Saturday, July 24, 2010

And then there were Sheep.

I was out in the front yard foraging for chickweed, wild rocket and  nasturtiums for my lunchtime salad when my neighbour, having greeted me on her way out asked incredulously "Do you have a sheep now?"
I had to admit that yes in fact we now had two sheep- she had heard a "Baa" when she was bring in some wood for her fire and said to me "I thought it must be you guys". So there we have it. Our neighbour thinks of us first when she hears the bleat of a sheep in the inner city suburb. We are officially the "people most likely to have sheep in our backyard" and fair enough too, we do now. Two orphaned lambs, twin brothers whose mother died before they were even cleaned up. Orphaned lambs are a steep learning curve and I had forgotten how much work they are but given the other option for them was being left alone in a paddock we thought it was better to have them with us. Our boys love them in the way that toddlers do- vigorously, but they are learning to feed them bottles and even the youngest is having a go, after berating the lambs for drinking "my milk!". we plan to keep them until they are weaned or our farmer friend finds a ewe who has lost her lamb to match them up with but unfortunately being bred for no other purpose and being boys it would seem they will be going for meat eventually. We consoles ourselves with the fact that they wouldn't even be alive had we not taken them in and surely some good life is better than none at all?
We have had some sunny weather (which is fading into overcast as I type) but the warmth of the sun is most rejuvenating and cheering. We have had a cold winter- last year it was wet wet wet but not as cold. This it would seem, is a genuine Tasmanian Winter complete with nasty chilblains for me. the chilblain's were so bad I actually spent good money (shock! Horror!) on socks and gloves but I am delighted, especially with the socks which are from Cold Comfort In Tasmania, 100% wool and knitted on an antique sock machine.  and if you want wool socks this is the place to get them.
The garden is quiet and disheartening but I am trying to keep up the effort. I have some Early Cropping Massey Pea seedlings (only 7 as the rest rotted) and 11 purple podded pea seedlings started. Today we worked the bed (we being two small boys; "I halp!" says Master almost two whose talking is coming along great guns, and two sheep).
If anyone has a sure fire way to keep the cat out of my veggie bed so he stops leaving smelly "surprises" I would be most interested to hear what it is, wire over the bed didn't help, I put old brambles on the bed, I have planted rue near it...proprietary products are very expensive so I would want to be sure it would work. Damn Cat! The spinach and carrots are suffering greatly at his hand (well not hand exactly) at present.
I am branching out and doing "Bollywood Style" dancing this term which is fun. The little ones love the music and we dance around in their bedroom with them imitating my dancing which is very endearing and almost makes up for all the mess and stress they produce!
We were in the Hardware shop yesterday and I notice lots of "spring" gardening products on display. I think it is a little optimistic at this stage as well still have an official 5 weeks left of winter but I guess all the gardeners are waiting, hoping that soon the planet will warm and bloom and we can get some plants into the soil again!

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