We’re coming to the close of “baby” season on the farm. The lambs are growing up, the chicks are slowly adding the “en” to their name and seedling have started growing adult leaves on their epicotyl. It’s a reminder that while times are continually changing, much remains the same. Every spring we have lambs, raise chicks and plant seeds. But each year is different, adding new animals with their own personalities and experimenting with different plants (many of which succumb to my inability to grow seeds properly).
And so we’re standing at the starting line of summer. Our babies will be grown. Some will remain on the farm and some will move on to greener pastures. Priorities will change. No longer will we be worried about feedings and growth, but on maintenance. And there will be unbearable heat to deal with. Llamas will be sprayed down with the hose, and the peacocks will continue to be weary of the sprinkler invading their space. And the lambs will have horns. The chickens might start laying. But we’re used to it as we’ve played out these seasons for years now. And while each one holds onto its own character, the plot remains the same.
Today we said goodbye to our “Baby” ram. The first born on our farm, he held a special place in my heart. Born 2 years ago, he has since grown aggressive. Maybe I didn’t buy him enough Power Ranger action figures or send him to the right pre-school when he was younger, but he became hateful. Feeding and loving your other animals can become difficult when one continuously tries to head-butt you and kill you at every chance. And so, today, Baby left the farm.
He’s headed to a farm where he will protect a barn from marauding Amish teenagers. I didn’t know the Amish could be so meddlesome, but I have learned otherwise. So perhaps Baby had found his perfect life – attacking 16-year-olds who have never watched an episode of Arrested Development. But, nonetheless, he is gone. This is his last picture, and I would be lying if I didn’t say a tear or two was shed as he left.
With 9 rams on the farm, we are down to 8. More teary moments lie ahead. All we can do is try to find them the best homes possible and wish them luck on their journey. We live on a farm, and as such, we’ve must accept the reality of our life. No matter how difficult it can be.
We’d like to send out a big thank you to former guest Christopher for writing about Orchard House on his blog.
“On a more personal note, not only were we warmly welcomed as a gay couple (one would expect as much from a gay owned establishment, but nice nonetheless) but we also got some of the best sleep of our lives. The cozy room was warm enough to keep out the Ohio chill, all potential ambient light blocked out by heavy curtains, and the mattress was so perfectly firm we almost took the sheets off to check the brand.
If we could have spent the entire weekend at the Orchard House we would have, but we had to get out and explore Columbus eventually.“
If you’re thinking of raising a lamb in your kitchen, reconsider. Sure they’re cute, and they follow you around like a puppy, but they’re kinda messy and they bah a lot. Really, come to think of it, how chic would it be to walk down the street with a little lamb following you?! Could that be the next big thing? Perhaps, but I digress.
This has certainly been a learning experience. And by Day 5, I think I’ve got the hang of it. Today, we (meaning baby Prince and I) visited the pasture to say hello to the other lambs, the llamas and anyone else who might be interested. It went well. So I count the days until he can officially join them outside. I guess I still have to research when that can happen. We’ll add it to the list of things to do.
It’s finally spring at Orchard House. One lamb has already arrived and there are more on the way. The chicks arrive next week. The gardens are being mulched and the planting season will soon be upon us. Boy, that makes it sound like we’re a real farm. Well, I guess we kinda are. I’ve dubbed this the year of “lavender” – plants everywhere! A mini-Tuscany! (They grow lavender there, right?)
I’ll admit, my favorite season is fall. Nothing beats the smell of October – and the envelopes with crisp bills inside them for my birthday. But spring comes in a close second. It’s finally time to toil in the garden, remove the trash piles that have developed over winter and expand on ideas that are as grand as Versailles. It also means we’ll try to rescue a few baby birds and fail. We’ll plant things that will invariably die, and mowing will commence at an alarming rate.
But not all the plants will die. There will be beautiful flowers. Many baby birds will grow up and lead productive lives. And we’ll be even closer to October.We’ll hire someone to mow the lawn and there will be air conditioning. Rumor at the local mill is that the weather will be worse than last year – more droughty then we’ve seen in years. And that means hot llamas, more watering of plants and extreme cuddling next to the air conditioning vent. We can also take bets to see if hay can possibly cost more than it does now – $9 a bale. P.S. Thanks for coming to Orchard House because you’re literally feeding the animals.
Oh, and there are a few more MAJOR things coming this summer. In the next few months in fact. But it’s too early to talk about them. I can report that our screened-in porch will be transitioning to a 3-season outdoor room. That’s gonna be amazing! We’ll be able to serve breakfast there – yes, on another gorgeous farm table. But this news pales in comparison to what’s to come…so stayed tuned and join us on some crazy adventures this coming year.