VT Grand View Farm


Kim and Chuck Goodling

Welcome to Living with Gotlands. Share my life at Vermont Grand View Farm with Sweden’s curly sheep and a busy border collie named Kai. Settle in with a cup of tea, and learn about wool crafts, homesteading and raising sheep.

Want more? Come stay in our Farmhouse Suite, and experience life on a sheep farm.

I hope you will leave comments as you read our posts so that I can get to know you!

Kim

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Yarn - Roving - Kits

Vermont Grand View Farm


Farm Stays - Gotland Sheep - Yarn

Guard Llamas....My Friend - My Protector

Alaska, our guardian llama, is really an independent soul. Her motto has always been, “Look-but don’t touch.” She prefers to eat her hay and grass without the sheep underfoot and she prefers to lay down and relax away from the flock. Every year, the lambs have to learn how to live with their giant friend and protector. Alaska lets them know their boundaries with a sweep of her long neck, or a low grumbling followed by a shower of her spit.

 

Alaska and Kayla

Alaska and Kayla

The past couple of weeks, I have watched this one little lamb as she has tried to edge her way just a little bit closer to the llama. While all the sheep, and llama, are taking their afternoon siesta, Kayla will get up and begin grazing. She will work her way over by the llama and graze all around her. She has learned that if Alaska swings her neck in distaste, then the best thing to do is to quickly lay low. On this particular day, the lamb laid down quite close to Alaska as she was being scolded for infringing on Alaska’s space. The two of them laid there together, nibbling grass and perhaps even enjoying each other’s company.

More about guardian llamas- Livestock Guardians-Guard Llamas

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Three Common Eating Habits Between Children & Sheep

Gotland lamb grazing

Recently, someone sent me an email asking a question about grazing:

Is it true that when sheep graze a field, they bite down to the nub of the forage and leave nothing left of the grazed plants, and that this was part of the reason for the range wars between cattlemen and shepherds between 1870-1920: the cattle had nothing to eat once the sheep had grazed the field.

 

 

Sheep share common eating habits [read more…]

Reporters Beware!

Kayla and Kajsa made it very difficult for Tammy to concentrate on her note taking.

Reporters beware! If you come to our farm in the spring, you just may have trouble getting your work done. A couple of weeks ago, a freelance reporter, Tammy Donroe, visited our farm on a fact finding mission. I began by showing her our Farmhouse Suite that we rent to overnight, farmstay guests. She took notes diligently as I told her about all the awesome people that have come to stay with us, the country [read more…]

Vermont Spring-A Season of Contradictions

April snow showers bring May flowers....we hope.

I was born and raised in the south where spring ushered in green grass, flowers, and warm weather. Then, I moved to the north, where my preconceived notions of what each season represented was challenged. Vermont spring is a season of contradictions:

warm temperatures-frigid temperatures delightful blue sky-gray snowy sky beautiful daffodils-sad droopy daffodils green fields-white fields open greenhouse-close greenhouse

This week is full of contradictions.

 

Bright blue sky and warm weather!

 

[read more…]

An Interview with Hanna Maciejewska-Knitwear Designer

Vermont by Hanna Maciejewska

Many times I have wished that I was blessed with the ability to design my own knitting patterns. Sometimes, I find it difficult to find just the right pattern for my yarn. Last year, I began searching through patterns on Ravelry for one suitable for my Gotland yarn, and came across Hanna Maciejewska, a knitwear designer in Poland. Hanna incorporates delicate lacework details with simple stockinette stitching. When I contacted her about designing a pattern [read more…]

Everyone Loves New Lambs

Kai and Gotland Lamb

Everyone loves new lambs…even our border collie, Kai! Kai knew there was something new in the barn even before he stepped foot through the doorway. There were a few days during lambing, where I left Kai in the house so that I could tend to new lambs and moms. Kai saw my activity, going to and fro, and he could smell the new life on my coveralls. When at last, he was taken out to [read more…]

Ask the Shepherd - Is Your Grain Well Protected?

The Gotlands opened the first gate.

When we were on Gotland island, one shepherd we visited with, kept saying, “Gotlands are smart sheep.” He told story after story of the many different ways his flock of Gotlands have shown him just how smart they are. In most of his stories, the sheep, and their intelligent inquisitive nature, usually got them in trouble with the shepherd as well as his neighbors. Since owning our own little flock of Gotlands, I can testify [read more…]

Lamb Antics

Gotland Lamb Antics

We had a knitting tour group come to the farm today to visit with the lambs. We put hay bales around in the barn for the ladies to sit on while they watched the lambs play. After everyone had gone home, the lamb antics began. All afternoon they played on the bales of hay. Mama Carie seemed as though she wanted to play too, but the bale of hay was not quite large enough for [read more…]

One Lamb a Day-Kayla

Kayla Gotland Ewe Lamb

Meet the lambs at VT Grand View Farm, one lamb a day.

Day 5: Meet Kayla, twin to Kajsa, 92.56% Gotland ewe lamb ~ friendly and sweet.

Kayla Gotland Ewe Lamb

One Lamb a Day-Kajsa

Kajsa Gotland Ewe Lamb

Meet the lambs at VT Grand View Farm, one lamb a day.

Day 4: Kajsa, 92.56% Gotland ewe lamb ~ shy and timid ~ mama’s girl.

Kajsa Gotland Ewe Lamb