By Kiersten Savage ’16
Our farm smells of sheep! To be more precise, four-month-old male Dorper-Katahdin lambs. Their fragrant earthy and wooly smells are what I speak of, not so much their digested grass bits. Two, of our proposed herd of seven, arrived on the evening of April 10, a bit frazzled from traveling, new faces, and unfamiliar places. The sellers recommended that someone stay the night with them so they could adjust to their new surroundings and the wide-open golf course, which is their pasture, so I volunteered. The lambs and I didn’t sleep much, but we all came out unscathed.
In their first week, the lambs contentedly grazed about the pasture and seemed aware that the grounds were theirs to roam and rule (well, inside their electrified fence, that is).
Their exclusive domain will soon be invaded by our next batch of newcomers, some Tunis lambs! These lovely beings are slightly darker and smaller in stature. We hope to train them all to be friendly and approachable. Our current two are very friendly, especially the alpha lamb with the blue collar. He likes to bite my knuckles and rigorously rub his head (no horns, luckily!) on my side, as well as eat out of the hands of seasoned farm assistant Sam Senzek ’15. Both lambs will approach humans with little hesitation. In just a week they’ve developed so much! Our little babies are growing up!
Not only is Antioch Farm home to baby sheep this spring, but we also have three full-time co-op farm employees. Alexander Malangoni ’16, Sam Cottle ’16, and I are learning a lot and kicking off our second growing season on the farm.
We’re all excited and enjoying the first week of our co-op on the Antioch Farm. In the last week or so, we have seeded varieties of kale, cabbage, chard, onions, carrots, turnips, radishes, beets, and potatoes.
Antioch Kitchens will have a myriad of colors and kinds of vegetables this summer. We’ve planted Purple Kohlrabi, Mountain Rose Potatoes (pink!), Bright Lights Chard (rainbows!), Guardsmark Chioggia Beets (look like bull’s eyes), and Purple Basil. I think of it as eating plates of vegetable fireworks where your nutritional and aesthetic needs are fulfilled simultaneously.
On the farm, you can picnic beside sheep and eat vibrant vegetable-still-life paintings, while listening to the Canadian Geese choir fly overhead. This summer has so much scrumptiousness, beauty, and sustainability in the field for us.
Spring has had much to offer as well. We’ve already harvested wild onions, spearmint, salad greens, corn salad, and the flowers of radish and chard plants. Today at lunch we had peas with the harvested mint. Spring has brought new Antioch autotrophs into the kitchen and exciting prospects for the coming weeks and summer soon to come! The eats, the sheep greets, and the farmer’s dirty feet are what’s happenin’ down at the Antioch Farm.