Farming is no picnic in the hay...especially during the birthing season. The babies seem to have all the fun. Adults, both human and animal, stay worn out.
|Ewes in Waiting|
This year, one of the ewes rejected the third of her triplets and James began bottle-feeding, a charity necessary for its survival.
When we moved to Grassy Creek, James Young (son of Kenneth and Mary who live at the end of Young Road in Young Hollow) was a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His brother Aaron was a sophomore. The Young family was quick to welcome us to their neighborhood. Kenneth is a local mail carrier and Mary drives a school bus and works in the cafeteria at the middle school. They used to have a self-sufficient farm complete with a dairy, but now that the sons are grown and getting close to retirement, they don't do everything, but still grow the best of everything including dahlias and blueberries for "come and pick your own," and raise cattle and chickens.
|Mary and Kenneth Young and James in the background|
The Youngs of Young Road
After graduating in 2001 with a degree in Finance, James returned to Ashe County as loan officer in a local bank. He is a quiet and humble guy from a hard-working family and he valued the rural life. So many of his contemporaries left the county for an education never to return because they found the jobs they wanted somewhere else. James considers himself lucky to have both a good professional job and the local farming lifesyle.
|James helping his parents, Mary and Kenneth, tag and worm this year's new calves|
|Healthy thriving calves with numerical tags|
|James, Nicole and Samuel with border collie puppie, Dixie|
Samuel is almost eight months old now. He may be the next innovative Young farmer of America.
Nothing else compares with having your own son, but James continues to work hard at animal husbandry, learning all he can when not working at the bank or helping Niki or caring for Samuel. He makes
raising farm animals look easy.
|More and more lambs every day!|
|Billy the Dad|
|Nanny and Kid Rocky (No, I'm not naming them!)|
One year, I took three goats, each on separate occasions to the veterinarian in Sparta in the back of my car because I was not able to convince the doctors to come here. One died of a rare brain parasite after bouts of seizures. The other two died of diseases that were never identified. Another goat disappeared, perhaps stolen. One was killed by dogs; another broke her neck on a fence post running from a dog. Over the years, we got down to 17 before the lead goat, Silas, died in winter. That was the end to naming goats.
We sold half of our remaining goats and had only 8 until James brought in a billy for mating. Now we are increasing in number again, one at a time. Nothing is cuter than a baby goat. Maybe there will be goat cheese one day!!
|Wait Mom, I'm hungry!|
I think goats are the cutest. Don't you? Well, sometimes there's an exceptionally sweet-looking calf, and the lambs are soft and squeezable.
What do you think? Which baby is the cutest?
(It's a trick question. Samuel is by far the cutest!)