What a week! Sheep have been sheared, new lambs were born, spring harvest is underway along with all the other daily farm chores!
If you ever watch a professional sheep shearer shear its pretty amazing they can shear a sheep in minutes and make it look easy and painless. The truth is for a novice shearer its a slow, painful process and I chose to leave the shearing to the professionals and hired a shearer. With the 90 degree weather leading up to shearing day the Ewes were hot and ready to lose the wool. Getting ready for shearing was an easy process we simply had to catch the sheep in the morning and let them fast for 12 hours. Empty bellies makes it more comfortable for the ewes while they are sheared.
Shearing went fast, easy and stress free for the Ewes! Post shear the girls were very happy to get back in the field and graze. The lambs were happy to be reunited after being separated from the ewes for 30 minutes.
The first four lambs born are now two months old! While the Ewes were being sheared the lambs all got vaccinated. Washington is always begging for attention, he lined up first to receive his shot and kept rejoining the cue after. We vaccinate for Clostridium perfringens (a bacteria disease) and tetanus. Lambs can die suddenly from Clostridium and treatment of sick lambs is generally not successful so we believe vaccinating is important to the health and well being of our flock.
We grow Imperial Star Artichokes each plant typically produce 6 to 9 small artichokes. They are perennial to zone 7 and will produce artichokes the first year during late summer/fall and then during the spring each year after. I find artichokes to be fussy to get started but very hardy once they are established. If you start them from seed, start at least double the number you want. I seem to have half of them die when I transplant from plug trays to pots. We live in zone 7 so we mulch the plants heavily in the fall and do occasionally lose a plant over the winter.