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How the Farm Grew (along with the growing pains)

When we first moved onto the property back in March of 2022 all we had were the two chickens, one duck and our two indoor doggies. But man oh man did that change quickly. We picked up our beautiful Cremona Lisa aka Mona, our livestock guardian dog, less than a week after we moved in. She was the perfect addition to our family. She loves our other two dogs and quickly picked up on her training. Then came our first four sheep (Claire, Pearl, Big Mama and Blue Ivy), which came with its own set of struggles. We spent the first week chasing them down multiple times a day (they were quite the escape artists). Thankfully, they got acclimated and things calmed down for the time being. We officially had our farm going!

Mona was introduced to them and wasn't quite sure what to make of them. Funny enough though, now I'm pretty sure she thinks she is a sheep. Within the following months, we added an additional fifty or so chickens to the flock, twenty-five meat birds and twenty-five laying hens. Having chicks around for the first time as quite the experience. THEY ARE SO CUTE! The chickens were around until they were old enough to either be butchered or sold off. Our flock is about ten now with one rooster. Next came our ram (Ramington) as our newest addition to the farm.

Now here's where things got a little crazy. Kurt is always making new connections with people in the agriculture community. He met Dan and their organization was in a pinch and needing somewhere to move their sheep, pigs and one cow (Larry or Lawrence as Kurt calls him). Kurt, being the person that he is, agreed to home them on our farm. So in December of 2022, we went from our small start up of five sheep to oh I'd say close to one hundred. To say it was wild would be an understatement. Along with the sheep came twelve pigs and one cow. Larry pretty much just thinks he is one of the sheep as well. More on him to come, he has a big personality.

We weathered the winter here together at Ink Blot Farm. The sheep came with their own set of challenges while the pigs were busy at work tilling up the space for our garden to expand to this season. We spent many of hours (probably more like days) chasing escaped sheep and just trying to figure out how to remedy the issue. I cannot tell you how many times I came home from work to our neighbor watching Kurt running around to try and herd the sheep. Once we finally got that all figured out (wool sheep do not respect electric fencing and that's what we use), lambing season was quickly approaching.

To say lambing season has been the most rewarding experience doesn't even begin to do it justice. Seeing all of the sheep bring new life onto the farm has brought a new sense of excitement about the life we are building here. Having our families out and getting to see them enjoy all of the growth and new babies here is just about the coolest thing ever! Seeing my niece light up while she held one of the twins that were first born on the farm in particular was too cute. Even cooler was that it was Blue Ivy (one of our sheep) who had her twins first. The number of babies has blown my mind! It is amazing to see all of the babies together frolicking about. They are so quirky and fun to watch.

Farming comes with its growing pains but it is so worth it to see the fruits of your labor. I really can say that the struggles are worth the reward. Grateful to be on this homesteading journey and see what is possible here at Ink Blot Farm.

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1 Comment

Theresa Oswald
Theresa Oswald
May 31, 2023

Love following this!

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