Lil Miss has taken several photos of her growing garden and we wanted to share them with you to inspire you in your own gardening endeavors. If you are concerned that you are too late for a garden, don't be discouraged...there is always something you can do! There is still plenty of time to plant and plan for an abundant harvest. In the past, Mom has direct seeded zucchini plants in July and still gotten more produce then purchased starts planted in June. You can do it!
As the seasons change there is new life everywhere... emerging from the earth, tree limbs and oh yes, Momma animals! The Lord has mightily blessed us with each ewe bringing a new lamb into the herd. At a time when many other conventional sheep breeders in the Pacific NW are sadly losing lambs and sheep to 'unexplainable' losses (there is thought that over working and 'super bugs' are to blame), we count it a great opportunity to naturally husband our Lord's creation and reap the blessed reward. We have beautiful, colorful healthy lambs bouncing around so eager to make their mark on the new world around them.
The seeds of pumpkins have long been known to be a natural *vermifuge. Each year we harvest as much as we can from a local farm and use it as a wonderful, dual purpose feed additive for our animals. Just as the flesh and seeds are tasty to us, they are relished by the animals (the rabbits, not so much.) and this huge stock pile that filled our trailer and truck bed has already been consumed.
Even the farmer didn't know the benefits of this simple feed, having grown them for commercial use for many years. This is an old practice that has been lost through the years, but it cements the necessity of planting them not only for ourselves, but the animals too.
*Vermifuge: n. [L. vermis, a worm, and fugo, to expel.]
A medicine or substance that destroys or expels worms from animal bodies; an anthelmintic.
American Dictionary of the English Language By Noah Webster 1828
Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. Job 40:20
We have been busy with several activities in our area meeting, greeting sharing and teaching eager ~new and old~ fiber (and rabbit) lovers. At our booths, quite a few ask us questions on the ins and outs of rearing fiber animals, their feeds, as well as the many and varied ways of working with their glorious fluff! Several are so eager to glean they ask to tour our homestead and get ideas for their own fiber pursuits. We love encouraging and supporting families in these endeavors and this is precisely why we take time to keep our humble website and work to be involved in several public venues...
The weather has been either pouring sheets of rain or blasting heat. It doesn't make it easy for shearing plans. We've had to put off shearing for a couple of weekends now because of rain then the heat comes on in the week and we finally got to the point where we said - we'll just have to do it when we can - with what we have, scissors. All of our shears are out for sharpening, of course!
It seems 'Jack' has decided he only feels comfortable with 'Tech' doing the semi-shearing here. The poor guy is a rich, beautiful black with a TON of dense fiber on him. Remember alpaca is 4 times warmer than wool so he is actually hotter than the sheep! Armed with a pair of craft scissors, 'Tech' was quite pleased Jack is so comfortable with only him. Mom sheared the two Giant angora rabbits (not seen here) - they were happy and got to romp in the garden afterward for a treat - they didn't want to move around much due to the heat - even after their coat was off. They liked the carrot pieces much better!
They are all enjoying a small patch of extra long salad that they've quickly grazed. Limiting them to new, small paddocks every day is making quick work of this out-of-control yard that will be naturally fertilized and growing even better after they move along. Behind Tech, I hope you can see the length compared to what they have grazed. The variety in their diets is only improving their rumen function and enabling them to uptake a greater variety of minerals. Sometimes they like to graze together, sometimes we have the alpacas in first or last and the sheep at another time...
If you haven't learned about the benefits of mob grazing - take a look at what the Salatin family shares through their farming experiences at Polyface Farms.
He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth. Psalms 104:14
This is our journey.