February 1st is the point mid-way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, marking the time when we begin to see the emerging signs of spring’s arrival. The lengthening days are becoming more obvious, some days seem bright and warm, and then the very next day the cold of winter returns as if it wants to hang about just a bit longer. But the anticipation of the new season and new beginnings is more than evident around the farm. This is an important time of preparation, and waiting, and more preparation–it’s the beginning of a new cycle of life, a new season!
Continue reading more about what the new season holds in store for us here at the farm, as Livestock Manager, Polly Festa prepares for her new arrivals…
Today I find myself wishing I had the ability to speed up time. I am waiting with baited breath for the coming season. I don’t mean spring; I acutely enjoy the winter–as long as it is not an Upstate New York winter. The season I am so antsy for is the birthing season. The farmers at the Ecosystem Farm get to see their hard work come to fruit in the form of delicious produce. To me the “fruits” of my labor all year come down to the precious lives that my momma cows and momma ewes are holding next to their hearts.
I have always enjoyed baby animals–who doesn’t?! My favorite memory from my childhood was “helping” with the baby calves. As I grew older, the farm transitioned from a working Dairy Farm to a Beef and Meat goat Farm and I too transitioned–from a “helper” to a real farmhand. As the farm midwife I would angst about baby names and having everything perfect for the expectant mommas, generally driving everyone crazy. I would even nest like any real expectant mother does. I think it’s because my animals were my kids. Their babies were my babies.
I will admit that I still am quite crazy before the birthing season–just ask our livestock intern, Kevin! He has been helping to prepare for this season’s new births and is about to find out just how much work that entails. With the birthing season right around the corner — this year we expect it to begin the last week of February — I have already started nesting and picking out names.
(No, you cannot hear what they are. Not yet!) We’ll be sure to keep everyone up-to-date with birth announcements as each new barnyard baby (calves and lambs!) arrive. Visit us on Facebook, or join our mailing list to be sure to receive all of the latest news from the barnyard this season.
Prepping the stalls for babies and insanity,
While we all patiently await the arrival of this season’s lambs and calves to the farm, check this video out from last season’s barnyard babies.