Pumpkin . . . Fall 2011

Pumpkin . . . Fall 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Icelandic Lamb Skins

Our lamb skins came back from the tanner last week and have only now had to chance to put them up on the blog. I have four lamb skins available. All are machine washable (directions will be included with each lambskin). They are beautiful with very long and fine tog (like mohair) and a very warm soft inner coat (thel) which feels like cashmere. two are the color of moorit/grey mouflon (wonderful light smoke grey with caramel tips). The other two are moorit mouflon (cocoa with caramel tips). These are great used as throws and rugs. Some people even sew them together to make a very luxurious and warm coverlet. Please e-mail or phone if you have any questions. Price for these beauties is $165.00 each plus shipping and handling. All Maine state residents are required to pay 5% sales tax.

Buy Local . . . . Eat Well . . . .

Lamb Update ~ March 30th

Woke up yesterday and looked out my bedroom window and saw a newborn lamb by himself staggering around the pasture. I ran out to the barn to find Liz licking off her second lamb. The first had wandered outside the barn. This year our lambs have been very vigorous . . . . up only a few minutes after birth. I am so glad I moved all the girls into the nearest paddock to the house to keep an eye on everything. After saving Liz's wayward baby I put both into a lambing jug immediately. The first lamb was chilled and I needed to get more colostrum in him to warm him up. A few minutes later, I noticed that the babies were just standing at Liz's side and not nursing. I had to strip the teats to get the milk flowing. Liz had a slight case of mastitis last year ~ my fault as I left her ewe lambs with her too long and they damaged the udder and caused mastitis when they got too big to nurse. Her udder had grown huge over the last few weeks and I was afraid that her mastitis was back and she would have no milk . . . . not the case as both sides of the udder were producing loads of milk. I finally got the babies to nurse and they were up and bouncing around later in the day. Liz had a gorgeous 8 pound black/grey lamb ram and a 6 pound moorit mouflon ram lamb. Both are available for sale.

By mid-morning I noticed Pepper had separated herself from the flock and saw her as she ran to the barn . . . . I knew it was her time and because she has been such an easy lamber and Pumpkin's daughter, I knew that I should just give her some privacy and go check on her a few hours later. Imagine my surprise when I went out to the barn two hours later to see her in the final stage of labor as she was finally pushing out the largest lamb ever born on our farm. He was a whopping 12.5 pound black spotted ram lamb! He has both Liefer and Ari leader genetics behind him as well as Noi and Peli. Such a great combination. This big boy is for sale.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lamb Update ~ March 27, 2011

On our barn check this morning my ewe, Spike, was struggling to give birth to a huge 10 1/2 pound ewe lamb. Although the lamb was presented correctly - her sheer size was causing Spike a great deal of pain and effort. Mark held Spike, while I eased the birth along. This was Spike's first lamb and she is a beauty. A black grey ewe lamb that expresses both the mouflon and badgerface pattern just like her sire - Hun. I can only hold over four ewe lambs this year so I may be keeping her. If interested, please contact me and I will put you on my lamb list.

After breakfast we headed out to the barn to move Spike into a smaller lambing jug. Mark peeked in the girl's pen and saw Tolkie with two gorgeous newly born ewe lambs already up and nursing! Both weighed about 7 pounds. Tolkie is a very intense mom and was not happy when I scooped them up to move her into her lambing jug. One ewe, a Black Mouflon is for sale and the other lamb I will be keeping. She is a gorgeous moorit grey spotted badgerface.

Buy local . . . . Eat well . . . .

Saturday, March 26, 2011

First Lambs of 2011

Just like last year . . . my beloved, Pumpkin was the first of our girls to give birth. This morning when Mark and I went out to do chores she had taken over one of our connecting stalls and was protecting the most beautiful set of twins. One ram lamb with beautiful coloring and huge dual colored horn buds (weighed nearly 8 pounds) and a more petite (six pound) solid Moorit ewe lamb.

I have decided to keep the ewe lamb but the ram lamb is gorgeous and would be suitable for breeding stock . . .he is available for sale ($500 registered, 400 non-registered).

All of Pumpkin's lambs are incredibly healthy. Lenny is Pumpkin's grandson so you can see the breeding behind this boy. He has many leader lines in his lineage. Notice how he is checking out the Turkey's in the second photo. He is going to be one smart boy.

Buy local . . . . . Eat well . . . . .

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sous Vide Cheesemaking

Mark bought me a very high tech Sous Vide machine for Christmas this year. I use it at least once a week on our grass fed meats and poultry and I cannot wait to start using it to cook our fresh vegetables and seafood this spring and summer.

Just a few weeks after Christmas I began to think about using this machine in other ways . . . . one idea was making cheese with it. A Sous Vide machine cooks everything at a very precise temperature. Food is vacuum sealed in food grade bags with seasoning and cooked at low temperatures under water.

My cheese thermometer had recently broken so I had not made cheese in a while and wanted to make some raw milk ricotta for a spinach lasagna. I used the Sous Vide to heat up the milk to around 172 degrees F and then added vinegar to the milk (4 tablespoons per quart or 16 tablespoons per gallon. I gently stirred the milk and put the top on the Sous Vide and came back about 15 minutes later to remove the curd that had floated to the top. I drained the curd in a fine mesh colander lined with four layers of cheesecloth for about an hour and used it in my lasagna recipe ~ The cheese turned out perfectly! I have now been using it to make Feta, Mozzarella, Cottage, Cream etc. Once the cows at Olde Sow Farm are on pasture again, I can't wait to start making some Camembert!

What a versatile machine. I not only can use this to cook fantastic meals out of our meats, vegetables and fruits - but it takes the guesswork out of making cheese!

Buy local . . . . . eat well . . . . .