It’s been wonderful to share the ranch with others this spring as we start to recover from the pandemic. Relaxing on the deck with good friends, food and wine, and listening to the birds and animals across the verdant valley is a piece of heaven that we haven’t been able to experience for a while. Slowing down helps us to remember the beauty of our little place and why we are here.
The blossoms have carpeted the ground and the days have been sunny and warm. Spring has been quite dry this year so it may be an early hay cutting. For the first time we will be able to do all the haying and baling ourselves since we added a mower to our equipment shed. The garden is coming up so fast that we will be eating strawberries a month early! This winter, we planted about 30 trees, including 7 more fruit trees and 9 blueberry bushes – providing shade for our pasture animals, fruit to sell, and helping to lower our carbon footprint. We like our wide open spaces, but love the shade on a hot summer day. Hopefully we’re creating the best of both worlds!
Now that they’re done bottle feeding, our calves are getting fat on the sweet grass and are already off at a neighbor’s farm enjoying the abundance of Spring. We are constantly looking for locals who have grassy pastures and who would like to host some steers or sheep. To their benefit: a reduced wildfire threat, some fresh grass fed beef or lamb in the fall, and/or to enjoy looking out their windows on the peaceful animals grazing, sleeping, and lowing outside.
Our five ewes lambed as expected in February and produced 7 babies. The lambs have been growing like weeds and a couple of them are almost as big as their mamas. One of the pleasures of our day is watching the babies gambol in the new grass and play king of the mountain on old stumps.
We are also raising baby chicks who will be put out on the pasture in a couple of months. The chicken tractor will be ready to go by then and we are looking forward to seeing them run around on the grass eating all those bugs and spreading that manure. Later this summer, we will be able to add pasture raised eggs to our farm table. Yumm!
Exciting news for us is that we are making plans to sell beef & lamb (and any extra produce/berries) at the Veneta Farmer’s Market. Our first date to sell is May 15 and we will attend every other week. We are excited to make new friends and introduce them to our amazing, sustainably grown grass fed meat. Look for us under the Serenity Valley Ranch banner.