Sunday, 28 February 2010

The calm before the storm.....

We are waiting for our next 200 sheep to start lambing on the 15th March, they are definitely beginning to show signs of having their lambs soon! Lots of big tummies and they seem to be constantly hungry! Our other sheep who have had their lambs we are longing to get them outside to start eating some yummy spring grass, but it still isn't quite warm enough (see the weather forecast in the photo from last week!) for the grass to start growing. The lambs are growing well but they just need to have some sun on their backs now. We are bottle feeding one or two, little Fred, who is a real character, who was one of a triplet, and two others whose Mum is struggling to support them both and then one other who suddenly looked a little hunched and hungry the other day.

We have our first Cropsharers! Our lovely neighbours the Duffs have subscribed and will get some lamb every month and Alistair Duff comes and helps us out when he can. He has been brilliant and is really good with the sheep and seems a natural with animals. We've also had Caroline helping us and we are looking forward to having Michael join us in a couple of weeks when we start lambing in earnest.

Our lambing weekends are fast approaching, we are busy organising them with the Northmoor Trust, there will be plenty to see and do, Meg is in training for some sheepdog demonstrations! We will be selling our lamb burgers again and Charlotte our friend in Oxford will be making them for us that week and cooking them over the first weekend. Tetta, Roly's sister will be cooking them for us the second weekend.

We are hoping to host farm visits to see the sheep for the Let Nature Feed Your Senses project ( We had James Taylor from LEAF and Jen from the Sensory Trust come to visit us to make sure we are suitable for the types of visitors would be having. The target audience for the project are disabled, the elderly or people from areas who have been highlighted as being deprived. We will keep you posted.

We also wanted to mention Pippa Lamb who has kindly taken two of our little lambs we were feeding, one she is going to keep (Fred's brother) and the other she took to keep him company! Apparently they are up to all sorts of mischief and even went for a sleepover with Hilary Warburton who we rent some grazing off at Shillingford while Pippa was away!

We had our cousins down to lunch today and gave them rack of lamb, which they thought was pretty tasty. They were really encouraging about what we are up to.

We look forward to seeing you at our lambing weekends, for more information please visit our website

More soon, the countdown to the main flock has begun so there will be lots to tell you about soon!

Camilla, Roly, Boris and Meg

Thursday, 4 February 2010

We have had an amazing couple of weeks welcoming new life into the world! In freezing conditions our girls have delivered some wonderful little lambs who are all growing fast and enjoying running around the big nursery pen we have made for them in the lambing sheds.

There have been some highs and lows, with both of us having to help some of our girls have some of their babies. Most of them have done it all by themselves but one or two have needed assistance. One morning we arrived to a single, twins and triplets and we had no idea who belonged to who! We managed to successfully adopt one of the triplets onto the sheep who had had the one lamb, she had plenty of milk to go round where the triplet mother might have struggled to raise 3.

The lambing sheds seem full to the brim and it is a joy walking in there and wondering if anyone has been born the short time we have been away. We have some amazing support from John and Julia Sargent who are always there to help, John in fact had to help me (Camilla) deliver a lamb today who was proving a little tricky to come out and I needed John's experience to reassure me and the poor ewe who by that stage was exhausted. Ian Jones who came on our lambing course with us is being a tremendous support and we are so grateful to him too. We had some friends to stay last weekend, James and Claudia and their 3 children, Stella, Theo and 4 month old Sylvie who all saw a lamb being born and in fact James helped deliver one! This is something we are really keen to share with families and people who would like to experience this incredible gift of helping a ewe to lamb. If you are interested let us know as we are just developing our Cropshare scheme.

We are busy planning our two lambing weekends with the Northmoor Trust which is really exciting. They will be joint events between us so we are both looking forward to welcoming you all on either the 20th/21st March or the 27th/28th March. Keep an eye on our websites for details or

We are so pleased the evenings are getting a little longer and the mornings a little lighter, spring is around the corner now, the snowdrops and aconites are trying their best to recover having been subjected to such cold conditions.

We were recently interviewed alongwith Tom Curtis from Landshare and Harry Barton, Chief Executive from the Northmoor Trust, on Radio 4's Costing the Earth. The programme was promoting the whole FarmStep concept which the Trust are pioneering, have a listen.

More soon and we look forward to seeing you in March to show you lots of lambs!

Camilla, Roly, Boris and Meg