Greener Pastures Farm - Current News

Jon kneels down to let the pregnant Cascade Farmstead ewes check him out. Visit our website to learn more about these great little low-maintenance, no-shear, meat sheep!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Emergence... Back Into The Light

I'm back!

Yeah, I've been out of the loop for a while. A stroke in my eye really sent me into a spin. I'm okay. Lots of expensive tests and doctor bills later, I'm now on high blood pressure medication, and learning to live with a blind spot in my right eye.

Really, all things considered, if I had to choose a spot to be blind in, I could not have chosen better. It's the upper left quadrant of my right eye that is blind, so I didn't lose any peripheral vision. So I'm really lucky!

I have a lot of catching up to do! Emails and phone calls have really piled up, and I'll be working my way through those in the next few days.

Now that the holidays are over, and the house is tidy from holiday preparations, I'm really pumped to get going on my hobbies and my farm work. I'm so glad to be back!

~ Ronda

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Horns and Gaps in Fencing

Photo taken August 2011

These are a few of our 2011 Cascade Farmstead ram lambs. Legend, at the far left, and Laredo, at the far right, both have very very wide horns. Louie Louie, center, has horns that are just right. Lionheart, who is 2nd from right, has horns that are iffy and will remain to be seen how they turn out.

Luke, 2nd from left, has narrow horns and will be culled. Narrow horns will eventually grow into the face or eye, causing suffering to the animal. Culling the animal is the best thing for the breed and for your own flock.

Behind these young boys is a neat fencing trick that we discovered by accident and necessity. Directly behind Luke, from the cedar post and to the left, you can kinda see where the old driveway used to meet the road. From there the driveway travels from left to right behind this group of weaned ram lambs. The thistles are growing robustly due to all the compost dumped there.

Twelve years ago we dumped dirt from all the post holes we had dug, and barn compost to fill the two- to three-foot gap between the tightly stretched fencing and the surface of the old driveway. We tramped down each load we added, and when the dirt and compost finally accumulated enough to meet the fence, I pounded into the dirt/compost a number of 1x2 wooden stakes every 2 to 4 inches and catching the bottom 2 strands of the fence. This stabilized the dirt and compost that we dumped there. Each year we added more until we had filled in the entire area that used to be a driveway.

Over the years the new soil firmed up, and the wooden stakes decomposed, giving a level surface under our fencing. It's a technique we now use to fill in any hole that occurs under our fencing. The wooden stakes will slow down a predator, or an escape artist.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Castle and Beckett Growing Up

Sweet! Castle and Beckett snoozing when I got up. It turns out that Beckett is a boy, but we are keeping the name anyway. He's ferocious and determined to be the Number One cat; he's clever and is biding his time with the older cats.

I guess somebody (Beckett?) is doing some shrew hunting. I just wish they would not bring their work home with them.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Greener Pastures Redwood

Photo taken April 2011

We had two blonde rams that looked so much alike, I had to get up close and check their ear tags to be certain who was who.

So these photos might be Greener Pastures Redwood, or they might be Greener Pastures King's Ransom. Both are from our Alpha line of Cascade Farmstead Sheep. The photo above is Redwood, to the far right of Jester and Jumping Jack Flash. They are all the same age in this photo; two years.

We butchered Redwood recently... he was a fine ram, but we'd already utilized him for breeding and no longer needed him. At age 2 1/2 years, his carcass weighed 52 lbs.

Below are, clockwise from front, Jester (white), Jumping Jack Flash (gonna use him for breeding this autumn!), either Redwood or King's Ransom, Jackpot (butterscotch color) and the fabulous Jeopardy.

Photo taken May 2011

It's only September, but I'm already dreaming of the possibilities of next year's lambs!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Job Openings Filled at Greener Pastures Farm

Yes, we had a couple job openings to fill, and after weeks and weeks of searching, we found the right candidates!

Introducing Castle and Beckett. They were born to a barn cat, lived full time in a barn, and came home with us when they were 7 weeks old, already conditioned for barn life and hunting. These photos were taken at about 8 weeks. They are still kittens, and chase their own tails and chew on their own hind feet!

But they also stalk each other and wrestle when they are not sleeping or purring for us. Our last kittens were ten years ago, and they were not nearly this advanced or aggressive.

However, Calvin, Hobbes and Susie were/are wonderful cats! (Can you tell that we are avid fans of Bill Watterson?) Calvin was the hunter/mouser, as well as the most endearing cat we'd ever seen. Everyone who met him adored him and wanted to take him home. The last photo of him was taken just before The Kid's graduation:

We knew he was good, but didn't realize how good until after he'd been gone for about 6 months. Small predators began moving in about that time, and we even saw squirrels on our property for the first time since the late 90's.

When we found rodents in the chicken feed, we knew it was time to do something.

Uncle Hobbes has warmed up to the kittens fairly quickly, and is benevolently tolerant of them. Aunt Susie, who declined to participate in the photo shoot, is taking a bit more time to thaw.

The new crew are headquartered out on the front porch after spending the first 5 days living in the house and getting to know us. Beckett is utterly fearless and is the first to try everything. Castle is content to watch his sister first and see how she fares before giving most things a try. I think they will make a wonderful team!

I like this photo. Snoozing husband and snoozing kitties. Too cute for words.