Spring Heralds New Life at Marilyn Farms May 25 2016

A wonderful part of life on our farm is the distinctive seasons that Iowa is blessed with. Marilyn Farms is located in southeast Iowa (Kalona), where there are four unique times of the year with different weather patterns and climatic characteristics. Springtime is one of our favorites, as it signals a new beginning after the long cold, dormant period of winter. Although winter officially ends on March 21-22 each year, we generally begin to feel the gentle breezes and the warmth of the sun that herald the arrival of spring sometime between the middle of April and the beginning of May.

For animals being grazed on pasture, spring is also the time to give birth. We want our mother ewes to have their lambs in late April because the third trimester of their pregnancies can be spent eating grass. The pasture will also be lush during the time that the lambs need milk from their mothers. This is one of the most cost-effective methods to raise farm animals.

Our sheep operation at Marilyn Farms consists of St. Croix hair sheep, which are genetically selected to be very hardy, easy lambers, and parasite-resistant. We added the rams to the herd in December, and after a five-month gestation period, we now have many new lambs on pasture. Here is a picture of one of our new lambs that was born during the first week of May!

 new lamb

We will wean the new lambs in August, and introduce all of the sheep back into one large herd in the late fall. Due to the proclivity of sheep in general (most ewes give birth to twins), a herd of sheep can grow in size very quickly.

Be sure to sign up for our weekly emails to find out when we will be serving our wonderful, mild-tasting lamb in our Café. We also have some cuts available in our Market, but to ensure that we have them in stock, please call or e-mail us to check availability.

Phil Forbes
Phil Forbes is the current President of Marilyn Farms. He is also the Supply Chain director for the organic dairy brand, Kalona Supernatural, and Open Gates, a company focused on organic and sustainable businesses. Phil has raised 100% grass-fed cows & sheep, chickens, organic vegetables, organic medicinal herbs, exotic animals, and draft horses. He has a MBA from the University of Phoenix, a Master of Divinity degree from Shiloh University, and is working on a Master of Theology degree from South Africa Theological Seminary. Phil lives with his beautiful wife and two wonderful daughters in Kalona, Iowa.