Best Lambing Season Ever
It is almost the end of lambing and unlike other years when I CAN’T WAIT for it to be over, this year I’m feeling a
Sunshine, Moorits and Giant Lambs
We have been lambing for a full month now (our first lambs were born February 16th) and most of that time we have been deluged
Last July, we lost our much-loved and trusted senior livestock-protection dog, Orbit, in the prime of his life. It was so traumatic and sad that
Lambs are arriving!
Lambs began arriving right on schedule on Thursday. Smoke went into labor early in the morning and had a big black boy in the corrals,
Back when we were running a sheep dairy, shearing day was something to be endured, for the health of the sheep. But now that we
Mitt the Romney
We lost our beloved ram, Mitt the Romney, today and everyone on the ranch took it pretty hard…
Making Radio History: Past and Present
Visitors to our ranch often hear the story behind those concrete objects in our pastures. Yes, they are definitely favorite play-structures for our lambs, but
Looks like we are headed for a lamb bonanza this year! We bred 46 ewes and expected about 35 to be pregnant, as our pregnancy
A Beautiful Day to Plant Trees!
As the rainy season begins and the ranch comes alive with new growth, it is the time of year to sow seeds, apply compost and
California National Wool Show
Our fleeces did really well at the California National Wool Show at the Mendocino County Fair last weekend. I entered 12 fleeces from our Romney,
I had the privilege of being a vendor at the Fibershed Gala on Saturday…
Surviving the Blues
Our first indigo harvest was challenging, but Melinda prevailed…
Our fleeces did really well yesterday at the wool judging at the Monterey County Fair! Dale, our awesome Corriedale ram, took first place in the
Eat More Guacamole!
I got the most beautiful pinks from avocado pits…
Dyeing with Dandelions
After giving away my dairy equipment last month, I was eager to set up the newly vacated milk room in my creamery as a dye
Passing the Torch
I gave away my whole milking setup this week! It went to a wonderful part-Basque family from Wilton, south of Sacramento. I met them when
Seize the Moment
We’ve had a very unusual May. Usually May is our little bit of summer–the spring winds have died down, the pastures are still green and
Lambing is almost over, and I’ve hardly had a minute to write a blog post this year! We began on February 13, and have had
Yesterday was one of our miserably windy March days, with gusts so strong anything not nailed down was flying away. It was also a sad
Gladys badly wanted to steal her neighbor’s baby, until she had a few of her own…
A Productive Day
Yesterday morning Melinda and I found ourselves in a puzzling situation. Our older Romney ewe, Swiss Miss, was in labor for quite a while and
Lambing began on Sunday morning, when Nan, one of our older Romney ewes, went into labor. Last year Nan had a torn placenta and lost
When the new year rolls around it is time to shear the pregnant ewes, so they will be clean of fleece and ready to lamb.
Our Healthy Soils Team
This group of 19 ewes is made up of 5 retired grandmas, 4 ewe lambs that were to small to breed, and 10 ewes who
March 9, 2013 to November 22, 2021
I am LOVING knitting with all my new yarns!
Well this is a story I must tell, even though I risk ruining my reputation as a serious rancher. Let me start by saying that
A Basque Connection
I met a kindred spirit, and she designed me a beautiful yarn label that speaks of both of our heritage and deep love for our sheep…
Look at this gorgeous sweater made with my East Friesian yarn…
I got to see the Mendocino Wool Mill in action yesterday…
Last Lambs of the Season
It’s a wrap!
Our First Corriedale and Romney Yarns
Our first Corriedale and Romney yarns are back from the mills…
Daisy is Lisa’s new special friend…
A ranch-visit is a great excuse to cuddle lambs…
Those Pips are just getting cuter!
Romney lambs always look like little teddy bears to me…
Three Adorable Romney Lambs
Two white girls and a flashy boy…
Belle: April 6, 2001 to February 28, 2021
I said goodbye to my dear friend Belle on Sunday…
Our New Feline Team-members
These three shy little kitties arrived today…
Celeste had something urgent she was trying to tell Melinda…
Maison’s Hard Labor Paid Off…
I left Melinda in the shelter watching Maison, and came back over an hour later to find both of them exhausted…
Bingo didn’t make it all the way to the barn today…
Our First Cormo Cross Lambs
Perry is a daddy!
Every year the first lambs manage to catch me by surprise…
‘Tis the Season…
October is breeding season, and Perry the Cormo, Mitt the Romney and the rest of the rams are making the most of it…
A September to Remember
It has been an action-packed six weeks…
We LOVE our Roll O’matic!
We weaned the lambs on Thursday…
Changing of the Guard (Dogs)
Meet Oliver and Oakley, our new Great Pyrenees Livestock Guardian Dogs…
Bebe: March 7, 2009 to May 21, 2020
We lost Bebe yesterday, at the record age of 11…
From Sheep to Skein with Dale
I took the poopy bits from the edges of Dale’s fleece, called skirtings, and wanted to see what I could make…
My Hat is Finished!
I’ve made something I can actually wear…from my own sheep!
My First Yarn
I’m off on a hand-spinning adventure…
We’ve been making portraits of all our ewes. Here are some of our Romney ewes…
Better Every Day
Follow the link inside this post to watch Melinda’s sweet lambing video…
Like Mother Like Daughter
When Cora went into labor, we didn’t realize her daughter Flora would not be far behind…
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
The Long Road to Recovery
I was afraid we would have to give up on Good Daughter, then she came around…
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.
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
This day began and ended with successful lamb-saving procedures…
Lambs of all Sizes
I was explaining to Taryn how to recognize a ewe in labor. Then I turned around…
Lambing in Full Swing
We know we are well into lambing when the problems begin to add up…
We had a busy weekend…
More than a third done, and mostly girls!
Lambing is moving right along, with 12 ewes done and 21 to go…
Triplets! Oh My!
Melinda had a busy night last night…
Our First “Romnesian” to Lamb
We had a very peaceful and happy lambing scene late this afternoon…
Celeste, Aurora and Sky-King
Our first lambs of the season were born last night…
Today was shearing day for the pregnant ewes…
Melinda took this lovely photo yesterday between rain storms…
We lost our friend Pistol yesterday…
It is breeding time, and that involves LOTS of planning…
Someone (that would be me) failed to latch the lambs’ gate last night…
Hoof Trimming Takes a New Turn
Lolo and I took our new sheep turn-table out for a spin today…
Lisa and I hit the road to deliver sheep and pick up some new Romneys…
Another of Melinda’s priceless photos…
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…
Waiting for Breakfast
A morning visit with the flock…
Today the lambs got vaccinated and Orbit had a spa treatment…
The lambs are growing well and enjoying the green pastures…
My Three Sons
Scooter got a gold star for motherhood tonight…
Why you should NEVER overfeed bottle lambs…
We were mystified by the affliction that struck our bottle-lambs. Luckily we figured it out before it was too late…
Into the final stretch
Fifty-three lambs from 24 ewes and only five ewes left to lamb…
Ten lambs in 12 hours!
Billie Jean surprised us with early lambs in the pasture yesterday…
Triplets in the Pasture
Emylou surprised us all with triplets in the pasture yesterday…
More triplet girls!
Betty White gave us a second set of triplet girls last night…
First Romney Lamb
Swiss Miss gave us our first purebred Romney lamb today–a girl!
Blaze and her lambs walked out into the sunshine today…
Big Storm, No Lambs
A lazy day in the barn, listening to the storm howl outside…
Peg and Blaze
Little “Peg” is doing well…
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
Day 2 for the Quads
Blaze stood up yesterday, with some help…
A happy ending…and then some. What is wrong with twins?
Lambing Has Begun!
Good Daughter started off our lambing season with twin girls tonight…
Today the ewes got their second set of pre-lambing vaccinations…
I want to honor a great dog, Gordie, who died earlier this week…
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
First Shearing Day for our New Sheep
Yesterday was our first shearing day with our new Romney and Corriedale sheep…
MALT Artists’ Day at the Ranch
Ranches and Rolling Hills artists visited the ranch today.
The Big Day
Yesterday was breeding day and man were we busy…
Just a couple of wild and crazy guys…
…waiting for the party to begin.
The Romneys have arrived!
Our flock has grown with the addition of some beautiful Romney sheep…
Lolo and Dale…
Welcome Home Corriedales!
Barinaga Ranch branches out into fiber sheep!
Shep and Otto
A sad goodbye to Shep…and a joyful welcome to Otto!
Squirt: A Short But Happy Life
He was one of the smallest lambs we ever had. His mother didn’t want anything to do with him, but he quickly won all our
Panties was a legendary ewe in many ways…
Lisa was up most of the night bringing this lambing season to a close…
Squirt is thriving, and growing as fast as he can!
Just Four Ewes to Go!
With only 4 ewes left to lamb, we have 71 lambs from 28 ewes…
Scooter was hanging around in the shelter yesterday while all the other ewes grazed…
Bonnet surprised us this morning…
Why am I rooting for 300%?
Every time a ewe lambs with triplets, I say “YAY, we’re still at 300%!”
Triplets are the Fashion This Year: Everyone’s having them!
We are at nearly 300% lambing efficiency. If they aren’t having triplets, they are having quads…
Fun in the Lambing Barn
Lolita the lamb-stealer didn’t have to wait long for a family of her own…
One of the tiniest lambs we’ve ever had was born yesterday afternoon, at just over 3 pounds…
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…
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,
Go To Your Room…and stay there until you can behave yourselves…
Last Tuesday was the end of breeding. We leave the rams in with the ewes for just three weeks
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
Today was shearing day at the ranch. We sheared everyone, from the old retired ewes to this year’s ewe lambs…
We had a dreadful heat wave over Labor Day weekend–the hottest days ever recorded in Marshall. Saturday the temperature reached 108
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…
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
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
RUB A DUB DUB…
…two lambs in a tub. Lolo spotted this and insisted I take a picture. Blue Streak’s two white boys.
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
Snagglepus and the Snagglepiece
Lisa’s favorite lamb this year is Snagglepus’s funny little girl, whom Lisa has named The Snagglepiece. She’s a chip off the old block, as funny
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
Beata got the triplet variety-pack this year–one of each color.
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.
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
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
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
A Lamb of Many Names
Uh oh! Lolo has a pet lamb! This little guy was one of Tiny Tail’s triplet lambs. On day one we called him Longhorn, because
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
Ewes and Lambs Enjoying the Sun
We have been really lucky with beautiful sunny weather for lambing this season. After all the winter rain, the soil is full of moisture and
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
Cute Lamb of the Day
Nanette’s white boy, born yesterday.
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!
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
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
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,
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
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
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
A Salad for Valentine’s Day
Melinda weeded the garden today and put the fresh-pulled weeds along the fence, where the ewes enjoyed the salad.
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
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
The Down Side of a Wet Winter
With all the rain we have been having, it is going to be a great grass year. But right now, everything is saturated and we
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
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
Uh-oh, They Found My Secret Door
Orbit is turning out to be a great guard dog, but he is also an avid hunter, and we have found him outside the ewes’
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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,
Baserri at the Festival of Cheese
Baserri with its First Place ribbon at the Festival of Cheese at the American Cheese Society Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. Thanks to Seana Doughty
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”
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
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
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
Bugeyes (March 20, 2008 – July 4, 2016)
Barely a week after we lost Big Otis, another sad milestone: We lost Bugeyes on July 4, at 8 1/2 years old. Bugeyes was the
Big Otis (January 2007 – June 2016)
Yesterday was a sad day–we lost Big Otis, our oldest livestock protection dog. Otis had been with us for 9 years–he arrived to protect our