, soon after he moved up here, but since then our only fencing has been putting up and expanding the poultry yards. The reason was that we had more trees than open space. Since the logging was done, now we have open pasture space, but also a boatload of slash cleanup to do, and clearing of fencelines so we can run the fence. That will have to wait for the rest of the snow to disappear though, so we've been working on other projects.

One thing I finally did yesterday was to clean up the kitchenette area in the apartment so I could properly store and find sheep supplies, not to mention having some room to work. I had some things in our kitchen, some things in storage totes, and some things in the kitchenette. That area had become a catch-all for various stuff, as it's right inside the door from the shed/workshop. For instance, one side of the counter was full of Things That Should Not Be Frozen such as paint and spackle and caulking. They came inside from the unheated shed last Fall and made it as far as the counter, where they've been sitting all winter, collecting dust. On the other side of the sink area I had my tote I use for carrying sheep stuff out when I need to work with the sheep, worming, or trimming hooves, or giving vaccinations, etc. It needed to be cleaned out and restocked for lambing season. There are built-in shelves to the right of the countertop that had also collected various things that could be put elsewhere. I also organized my notebooks and paperwork and threw out a lot of old stuff that wasn't needed anymore, and put the notebooks on those shelves, reorganized the cupboards, and cleaned everything with soap and water. Ta-da! No, you don't get to see a "before" photo - use your imagination!

There's also wood to be cut and split for next winter, and the garden to plan and expand, and the house needs the siding re-stained, and, and, and..... but we have to try to take things one (or maybe two) at a time and try not to get feeling too overwhelmed.

As someone once said, "Do one thing at a time, and use both hands."

Sharing ideas from our small farm in NH, where we raise Icelandic sheep and assorted poultry. We are members of ISBONA (Icelandic Sheep Breeders of North America) and the CLRC (Canadian Livestock Records Corporation). We also participate in the Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program (NH54). Contact us at karen [at] birchtreefarm [dot] com. Please also visit the farm website at Birchtree Farm.
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