It has been a whirlwind year, although we have only been here 8 months.
April saw us “lamb” into our new farm. We built things, moved things, torn down things to make sure it was ready to go for lambing, the best time of the year.
May was all about getting the sheep shorn, setting up fencing for sheep, rotational grazing, and keeping livestock dogs in the pastures as well as coyotes out.
June was planting dye plants, having more sheep arrive, getting ready for market, and another shearing.
July saw the ducklings arrive, our hay was harvested and put in the barn, our spring clip went into the mill and a tree came down in a storm that took power out to the barn.
August started with a trip into Toronto Makerfest, shearing lambs, and a trip to Haliburton to take a felting course taught be Pam DeGroot.
September meant ducks and lambs went into be processed, sheep breeding groups were being considered, and choosing which lambs stayed and which ones went.
October is when the majority of the ducks and lambs went in, finding freezer space for the harvest, teaching a felting workshop at the Woodstock Fleece Festival, seriously thinking about making things for the Christmas markets, the arrival of a breeding pair of Dewlap Toulouse Geese, and twin lambs born to one of the Finn ewes.
November is getting the barn ready for winter for the first time in over a decade (including getting power back to the barn!), thinking about where to store winter feed when the snowdrifts are five feet high, how to keep the coyotes away from our animals and fully into the making of felt things, getting wool into the mill finally.
December is all about going into the Evergreen Brickwork’s Farmer’s Market and selling, selling, selling, and buying that winter feed we will need.
It will be our first Christmas here at the farm. We are looking forward to being able to go out into the barn on Christmas eve and sing carols to the animals as they ruminate away. There is nothing like a warm barn full of content animals in the middle of winter. We will be singing thanks to the year we just had. We will sing to appreciate the sacrifices our animals have made for us, and that we made for them, and each other. we will sing in celebration of the lengthening days, chores being a few minutes later each day, the roots regenerating under the blanket of snow. It is then that we will slow down, and settle in for the long mid-winter road ahead. On a farm the work never stops, it just changes.
How does that saying go? A change is as good as a rest?