AUGUSTA, Maine –Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) is very excited to announce that we will be collaborating with Widdershins Farm LLC this summer! Widdershins is a local farm in Dover-Foxcroft offering a wide variety of services and products and includes a creamery and farm store that is open 7 days a week. They specialize in sustainable agriculture and caring for their livestock in the most natural way possible. Widdershins offers everything from raw milk, cheese and yogurt to grass fed beef, pasture raised pork, lamb and chicken. They breed and raise Katahdin sheep, a meat breed of sheep that were developed in Abbott, ME for their hair coat, hardiness and prolificacy.
PCSWCD will be welcoming 20-25 working livestock animals that will consist of Katahdin sheep, donkeys and goats to the Law Farm in Dover-Foxcroft. The livestock will be arriving on PCSWCD’s Law Farm volunteer workday, Saturday June 6th, 2020, and stay for 5 weeks, during which they will be moved between pastures as needed to increase soil fertility, implement permaculture practices and decrease the use of motorized mowing fuel and costs.
Want to see how it’s done? Would you like to learn more from an experienced farmer? We are pleased to announce that Wendy Russell from Widdershins Farm LLC will be presenting a Rotational Grazing Workshop on June 24th from 9:30-12pm at the Law Farm to demonstrate the general care and instruction of working Katahdin sheep sustainably on your land. Wendy will be discussing types of equipment for grazing both cows and sheep, which includes maintaining, transportation and types of equipment that work best. She will also demonstrate how to train the animals, how to move the fence as well as what animals and age groups work best together. Topics will also include watering, shelter needs and the conditions of grass to browse and graze. Wendy will also discuss how often to move, awareness of poisonous plants, wet holes, predators, the public’s safety and insurance. She will give instruction on how to plan your paddock for consecutive moves, start and stop spots for moving animals in and out, and containment for catching and loading the animals.
While our animal friends will be residing with us for the summer, we encourage visitors to observe our best management practices, but we are also urging visitors to refrain from bringing your dog to the Law Farm. These animals are working and we want to decrease any risk from distracting them from their duty. We also will have signs up stating that they are not to be fed, as we want them to eat our unwanted overgrowth instead! So please, no dog visitors and do not feed our workers. We appreciate the community’s excitement with us as we welcome this opportunity and encourage you to visit the Law Farm and join us in this educational workshop.
There is a registration fee and space is limited for this workshop. For more information and to register, please contact the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District by visiting our website http://www.piscataquisswcd.org
–Maine Department of Agriculture