Hello from Graze-N-Grow. This past week has given us the nicest weather in the last six months it seems. The animals are rejecting their winter diet of hay if they can scrounge the new grass, but our winter lambing flock is still cooped up in the barn lot. We have yet to get the lambs tagged, but plan on that this week.
With the help of our neighbor, Ken, who ran his soil finisher over the ground destined for oats and peas, our drill man, Roger, got them all planted on Tuesday, April 9, just before the next rain came. I had been hoping to have him no-till them, but the ground always seemed to need one more day to dry out when the rains would come. Eventually, weeds were emerging getting a head start on the crop, so tillage was our only option. I got some manure hauled until the spreader broke down, which is now fixed and waiting for drier days ahead.
We’ve moved some lambs through our butchering room recently, but it hasn’t been as busy as we would like although we have bookings for Greek Easter, which is April 28 this year. We have a nice crop of winter lambs to choose from, and most of them could have gone to the sale barn for the Easter market, but we will carry them until the Aug. 10 holiday market to satisfy most of our longtime customers. Whenever they come out for lamb, we sell out of eggs, as well, so we stockpile them as much as we can to prepare.
We have been getting our honey for our own use from a beekeeper in Iowa since our neighbor Bruce’s bees died. When our lamb buyers saw the honey, they started buying that, as well as the eggs and lambs. Ruth hatches eggs in our incubator to hatch out on Mother’s Day weekend, which is usually their busiest weekend of the greenhouse season. It’s become a tradition for her customers to bring their kids or grandkids to see the chicks and sometimes ducks and goslings along with the inevitable bottle lamb and other farm critters for that old-fashioned farm experience. When the roosters get big, our lamb customers buy them, as well, so we’ve been supplying a lot of their diet when they come for the last few years.
The main flock is scheduled to start lambing May 5, but I recall a ram lamb in the flock before I turned in the breeding rams, and he must have been there more than a few days before I got him out since we already have more than 40 on the ground so far, but with the milder April than last year, they’ve managed nicely. I don’t mind warm rainy days during pasture lambing, but those cold, wet days are harsh, so I’m hoping for pleasant lambing weather next month and pleasant farming weather for us all. Have a safe and pleasant May.
P.S. Remember the price that was paid on that first Easter and the promise of the resurrection and rejoice. Happy trails.