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Newborn lambs greet visitors at Ramblin' Vewe Open House

A baby lamb born last Tuesday receives a lot of attention from curious children. Lauren Tiner. (click for larger version)
October 21, 2009
Ramblin' Vewe Farm's Open House may have been postponed a few weeks ago due to the rain, but last Saturday afternoon proved to be the perfect fall day and the perfect time to admire the baby lambs and sheep, drink some cider, and take a stroll through the Woodland trails.

"We had an amazing turnout," said Weldon Bosworth, a member on the Ramblin' Vewe Board of Trustees. "Two hundred people showed up, and about half of them were kids."

Bosworth explained that Ramblin' Vewe is now considered a public farm and thrives off of donations from locals, which have added up to about $150,000 overall. He added that Ramblin' Vewe has been in operation as a sheep farm for over 20 years.

Jeff Keyser has been the farm shepherd for almost 23 years and put on sheep shearing demonstrations for visitors. He wrangled half a dozen or so sheep from the farm and kept them restrained in order to shave off their thick layer of wool adequately.

The sheared wool is sold in bulk and made into yarn, said Bosworth. Bulks of hay, which help feed the sheep, are sold during the winter months as well.

There were about five sets of twins born in the last month, which makes for 10 additional baby lambs in all, said Keyser, who caught one spry lamb to give curious children a close-up look. Some kids opted for the friendly group of sheep who stuck their noses out of the fence for some affection. Keyser held up one lamb that was only born three or four days before the open house and said that most of the "fall lambs" were born last Tuesday.

"Mu" the pot-bellied trick pig was also present during the open house and drew a crowd with her cute black and white fur and her big snout, and friendly demeanor. Mu's owner, Kelly Sullivan, is an animal behaviorist and said that Mu (which means "pig" in Thailand) loves photo ops and goes right up to people's cameras with curiosity.

Sullivan said that pot-bellied pigs are actually smarter than dogs, and that their intelligence level is only a notch below the intelligence of a dolphin. She said Mu's sharpness made her much more difficult to train than other animals because she is able to "outsmart" Sullivan here and there, especially when it comes to opening kitchen cabinets.

Mu is now almost 3 and has lived with her owner since she was 12 weeks old. Sullivan owns two dogs and a cat as well, and said the four animals get along just fine.

After families viewed the baby lambs running around the field with their freshly shaved older friends, they enjoyed walking through the Woodland trails by Ramblin' Vewe. Bosworth said the Woodland trail is a five-mile trail and is about 190 acres. The farm land itself is about 280 acres in all, said Bosworth.

The Gilford Recreation Department also hosted a scavenger hunt for kids who received a nature hunt list to check off throughout the trails. Children were encouraged to collect colorful leaves, whole acorns, pine cones, shiny rocks, and more for their own personal nature collections. They were also encouraged to look for (but not collect) flowers, wild berries, caterpillars, ferns, white birch trees, flowers, birds, and mushrooms throughout the trail.

Bosworth said that many people choose to walk snowy hikes and snowshoe through the Woodland trails in the winter as well.

For kids who wanted to improve on their casting, there were also fishing reels available by the Farm Pond for some pseudo-fishing and some down time to admire the peak of fall foliage.

Ramblin' Vewe Farm has been in operation since 1987 and owns two types of purebred sheep, the Suffolk and Targhee breeds. These two breeds are raised for high quality meat, wool, and breeding stock replacements. There are also about 40 acres of hay available on the farm for sale and sheep feed as well.

The farm is handled by Keyser and the Board of Trustees in hopes to promote agricultural and forestry practices, along with providing a recreational area for the public.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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