Shortly before I left town, we prepped and seeded the field directly below the corral with a dairy grazing pasture mix. Once the mix of ryegrass, fescue and clovers takes hold, it will increase my improved, irrigated pasture by about 5 acres. Thanks to an EQUIP grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a branch of the USDA, I will be reimbursed for most of my expenses involved with this planting. I will also be receiving funds for the native plant hedgerow planted along the bottom edge of the farm property by Community Alliance with Family Farmers, as well as for a significant amount of fencing in the main pasture which will break it into 6 seperate paddocks and alleyway for rotational grazing. Finally a good use of our tax dollars!
As winter sets in and my store of aged cheese dwindles I will be cutting back to alternating weeks at the Santa Cruz farmers markets. I will be attending the downtown and westside markets on these dates: Nov. 21, Nov. 25, Dec. 5, Dec. 9, Dec. 19, Dec. 23. Mike will be selling at the Cabrillo market every Saturday through Dec. 23. BTW, we have moved to a new location at that market in the upper producer's level. I anticipate the end of December as the end of farmers markets until the spring when i have a new batch of cheese, and lambing season has come to a close.
Speaking of lambing season, Marigold is due to lamb in the middle of December and then from the week of Christmas until mid-February I expect about 80 ewes to lamb--producing about 160 lambs! This year we will be bottle-feeding the majority of the lambs which should be quite an undertaking. I hope to be back in the milking parlor and making new cheeses at the first of the year.