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Deb Robson and Tussah

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for the sheep!

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« On the road again: Lincoln sheep, and Woodland Woolworks | Main | A foray into California to see long-time friends »

August 23, 2009


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Diana Troldahl

Our landlord was a sheep farmer in southern Michigan. As a kid I was detailed to watch the lambs and make sure they got into the shade on hot August days. (I think George just saw that I loved the critters and gave me make work to do that kept me out of trouble.) But I still love sheep.

Linda Cunningham

Y'think the landlord would notice two or three Soays on our apartment balcony? I mean, they *are* small.... :-)

(And think of the view they'd get from being on an upper floor.)

And I can see why you fell in love with Isaac: I would too!

Susan J. Tweit

After hearing you talk about Soays on your writing residency here, it's great to see a bunch of them up close and get a better idea of the breed. So thanks for taking the time on the road to share this.

Thought of you last night when I gave a talk at the first annual eat-in-the-fields appreciation dinner for our Backyard CSA farm. You would have loved the long tables set out in the "field" of one of the backyards used to grow the farm's produce, and the diverse crowd gathered to celebrate the first year of our successful experiment in very local food production! (The meal was great too.)

Deb Robson

I keep wondering about a few Soays named, say, Rover and Fido. I had previously wondered about Shetlands by similar names. The trick with Soays is that they're able to get out of simple enclosures. They dart around a lot.

Isaac is a love. He blew one ACL and it had to be pieced back together, so he now protects the ewes closest to the house (smallest amount of running). Very effectively.

Deb Robson

There were about 80 Soays in different groups, each group with its set of pastures. A number are going to new homes soon as core breeding flocks: a ram, a few ewes, and a wether to keep the ram company when he's not with the ewes. I think only one or two of this year's crop of lambs has not been assigned a new home. Each group has maximized genetic diversity. It's really cool.

Your Backyard CSA farm sounds great! Yes, I would have loved it, having tried to instigate such a thing near where we live.

Susan J. Tweit

Ah yes, mixing genes by hand as it were. It's critical with a breed so isolated in its natural range.

Backyard CSAs will come to your area--eventually. Speaking of which, how's the garden now that you're back to it?

Deb Robson

It's good to have people as knowledgeable as Steve and Priscilla Weaver doing the gene-mixing. They also have a database (open flockbook) that gives others the information they need to do the same, if they want to . . . for Soays.

I'm not back at my garden yet. Tomorrow. I'm in Rawlins, WY, tonight.

Susan J. Tweit

Ah, Rawlins on the windblown sagebrush plains. That means you'll be home today--I hope it's a great homecoming!

Deb Robson

Yes. It was hard to stop that close to home, but wise. It would have been a 725-mile, single-driver day, and I would have arrived home exhausted.

I've got the car partially unpacked.

Susan J. Tweit

Enjoy being home!

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