March: Out Like a Lamb?

lambs 4_KimCaldwell

We were so hopeful a month ago, when March rolled in like a lion — the end of the month surely would bring lamb-like spring weather. Not so much on the last day of the month as early morning sleet turned to fat wet flakes, yielding a 3-inch sloppy wet mess. Hardly the gentle wave of spring we were all anticipating. Truth be told, the folklore about March’s fickle weather is more about astrology and less about meteorology. In the beginning of March, the constellation Leo (the lion) is visible on our horizon at sunset. At the end of the month, we see Aries (the lamb).

lambs 1_KimCaldwell

While the weather might not feel lamb-like, lambing season has begun at farms throughout the area, though not as earnestly as expected. Farmer Jen Murray, of 8 Hands Farm in Cutchogue reports that they have had two baby lambs born thus far, twins Tula and TJ, from Xaria, an Icelandic ewe. Murray was expecting many more by this date. “I wonder if ewes can sense a harsh and prolonged winter like squirrels and other wild animals and push off their estrous cycles so they lamb later,” says Murray.  With many ewes ready to “pop”, perhaps Murray should rest up as more seasonal spring-like weather is coming this week, and no doubt more baby lambs, too. 8 Hands Farm is expecting around 50 new lambs this season and, as they welcome the newest members of their flock, we will continue to share their first photos on Edible Long Island’s facebook page.