I have realized that a big part of why I share what we do, and why it seems to generate interest, has as much to do with what we don’t do as it does with what we do.
In hindsight this was also a driving force behind my website ranching-with-sheep.
There are a lot of practices shared in sheep raising books and by Ag extension experts, deemed necessary in raising sheep, that we do not do. There are a lot of routine measures that are considered normal sheep care that we do not do (flushing, whole flock worming, feeding grain, housing sheep.... to mention a few).
Sometimes the practices just didn’t feel right and left us with more questions and little satisfaction. Sometimes we just wanted to see if we could find an alternative. Sometimes we just knew the practice was completely impractical. Sometimes we were desperate for another way. Sometimes the problems we faced with our flock left us no option but to try. And sometimes the pure unnaturalness of the practice sent us seeking something else.
What we don’t do; what we are not willing to accept as status quo, what feels off to us, is worthy of examination and celebration.
No matter what aspect of farming or ranching you take on, no matter how small or how large scale, be it growing herbs, grains, raising poultry, or heritage livestock breeds, what you don’t do forms what you do.
The practices that don’t sit well with us, need to be looked at further. Embrace them. They will shape the direction you take with your farm. They will lead you on as much as the well known reasons for why you do what you do.