Time for County Fairs and 4H Livestock Shows! Fiber Festivals and Mowing Fresh Baled Hay! Berries and Tomatoes fresh from a Garden.
AND Digging Thistles, Cockleburrs and anything else that might stick to a Sheep!
We have pasture walks, moving fence and sheep to new grass. Training a young border collie and lambs to walk on halter. And shearing sheep. Washing legs and carding nettles out of yearlings top knots. Helping kids train lambs to show and teaching visitors to the sheep barn what wool sheep are all about.
It also means collecting dahlias and marigolds for dying wool. Baskets of drying wool. Spinning at Fiber Festivals, Camp sites and County Fair Sheep to Shawl demonstrations. And Knitting when evening comes during fair season when you finally sit for a moment.
Seriously, we spend a lot of time working on pastures and improving the forages the sheep are on from May to Christmas. We move sheep every 2 to 3 days depending on area being grazed using rotational grazing. We use this method to improve the pastures and make best use of the forages offered. We use electrified poly/wire netting powered by a solar charger to focus the grazing in one area so the sheep evenly graze all of the forages, fertilize the whole area and prevent extensive grazing in one area all summer. Once grazed that area is mowed, noxious weeds dug and then it rests for 6 weeks or more if possible. This provides healthier pastures and lower parasite loads for the sheep. Meanwhile the sheep move on to greener pastures! Along with the fence, water tanks, hoses and mineral feeders. We spend a lot of time walking the pastures and working on them. The dogs, sheep and I have some resident friends out there. Early summer we have the Red wing blackbirds, sandhill cranes and Orioles nesting. Turtles hang out in the lower areas and this summer the green frogs are all over the place. This week I had one jump up my pant leg in its attempt to get out of the way of the fence I was moving. He was removed and headed back to "Courting" his froggy friends. Frogs are welcome as they do heavy work on the bugs that anoy the dogs, sheep and myself.
Frogs are welcome but noxious weeds such as the Pokeberry decorating the Romney ewe "Tinkerbell" are not as welcome. But that is just part of the Summertime fun!!