A Tumble Creek Farm Ewe

A Tumble Creek Farm Ewe
One of many

Monday, December 20, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Christmas will soon be here, the tree is trimmed, the presents are almost wrapped, cookies are baked, and snow is on the ground. We have had several days of snow with a total accumulation of 8 inches. It has been very dry stuff and just sweeps off the walkways. Today I think it has stopped so will shovel out a trail to the barn for the cat and I.
   The cat found us the day our dog of thirteen years left us this past summer. We had seen her in the barn and garden a few times and she proved herself friendly but when Bear was gone she just took over the yard. My husband told me not of feed her but when she brought a mouse across the yard to show off he figured she could stay for a meal. She has pretty much taken over. The barn is her favorite place to sleep in the haystack and watch the sheep. I call her Kitty but because she has a crook at the end of her tail my daughter has called her Cricket. We'll see if I can remember to call her that at any given time.
   The last pair of socks it on the needles. I am using up matching bits of sock yarn for this pair for a granddaughter in shades of turquoise with blues, pinks and purples. Must finish these soon. I have also found patterns for an 18" doll so more scraps of all my yarn can be used up.
    The computer was down for almost a week but is better now. Something about the virus program interfering with the internet program. Hummm...
   We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. God Bless us, everyone.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter Has Arrived!

Wintertime in Central Oregon is now upon us. Some days are bright and sunny, others bitter cold with or without snow, and sometimes every weather type happens in one day. Rain is rare on this east side of the Cascade Mountains and this year seems to be our year for snow, so far. The local ski mountains of Mt. Bachelor, Hoodoo and Timberline are enjoying the fresh snow. Usually the sun comes out and melts the few inches that accumulate but not so this time. It started early Sunday morning with approximately three inches, stopped for the day, then another 1/2 inch this morning and is still coming down. Great fun for the grandchildren and making snow angels.
After the morning chores of feeding sheep and chickens I will have time to devote to my sock knitting. With five little ones ages 1-6 it is fun to plan and create a new pair of socks for Christmas morning stockings. I have loads of books and loose patterns that I have collected but haven't been able to find one with a ruffled cuff. If anyone has one they would like to share, please do.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Brrrr, It's Cold

This morning the temperature was 16.9. At least it was on the postive side. There were a few days before Thanksgiving that it dipped down to -2.9, then back up to 35 and snow for Thanksgiving Day. Yesterday was warm enough for all the hose bibs to be thawed so I filled the water tanks.
The chickens are still laying eggs but are down to two per day for the 20 hens. I believe it is two of the three Australorps that are doing the laying. Sometimes one of the Delawares gives up one egg as they are a light pinkish color, very different from the brown of the Australorps. We have several breeds because I like seeing the different colors in the egg carton when they are all laying.
The ewes are halfway to lambing now. This year I used five rams so am looking forward to tracking the lambs for my production records. Four of the rams were from the UK, therefore the ewes were bred via LAI (Laproscopic Artificial Insemination) and one was a natural colored ram I purchased this summer. With the cold weather the girls like to stay closer to the barn, just to make sure they don't miss a meal. The fence is now repaired and this morning's project is to resort the bred ewes from the open ewes.
The greenhouse is an iffy project. The lettuce seems to be holding on but nothing else survived the cold dips in temperature. It is still in the final stages of construction so next year should be more profitable. The garden yielded a good crop except for the corn. Our summer did not get as HOT as usual and we had more bleak days than normal. Every day on the high desert is different and I am thankful for each one.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today on the Farm

WINDY! The wind started whipping at 2 am suddenly, but at 6 am there was not a cloud in the sky, no moisture, and no leaves on the trees. A nip in the air today but living in Central Oregon every day is different. Tomorrow could be gloomy or above 60 degrees. The Cascade Mountains do not have any significant amount of new snow visible from the front deck.
   Yesterday the girls (15 bred ewes) decided they wanted to visit with their friends (ewe lambs and retirees) in the other dry lot (winter feeding area), so they simply rubbed on the field fence which pulled down the 6 x 6 railroad timber planted in concrete, and proceeded to walk through the gate. Thinking we were caught up on big projects for the fall was foolishness. I'm hoping the weather holds so the fence can be repaired sooner rather than later. Or in practical terms, sometime before lambs arrive in mid-February so I can regroup the ewes as necessary.
   Knitting projects completed to date for Christmas gifts: 2 pair children's socks. Not nearly enough for the 5 grandchildren so I must focus, focus, focus. Oh, and one Christmas stocking for the last granddaughter that is now 1 1/2 years old.
   With Thanksgiving just around the corner there is need to gather the women of the family to decide the protocol for the day. And planning for Christmas Day as well. Having adult children is no easy affair to work around, plus the inlaws and outlaws. However, we all manage to sit down to a wonderful meal together after watching The Parade after the turkey is in the oven. We started this tradition when the kids were little, about 25 years ago. Then sometime in the evening when we are stuffed and not the turkey anymore, we watch 'It's a Wonderful Life' and/or 'White Christmas'. Had to buy the DVD as we wore out the VHS a few years back. Gotta have a cuppa Hot Buttered Rum (with or without the rum) and another piece of pie. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Life at Tumble Creek Farm

Tumble Creek Farm is home to beautiful Bluefaced Leicesters, located in sunny central Oregon. Our Blues enjoy irrigated pastures, Cascade mountain views, a change of seasons, and many visitors. Some even travel to local shows and fairs to show off their lovely fleeces, conformation and their gentle personalities.
   Bluefaced Leicesters originated in northern England in the late 1800's and the US flocks began in the late 1990's. Tumble Creek Farm has been raising Blues since 2001 for breeding stock and fabulous fiber. Our rams have gone to work on several commercial flocks and our ewes are producing lambs for the next generations. Through the import of semen from the UK we are able to introduce new bloodlines into our flock via LAI (laproscopic artificial insemination). The soft and silky Bluefaced Leicester fleece is very desirable for handspinners and fiber artists.
   Tumble Creek Farm has a small studio featuring Bluefaced Leicester fleeces, white roving and dyed locks. Contact tumblecreekfarm@gmail.com for an appointment to shop or visit the sheep.
   Start your flock today. Tumble Creek Farm has Bluefaced Leicesters of all ages in white and natural colored fleece. We are taking reservations for the lambs due to arrive in February. The flock is certified scrapie free, enrolled in the export monitored program, tested negative OPP, and the rams are all codon 171 tested.
   Enjoy reading this post and see what changes take place on Tumble Creek Farm. Our weather changes frequently as do our activities with each season.  Friends and family are always around doing the odd chore whether it is with the sheep, chickens or garden.