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TOTW 2020 Spring Update

Things seem to be a little crazy in the world lately so we thought we would give you an update on how things are going with the Taste of the Wind Crew here on the Anywhere Farm.

Let’s start with the most exciting news, Lambing Season Has Begun!

As of 4pm on Tuesday April 7th, we have 3 lambs so far. Two rams (males) and one ewe (female). They are doing well, learning the ropes of sticking with mom and wandering through the sagebrush to find the little sprouts of green that are coming up like crazy now! In the piggun-chiggun-wagon egg production is steadily increasing as daylight and greenery start to increase with the warming temps. We will really see a boost in egg production once the bugs start to come out as the chickens just LOVE to eat bugs and worms.

As far as the nature all around us goes, spring is most definitely in the air. Chris and I heard our first meadowlark of the season this morning. Plants are budding and sprouting all around us. Today has to be the warmest day of the year so far- complete with some fresh April breeze! With Spring comes mud season and with mud season comes the shearing of the sheep.


I decided to shear each ewe as she lambs so there would be no danger of injuring the lamb while handling the ewe. For shearing, ewes are flipped over gently onto their bum. Sheep automatically go into the OH-MY-GOSH-I’M-FROZEN state when held in this position. They don’t struggle, they just relax and let us peel their winter coat right off with a set of shears. We make sure the ewe and lamb can see each other the whole time we are shearing- this helps keep the lamb calm and happy. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes per sheep for us at the moment- because we are inexperienced. Professional shearers can shear an entire sheep in 5 minutes or less! Once complete we let the ewe stand up. She sniffs her lamb and they both trot off into the pasture to join the rest of the flock. The Fleeces these Icelandic Sheep yield are just gorgeous. Long flowing locks of varying colors- I’m in love…



I have been doing a bit of spinning with the fiber and I absolutely love it, very long and soft and easy to work with. These sheep have a following at Cowgirl Yarn, lots of fiber enthusiasts are excited to work with the locally-grown, unique fiber this flock has to offer.



In Laramie we launched a project called the Zero Waste Warriors. We had over 50 volunteers sign up to receive a 5 gallon buckets to collect food waste in at their homes. We also had 3 volunteers for drop –sites for these scraps so participants can take their food scraps to 3 specific locations in Laramie. We then pick the scraps up from the drop sites on Tuesdays and Fridays. We also placed a drop site at the The Post Restaurant for the Centennial community. The only stipulation we put on the food waste collection is that meat be separated- everyone has been doing great at this so far! For more info on this project, check out our Facebook Page for it here: https://www.facebook.com/Zero-Waste-Warriors-110870857202867/ If you want to participate we are all out of buckets for now, but there is a whole list of containers on the page that would work perfectly for food scrap collection most of which you might have in your home already. It has truly amazed us how many folks are interested in saving their scraps from going to the dump. Laramie and Centennial are truly awesome communities. And of course, our animals are more than happy to do their part in keeping those scraps out of the dump too!


 

Spring is a season of change and with these changes our current land lease is changing as well. Our next lease does not have a place of residence currently so Chris and I are moving into a camper called “The Hitchhiker II.”



In some ways it is an upgrade (the Hitchhiker even has a kitchen and a shower!) from the Sheepwagon we built and lived in last summer- which I call The Dream Wagon.





I will miss those mornings of waking up and seeing the sunrise over the sheep in front of the Snowy Range out the window. I do hope to rent out the Dream Wagon as an Air-BnB someday soon. I think people might enjoy a simple little sheep-cation getaway in the valley for a weekend here or there. I know I would…..


 

Here is a quick update on our products

Pork- We are sold out of most roasts. We do have some fresh ham roasts (uncured) left as well as a couple packages of chops and some fresh ground pork. We also have a couple racks of ribs, some ham hocks, and organ meat available still. If you are interested in buying bulk pork we will be processing another batch of 10 hogs June 3rd. 5 of these 10 are already reserved, so reach out if you would like us to reserve one for you. This will be our first batch of hogs processed in Wyoming at the new USDA Plant in Laramie, 307 Meats. We are very excited to be able to offer meat grown and processed completely within the state now! Chicken- We are completely SOLD OUT of chicken for the season. We should have more chicken available in June. We will announce availability on whole chickens through this email list. Lamb- We have lots of lamb available now. A couple of shoulder roasts and leg of lamb roasts are left to fill your Easter Feast needs. If you don’t feel the need for such a large cut of meat we do have leg of lamb steaks and shoulder steaks as well. These are the same tender cuts of meat, just sliced into steaks for quicker preparation and smaller- more manageable portions for smaller sized gatherings (since large gatherings aren’t really an option right now). We also have racks of lamb, lamb shanks, and some lamb neck bones- great for roasting and making that bone broth along with all your veggie peels and egg shells and such. We also have the oh-so-versatile-and-delicious ground lamb, stew meat, and organ meat.

One of my favorite breakfasts... Heart of Lamb Breakfast Skillet




This is the last of the lamb we will have for the Spring and Summer of 2020. Our next batch will be available this fall. Eggs- Our egg production is on the up and up! No need to add Easter Egg dye to our eggs, they already come in a large variety of colored shells with bright yellow-orange yolks inside a bright pink carton! We are proud to offer our quality eggs to you in a time when eggs can be hard to get a hold of in stores.


We have batches of laying hens that are fully feathered-out and just about ready to hit the pasture. They should start laying this summer and they will be filling even more cartons with their beautiful, rich, and nutritious eggs for you throughout the season. We look forward to filling your need for eggs this Spring, Summer and Fall at the Big Hollow Coop, the Farmer’s Markets and also through home delivery. (Please note that the coop does add a $1 per dozen on top of our price so they can cover the cost of stocking our products conveniently at their storefront).

To place an order delivered right to your doorstep contact us! Text or call 307-399-4893, or reply to this email. You can also send us a message on our Facebook page- Taste of the Wind or send us a Direct Message through our Instagram @tasteofthewind307 We’ll get your order to you on the next coming delivery day (Tuesdays and Fridays).

 

A Side-Note on Social Distancing

The current state of the world is really something, isn't it? Life honestly hasn’t changed too much for us here at TOTW because we live in a somewhat rural location and our business is considered essential. However, we do realize how stressful this time is for a lot of folks. If there is anything we can do to help you feel more prepared, or more secure in this time of uncertainty let us know. We are doing our very best to ensure our products are clean and sanitary. This includes more frequent sanitizing of surfaces in the preparation, storage, and transport areas of our business; more frequent hand-washing and sanitizing of equipment, social distancing ourselves as much as possible, and staying healthy so we can keep serving you. There also seems to be unrest about food security in our community and beyond. Naturally a lot of folks are taking it upon themselves to grow their own food. We think this is great! If there are any skills we can help you with in the endeavor to grow and process your own food please let us know. We know how to take many species from on the stem/vine/hoof to on a plate or in a jar successfully, safely, healthily, and with minimal inconvenience and stress to the animal and/or plant. We would be happy to share these skills with anyone interested in learning them in a social-distancing friendly way.



I have been trying to post a lot more on our Instagram and Facebook Stories to show the things that make me smile about what we do on a regular basis. I do this to help spread joy, to share a little piece-of-mind from the country, and to maybe educate folks a little bit about what we do and why it is beneficial to our community and to our environment. The subject matter often includes fluffy lambs, happy pigs, roaming chickens, trouble-making dogs, diy projects featuring our products, and the breathtaking surroundings of the Centennial Valley. I hope this is of value to folks who may be more cooped up than they want to be at the moment.



I also have been working on a food justice and self-sustenance reading list for the past few years and I would love to share this with anyone who is interested. Many of the books on the list are even available through the Albany County Library’s online archives for free. As always please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you or anyone else you know with access to good, healthy food. Just because we are in a difficult time does not mean anyone needs to go hungry. We have access to a lot of resources when it comes to food and we would love to help a friend in need.



Stay healthy my friend. Talk to you soon!

-BJ and the Taste of the Wind Crew

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