Marcia's Blog

Celeste’s Message

Celeste is our oldest and wisest ewe, a 9-year-old Romney who we acquired with our starter flock 3 years ago. When I asked, “Really, you

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We’re Lambing!

No matter what, it always seems that lambing catches me by surprise, a week before I’m ready. This year was the same! We expected first

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Hoof-Trimming Day

We trimmed feet and changed coats on all our ewes on Thursday. Gone are the days when we could maybe manage to trim feet on

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Appreciation

It has been a great lambing season so far: we have 56 healthy lambs from 29 ewes, we have lost only one lamb and no

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Green Pastures and Lambs

We’ve been having intermittent rain showers, not nearly enough to keep the grass green for long, so we are hoping for wetter weather to come.

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Two Ewes, Six Lambs

Yesterday morning Melinda and I were just finishing rounds when we heard a loud baaing coming from the shelter in the middle pasture. We went

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Oops!

Someone (that would be me) failed to latch the lambs’ gate last night…

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Peg is going to Sheep to Shop!

It seems that every year we have one lamb who isn’t born with a full deck. This year it was Peg, born small and with wobbly front legs that wouldn’t hold her on their own…

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Lambing With a View

Today began for me with a call from Melinda at 6:30. Lolita was in labor and needed assistance with a breech lamb, and Melinda couldn’t

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Sun Worshiper

The ewes got their vaccinations today and we all enjoyed working in the sunshine, after a week of rain. But no one was happier to

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Scooter

Scooter was hanging around in the shelter yesterday while all the other ewes grazed…

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Squirt

One of the tiniest lambs we’ve ever had was born yesterday afternoon, at just over 3 pounds…

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Willing to Adopt

Lambing began yesterday: Melinda arrived in the barn at 5 am to find that Brown Betty, a first-time mother, had delivered triplets in the night…

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A Sad Farewell

We lost Oso today. He was a really special dog and took such good care of his sheep. Like Big Otis, he was unsocialized to humans,

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Goodbye to three dear friends

Last week, in the midst of the horrible fires up in Sonoma and Napa counties, we had our own little sadness here at the ranch, as we said goodbye to three of our dear old friends

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Shearing Day

Today was shearing day at the ranch. We sheared everyone, from the old retired ewes to this year’s ewe lambs…

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New Chickens!

We had a dreadful heat wave over Labor Day weekend–the hottest days ever recorded in Marshall. Saturday the temperature reached 108

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Gordy in Montana

Back in 2009 we got a new guardian puppy, who we called “Gordy” for Guardian. Unlike our other dogs, Gordy was socialized to human attention, and he had a difficult time adjusting to life here at the ranch…

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Out to Pasture

It was a beautiful day yesterday, and we decided all the lambs are old enough for everyone to move outside for good. The young lambs

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Last Cheese Wrap

Today Melinda and I wrapped all the remaining Baserri. Eighteen wheels for my loyal retail customers, ten wheels for Jackson Family Wines, who have been

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Last Lambs

Our last lambs of the season were born on Tuesday, March 21st! Cousin, the last ewe, was looking like she was in the early stages

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Family Outing

We had a tour today and Blue Streak and her lambs were one of the highlights. We got her and her little family out of

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Quints!

I woke up this morning and checked the barn camera and there was Melinda, who is on the early shift, with lambs in the barn.

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Miracle Lambs

We have a happy outcome with Blue Streak, thanks to some good decisions and a big dose of good luck. She was the highest-risk pregnancy

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Fresh Salad

This ewe, who we’ve been calling Blue Streak because of a mysterious blue stripe that showed up on her side after shearing (can’t figure what

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Snake Eyes

Snake Eyes, a two-year old ewe named by Lisa during milking season last year because each of her teats has a perfect black dot right

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Migratory Birds

Today was a big day for the chickens! Lolo finished their run down by the garden, and then moved the chicken house (with the chickens

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The Sun Returns

After a rainy weekend, it was a beautiful day today, with just a few lingering showers passing through. Oso and Orbit watched over the pregnant

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Chip Off the Old Block

This is the first in our “chip off the old block” series. Good Mother, who is distinctive for her “down” ears, and her daughter…same ears!

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Hectic Afternoon

Today started off well when Melinda found Nanette lambing in the barn at 5 am. Nanette had twins, and then it proceeded to be a

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Lambing Al Fresco

Good Mother was in heaven today. This five-year-0ld ewe who has always been a wonderful and easy lamber and mother, had a difficult end of

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Visit From Dad

My 91-year old Dad, who grew up with sheep, came to visit today, with his caregiver Rodney, and my cousin Diana and her daughter Angela,

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First-Time Mother

Yesterday at 5:00 Lolo was getting ready to bring the ewes in when he noticed Harriet, a yearling who got her name because of her

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First Lambs!

We have an auspicious beginning to lambing. Lisa left the barn last night saying “my money’s on Bunny.” Bunny did indeed look ready, but we

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Mother Takes a Ride

A few days after shearing, we notice a huge swelling on Mother’s shoulder. Mother is one of the retired ewes who lives in my back

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This Too Shall Pass

The ewes are getting pretty tired of both the rain and of being pregnant! They are looking very large, and there is a lot of

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Shearing Day

With all the rain we have been having lately, we were worried that it would rain over the weekend, and so made hurried preparations to

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After the Storm

After getting 7.5 inches of rain in the past 5 days, everything is saturated here at the ranch and it was really nice to get

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Happy New Year!

Our first 11 chicks, hatched on election day, moved out to their new chicken house earlier this week. The chicken house will eventually be down

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Got Corn?

My select group of retired ewes (the “pets”) live by my house and always gather at the fence when I walk by for chin-scratches or

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End of Breeding

Not such a Happy Halloween for our boys–we took the rams out today, a couple of weeks earlier than we usually do. They have been

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All Grown Up

It’s breeding month, and all the ewes are in breeding groups with the rams. Most of the ewe lambs are in with our ram lamb,

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Road Trip!

Who would have thought you could get two 200-pound ewes in the back of a Toyota 4Runner? I was skeptical when Sam Stack came to

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Reunion in Vacaville

I took eight ewes who are retiring from production to Soul Food Farm in Vacaville today. We had our first rain of the season, just

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Last Cheese

I made the last cheese of my professional career yesterday. It was a nearly perfect cheesemaking day; I began at 6 am sanitizing equipment and

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Dang Me!

Dang me! It has been a rough week for our boy, Pistol. As a matter of fact, it’s been a bit of a bumpy life,

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Baserri Wins First Place

Woo hooo! Our Baserri won First Place in its category at the American Cheese Society competition today! They even pronounced BOTH “Baserri” and “Barinaga Ranch”

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Auntie Bebe

Bebe is one extraordinary ewe, and one of my all-time favorites. Her name (BB) stands for Bottle Baby, because she was rejected by her mother

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Gracie, Frankie and Shep

I’ve been feeling pretty stir-crazy since I broke my ankle two weeks ago, missing my time working with Lolo, Lisa, Melinda and the sheep. Today

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They Are Pigs!

Melinda got this cute photo of the pigs the other day enjoying a salad of garden trimmings. This triggered her to look back through her

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