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I've slept in the barn

Its Sunday, I have my cup of tea and can happily report that I have already eaten a slice of apple pie at 5am no less. I thought I might share a little bit of my farming history.

In my twenties I was married and had a farm in Rolly View, Alberta. My husband at that time was not at all a farmer and yet he purchased his parents 160 acre farmstead. Lucky me, of course I was in heaven!

I started out purchasing two paint horses, because as a teenager and young adult I was always around horses and actually worked full time for 7 years in the horse field. It was the natural thing to do, try and obtain a slice of that happiness from childhood. However, I soon discovered that it hurts very much to be thrown from a horse as an adult and in fact being in hospital was actually no fun at all!

As I lay there in pain, I decided horses were no longer for me. The horses were listed and sold within the next few weeks. Sheep seemed a much safer hobby, plus what better way to replace the lawn mower tractor.

I started out purchasing a small flock of English Romney sheep, such a wonderful woolly breed. To be honest I really didn't know much at all about raising sheep, I knew that fencing had to be good as we had loads of coyotes in the area but that was about it.

Romney sheep
A lovely Romney lamb

I absolutely fell in love with my little flock, I would rush out in my pjs to see them first thing in the morning and just sit and watch them. How was it possible that there could be something so adorable? I was hooked.

Romney lamb

The Romney is a British long wool sheep that evolved in the low wet Romney Marsh district in southeast England during the 13th century. Geographically isolated from the rest of the country, the Romney developed on its own and adapted well to its damp and often harsh environment. It was exported to New Zealand in 1853 where it flourished and became the dominant breed in that country. Because of its natural resistance to foot rot and internal parasites, the Romney has become popular in the wet coastal regions of British Columbia, Canada.

The dual-purpose Romney has been valued for both meat and wool throughout its history. The large, well-muscled lambs efficiently produce high-quality, lean cuts of meat on pasture, while mature sheep give around 8 to 12 pounds of fine wool each year. Easy-to-spin Romney fleece delights hand spinners with its long and lustrous separate locks, low grease content and range of natural colors (its spinning count runs 40 to 48). This versatile wool can be used for a huge variety of projects, from sweaters to rugs.

So now hopefully you know a little more about me, and the start of my fascination with sheep. I shall continue this bit of my past in the next few days.

Right now, I have to go and pick up my course materials as we are going to learn how to tan our own sheepskins!

Have a lovely Sunday.

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