Spring Lambs at Gateway Farm
by Caroline Williford
Springtime at Gateway Farm this year means our fifth lambing season is upon us! It is that magical season when you can walk into the field at dawn and find a just-born lamb, tottering up onto its delicate legs, and with great determination, stumbling towards the teat.
Our sheep are Icelandic and, true to their hardy breed, they birth on their own in the pasture and often bear twins. Fifty-nine lambs have been born at Gateway since 2008, and this year we expect that our current flock of 30 (19 adult ewes, 10 yearling ewes, and 1 yearling ram) will double.
By May, the pasture should be full of frolicking new lambs, each one a marvel of tiny hooves, budding horns and soft, curly wool. For now, we eagerly await our first birth of the season.
Caroline Williford has been a shepherd since the sheep arrived at Gateway Farm in 2008. She came to the valley in 2004, and has worked with The Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference and Red Moon Herbs at Earthaven. She is an arts administrator, videographer, choreographer and dancer, and likes to experiment in many an art form.