As I mentioned, the butcher visited our farm on Monday. We will have some meat for sale in about 2 weeks. We have 1/2 a hog and 1/4 of a beef available then. We will be charging $4.25/lb hanging weight which includes cut and wrap. Last year the pork halves averaged 90# hanging weight, and the last Highland bull we butchered the hanging weight for a half was 234#. So email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
I also have been washing some of our fleeces and now have the washed fleeces available for sale. Here are the photos of the ones available:
You can click on the photos for enlargements and to read the cards with information and prices. I will momentarily be updating our Fiber for Sale page with more information about these fleeces. I have also decided to sell Jemima’s and Maybelle’s fleeces (although it does break my heart a little to part with them). I will post them soon as well. Let me know if you have any questions at email@example.com
So yesterday the butcher came out and shot and cut up our three Hereford pigs and our Highland bull. Once again it is bittersweet. I was at work so Tom had to do s lot of work himself. But he said it went quite smoothly for them They were out in the pasture and did not know it was coming. It helps that they were getting big and destructive, but it is still a loss. In my vegetarian days I watched the butchering of a cow (actually done humanely) and thought it was heinous. But now I think these animals would not have had a life if it were not for the meat they can provide. And there is something magical about raising an animal, giving it a good life and a good death and then incorporating its flesh into your flesh and into your energy. I know they would have preferred to live, but it is part of the ancient contract that we and they signed up for. And we can provide healthfully and humanely raised (and tasty) meat for ourselves, family and friends, and not support the systems that produce meat in an unhealthy and inhumane manner.
was born on March 7, 1998 at Mystic Knoll farm on Whidbey Island. She was of Flett genetics and was named Austria. I visited her farm that summer intending to buy my first sheep Ebony. But this lamb climbed into my lap and won my heart. So on July 25, 1998 I brought both Ebony and Sadie (my nickname for her) home with me as my first sheep. I fairly quickly added a few more sheep including my first ram Loki and a guard llama Swirl and suddenly I was a shepherd.
I bred Sadie for the first time to Loki in 1999 and in the Spring of 2000 Ringo and Rita were born.
Rita and Sadie
In 2002 she lambed with Miss Lizzie and Jude. These lambs were likely conceived on the day Tom and I met, and we still have Miss Lizzie. In 2002 she also moved from my old place to our new farm. Here she is at the old place,
Sadie and Donna in 2002
and here she is at her new home.
Sadie in November 2002
In 2003 we had an unexpected delivery of Eleanor who we found being protected from the rain by Sadie.
Sadie and Eleanor 2003
In 2005 she had Sugar and Spice, and then in 2007 she had Aries and Amanda (who we still have).
Sadie with Aries and Amanda in March 2007
This was her last lambing as she was 9 years old. Here she is in 2009.
Sadie in 2009
In 2013 she went blind and here is a photo of her in 2014.
Blind Sadie in 2014
In her last years I tried to spoil her by keeping her out of the main flock with other elderly sheep and by giving her grain, moistened alfalfa cubes and bread. She really seemed to enjoy this, but in the last couple of days she stopped eating. I put out a warming pad for her so she wouldn’t be cold, but this morning we found her dead.
It is so sad to say goodbye to her, my first sheep. We have been together for so long, and she taught me how to be a good shepherd. She gave me beautiful lambs and lovely moorit wool. She certainly had a long life for a sheep at 17 1/2 years, and I really hope it was a good one.