This is what it’s all about out here — sheep, fiber and gardening. More than just wool, these beautiful creatures keep this property in fairly good shape. They gobble up stray blackberry vines, keep Scotch Broom at bay and boost fertilizer levels in the soil.
With the sale of this year’s lambs, plus the new fiber mill across the river the farming future looks good. Time will tell……
Whether it’s making a fire break or clearing coyote habitat this excavator is an essential to making the workload disappear. What would take me weeks to complete, this marvel machine will do in half a day, if not sooner. All month long this yellow workhorse has been out there everyday — shaping the land, taming evasive weeds and keeping the herd safe from predators.
This year all my farming tricks are falling flat….literally. My usual green pasture is nonexistent — barren topsoil is the norm out there. It’s easy to blame the summer drought — 140 days without rain, but with all the seed and mulch I’ve dropped the results should have already started to show. I guess it will be up to the Spring weather to work some magic out there.
Last week I noticed a wounded hawk hobbling around the back sheep pasture. The bird couldn’t fly and would have become a coyote snack over the weekend. I set out some food, water and an elevated platform which he might reach if attacked. Fortunately, some good news..! A few days later, the injured hawk was attempting short flights around the pasture — dining on grasshoppers and small frogs. An update: the hawk is back to normal — flying around all the pastures…..a very lucky break.
It’s a morning ritual here on the ranch – pulling weeds while the sheep are grazing. Begrudgingly, I must have pulled a few thousand evasive species roots since June. First there was scotch broom, then bull thistle, not to mention tansy. Toward the end of summer, its time for the red doc removal, especially near the wetlands. The county ag department keeps harping on healthy fields — hopefully, this coming year I will have nothing to worry about.
The weather-folks report that the rains are coming next week. This is the driest summer in many years. We are on HIGH fire watch, and as one can see the grasses are very dry. It’s been impossible to keep the brush, pasture and weeds down with strict regulations on power equipment.