Lambing season 2012 will trickle here with early drops in June, and come with a vengeance on or around solstice. Have you ever wanted to have the privilege of quiet time with livestock in their environment and when they are most vulnerable?
At Meadowcroft I lamb on pasture, taking extra care that predators are at bay and there is plenty of clean feed to rotate onto every 2-3 days. You will learn the language of the animals as well as the grasses, as they both have subtle messages critical to sustaining healthy and symbiotic life cycles. This is an exciting and busy time, hurrying up to wait, listening in the dark, watching from close and far, teaching young lambs to suckle, and sometimes young mom’s to stand. Mostly, it is a time of vigilance and high alert building a relationship with the flock. As they learn to trust, so you must be trustworthy.
- *Expect to walk up and down the hill several times a day. I’m afraid this opportunity is really not handicap accessible, though I am willing to try if you are.
- *Learn basic animal husbandry, hoof trimming, docking and castrating of lambs, routines and why they matter, what to look for and what you re looking at. Learn to listen, and hear, learn to smell, and probably to stink.
- *Learn to care for and work with both herding and livestock guardian dogs with voice, hand and whistles. Learn something about yourself as you may communicate messages to them not necessarily intended.
- *Keep records, and learn subtleties about breeding as you begin to notice and understand the different blood lines, fiber dynamics, body types, confirmation characteristics, mothering abilities and color genetics.
- *Help work the garden while waiting for the next labor to begin, or finish.
- * Learn to evaluate raw fleece, wash and prep it for spinning, or spin in the grease. Make a project that lasts a lifetime.
- *Learn different dye techniques, keep a dyer’s journal, and experiment with all sorts of wild gathered and cultivated botanicals.
- *Go to Farmer’s Markets and A Fiber Festival and learn the ins and outs of the “back of the house,” being a schlepper as well as a shepherd, and running a farm business.
- *Learn to understand the weather, the water cycle, and how to adjust for it for the sake of young lambs and tender root systems. Live with nature.
- *Anything else you want to learn? I can probably point you in that direction, and may be interested in a new learning adventure too.
Mid June to Mid July. $1000 for room, board and instruction.