Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Grass-Finished Lamb

The next product on our list to tell you about is our grass-finished lamb. The lamb is produced in virtually the same manner as our beef. The lambs are raised on pasture all the way until market. Sheep, like cattle, are ruminants. This means that they are capable of surviving on a diet consisting entirely of grass and don't need any grain.This not only makes the lamb much more nutritious, it imparts excellent flavor to the meat. Also, by pasturing lambs to finish, the potential for illness caused by bacteria is much lower, like with cattle.

Sheep and cattle can also form a unique symbiotic relationship if raised together. Pastures will grow a diverse mix of plants. However, cattle won't always eat all of these plants and neither will sheep, but, when paired together, they utilize all of the plants growing in the pasture. This is because sheep and cattle each prefer different kinds of plants than the other. This is the same type of relationship that is seen among different species in the wild, which lends to the vast amount of diversity in nature.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring '09

It has been a while since our last post so I thought we should put something here so you know we are still in operatation. I have come to the conclusion that blogs are for those that like to write a lot...and have lots of time to do so! None of us here ever liked English class very much, let alone all the writing assignments that went with it, so keeping up with a blog can be work for us.

I am going to keep this one short on words but give you a little picture 'tour' of what spring looks like around here. It was a beautiful day today and too nice to be sitting inside so I went around and snapped a few pictures.

The snow peas are now up and growing.

The green onions, spinach, lettuce and kale are all up too. It won't be long now until we get our first light harvest of garden produce. The swiss chard ended up being a bit spotty in it's sprouting so I replanted some of it.

All the animals are now back on pasture. The trip from the barn back to the pasture went well. That is good news as we were a bit nerves on how things would go in moving the younger more 'wild' cattle back out after being penned up for the winter. They got distracted by all the grass though so not much goofing around happened.

'King' chicken--with his harem. He likes to look down at the ground, make a cackle or two and then do a little dance with his feet and then the ladies come running to see what he has found. It is usually nothing and I'm not sure why they fall for that 'small old song & dance' every time but they do. And I'm not sure why he does it either but I'm thinking he likes the attention & power.

This, I think, is the calf you meet in an earlier post. John gave her the name Isabell. She likes being out of the barn and able to run wild when she so pleases. She has a male playmate now that looks very similar to her. They like to have foot races across the pasture and through the herd.

The hens like to mingle with the cattle when they are close enough....and sometimes the cattle like to play with them by chasing them around.

Looks like it might be lunch time.

A few flowers that are blooming.

The view out by the road. Which, by the way, we have lots of eggs!! Spring is the time we get the most eggs per day so please stop by soon and pick some up.

Hope you enjoyed your day as well.