Whew! What a long hot summer it’s been! So hot that we took a hiatus from our Sunday market and tours here at the farm. Visitors were melting, we were melting, and our farm animals didn’t want to come out of the shade. We were one of the lucky farms among our neighbors, and got the occasional heavy shower throughout the summer so our ponds remained almost full and the pastures green, but oh my! The heat and humidity! Whew!
In the steaming hours of the summer, during chores and the many projects underway, Farmer Bob suggested that maybe we should open our farm market just one Sunday each month instead of weekly. With just the two of us manning the farm market, and Farmer Bob still working his weekday job, many projects are left for the weekends and, besides, with our return to the Waxhaw Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, we’re often wishing for a day of rest or “catch up” on Sundays. So, our next market day here on Fox Trot Farm will be Sunday, October 27th. We’ll have lamb meat, honey, soap, and crafty things for sale, and Farmer Bob will be conducting the guided tour at 2:00 with hay rides, too. We’ll continue doing by-appointment guided tours for groups of 10 or more.
Now we are in the middle of lambing season. Hobart was fast asleep in the shade when the first lambs were born but, as soon as he discovered he had babies in the field to watch over, his normal no-monkey-business fearsome expression turned all soft and happy.
What a nice lamb for our first of the season! You can see the big girl behind the fence, a “lady in waiting.”
One of our first and favorite ewes, Margaret Thatcher (because she was the fearless leader of the flock, of course), had two nice big lambs. She’s not worried about Farmer Bob approaching, and he picked up this healthy boy for a picture. Can you even believe that this little guy is just two days old?
Our hens have a nice big area to roam, but we don’t give them free range at will due to the predator pressure from all the beautiful big hawks on our farm. Just let one wander out into the middle of the open pasture and WHAM! Hawk supper! We keep them close to cover: the fennel, their houses, the holly tree, and their pallet decks. Farmer Bob allows the native fennel plants to grow tall for the chickens. They love picking bugs off it, and it provides them great shade and cover from the hawks. It’s in full bloom now and is full of our honey bees gathering fennel pollen. You know, that really expensive fennel pollen that the gourmet chefs use? I think of that every time I walk through that “fennel forest” and sneeze! Here’s a picture. It’s actually quite beautiful! See how big it is?
This past summer I was busy getting ready for soap making.
I rendered tens of pounds of suet into tallow, and I’ve got a beautiful line up of handmade soaps for our market. Come see us at the Waxhaw Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings from 9-Noon, or give me a call at 803-804-3541 if you need something during the week. Don’t forget about our farm market and tours on Saturday, October 27th. Hope to see you soon!