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Posted 4/16/2009 12:05pm by Eugene Wyatt.

Gramercy, mammon, said the gentle knight. --Spenser

Let me pretend to be the gentle knight and say great thanks for your many orders that came from the Lamb Bacon mention in Food Stuff, Florence Fabricant's column in the New York Times on April 8, 2009.  The response was at first overwhelming: I had to modify my procedure for handling orders but now I can take them in good stride, or so I hope. 

And gramercy Florence.

Posted 4/12/2009 11:37pm by Eugene Wyatt.

Music

If I rest for a moment near The Equestrian
pausing for a liver sausage sandwich in the Mayflower Shoppe,
that angel seems to be leading the horse into Bergdorf's
and I am naked as a table cloth, my nerves humming.
Close to the fear of war and the stars which have disappeared.
I have in my hands only 35c, it's so meaningless to eat!
and gusts of water spray over the basins of leaves
like the hammers of a glass pianoforte. If I seem to you
to have lavender lips under the leaves of the world,
I must tighten my belt.
It's like a locomotive on the march, the season
of distress and clarity
and my door is open to the evenings of midwinter's
lightly falling snow over the newspapers.
Clasp me in your handkerchief like a tear, trumpet
of early afternoon! in the foggy autumn.
As they're putting up the Christmas trees on Park Avenue
I shall see my daydreams walking by with dogs in blankets,
put to some use before all those coloured lights come on!
But no more fountains and no more rain,
and the stores stay open terribly late.

Frank O'Hara, Lunch Poems, 1964

Note: if you stand on 5th Avenue at 60th Street and look south toward the Plaza you'll see the angel the way Frank saw it.

  If I rest for a moment near The Equestrian
pausing for a liver sausage sandwich in the Mayflower Shoppe,
that angel seems to be leading the horse into Bergdorf's
and I am naked as a table cloth, my nerves humming.
Close to the fear of war and the stars which have disappeared.
I have in my hands only 35c, it's so meaningless to eat!
and gusts of water spray over the basins of leaves
like the hammers of a glass pianoforte. If I seem to you
to have lavender lips under the leaves of the world,
I must tighten my belt.
It's like a locomotive on the march, the season
of distress and clarity
and my door is open to the evenings of midwinter's
lightly falling snow over the newspapers.
Clasp me in your handkerchief like a tear, trumpet
of early afternoon! in the foggy autumn.
As they're putting up the Christmas trees on Park Avenue
I shall see my daydreams walking by with dogs in blankets,
put to some use before all those coloured lights come on!
But no more fountains and no more rain,
and the stores stay open terribly late.

Frank O'Hara
Tags: Poetry
Posted 4/12/2009 10:15pm by Eugene Wyatt.

A Way In The Manger

We've kept the problem ewes in the barn to better watch them.  A ewe with a problem is a ewe with a lamb not getting enough milk; the lamb hunches up with the back rounded because its stomach is drawn in on itself to preserve the lamb's energy and warmth.  We bottle train some of these hunchy lambs to get them onto a lamb bar, a bucket of milk with nipples on it used to supplement the lamb or to completely feed a lamb refused by its mother. To provide more immediate sustenance, we insert a rubber tube down the throat into the lamb's stomach to place 2 oz. of milk, and we may do this several times a day until the lamb gets stronger.

Two more ewes lambed this afternoon; I had to pull a very large ewe lamb from old mother 94.  Now that it's out, she is taking good care of her baby; she must be 10 years old, having lambed 8 times.  By the calm, trusting demeanor she now has, I know she knows me and it feels good to help out.

Posted 4/12/2009 8:24am by Eugene Wyatt.

Garlic in April

Four-inch tall Shaman garlic sprouts thrust from the ground where the sheep overwintered in 2007-2008.  Last December, a year after the flock had been quartered there, Shaman cloves were planted in the rich mixture of soil, hay refuse and droppings. The sheep build fertile soil for the garlic.  Next December we will plant where the flock overwintered this year—a different place on the property.  Round and round the sheep and garlic go.

Look for Shaman garlic in mid June.

Tags: Garlic
Posted 4/9/2009 5:04am by Eugene Wyatt.

"This Easter, you do not have to wait for dinner to serve lamb. For breakfast or brunch, there is lamb bacon, made and smoked over hickory wood by Eugene Wyatt at Catskill Merino Sheep Farm in Goshen, N.Y. The bacon...in the pan, sizzles to proper crispness (see photo), though with a slightly gamier flavor than the usual rasher. It is sold Saturdays at the Union Square Greenmarket...it sells quickly...It is also sold at www.catskill-merino.com."

Florence Fabricant in her Food Stuff column for the New York Times, Wednesday April 7, 2009.

She is the author of New Home Cooking: Feeding Family, Feasting, Friends, named the best general cookbook by the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the best special occasion cookbook by the James Beard Foundation and was elected to Who's Who of Cooking in America and is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier.

Posted 4/6/2009 6:34pm by Eugene Wyatt.

Dara writes:

"I purchased your Mergueza sausage...It was DELICIOUS! We made some couscous and chickpeas and whipped up a cooling yogurt sauce on the side. YUM!!!"

Sounds wonderful Dara, tell us how you prepared everything.

"We rinsed one can of chickpeas under cold running water until all canning residue was removed. We simmered them in a bit of chicken stock on low heat. We cooked the mergueza in chunks in a hot pan and then tossed the chickpeas in with the lamb. Would be good to toss in a Spanish onion, too and caramelize it.

Yogurt sauce:
1 Cup strained Greek yogurt (we use 2% Fage)
2 Tbsp minced mint leaves
Hothouse cucumber, diced
Juice of
one half lemon
Salt
Pepper

On the side we prepared a 5-minute couscous with pine nuts and added in our own golden raisins then tossed in a handful of chopped cilantro."

Posted 4/2/2009 9:14pm by Eugene Wyatt.

Busy day, we're halfway there, 18 more days to go.  Today, 15 ewes brought forth 19 lambs: 4 sets of twins and 11 singles of which 13 were ewe lambs and 6 were ram lambs

Before I got to the barn this morning, a lamb died at birth.  I found the mother on her side; she was cast:  on a slight slope she lay, her back was lower than her legs, she couldn't get her feet on the ground to stand up and care for her baby.  She had been there for awhile trying to right herself—windmilling her legs—judging by the marks of her struggle.  The lamb was almost out but it was cold.  The bad news is that had I gotten there 45 minutes earlier I could have stood her up and saved the lamb, but the good news is that had I gotten there 45 minutes later the ewe would have been dead too.  

The lamb lost, the ewe lost and I lose.  You can't be there all day, all night everyday; but still you hope to be there when needed.  The ewe pawed at the lamb trying to make it get up; I put out feed in the barn and she ran into eat with the other ewes.  I removed the body and went about my chores. 

Posted 3/31/2009 9:04pm by Eugene Wyatt.

Trips

The Three Tenors Sing O Solo Mio

9 lambs were born today: 2 sets of twins and 5 singles; the births were evenly spaced throughout the day making it easier than  yesterday with its simultaneous births.  In addition to handling the new lambs and moms, the project of the day was to dock  the tails of lambs born earlier and to move them outside to join the older lambs. 

Then, after feeding grain to the mothers in the yard, I shot video of their lambs running as they uniquely do in the first weeks of life  The lambs are discovering what their legs can do; and as a flock, 20-30 of them will run from one end of the yard to the other end, back and forth they'll go picking up more runners as other lambs join the fun, overlapping and turning into one another like starlings in flight; but the lambs only run when they can't be seen by their dams who ignore them while eating grain, their heads deep in the feeders devouring the whole oats I put out.  When the ewe's away...those dour, but wise, old mothers must have their reasons to damper this lamb foolery. 

Carrying on, the lambs can levitate; straight up they go with four legs jumping at once to land on all hooves; their nonplussed looks saying, "look what my legs just did," before they bound along up the hill after their mates. 

I want to post my lambs-at-play video, but I'm still too busy in the barn for a day off to learn my editing software—sooner or later the ewes will give me a break.  Pictured above are Placido, José and Luciano, the triplets born yesterday, who are doing well and singing loudly about it.

Posted 3/30/2009 9:34pm by Eugene Wyatt.
A shepherd's dozen, 14 lambs born today: 5 singles, 3 sets of twins and another set of triplets; that's three sets of trays—quite unusual for merino ewes. 
 
I say "born today," but when I got to the gestating-ewe yard this morning, 5 ewes had lambed during the night.  They were within 20 feet of each other and they were surrounded by a confusion of 9 lambs anxiously milling about, each trying to find the right mother, (one twin may stumble toward Boston while the other twin lurches toward Philadelphia—what's a New York mother to do) all baaing plaintively in the midst of 140 other ewes about to lamb.  Chaos: the sheep looked as sure of themselves as the GOP does under Rush Limbaugh, who in reality looks like a rather delinquent ewe.  Oh well, not everyone can be a ram, Rush.
 
I wanted to show rather than explain to you what we do to get the right lamb with the right mother, I have video of how we ID lambs, born in a field, and get them  back to the barn with their proper dams. 
 
I shot the footage of this a couple of days ago; today I  had planned to approach the learning curve of my new editing software, Adobe Premier Elements 7 to cobble together a little film about new-born care.  But all I could do was act in my own play—taking care of sheepthere was no time for any art other than the maternal. 
 
Maybe the sheep will give me an easy day tomorrow (with 3-4 births) for my humble montage.
 
Posted 3/29/2009 5:30pm by Eugene Wyatt.
Lactating Ewes & Lambs
 Lactating Ewes & Lambs
 
Two weeks into lambing, with three weeks to go, we have 78 lambs on the ground.  The colored spray marks (washable) that you see on the sheep are codes that identify the ewe to the lamb from a distance because we must quickly know who belongs to whom if one of them is not eating or something else questionable is going on. 
 
At lambing the ewe is usually excited and moving around, and she is harder to mark; we spray her first any where we can: on the head if she's licking her lamb, on the rump if she's running by, then we coorespondingly spray the same color on the lamb at the same place—head or rump and so forth.