Farm Day

There are some very dedicated Farm Club members. Several of us spent Friday night and all day Saturday at the Hopland Field Station Barn to Yarn event (blog post to follow when I have more time) which was fun, but a long drive for everyone. A Farm Club work day was scheduled for Sunday morning and four of the people who had been at Hopland, including a brand new member, also came here.

When we are working I never get very many photos but I’ll share what I have. The main task today was to vaccinate the lambs. Two or three members learned to give injections. Our newest member, who I just met yesterday and had never handled sheep, jumped right in and caught lambs for us. As we worked we sorted out the lambs that I’m considering keeping so we could look at them more closely as a group. We also separated the yearlings to evaluate them and change the coats that were getting too snug.

Letting the sheep into the pasture.

After we vaccinated we all walked to the pasture and I showed everyone how I set up the electric fence when I change paddocks. They all got some practice in untangling the net fence and a basic lesson in the principles behind intensive grazing management. Then we let the sheep out for a late breakfast (or a second breakfast).

Sheep going to pasture.

Some sheep are anxious to get moving.

Farm Club members taking photos of sheep.

Sheep paparazzi.

Lambs to keep?

The group of lambs that we may keep. It’s sure hard to decide at this age.

Setting up an irrigation tarp.

After we finished with the lambs and changed the coats on the yearlings we went out to set up irrigation tarps. I usually do this on my own but some of the FC members were interested in learning about this too. I called to have water at 8 a.m. tomorrow and, since this is the first irrigation of the season, the tarps weren’t in place. We placed two tarps at the end of the ditch where we want the water to be held back. (One never seems like it works well enough.) A third goes at the other end to catch the tail water and hope that it backs up enough to fill in the bottom end of the field.

Weed eating irrigation ditch.

After Farm Club members left I went back to the pasture to weed eat the ditches. The ditch were the sheep had been grazing was OK, but not this one. The rain water had lasted here so long that the grass was incredibly thick.

Irrigation ditch after weed eating

This is what the ditch looked like when I was finished.

Driving the tractor while mowing.

After that I mowed one paddock mostly to knock down the foxtails. There is an old cement foundation that runs north-south 2/3 the length of this paddock. Only annuals grow there and they are drying out now. After mowing I worked in the shop to finish a warp on a loom that will be used for the chenille scarf class tomorrow.

Sunset over the sheep pasture.

This evening’s sunset.