When the farm was first established in the summer of 1965, we wrote a business plan using a primitive text editor, similar to vim and not at all like a typewriter, but actually maintained by Microsoft. The business plan said BOTL Farm would primarily focus on the development and sales of swine products. We self identify as pork enthusiasts and our hobbies include home-made sausage and bacon, and hosting an annual pig roast. An aspiring pig farmer never imagines they will own sheep. Sheep are not pigs, and pigs do not need to be sheared, and nobody has ever eaten sheep bacon.
We were going upon our merry ways, doing BOTL Farm things, cutting down trees, collecting giant buckets of eggs, trying to figure out how to make a bee hive live to celebrate a birthday, doing cold laser therapy on our dog's shoulder and our farm laborer's back, and that's when it hit us. Like a phone call from our farm mentor. Our mentor, guide, hero, inspiration, and general moral compass had decided to quit farming and move to a distant island in the Pacific and buy a sailboat. After decades of building a successful farm, teaching us everything we knew about stock piling yogurt cups and how to mend electro-net, she was throwing in the towel. Also she wanted to give us sheep. We didn't want sheep, but we also do whatever she says.
So our mentor moved to to the beach and gave us her herd of nine sheep. Now we move them daily to new grass pastures. We built them a sheep shelter, and we feed them minerals. Owning a sheep occasionally involves doing very Rude Things. Sheep need a mix of selenium and garlic oil, but they don't know they need this. They know it so little, we must squirt it down their throats while they are trapped in a pallet maze. It's quite rude, and incredibly necessary.
And so we have added another unexpected product to our current line up of candles, coasters, no honey, lumber, eggs by the hundred, whole chickens, and free poison ivy samples -- whole lambs! As it so happens, we have already sold all three of our lambs for this season, however our male breeder sheep happily reports that more lambs should be in stock for next year !
Sheep are an unexpected addition to our farm, but have turned out to be an enjoyable one and we look forward to our role of shepherding them into the future.