Sheepishly Starting Again

It’s been a while, my friends!

Sometimes, life gets a bit too busy while feeling humdrum, a tad complicated without all that much happening, hugely sad but with indescribably funny bits, and – in short – you figure that you have nothing noteworthy to scribe. Then you receive a gentle reminder that your inane babble is in fact missed and…well, here we are. Thanks, Susanpoozan, for your friendly nudge.

There’s so much to catch you up on so we figured the best way to start was a series of updates dedicated to the inhabitants of The Homestead paddocks. This week, we’d like to reacquaint you with Sapphire and her crew: The Sheep.

When last we spoke, Sapphire, Froda, and Eleanor (with bloke-baby in tow) were learning to share their space with two ruffian, food-orientated orphan lambs, Ivy and her brother. Ten or so months on, Miss Ivy is now very much part of the flock that, in that wonderful Circle of Life way that is just that little more obvious out here in the boonies, is now learning to share their space with another two ruffian orphans while hopefully incubating the means to fill both the paddock (our aim is to run a flock of ten) and the freezer.

Orlagh (right) and her unrelated “brother”, Neville, are growing every day, but the Homestead Oval practice wicket still divides them from the senior flock.

While the flock works on paddock politics, we’ve had our first lesson in walking the walk after talking the talk for a long while. After the recommended nine months, we called in Pete from Malvern Homekills who quickly and graciously dispatched our boys and then delivered them to our butcher of choice, Darfield Village Meats, who are all of two kilometres down the road. There is so much talk of the ethics of this sort of thing; that our boys lived a happy Homestead life is obvious to all who visited, that their lives ended quickly and without fear I know without doubt. Here on The Homestead, we have made the choice to be meat-eaters and we acknowledge the cost of that choice.

pelts

In effort to be true and real about this lifestyle, top of our list for flock enrichment was the addition of a Homestead ram. We’d done a bit of homework and, with the help of folk-in-the-know and Mr Google, decided Arapawa was the breed to go for. Eleanor is Arapawa and we harboured dreams of a heritage flock.

Mathais

Mathias was gorgeous, skittish, and he loved our ladies; we hope to see evidence of this very soon. Unfortunately, he didn’t turn up at the feed shed with the rest of the flock one morning and timorous investigation revealed he had succumbed to one of those “these-things-happen” deaths in the night. Neville, in the spirit of right place, right time, has quite the act to follow and we have learnt to scale back the daydreams a bit.

So, in typical Homestead way, we are currently playing a waiting game. Our flock is still sporting their winter woollies, but really need to deliver their babies before we can call in Shaun the Shearer again. It’s getting pretty late in the day but hopefully, the weather plays the game and doesn’t give us too many sweltering days in the interim.

P1120463

Today, at least, the weather-gods are listening.

15 thoughts on “Sheepishly Starting Again

  1. Welcome back! Lovely update…I’ve been thinking of you lot quite a bit lately, wondering how it’s all going and growing. How lovely to fill the freezer with fantastically raised meat. And a ram! You have definitely jumped it uip a few notches since the New Brighton days. Making me green with envy..

      • Wool is never useless. Stockpiling is always good. You could always start with a drop spindle, cheaply made and gives a feel of the thread while spinning. I grew up with sheep and spinning so respect anyone who travels on that road.

      • Thanks for that! I simply need to dedicate some time to learning…there’s always something else on the list. One day… if we don’t disappear under the woolsacks in the meantime 🤣

  2. I noticed a comment from you on my blog and hoped that this presaged a resumption of the homestead chronicles so it is very pleasing to find the hope realised. I am very envious of someone who has a practice wicket.

  3. It is so good to see you back, Sharon! You’ve certainly had your ups and downs in the last ten months or so and you’ve definitely been very busy. I hope the lambs arrive soon 🙂

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