agriculture

Foothill Agrarian
Little Victories

Oct 17, 2014

This has been a challenging week - a disease outbreak in the ewes, a child and a wife under the weather at home, costly repairs to my truck, and a dismal weather forecast for the rest of the fall.  Even with the Giants winning the National League ...

Foothill Agrarian
Another "Gift" from Last Year’s Warm and Dry Winter

Oct 15, 2014

To improve the nutritional intake of our ewes during the first two weeks of our breeding season, we've been feeding hay to our breeding ewes since the first of October.  While we have plenty of dry grass, the nutritional value of this forage (which grew last spring), is minimal.  By feeding hay, we hope...

Foothill Agrarian
Getting my First Deer

Oct 14, 2014
Getting my First Deer

About 5 years ago, I decided that I wanted to learn to hunt.  I'd grown up fishing, but my immediate family didn't hunt.  And not only didn't we hunt; we didn't have many firearms (only a bolt-action .22 with birdshot to discourage chicken-st...

Foothill Agrarian
Ominous Signs

Oct 7, 2014
Ominous Signs

Moving one of our breeding groups onto "fresh" dry forage at sunrise this morning.As I read today's weather forecast in the Sacramento Bee over my second cup of coffee, I was disheartened by this statement: "Sadly, no rain in the extended for...

Foothill Agrarian
A Shepherd’s New Year

Oct 1, 2014
A Shepherd’s New Year

We breed our ewes to lamb when the grass is coming on - we like to have the lambs start to arrive in late February.  This schedule allows us to match our greatest demand for high quality forage (when the ewes are lactating) with Mother Nature's gr...

Foothill Agrarian
Wearing out my Raingear

Sep 25, 2014

The work of a shepherd is hard on work clothes, I've decided.  Most of my hats are sweat- and dust-stained.  The collars of my workshirts are generally stained (if not worn through).  My jeans feature holes where the 12-volt fence batter...

Foothill Agrarian
Planting Trial

Sep 22, 2014
Planting Trial

Beginning on July 11, we started irrigating about 2-1/2 acres of hillside pasture in anticipation of having green grass in September (now!) for flushing the ewes (flushing is the process of putting ewes on an improving plane of nutrition just prior to ...

Foothill Agrarian
A Different Feeling this Fall

Sep 19, 2014
A Different Feeling this Fall

As we approach this year's autumnal equinox (next Monday), the weather is finally starting to turn a bit.  The shorter days, and the location of the sun when it clears the horizon, give the mornings a different feel.  I always look forward to...

Foothill Agrarian
King Fire Farmer/Rancher Fundraiser

Sep 18, 2014

As you probably know if you live in Northern California, the King Fire (which started near Pollock Pines) blew up yesterday.  The fire grew from around 18,000 acres on Tuesday night to over 70,000 acres as of this morning.  Yesterday afternoo...

Foothill Agrarian
Using Livestock Guardian Dogs in a Small-Scale Commercial Sheep Operation: One Ranch’s Approach

Sep 9, 2014
Using Livestock Guardian Dogs in a Small-Scale Commercial Sheep Operation: One Ranch’s Approach

Reno, an Anatolian Shepherd.IntroductionWe operate a small scale (approximately 150 ewe) commercial sheep operation in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.  We've used livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) in our operation as part of our predator protecti...

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