Farm Stories

Need Flexibility – No Predictable Days on the Farm

Farmers need flexibility. They plan constantly, but a tree limb down on a fence, an unpredicted brief rain, a tractor breakdown, An Emergency First...

When Things Don’t Work

When the farm was first started in the early 70′s, the members had very little money and no credit. We had to learn to make do. We developed the sk...

When Priorities on the Farm Compete

It is still a challenging time at Topsy. The lambing is winding down, although the flock groups still have to be checked twice a day for problems. ...

Wrapping Bailage Bales

Bailage is hay cut earlier in the season, when conditions are still too wet to dry the cut for hay.  It allows the farmers to get out on the land w...

Snapping Turtle Visitor

The snapping turtle below was the climax moment of the Derby Girls visit. Never seen one here, before or since. We herded all people WELL away. A f...

Foster Lambs, One Week Later

When a foster lamb is first introduced to the warmed reconstituted ‘milk’ (called lamb-o), it doesn’t taste right; smell right; feel right. Usually...

Foster Lambs at Topsy

Rain plus wind plus cold equal hypothermic conditions for newborn lambs. Just as the flock was at its peak of lambing for the first heat cycle, the...

Shearing – nearly naked Sheep

Some photos post shearing: Don, unrolling hay for “ewe lambs” – they were lambs last year; now hopefully pregnant Newly shorn lambs, crossing in fr...

Wool: After Shearing Challenges

After shearing we had 80 eight foot bags (from this year and some left from the previous year) packed firmly with quality wool, and 15 bags of bell...

Shearing at Topsy Farms – The Action

The first 3 sheep were on their bottoms on the shearing floor Friday morning at 8 am. (That is the position for shearing to begin – belly wool remo...

Shearing at Topsy Farms – Getting Ready

Sheep have to be shorn once a year. It’s as regular as taxes. In earlier years the clip could provide a good income for a farm, but now represents ...

The Pleasures and Challenges of Spring

Walking our roads in the past few weeks has been, well, interesting. The gravel seems to have been entirely swamped by mud, alternating with ice an...