Time to check back in. October, November and December were quieter months on the farm. This was very appreciated. With milking and cheese making finished for the year it allowed us some time to catch our breath and re-focus for 2017. Oh yes, and it gave us a few minutes to welcome our newest edition, Maurice Major Mercier. We are after all babies n’ sheep.
In the last few months we participated in a few business start up competitions and workshops. These have taught a lot and have allowed us to meet some very helpful people in the food industry including other producers and chefs with whom we are excited to work with.
We were even lucky enough to be one of the recipients of an innovation award. What a great feeling; to have our work recognized and valued. It made us feel not-so-crazy for a short amount of time. It also wonderfully allowed us to purchase some cheese and yogourt making equipment that we needed to move forward.
We have learned, as I have said over and over again, that a start-up in agriculture can be extremely difficult. However if you can get yourself to the point of having a product to sell, doors will start to open. Prince Edward Island is currently branding itself as the ‘’Food Island’’ and thus it is a beautiful time to be in the local food startup scene here. There are so many wonderful people creating beautiful products. It is very inspiring and also a lot of fun to meet others with similar stories to ours.
We have come a long way and we are very proud of that. We also realize that we have a lot of work ahead of us. First things first, we need to get through this lambing season.
This year we split our lambing in two groups and tried to leave enough time between them in order to have a decent break; a few nights in a row where we wake only for our human-children. Last year we tried two groups but were unsuccessful with the timing; we did not leave enough time between them. The first group started lambing later than expected and the second started earlier. We ended up with a very long and exhausting lambing season. This year, we are trying to improve on that.
Welcome to Isle Saint Jean Farm’s family-friendly Red Light District!
We have 9 lambing jugs set up. When a ewe lambs, we put her and her lambs together to give them some bonding time and to ensure the lambs are all drinking well before putting them in the big pen with all the others.
A few lambs had a rough start in the cold temperatures this past week. Every sheep farmer should have a wood stove. It is the perfect thing to warm these little guys up!