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A hunting we will go- the misadventures of a farm cat

We have farm cats, as all farms should.

They kind of suck at their jobs. My favorite one, Carlos,

disappeared a few months ago and miss him terribly. He was the fierce killer of rats and gophers. Tigger, the tabby, is 11 or so years old, and just not quite fast enough to catch the beasties.

And Bindi, the gray one, well,this is how she hunts.

Do you see the fierce teeth on that gopher?? (insert Monty Python quote here). It almost got away, but I pushed it back to her with a stick. It grabbed onto the stick and wouldn’t let go!

In the end, she ate the whole thing-teeth and all. While my eager Farm Campers cheered her on.

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By the stick, or by the carrot

LOOK AT WHAT I HAVE GROWN, PEOPLE!! 

These are my first carrots, and to say I was giddy when I plucked them from the dirt would not be exaggerating.  They are small to mid-sized and oh-so-sweet and almost buttery!  I fed the tops to my sweet lambkins.

Now I have to try not to obsess about the best use of them, and just MAKE use of them. (It’s a common mistake I make…I grow something that’s so special and fabulous to me, that I wait for the perfect way to use it.   The end result, too often, has been a soggy mess of organic goodness in the “rotter”, AKA the crisper in the fridge.)

There are many more carrots, in all sizes, shapes and colors, to come, so forgive me in advance for my excitement!

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March comes in like a lamb…or two

Yeah, the saying is that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, but I like to create my own reality!  

Recently, March came to Peaceful Valley Farm, like a lamb. Two of them, actually. These sweeties come from the amazing folks at Deep Root Ranch, in Watsonville. There, Jean and Bob raise sheep and hogs (as well as chickens, geese, and a few HUGE cows) in the most natural and organic way possible.  It’s idyllic there, with all the animals roaming around freely, enjoying the green grass and fresh air. We learned that, by strange coincidence, our Olivia-the-pig is the cousin of one of their hogs. Small world, farming.

I really hadn’t considered sheep, until my neighbor’s Suffolk Sheep started dropping babies recently. It was So fun to see the still wet lambs taking their first wobbly steps.  Then, we trekked up to Bonny Doon to visit Mali at Milk Mama Goat Farm and I fell for her East Freisian Sheep. They were so loving and let us pet and kiss them. (Of course, I think Mali has some special magic that makes all mammals love her!)

So, long story short, Mali turned me on to Jean and now we have two ewe lambs.  They were just weaned, but not tame, and it was an hour and a half fiasco finding the girls (by doing a quick reach around in a herd of sheep!) and getting them into crates. (Jean and Bob also have the patience of saints!!)

The lambs have been on the farm for almost 2 weeks now, and today they let the fives (my after school farm kids) hand feed and pet them.  My heart grew three sizes when little Ashton said, “I can’t believe I’m this close to a sheep!”  I hear ya, kid!!!

A big, wooly welcome to our girls, Shaun and BaaBaa