Monday, March 31, 2008

Josephine Goes to Pleasant Springs Farm

Josephine moved to my friend Peg's farm last week. Peg has two older skittish ewes and wanted a friendly sheep to follow her around. They both look pretty happy, don't they? I hated to see Josey go, but my fields are so bare and I know Josey will have a good home. We set Josephine up in her new digs in the barn then Peg and I went to look at her beautiful gardens down the hill. After a few minutes I thought that Josephine's bleeting was a bit too close and I looked up and there she was, out of the barn, running full throttle towards me. I picked her up and we put her in the field with the big girls.

She went from a happy face to a sad face. Those girls were mean! They didn't like any young whipper snapper invading their field and chased her, butted her and made her feel pretty darn miserable. Josey finally found a way out of that hell field (after I had left) and Peg sent me this e-mail later on: "I finally caught her yesterday afternoon and locked her up in the barn. I force fed a bottle warm milk and took her on Pam's leash to the green green grass behind the house. She was like B'rer Rabbit, "Oh PLEASE don't throw me in the briar patch." I plan to keep it up for a week in hopes that she will be my friend and NOT run away. Tough love." And on day two: "Josephine has quieted down already. I took her out on the leash and she is learning to follow me. She drinks from the bottle and sits on my lap quietly. Maybe she will be my friend."

This is the sheep's secondary 'house'. Peg built it herself.

And this is the chicken coop that Peg built. She had a few chickens but the fox got all but the rooster cuz he's too ornery.

This is ornery Poppycock, who can outsmart a fox. They did pull out all his tail feathers awhile back though. That's a bit too close for comfort!

This will be Josephine's new field when the grass turns green.

Peg has rehabbed this very old (1760) log cabin into Pleasant Springs Farm B&B. She was featured on Home & Garden TV years ago. The cabin was totally covered in vines and briars and really falley downey. She did a lot of the work herself, hiring a local carpenter for the really heavy stuff (like jacking up the cabin and laying a new foundation). Peg and Dave, the carpenter, had it out once though when she wanted to use pig hair for the chinking like in the old days. She had gotten the pig (dead), scraped the hair off it and wanted to mix it with clay. Dave would have nothing to do with it and they had a spat. Dave won and there is no pig hair in the chinking. But Peg does some old fashioned type crafts. She hand spins wool from her sheep, dyes it and stocks the shelves with her lanolin rich yarn. She also makes soap, grows a myriad of flowers for scent, color and eating, and builds most anything she has a fancy for. She is my idol and she's taught me everything about sheep, yarn, dying, spinning and knitting. She's also an author, with two new books coming out in May. One is about women wearing two hats during WWI, working the fields, raising children and doing whatever it took to keep the family going as the men were away at war. The other is an historical book about a local city, Germantown.
So, Josephine seems to have settled in and Peg is happy to have a lamb following her around.


Anita said...

Wow, I haven't seen Peg in ages. It's good to see her looking so good. She was my introduction to the spinning community in this part of Maryland -- and I thank her for that. After all, she introduced me to you! She also wrote a book on the history of Montgomery County. I have signed copy!

Milly said...

Oh my! Can she be my idol too! Holy Cow that is an amazing women!

Heidi said...

Although it must have torn you apart to see her go. It look's are though she's in good hands.