Accent

My first concept for the front of the barn was a a prow style peak which would jut beyond the twin bay doors. Our master carpenter pointed out that the reward for the amount of work to complete the prow just wasn’t worth the time.

 

Considering our options and lumber available a king post style truss was chosen as the feature for the front of the barn.

 

The design and construction of the king post was lead by Bent Hammers very own Corey-Gill O’Wells. With the experience and leadership of a craftsman it went smoothly, just like the rest of the barn.

 

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 Click on image to see a short stop-photography video.

Working together; Jeff, Cory, Aaron & Kaydon complete the featured truss at the front of the barn.

What is ” green lacewing” Alex?

plum tree bugs

eggs of this beneficial insect are deposited on individual thin stalks on the underside of the leaf

Kudos to commenter Michael Wicks who was the first to pick out and identify the green lacewing eggs.  Thanks to all the other commenters as well, we appreciate hearing back from you!  This year has been a very good one for aphids, hopefully these eggs will hatch soon and make a dent in our aphid population.

 

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There was actually some debate on this as Farmer A spent a bit scanning the photo and picked out a orange-ish blob which very well could be a lady bug pupa.  I did see some of these elsewhere on the tree, but wasn’t consciously including one in the photo.  From the picture it is not a definitive sign, whereas the lacewing eggs are clearly present.

 

 

Can you spot the beneficial insect?

Not quite as epic as The Rooster contest, but here’s a little challenge for you.  

See if you can identify the beneficial insect that has recently made a home on our plum tree. If it helps, you can click on the picture to see it in full resolution.  Leave your ID or just a guess in the comments.  There could be a prize!

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Contest rules subject to change, prize may be limited to recognition on the Stoneybrook Farm blog.

 

The Lamb Ham

Actually this is mutton ham, but that doesn’t sound any where near as catchy…

According to NPR, lamb ham is having a revival.  So far this trend hasn’t caught on here in the Kootenays, but that didn’t stop us from trying out the recipe.  For anyone interested you can find the recipe on the aforementioned NPR link.  It comes highly recommended.  The smokey sweet and salty combination works beautifully with the delicate Icelandic sheep flavours.  

lam ham

Our lamb ham roughly followed Kevin Johnson’s recipe on NPR, though we opted for a leg of mutton, and left the bone in, and didn’t bother with the rub, or the two day drying period between the brine and the smoking (some of us don’t follow instructions well).  This was our first smoking experience and it definitely won’t be our last.  We used plum wood from the old orchard and smoked the ham on our propane barbecue. It was a bit finicky so we may look at constructing a more permanent smoking set up in the future.  

 

 

Grass is gold

This year we we’re approached by a neighbor to the south who was interested in grazing our sheep through his beautiful pastures. When it comes to having more grass, you can never go wrong.

So we set out to organize a way for us to run the girls and lambs over to his place without having to take them up onto the road. Our neighbor directly to the south of us generously offered a strip at the top of his property to use as a lane for moving the sheep. This worked out perfectly.

Next we set up gates and ensured his fencing around the the pastures were adequate for the girls. All that was left to do was to release the sheep!

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Here the lamb s are enjoying the view while their mothers have a taste of some grain.

 

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These lambs have settled in to the new pasture and really enjoy the slopes and obstacles.

A bit of excitement

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Yesterday was an exciting day with Wren starting us off with a set of triplets. You’ll have to search for the 3rd set of legs but they’re in there!

  1. Ewe Lamb – 7lbs – Primarily white
  2. Ram Lamb – 8lbs – White with a couple brown spots.
  3. Ewe Lamb – 8lbs – White with brown pants

Then in the middle of the night Lily decided she wanted to lamb and she’s quite the yeller!

  1. Ram Lamb – 9lbs – Coloring difficult to tell, will become more apparent.

Bag Watch 2015

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As spring approaches our ewes begin to look ready to birth. This girl, Wren, will be our first as we’ve been watching her closely and all signs point her way. What do we watch for? First we keep an eye on the udder and as it swells we know she’s approaching. Our next clue is her vulva and as it swells its time to start watching at night. The last clue, if your lucky enough to see it, the lambs will drop and a hollow will appear along her spinal process and this is your 24hr notice.

Hope you enjoy and if your animals are having young ones this year send me some new birth photos, not to gruesome though, a little bit about your farm and we’ll host them on our web page.