We are looking for a shepherd for our small flock of sheep!
We have Doper sheep helping us reach our goals of self sufficiency and land regeneration. Sheep can be a great addition to any property, but can be especially helpful in the vineyard. A man who inspires us greatly, Kelley Mullville, has quantified studies with sheep in vineyards. He has found that, if managed correctly, sheep can reduce fertilization needs completely, reduce irrigation needs by 80% (as the soil is much healthier), reduce the amount of tractor passes per row as there is no longer a need for mowing or tilling (because the sheep do that for you), reduce labor by eliminating the need for hand suckering, increase soil microbes, and create an economically viable byproduct in the form of milk, wool, meat, or stud rams. A properly managed flock is rotated often, sometimes as little as every three days, throughout a system of small pastures so that the land has high density grazing in short intervals with adequate rest time for the plants. This system is different from traditional grazing, where a flock is free to graze for sometimes months at a time in a large pasture, which can lead to overgrazing the plants.
In the short time we have had our flock, we have already noticed that where the sheep have been, the invasive annual grasses are phasing out and in their place native bunch grasses are returning. However, this technique takes time and energy, and we are looking for someone to help us manage our flock. A preferable candidate would have knowledge about basic ovine care, electric fencing and rotational grazing, and about harvesting milk, meat, or wool from our flock. There is possible onsite housing for a fitting partner.
Please contact us for more information.