#TBT – All a Fuzzy Memory

Remember last week’s #TBT? Well this week is sort of a continuation of the story. When we kept a large flock of sheep, our island was too small for all of them to graze. Our neighbours, who cottaged on the next island, were kind enough to let us graze them on their island. That meant they always had a beautifully tended lawn at their cottage where otherwise they would have had an overgrown field. (Sheep are the ultimate lawn mowers) However, when the weather turned we needed to boat the sheep home for the winter and for lambing season. If you think boating with unruly children is “fun” you should try boating with free-range sheep. They don’t design floatation devices for this.

6 thoughts on “#TBT – All a Fuzzy Memory

  • October 11, 2014 at 2:06 am
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    Hi Alexa, 
    So how did you get the wolf across? 🙂 But seriously, please tell us more about the flock of sheep. We also own some sheep (and goats), though by no means a “large flock”, which around here would mean 1000-1400 animals. The coarse wool has only a low market value, though there is a premium equivalent to about $1/kg being offered by the government as a subsidy for livestock owners. Mutton is the most popular meat in these parts, however, so keeping sheep is both useful (household subsistence-wise) and potentially lucrative. But given that our search for mutton in Manitoba was not particularly successful, I wonder if tastes are any more sensible in Toronto (or wherever your mysterious Island is located). Pro tip: sheep grazed on desert vegetation give the most flavourful meat.

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  • October 11, 2014 at 12:16 pm
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    ericdthrift Hi Eric, the wolves were easy since we already had a lot of dogs on the island. 

    Just
    for clarity, this photo was taken in the late 1970s/early 1980s on the
    island in New Brunswick where I grew up with my father. If it seems
    mysterious, it’s likely because we try and keep it private (more on that
    here: http://unsweetened.ca/2014/06/private-means-private/

    Our flock capped
    out at 30-40 head. When we were living on the farm on shore we may have
    had a slightly larger flock (but I was much younger at the time and
    don’t remember numbers). The island, and island lifestyle, really didn’t support a larger flock.

    My stepmother did sell some of the wool and dabbled at spinning yarn, and Dad tanned and sold some hides, but the flock was mainly for us – providing meat, milk and barter with friends. We never looked into commercial sales since we never had that kind of volume.

    I
    grew up eating mutton and I’m a big fan, but in my experience it’s not
    readily available in Canada unless you know a sheep farmer. Lamb is
    available but more expensive than other meats. And considered, by many
    Canadians to be a strongly-flavoured meat. In Toronto you can
    occasionally find “mutton” at West Indian butchers and groceries but
    it’s often goat. I like goat but not as much as mutton. 
    I’d love to hear more about your flock and how things are going for you in Mongolia.

    Reply
  • October 11, 2014 at 12:48 pm
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    Thought you guys might get a kick out of this Sandy Mare Molly Cheyenne John

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  • October 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm
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    I remember when they used to nose around our tent at night , when I was sleeping with my children.

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  • October 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm
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    John You always had the best snacks. I remember nosing around your tent too.

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  • October 12, 2014 at 12:29 pm
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    You and my Jenn. had some great times.

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