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Happy New Year!

It’s been a busy winter so far. I actually wish it was a bit snowier though, despite all the extra work. The snow really helps to insulate the ground. It also makes it much easier for the horses to walk around. Everyone is tiptoeing carefully over the frozen ruts. Margo and Sherry, my two lowline cows are bred. Sherry is due in March and is enormous and Margo is due in May. We have a new Nigerian dwarf buck, Five Acres Harold and all of the older does are bred. I will be breeding the doelings starting the end of this month to coincide with the 2010 summer Farm Camp. Farm camp dates this year are July 12 – 16, and July 19 – 23. My sister Dana has been helping me to update my website and we should have camp information and registration forms available online by the end of this weekend. All of the ewes are bred and due to start lambing in March. The ewes will be sheared on saturday, February 20th by my good friend and shearer, Andy Rice of Hoggett Hill Farm in Halifax Vermont.

The rest of the fleeces have been sent off to become blankets. I am getting lap blankets this year, along with the queensize blankets I have gotten in the past. Can’t wait to see them! If they come back in time I hope to have them at the Food For Thought winter farmers market being held February 27th at the Turners Falls High School from 9 AM to noon. I will be sharing space at a booth there with Denise Leonard of Tanstaafl Farm, Greenfield. We will have grass fed lamb, sausage,  and kebobs along with recipes, blankets, fleeces, photographs and some hand made crafts available.

Tom and Travis spent a day dropping 8 trees behind the lambing barn to make way for the start of an addition to run the length of the old tobacco barn. This will house the border collies kennel, the lambing/kidding pen, a calving pen and some hay storage. Just never seem to have enough space! The original part of the barn will be finished off as a garage/workshop for Tom and Travis and their toys and projects.

I miss riding my great little cow horse, Rio. Her shoes are pulled and she is on winter break. I really got hooked on versatile working cow horse competitions with her this past year. She is really starting to “get it” with the cows. Just need to keep at it.

I enter 2010 feeling blessed that I am fortunate to spend time daily on a farm working with animals. I also feel blessed to have another job working with children as their school nurse. When I get to combine the two in my summer camp I feel like the luckiest person in the world. So look for more updates soon, stay warm and keep smiling.

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