As part of our multi-species pasture management system, we are able to offer a limited number of whole and half lamb sales to our customers each year. Our lambs are a Katahdin/St. Croix cross bred and raised here on our farm. To join our 2018 pre-reserve list, please email us directly at email@example.com Information about our lamb, pork, and heirloom garden offerings can be found below.
Our Sheep and Lamb Shares: We raise two types of sheep on our farm. Our primary flock is what are called "hair sheep", or shedding sheep, and are Katahdin sheep crossed with Dorper and St. Croix sheep for hybrid vigor. Our ewes are always (unless someone has gotten out of the fence!) bred to lamb in early spring, providing a lamb that is weaned in early summer and is at grown processing weight in the early fall, at around 6 months. This takes advantage both of the seasonal advantages of nature in raising our lambs, as well as enables us to incorporate our sheep with our cows in a combined species rotational grazing pattern. Our sheep usually follow our broodcows, and our lambs either follow, or graze with, our finishing calves over the summer. In addition to our hair sheep, we also have a small herd of Hog Island Sheep. Hog Island Sheep are a critically endangered breed of sheep that have several fascinating abilities, including excellent heat tolerance, the ability to shed their own wool (although we sometimes shear them), and, as a result of their limited diet on Hog Island of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, an ability and preference to eat the weedy, undesirable plants in our pasture! There are estimated to be less than 300 Hog Island Sheep in the world today, and you can read about them HERE.
At this time, we are not offering shares in our Hog Island sheep, but anticipate offering individual cuts in our Hog Island wethers (castrated rams) within the next 12-18 months.
Lamb Shares are currently (2019) priced at $3.00 per pound based on the live weight, which includes transportation to the butcher, and does not include the separate processing fee (approximately $1.00/lb). Our goal is to have lambs that finish between 80-90 pounds "on the hoof", and like our calves, they are weighed the evening before they are butchered. A 90 pound lamb will normally result in 40 pounds of "take home" meat with a cost to the farmer of $270 and a processing fee of approximately $90.00, coming to a total cost of less than $9.00 per take-home pound. Our lambs are cold dry aged at the processor for 5-6 days prior to being butchered into individual cuts. Our customers are welcome to pick their lambs up directly from the butcher, or we offer pickup and delivery. For those customers who are already beef share customers, we offer discounted pickup and delivery fees. We take reservations for lamb shares year-round, and issue out invitations for lamb shares in March and April once we have a good estimate of the final number of lambs that will be available.
Pork Shares and Whole Hog Sausage We also offer on an "as available" basis pork shares as well as whole hog sausage. We are committed to supporting the future of agriculture by purchasing pork from area 4H and FFA youth who raise the animals as part of a project or for the Pittsylvania-Caswell Youth Livestock Association show. Those animals spend several weeks on our farm turning our overwinter bedding into compost, ultimately spread back onto our fields as compost the following spring, and cleaning up our woodland lots. Once their work is done on our land, those animals will nourish our customers as whole hog shares and whole hog sausage.
Seasonal Heirloom Garden Produce In addition, we have a garden with heirloom vegetables that are seasonably offered to our customers, both in their "garden" form or preserved, pickled, or otherwise processed. Heirloom vegetables are challenging in that unlike modern varieties, they produce a much smaller yield under the same soil and weather conditions; however they offer tastes, textures, and nutritional profiles that are not available many of today's "grocery store" vegetables. Our most recent garden bounty has included: White Creole, Red Creole, and Australian Brown Onions Heirloom Garlic - Inchellium Red, Sicilian White, and St. Helens Heirloom Carrots - Lunar White, Amarillo, Atomic Red, St. Valery, Oxheart, Chantenay Red Core, and Kuroda Long Malaga Radishes and Bordo Beets And inherited with our farm, June Applesauce apples, Concord and Muscadine grapes, wild blackberries, and persimmon.
To receive notifications of when our seasonal offerings are available, please join our mailing list on the home page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org